We have stories upon stories we’ve been told by a number of frustrated married partners around midlife crisis. Generally very funny, while at the same time vexing, often with a terribly sad ending for some. A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically between the ages of 40 and 60. For others, especially women, it begins around mid-30s. The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life. It is a period of emotional turmoil characterised especially by a strong desire for change. And like any period, it does pass.
For many partners, midlife can bring about a true marriage crisis, one that causes them to stray outside the marriage for the affections and attention of a member of the opposite sex. They can question every choice they’ve made during the first half of their life. It is these folks who usually destroy their families and seem to completely change their character and belief system.
There are many signs of midlife crisis the global health profession has identified in various studies. Some of those commonly displayed include the need for adventure and change, feelings of depression, seeking to behave or act younger, loss of interest in things that use to matter, desire for new and more passionate intimate relationships, as well as blaming the spouse for lack of progress.
Although your spouse may display some of these signs, we always caution that people don’t jump into conclusions. Many regular stressors that may be associated with daily life can be confused with midlife crisis, when in fact those signs are just your spouse’s coping mechanisms in dealing with the overload and pressure.
These are pressures that may result from the multiplicity of simultaneous responsibilities like being a spouse, parent, income earner, sibling, friend, extended family member, community activist, church or social club member etc. One person can be all this, with all accompanying responsibilities, at the same time. And it can be stressful as you grow older.
Furthermore, many adults experience major life events that can be classified as stressors and result in depression like the death of loved ones, a career setback or even debt. These events also could have happened earlier in life, but still cannot be classified as midlife crisis necessarily.
However, if your spouse is going through a midlife crisis indeed, you are more than feeling out of control. Yet a midlife crisis can easily push the “Mr or Mrs. Fix-it” button in you, as the loving spouse you are. Often times spouses’ responses, although well intended, have a way of just driving their partners even deeper into a midlife crisis.
It is essential for you to know that nothing you do or say will immediately help them snap out of it. Your spouse doesn’t have a disease or any form of sickness. They are going through a natural process of life transition. There’s no pill that would help them.
Your time will be much better spent if invested in you. Make changes that you feel will make you a better person. Don’t get stuck focusing on “fixing” your spouse while you could transform yourself into a better person. Part of that also means fulfilling your own dreams.
Furthermore, it’s important not to be lost in the picture of your partner’s life. Your spouse needs a friend in you, and someone to hold their hand. Play along their adventure, and try not be left behind.
Furthermore, take care of yourself by exercising, maintaining a healthy diet. And yes, buy that sexy underwear and flaunt it. Be deliberate in going on regular dates, and be sexually available.
In conclusion, we really believe the more you learn of midlife crisis as a couple, the better the chances you give yourself to beat it even while going through it.
We strongly believe that couples that have a shared goal for their marriage, and a common understanding of why they’re together are less likely to experience a negative crisis in the middle of their lives. People who live their lives fulfilling their personal dreams and living a life of purpose are likely to have a smooth life transition. A man or woman who is able to meet their own needs while, at the same time, meet the needs of their spouse will more than likely find the transition into midlife easy.
Those who put little thought into what they want out of life and more thought into taking care of others are more likely to experience a crisis at midlife. If your husband works hard, spends most of his free time with his family and doesn’t pursue life experience outside his family he is in danger of going through a midlife crisis.
The wife that spends her days taking care of children, cooking, cleaning and putting the needs of her family at the expense of her own, is asking for trouble. If you have no real interest outside your family, and no personal dreams of your own to fulfil, you are likely to experience midlife crisis. If you don’t responsibly live your life to the full, are a conflict avoider, and have nothing bigger than yourselves as well as a compelling vision you share as a couple, you are most likely going to experience midlife crisis.