When it was discovered that Bernie Madoff masterminded and profited heavily from an investment scheme, he didn't exactly steal any hearts. But now it seems the one woman that had always stood by him is going her own way, as Ruth Madoff is seeking to split from her husband.
With her husband serving 150 years in prison for major investment fraud, some may think a divorce is a no-brainer. But over fifty years together - the vast majority of a lifetime - was not something Ruth Madoff could break away from easily. When she fell in love with him she was basically still a child, and since they married when she was 18, she's never had to cope with adult life without him. It would be safe to say Bernie and her sons Mark and Andrew are the very biggest parts of her world.
That world fell apart even more with the suicide of her son Mark in the aftermath of his father's Ponzi scheme. Ruth seems to have come to realize making a full break, a divorce, from Bernie may be the only way to salvage her remaining mother-son relationship. Mark's widow has reportedly rejected her, and her surviving son, Andrew has been very apprehensive about how the relationship with his mother might play out. Clearly, there are still more wounds for the Madoffs to nurse and scars that may never go away.
Bernie Madoff is okay with Ruth ending the long-term marriage and seems to realize it is time for his wife to move on. The phrases, "Time heals all wounds," and "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger," come to mind for the Madoff family. Hopefully, they will ring true for Ruth, her son Andrew and the rest of the family.
CBS News: "Madoff's wife has dumped him, report says," Aug. 15, 2011