5 Things You Can Do About Your Husband’s Midlife Crisis

by Chloe Jeffreys · 67 comments

in Sex, Love and Marriage

midlife-crisisNot every man has a male midlife crisis, but enough of them do–wreaking havoc on their lives and the lives of those who love them–that it’s become a cultural cliché.

Since Boomers are the ones who invented the notion that nobody over 30 should be trusted, can we honestly be surprised that people become a bit emotionally/psychologically unhinged when they lose the one most important thing in our youth-obsessed society?

If you’re a woman who is suddenly feeling like your life is spinning out of control because of your partner’s male midlife crisis you might be wondering what to do next?

What is a Midlife Crisis?

In 1965, psychologist Elliot Jaques coined the phrase “midlife crisis.” According to Psychology Today, symptoms of male midlife crisis include:

  • Discontentment or boredom with life or with the lifestyle (including people and things) that have provided fulfillment for a long time
  • Feeling restless and wanting to do something completely different
  • Questioning decisions made years earlier and the meaning of life
  • Confusion about who you are or where your life is going
  • Daydreaming
  • Irritability, unexpected anger
  • Persistent sadness
  • Acting on alcohol, drug, food, or other compulsions
  • Greatly decreased or increased sexual desire
  • Sexual affairs, especially with someone much younger
  • Greatly decreased or increased ambition.

No one is immune from having a midlife crisis; it affects men from all economic strata. Men who haven’t reached the goals they set for themselves as young men might fear they will never achieve those dreams, while affluent men who have achieved their goals might wonder, “Is this all there is?”

The question is: How can a wife cope with her husband’s male midlife crisis?

5 Ways You Can Cope with Male Midlife Crisis

1. Don’t panic

Overreacting won’t help anyone. Your husband’s behavior might be strange, but who’s not allowed to do some odd shit in the face of losing their youth and coming to terms with death?

If your husband has lost his perspective, now isn’t the time to lose yours.

If you’ve suddenly stumbled upon a secret porn stash, take a deep breath. This is not the end of the world. Almost all men view some porn, and it almost never has anything to do with whether or not they love or desire their wives.

And contrary to what you might have heard from the women at church, it RARELY indicates addiction!!

While I do believe that porn viewing can become problematic, you might have to reconsider whether this is a hill worth dying on in your marriage. Many women live perfectly happy lives knowing their husbands views some porn from time to time..

But what if there’s more to his sexual fantasies than porn? You might be wondering…

Is my Husband Cheating?

That got your attention, didn’t it? If so, then you might want to pay attention to what I’m going to say next.

2. Join in

midlife-crisis2NO! I’m not saying go for that three-way he’s always been fantasizing about! But if the alternative is adultery, who really cares if he buys a new car, takes up with the rodeo, or decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail?

Let him buy the car. Go shopping with him! If it’s a convertible, buy a pretty scarf, take rides into the countryside, and give him that fantasy blow-job he’s always been dreaming about. (Pull over and park for safety’s sake!).

Truly, what is the harm If he wants to relive some of his youth, or do things he’s always wanted to do before he dies? He isn’t getting any younger. And neither are you.

My husband has taken up karaoke. Competitive karaoke. I’ll wait here until you stop laughing.

If there is anything that’s more boring, annoying, or a bigger waste of time in my mind than competitive karaoke, then I don’t know what it is.. But my husband loves it, and he’s good at it. He’s won us trips and money doing it.

I’ll admit that at first I thought his fascination with karaoke was silly. I made fun of him, and after going a few times told him that he should go alone.

And that’s when I learned…

3. Don’t Hand Your Husband Over To Other Women

Just so happens that there was this girl from work who thought my husband’s karaoke was terrific. And she told him so. Often. She told him that she wanted to be there any time he sang, and she gave him her cellphone number so he could let her know when he was going.. And thus began a little texting thang between the two of them..

For the record, when I found out about it I broke Rule #1.

I’m not excusing men or my husband, but you need to know that young women today are extremely predatory. And they are after your husband.

The dearth of marriageable younger men, coupled with this crazy fantasy that your husband actually picks up his socks and does not fart under the covers, has turned young women today into ravenous husband stealers. It’s officially called “male poaching” and one sizable study found that 90 percent(!) of single women were more interested in a man if they believed he was taken than in a man they thought was single.

Author of the best-selling book, Not “Just Friends, Shirley Glass, writes, “…extramarital relationships today begin at work.”

What starts off as an “innocent” friendship can blossom into a full-blown affair. Strangely enough, your husband might not realize he’s being preyed upon. He’s just basking in the attention he so desperately craves.

If you don’t take anything away from this article, take away this:

If you don’t pay attention to your husband, someone else will.

If your husband has a job, and all of his teeth, then I gall-dum-damn-guarantee there are some women at his job who want him if you don’t.

So go to his karaoke competitions, go along for the ride in his new convertible, or cheer him on at rodeo. Because if you don’t, somebody else just might.

4. Take care of youmidlife crisis3

#2 and #3 don’t mean that you should forget all about you. In fact, quite the opposite. There’s only so much you can do for your husband’s male midlife crisis, so you’d better start thinking about yourself.

Now is the time to take that class, start your blog, or buy those art supplies.

While you might be tempted to isolate yourself out of embarrassment, now is not the time. Find a community where you can safely share your struggles.

Be honest with yourself. Are you feeling a loss of youthful vitality, too?

Take care of the body you have and stop obsessing over your flaws. Don’t set outrageous weight loss goals! Just exercise, eat right, and drink plenty of water.

Remember that sexual desirability is not about size, age, or looks. Being sexy is an attitude of openness towards giving and receiving pleasure.

Nothing is more fascinating than a woman with interests and passions of her own who feels good in her own skin. Fascinate yourself, and you’ll find others are fascinated by you, too.

5. Get Counseling

If you tell me you can’t because “he won’t go” I’m going to reach through this screen and throttle you right here, and right now.

Over and over again women say to me, “But, Chloe, my husband won’t go to counseling!”


I’m not buying it.

Because over and over again I’ve watched these same men, who supposedly won’t go to counseling, BEG their departing wives for counseling to save their marriages as the women are walking out the door.

I’ve seen this so many times that I think there should be a name for it. And it leaves me wondering, “Who really didn’t want to go to counseling?”

In the movie Hope Springs Meryl Streep’s character does exactly what I’ve been coaching women to do for years.

  1. Tell your husband in no uncertain terms that you believe your marriage is in serious jeopardy and could end in divorce if something doesn’t change.
  2. Find a therapist and make an appointment.
  3. And then go whether he goes or not

If he goes with you, that’s great. If he doesn’t, you’re going to need counseling anyway to help you figure out how to live your life without him. Either way, it’s win-win.

What if it He Wants a Divorce?

The mere thought that this midlife crisis of his could end in divorce can be paralyzing, but I’d be naive not to recognize that it does happen. Divorce was on the table at one point in my own marriage.

If you are wondering how in the world you can ever start over again, here’s a great article by my friend, DA Wolf, from Daily Plate of Crazy on how to start over in middle-age.

What about you? Have you ever had to deal with your partner’s male midlife crisis? What tools have you used to cope? Are you still struggling with male midlife crisis? If you’re a guy, I really want to hear from you!

If you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear about your experiences and learn what you did to cope with male midlife crisis.

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Rudy M. Villegas April 1, 2015 at 1:35 am

Wow. Great article here.I must agree it all boils down to what we accept to think and how we perceive our world. It doesn’t matter whether we are suffering from midlife crisis or not, what matters is that we know how to deal with these issues the right way and with positive attitude. Hope to read more from your site.


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Rebecca March 17, 2015 at 10:09 am

Hi just came across your site when punched in mid life crisis. My husband is threating me with divorce wont talk to me or have sex with me for awhile now. He does look at porn a lot this problem is going on a very long time. I am married for 27 years and I have three married children and one bride at home. Please help me…


Chloe Jeffreys March 18, 2015 at 12:32 am

Oh Rebecca! I’m so sorry. I wish I could reach out and hug you. My advice is to seek out a reputable counselor right away. No, it’s not good enough to see your Pastor. You need someone experienced in marriage counseling, midlife crisis, and divorce.

You can ask your husband to go, but go anyway whether he goes or not. The most important issue right now is protecting yourself financially. It is during this period of time that many women get ripped off by their once loving and devoted spouses. They take advantage of your emotional tailspin while making off with the bank account. I don’t mean to scare you, but you need to take decisive action right away to protect yourself financially. And don’t kid yourself that he’d never do that to you. He can, and he might. I’ve seen it dozens of times. A man in the throes of a midlife crisis where there is very likely another woman involved cannot be trusted.

Once you have a finger on the money situation then you can assess whether or not your marriage can be saved. Oftentimes it can, even if there is another woman involved. But your financial security and your future must take precedence over every other consideration first! Trust me. He’s not thinking about your future right now; he’s thinking about himself.

I consider a midlife crisis to be somewhat akin to a type of temporary insanity except you don’t know whether he’ll recover or not. You have to realize that your husband is not thinking clearly. He’s facing the loss of his youth, his unmet dreams, his libido, his looks, and his impending mortality. It’s enough to drive anyone off the edge if you think about it.

Your husband might have legitimate issues with your marriage, and he might not. You can’t know if you can’t get him to talk about it. That’s why counseling is critical. If he won’t go then you have to go because you have to face the fact that you might very well end up divorced. You can’t make your husband happy. You can’t fix what’s wrong with him. You can’t make it go away. Only he has control over himself.

All you can control is you. You can act decisively to protect your financial security. You can make decision that are the best for you in the long run. You can make changes in your own health. You can start thinking about what you want the rest of your life to look like whether he’s in it or not. You have ultimate control over you. Never forget that. You are going to feel very out of control. You might feel like your whole life is recklessly spinning away from you, but you are in control of yourself.

I’m sure you aren’t eating (or maybe you’re over-eating). Either way, you have to start taking care of yourself and your health. You’re going to need your health to stabilize your emotions.

Get a big bag of epsom salts and start taking hot baths to help you relax and pull out the stress. Go get a massage. If you can afford them, a weekly massage while going through the worst of it will help. If he complains about the expense remind him how expensive divorce is. You have every right to take care of yourself while he jumps off the deep end. Drink plenty of water. Try to avoid too much alcohol.

Be judicious in who you talk to. Other women can be catty or attempt to use your pain as a catharsis of their own, so try to pick stable women who really care about you to confide in.

Feel free to write me anytime. I do care.


Katie v March 14, 2015 at 11:02 pm

My husband is going through a midlife crisis as well, I believe. In August of 2013 he went to Hawaii for some army training and during that time he got hooked up with a girl because he was depressed and she showed him he could be happy again. This is what he says. I found out in November, requested they stop talking, I thought they did, found out in jan they had never stopped. It took until June 2014 for them to stop talking. He bought a motorcycle, something he’s wanted for a while and in August we made a big move. During that time it was a big adjustment for me and I dropped the ball and lost interest in meeting his needs. I got depressed myself from moving somewhere new. In January he had to go to where she was living again and it started all over again. He said when he came home he was sure he wanted a divorce, but here we are 2 months later and he’s having a harder time than ever. He says he just wants to be happy. Has pulled the whole inlove you, not in love with you, yet we have great sex, a lot, he compliments me everyday, says this is the most he’s ever been attracted to me, says I’m amazing. He even said the other day “you love me the way I want, you take care of the house the way I want, you take care of our kids the way I want, you have the attitude that I love, it’s all just the past.” He thinks I’ll “relapse” and he won’t be happy. Since the other woman lives 4000 miles away, they only have an emotional connection. They talk everyday on the way to and from work. I asked if he would go to counseling and prior he’s always said no, but he said yes so I made the first appointment and we’ll be going Monday. He says if he knew he could wake up everyday and be happy with me of course he would stay. How can l prove that to him when I’ve let him down in the past. And before it’s too late.


Katie v March 14, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Oh and he still lives at home. He’s talked about moving out and requested we go see my dad for 2 weeks. We did and while we were gone he said he’d be moving out. That was almost a week ago and he’s still here. Help.


Chloe Jeffreys March 18, 2015 at 12:40 am

Wait a minute! He’s taken up with another woman and it’s your fault? You let him down? His choice to engage in an emotional affair with another woman is his fault. He made that choice. Now, I’m not saying you don’t have issues in your marriage. I’m sure you do. But he could have handled those issues a dozen different ways other than finding another woman to attach himself emotionally to

You are NOT responsible for making him happy. And from what you’ve told me here he’s holding you hostage by this subtle threat of this other woman. It is NOT okay that he’s emotionally attached to this other woman. It is not okay that’s talking to her several times a day if he’s serious about his marriage with you.

I’m very glad he’s agreed to counseling. I think it’s the right first step. In the meantime, protect yourself financially. Men in the throes of a midlife crisis, especially when another woman is involved, cannot be trusted to act in your best interest, or even the best interest of their children.

Take care! Let me know how counseling works out.


Katie v March 18, 2015 at 9:55 am

No, it’s not ok and I understand that. I also know it’s not my fault, but even I’m not stupid enough to say that if a man is not getting what he wants in a relationship they will look for it somewhere else. And that’s all he did. I’m not saying it’s ok, I’m not saying it’s right, but I’m saying I understand where I lacked in out relationship and will not blame my failure in our relation on him. I do not justify what he’s doing because if it, but I will not only play victim.

I’m protected financially, I was more curious on what I should do. Thanks


Chloe Jeffreys March 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

Okay, I think i see more clearly where you are coming from. I admire your self honesty. So few people take any responsibility when their husband or wife has a mlc. Kudos to you for owning your part.

In answer to you original question, you can’t know the future. You can’t promise to always be what he needs or wants anymore than he can promise that to you. But until he’s all in and lets go of this other woman you’ll never know for sure. He’s trying to hedge his bets and that doesn’t work in love.

Love is this tremendous gamble that can send you to ecstacy or break your heart. And until he throws all his chips in the game I think your future with him is far from certain regardless of your behavior .

I hope that helps.

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Becky Palmer February 23, 2015 at 10:01 am

Well I feel like I have been blind sided by my husband’s midlife crisis. Went with him to buy a Harley just so he could ride his new girlfriend on it. Thought I was doing all the right things and it all blew up in my face. I was giving him plenty of crazy sex also. Found out later he was already involved with a younger woman at work. He moved out and moved her in his new place within 3 weeks. He still is telling me to give this some time and let it run its course and we will see what happens. We have sold our home and he is living with her while I’m staying with family waiting on an apartment. Should I wait on him with this and believe what he is saying about time and running its course? I never distrusted him at all until this midlife stuff. He was loyal and a good husband til a few months ago. Now my life is upside down.


Chloe Jeffreys February 25, 2015 at 1:33 am

Well, Becky, this is just shitty behavior all the way around. I’m disgusted for you! As far as what you should do? Well, that’s a quandary.

If you are at all leaning towards staying then I recommend checking out Anne Brecht’s book, “My Husband’s Affair is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Anne stayed the course and won her marriage back, and I do think some of her advice could be helpful in the right situation. But it isn’t for everyone. Only you will know if this is something that resonates for you. It seems odd that he’s telling you this will blow over. I’d be very suspicious too!

All I can recommend for sure is that you do whatever you can to protect your assets. Things could blow up in an instant if he gets his new girlfriend pregnant, or suddenly decides he’s madly in love with her. You need to protect your future above all.

I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I wish I had something more concrete. It seems that a few marriages do survive this, but many do not once it has reached this point. Please let me know what you decide. I do care.


Don Dressel February 8, 2015 at 12:28 am

Everyone here is talking about a husbands mid-life crisis but what about if your wife is having a mid-life crisis? Chloe I wrote to you in the past about issues I have had with my wife and her mid-life crisis. I found out that my wife got caught up in a romance scam and lost quite a bit of money. If it was our money I would be gone by now. It was part of money her father left her.
I forgave her as I had issues and realized she had gotten lonely and met the scammer online.
The issue I have now is that she has a big void in her and to fill it instead of coming to me she is chatting with men on chat room sites and although she has not met any of them she has told me it is only friendly and no sex talk or pictures are involved.
I am in good shape as I work out almost everyday and have never had a problem meeting women as I consider myself good looking. My wife tells me I have done a 180 turn around and I am very handsome! I told her why then do you need to talk to all these other guys? They are all around 40 and she is 59 but telling them she is 43. I told her she is goofy in doing so and is ruining our marriage!
Chloe do you think I am over reacting? I told her this whole thing is taking away from us and I am losing my patience! What are your thoughts on all of this?


Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Don, honey, forgive, but don’t forget. I fear that this woman is going to destroy you. She’s not ruining your marriage. She’s already ruined it. You both need to go to couples’ counseling asap. It’s not okay that she’s talking to guys in chat rooms. She has a problem and forgiving her alone will not be enough to fix it.


Don February 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Thank you Chloe for your response! Yes I am well aware of what she has done and I am also aware that if I stay with her I will become an emotional wreck! I have told her I am miserable in our relationship and I want to sell our house and move to my other home that I own by myself.
It makes me sad that she would throw away 24 years away for a bunch of idiots that are on chat rooms. I wish she would wake up but I am afraid it is to late for that! I hope to meet a decent woman in the future to share my retirement years with but I will spend some time with myself and my little jack russell Winston and of course my Z06 2016 corvette!


Don Dressel February 10, 2015 at 4:49 am

Again Chloe thank you for your replies! I am sitting in bed unable to sleep because I am emotionally empty inside!
I keep on wondering what I did to my wife to deserve this kind of treatment?! I have never cheated on her always bought her nice cards and flowers and took her out to nice places. I would never do to her what she has done to me!
I have now come to the realization that we need to sell our home and I need to move to Arizona to my home there with my little jack Russell Winston and my collie Shelby.
I will miss my other 2 dogs that are hers and my home I worked so hard to make a nice place for us.
I keep on asking myself why my wife is destroying everything we have worked so hard for at 59 years of age? Isn’t this the time we are suppose to enjoy our retirement? I work out almost everyday and keep myself in good shape I don’t cheat and I am not a drunk I don’t hit her and I tell her how beautiful she is so why is this happening can someone tell me why?!


UP February 7, 2015 at 5:37 pm

I just don’t have time for a mid-life crisis, the daily crises of life are quite enough, thank you!

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Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm

No shit, huh? Exactly right. Each day has enough crap in it without falling utterly apart over.


Ana February 7, 2015 at 4:56 pm

My husband is going through his mlc. He is turning 40 this year. A couple of years ago he bought a motorcycle saying it would save money but we are still paying it off. His job took a downhill last March and he got very depressed and would yell a lot. He was also diagnosed with tbi. A week ago or so out of the blue he tells me he is going to get a tattoo. He never was interested in getting one and never liked them much. Now yesterday he finally got one. A couple of months ago out of the blue he bought himself a guitar and is teaching himself how to play. This change is happening so quickly and he expects me to accept everything he does and says. A couple of weeks ago he told me all of a sudden that he has the urge to sleep with other women. That was a punch in the stomach to say the least. He doesn’t seem to understand how hurtful it all is. He seems to only think about himself and if you say something on that subject he gets frustrated and tells me I don’t understand him. He wants me to accept it and that’s it. He is in San Antonio for a few days now on business and is meeting a different woman every evening. He told me he doesn’t sleep with them but enjoys the company and especially if they tell him how nice he is and that he looks good. I asked him if it doesn’t mean anything to him when I tell him that and that I love him and he said it means a lot but he needs to hear it from other women. He feels like he missed out on things according to him. I know that if he meets the right one who is looking for sex over there he will have a one night stand since that is his urge right now. He does want to go to counseling but when I say to him that I think he is going through a mlc he says that mlc wouldn’t make him want to sleep with lots of other women. He wants to make our marriage work but doesn’t think that a marriage counselor will “fix” his urge. It is all very hurtful and disheartening and I am planning on going to more of his hobby events which I hardly ever did because it never interested me and I know that always annoyed him that I wouldn’t join him. I want to show him that I am there for him. We have two boys and they have noticed the change as well and it makes them sad at times. He seems to get bored with everything very quickly as well unless he is chatting with other women. It is like he needs and wants that attention to make himself feel good. It’s like he is bored with his life and is seeking adventure no matter if that adventure is good or bad.


Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

So, yeah, I think you’ve diagnosed this one correctly. Sounds like classic MLC to me. And he’s in denial.

I can see why the motorcycle and the guitar and the tattoo were merely annoying to you and why you reacted the way you did. That’s how I treated the karaoke thing. Eye-rolling and heavy sighing and passing it off as a passing fancy. They were red flags that most women miss because they are too busy getting the kids to school, or working, or just hoping it’ll all go away. But your husband has raised the stakes.

Meeting other women in bars while out of town and telling you he wants to sleep with other women is not just a red flag. That is a parade down Main Street! You have to take this very, very seriously or you are going to lose your marriage. I’m not even kidding.

So, you have several options. First, you have to decide whether or not you want to save your marriage? If so, it is far too late to start going to his hobbies. You’ve missed that boat. It’s okay. I missed that boat too. Many women do because we’re awfully busy holding the family together while our husbands go off the freaking deep end. But you are going to have to show up at the parade if you want to pull this guy back from his mlc.

I don’t believe for a minute that he’s not already slept with other women. He might even already have another woman he thinks he’s all in love with. Maybe he hasn’t, but I’ve known far too many woman now who’ve been through this not to be highly suspicious. You can’t have unprotected sex with him anymore. Not until you guys get through this and he comes up clean in confirmed lab tests that you see with your own eyes from the doctor.

You need couple’s counseling yesterday. Don’t wait another minute. Make an appointment tomorrow for as soon as he gets home. Don’t go with an agenda. Counseling is NOT to keep him from sleeping with other women (see above paragraph). You are going to counseling to figure out if your marriage can be saved, and whether you want to save it.

All the balls are NOT in his court. You have serious decisions to make about your life that will impact your future and the future of your children. You cannot afford to stick your head in the sand for one more minute. You need to protect your health and your finances as soon as possible.

Let me know what happens. I do care.


Annon March 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm

He needs to realize how much you mean to him. Convince him that he is going to lose you. Check youtube, search for “mid Life Marriage Meltdown 11 17 2013″. It accidentally worked for her, and there are many similar anecdotes where the mlc wakes up once his wife files for divorce. But careful, it sometimes work, others it backfires, so do it safely.


Chloe Jeffreys March 18, 2015 at 12:43 am

I must agree that sometimes definitive action does jolt the man into reality. I also cannot agree more that a woman in this situation needs to act to protect her assets. A man in the throes of a midlife crisis, especially if another woman is involved, cannot be trust. Ive seen too many times too many friends end up totally screwed financially.


Dena January 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm

I think my husband is going through a MLC. He wanted to spend New Years with a family from my daughter’s school. I can’t hardly go anywhere because I shattered my ankle in August. I’m still not weight bearing. New Years day he said he needed space before he starts to hate me. Then said if I didn’t go to my mom’s for a while he’d get an apartment. We have an 9 yr old and an 18 month old. He’s always been such a good dad, so involved. I can’t believe me and the baby are being pushed out. I’m currently staying with my mom because I don’t know what to do. He said one of our problems was because he wants to hang out with this other family (parents at my daughter’s school) but I don’t want to. I’m hurt that he would say that and force me to friend this woman. She’s a bully and blatantly ignored me during my entire pregnancy. I’ve watched her do it to others as well. She’s a very mean woman. All he could ask is what did I do to her. :/ I’ve never been so hurt or confused.


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 1:20 pm

You should not move, nor should your children! If he wants space, tell him to move! Remind him that he’s the one walking away, and let your 9 year old know that he’s going through a mid-life crisis, and hopefully it won’t be long before he’s back. Family is suppose to be first. Why hasn’t he invited this “so called family” over to your house and he host the party?


Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Jo Ann, you are right on the money. He needs to be the one who moves!


Rose December 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm

My husband is 62 and suddenly went back to being and alcoholic.I’ve been married for 38yrs to him .He lies cheated on me drinks hides it does drugs all of which I’ve found out in the last seven months.When we were first married out came his alcohol.I left after 17 years of abuse my kids were young then I had just had a baby.Iam now 59 my kids are grown gone.He is abusive again lies about everything.I have kicked him out he won’t go.I love him but I beleve I hate him also.I have no where to go was always a stay @ home mom.I have tried to very hard to forgive him but I can’t anymore.Why do I stay afraid I guess.I’ve been hit he says terrible things now I find my self yelling back.it’s wrong I know butiam angry hurt disappointed in him I should of never come back I was stupid.. Midlife crisis I thought maybe or just a creep who will never admit it cherrise me respect me is a failure and takes it out on me.tonight again I found his drugs his hiden booze bottles.Iam a fool I believed for 38 long yrs.Now iam older deppresed and truly wish I was dead!Fool for love never again I pray he will die to be rid of him merry Christmas thanks for listen more tears for me


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Join a church group, and go out, have fun, go to outings with them! You need fun! I joined a water fitness and yoga class myself. Stop living your life for him and his drugs, his alcohol, his lies…..it’s all about him! Now it should be about you! Let him do his thing, while you go out and have the time of your life, with or without him!


Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm


At some point you have to decide to live your own life and stop trying to fix him. Women keep getting terrible advice from magazines and books that if they do this or that then they can fix their marriage or their man. It’s all a lie. There’s thing you can do to improve your marriage, but you can’t fix another person, especially a person who isn’t involved in fixing themselves!


Samyra December 18, 2014 at 6:33 am

My 40 year old husband told me a few months ago that he thinks he wants kids. I’m 49 and never wanted them and neither did he (or so I thought). I’ve been watching the obvious signs of MLC for a while. I know there’s nothing I can do for him except give him his space. He may be having an affair but I’m philosophical about it. I know it has nothing to do with me. What I know for sure, is that his problem is a mental illness. If he chooses not to seek professional help, I can’t help him. What has worked for me is to show him that understand he’s hurting but I take care of myself and mentally plan for a future without him. If he chooses to leave, I’ll be ok but he won’t. It makes me sad but this battle isn’t mine to fight. Planning is key to my success. Wallowing in self pity only confirms to him that he made the right decision by making rash choices. In the meantime, talk to your trusted girlfriends or pay for a therapist. Whatever you do, just know that he’s sick and you’re not. And if he does realize he was a fool, you’ll be in the best mental and financial position to decide whether or not you even want him in your life. Fear of the unknown is scary, but a real look at what you actually have can be far worse. Good luck to all of my sisters out there in the struggle to come out on top and to be happy.


Angie January 17, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Thank you so much for your wise words. I really needed to read something that tells me I am not the only one going through this with my spouse. Hope all is well with you.


kathy December 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

hi!My husband has been losing weight , no carbs for quiet a while. Getting worse, since his brother left his wife after 30 years. It seems they are in weight loss compation. His brother was over weight while my husband has never had an issue with weight. since his brother left his family my husband says he is not happy. I work take care of the home , pay the bills and take care at a barn where I keep my horse. He goes to work and works out, That is it! The cars were a year over due for inspection! He can not get his shit together!Help! How long do I have to do this? Theropy was a joke! The theropist and my husband talked about hunting! Im pretty much over this at this point. Nothing matters to him but him! Our daughter had brain cancer and came out well, our son is doing well in college with a 4. average. What does he WANT?


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Tell him that when he turns sideways, he disappears! Tell him that he is losing his sexy muscle mass! Seriously, men do get anorexia nervosa! Good luck.


Rhonda November 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm

My husband is in the midst of a midlife crisis and it stinks!!!!
We were together 8 yrs before marriage and have now been married 3 yrs.
It all started shortly after I got diagnosed with breast cancer (just about a month before our 1 yr wedding anniversary). I started chemo, lost my hair, gained back all the weight I had lost (due to steroids and lack of exercise). I started noticing little changes at first, but didn’t think too much about it (as I was trying to just survive the chemo).
After chemo, I started confronting him about things and he totally shut down, started yoga, became a yoga instructor, stopped going to church or anywhere with me, began hanging out with a group of younger yoga people, etc. He said he did not have an affair (and even told this to the counselor). There are more ways to have an affair than just sexual. I believe he had some type of emotional affair. I don’t know about sexual, though.
We have been to a counselor (I by myself for quite some time), but he says he doesn’t think it will help.
He says he doesn’t know what is wrong with him, etc.
I finally got to the point where I asked him to move out, because I was tired of just living like roommates, etc.
He moved out in Dec. 2013 and still doesn’t know what he is doing. His head is so far gone into YOGA (which I hate), that it is ridiculous.
I did tell him that if he wanted to end the marriage, he would have to file for divorce and tell me verbally. I want to hear it from his lips.
We shall see!
I do hope and pray he comes to his senses!


kathy December 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Im sorry for you, once they go to that fitness crap , They can b so self centered. You stay strong! My daughter had cancer and got to 5 years clean this October. I wish you the best and he is lucky to have a strong women like you. I will say a prayer for you thru this tuff time


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Stage 3 breast cancer survivor here. Diagnosed in June 2013, 5 months of chemo, 5 weeks of 180 rads daily of radiation. 3 major surgeries (2 to get all of the cancer, 4 weeks apart!) Now I’m starting to heal. I lost all of my hair, and it is so thin now I still look bald. Hormone meds to block hormones and block cancer from coming back are contributing to my extremely thin hair. BTW, my husband is bald on top! His baldness has never affected me or my feelings toward him, but it’s devastated him.

One of my Oncologists first statements to us upon our first meeting was that most couple’s can and do often end up in a divorce when the wife must endure what I’ve been through. What does my husband tell me last night? He states “Today at work, I asked a woman” hypothetically speaking, if I were to ask you out, what would your reaction be”. He stated that she said ” I don’t know, I would have to think about that for a while” Well, I slammed him for telling me such a story, and while I was driving! He laughed and said he was only kidding. I do not believe he was kidding. Men are boys. They all have a penis and the penis leads their way. By the way, if I am lucky enough to survive this cancer, frozen shoulder, and lymphedema in my right arm, amongst other serious health problems, I will have to deal with his dementia and alzheimer’s disease in 10 years. He’s showing many signs of it, and his father has it so badly, he was put into a home 3 years ago at 72 years old. Thank God for their family that he was a veteran! I told my husband, I’m not too old to leave him, and I will in a flash if he cheats. He can then see if his potential fling will care for him in his old age! UGH. he’s 60, and having extreme stress seeing his aging parents and what is happening to them. He keeps saying he’s only 10 years away from it! He spends all his free time with me, so I am not too concerned yet. But why would he say such a thing to me? I asked him that question and he admitted because he was just being a jerk. I reminded him this morning that I am still hurt by it and he asked me to give him a break, and that he’s always been there for me. Tonight, he said he’s taking me to see a movie. I will do my best to stay awake, and alert, to protect my interests. I was a child bride and we’ve been married for 39 years!


Chloe Jeffreys February 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Oh, I am so sorry about your health situation! That’s just awful.

I don’t know why your husband told you that but “just kidding’ is not the reason. Please do what you can to protect your finances. From what you’ve said here I think you need to be thinking about what your life will look like without him. It might not go that way, but I want you to be safe and prepared. Do you have your own bank accounts? Could he empty your joint account? Protect yourself financially so that whatever he does next will not destroy you financially. Take care. And let me know what you do. I care!


Steve November 15, 2014 at 7:00 am

I think I am at the beginning of a MLC. I am 49 and have had this pervasive restlessness and boredom. I am in pretty good shape and look more like I am in my mid-late 30s. I have a successful career as a software engineer and make good money. I recently changed jobs but my career doesn’t excite me anymore like it used to. The thing that made me wonder if I was entering one is over the past year I have been planning on taking guitar lessons, judo or kickboxing, and today I am taking my 12 year old daughter to buy us ice skates, lol. My wife has ptsd from childhood trauma, is in menopause, and we don’t have sex or talk much anymore. The lack of sex and intimacy is taking its toll on our marriage. It is like she’s a roommate more than a partner. All I do is listen to her complain and when she drinks she gets passive aggressive and takes little shots at me. It makes me just get up and walk away from her. She doesn’t want to talk or communicate, she just isolates herself. We have tried counseling but she never sticks with it. I am bored with her even though I find her, physically, incredibly desirable. I am pretty sure she loves me because once in a blue moon she texts me (for whatever reason texting is how we communicate, even when we are both at home) and tells me how much she loves me and is thankful she has me, but her actions just don’t reflect it. The lack of sex probably drives me the craziest though. I am amped up all the time, more than I ever was, but I am lucky if it happens once every two months. Your also right about women at work. Some of them are very predatory. One offered to make me cheesecake the other day, just for doing my job. For me, things would be different if my wife would put an effort into being sexy for me like she used to do. I don’t mean putting on makeup and looking good, I mean just out of the blue coming on to me and acting sexy, and then doing something about it! I don’t think she feels good about her body but I have told her time and time again I find her the sexiest women I have ever met (and I do). I don’t get her. I know her ptsd has a lot to do with it and I really do empathize with that, but sometimes I really just want to move on…


bree January 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Steve she might not know she is acting the way she is , she might be drinking cause she too is lonely are you sure your being open , if you find her hot make the move on her , she might have body issues if your not talking to her you cant just jump her bones . ask her tell her what you need she cant read your mind , same thing happened to me i was stressed to the max with the kids and didnt see i was not paying attention to my husband until it was to late . Good Luck :)


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Try some romance! Really! When was the last time you spontaneously grabbed her in public and planted a heavy kiss on to her lips for all the world to see? When was the last time you took her hand, and went for a walk with her, or put your arm around her and took her for a walk? Do you ever grab her hand and hold it while you’re in the car? Do you open the door for her? Buy her flowers? Take her to romantic places? I bet you have some homework to do now.


Jesenia Ng November 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I realized my husband, now ex-husband was going through early mid life crisis a lisho to late. Instead of working with his needs I chose to do the opposite and think of him not being there and supporting me with my career. So we decide to take a break and then to find out that has been an affair with a much younger woman and an extremely ugly one at that. He blamed broken marriage on me. Stop communicating with me and the kids. He was a complete different person. He turn so ugly, thinking about himself and his new life. Well to make along story short it will be two years and I’m wondering if this person that I loved and respect. Was an amazing dad, will ever snap out of it. What hurts me that he never said sorry to me for what he did. He had completely shot me out of his life. Now he makes a small effort in trying to see luge children.


Mary November 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

Well, it turns out the reason for the midlife is another woman. I have some major decisions to make now. Wish me luck!


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Do you want to stay with him? Or are you happy to have him out of your life? If you want to stay with him, show interests in everything he say’s and does. Be with him as much as possible. Laugh at his jokes, no matter how corny they are. Always respect him, and admire him, and compliment him. Listen to him when he talks. Look him in the eyes. When sitting in a restaurant, always make him face the wall so that he has only your eyes to look at and not everyone else in the restaurant. Do some spontaneous surprises for him. Greet him at the door with just a long trench coat on and nothing else. Wine, Candles, Steak dinner, Soft Music……..If you’re not worried about him leaving, then join some groups and go to outings. Have fun and enjoy life!


Mary November 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I just read this article after having a 3 hour conversation with my husband. He is tired of “life” and he isn’t attracted to me like he used to be and I could go on and on. He just switched jobs and ever since this switch he has been extremely distant. I though he was having an affair and I am trying my best to give him the benefit of the doubt. He said once his insurance kicks in he will get help and go speak with someone. I feel like I have been punched in the stomach (several times) today. I haven’t eaten, I want to just sit here and cry and I came across your article. I appreciate the advise. I hope to make it through this with a husband, but if not….I am strong, beautiful and have a great job. He will not define me.


Jo Ann January 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Beware, depression is often contagious. Stay strong!


dawn October 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Husband going through this and trying my best to understand it but honestly, it’s taking its toll not only on our relationship, but me! Appreciate you sharing ur first hand experience and suggestions! Not much out there for the wives but to say, “go with the flow” basically…but it’s not that easy when u see the one you love turn into someone you don’t know! When you go from best friends to strangers! When you have all the confidence in the world when ur around him to complete apprehension when ur in the same room. The not-knowing what the future will hold is the hardest part after almost 20 years of marriage and together almost 30–more than 3/4 of my life as we were middle school sweethearts. I try to be sympathetic and understanding but I’m hurt and angry and honestly lost trust in him! One perk (thanks to you) I ordered Hope Springs off Amazon tonight and we watched it…I’ve pressed the issue of counseling so hopefully, this will help him finally take that step! Thank you!


Tee October 19, 2014 at 3:23 am

I will not make any more allowances for my partner. I do everything for him. He works for 4-5 days away from home and then is at home 4-5 days. In the time that he is home all he does is plays his playstation. He ignores the kids and me but when he doesn’t play he expects me to sit with him. He does nothing around the house anymore. He wants to get a Harley but I will not allow him to get us further in debt because he can’t handle getting old. With savings money he will buy beer and games for his ps4 or anything that makes his gaming experience better. When I want something he we don’t have the money for it, so if I want something I have to buy it out of my shopping budget (and I’m talking $20 here and there) and then he gets angry I spent the shopping money. I don’t drink or smoke. I was going to the gym but he likes to bring it up in arguments like instead of going to the gym why don’t I mow the lawn. I go nowhere but he goes to his mates house only every now and then and expects me to drag our kids or of bed on a school night at some godless hour to pick him up.
He takes time off work and spends hundreds of dollars to go to his brothers wedding (who he doesn’t even like) but doesn’t want to take 1 day off work to see our daughters dance concert.
Just this year alone I had a hysterectomy for cervical cancer and a double eye operation. Each time he was pissed off for having to help me. He took time off work and acted like he cared but really used it as an excuse to sit and play his games.
He has no empathy for anyone at all. He disregards people who do not serve a purpose.
He truly has become a narcisstic wanker.
I’m not into managing him anymore. Enough of pandering to his crap.
I’ve always been respectful. Grateful of his providing and I always tell him that. If we argue I always accept 50% blame (but he attributes 98% to me). I’ve stood by him and supported him through tough times. And all I get in return is treated like crap.
I’m only biding my time. When I can save some money I’m leaving.
I will never accept MLC as an excuse to treat myself and my kids like crap.
I’ve been through so much myself. I have lupus on top of everything else but I never treat him like shit.
So these men need to man up and stop being assholes.


Tee October 19, 2014 at 3:26 am

I don’t mean to lump all men in that category. Woman can be bitches.


Marriage Recovery September 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm

I had to learn these steps the really hard way. It frustrates me now when I see or hear of anyone resistant to counseling and cheer those who take the plunge. It’s expensive yes, but losing a marriage is way more expensive.
Counseling too will no doubt make things feel a lot harder for awhile – your spouse may be having the MLC but you are now in crisis too and you both have stuff.
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Don September 22, 2014 at 1:35 am

What about women and mid-life crisis? I have always been there for my wife when she had her knee replaced when her mom died and I could go on and on! She recently got caught up in a romance scam because she said I was not there for her because I was depressed about my dad dying and in the er with my back going out on me! I was hooked on pain killers and zoned out so she got lonely! I helped get her disability pension sold my house so she could own one just negotiated a nice settlement with an insurance company for her. I bought her red roses and a nice card so when she came home she would have less stress on her. She was sexting with a scammer thinking he was a 40 year old guy she is 58 close to 59! Most men would have kicked her ass out but me loving her and having empathy for her gave her roses and a nice card! She told me I was nosy and stuck my nose where I should not have! I told her sorry for caring! Now she tells me she is tired of my drama because of my back and my dad and I told her sorry she had to take me to the ER on easter for my back and sorry my dad is dying! I know she is not sorry for the 250.00 check my parents give her every christmas! She wins bitch of the decade! I told her we will fix up the front yard on the house and sell it in april next year and go our separate ways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK TO THE NEXT GUY HE IS GOING TO NEED IT! NOW I KNOW WHY ALL HER EX-BOYFRIENDS CHEATED ON HER AND ONLY LASTED 1-2 YEARS!


sandra September 11, 2014 at 2:24 am

my husband is going through this now and it all came to light after I discovered his affair which he has now stopped. He says he lives me and has a life to be proud of, great family, top job, nice car and good friends so he can’t understànd why he isn’t always happy. He left a week ago after I couldn’t cope and came back saying he felt happier because he missed me but he still doesn’t know how he feels. I’m at a complete loss what to do and it’s killing me. I try not to go on about it but I can’t help myself. Our sex life is better than it always has been and that is a time we are really comfortable around each other. I decided today to stop going on to him about it because I know it is destructive to us both but it’s still eating me up inside.


Chloe Jeffreys September 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Oh Sandra. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I think part of the problem is the expectation that having a lot of life’s desirable assets (job, family, car, etc) means a person will always be happy. As a person who does believe in happiness for the most part, I think this concept is unhealthy. We can be happy as hell, and yet still sad that life is finite, and along with that goes things like deterioration, disease, infirmity, and ultimately death. These are the realizations of middle age. No matter how good we have it there is a grieving of the life, or lives, we’ll never have time to live.

Now is the part where you have to take care of YOU. Having your contentment resting on his behavior and how he feels is building a house on a sandy shore, to say the least. Of course, when you’re married your fate is intrinsically linked to your spouse’s. But it isn’t good for you to be held hostage emotionally this way. I hope you can find some peace. The best way I know how to do that is to seek something so interesting and fulfilling that you aren’t spending all of your time worrying over him and his needs. That and heavy exercise have helped me tremendously. Take care of yourself. I’m here if you need a shoulder to cry on.


sandra September 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Thank you. I did write a long reply but somehow deleted it and can’t find the heart to write it again tonight. I’m trying hard and will continue to for now x


Don Dressel August 11, 2014 at 1:03 am

What about women? Do they not go through somewhat of a mid-life crisis? My wife seems to be going through something close to one but when she realized how much I love her and through what I wrote from the bottom of my heart she has drawn closer to me. I have changed my ways by doing more with her and exercise regularly and I look much better. She still has issue’s and I have told her I would always be there for her and have given her space!


Chloe Jeffreys August 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

Women most definitely can and do have midlife crisis. It’s usually lumped under the menopause label though, and blamed on hormonal imbalances. I don’t think menopause is a hormonal imbalance. It’s a fact of life, not a medical crisis. What it does mean though is that estrogen wanes. Estrogen is the bonding hormone. It’s what helps women put up with crap from their mates so their children won’t starve. But once this hormone fades, and the children leave the nest, suddenly all the years of tolerated crap comes into perspective. Men, like yourself, who up their game, are likely to find their wives want them again. Men who decide not to become better mates might find themselves in divorce court, often baffled on how they got there.

Good for you that you loved your wife enough to listen to what she needed. That’s very encouraging to hear.


Don Dressel July 30, 2014 at 2:05 am

I myself have gone through somewhat of a midlife crisis but all I did was go out and buy a muscle car. My wife hates the car because it is red with black stripes and said it looks like a teenager should be driving it. My response was a teenager could not afford a 50 thousand dollar car! I also work out everyday but only to look better and have better sex with her. Her response I do not know if I am still in love with you but I do love you but I AM NOT HAPPY! Women I will never figure them out!


Chloe Jeffreys August 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

I told my husband that I’ll never tease him if he buys a midlife crisis car. Better a car than so many other things! It would be better than karaoke.


Don Dressel August 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Yes as people have told my wife she is lucky It was a muscle car and not a 35 year old woman!


concerned July 8, 2014 at 7:50 am

I am still trying to cope with my husband’s midlife crisis. I did all the wrong things at first. Sometimes I still think I am doing wrong. He is hurting me and my children every day. He stays gone all the time not coming home until 1130 -12 during the week doing what ever he wants. He goes out every weekend drinking with friends sometimes so drunk his friends drive him home or he doesn’t come home. He gave me the line I love u but I’m not in love with u anymore. I know he loves our kids but he is constantly pushing them away. The only time he sees them is in the morning before he goes to work. I’m so hurt and tired I just don’t know what to do. I am completely miserable. He has looked for places to stay but hasn’t left yet. I have been in therapy ever since this all started and of course he will not go with me. I’m on anti depressants now also. I feel like I’m just dying inside. The man i fell in love with and married is no longer the man that I’m living with. I feel like I’m living with a complete stranger. He pushes me away every day. Not interested in me what so ever. He almost acts like I disgust him sometimes. Caught him on the Internet talking to a female which ended up a scam. I think he is still talking to her or someone else. His best friend died 2 yrs ago which I think was the trigger to all of this. Because he said to me I don’t want to die unhappy. I just don’t know what else to do. Do I keep living this unhappy life with him forever until he leaves or snaps out of it? Or do I just make him leave. I would appreciate any advise from anyone. Thanks so much.


Don Dressel July 30, 2014 at 2:17 am

Your husband needs to grow up! Sit him down and and ask him what the hell is going on? I sat my wife down asked her to be honest with me and said is there anyone else? Her reply was no and then I told her if she was unhappy we could sell the home and go our own way again she said no. Now that I work out everyday I have lost 30 pounds and have toned up. She has seemed to get better. If I you I would sit him down and tell him how you feel then put an ultimatum on him. You and your kids deserve better and do you really want to live like this? Join a gym and work on yourself and he will notice I promise you!


D. A. Wolf May 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm

There are many excellent points here, Chloe. (And yes, I’m chuckling at competitive karaoke.) I would add that this can occur to lesser degrees and multiple times – as in smaller ‘eruptions’ that express the fear of aging, job dissatisfaction, a sort of restless boredom in which your relationship may be going along (bumpily) for the ride.

All the more reason that paying attention to what your husband/partner is going through and communicating (rather than avoiding) is important.

And thank you for the link love!
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Chloe Jeffreys May 31, 2014 at 7:31 am

Hey DA, thanks for commenting.

Communication is always so critically important. And sometimes so hard. I know I’ve been guilty of attempting to ignore the elephant hoping that it would just go away. It never does, does it?
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Dr. Margaret Rutherford May 29, 2014 at 4:29 am

Chloe, I couldn’t help but comment on a strong point you make in this post. I have always said I can do marital therapy with one person in the room! The other gets kinda curious about the changes the other is making or the relationship will symptomatically change because one person is altering their behavior. I really agree with you and am glad you have made this point so clear. Thanks for a great post and one that is using what sounds like you learned the hard way to wonderful use.
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Chloe Jeffreys May 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter. Sometimes we can’t wait for the other person to be ready to grow. We might be the only one in the relationship who is feeling the growing pains, or who realizes the flower pot is about the burst. Too often I’ve seen women say they can’t go because their husbands won’t go. But eventually the wife gives up and decided to divorce. And then suddenly the man is all wanting to go to counseling. But the woman’s love is dead by then. Don’t wait until he’s ready. Just go. And make it clear that you want counseling because you care so much about your relationship.


KymberlyFunFit May 28, 2014 at 12:02 am

Fortunatley my hubster never went through a midlife crisis. Hmm, maybe he still has that coupon and plans to redeem it. Still, I loved your post and how cleverly you wrote it. Great structure, transitions, content, tone. Babe – ya got it all! Gotta run now to prep for my competitive karaoke.
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Tammy May 27, 2014 at 9:48 am

Chloe, so right on. In a sad on point kind of way. Too bad that it happens but best not to pretend that it doesn’t. Karaoke? It could be worse, girl. I never dealt with a mid life crisis during my 29 year marriage. But it sure happened a few years after the divorce. Fast cars, young Russian girls, expensive toys and a hair piece. It’s his life, his choice and I’m happy to be free of it. However, if the marriage had lasted, I wouldn’t have had a problem with any of it, except the young girls, of course. We are both much happier now. Silver linings!
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Brenda May 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I chose to embrace his new love of scuba diving by getting certified myself. And I’m doing a vertical dance class for ME that he gets to reap the benefits of a fitter and more confident wife. Getting my groove back has been one of the great benefits of being friends with you, Chloe.


Chloe Jeffreys May 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I’m always glad to support a sister in arms, Brenda. You’ve been such a HUGE encourager to me over these many years. So trust me, it goes both way!
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