Midlife Crisis Husband in the Attic

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My aunt remembers like it was yesterday, only she was 12 years old.

Living with her Mom, Dad and 2 siblings, Ilene wondered why Mr Brown walked into her house, past her parents, up to the Attic. With a suitcase.

“What is he doing?” asked young Ilene to her mom.

Dora Healy patted her daughter on the head and said, “Don’t ask, just pray.”

Ilene remembers seeing her parents walk off into different directions as she stood there in the hall, watching this man, a husband, father of 5 walking up the long staircase to the hot attic.

“What was up there,” she wondered to herself hoping she didn’t have any of her old dolls laying out that he could mistakenly take one for his kids.

man walking up stairsDay after day, Mr Brown walked in, past her family, up to the ugly attic. Over time she grew tired of asking, “What’s he here for?” when the response was the same, “Don’t ask, just pray.”

Ilene remembers praying for him, but she didn’t know why. Was he sick? She also remember seeing his family, his wife and 5 kids just down the street, about 6 houses away, living their life without him.

She was confused. But instead of asking her mom to get the same answer, she just prayed for him and for his family.

It was a strange thing to have this grown man just living in the attic when he could be home with his wife and kids?

It was 2 years that Mr Brown lived up in her family’s attic in Chicago. Then one day, he was gone.

Where was he?

Ilene wasn’t sure, but one day she saw him drive up to HIS house. He went home. To his own family.

Now at the age of 73, Ilene knows exactly what happened to that family. He was in a midlife crisis and had to hole up somewhere to sort his thoughts. He wasn’t leaving, he just needed space. And his family gave it to him. Ilene remembers wondering why, although they knew he was living in their attic, no one, none of his family ever came to visit.

She remembers the time of the normal family, and how it was back then, when families members didn’t really talk openly to each other and they never shared openly with others. Back then it was clear: You just kept quiet and prayed.

Today, she wonders if women who face the same thing, their husbands leaving their home, if they just kept quiet and moved on with their lives. If they clearly began giving their husbands the space he needed to sort out the mess in his head…maybe, in due time, and lots of prayers, they too would just go back home.

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You are loved and you are special.  
If someone doesn’t want you…it’s not you, it’s them…and after years of happiness, please note, their inner struggles dominate any rational thought you would hope they would have. Bottom line: This all has nothing to do with you.  
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