We received a call from Linda’s brother that his ex-wife passed away early in the morning on October 26.  She died of complications from Cirrhosis of the liver.  She had massive internal bleeding and basically bled to death.

Not a week earlier, we had talked to one of our nieces on the phone and she told us how well her mom was doing – both physically and mentally.  She had just sold their old home and had bought a new one and was in the process of moving stuff in – with her boyfriend of two years.

Apparently, the stress of the move contributed to her health condition worsening.

As I mentioned in a recent comment, I had a feeling that the funeral was going to be a “difficult and uncomfortable experience.”  Fortunately, I was wrong.

Sure, there were a few moments where our nieces and nephew’s emotions (primarily anger) crept out, but for the most part everyone was civil and maintained the calm.

For those of you who are not familiar with the whole back story of my brother-in-law’s situation, the Reader’s Digest version is that he had an affair, divorced his wife of about 30 years and married his affair partner.  This caused an outrageous amount of pain, hurt, resentment and anger.  Not just with the ex-wife either, but with the kids as well.

So, it was somewhat logical to assume that a fair amount of the pent-up anger towards their father would come out at some point during the week. 

Rather than write this post in story format, I’m going to simply list my observations and/or thoughts of the last few days.  Here goes…

My Observations & Thoughts

  • Somewhat surprisingly, Linda’s brother attended the visitation, the funeral and the reception after the funeral.  In fact, he paid for pretty much everything (including all hotel accommodations for out-of-town guests).  We were thinking that he would want to stay away from any and all services. 
  • Not only did he attend everything, he handled himself and the situation quite well.  He more or less stayed in the background but didn’t shy away from mingling and talking with old friends and relatives.
  • The week prior to the funeral, his wife was in town as well since they were babysitting his grand baby.  He (they) made a good decision to take the wife back home so that she wouldn’t be a distraction.  It was kind of strange though that he had to drive her back home and then turn around the next day and take a plane back to North Carolina where the funeral was.  Why not just send her home on a plane?  Is it perhaps because she is so insecure and coddled that she couldn’t handle traveling by herself?
  • We also speculate that his wife was not at all thrilled with him being around family members and friends.  She is funny about that for some reason.  Trust issues perhaps?
  • Linda’s brother (Let’s call him Ken) and I went together after the visitation Sunday evening to pick up some pizzas, beer and wine for everyone to eat back in the hotel lobby.  While in the car he mentioned that he felt guilty for pushing for the sale of their home and for the stress it may have caused her.  Since the divorce decree nearly 3 years ago called for the home to be sold, it had languished on the market all that time.  It was obvious his ex-wife (Let’s call her Mary) didn’t want to sell it.  Since he was paying the hefty mortgage payment on it, he recently got more aggressive in pushing for the sale to happen.
  • The kids (our nieces and nephew) were mad that they were thrust into a situation of having to plan a funeral, be an executrix of a will, handle their mom’s financial dealings, meet with attorneys, etc.  If not for the affair and divorce, it would have been their dad doing all of the arrangements.  (Deep down, I don’t  doubt that they may feel that she wouldn’t have even died so young, if not for the affair and divorce.)
  • Though we were not surprised that all of Ken and Mary’s friends showed up, we were a bit amazed at first that none of them seemed to harbor any animosity toward Ken for the way the marriage ended.  These were close friends and neighbors.  People who went on trips and stuff with Ken and Mary.  There were lots of hugs, laughs and conversation amongst Ken and his friends in attendance at the post-funeral reception.  Later we learned from one of them that though the marriage ended badly and Ken made many poor choices, he always treated Mary well after the divorce – financially and otherwise.  For that they were grateful.
  • My observations of Mary’s siblings and other relatives indicated that there is still a bridge to be repaired between them and Ken.  They were a bit ‘cool’ towards him at first, but I did notice that they lightened up as time went on.
  • Our nieces and nephew are harboring a bit of anger and resentment towards one another.  One niece is resentful because she was the one who had to take care of their mom over the last few years and had to make all the funeral arrangements, etc. on her own.  Our nephew is mad at the other niece because she also had an affair and divorced her husband – a person we all loved – and now lives with her affair partner.
  • It will be interesting to see how things play out with the kids as they are eventually going to inherit quite a lot of money.  They were raised wealthy and somewhat spoiled, but each are now struggling financially as adults.  Our hope is that they seek wise financial counsel so that their sudden wealth can last a lifetime.
  • After the funeral and reception, about 20 of us family members went out for a nice dinner.  (Again, paid for by Ken.)  After the dinner and a fairly ample amount of alcohol in our nephew’s system, he shared with us his dislike for Ken’s new wife (Let’s call her Nancy) and his anger towards his dad.  However, he did say that he wants to rebuild the relationship between him and his dad, but he wants to do it just the two of them – without Nancy involved and/or present.  We feel that Ken will want to include his wife but needs to make a sacrifice and leave her out of it for now.  And if Nancy really wanted to have the relationship mended, she would voluntarily step back and allow them to do so.
See also  Straight from the Horse's Mouth: Why Some People Have Affairs

Mary’s death was extremely sudden and unexpected and it’s going to take a while for the kids to get over it.  Though it’s never easy to see any silver lining in a person’s death, it appears that in this case there might be a catalyst for healing to take place. 

Healing can take place between Ken and his ex-wife’s siblings and extended family.  But more importantly, relationship healing can take place between Ken and each of his kids individually.

Linda and I feel that we should help here because we’re not confident that they will reach out to one another on their own.  We can’t do a lot, other than talk to them and express the need each to take the first step.  We hope that they will.


    32 replies to "The Funeral"

    • Sarah P.

      Hi Doug,
      Wow, I am genuinely very sorry to hear about your sister in law’s passing. I offer my sincere condolences to you and your family. I pray that God will intervene and help Ken build bridges toward his adult children.

    • TryingHard

      I am happy to hear that the funeral went smoothly. I find it interesting that Ken played Big Daddy Warbucks and footed the bill. So typical of shallow entitled people. Throw money at it and everything will be ok. Well, good for whomever that benefits. And the beat goes on right.

      Ah yes and as we have said many times here, infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving. And as much as everyone wants to “get over it” there just is never any “getting over it”. As much as cheaters and BS alike want to fervently believe that all is back to normal with them it’s the folks that have been affected too. No man is an island. Everything you do affects many people.

      Sad this is Kens legacy for his children but hey he can just throw some money their way and all will be good right? Good thing Ken is rich otherwise he’d really be alone.

    • Kate

      Sympathies to the family. My guess is this will affect Ken more than he anticipates. I think there is always some kind of event that forces the affair partners to reckon with the damage they inflicted. I think this is the event for Ken & his new wife.

    • Jean

      So much pain. Wishing you and yours peace.

    • TheFirstWife

      I am so sorry for your loss. It must be a painful time for everyone as it happened so unexpectedly. I feel bad for the children – painful to lose your mom.

      Thank goodness they have you & Linda.

    • Doug

      Thanks for the support guys! It was indeed painful for the kids to lose their mom and I do think that deep down the kids want to repair their relationship with their dad. They have to work at it and it’s a little tougher because they all live in different states, though today’s technology can make it somewhat easier.

      We got two of the three kids to commit to attending our upcoming annual Christmas and/or Easter get-togethers, so that is a good thing. It used to be a given just a few short years ago but really hasn’t happened for the last couple of years.

      My BIL’s family used to be very close knit before all of this stuff happened. It’s tragic how the affair/divorce/marriage has effected them.

      • TryingHard

        They are very lucky to have you. There’s all kinds of love out there. The trick is being smart enough to embrace it. They may not have the family they need from their father but at least they will get it from you and Linda. And I hope they keep draining old Daddy Warbucks at the same time. LOL that will really piss off the new wife 🙂

        • Doug

          Thanks TH. Our love and support is there if they want to embrace it, that’s for sure. I’m sure his wife is licking her chops as there is no longer an extra mortgage or alimony to be paid. (Together that was about $10,000 per month) He continues to pay his kids health insurance, cell phone bills and God knows what else. I would imagine all that might go away now as well once the kids get their inheritance. It might be time for some more plastic surgery!

          • Strengthrequired

            Or a head transplant…..

      • TheFirstWife

        And that is the one thing the cheating spouse never contemplated – when I marry my affair partner what will that do to my children?

        How will we move forward in the future?

        What will be the permanent scars of my selfishness?

        Nope it is usually the CS’ happiness that comes first. Or should I say selfishness.

        Keep trying to get the family together Doug & Linda. It may be hard now but worthwhile in the end.

        • Doug

          I think in those situations most CS feel that their kids are resilient and will get past it. They may eventually, but it will take a long time.

      • Strengthrequired

        Doug, I too am sorry for your loss. I am happy to hear all went well as could be expected for a funeral. I think the loss of his exw, it will start having your bil thinking. By the sounds of it he already has. I think he had his first dose of what family is like without his new wife too, may have brought back a lot of memories. I believe it would have been playing on his new wife’s mind, while she wasn’t with him.
        She probably guilt tripped him into driving her home instead of sitting her on a plane.
        I do believe his children want to repair things with their dad, especially now their mum is nolonger around. They see how hard it is to lose one parent, they don’t want to lose another. They are hurting, grieving, it doesn’t mean they stopped loving their dad. Just really disappointed.
        I hope your bil, sees how much his kids mean to him, and sees that he can’t let his new wife get anymore between them. It’s going to be a hard road, a lot of things to make up for to his kids, a lot his kids will forgive, but never forget. Very sad.
        May I ask Doug, what your bil responded to his son, when his son said he wanted to see his dad, but not with his new wife present?

        Thanks for letting us know about how the funeral went.

        • Doug

          Thanks SR. I agree with all that you say! When our nephew said those things, my BIL had already left to go back to the hotel. We were outside the restaurant talking with our nephew and a few of his friends who were at the funeral. So he doesn’t know what he said. I’m have tempted to talk to him about it when we see him next. Not sure how that will go because ‘Nancy’will be hanging around!

          • Strengthrequired

            Doug, hopefully next time you see your bil, you can get that chance to talk to him, while his wife is occupied with something else, like the toilet.
            Don’t you just wish you could shake sense back into people? I wished so much when my ch was in his affair, that I could either shake or knock that sense into him. As we know though, they need to find their senses themselves.

            • Doug

              Yes, SR we have (especially Linda) wanted to physically knock some sense back into her brother!

    • Hopeful

      So sorry for the loss and everyone involved. I hope that the children can find a way to process all of this. Betrayal/infidelity seems to live on for years if not forever within those who it touches. I am beginning to realize it will always be a part of me since I was affected by it. Initially I thought once i get through the hard part I can move on. But this is so not the case. It is just heartbreaking when kids are involved. Best of luck!

      • Doug

        Thanks Hopeful. I couldn’t have said it any better.

    • Sam

      This ‘new wife’ Nancy sounds like a very insecure woman indeed. Not just in terms of relationship trust, but also with her looks and self-image (having to get plastic surgery). Is she insecure that if she doesn’t look (what he percieves to be good) that Ken will leave her for someone else? The new wife sounds like she is also very bitter (and sees his adult children as a threat to their relationship). Her distatse for Ken’s family could drive a huge wedge between him and his new wife eventually – and he could blame her for being selfish and controlling in the long run.

      I bet her not being there at the funeral and Ken being around his people (who deep down hate her guts), was making her crazy and nuts (and her questioning wether he’d actually come back to her)… Her bitterness, selfishness and enviousness will only get worse and will probably end the marriage.

      I have a question: How old is his ‘new wife’ Nancy? Is she a lot younger than Ken!?

      • Doug

        Hey Sam. I think you’re spot on in many ways. The question we have is whether or not she gets her lips and boobs done because she wants to or because he wants her to. I think that they’re both insecure in many ways with respect to their looks and having a youthful appearance. I believe Nancy is 49. About 10 years younger than Ken.

        • Sam

          So Ken is 60? and she is nearly 50? (thought she was going to be quite a bit younger then that). It may be only ten years, but at that age it is quite a big age differance… when he’s 70, she’ll be 60. During that time (when she’s spent all his money) she’s more than likely to cheat and dump him for a younger man than her, (who is rich). Sounds like she is a moneygrabber and golddigger, who is just after one thing, a free mealticket = cash.

          Also, it sounds like Nancy is very unhappy within her ‘new’ marriage.

          • Doug

            I think you hit the nail on the head. The only thing I disagree with is I feel Nancy is very happy with her marriage – at least as far as her socio-economic status is concerned. She basically came from nothing and now is very much a ‘kept’ woman.

            • Strengthrequired

              Doug. I have to agree, she is very happy in her new marriage. Yet her price to pay is her insecurities. She knows how easy it was to discard his first wife, it can be just as easy, if not easier to discard her.
              This is why, she keeps such a strong grip on him. It would have been a nightmare, not having him glued to her side.

            • Doug


            • Sam

              What I was meaning is that she can’t be fully happy if she has to keep tabs on his behaviour 24/7. She probably likes the situation that she had all this money. But I think deep down she knows that he is he is likely to stray when the feelings wear off like what he did to his ex-wife. Living with that kind of insecurity would literally be hell on earth (to me, and many).

            • Doug

              Hey Sam, I agree 100%!

      • Strengthrequired

        Sam, I bet that is exactly what was happening, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall just to see her squirm.

        • Sarah P.

          Heck, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to watch her squirm too. I have encounters these women (who intentionally break up marriages without a second thought) in the corporate world and they are RUTHLESS. There is no goodness in these particular women.

    • Hopeful

      I agree. I am not sure how anyone can have a high quality relationship born from an affair. Especially if there are kids involved. How do you ever get their buy in. Divorce seems hard enough on a family unit and the kids. But then add in your parent cheated on the other one and then married the person they cheated on your parent with. I know in my house if my husband left me and married one of his affair partners my kids would lose it. And my kids ask a million questions. They would catch any slip up in a story about how they met etc. They listen to everything. I did ask my husband if our kids had ever met either woman and he was disgusted by that thought. He said that would be one of his worst nightmares. He would never want them to meet. So odd how he can develop a relationship he wants no one to know about and actually barely knows these women and dislikes them. We are just so different. I would never even be around someone like that. If I could not introduce them to my kids theoretically then I would never spend any time with them.

    • DJ

      Hello Doug and Linda – I’m so sorry to hear that your sister-in-law passed away. May she be at peace after her long ordeal.

      I was here on your site daily at the time when that affair and divorce were going on, and it felt like a great injustice within our midst. And now to hear of the continuing consequences hurts my heart.

      While I am no longer a regular here – nor on my own blog – I do check in from time to time to see how you all are doing. Glad to see that my friends Doug and Linda are still helping people going through the devastation of betrayal. The two of you and this site were a lifeline to me when I was lost.

      It’s been six years now since my Dday and I am fine. I’m still married to the same man, I have a good life and I am involved in things that I am passionate about. These things keep me moving forward. I think I will always be journeying toward more healing because my healing will always be imperfect. And that’s ok. In my journey there is joy and happiness that I choose as my focus these days.

      I don’t think I would be healing at all if not for a few very important people. I would still be wallowing in the muck of infidelity, a bitter and resentful wretch of a woman. Linda and Doug are among these very important people. Thank you both. We are all so blessed that you are here and I wish you the very best as you work through the difficulties of this time.

      • Doug

        DJ! Great to hear from you! I’m so glad to hear that you are doing well. Thank you so much for all of your past contributions and support.

    • Angela

      Wow. Sounds almost like the Charles/Diana situation. The shameless cheater does what cheaters do and the betrayed partner dies tragically, and it magically transforms into all-is-well for everyone. Not to say a cheater shouldn’t be forgiven, but the sudden willingness seems like a second betrayal to the deceased BS. Just my first impression. Everyone SHOULD behave civilly at a mwemorial, but afterward? Nah. Reject that cheater. It seems the CS gets a fast-track to re-acceptance if the BS’s feelings no longer need to be considered. Feels too fast and not earned by the CS, I guess. Bleh…….my condolences to all who loved her. I’m sure there are those defending her memory for her.

      • TryingHard

        Angela–You make a great point. If the BS is no longer in the picture does that automatically exonerate the CS?? As if nothing happened that affected a lot of other people? I say Oh Hell NO!!

        A person way smarter than I said No Man is and Island. What affects one affects all. Especially family and friends. So I agree with you just because the poor woman is deceased does not give Mr Cheaterpants a get-out-of-jail free card. And in this case the ones particularly affected were his children. The are still here and he betrayed them as well.

        Great comment Angela

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