Husband was in the middle of carving a lion's head out of limestone while I made an onyx and silver bracelet at my table in the studio. He spoke quietly, matter-of-factly.
Husband: My brother Kevin and his wife Beth are separated.
Jill: What? When did this happen?
Husband: I don't know.
Jill: When did you find out?
Husband: Last night from my parents.
Jill: Do you have any idea why?
Husband: Kevin told my parents that he needed "something new."
Jill: They have a 4 year old.
Husband: I know.
I called Beth to check in and see if she was OK, if she needed anything for herself or the kids. She told me that they had accepted an offer on their home that morning because it was about to go into forclosure. I remained silent, fighting the urge to ask how that came about.
Secretly, I already knew the answer.
Beth then told me that she and Kevin had started to fight and say nasty things to one another in front of the kids. That progressed to him pushing her around. The first time it happened, Beth hit her head on a cabinet and got two black eyes. She still has a numb spot on her forehead from that hit. Things progressed even farther and last week she finally said "Enough." Beth called the cops and had him arrested. Kevin has since been doing his best to talk her out of pressing charges. She doesn't know what to do.
It took everything ounce of restraint for me to not render an opinion.
I would throw his ass in jail in a nano second.
Beth doesn't know where she is going to go or what she is going to do. She has no idea how she will support the kids, whether or not she'll reconcile with Kevin, where they are going to live...no plans, no thoughts, and definitely no money. The drugs and alcohol have sucked the bone marrow out of their bodies. Their are both hollow, sad and depressed shells desperately seeking a respite.
Beth: I don't want you to answer right away, I want you to discuss this with Husband. We'd like to know if we can move in with you for 3 months while Trina finishes 9th grade in Colorado near you - school is out in late June. Kevin could get work with Husband and save some money. And then we could figure out where to go.
Jill: Ummm. I will definitely have to talk with Husband about this.
Beth: I know. I know. You guys need to talk about it. We have $12,000. We will either split it and go our separate ways or we'll take the money, buy a trailer and move to Ohio or the east coast.
Jill: Why Ohio?
Beth: I dunno. It's cheaper.
I broke the news to Husband last night and he slipped into a state of sadness and anger.
Husband: They were doomed from the start. They're terrible together.
Jill: Ya think?
Husband: First, he gets her pregnant two months after they started dating. Then she has an affair with his best friend months after they got married and the baby was born. She took off across the country with this guy and Kevin had to follow them and beg her to come back. They lived "underground" for years because of his IRS problem. They're drug addicts, drunks and now they're addicted to gambling.
Jill: Husband, they want to come live with us for three months so Trina can finish the school year and they can figure out what they are going to do.
Husband: This is not our problem. Plus, I don't have any work for him. We've bailed them out a half dozen times. They're never going to "get it." Not even after all of this.
Jill: I agree. But what about the kids? I'm Out Of My Head concerned about them. Trina has begged Beth not to take Kevin back...she's convinced that he's going to kill her. And Baby Susie (4 years old) hides in the bathroom and cries during the fights while Kevin throws stuff around the room. Let's take them in through summer while Beth figures out what she's going to do and/or they move somewhere and get established.
Husband: They'll never agree to it. They don't "get it" and they're not going to change. They've already told us this a thousand times.
Jill: Sigh. I know. But the kids.
Husband. I know.