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
- 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
NO! 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.
#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.
- 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.
- Find a therapist and make an appointment.
- 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.