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Forum: The Midlife Crisis

So what are your thoughts on issues pertaining to the midlife crisis? Talk to me; talk to each other, or just talk. I look forward to hearing from you.

Midlife Crisis Forum by Year
April-December 1997 January-December 1998 January-December 1999 January-December 2000 January-December 2001
Midlife Crisis Forum 1999
January-March April-May June-August September-October November-December

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April-May 1999

April 5, 1999

broken and waiting

i too have gone through a terrible time this last year . I have been married for 22 years. My husband also told me he was very unhappy. He started to find things wrong with our relationship that didnt even exist. At first he told me our marriage had been going down hill for years but 4 years ago we bought a cottage. Which we went to every weekend together. We have always done every thing together. we had a very good marriage. He has even had an affair with one of he his co workers. He has left 5 times but always comes home after two weeks. now he has gone again # 6. the reason he gave me this time was i was too skinny. He doesnt even know why he is doing this. the man needs help but says there is nothing wrong with him. i love my husband very much. we have been together since i was 15 and now i am 40 what should i do now? Do i take him back or do i tell him to hit the road and never come home again. I know he will come back again because he has come back 5 times.

hurting big time

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I'm a 36 year old, married, mother of a 1yr old &a 4.5yr old, living in poverty in rural NY. I spent the first years of my adulthood in alcoholic excess, and now, after 4 years of sobriety, I'm trying to build a life for myself and my family. My husband (40) earns very little, and I am working very part time, writing for a newspaper. I am trying to decide if finishing college would help. I'd like to know if starting a career in biology is plausable at 38. I'd like to know how to become either Madeleine L'Engle or Steve J. Gould. I'd really like to know where to find some encouragement or even mentoring through this decision making process, and potentially, through school. Thanks, a mind is a terrible thing to have wasted.

Jo

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Jo--I agree with you wholeheartedly. Talk with a counselor at your local community college or university. Good luck. You sound to me like you'll reach whatever goal you set for yourself--Mike

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To Broken and Waiting,

I am going thru a very similar situation as yours. My husband left 3 months ago, after many months of him saying he felt trapped, he wanted his independence, etc. He mentioned a problem with my jealousy and my insecurities. If he thought I was insecure then, he should see me now. He stripped me of my last shred of dignity. After 21 years together, I am in shock. He refused counseling, but I am going now for myself. Some days I doubt I will make it. The sadness is overwhelming. We had a pretty good marriage, but he does not communicate well. I think something took hold and he ran with it. Where is he now? His "freedom" consists of working 3 jobs, he doesn't have a car, he hopes to get a "room" somewhere. For now he stays with a friend occasionally, but mostly stays at his office. He gave up contacting our 19 yr. old son. He so far won't return calls from life long friends. I don't know if this is MLC or what. He is not the man I loved and trusted, he has lost all feeling for me. I really doubt he will come home. All we can do, is pray and work on US. Hoping for the best for both of us and all the others in this awful place.

LadyLee

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April 9, '99

i'll be very informal as to not take up time and space. one year ago i learned of my husband's infidility. we have been married 7.5 years and together 11.5. second marriages for both; his wife died and i'm divorced. he has 2 sons and me, one. he was also unfaithful to his deceased wife. before the affair, my husband and i had a very rocky marriage. children, his family(Iltalian), old friends etc, etc. we have overcome a lot of these issues with commitment and some counseling. now, he is impatient with my behavior (which i will agree with him, can be very irrational and imature and obsessive) and keeps leaving. as far as i know the affair is over but he has not come home emotionally and continues to leave whenever there is a hiccup. we are seeing a counselor but my question is how long does the average "crisis" last. he says he loves me and God forbid this and God willing that. tonight i am alone after spending a glorious 2 week vacation with him as a new beginning. he has not been able to love me in a long time and it could be medication or emotional. he is in his late 50's and me my mid 40's. he has high blood pressure and of course blames me for making it worse. i do love him, believe in our marriage and am working on myself to make me better. when do i draw the line? i feel like i'm at a "at your service" booth. i realize my part in this and how i'm obsessing with certain issues but i also know what i want and i am committed. i am a strong Christian and do not want this (2nd) marriage to end. Any help or advice?

committed

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My boyfriend, age 54, has fallen in love with a 26 year old female that to date he has only met online and talked to on the phone. His attitude is that "I am willing to risk everything to do this". The risk includes losing the woman he made a commitment to stay faithful to whom he tells has been the best woman he has ever been with, and would always want in my life. What's going on here? He wants his cake and to eat it too, asking me to stand by, change our relationship so that we both are available to date others, and telling me that he just wants to meet her, he is not looking to replace me. This is going on right now.

Quick response please.

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April 16, '99

My wife is turning 40 next week. I have been harassing her about it but have secretly planned a getaway at a local hotel. I am decorating it with items saying fabulous forty, and magnificent at 40 etc. I plan to treat her as special as possible and letting her know that she is fabulous at 40. One thing I want and have not found a solution as of yet. We enjoy watching romance movies, and I wonder if there are any out there that deal with the mid life crisis, such as turning 40. Can you see if any one out there knows of such a movie?

Steve

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Hello,

Ran across your site by searching for site regarding "career changes". It of course is not easy especially when there is no support from "home". I am going into the IT field because it interests me and I enjoy it! I have owned my own business for 15 years and lost the fun part of it. I find little support and info for people making a change such as this. If your could offer some insight I would be very grateful.

Dann

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I'd like to get some understanding if my wife of 15 years is going through a mid-life crisis or not?Our marriage had its ups and downs.We would forgive each other and move on.We have 4 children,daughter 12,son 6,twins(boys)4.We were one big happy family,went to church,worked,and I shared much in the child rearing.Mainly,because I worked nights,and was available during the day.So,I did many things with the kids,more than the average joe.My wife seemed all too involved with her career in the last 2 years though.She is a hairstylist,need I say more!However,i being a anxious personality type,became too controlling with my wifes personal space.She would tolerate it,because she affirmed that she loved me,and that she would never leave me.I became too confident and took her for granted.during times of arguing,I did use excessive verbal language towards her and in front of the kids.I know this is wrong morally,and emotionally.She did complain that our marriage was lacking many things,but I was in denial.On her 40th B-day,things noticeably changed with her.She started to go out on weekends after work with co-workers (the girls),and to a popular nightclub that was 2 doors down from her job.I went nuts!Became overly upset and vented my dis- approval fiercefully!Yes,I did come down hard on her,because we never did that as a couple.She never showed interest in that, mainly because she said she did enough of it when she was single.Within 6 months our marriage deteriorated.She changed her apperance.Blonde long hair,breast implants,perfect makeup,tight clothes!I was losing her!Then she started to talk about a temporary seperation.Well 8 months later after trying to hold on to our marriage,with counseling,begging,discussions,nothing would change her mind.She kept pulling away emotionally.Well here I am living with my folks temporarily.My children are confused as to why I'm not there anymore,I'm totally devastated,and she do'nt care!She claims to be happy,free from me, she says shes never felt so free,even though she is tackling all the things solo,house,work,kids,bills,(going on 1 month today). I feel she will run out of energy soon,maybe not though.She refused counseling:she just wanted me out,no questions asked. I ca'nt even talk to her.she gets defensive,starts to argue,and hangs up on me.While i'm over here devastated,she goes to work showing off her big bust to all her male customers.Can you believe she used me to help her through the recovery stage of the surgery.As soon as she started feeling better,and went back to work,she litterally threw me out by force.I only left because she threatened to take the kids away with her and I would'nt find them.So I thought it was the most peaceful thing to do.Now I sit here daily,and hope and pray that maybe there will be some sort of resolve in the future.I love her,she is everything to me,no,she is'nt the woman I once married,but she probably feels the same about me.

Anonymous

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April 23, '99

Broken and waiting

I read your letter and my heart goes out to you. But may I lend a personal point of view? Dear patient soul, You obviously love this individual very much. But perhaps it is you who are unhappy? Does your loved one mirror you? This happened to me. Perhaps you should seriously evaluate just what it is you want in life. You are at a wonderful age. (I love my fourties). Why do you want to continue to start over? Maybe I should say why do you allow this person to continue with his ending and starting of your 22 year relationship over and over? Maybe I don't see from the telling of your concerns with this man why you would have so little self respect as to let your life be so unsettled. Just remember... No One will take care of you like you take care of yourself. So be kinder to yourself. Treat yourself with respect and maybe your present husband or exhusband (as case may be) will also. And if he dosen't, then maybe he will respect the fact that you're no longer relationship bound. And now I apologize if I have offended you with my point of view. It is only my opinion and I am a total stranger.

KB

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Carol, My spouse whom I had just recently married in the last four months said the exact same thing to me. She wanted to be married, but she needed to leave and be on her own for a "while." This was a supprise being that we just got maried, this was not supposed to happen. To make it short, I could not live with those conditions and felt she was not beeing fair to me. She absolutly would not compromise, and moved out. That was the day I decided to end the marrage even though it was very very hard to do. I have wondered many nights why this happened, and since then, she has tried to explain to me by saying she had a nervous breakdown. But the fact is she was making concious decisions and I believe this is only an attempt to cover up whatever it was that was really going on with her. But I have met a woman that surpasses all my desires and we are very happy together, while my ex is living the life she chose that day she moved out.

happier

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May 1, '99

Dear Mike

The sense of relief was overwhelming when the search engine brought up your website on mid-life crisis. The Q & A page, although now only an archive, was like finding a well in a desert. I have been struggling on my own with what I believe is my mid-life crisis for quite some time. The pressure inside has at times been unbearable, and of course, how can I share with my wife things like this when it probably will cause more stress by her not understanding what this is all about? I am 39, married for 14yrs with 3 children (11,9,4) although we have had 4; we lost another daughter at birth in 1994. My wife and I are co-directors in our own business, although her role is agreeably smaller in terms of day to day running than mine. We have had financial troubles for a while, and this in itself obviously sometimes causes problems. I am a Sound Engineer and travel around the UK with various artists looking after the PA equipment. She has a part-time job as the Sister in a local doctor's surgery. Looking through the questions people were raising, I was able to realise that at least I am not the only one on the planet facing deep emotional issues. To start with, I have been torn inside with feelings of attraction to other women, wondering what the sense of youthful excitement would be like again to start a new relationship. I cling to my moral and religious values and try to put these things aside, knowing that an affair would destroy the structure of life I, we, have built over 14 yrs. This thought alone, considering the effect upon wife, children, extended family, business, reputation, has kept me from doing anything other than imagining, but our lives at home are hardly exciting, and the urge to splurge grips very tightly sometimes. Perhaps this is why I am prone to spend money on a whim sometimes. Of course, affairs are not the only item on this crisis agenda. Questions about love, success, failures, ability to keep my family financially secure, my relationship with my children etc. all contribute to my daily feeling of needing something different somewhere else. I want to tell my wife that I need time apart, but I think she will totally mis-understand me and say she has stress of her own, and why should I get a chance to recover when she couldn't? Thank you for providing a great web-site. There is so much I could pour out, but I remembered this was the guestbook at your cyberspace B&B, so I'll just say it's been a help even putting down my feelings in short. Thanks for listening.

Tim Headley, Wales

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My husband is in a mid life crisis. I still love him. I want to wait for him.Does anyone else feel this way. Do they ever come back to their spouses. I would like to talk with someone whos been through a crisis. with their husbands.

cjb

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Dear Mike: What a relief to hear similar stories! My husband is only 34 years old. We knew each other 10 years before we married and have only been married 2 1/2 years. After only a month of marriage, I was in an auto accident where I received a broken neck. I had my last surgery this past July. It put a real strain on our marriage but I thought it would make us stronger. He took wonderful care of me! However, when I was finally better, things fell apart. He went to work on February 4, 1999, and has not returned to stay since. We started going to counseling right away but my husband quit 3 weeks ago because he felt too pressured to return home. He bought a brand new motorcycle (which he drives at over 100 mph), leather coat and such. He works as a corrections officer and now hangs out with all the road officers all the time. His self esteem is so low. There is another officer who is interested in him and with whom he is friends. He says he has no interest in any other woman but does not think he loves me anymore. My doctor did not let me return to work and so I lost my job (accountant) in January. He left me with all the bills too. He says he is enjoying the single life and not having to be responsible for anyone else but himself. He says marriage is not for him but he does not want to hurt me. Some days he talks about divorce and other days he says that is not what he wants. He goes days without calling me now and it hurts. I end up convincing myself to call him or find him. I enjoy seeing him but I think this just gives him the power he is abusing. He has his own apartment. In fact, he has moved 4 times since he left!! He has turned against God and anyone who tells him he is wrong or pressures him to return. What should I do? Do I call him or totally leave him alone? I do not want a divorce and am willing to do what ever is necessary to save what used to be a wonderful marriage. Should I let him know in a letter every so often that I love him? A few friends say I should file for divorce and force him to decide but I feel he is not in a place where he would argue it. I am so devastated and confused. Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated. I pray for hours and hours and feel God has kept this from totally falling apart so far.

Anne

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Dear Mike,

I sent you a message a couple of days ago, which was the first time I had said anything to anyone about my situation, and it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Since then I have spent a lot more time on your site and I just wanted to say thankyou for all your efforts providing this meeting point for so many of us to unload on. May God continue to bless what you're doing here.

Tim, Wales

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May 8, '99

How do you know if it's a MLC? I've been married 15 years in June. I love my husband very much. My husband had an affair with a co-worker last year. I knew something was going on, I could just sense it. so I did some digging, the e-mails, the itemized phone bills, him going out after work a lot more, it was all so clear. He denied it at first. then after me asking questions all the time, I guess he had had enough. He left. 4 days later he had called. I told him he was hurting the children, (we have 2, now 10 and 11). He said he would be home. when he came home, he told me he wasn't going to lie to me any more. That he did have an affair. She was also married at the time. now going through her second divorce. I asked him if it was over, he could never answer me. for a year, he would come and go and anything that I would ask he couldn't give me an answer. He would always say, I don't know, I don't know how I feel, I can't answer that, I don't feel the same way about you as I did 2 years ago, we grew apart, you don't deserve me, you deserve better, I'm not happy and, I can't show you feelings now. I could never get answers. And I was always asking them. always looking for affection, something. Anything. We'll he has moved out. He has been gone for 3 months now. And I want him back so bad. before he left I did beg I did cry. I wonder if that pushed him away. I want so much for my marriage to work. I want so much for him to realize what he has walked away from. I've asked him how could he walk away from his family. He says he hasn't walked away, he still sees the kids every other weekend, he coaches our sons baseball team, and still puts money in the bank. I don't understand why he doesn't think he has walked away from us. he has. Why can't he see he's not there for us the way he needs to be, the way we need him to be. His family meant everything to him at one time. how does one just walk away from family? Why can't he make himself happy with his family? Why won't he try? Why won't he let me make him happy? I have so many questions and no answers. When he first left I was devastated. I still am. I get angry, I am just so hurt. I don't understand. I know I have said things that probably shouldn't have been said but what's said is said. He has told me from the beginning that he wants to be my friend, he doesn't hate me and that he will always care about me. But I want so much more than his friendship. I know he still talks with this other person and that hurts. I don't know if he is still seeing her in that way, but I do know they communicate. I have talked to her and begged her to leave my husband alone, but she says she loves him and he loves her. why can't he see what a loser she is. Having no respect for her family then going and destroying someone else's. how do people like that live with themselves? So I do I know if this is a MLC or he really is "IN LOVE" with this other person? Or maybe he wants his family back, but with everyone knowing he can't swallow his pride and come back. I just don't know what to do. I want my family back……

LAS

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Jo,

Really! The idea of going ahead with your life is the only positive *you* have! Is it "plausible" regarding starting a career in biology at age 38? Where's it written, Jo, that there is some rule that you can't? .........other than in your own mind.

Get with the program, Jo. Go for it. Sometimes we must do what we must do... and if a career in biology or medicine or nuclear physics or advertising or broadcasting or what-have-you is your bliss in life. Do it. As for mentors........perhaps you should begin with the statement to yourself that indeed at age 36 or 38 you most certainly aren't too "old" (believe me, Jo, you're *not* old <G>) to begin following your bliss in life. You'd be surprised how many "mentors" will just logically fall into place. In other words, don't tell us of the thousand reasons you shouldn't do something..........give us the one reason you should.

Eleuin

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I found this site today and many of the notes sound so familiar. I didn't believe anyone else could feel the excruciating type of pain I'm feeling. My husband of 23 years left to find himself and explore other relationships. Granted we had grown lonely in our marriage, but once awakened, I believe we could reconnect and rebuild. He did not even want to discuss working on our marriage. He said he didn't have the emotional capacity to do so. But he has the emotional capacity to "explore other relationships". I'm feeling so hurt, rejected, frustrated, lonely, scared and empty. I could never walk away and not look back. He is being financially responsible for me and my daughter, but after years of several phone calls a day as well as evenings together for 23 years to go to no contact unless its business, is more difficult to handle than I can put into words. I love him very much and miss him terribly. The thought of him being with someone else is killing me inside.

I note from some of the other messages that leaving them alone seems to be the best course of action, but it will be hard. Do they ever wake up and see what they've left in their wake? How long does it usually take? Will the pain ever stop? I try to appear strong for our daughter, but modeling this one is tuff. Thanks for listening.

Daisy

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I have been married almosy 36 years.My husband was in the military for 26 years,he went all the way to the top.We retired , moved to Florida.We lost our grandson who was 2,then his brother died.My husband got a motocycle,was in an accident ,his leg was crushed .I took off from work to take care of him.I tried to get him to get rid of the bike but he wouldn't do it.Now he has 2 earrings, a tatoo and Easter weekend he told me he has been having an affair with a barmaid for 2 years.So he moved out and he is living with his girlfriend.It has been one month and he has not called or talk to his own daughters.I told him"When you were in the hospital and I stayed by your bed day and night you were dreaming of this woman?"He said "no when I had the wreck she found somebody else but when I got better she took me back" I cannot understand that he would even want her back.How can a person change so much.He was always so honest and clean cut. I loved him so much I would have done anything for him.How could he turn his back on 35 years and don't feel guilty.He thinks he deserve some fun because he worked all of his life.I did too but I wouldn't never have done that. Will he ever wake up or do you think this is what he really wants?

Mimmie

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May 29, 99

PLEASE ALLOW ME TO SHARE MY FEELINGS ON MY MIDLIFE. I DON'T REALLY CONNECT WITH SOME OF THE OTHERS. MY PROBLEM IS THE KIDS LEAVING HOME AND I PUT MY WHOLE LIFE INTO THEM AND LOVED IT . I NEED TO BE NEEDED!!!!!!! I AM AT A GREAT LOSS WITH MYSELF. I KEEP GAINING WEIGHT- SOME FORM OF COMFORT? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. MARRAIGE IS GOOD, THANK GOODNESS. DON'T CARE FOR MY JOB, DENTAL HYGIENIST. PLEASE, ANYONE RESPOND. I WOULD FEEL SO MUCH BETTER ABOUT MYSELF IF I COULD GET SOME WEIGHT OFF. PAT

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I am going thru "mid-life" crisis now I guess. I am 45 husband is 45. On my birthday I realized I am very unhappy with my life and husband. He refuses to grow up and be a husband and father, much too interested in reading about politics, surfing the net and anything but living in and dealing with the real world. I have tried to talk now I am walking. Maybe it is just mid-life crisis, but I consider it just getting to the point in life that I know that I have to quit playing around at life and get serious about my future. I will be too old to change it if I wait, and will just have to look back with sadness. Cathy

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