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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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January-March 1999


 
January 17, 1999

Can you give testimonials from men who have screwed their lives up because of this crisis and how they regret it? How they regret loosing their wife, children, future plans, etc.

kygal

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Dear Unsure and in Limbo:

I have read your message and I to am in the same situation. For the past two years my husband has done some drastic changes. Everyone, family and friends have noticed a major change in him, I kept asking what's wrong please talk to me. He kept saying nothing. I could tell he was totally unhappy but I didn't know why. Finally he agreed to go to counseling because he said I needed help with my jealousy and lack of self esteem. Well we went for a while but he started bringing up stuff that happened when we were living together 26 years ago. Stupid stuff. The counselor said he is going through mlc and he doesn't know what's going on with him, so he is pulling straws. I love my husband very much and have taken a long critical look at me and faced up to my own faults, but that didn't stop him from telling me 9 days before Christmas he was leaving me because he needed time to think. He walked out the day after Christmas. I knew I loved him before he left, but since then have come to realize how much I really love him. He has hardly talked to me since he left so I don't know anything more than before. It is killing me inside but there is nothing I can do about him. I pray every day he realizes he still loves me but if he doesn't there is nothing I can do but continue on with my life....such as it is. We have two beautiful daughters who are out of the house. At this time in our lives I thought we could get us back after putting our lives on hold while we raised our girls and worked so hard together to have what we both wanted. I am not going to lie and say we had no problems but I did feel if we both loved each other and finally were talking they were workable problems. My husband and I did everything together. I have thought so much I am brain dead. I have analyzed from here and beyond. I haven't given up but I have finally come to the conclusion I have no control and that alone scares the hell out of me. For once in my life I am working so hard at something I truly want and I can't obtain it yet. It has only been 3 weeks but it is the longest time in my life. All I have left until he makes up his mind is prayer. By the way I am 45 my husband is 46 and he won't admit he is going through mlc.

broken and waiting.

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Hello to you and many thanks for having this web site. Some of the things I'm going seem to relate to other postings I've seen in Midlife Crisis section. I am still venturing through some other portions of your web site.

Gene - NJ

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I am going through a difficult situation in my life and marriage. I am 49 years old and my wife is 45. We have a daughter who is 8 and a stepson who is 19. My wife has been going through a lot of stress at work and with her son/my stepson. In addition, work has been stressful for me and has consumed a considerable amount of my time. We have had problems and difficulties with my stepson since he was in his early teens. My wife had promised him several years ago to give him the apartment upstairs. He did not paid rent, buy his own food, or try very hard to secure a job. This was the culmination of several attempts to help him. Well my wife decided to kick him out last week and she had to call the police to get him under control. During this argument, he knocked down my wife and I ended up breaking my ankle when I grabbed him and tried to restrain him. Thanks to his mother, he is back in the apartment as of today, a week later.

Along with this recent set of problems and stresses, my wife is going through menopause and has indicated that she is looking for more passion in her life. She has given me the cold shoulder and has been going out Saturday night at 9-10 PM and not coming home until 9-10 AM on Sunday. She has told me that she wants a separation and that she is moving out on February 1. I had mentioned about going to a marriage counselor but she refused. I fell kind of hopeless and powerless regarding trying to change her mind for resolving this situation. It appears that she predetermined that this will be her course of action and she will not vary from it. Of course kicking her son out of the apartment was also part of that decision too and that has been reversed in one week. She continues doing the household chores plus additional tasks that I used to help out with. I still have several weeks before I won't be wearing a cast. Since around the holidays, it has been nothing but a nightmare. My friend says to seek professional counsel to help me overcome the stress and depression. I plan on pursuing that this week. To me it appears that my wife is going through a mid-life crisis complicated by menopause and teenager problems. She has said more than once that she feels like running away from all this and escaping it. It appears that this separation is her attempt at it. Any feedback is appreciated.

Tired Troubled and Confused (TTC)

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January 23, '99

Emotional Pain:

I can relate to the emotional pain of feeling like you've lost control over your life and lost the love of someone you love. The endless searching for the reasons why your spouse is not happy and wondering what YOU have done wrong and what you could have done to help ease their pain is relentless. It can consume your every thought . The feeling of being emotionally out of control can reduce you to feeling like a small child needing reassurance that you are loved . Watching your spouse trying to escape some of his inner fears and frustrations in the name of self preservation is exhausting.

My husband of 23 years is planning to walk out my door and move 2000 miles away in the name of his career and leave behind his 3 children , pets, home for the last 20 years and me. He has found a divorced younger woman who wants to partner up with him in a business, and another woman to share a home with. I am full of fears as to what he is really trying to open up for himself. I get so many mixed messages from him, I do not know what to feel or think anymore. He is putting everything we have at risk, financially, emotionally and physically. I have known no one but him my whole life and have no desire to start over. The thought of being alone is paralyzing me emotionally. I hope I can get passed this time and still have my family in tact. I feel I am about to loose my husband, my home, my job, and my mental health to his MLC.

DEB

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To Tired Troubled and Confused

I admire your concern and effort to understand just what is going on here! As a mom of kids - both boys and girls - and a woman with a step husband, I would suggest to you: support her view. Encourage the youth, and back his try to establish himself, but only at her outlined itinerary! This is Not just a woman or landlord! This is someone with his own best interest at heart! This mom apparently wants to raise a responsible citizen and prompt paying citizen to boot, don't let this lesson be dissuaded by your own personal fray, let her teach him, in the power she possesses, that if you pay, you play, if not, seek out on your own!!!

JM

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Dear Broken & Waiting,

My heart goes out to you. I am going through the same thing that you are, if that gives you any consolation. I am 43 and so is my husband. We went to high school together and married at 21 years old. Last August he told me that he wasn't happy but did not know why. He said he didn't love me anymore but didn't want to hurt me. I tried to make things easier for him at home because he was going through a lot of stress at home. Every time I tried to get him to talk about what was making him so unhappy, the problems always pointed to me. He said I was too controlling, I never back him up when he disciplined the kids and I never respected his opinion. It started out that he was unhappy for the last two years, then eight years since we moved into our current home, now he said I haven't known how to please him for twenty two years of marriage. He moved out on Sept. 26 and into his mothers home. He won't go to counseling and treats me like a stranger. He cries all the time. If he truly didn't love me and wanted out, why the tears. The holidays this year were a nightmare. I, too, am afraid of being alone. I have been going to counseling myself for the last four months. I have learned that this is his problem, not mine. He is just projecting his low self esteem onto me. This doesn't sound too comforting, but this is something your husband has to work out on his own. Just recently, my husband asked me for a divorce after being pressured by my brother to make a decision. I convinced him to compromise by moving into his own apartment and trying to come to counseling with me. I don't know if this will work, but I love him more than ever and am willing to wait a little longer. Keep praying. I have prayed everyday since this nightmare began, and I believe God is listening.

Getting stronger.

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Jaunuary 29, '99

The day after Thanksgiving my husband, age 42, told me that he was planning on leaving me because he was tired and had to think. Well, I tried to find out and he has said that I have been lying to him for the last 15 years. We were high school sweethearts since the age of 15 and after high schoo he went into the military and we married the following year, we have been married for 23 years. I have always followed him and stayed home and took care of him, the home and the children. It was not until 1992 that I started working outside the home. I have always taken care of the household finances and there have been times when the savings account had to used to pay bills. Since he was busy with work, going to school, volunteering on local rescue squads, and gone on temporary duty with the military I just got use to doing things on my own and not always telling him. I never meant to hurt him but I just did it and took care of things. Well, he gets upset about me saying I don't know when he decides to look at the bank statements that are 6 months or m ore old and asks why I transfered money, well six months later I may not remember. He also thinks that I should always ask permission before I usse a credit card or get one in my name only. He says that 98% of our marriage is great that 2% is not. He has moved out into a friends house after I found out that he is "in love" with a woman that he goes to school with. I just don't understand what I can do to make him realize that the money issue is not really the problem but that he is unhappy with himself. All of his friends and my family all think he has changed in the last 12 months and he is the only one that does not see it and will not get help. I just need to know what I can do, I do not want to lose him because I love him more than life itself. S.C.

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Dear Getting Stronger,

Thanks for responding. It does help to know that someone else is going through the same. Not that I want anyone to have to endure this type of pain, but it helps to not feel totally alone. What is so ironic, is that what your husband said to you is almost a carbon copy of what mine has said. At first it was 2 years then 5 then even before we were married. I love my husband so much. I am completely lost without him. We did everything together. Everyone we know is shocked as much as I am. Since he has left I guess he has been doing nothing but working tons of overtime and working on cars with his friend who lives 2 doors away. His purpose to move out was to have time alone to think. But if he is working so much, where is the time to think? He does say he is lonely, misses the house and me. But he doesn't know if he has the deep seeded love for me he thinks he should have. Point blank what the hell is deep seeded love? I gave him a book that the counselor gave us when we were going, which he never did read. He did promise to read it. I hope he does, because in it , it explains the different phases of love from lust to romantic to mature. I honestly can sit here and say I love my husband more today than on the day I married him. Maybe that's what he means. I don't have a clue. As far as praying, I'm still praying but over the past 6 years I have prayed so much for all the loved ones he has taken from me, that I am beginning to doubt he is listening. He took away so many people (5 in the last six years) that I'm afraid he'll take my husband away not by death but of total confusion. He keeps telling me to get a life. We have raised two girls, I work full-time, went to college part-time, stayed on the deans list and still did the housework, yard work, was girl scout leader and ran the girls. I was so busy that I now don't even know what I enjoy other than being with my husband. I don't do crafts, I enjoy summer totally, not winter. In the winter I admit I hibernate. He has no idea as to what I should do, just keeps saying get a life. Whatever he wanted to buy, wherever he wanted to go he did. With and without me. We enjoy the same things. Fishing, boating four wheeling, everything. I have thought to the point I can't think anymore without becoming more confused. Thanks for the good thoughts. I wish you all the best of luck in the world.

Broken & Waiting

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My hiusband is going through some very difficuly times. Since 1992 I have been struggling with the issue of incest as a child. I have been severely depressed and I finally went into therapy and seeing a psychiatrist. It has been a very difficult time for my husband and my two children. Two months ago there was a change in my husband. I thought he just didn't want to be with me anymore. I said some things that perhaps I shouldn't have. I told him if he wanted to leave or be separated it was ok. That I would rather be apart than be together and have nothing. That we couldn't put the children through another episode of unhappiness. Last week he finaly confessed that for two months he has been severely depressed but didn't want to tell me. He doesn't know what caused it. He cries and cries. He has deep feelings of loneliness, he does't knwo what he feels. He doesn't want me to feel any pain because of what I've been through. He has moments of joy (few) then a feeling of emptiness overcomes him (it's like hearing an echo of the days when i was severely depressed). He doesn't want to get help in therary or see a psychiatrist. I explained that i wasn't qualified to help him but I was here for him. He says he doesn't want to lose his family, we're his whole life. Last night he was backing in his car into our garage, had an accident and wrecked. He was totally devastated. He cried and cried. I literally had to pick him up off the garage floor, hold him, let him cry, and just listen to him. It was extremely frightening. Is he going through midlife crisis? Is severe depression part of midlife crisis? Is there literature specifically describing syptoms and treatment? When I was going through my depression many, many, many days I made it through one moment to another by prayer and listening to hymns from church. I don't know how to tell my husband that he must let it all go and put in God's hands because for years he can't understand why I go to church. It would be hippocritical for me now as I haven't been to church since the first of the year. I study my bible and pray daily, but I don't know what my husband's response would be now that I haven't gone to church. What am I supposed to be doing for my husband? I am fearful that he may do something really drastic one day if I can't reach him. Have you ever heard of anyone committing suicide during a midlife crisis? What are the percentages? I am desperate to get him help. Perhaps knowing how I felt and knowing what I had to do to get help scares me because he doesn't want help. It took me years to get depressed, yet it seems it took my husband only months to get severely depressed. Is that possible? 

MC

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I am a wife who is trying to survive my husband's midlife crisis. I found your site this morning surfing the net. What a God Send this is. I hope he will read it. Any advice for us wives trying to survive our husband's midlife crisis?

Tammy

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February 6, '99

My husband of 9 years is going through a mlc as well. For years he was the perfect father and husband. After getting discharged from the military and turning 30(yes 30) his world seemed to fall apart. He became a long haul trucker only comming home once a month. While away on the road he would advance 90% of his pay and spend it on himself and then accuse me of taking all of the money out of the bank come payday to pay the bills because I left him no money to live on. After 2 yrs of living like this on and off(when home he was fine but as soon as he left he was very mean to me during our conversations on the phone about everything from money to me cheating on him BTW I was always home no matter what time he would call day or night) he finally left me and our 2 small children(6yrs and 14m) the week after our sons birthday(which he didn't show for) for a 19 yr old.(He is about to turn 33 this month) He says she puts the spark back in his eyes. That he hasn't loved me for 2yrs and is sick of living a lie. We have never had anything in common (where she likes to hunt and watch western movies This to me is more like a buddy situation) and he loves this new "women". We have not seen him since the day he has left which has been 5 months now. His calls come every 2-3 weeks if we are lucky...and he will only talk to our son for approx 2 mins. if that(just to ask how are you and how is school). This man was my partner and bestfriend. I still love him more than life itself. I want to help him but it is almost impossible to when he doesn't feel as though he needs it. And if I mention anything at all about working out our problems he just says he doesn't love me anymore and has someone else now. When I tell him how I still feel about him he gets mad, yells at me to get on with my life like he has done and hangs up on me. I am so sad all of the time. I have promised him everything under the sun if he would just come home even if it is just for the kids sake but he won't hear of it. The money to support the kids and the house has just about come to a standstill as well. He just doesn't care about anyone or anything anymore except himself and his "new love". I havn't told our children about this in hopes he will somehow snap out of this. I just keep making excuses for him saying he's real busy at work. I just don't know what to do anymore. I have prayed for us and especially him to get well again since the day he has left. It doesn't seem to be helping though. I just can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunel. Are there any other ex-military members or truckers spouses who have gone through this? Like I said he is my life and I will be there for him when he needs me but I am afraid he never will need me again. I am starting to belive what he was saying to me is true.(I have been blamed for all of the problems that we have had over the years including his medical discharge from the military for his 2 failed knee operations). Do men who were the perfect husband and fathers just wake up one day and decide this is not what they wanted after all or is this truley a crisis that will someday pass? Please Help...I need any advise that I can get. I am so scared for all of us. Desperate Need For Advise

Thanks. Kay.

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Dear Broken and Waiting and Getting Stronger, 

I am sorry for your pain .......I understand . I wrote Unsure and In limbo. What a terrible time.......it is truly a roller coaster. I have heard (and still do ) those same words from my husband.....Glad you are getting counseling.it helps me a lot. but some days I wonder if I am any better at all. Hang in there. You cannot change him, only he has that power and until he CHOOSES to do something about it you should concentrate on yourselves. I know this is easier said than done............I cried lots last night...... My husband is still here and admitted to an affair right after Thanksgiving.......... please don't be discouraged by this, just trust your own judgment and don't BLAME yourselves for all their problems. I too recognize my faults, but know that it is not all my fault as my husband tends to try to bring up. I don't know our future and even though this has been terrible agony I am much stronger that a year ago Keep praying and sharing..........Read His Midlife Crisis http//friends-lovers.com/articles/midlifecrisis.html (I don't know hoe to make the link sorry) Please Read Friends of Best Year's also .....I go there almost daily....there are wonderfully caring people there that are going through the same things. You will make it through..... Kathryn

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Tammy asked a question about any advice for us wives on how to handle our husbands mid-life crisis. i too would like the answer. Mine doesn't even admit that he has a problem. But after 25 years of good years, to walk out and cry constantly. I don't understand. April of 1997 we went to see my dying brother our age 45, he said live life and be happy when this shit gets you (cancer) no matter how hard you fight you can't win. That is my second brother (I have 4) who has left me that way. But since then my husband has changed. Everyone (including family) has seen a major change in my husband. I have no clue. Sure we had problems, but who doesn't? They were not major. Please help me to understand. I love him with all heart and would take him back in a heartbeat, if he'll come back. I don't know what to do. Not see or talk to him (thinking maybe he will miss me, but maybe if I don't he will forget me.) We had a good marriage, we did everything together, He was is my best friend. Where is the light switch to turn off so I don't feel the pain, and help to I forget when I don't understand. Please respond!

Broken and Waiting

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My husband and I are drifting apart, and neither of us seems to want to do much to stop it from happening. We both have stressful jobs with long hours out of the house. But 3 years ago, our then 16 yr. old son started running away, dropped out of school, and refused to find a job. For 2 years, we dealt with arrests, car wrecks, community service hours, his car getting stolen, running away from home, bringing home 14 yr. old runaway girls, etc. 

From the beginning, I was eager to throw him out of the house when he began flaunting our rules so blatantly. But my husband would simply not go along with my ideas (I, m a high school teacher and know a lot about teenagers and how manipulative they can be). I attended several Tough Love meetings, but my husband would not attend, and would not go along with any suggestions they offered. So I finally gave up the fight, told my husband that from now on, any dealings with our son would be his responsibility. I simply bowed out. This relieved a lot of tension in the house because I seemed to be the only one who wanted to be confrontational. I likened the situation to having an elephant living in our livingroom that no one would acknowledge was there. We were simply walking around the problem. I blew up several times and asked our son to leave the house, but he always returned the next day, and his dad let him come back with an apology. 

Now we are in a little better situation, but the elephant is still here. Our son as a job (24 hours weekly, at minimum wage), has had so many wrecks and tickets that our insurance has canceled him and may cancel us too, and is still living at home. He sleeps most of the day, except when he works. He is out with friends almost every night, does no chores around the house, keeps his room and bathroom filthy. He wants us to dip into his trust fund to pay for him to attend massage therapy classes! He is driving a wedge between my husband and I every minute that he lives with us, but if we kick him out, he will be unable to support himself. He is too immature and irresponsible. Any suggestions? I'm going crazy! 

MH

PS He is a sweet kid, and is very loving, but does not realize what a burden he is.

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I too am still struggling to survive a painfull divorce, as so many others who have written here. My life fell apart when he annouced his leaving the marriage. He was having an afair and also said he had been unhappy with me for years. I was blamed for his afair because i gave him no choice. Our daughter was just two 1/2. the struggles to start again continue and I have yet to "make it on my own'. My daughter has suffered also. I have been in and out of counselling, but the pain and past keep surfacing and MY life's direction still a blir..

It is not only men that suffer mid life crisis it is woment too!!!and we must find ways to survive our own and rebuild our own lives and identities. Myself I am still lost and trying to give some direction to a growing girl in the meantime...

Men they just leave and try things and experience all their heart desires in search of themselves. And they usually don't have to consider another while doing it. this is a generalization of course, but I think that's what keeps me and most other women from truely having, experiencing, and living through a "mid life crisis" .

JM

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February 8, '99

To all of those in pain and whose stories I have read. I would like to suggest that the midlife crises your husbands are going through has more to do with them than with you. It is just my observation that you all seem to say "we did everything together". I don't know what that means but I have to admit it seemed strange everyone said that. Perhaps you need to realize that it is more about him, and less about you than you think, and what is really bothering you is that this is the one thing you can't "do together". I don't know what causes men to do this, but it seems to happen more frequently to those that "do everything together" than to those that don't. Togerthness is a beautiful thing, but it seems too much of it smothers the man over time. I don't really know, just an observation, and I don't have a solution. 

KW

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Hi! My problem is that I have been seeing a guy who is 25yrs older than I'am, he is also married. I'm barely out of my teens and he is old enough to be my father. I do not really know why he is with me, sometimes I wonder why his wife isn't enough for him or if he is having problems with her. I feel guilty because I feel i"am destroying a marriage, but I do not want to discard the possibility that maybe their marriage was over before I came. He is a very seroius person and I do not think that he would ever make a decision without first thinking it well emough. When I first met him he seemed tired and depressed, he worked until late and would never talk about his wife; he doesn't have any kids. Even though he and I get along just fine-he is charming and a true gentleman-I fear he is with me out of spite for his wife or perhaps due to his mlc. I want to be with him, but I do not know what drove him to me, I'am enexperienced and have nothing to offer.He is caring and considerate, but I wonder how he is to his wife

LU

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February 13, '99

To LU

The fact that you have so many unanswered questions, combined with your feelings of guilt and your reaching out for advice, should tell you that there's too much going on in the background for you and this fellow to have a clean, clear relationship together. Couples without children have fewer reasons to stay together if they're unhappy, yet this couple remains married. He may be using you to provide an oasis for him from his everyday life.People of both genders do get bored in their forties, having done the same things year after year, and something fresh and new can be exciting to them, can make them feel young again. But those feelings don't last for that person or for the person in your position, because "real life" starts to intrude. Think of all you cannot do together and all that you don't know about him and his personal life. Of all the circumstances under which you've never seen him. Of what it could mean to him to lose at least half of all of his assets through divorce. Right now, you qualify as forbidden fruit to him. If he should become single, the marketplace would be wide open for him, wouldn't it? For all you know, one of the letters written by a devastated wife could have been written by this man's wife. Please step back from this relationship. Somebody always gets terribly hurt in a triangle, and it usually is not the man. Take care of yourself.

LH

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Just read some of the statements written by the wives of the men who are in MLC, and thought I could put a twist of thought on these. No matter how well you think you know someone, you really don't.

I lived a real life with a man for 10 years, good and bad, up and down, and all the while I knew the marriage was ill-fated. I just didn't know when it would end. His story would sound like your own that I've read, and I just want to say that men and women stay together for so many different reasons, that any one of them may be the real cause of the strange behavior that comes out. 

I had been very honest with my husband from the beginning that I wasn't in love with him, but cared for him deeply. He took his chances that I would grow to love him, but it never happened. I tried. He has since foung a great woman he can love and loves him in return.

If you are really ready to understand what your spouse is going through, let them honestly tell you without fear of attack or abuse and your questions will be answered. Once they can trust you, they can help you grow with them or without them, and they will grow and change without your permission or guidance. Prepare yourselves well to hear them and they will talk. It's killing them, too. I think they forgot to tell us that just because we stop growing taller, doesn't mean we stop growing up. It's a life-long journey and it's real tough to move in the same direction. Hope this helps.

Cary

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Dear Broken & Waiting & Kathryn,

Thank you for the support. I have tried to keep a positive attitude about my situation. I have continued going to therapy and realize that this is my husbands problem. It is still a very painful situation. It seems I spend most of my time either trying to find the ultimate answer to this midlife crisis problem or crying. I finally got my husband to go to counseling and he just cried the whole time saying he still cared for me but has lost his love for me. The day after the session I found out that he has been dating his secretary. I thought my husband was the only one going through this and not having an affair, but I guess I was wrong. Somehow this changes everything. I still believe that he has a lot of emotional problems, but I can't get past the other women. I was so angry I told him he could have the divorce even though I didn't mean it. How much longer can I wait and continue to deal with all the pain. This just isn't fair to any of us. I continue to pray, but I am starting to lose hope.

Getting stronger

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Dear KW

You questioned, we all said we do everything together. I guess we all thought of our husbands as best friends. My husband and I DID do everything together. I personally HATE to shop, my husband loves to shop. Every time he wanted to go shopping he would ask me. I went because I wanted to be with him, not because I wanted to shop. Our daughters told me I was a very unusual mom, because I hated to shop. I guess I'm surprised at your comment, "we do everything together". Are you not supposed to be best friends? My husband and I were. Until lately........... I to this day am still so confused I don't know what to think. WE did do everything together. He did however go 2 times a year to my brothers place and went four wheeling. He went on business trips and went fishing with his friends. But he ASSUMED I would be mad if he told me he was going. HUH?????? Our girls are grown and gone. I didn't want him gone ALL the time, but once in awhile was ok. That gave ME time. But he felt guilty so therefore I was like his mother where he felt he had to ask permission.. NEVER did he ask or have to ask permission. I felt we were partners in this. i basically did what I wanted to do and he did the same. But, he felt guilty leaving me, so therefore it was my fault !!!!! I love my husband with all my heart, and would take him back in a heartbeat. I am not ugly, fat or undesirable. I know I could could anybody else. I WANT MY HUSBAND BACK, THAT IS WHO I WANT. But I at this time have no control of my life in that regard. We WERE best of friends, and YES WE did everything together. Why so surprised? That is the way I, as I'm sure most women who are going through this were raised. The man and the children come FIRST. I admit, since my husband has gone, I have done things and come home late that he wouldn't have approve of. But in the same token he told me to do. Like I can fend for myself, you don't have to come home and cook. But I would leave leftovers and in the fridge, and when I got home he would say "I a hungry boy" so I would still have to cook. I would feel guilty because I wasn't hear to cook at the right time. That is the generation we are from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Women's LIB doesn't change it all. And all of us women don't believe and support everything women's LIB stands for. We want equal pay for EQUAL job. If a women CAN'T do EVERYTHING a man can do on the job, then she shouldn't be doing it. Forget being at female at that point. She shouldn't be there. THAT is as far as I believe women's LIB goes.

Broken and Waiting

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I have enjoyed a visit to your site. I have recently become unemployed because of the bankruptcy of a large company I was working with. The Internet is such a large domain, I was wondering if there was a sight dedicated to job listings, resume listings etc. for those in the same situations.

Thank-you very much.

Larry

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Larry, I know there are sites for job listings and resumes; I'm just not sure where they are. You can go to www.metacrawler.com and type in jobs, resumes, maybe even--over 40, and see if you get some hits. Also, I'm posting your question here, and maybe some of my other guests will know where to look.

Good luck--Mike

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February 20, 1999

This past weekend I (age 48) had a real bomb dropped on my head. My wife (age 38) has been keeping the financial books at our house for two years since I have been commuting 4 hours a day back and forth from my job - she had more time to care for these things. We've been married for two years, both having come from other marriages - I was divorced when we met, she wasn't.

This weekend, I discovered that she has drained our savings account, about $6K, and has been bolstering the checking account with credit checks which she was signing my name to. She has put us $7K in credit card debt by doing this. I have always maintained a cash system and know the problems and money wasted on credit card debt. I have always paid off my purchases so as not to accrue any interest charges. She understood this.

I trusted her as she always informed me that we were in good financial shape and that the accounts were being taken care of. All this time she has been deceiving me. She just lied time after time, even making up stories. Recently I was explaining the problems that can come with credit card debt to my son - and she was backing me up and saying how good it is not to be free of being in debt at high interest rates - knowing full well that we were in debt. I can't yet believe what she has done.

I was remiss at not keeping a closer eye on the situation - that's what I get for trusting her. I hate to admit this, but this is not the first time she has lied to me about finances, and we had a very bad situation before we married that I forgave her for, and explained that if it ever happed again, that she lies to me, that would end our relationship. Well now she has. At that time she said she learned an important lesson and that she would never lie to me again...obviously another lie.

She says she loves me and that I am a good man and treat her very well, that I mean everything to her, and she can't explain why she did this, just that she did to cover expenses.

My problem now is that I can't trust her anymore. I have forgiven her on three occasions where the problems and deceit have been profound - two of those for money issues. I can't say that I feel the same toward her anymore, and actually feel as though I want to get her out of my life before she drags me too far down. I love her, but I don't like her for what she has done. This was calculated lying and plain deceit, even after I explained to her that lying is the worst thing she can do to me. How could our relationship have meant anything to her? It didn't stop her from doing this after I told her what the consequences would be. What would motivate her to do this?

My home now is no longer a nice place to be. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

Sincerely, Looking for some justification for deceit

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I am 46, a professional female making about $60K a year. For the past several years I have been very unhappy with corporate life and am to the point where my poor attitude is affecting my performance. I want to make a career change but am afraid to break out of the comfort zone. How have other professionals coped with such a change ie. loss of income, getting training for a totally new profession, dealing with non-acceptance of change from spouse. I would love to discuss with and hear views from others on this subject. Thank you.

Deb

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Broken and waiting: as I read your letter, I thought to myself... that is me, I could have written that letter .. we are the same ages, my husband is going through mlc, he has wanted to move out, but is not sure. so he is still at home, but he is not sure that he wants to continue with the marriage anymore, he does not think that he loves me anymore ... but he is not completely sure he wants to end this marriage ... I don't know what to do. I love him very much, our children are young, 10 and 7. I just hope that he will come to his senses and soon. Hurting

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Getting stronger: Hang in there, I am going through the same thing and understand how devastating it is and what a nightmare it is. I too am hoping that my husband come to his senses soon - this seems to happen to marriages where one spouse is more dominant/vocal and the other passive/reserved - and after years of keeping things inside the 'quiet' one errupts with all these resentment, unresolved hurts/anger and if the timing is right ... have a blazing mlc. That's my analysis ... any truth to it?? Hurting

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I just stumbled onto this site this morning. I am amazed at how familiar all these stories are. My husband has said the exact same things to me...I am too controlling, he is in love with a 21 year (3 years older than our son), he hasn't loved me for 2 years, for 5 years, for 12 years. Is there a magic solution out there? Am I going to have to divorce this man, whom I love dearly? He is driving me nuts!

NC

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LU: do not mess with a married man. find the kindess in your heart and tell him to go home and talk to his wife. behind every married man in pain and misery is a wife who is probably in just as much pain and misery. You are young and have a whole life in front of you. Do not mess with a maried man - he comes with bagages of pain/misery/memories etc. find someone who is traveling 'lighter' . Hurting

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A year and a half ago my wife went through a midlife crisis yes my wife, women have then too. My story sounds much like a lot of other ones I have read here. I worked very hard to resolve our problems, and after 2 ½ months she came back. This site was one of the things that kept me sane during that tough time, but in reality until the person in crisis solves there problems there isn't much you can do. Just don't do anything stupid and what ever you do don't give up keep kicking and screaming to the end, my wife came back just when I thought all was lost. And now we are just about to adopt 2 children and life couldn't be much better.

Much happier now

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February 27, 1999

I am a first-timer to your site and like so many of your respondents confused about my feelings. I'm 54, two kids raised, and want to begin a new and challenging chapter in my life. Have experienced a very sad and devasting blow personally with an ill sister and am dealing with aging parents living in my town - I guess the classic "looking at my own mortality in the face" issue. Have my own home-based business but looking for more in the way of new experiences. I love my husband, but he is very conservative, task-oriented and is puzzled by my restlessness and sadness. I want to climb mountains; he wants to mow the grass; I want to sail; he stresses about the finances. Am I totally selfish to want more out of life? Do I flee to Albuquerque to spsend my birthday with a good friend or do I tow the line hoping for a fun birthday with my spouse. My husband loves me deeply and I feel the same for him, but I'm so antsy. i believe that what worked in the first 30 years of marriage when our kids were young won't necessarily work in the next 30 if we're to keep the spark alive. Any suggestions? Thanks..."Thoroughly Confused in Texas"

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Dear Hurting: I sure wish I had an answer or at least some positive thoughts for you. But I don't. I thought I was dealing with this thing, but come to find out I'm not doing so well. Just today I had to go to the Dr. for severe depression. I hate taking any medication. But if it helps I'll try. My husband (Mike) won't admit he is in any state of depression or MLC. This is a sickness which he has to admit before anyone can help him. I know it must be really difficult with two small children. But at least they are around to keep your mind occupied. My girls are grown and gone. And now so is my husband. I have tried to keep busy, join things go place but it just seems to make me realize more and more that he left. We did everything together, we were like one until about 2 years ago. Everyone friends and family says he loves me very much but is confused. That really doesn't help, does it? To my knowledge he doesn't have a girlfriend, just says he is unhappy and is not sure he loves me anymore. Its hard being alone. I have alot of family (his and mine) and friends but they can't help. I have never asked anyone for help in my life. I usually give. But if someone could help now I'd sure as hell ask. I wish you all the luck and patience I feel we are all going to need. Broken and Waiting

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Kay, and Alice.

Over 16 years ago I to believed that I had a good marriage. My husband was loving, and would always say sweet things to me. However, he went on a skiing trip (because he was burned out from working so hard) and on his return two weeks later, announced that he didn't think that he wanted to be married anymore. I had three children age 14, 7 and 18 months, and was raising a son of his age 14 ½. Well I thought that he had lost his mind, or something. He was losing his mind alright. He was in love with another women, she worked in his office. He loved me and the children, but he was IN LOVE with her. I didn't know what to think, the pain was so very intense that I felt shattered to my very core. I didn't understand where things had gone wrong, and searched for the answer. I got it, he said that she was bright, and fun and very independent. He had freedom when he was with her, and felt trapped with me and the children. I cried, and he left. He set up house with her, and I prayed that God would open his eyes and let my husband come to his senses. He was throwing it all away. Please let him realize that it is me that he loves, and please put my family back together. Well it is 16 years later, I went on to a new life, and a new career, the children are 31, 24, and 18. They are well adjusted, educated, and good people. We make it, we were still a family without him. I realized that if he had loved me, as I loved him he would never have allowed someone else to come into his life. So, I let him go. The children still had a father, and a mother. The difference was that we lived in different houses. I had the children with me so I was always a very vital part of their lives. Their father had them once a month and when ever he could find the time to spend with them. They say a mother who picked herself up by her boot straps, and made a good life for herself and for them. He has lost a great deal in leaving his family, and now at 51 has this woman that he left me for and married , leaving him. Life, it is not always what we plan, but it can be what you make of it..... Thanks,

MICKEY 

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Hello, I want to write to you regarding your internet site but I cannot send it via your return response. I am corresponding from work and I can only send email through their email system. Anyway, can you let me know if you received this email and if this would be an appropriate way to correspond? Thanks in advance.

Linda

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Linda, Go http://www.hotmail.com and open an email account FOR FREE that you can use without using the company email. we look forward to hearing from you.

Mike

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I came across this site while searching for answers to why my husband had left me. After reading some of the stories from other people I have come to realize that my situation is not that much different from others. My husband and I have been married for 18 years. He recently turned 42 and I am 39. We have one daughter who is 6 years old.

In the years that we've been married my husband would be very moody at times. He would buy a new car (sometimes without my knowing). That would fix things for awhile, until the car wasn't a novelty anymore then he would want another car. But in the last few years I think he had gotten worse. Even a new car wouldn't make him feel good for long. He would complain about how much he hated the house and his job. He would yell at me for little things and say "Why don't you just think?". He has also been taking diet pills for the last 3 to 4 years and began dying his hair. I think he is unhappy with himself and having a difficult time getting older.

A few weeks before Christmas he was depressed and very withdrawn. I thought it was just time for something new again. He had been talking about how he wanted to sell the house and move, so I thought that was it. Well, 2 days after Christmas he told me that he was leaving me. I was shocked. I just couldn't understand. I never thought that he would leave me. He was very angry. He blamed me for everything. He said I forced him to do this and felt that I didn't love him anymore. He said his life was boring and that the only things that kept him from doing this sooner was his daughter and that he had no other place to go. I felt so guilty. I did a lot of soul searching and played things over and over in my mind, thinking what I could have done differently. I have been doing a lot of reading through the internet and books. I know that I am not perfect and there are things I could have done that maybe would have prevented him from leaving. But I've learned that I am not responsible for the problems he is going though and the way he feels. Some books that have helped me are "Men in Midlife Crisis", "Hope for the Separated" and "When a Mate Wants Out". Also I found an article on the internet at http://friends-lovers.com/articles/midlife.html that was very helpful. I read it whenever I need a little reassurance. I regret that I didn't have this information sooner maybe things could be different. I've told my husband that I love him and want him back, but he is very cold towards me. He has filed for divorce and tells me that he doesn't feel the same way about me and that he wants to start a new life. I really believe in marriage. I think it can work and I don't want to give up. I begged him to go to counseling with me but he refused. I know I can't change the way he feels. It's his problem and I can't fix it. I'm trying to learn to go on with my life. I have a little daughter to take care of. She is doing fine but I still feel that this must be hurting her in some way.

Gina

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Just came across your column today and attached some articles in email to my husband who is deep in mid-life crisis. I hope they help and he doesn't disregard.

We are geographically separated for the timebeing and military. We have had so far 14 moves in 18 years and the last four years we have been on the move every 9 months. As a result, I have feelings of instability and insecurity. It's intensified since my husband started his mid-life crisis. Home was where we were as a family but I was not feeling "family." I feel like the lost sheep. I don't know where home is anymore. I am tyring to work my way back to him and praying we will be able to overcome his crisis and find each other again. I feel like I am in my own midlife crisis. If I knew where home was, I would probably leave him for good but that insecurity keeps me hanging on. It's an awful feeling. I am sure he is feeling the same. He is near the end of his career and is probably dealing with what to do next and where do we retire? I've been searching for answers. I realize there is no absolute answer or is there?

Another question to be answered: What is the average length of time for midlife crisis? I don't want to lose my husband but one can only hang on and fight for so long!

Hanging in there,

Barbara

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Hi, I am a college student in Ohio, I have been looking over this web page and have become very moved with everyone's situations, as I can relate it with my own. Most of my life my father has always been changing jobs, and moving around a lot. Four years ago, he received a position out-of-state. It took three years for our house to sell before my mother, sister, and I could be reunited with him. During that time we saw him maybe every other weekend if that, and only for one day. Also during that time, he rented a place with three other men, all who were in their twenties and early thirties. My father is approaching 45. I know he went to the bars a lot after work and did a lot of hanging out with the "guys". Finally, after three years, we were all back together, a family again, or so I thought. In all actuality, we are a family who doesn't know each other, when he left, I was just starting high school, and when we met again, I was in college. My 16 year old sister who was once daddy's little girl is now so angered by him she shutters when he tries to speak to her or even come close to her. But who worries me the most is my mom. 

She is a caring, loving, supportive mother and wife of 47; with a self-esteem level of zero. My father has recently told her that he doesn't love her anymore, that he hasn't for a long time and that he wants a divorce. What upsets us the most is my father doesn't even want to try to make things work or keep the family together. I believe he is afraid to go to counseling because he doesn't want to hear of his faults. He knows he has them and he is scared. 

My dad has always had a temper and he in the past has verbally abused us. However, I don't blame him, I know his childhood wasn't picture perfect, his father physically abused his mother, and they divorced, leaving his mother to take care of four children. I know my dad feels bad for the way he acts, and my heart goes out to want to reach him. However he doesn't seem to want to be reached. Ever since, he had to learn to live with us three girls again, I think he feels older. For three years he got to live the life of a bachelor and he doesn't know how to give it up for his family. He works a lot of overtime, then comes home smelling of alcohol. He will think of anything just to get him out of the house when he is home. I don't think he would be unfaithful to my mom but I also have a lot of trust in him. He's done things like bought a guitar, talked about dieing his black hair blond, and gambled away a substantiably large amount of money, in the past year. 

My mom constantly is depressed and down on herself because of my dad. He is so stubborn about his inadequecies that he refuses to go through counseling, he says it's too late. Is it too late? He seems to be hiding all of his feelings and emotions behind a beer bottle. And he refuses to believe that he is going through a midlife crisis. My mom fears that he is becoming an alcoholic and I feel that my mom is losing every bit of strength in her. She has already once came close to suicide. My 16 year old sister, says she hates my father and it hurts me. It is so hard for me to deal with all of this being at school. I try to be there for everyone but it's rough. I'm just really worried about the well being of my family and would appreciate any advice I can get or give to my family, I feel like I am the only one who can help, but only I'm getting no where..

"Searching For Relief"

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March 5, 1999

I had just found this sight by accident because I was looking for an answer to my husband's behavior. After reading these other stories, I feel my husband is going through a MLC at the early age of 32. I am 33. I met my husband when he was 19, and I had 2 small children from my previous abusive marriage. My second husband and I were married at the age of 21. He accepted my first two children as his own. Two years ago, both of us had a one night fling and each found out. We were both extremely sorry and things were looking better. Unfortunately, I slipped into a depression and had many paranoid jealous thoughts. Over these two years my husband started making many drastic changes in himself, even his family and friends have noticed. He's changed jobs 3 times in the last 4 months. He has always been a devoted, responsible worker. Now, at his present job he works with a lot of younger people. I knew we were having problems, but he always said he loved and cared about me and didn't want me to leave. Then several weeks ago, BOOM, he told me he doesn't love me. Said he still cares and doesn't want to hurt me, but that he wants to find someone to love. I am so heartbroken, I don't know what to do. However, I do start therapy next week. I'm trying to hold on to hope that someday we will get through this, but my hope is fading fast. Is there anyone out there who was in a similar situation and has made it back to each other. How did you conduct yourself? Did you keep letting him know you were fighting for him or did you let him go? Does he regret what you went through? It would be easier to let go if no children, mortgage, loans, etc., were involved. I pray everyday that he will see that his family loves him and is where he belongs. Any suggestions anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated. Before I crack.

Kathi

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Dear" Hurting", and "Broken and Waiting"

Boy can I relate. My husband of almost 10 years suddenly moved out two weeks after Christmas. He says he no longer feels love for me, is no longer attracted to me, and recently has begun to blame me for every wrong ever done to him in his life! He says he's been unhappy two years, then it was 4, now he says 6. He says that the first half of his life he was "bossed around" by his mother, and the second half of his life he was "bossed around" by me. He "can't believe that I didn't know how unhappy he'd become." I am willing to take my part of the blame for our drifting apart, and have done everything I could to bring him back---I've apologized, I've begged, I've flirted, I've sent him love songs, I even wrote him a poem. "It's too late," he says. Is there another woman? Several! Get this--my husband, in his unhappy/lonely state--has become addicted to the internet, and has begun relationships with women through chat rooms! I found out this has been going on since October. In fact, my husband--who I always respected for his honesty--has actually gone out-of-state twice to meet face-to-face some of these women. He spends hours on chat lines, and even accesses my home computer when he comes to visit our 3-year-old daughter. In spite of all that he has done to me, I want him back. I love him more than ever. But I feel I have no control over the situation. He treats me with such coldness. It's as if he justed hit the OFF button to his feelings. He can barely even be civil. My doctor prescribed an antidepressant for me, but it hasn't helped. All I seem to be able to do is cry. I hurt so bad. I don't want to be divorced. And my daughter deserves better. Is there any hope? Are there any success stories out there? Or am I hoping for something that is never going to happen? 

"chatroom widow"

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Dear friends, as I was reading some of the mail at this site, I was shocked at how similar they all are. I went through the same experience about 4 yrs. ago and my ex said and did almost the exact same things these other men did. We were married for 29 yrs., he was a deacon in our church, we had two great kids and I thought a pretty good life. Suddenly he decided he didn't love me anymore and wanted his freedom. Of course there was another woman, an old girlfriend from 30 yrs. ago. Well, I wish I could say there was a happy ending to this story,but there isn't one. He divorced me, married her but his life hasn't been very happy either. I had a nervous breakdown and it almost destroyed our family and my life. I've picked myself up and gone on with my life, but there is something I'd like to know do men ever admit they were wrong and adknowledge their problem. If there is such a man out there I sure would like to hear from him.

J.

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Does it ever stop hurting? Do the tears dry up? I've lost my best friend, father of my children, lover, husband, campanion and soulmate. I do understand but can't face reality....why won't he tell anybody. Why does he come over daily, see his son?Kisses and hugs for me then he goes back to his apartment. Sleeping without him is not peaceful....He is a prime suspect. Oldest child, only male, religious upbringing, straight A's, great provider, willing to assume house husband role so I can pursue my career which is not worth having, always took care of everybody else. He feels batter and abused by me, asked for seperation, comes back constantly, I'm a softy and allow this after all this is his house????

JC

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Is there anyone out there who has returned to school, received a degree after torturing themselves for 2-4 years and discovered the new career they chose is really not what they thought it was going to be??? I am currently do a research paper on midlife career changes and would like to include anyone interested in this area. I find I am not alone, I did not take the time to view the career options too well, did not receive educational counseling, nor did I find the adequate books to educate myself before spending time & money on a career that I'm now doubting. Please respond if you're in this situation and if you are available to participate in a survey - I would greatly appreciate your time! Thanks 

"Still Searching"

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I am relating to so much of the pain that I am seeing in the people who have written. My situation is a little different in that I am not married, but am in a long term (Many years) relationship. Suddenly a few months after asking for marriage he didn't know what he wanted anymore. I have been receiving mixed messages from him for the past six months. I am thankful we do not live together because it probably would be over. I have been his personal yo yo for a long time. I discovered that I was destroying myself trying to make things right for him. I am in counseling and recently resorted to antidepressants to cope. I am much better now and know that he is the only person who can get through this. I can't do it for him. When I am around, he doesn't want me there, but when I back off he's there trying to get my attention . He needs to seek help and knows this. I can not be his therapy. The pain that this MLC has put me through has taught me valuable lessons and for that I thank God. It is with God's strength that I have endured these months and will get through what ever is in store for us. I have never stopped loving this man or respecting him. I know he is in the last throws of this crisis, but this coud last a while. I realized when it got to this point that he had been going through difficulty for about five years. He is 37 years old, but has always stated he is older than his years and this is very true. I have read many books on the subject since last August and there is no doubt he is in MLC. Thank you for listening. Just writting this out and knowing that I am not the only one who has felt like an emotional wreck because of MLC has been helpful. Bless you. 

KH

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To all those whose marriages are crumbling away in midlife:

Seven years ago, the day before our 25th anniversary, my husband moved out to live with his young girlfriend. I'd discovered his affair a week earlier. I knew he was feeling anxious about his live, and his job, but I had no idea he was having an affair.

Like many of you, I believed that his affair had litte to do with me, or with the reality of our marriage. I looked and looked for someone who would explain midlife to him, so he could start to move from worldly success into the unexplored depths of his soul, and not have to turn his outer life upside down. But he didn't want to try; he was "in love," and the woman he'd met was "the love of his life," and so he left.

If I saw him on the street today, I'd want to ask, "What have you done with the man I loved?" It was as though overnight he turned into a different person, rejecting his ties to me and to our children.

So then I was suddenly in my own midlife crisis. And I had to become a different person, living with different financial and personal realities.

I can't bring myself to say I'm glad it happened. There was too much pain, and the children have entered adulthood without their father's guidance.

But if your spouse is leaving you, you are now in your own crisis. Take care of yours, and leave your partner's crisis to him or her. That's harsh, but you need to be able to move into your own future. You can, because you must.

--Been There.

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Searching For Relief

What a lucky mom you have to have a daughter like you. PLEASE look in your phone book for Al-Anon. I'm sure they have meetings near you where ever you are. I would reccomend it for your mom and sis,too- they have meetings for various ages. I know you're worried about your mom- but, as the daughter of two alcoholics, and a recovering alcoholic myself, I urge you to get some help for yourself. I was searching this site for some advice or comfort for my own midlife crisis man- I'm 48, married 26 years, TERRIFIED, and just got home from a 6:oo al anon meeting, and 8:00 AA mt. Support groups are vital for crises like these. Hope you find some comfort there

Tricia

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Deb, I saw your message and am in a similar situation, although I'm male and turn 40 this year. I too am a corporate professional (manager) and trying to determine if the feelings I have been having with boredom and desire for change are driven by a burgeoning MLC or another problem with my career. I have lost some of the passion for my job and have put out some exploratory feelers for a job in another part of the company, doing something completely different, with possibility of relocation. I can easily (and have) create a list of reasons I want a new job, such as "need a new challenge", but I still have a lingering sense that maybe this is really the cause of just this point in my life---and I don't want to blow what so far has been a good career. Another factor is that I have now been married 13 years, and while I feel my relationship with my wife is OK (no affairs of any kind, physical or emotional) I would be lying if I said I'm not a little bored---which is certainly more of my own fault than my wifes. We are also having some problems with my oldest child, creating some very stressful situations and contributing to my overall sense of angst. For the past few weeks I have been mildly depressed---as soon as I get home from work, I want to, and have, turn right around and go find something more interesting to do than to be at home. Have been thinking about seeing a doctor and trying an antidepressant---can you tell i'm reaching for something here---just don't know what, and don't want to make a mistake that can screw up my life. If anyone out there has been here/done this, pls advise!

TT

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March 13, 1999

I just accidently came across your site about two weeks ago completely without trying. I want to first congratulate you on your insight of providing a place for the "fifty year olds" to communicate with each other. I especially enjoyed your article about turning fifty and the celebration of that year. As I am also turning fifty on the seventh of September this year, this upcoming birthday has caused some uneasy feelings to surface. The first being, I can remember being twenty and saying "Fifty is Old!" and here I am all of a sudden. And gee, I sure don't feel as old, as that age appeared to me, so long ago. I still feel young, I just don't run or remember things as well as I use to, that's all. Life has given me, it's share of ups and downs, from miscarriages to divorces to remarriages, but it has also been so good to me. I am expecting my first grandchild in July and I am so excited. This grandchild's mother was and still is my problem child (she's my middle child ... I don't need to say more). God has such a sense of humor, because the day I found out, my daughter almost caused me to have a traffic accident. She said I have to go to the doctor, Mom and don't ask any questions!!! My first thought, what's wrong ... she starts to cry and says "I'm pregnant". Now, I'm from the age of hippies ... the first public generation that lived together. But, all of a sudden, my mother had climbed into my body! My child just told me, she's going to have a baby and she's not married. The two thoughts just didn't compute. I was stunned! Her modern mother was in a panic along with her middle child. I wanted to cry too. The startling part of all this, is my daughter and I are closer than ever, because her decision was to keep that child no matter what, and my decision was to stand behind her no matter what she chose. God, had his hand in this because she is maturing before my very eyes. Also, this age has brought me another wonderful gift. I will see my oldest daughter get married in May. She is my firstborn. Life cycle, yes, does has had many valleys for me, but for each valley, life also given me many mountain tops too. For the many writers that have written, my message I want to say. I have experienced the pain of an ended marriage, my first marriage ended after 17 years together. To this date, I can't really give the reasons why, except to say we had just quit communicating with each other. Different doors closed and pain and anger kept them from being reopened. I blamed our marriage ending on our lack of trying or wanting to try, I even called it "Mid Life Crisis". I wanted more from my exhusband. I wanted to be part of his life and I wanted him to be a part of mine, instead we both settled for being like two railroad tracts, running side by side, but never crossing until finally, one day, we couldn't even find the love we had felt for each other, which lead to indifference of each others feelings and finally to divorce. I have been divorced from my first husband for over twelve years and we still can't talk with each other. There is a distance that will never be overcome. It's a heavy price to pay. Yet, I have been blessed to find another man to come into my life and share it. He has helped raise my children for ten years, helping me and fighting with me every step of the way. He has been instrumental in who my children have become, and I feel very blessed. I just wanted to say this, and I hope there are other "fifty year olds" out there that feel blessed like me. Sue B. 

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Can I ask all of you women who seem to read this page for some advice please?

I am an English 36 year old married man with a wonderful eight year old daughter.

My wife is 37 and we have been married 10 years. She is currently feeling very low and trapped she claims I am to 'clingy' and that I need to give her more space. We seem to get along fine at times, we never argue, and then she puts up this barrier between us. She rushes around the house doing all the day to day things that need to be done, and when I try to help she tells me 'No it's fine,' or If I do try and help, I usually do things wrong.

I know she feels that after the last 8 years of bringing up our daughter she has a little more freedom now. She has taken to going out to night clubs and bars with her friends. I know for sure that she is not having an affair, we have talked and talked a lot and I know that It's just the attention from other men that she finds flattering. I encourage her to go out whenever she wants to and she doesn't neglect us at home, I'm just scared that she WILL meet someone else.

The problems we are having are very deep rooted, and not helped with me losing my mother to cancer about a year ago. I have offered to leave but couldn't go through with it. She has threatened to leave but won't leave our daughter alone, It's all very difficult. She has told me that she does not find me interesting anymore and though she does tell me she loves me she is pushing me away. She says I should go out more and "Get a life" but in the past when she needed me more, she stopped me going out at all and seemed very jellies of my freedom. She has turned me in to what I am and now says she doesn't like it. The more she pushes me away the more desperate and clingy I get.

I love her more than life itself and can not imagine surviving without her. I just need to regain some of that sparkle we once had. Of course sex has now stopped which is very important to me and I end up lying next to her in bed and desperately trying not to touch her. If I try and hold her or stroke her she seems to freeze. I know she has sexual needs, it's just that I'm not involved with her needs at the moment

I think deep down she does have feelings for me, or is she just trying to face up to a life with a man she doesn't love simply to safeguard our daughter.

Is she having a mlc and will it get better ?

Please help

Dave

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In response to "Much happier now". From reading the notes on this web site, I think my husband of 12 years is going through mlc. He told me a week ago that he still loves me but is not in love with me anymore. He wants me to give him time to think. He said he hasn't been happy for over a year but didn't want to hurt me. I have never been so hurt in all my life. He is 38 and I'm 36. We have no children. I wish we did so I could be strong for someone. I read most of the letters and I was happy when I found yours. I will wait and give my husband the time he needs. He doesn't want to move out although he did ask me for a divorce last weekend and I said no. He has agreed that if it's not working out that we would get a separation before a divorce. I pray that he gets his head clear. I can't concentrate at work or at school (we both work full-time and go to college full-time). Both our families are many miles away but I have been able to talk to them over the phone. My sister suggested we go to counseling but he said he won't. I have noticed one thing about these letters - we are best friends with our spouses. My husband & I did everything together. I hope that wasn't a mistake. I differently love him more than I did when I married him and can't bear to think of losing him. I hope everything works out just like you & your wife. Thank you for the inspiration. -Confused & Crying-

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Hello. I too am broken hearted, waiting, and quite literally dying inside. My husband, age 35, entered into mlc last May, an affair, and even lived with her for about a month before coming back home...the affair continues online. My story is much like all of yours. No need to repeat. I have found answers...there are several wonderful books on men in mlc. Lavish your love on your men, never demand, criticize, make ultimatums (sp?), be someone he'll want to be around, for example never cry or be depressed in front of him, be his FRIEND, play, and WE are in competitionwith the other female, act like you just met and are trying to win him, get rid of the white cotton panties, always look your best, and if he's home with you, ignore, ignore, ignore the affair...behave toward him the way you fell--loving! I don't know how our marriage will end up, but the above information is working better then all the other things I've tried...oh yeah, and keep praying...GOD hates divorce.

PG

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Hello to everyone!

My name is Linda, I too, have been dealing with my husbands MLC for the past two years. So many of your stories are so much like mine. I didn't know that it could enter a man so young, and at the time, he was 33. I married the most genuine man in the whole world, and I still believe that in him. We had the perfect marriage, according to everyone that knew us. Even my husband couldn't figure out why he was doing the things he was doing, and feeling the way he was feeling. At the time, Our 8 year old was involved with a child phsyciatrist who was counseling him. She had said that if this marriage were to break up, it would be a crying shame because HE was going through a MLC. Little did I know at the time, but I read every bit of information out there to learn exactly what it was he was going through. As of now, we are currently divorced. I held on to every shiver of hope, but he assured me that he no longer was in love with me and for me to go on with my life. I did, which is probably what brought him back. We are now living together, still unmarried, and our 3 sons don't even know about the divorce. He is still working the same job as he has been for the past 13 years. He is still hoping to climb up that corporate ladder of success. SHE still works there too, yes, he had a fling two years ago too, it was his easy way out of a very confused world. At this time, we plan to remarry, however, he isn't ready yet. We have both been through a lot. We have both changed considerably. We have a long ways to go. I am saddened by the many of us that go through these horrible tough times in life, and so many of us end up losing so much for ourselves and our kids. Had it not been for that child phsyciatrist, I may have never held on for as long as I had. I was never much into the bible either, but I did want to know what God had intended for us in marriage. I learned that those vows I spoke nearly 16 years ago weren't just words. "To have and to hold, from this day forward, For better for worse, for richer for poorer, In sickness and in health, til death do us part"!!! How true they are. When has anything in any of our lives ever been easy. We have to strive and accelerate in our jobs, we have to work hard, day in and day out, to raise and teach our children,. We certainly can't give up so easily on them, can we? I am not a preacher, my life is far from perfect. In fact, I was very robbed as a child. I am no better than anyone else, and I don't have all the answers, I just wanted to let others, like me, know, that we can get through these tough times and sometimes, make it together. I don't believe in divorce, hardest thing in my life that I have ever done is end this marriage. But, for some reason we are now together. And in his high moments, he thanks me daily for sticking by him. He is fully aware now that he had and still is going through some real tough times in his life, but if I give up on him, who does he have? I hoped he would search for his inner soul and look to God for the strength he needed, but instead, I did just that. I'm not saying that we will be together for the rest of our lives, but I am saying that as long as there is one willing partner, the hope is still there. I believe that I am a better person after all that has happened in our lives. I didn't realize just how much I could handle. I have had to listen to many hurtful things from friends that just can't understand why I would ever take him back. Hey, "he that has never sinned, cast the first stone" We are all human, we all make mistakes, God knows, I have. Do what you believe in, do what your heart tells you to do. In some cases, it really is best to "get out" but for many of us, hanging on, really, is the only answer. Thanks for listening to my story. Perhaps I will not have any positive feedback, but just by me being able to express my thoughts out there to you who have gone through it, or are going through it, already has helped me a great deal. Take care, and God Bless!!! Linda

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My husband is going through the mid-life crisis. He is 45 years old and seeing a 25 year old he works with. I've known for a little over a week and am not handling it well. I am 44 years old, we were high school sweethearts and have been married 23 years. 

He wants to move out, but finances really won't allow it at this time. But I do believe he's trying to figure out how he can do it. After reading this site, I am going to try to be more calm, and be more independent and live my life and just let him know I'm here for him. I love him with all my heart and soul but it hurts so badly I don't know how I can stand it.

Scared in Cincinnati

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I have found a great book to empower my fellow MLC survivors!! The title is "Divorce Wars!" by Bradley A. Pistotnik. I'm afraid we all must be aware that although, as mine says, "I'll make sure you're taken care of" that is probably not going to be the case. This book lays out, in a six month plan, how to find out what we need to know so we can take care of ourselves, should the dreaded divorce actually occur- and, if it doesn't, we'll at least feel in control of our own lives. I am 48, married 26 years- literally have not even balanced my checkbook in that time, let alone know where all the assets are- but after all the tears and thoughts of suicide, (which was my mom's solution to my dads MLC 26 years ago) I have decided I am going out FIGHTING!! As the author says in the book- why shouldn't we get a lot of the money that he'll be spending on his new girlfriend/wife?? I know the pain will ebb and flow- but I feel so much better NOT just sitting around waiting for this man who was my whole life, to decide the course of my future!

Good luck! Tricia

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, too, ran across this web site while looking for answers. I lived with my "knight in shining armour" for 2-1/2 years. He was 43 when we met, and had been single for about 20 years. He embraced my 5 and 7 year old children as if they were his own, and stepped gracefully into the role of "husband" and father.

During our last 6 months together, a friend of his became down on his luck, and started spending the weekends sleeping at our house. I always thought he was the catalyst for the MLC my boyfriend is now in the midst of. The "grass is greener" syndrome - a good friend who can come and go as he pleases, has no one to answer to, no responsibility. Since my boyfriend had lived that life for so many years, and suddenly had me and the two kids to deal with, eventually he just snapped. It was the refrigerator that was the ultimate straw that broke his back. He got mad at me for the Science Projects in the fridge ... I complained (which I rarely did) about the lack of help around the house, and what did he expect? After that fight, I was asked to move. First it was "this isn't working for me, I decided I don't want a family", now it's "I never loved you". I've been gone for 3 months, and up until this week, we have talked almost every day either by phone or email, and we have spent a lot of weekends together. Talk about mixed messages. This week he got mad at me for calling him, and told me to leave him alone. But he called me the next day. All the things I've read here indicate to me that he truly doesn't know what he's doing, and I'm sure he's very angry about that since he's a very "in control" person normally. He must get very angry with himself for picking up the phone and calling me, so he finds some way to push my buttons and turn it around to where we argue and it's my fault. Someone else had mentioned being her man's personal yoyo. That is truly what I am. Friends and family tell me to walk away, but if there is any hope that he'll come out of this, why wouldn't I wait for that to happen? I love him. I get angry at the lack of support from my family - they don't even want to hear about him - and this is the man I wanted to grow old with and who I feel I was waiting for all my life. I had a couple of failed marriages prior to this, so of course I feel responsible. Reading what everyone else has to say about MLC at least made me feel better that it isn't my fault that this has happened to me/is happening to me. But I want so badly to be with him the way I know it could be - the way it was. How long do we wait for these guys to come to their senses?

I was wondering, why is it that only some men seem to go to extremes during their MLC? I have not had good experiences with other relationships. Does a person like me that has problems with men anyway pick a guy who is going to go into extreme MLC? Just a thought.

Lost and Lonely, LT

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I've been mairried for almost 21 years. My husband is 41 and I am 38. We've had our problems (I had an affair 13 years ago which devasted my husband but he wanted me and chose to forgive me. I have been a faithful devoted wife since and look upon that event as the worst mistake of my life. My husbands desperate attempts to win me back, his forgivenss and tender love only made me fall more deeply in love with him than ever). For the past 13 years we have been best friends and close. Anyway, a few months ago, I noticed he was becomming extremely moody and cold. Last month, he finally confessed that his moodyness was due to the fact that God had told him to let go of some girl he had met 10 years ago(Unknown to me-he did tell me about her ten years ago when it was just an infactuation but said he would forget her). Anyway, this girl died in 1995 and he claims he has been able to hear her voice the past three years and 1'2 yrs. He says they never made love but that he was in love with her. Apparently he saw her daily on his route which included the collage she went to. He never went out without me, so I can't see any other times they might have saw each other-maybe talked on the phone. Maybe occasionly but no regular lenthy unexplainable abscenses. After his confession, I found a couple peoms he had written to her that broke my heart because they seemed to indicate something special between them. He is 12 years older than her. He says that he loves me but not like a wife-more like a sister or best friend. He claims he has felt this way for ten years but has stayed with me because he did not want to let me die and because he was 'chicken' feeling that by leaving he may be hurting himself. We both have strong religious views and although he says he doesn't love me with Romantic desire he will stay with me if that is what I want. When I tell him I love him, he always says it back because he says he does love me-just not like a wife. He says he is praying everyday for his love for me to return. By the way, we have no children. Is it possible that he could have stayed with me for ten years feeling the way he does? Espcially in the light that he supposedly loved this other girl. If he truly loved her-wouldn't he have left me? He also told me that before he death, he had a vision of her and me hanging from some cliffs. God said, you can only save one. He said he chose me. Ironicly, she died about 8 months later. Somehow, this event confirms God's dealings with him. He also mentioned that he feels resposisble in someway for her death. By the way, seventeen days after her death, we were up to mall shopping for a computer. A month later, we were going into chat rooms having a bawl laughing etc. I saw no evidence of the pain of someone's love of thier life dying. Could he have hid that pain from me. When this girl died, she had a nineteen year old boyfriend. I am so confused. My husband keeps speaking about trying to firgure out what his place is in life and who he is, what God has for him etc. I'm worred about his state of mind as well- hearing a dead girls voice from the grave. Also lacks joy. He even claimed that this relationship was okay with God because of what I did. Despite everything, I love him with all my heart and am praying desperately for God to restore us. I'm just not sure how to help him. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, sense all this has come out, our love life has been better than ever-two or three times in a day sometime. What is going on here. He is warm and attentive at times-holding my hand etc, but I can see a lack of love in his eyes that used to be there. Also I feel a growing distance between us. He said that by telling me, he feels like he cut the last few strands holding us togather. Of couse, my self esteem plummeted and I'm having a hard time being myself around him. Could this a MLC for him and if so, what can I do to help. Thanks

NB

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March 19, 1999

I've been mairried for almost 21 years. My husband is 41 and I am 38. We've had our problems (I had an affair 13 years ago which devasted my husband but he wanted me and chose to forgive me. I have been a faithful devoted wife since and look upon that event as the worst mistake of my life. My husbands desperate attempts to win me back, his forgivenss and tender love only made me fall more deeply in love with him than ever). For the past 13 years we have been best friends and close. Anyway, a few months ago, I noticed he was becomming extremely moody and cold. Last month, he finally confessed that his moodyness was due to the fact that God had told him to let go of some girl he had met 10 years ago(Unknown to me-he did tell me about her ten years ago when it was just an infactuation but said he would forget her). Anyway, this girl died in 1995 and he claims he has been able to hear her voice the past three years and 1'2 yrs. He says they never made love but that he was in love with her. Apparently he saw her daily on his route which included the collage she went to. He never went out without me, so I can't see any other times they might have saw each other-maybe talked on the phone. Maybe occasionly but no regular lenthy unexplainable abscenses. After his confession, I found a couple peoms he had written to her that broke my heart because they seemed to indicate something special between them. He is 12 years older than her. He says that he loves me but not like a wife-more like a sister or best friend. He claims he has felt this way for ten years but has stayed with me because he did not want to let me die and because he was 'chicken' feeling that by leaving he may be hurting himself. We both have strong religious views and although he says he doesn't love me with Romantic desire he will stay with me if that is what I want. When I tell him I love him, he always says it back because he says he does love me-just not like a wife. He says he is praying everyday for his love for me to return. By the way, we have no children. Is it possible that he could have stayed with me for ten years feeling the way he does? Espcially in the light that he supposedly loved this other girl. If he truly loved her-wouldn't he have left me? He also told me that before he death, he had a vision of her and me hanging from some cliffs. God said, you can only save one. He said he chose me. Ironicly, she died about 8 months later. Somehow, this event confirms God's dealings with him. He also mentioned that he feels resposisble in someway for her death. By the way, seventeen days after her death, we were up to mall shopping for a computer. A month later, we were going into chat rooms having a bawl laughing etc. I saw no evidence of the pain of someone's love of thier life dying. Could he have hid that pain from me. When this girl died, she had a nineteen year old boyfriend. I am so confused. My husband keeps speaking about trying to firgure out what his place is in life and who he is, what God has for him etc. I'm worred about his state of mind as well- hearing a dead girls voice from the grave. Also lacks joy. He even claimed that this relationship was okay with God because of what I did. Despite everything, I love him with all my heart and am praying desperately for God to restore us. I'm just not sure how to help him. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, sense all this has come out, our love life has been better than ever-two or three times in a day sometime. What is going on here. He is warm and attentive at times-holding my hand etc, but I can see a lack of love in his eyes that used to be there. Also I feel a growing distance between us. He said that by telling me, he feels like he cut the last few strands holding us togather. Of couse, my self esteem plummeted and I'm having a hard time being myself around him. Could this a MLC for him and if so, what can I do to help. Thanks

NB

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Hi, Can you please tell me if there are any statistics and what they are for marriages that have resulted from one spouse leaving another for someone else. What are the statistics on this second marriage working out? Thank you, Curious

I too am going thru his mlc. I was told one month ago that he was having an affair with the bartender, he was drinking heavily. We went on vacation together and everything was wonderful but the minute we are back all was not good. He doesn't understand what is happening to him. We have been together 24 years, he is turning 49 and I am 46. He moved out 3 weeks ago to get his head together, no luck so far. Last night I had a long talk with him and found out he is still talking to this other woman, who says all the right things. He says he loves me and still has feelings for me but does not want to come home. He is living by himself. This is the first time in 21 years that I have been alone and am having a hard time with it. Last night I gave him an excellent article on HIS MLC and this morning I talked to him and he said that he read it so much that he memorized it. He also said that the article is him and that he will not do anything foolish or permanent. I love him so much and my love continue's to grow but I cannot be alone everyday and night. I am going thru what I consider the most sensual time in my life and nobody to share with, very, very hard. I will start seeing a counselor tomorrow and try to get him to see the counselor, I hope. I try to be supportive and not nag but sometimes the anger and pain cause my mouth to go into overload. I'm glad I'm not the only one going thru this but the pain and loneliness is starting to get to me. All of my friends are also his friends and married. Thanks for listening to my rattling, I don't sleep or eat, what a way to lose weight.

In Pain

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Is anyone elso noticing a common theme in these letters? The ONLY men who are writing about their love for their wives and their fear that their wives are in MLC and may leave them, are the husbands of the women who are out making lives for themselves, who don't seem to give a damn about their husbands feelings, (in other words, women who act like men!) It's we wives who have vowed to do ANYTHING to make our husbands happy as long as they won't leave us, who are in the most pain- and seem to be the ones being left. Okay, it IS a "man's world" but, if we're loosing the battle anyway, can't we loose on OUR terms??!! If they've shown, as mine has that, despite all my love, pleading, and not complaining as he stays away from home more and more-nothing is changing- can't we become stronger by, at least trying to become someone apart from them?? There are self help groups out there for every available need- and besides getting support thru our pain, we can make some new friends, and, I'm finding that NOT being at home whenever he expects to find me here, has added a little mystery that can't hurt!! I am so tired of the immobilizing pain- and the feeling that my husband's ego seems to be growing as a result of that pain- why not try a new tactict??!

you go girls!! Tricia

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Here is my problem, I have been married to my wife for 11 years now and we have two girls ages 8 and 9. I feel like a tenant in my own home, my wife treats the dog and all here friends better than me. She can't talk to me in a civil voice and does nothing but criticize me. We live in separate worlds and she says I'm not the guy she married and I say she's not the girl I married. Our sex life is basically none existent, maybe once every two or three months at best. We have tried counseling with both a minister and a marriage counselor but when they hit on what I believe is her problem she quits. I have my own problems I know! Some of the things that bother her about me is that I don't help around the house enough, I don't want to go to church with her and the kids. When I try to change, I give up because I give the church thing and helping around the house a try for a while but she doesn't even attempt to give me any respect even an hour after one of our talks. She admits she treats me like dirt. She wants me to spend more time with the family and I try for a while but eventually quit because I just can't stand to be treated like dirt ALL the time even when I'm at my best and doing everything she asked of me. So I ask her, would you want to be around someone who treats you that way? She seams to not want to try. I love my kids and don't want to hurt them but I even feel my wife is turning them away from me. If she has free time, she won't attempt to let me be with the kids, she takes them off to her sisters to play with the cousins. I have tried God, but I'm not married to God, I'm married to a woman who you would think just hates my guts! I have never cheated on her, I make a good living and provide well for my family, I have never abused anyone in my family in any way but she was sexually abused for years by her father who she has forgiven, I think she is taking her hate out on me instead of her father. For months this has been bothering me and I think it may be time to leave, I do love her, I know I do, but she say's she doesn't know if she loves me. In the 11 years of marriage, she has never said she loves me. She say's she's afraid I may become a dead-beat dad and not pay for anything, well, I wouldn't do that, that goes to show you what she thinks of me huh! She say's if I leave one of my daughters would probably care less while the other would be very upset. I just don't know what to do! Please reply soon! I'm opening my own checking account today!

RC

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March 26, '99

Is there certain signs you can look for to be able to tell if your husbands affair is over or about over with out having to ask him?

LG

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How long does a midlife crisis last, usually? My husband is going to be 50 in a couple of weeks, but has been depessed and withdrawn for more than a year. Is there any indication that if one is patient, the marriage can survive, or does it usually end in divorce?

Wondering

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Thanks Mike, Just looking at the things other had to say was a big relief. Now I know what is happening and I feel much better. I'll keep in touch. Scott

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