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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 hearingfrom you.

Midlife Crisis Forum by Year
April-December 1997 January-December 1998 January-December1999 January-December 2000 January-December 2001
Midlife Crisis Forum 2001
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Jaunary-February 2001

January 2, 2001

Dear JB

Thank you for your words of encouragement. It's been 2 1/2 months now and I'm still in a state of shock.  I feel like my whole life has been pulled out from under me. I've had friends that I've helped through this same thing but trust me when I tell you I had no idea it was this bad. There is no way anyone can understand your pain unless they have been through it. THAT I  NOW FOR SURE!  I feel so betrayed by him and he feels so guilty he can hardly face me. I think he's afraid to find a woman yet as the kids would get so mad. I do know for sure there is no other woman yet, but I know it's just a matter of time. 32 years is a life time and now it's gone. He will regret it someday, when it's too late. God Bless you


What the heck is going on in my life???!

I´m a 34-year old guy. Just short of a year ago, I got "divorced" from my girlfriend for the past 10 years. An incredibly UNdramatic parting, that followed 6 months of  hard work on our newly acquired house. We were and still are very different, but we´ve always been  good together, as long as we had a project to work on as a  team. However, the differences caught up with us, and my girlfriend/fiancé suddenly felt it was all too much. She didn´t like the house. Her usual perfectionism and urge to keep our home in perfect shape just vanished overnight, she needed to go out more and more...well, I guess you know the 

I thought she might have an affair going on, but found out that she had a genuine need to be on her own and figure out things for herself. And to be perfectly honest, so did I.

And so 11 months ago, we both agreed that she moved to an apartment of her own, since the house was too expensive, for 
her to live there by herself.We don´t have any kids, just a dog that we´re both very attached to. We still see each other on a regular basis "because of the dog", but of course mostly because we still remain very close. We´ve both been more mature about this whole thing than anybody could expect, and I think that has helped both of us tremendously.We know eachother better than anyone else, and the fact that we can still talk is probably the best "post-seperation counsiling" you can get.
At least that´s what I´m naive enough to think.

I´ve gotten several female friends since my separation, none of which will ever be my wife or girlfriend. But I´ve chosen not to share this with my ex. I know I wouldn´t feel comfortable hearing that she has someone new in her life (serious or not), so I don´t expect her to be if I told her about my relationships. I know this is silly. Or maybe downright devastating to my finding myself. And I also know that neither of us will REALLY move on with our lives before we both admit to one another that we 
(naturally) are seeing other people.

So your question would probably be: Could it be that you´re not done with your relationship?

Well, the strange part is, I don´t see the two of us living together again. We´re simply too different. During the last years of our relationship we simply grew apart. Emotionally, sexually...the works.Every time I feel sad, lonely or just miss the good times we had, I ask myself if I would be willing to go back to my ex to ease the occasional loneliness. And the answer is: No way.

By this point, you might think that she´s going through an MLC of her own. And that may very well be the case.But I believe my own personal problems have also been instrumental in our separation.

After several years in a job and a business that I really believed would be my professional mission in life, the company I worked for changed CEO 3 times in 3 years. Each one of course had their own "vision" and own way of doing business, and I simply got fed up with that.On top of all that, I discovered that one of my colleagues made the equivalent of 3000USD more a month than I...doing the same job.I was pissing a moaning for more than 6 months, and after being mentally AWOL in that period I got sacked.I felt It was probably the best thing that had happened to me in a long time, because it forced me to look into myself and rethink my whole career plan.

Now, 4 years later I´m working with a similar company. 

My job sucks. Big time. I´m very good at what I am doing, but I´m bored, uninspired and worst of all unambitious.My career is going absolutely nowhere. Or so I feel.I´m making very good money, I love my home and my dog and need nothing when it comes to material goods.I have absolutely no problem getting in touch with women, my health is fine, my family is there for me when I need them, and everyone I talk to says I have been dealt the best possible cards when it comes to talent, intellect and 

But I feel like I am trapped in a box.I have that "I wanna buy a sailboat and move to an desolate island"-syndrome.
I spend way too much money on expensive things I really don´t need.I feel a constant urge to be by myself...(I don´t need to hit the local nightclub every weekend, that´s for sure)I get stressed and feel crowded by nothing...I used to have a pretty high threshold before.I often oversleep and come in late at work, because I subconsciously simply don´t want to get up and face the day or my job.I get more and more picky about who I see, and generally start to feel like an old hermit.I meet one beautiful, sexy, intelligent and warmhearted woman after another, but I keep them at an arm´s length.Both emotionally and sexually.

It´s not that I´ve taken a sudden vow of chastity, I just don´t feel like stuffing more skeletons into my closet, and I don´t believe that you get any "free rides" here in life.I´m telling you this because all of my male friends have been nagging me about it."Go for it, man! You have all these incredible creatures throwing themselves at you.. so DO something about it!"

The heart of the matter is that I desperately need some kind of direction in my life.I feel I´m drifting around, just going through the motions not having a dream or a goal to pursue.

And "I don´t have a dream" has been the theme of my life the past 4 years.And the more I am unable to find that dream or passion or goal, the more frustrated and angry with myself I get, and the harder it becomes finding that dream.Of course this has also influenced my ex-girlfriend a lot.

And there you have it: The vicious circle, the cage with no door...or maybe a midlife crisis. Who knows what it is. I just know that I need to find a way out of this.

I recently decided to start my own business.I know, it´s almost a classic. But hear me out.One of my closest friends just did that with great success, and his enthusiasm was so contageous that I, for a brief moment, felt that old familiar passion for my profession again!Now, a couple of months later I´m not so sure.I know that I can´t stay in THIS job much longer, and I know 
that my overall ambitions takes hard work to fullfill, and that the time is now if I want to reach them.I also know that I have the skill and the drive it takes to make it.But since my greatest assets ( my enthusiasm and firm belief in myself) have deminished over the past years, so has my courage.

As one of my friends put it: The reason why you SHOULD quit your job, is the exect reason why you cannot! It sucks the  energy right out of you, so you don´t have the energy to start your own business.

I guess he´s right. I know he is.It´s just like I´m in this negative mode where I see half-empty bottles instead of half-full bottles.
Whoa! Think I´d better end this sobbing tale before you all fall asleep :-)

I know my "I have everything going for me, but I can´t find my dream" sounds like a luxury problem. It may very well be 
to other people.But to me it isn´t.So if you have any kind of input, help, suggestions, experiences that you´d like to share with me, please do so. I´d really appreciate some help with this!

All the best John S.


I found this site while doing research for a paper. I am a 44 year old woman who left my husband of 21 years, two years ago. I see very little in this forum from women who have been the ones to strike out in search of the second half of their lives. I do not feel that I am in "crisis", but I don't get hostile with those that want to call it that. If you read anything about this particular age group, you will find that we are physically strong, more content with our decisions and choices, and generally happy with our ages. I don't think this sounds like a group in "crisis", so much as people striking out to reverse some of the choices made in early adulthood. Do I think we need to be cavalier, irresponsible, callous or inconsiderate when we take these actions? No. I think if you plan, work hard to keep relationships as amiable as possible, there is room for a new type of separation/divorce/marriage ending. I did not leave my ex husband for another man. I left him to make the second, remaining half of my life full of the things I want my life to be. At this point, even my children (18 and 20) are coming to realize that I can make things happen that I could not accomplish within the marriage to their father. I think the many women who write your forum after their husbands have left, must come to the realization that life will never return to what it was. It is a powerful force that leads you to break what your family, society, religious groups, and almost all cultures, recognize as the ideal thing....a nuclear family. There have been many difficulties, but not for one minute, have I regreted leaving my husband. I don't know if this is of benefit to anyone, but it's another perspective. 

Thank you...Susan


Dear MCS,

I can relate to your story and many of the others is this forum.  I have been married for 29 years and my husband left in mid-August.  Moved in the same night with a gal from his work that he had something going on with for 5-6 months at that time.  She is also going through a divorce.  He is going to be 50 next month.  He's having bigtime MLC.  The Harley showed up two weeks before he left and then I found out his girlfriend loves Harleys.  She is 8 years younger and has two small children.  Must be quite a change from our house with a grown and married child.

The night he left he also admitted he had been picking up women in bars for 6-7 years.  He has had multiple women on the string since then.  I never realized what a problem he had.  When I asked him about getting help, he said there was nothing wrong with him.  At least I went for help and my therapist says there is definitely something wrong with him, but it's not my problem.  We have to learn to heal which I'm finding out is not easy at all.
The holidays have been a real challenge.  To everyone suffering through this, I am finding out we are not alone.  Hang in there.  JLH 


Hi- I am an eighteen year old college student who recently discovered that her father has been cheating on his wife, my mother, of twenty years.  It's so crazy to think that your dad could possibly fall out of love with your mother.  I mean, I don't know if I can attribute his bad choices to a MLC or what, but it sure does sound that way.  I am not living at home anymore, but my sixteen year old brother was the first to notice my dad's withdrawl signs.  My brother told me that he met a parapalegic woman over the internet.  (I wasn't shocked because my father has always been interested in handicapped people... not romantically, but he has always been interested in knowing their "stories")  Anyway, he began talking to her, getting to know her, eventually, he visited her place of work.  My brother said that my dad took him to school all dressed up one day, it was right before Christmas, and when he asked my father why he was dressed up, he claimed that he was going to go out shopping for my mom... Silly to think that that were the truth.  My dad actually wihdrew $50 from an ATM machine and took the woman out to lunch.  My brother questioned him about the withdrawl of funds... my family had recently encountered some financial struggles.. every penny counts...  Anyway, my dad began meeting this woman online every night at a certain time, he was giving her wakeup calls from work and my brother would look over his shoulder every now and then to see what he was typing.   One day he saw the Instant Message about getting lost on the way to her office... Those words broke my little brother's heart.  Older, yet still young, he couldn't understand.  He didn't want to hurt my mom or ruin Christmas so he kept it all a secret. 
Eventually, he began to check my father's email and he found that things were more serious than we had imagined.  My mother became worried too, and she questioned my father about an affair.  Offended, he said the woman was merely a friend, but he was afraid that he was falling out of love with her.  People who have been married for 20 years don't just fall out of love with someone.  But this is not where it ends.  They sleep in the same bed together... there are nights when he will touch her the way he used to and make her wonder what all the fuss about love is, but then there are the times that he is just unhappy, depressed, and wanting nothing to do with her.  My father has no clue that we know he is cheating.  We never would have expected anything like this from him, but I suppose that is not uncommon.  I can find no explanation for his actions except a MLC.  My mother has talked to family members that deem him confused.  She wants to work things out, but he won't even talk to her about it... Will not admit that he is seeing another woman.  It is 3:15am, New Year's Day 2001- my mother just got a call from the man she loves.  On the woman's cell phone, he tells her that he won't be home tonite.  In twenty years of marriage, my father has never slept in a bed without my mom, what makes it so different now?  What does she have that my mother doesn't?  I told my mom that I think she should just let him go... Once a cheat, always a cheat... no matter what the situation... I need advice, help, someone to tell me that I'm not crazy.

-The daughter who shouldn't know


I can't believe reading the article on January 25, 2000 about the 36 year old woman, it sounds so much like what I'm going through right now.  I will be 38 in acouple of weeks, have 2 boys 13 & 15, have been married for 15 years, lived together for 4 years prior to marriage and have dated since I was 17.  We met each other as freshman in high school. I have been wondering if I am going through a mid life crisis for the last 6 months, but have been unhappy much longer then that.  I just feel like I want to be alone!! I have seriously thought about moving out, we have a unfinished studio that I have talked with my husband about remodeling and me moving out there, so I would still be close to the kids.  I also feel left out at times being the only girl, although I do go to most of all their sporting events.  My husband does not understand what I am going through, although most of the time I don't either.  One minute I think things will work out and the next minute I feel as though I need to get out.  I have nothing bad to say about my husband, I feel the problem is something within me that makes me not happy.  He has tried very hard to make things better, but most of the time I feel sorry and bad that I have hurt him. When I tell him that he deserves more, somebody that will love him back the same way he thinks I'm just trying to make a excuse for my actions. As the other woman said I did not wish for this, I truly wish I was just happy, as life would be much easier for all of us. I have pondered the thought often whether I would truly be happier alone, and I do feel as if I would be, but feel as if the only way I will know for sure is to try it.  I also feel as though my family will be happier without me living directly with them nagging after them, being so touchy
about everything, and my mood swings.  I truly feel as though I am going through a midlife crisis or something horomonal, but the more I read the more I feel I am not alone in my thoughts by both male and females. I do feel like something is missing in my life and I'm not sure what.  It's not as though I want to be alone so I can date other people, but I might I guess.  I guess I just want time to think and do as I want, when I want, If I want and I know that sounds really selfish, but I don't mean for it to be that way.  I have never lived alone or been independent before other then 10 years ago when we were separated for 3 months.  We had just bought a home 4 or 5 months earlier, and then my husband came home one day and said he was unhappy, so he left me and the kids. To be totally honest I was not happy at the time either, but it still was devastating. I feel like right now in my life we both should be happy, we have everything we have ever wanted and everything we have worked for, so what's wrong? I have wondered if we have grown apart or if this is just a temporary feeling? 


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January 8, 2001

To MCS and JLH

Thank-you MCS for blessing me with good thoughts.  I am constantly amazed at how many people go through what we have grown through. My passage in life for the last year has often time been miserable, but I must say it has taught me how to love myself more , and for the first time in my life I now think of my own feelings instead of everyone elses.  It is so hard to change oneself at the age of 48!  You see, I didn't think anything was really wrong with me until I read and went into therapy last
February.  I am a woman who most likely loves (especially a man) too much! I have always put their needs over mine and assumed that was the way it should be.  But wait.....I learned through journal writing, spending time with myself, volunteering at my church, and having wonderful Christian friends, and a forum like this one, that I can enjoy life without a man in my life.

I am not saying that I never want another relationship,  I am just no longer desperate to have one.  I have come to realize that there is no real urgency.  I have also acknowledged that I tend to choose men that are a challenge and are needy.  I sometimes think the ones who would treat me better would be the ones that I would find boring.  With that knowledge, and having a better understanding about myself, I know when the time comes, I will meet someone who I will genuinely enjoy being with.

The one thing I must say is to please try not to become bitter....the other choice is a much healthier one....to become better.  I have also prayed for my exhusband for him to rise to his highest good. This has often been very hard to do but it has made me into a better person.

Our divorce was final the latter part of August, and he moved in with the OW the next month.  He has gone through five jobs in a year and spent all of his savings and reitrement.  I talked with him a few days ago about a home repair and he spent 25 minutes talking about himself, the other woman, her children, and their new purchase...a puppy.  I have maintained my sense of
humor though.  When I hung up, I looked at my dog ( our dog) and said, "Well baby, he's replaced you with a younger model too!"  I also realized he has become a very self-centered person.  One that shows no remorse for anything he has done.

I know I am going on and on and on.  I only hope that my insight may help you  during these trying times.  May God bless you and know that I will pray for you and every one else.

To the daughter "who shouldn't know this" my heart goes out to you.  I know you are terribly worried about how your mom is going to handle this with your dad and you must be wondering why this should happen after 20 years into a relationship.  My husband told my daughter, a month before her wedding that he no longer had the same feelings for me.  He walked her down
the aisle with her knowing this.  She didn't want him to but knew she would have to tell me why and she didn't want to hurt me.  Just be there for your mom and say prayers for both of your parents.  May God Bless you and  your family honey......JB


What motivates a man to seek out a girl half his age? Is this a part of  mid-life crisis? - 



I found this forum while searching for answers to what is wrong with my life. The basics of the problem stem from dissatisfaction with my life and a general depression concerning my marriage. Seventeen years ago I had an emotional affair with the woman who is now my wife while living with another woman (who was my first real love). This emotional affair turned physical one night and she became pregnant. Living up to the standards I was raised to believe in, I left the woman I was living with and married her.

My relationship with my wife is good, we still talk, share interests, etc, all of the things that drew me into the emotional side of the affair years ago. The problem is that I don't truly love her and never really did. I respect her and care about her a lot. I don't feel anything physical with her other than a meeting of a need, and she is indifferent about making love. I would think that it was a reaction to me, but I take great care to make the entire event a romantic and caring one. She even tells me I am the only man who ever seemed to care about the before and after parts of making love as much as the actual physical act.

I have always related better to women and have never really had any friends that were not women (this was not fun when in high school because what girl wants to date a guy that is a friend). But our relationship is like one of two long term friends that share a house (and all the decisions and problems of raising 2 kids). I guess I am saying that life leaves me feeling empty. That would be true except that I have maintained occasional contact with the woman that I lived with when this all started. With her there is a huge physical attraction for me and we are still very close friends (nothing physical has ever occurred since I left her). What I have come to understand is that I truly love this other woman, on both a physical (you know the sick to the stomach feeling type of physical need when I miss her) and emotional level. In fact I feel that I would leave my wife and be with her if she asked.

My wife knows that I see this woman and talk to her. In fact it was this woman I turned to when I was about to leave my wife 2 years ago and she advised that I should see a marriage consoler. We did that and it seemed to make a difference for a very short period, but no matter what we tried the relationship quickly returned to the old equilibrium. I guess I am at a wits end here. I want to care for my wife and kids, but I am not sure I can live with this empty feeling and the emotional swings that seem to go with it. I consider leaving and living alone for a while to sort things out. I know that if I do this I will probably not return.

In all of this I know I didn't ask for specific help, I just sort of emptied out the emotional bucket on all of you. I hope this is ok. Just knowing that I am not alone in these feelings helps. I am afraid to discuss this with any of my other friends because that is what led me into the marriage in the first place. I know that I become too attached to those I share this with and then I would be susceptible to a physical affair. I am hoping that with the ability to discuss this with people that I can't see will keep me out of
that trap. Thanks for letting me use up this bandwidth to share all this and sorry for the long posting.


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January 15, 2001

 I found this site while researching college options for midlifers.  The word "Midlifer" sounds like we're doing "time" in a prison.  Maybe that's not too far off the mark.  I guess you could say I'm going through the usual doubts and uncertainty of women my age (41).

For the past 20 years I have been a stay-at-home mom.  My three daughters (the oldest is autistic), are nearly out of the nest.  My husband just turned 50 and is going through his own midlife problems.  He is the kind of husband that women dream about--one who pampers, supports, and practically worships me.  He does housework without being asked, and he'll even do the grocery shopping!

So, you can imagine my surprise when I happened to check the "history" on our computer, and I found a long list of pornographic sites that he had visited.  Of course, the sites were littered with YOUNG, voluptuous girls.  For the first time I began to think about my age and attractiveness, even though people think I'm in my early twenties when they first see me.

I sought counseling to help me deal with my insecurity.  The counselor told me my husband's wandering had nothing to do with me personally.  She said he is dealing with his own fears about getting old, and at his age many men begin to question their sexual prowess.  This made me feel better, but the nagging doubts about my age was cemented in my mind.

Now, I question myself as to what I would do if something happened to him.  I have no college degree, and there's no way I could make half of my husband's salary.  I attended court reporting school a few years ago and did very well.  But the school was 52 miles away, and I couldn't be there for my autistic daughter when she needed me. So, I had to give it up.  Eventually she will move out (in about 7 years) to a group home setting.  But I feel the yearning for a college degree, even if it's only an associate's.

My question:  Is it realistic to spend time and money on college at the age of 41?  On one hand I know education is a lifelong process and is always valuable.  On the other, what are my chances of getting hired when I'm 45?  I've considered careers where age is not a factor such as sign language interpreter or audiologist.  One thing remains true, I need to be prepared in case something happens to my husband.  Any opinions are greatly appreciated.  Also, if anyone wants to correspond with me via email, just let me know.

Gloria :)



I went back to college at 44 and got both a master's and doctorate. I've never enjoyed anything more. Go for it. BTW, you might read my column on the subject (http://www.bestyears.com/school.html)








To Kelly,

I read your testimony (and all the rest ) with so much emotion.....I am the one who moved to France right after my divorce--final after "he" left on my boy's birthday. When you mention the sadness of his eyes.......Do I (and the boys) relate to this!!!!! He came over last month on a business trip and spent the week end in my city--I tried to make the visit as pleasant as possible--picked him up from the station with the boys on their way to the hotel etc...was very helpful as if "nothing" had happened...anyway the next day, took father and sons to a hypermarket and then I saw the empty look, the
sadness in his eyes..the boys too commented upon how sad their dad looks....the looks empty and distraught.....Like you, I have decided to let the disease run its course (it has been 2 years now) I am working as a professor in a business school and can finally focus on my carreer (he had his own company and I never took any time for myself) the boys are fine....we
do talk a lot. I do feel sorry for my ex-husband for the mess he has put himself through...He bought a house with the OW.....I am planning on moving back to California next summer where I re-bought our very first house (the one where the boys were born) and I will start my own company and keep going... It took me 18 months to move on, I believe it does
take 2 years to be alive again after the initial shock.....We'll see what happens next!!!!!!!

Good luck....my heart goes to you

Nathalie from France


This has become a  god send of information for me. I would like to tell my story of my now exs  MLC.I survived a tornado in my 20's and can only say his MLC was just the same . It came on like a freight train, you couldn"t stop it and disaster struck. Married 26 years, best friends, parents well educated, and were doing well finally financially. Beautiful custom built home,only one 16year old girl at home who worshipped her father.He started saying all trhe things I have read her,needed space, life was unfullfilling, was working way way too much, sleeping all the time when home on the couch. What is it to
they have a secret society book on this?? Anway Moved out to Apt. two years ago this coming April,we saw eachother regularly, I persuaded him to get counsling.He went a couple times. Thewn boom we are moving to a new apt. Told one terrific lie,and I knew he was moving in with some woman.Went to an attorney,hired PA proved it with in one day.Here is the kicker,she was from work,third time married told him stories of abuse and got him to save her and move her out to apt.Husband had no idea,till he came home and she was being packed by my ex.she had daughter at my daughters high school, everyone knew and my daughter had a nervous break down, and signed herself out of school. She has been in counseling ever since. He told my sons I forced him to get a divorce, he had no choice. In complete denial he has done anything wrong, says everyone happy about it but me.WRONG!He lies all the time,has destroyed himself financially, lost everything and was she worth it? It has taken me with alot of support from church friends family to get where I am today. The sad thing is I still love the man he used to be, But a stranger took his place. I am moving out of the area, as soon as I can and am looking forward to starting a new life. Wish I still had my best friend,but God always has a reason.

I am going to make it!


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January 22, 2001

To Gloria--Definitely go back to school!  I'm 41 and will be going back next semester myself.  The next 4 years will come and go anyway, and I'd rather have a degree at the end of it.  I owe it to myself to have a good job.  It's never too late!

To Nathalie from France--Thank you for your kind words.  I'm glad to hear your boys are doing fine.  My girls are in counseling and will get through this.  If their father would go to counseling himself, I think that everything would start to come together for him.  I know he's confused, and I know he's hurting.  We all are.  Good luck with your company in California.  I have a small business myself.  I've also found that writing is good therapy for me, so I'm in the middle of writing a book about
getting through all of this.  It hurts to relive it, but I think it's good also.  Good luck to you!



To Gloria & DY:

Gloria, it is always smart to have education behind you as we never know what may happen. I'm not saying your husband would do this but you should always be prepared and be able to take care of yourself if it should happen. My wonderful loving husband of 32 years left 3 mo. ago and plans not to return. He was invaded by a body snatcher over night and someone else took over his body. The pain is unbearable and devastating to say the least. NO ONE would have ever guessed in a million years the he , of all people would do this. We have always been admired for our closeness and love for each other. We have survived all Gods dealt us in the past but this one I don't believe we'll survive at all. I'm not trying to put bad thoughts in your head but I do advise all woman that this can happen to anyone. DY: I can totally relate to your story and my heart goes out to you. I feel like he has betrayed me in the worst way. I'm starting to get very bitter and angry now. There is no other woman yet, that I know of but I know its coming, I feel it . How dare these men do this to us after we have given them the best years of our life. I'll never understand why God made them the head of the house when it's usually woman that run the house. God Bless all of you in pain and know we are not alone.



Go !

Going back to school can be such a positive experience on so many levels. Yes, it can prepare you to be become financially independent (if need be). Do it now, while you still have your partners support. College is tough and the time after you graduate, when you are setting up for your new life, with a new career is tough too. Having someone else there eases the financial and emotional strain so you dont feel the need to jump quickly to any offers that come your way. Take your time - 45 is young - you will bring so much more experience to the world then a 20 year old with only a college degree - no life experience. 


Expanding your life, learning new things, discovering new things to learn, new people ..... will bring so much to your life. How can you go wrong?

Good luck!

just graduated last fall


I believe that my husband and myself may possibly both going through the mid life crisis.  We have been together since 1976, have twin 10 year old boys.  Our relationship has always been very passionate and sometimes rocky.  His 2 main issues with me are, 1.  We cannot communicate.  When he brings an issue to the table, I get very defensive and each discussion ends
in an argument.  2.  He wants a sexual relationship like we had when we were 16 & 18, new lovers. My issues with him are 1.  I am just so angry with him over everything, that we he wants to bring an issue to the table, I am already mad.  2.  I am just so angry with him over everything, that I cannot feel good about him sexually.

He maintains that he has several "Good Woman Friend" relationships. Apparently the issue of sex has come up, but he maintains that he could not have sex with another woman unless he is behind her %100.

Well just the thought of my husband being with another woman is driving me insane.  I have never been the jealous type, but this is on a violent level, both physical and emotional.

He wants me to change, so he can communicate with me and have an active and fulfilling sex life, or else he will seek out a new life else where with some else who desires him and he can talk with.

When he has said this, I have day dreams of showing up at their house and beating her senseless on a weekly basis.  Telling my kids, she is nothing and you do not have to listen to her.   Basically making him miserable any way possible in a new relationship, because I am so angry.  It is driving me crazy, simply because, I have never been a violent type.

Not sure where my deep rooted anger towards him stems from.  I have tried very hard to be a good wife and person, and he has always tried to give me "hints and suggestions" for acting in his view to be a better person and perhaps I resent him for this.  But one part wants to tell him to go, and the other part wants him to stay.  I don't want him, but I don't another woman to have him.  I am a woman of sufficient means, and do not relay on his paycheck.  He on the other hand would be living just about at poverty level with his paycheck.



I have read many of the responses here and I noted one thing missing.  I am a woman, and none of the other women here mentioned their sexual responses.  We have all heard about men having fears of their abilities at midlife, but what about women?  I  have noticed problems in my life, I was crying to my husband last night because I feel older, tireder, cannot just get it on like I could when I was younger.  I feel all the same restlessness and need to be alone and feelings of being old and unsexy and an UNperson.  I just wondered if other women have noticed a lacking in desire and a lack of ability in the sexual arena? 


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January 29, 2001

I feel like I'm going insane and I'm suicidal.  My contract just got cut from a job I relied on for years and used to love.  I cannot even write much here because it feels like I'm dying.  I used to be an artist but I lost the passion for what I was doing.  I am female, late 30s and I think I'm going through a combination of perimenopause and the biological clock.  I have no husband or boyfriend to rely on.  I never had children because I always thought the responsibility would be too difficult for me.  I wanted to just continue with my art and get better but I just can't any more.  Why does it feel like my body is "telling" me to quit all the other things I loved doing?  It feels like I am being railroaded away from who I used to be whether I like it or not.  Life truly seems hopeless at this point




I read your stuff and I am somewhat in the same shoes in that I really feel I need to go back to school.  I'm 42, wasted my younger years on a Bachelor's degree in English, got into sales when it came time to eat, and now I've been laid off by Fortune 500 Corporate America, and have been looking for a job for over a year and just can't stomach some of the stuff I've been offered, ;i.e., staffing, construction grade lubes, telecommunications....you get the drift.  So, wallowing in my mid life crisis, I said to myself, what am I all about, and I realized that I'm much more of a warm fuzzy type person than the next.  I care about people, total strangers, etc.  So, what should I be doing?  I decided on Nursing.  Two years, you're an RN.  30 months, part time.  Then you specialize.  Take a couple more courses, and you're in IV therapy or psychiatry.  Making good money, I might add.  A 46 year old friend just graduated from community college (well, last year) with an RN and she made, get this my friend, 80K last year, freelancing for 3 or 4 different healthcare providers.  They don't care if you're 45, they just want to see that you're certified.  The education will cost only about 3,500 and nursing will continue to be in high demand.

So, midlife crisis over; onward to my second chance....take that, corporate america



My wife and I have always had periodic upheaval followed by reconcialation and closeness.  We are both headstrong.  But there has always been love, even though she is not as demonstrative with regard to effection nor as comfortable with sex as am I.

Since 1988, following the birth of our second child (we have two girls--12 and 20), she has been somewhat overweight and unhappy about it (me too).  In 1994, she went back to school full time in pursuit of an accounting degree.  She has always taken care of our bills, etc..  She had a partial hysterectomy in June of 2000.

Now, she has a job with a CPA firm, is still under financial pressure (we went into deep debt while she was in school and not contributing), is having trouble passing the CPA exam and works 8-10 hours per day trying to make an impression at work.

Recently, she struck up a friendship with another married lady at work (her first real friend in the nineteen years we've lived in this city).  They have spent several weekends since August (with another friend of her co-worker) visiting the co-worker's parents and shopping.

In October, she began a fitness program and lost a lot of weight (easier since she's off birth control).  She looks awesome.

She joined the local wine guild without me.

In November, she informs me she hasn't loved me in three years, wants her freedom and doesn't want to be married anymore.

I'm devastated.  After supporting her through school and being overweight, I feel betrayed that she is leaving me now that both she and our future are starting to look good. She vehemently denies that any of the above named factors have anything to do with it and that I'm trying to tell her what she's feeling when I suggest that she's experiencing a mid-life thing.  She points to my criticisms and "years of being told my feelings don't matter" creating too much pressure.  I admit that I'm picky and I don't like that about myself and have all but stopped it in the past year.  The week before she gave me the bad news, I scheduled my
first counselling session...I'm sincere about change.

I just feel it's a combination of years of pressure that haven't let up yet, a new, demanding career, a new circle of friends that identify her as an individual (rather than wife/mom), a taste of freedom, physical changes (the hysterectomy) and a new appearance that has people noticing.  She has become somewhat protective of anyone else having access to her cell phone and has admitted to "being attracted to other people right now".  She says she loves me but is not "in love" with me.  An emotional involvement would be out of character for her, but then so is everything else.

She will not consider counselling for herself nor us.  I moved to a friend's in order to give her space and time to think, but I feel so helpless and have cried daily.  Effexor has helped with that.

What course of action would bring her around to opening her mind to counselling?  Everyone I know is praying for the situation.  Any observations, suggestions?



Dear Mid-Life Crisis, here is my story :

I am a forty-two year old male with a wonderful understanding wife, and two fantastic energetic children, boy 4, girl 9.  We are all in excellent health, and we all like and love each other.  My wife is as beautiful as she is understanding.  She has an excellent career/job and has security, job satisfaction, and a great income.  We are living in a beautiful 4 bedroom house in suburbia mortgage free.  I own a successful business in partnership with my brother for about 12 years. I currently have about 100,000 in investments, and my portion of the business is worth approx 100,000.  Right about now, you must think that i am an idiot for even writing to this forum.  I am not bragging, nor complaining about my current situation.  I consider myself so very
fortunate, I cannot put into adequate words how very much I love my wife and kids, and my financial situation isn't that bad at all. I should by all rights be a happy guy. 

I am so desperately sad.  So unfulfilled.  My education is college, and my major was in a financial area.  My current business is in food service.  I have to get out.  The business is still profitable, but I have to get out.  I don't have any idea what i am going to do when i get out, I dont feel i can afford to have no direction for a long period of time, nor do i think that that is healthy.  My wife is supportive and understanding.  My unhappiness with the business is taking its toll on my relationship with my partner/brother.  I want to sell at any price to get out, he maintains he will not sell for less than a proper price.  He does not wish to buy me out at a below market price, although at a fire-sale price he would, but I dont think I am that desperate yet,
although I can feel it coming.

My problem is that I am 42.  Can I begin a new career in a new direction.  My education from 20 years ago may be somewhat less than significant as I have not worked in the financial industry at all. I know food-service.  What about age discrimination.  How can i compete with fresh 20-somethings right out of school.  Other than my 20 years of stagnant experience, what do i have to offer.  What sort of counciling can i search out.  I am open to any and all advice.  I feel pretty desperate at times.  If it were not for my family, I think i would have lost it by now.  Am i a classic mid-life crisis case or what ?

Thank you if you made it this far,
signed....'miserable in paradise'


Dear Kelly

It is so encouraging to read other women's testimonies and fighting with all their dignity. You mention you are in the middle of writing a book! that is wonderful, I also managed to turn that horrible, devastating experience into some therapeutic job too...I know marriage is not easy, so I am looking into inter-cultural marriages, what went wrong for us? where does culture start 
and where the real person ends? it is so difficult to pinpoint. Keep in touch, I hope your daughters are fine too. It is funny you mention your husband as reluctant to going through therapy...Mine was totally against it too. I believe therapy would force them into looking deep into themselves which is probably what they don't want to do.

All my encouragements



This is in reply to the letter from Susan.  You are me, or rather I am you.  I am 43 and left my husband of 24 years last fall.  My Children are also 18 and 20.  I bear no animosity to my ex, but it is time for me to stop living his life and to live my own.  Mid life crises?  No! Mid life change? Yes!  I feel I have my most important accomplishment behind me now - the raising of two wonderful human beings.  Anything else I accomplish after this will be a bonus.  Many interests beckon to me, and as with you they are areas I could not have pursued, nor accomplished within the marriage.  Regrets?  Not a one.  Not for  the choice I made at 18, nor the choice I made at 42.  There is not failure involved, just a change in the course of my life.

Life will never be the same again, but oh my, what an exciting, sometimes frightening life beckons me now.  A life of dreams, hopes, aspirations.  None of which I had left within the marriage.

Good luck Susan.....and to all others like us, men and women, who are marching forward to face an unknown future, not as victims, but as strong intelligent people with a life of our own to live.  Whether it be by your own choice, or by circustances you did not anticipate.... embrace the change, grow and learn.



Just a quick note to thank you for Best Years website. My story is similar to many that I have read in the Midlife Forum.  My husband of 14 years just informed me that he didn't love me anymore (although I am still his best friend). He also informed me that he doesn't want to be married to me anymore and whatever we have between us just isn't enough. I know now that
it is a full on mid-life crisis and this has allowed me to breath deeply, move about my own life a little more fully and just wait.  It has been only three weeks since he informed of his confusion, but after reading the stories on your site, it really helped give me a perspective on what is going on.  Thanks for maintaining a very helpful site.

Cheers, Judy


Dear Mike 

I am hoping that some of your members WHO LIVE IN THE UK might be interested in taking part in a programme about what it means to be married or in a longterm relationship in the 21st century. 

We are looking to film with four couples from March 2001 onwards for several months to see how they deal with the situations in their lives. 

We would really like to hear from any couples (married or longterm) who are experiencing some challenges or adversity that is having an effect on their relationship. Maybe it's a pressure from within the relationship, or maybe it's an outside pressure. 

Please contact sarah at RDF Television if you would like to find out more on 0207 313 6745 or email me at sarah.swingler@rdf.media.com

Thank you very much


I forgot to say that one of the subject areas we are interested in is what happens to a couple when their children leave the nest.  Also we are keen to speak with people who are planning to marry and are experiencing some resistance from friends and family.  The couple can be married or in a longterm relationship or about to marry.

I am really hoping that you might have some members who would like to talk to me and find out more. My
email is sarah.swingler@rdf.media.com.


I am the wife of a 42 year old wonderful, caring man.  Lately things have gone crazy, 6 months ago he changed jobs after 17 years.  We thought that his dissatisfaction at the job was the real problem. Things didn't get better.  We have a strong and loving relationship, but there are insecurities there, where there was none before, and for no real reason.  After several fights, which is new to us, we are still trying to work on what the real problem is stemming from.  We discussed it maybe being a mid life crisis.  He doesn't like to let me out of his sight, not that he doesn't trust me, he thinks its because he gets extremely lonely when I'm not home.  He gets emotional and doesn't know why.  If this is what he is going through, what can we do?  Is there
medication to help him through.  I am at a loss.  I love him and am trying to help him by being here for him and trying to be understanding, but it's putting a strain on both of us.  It's also effecting our children, both at the age that they are going through some of there own changes.  Our daughter is 11 and our son is 13, both reaching puberty..... life is hell in our house, but we are sticking together. Please if there is any advice out there, clue us in.

Thank you,

A wife & A mother trying to hang on.


I don't believe that what I am going through is a midlife crisis.  I believe that it is a midlife awareness, instead.  I am male, 40 years old. This started 2 years ago.  I moved out 1 month ago.  My wife calls it a MLC.

For the 4 years before this, my wife refused to be intimate with me on a consistent basis.  In fact, this is not the first time that this has happened.  It is the 3rd time in an 18 year marriage.

My typical day during this 4 years was to go to work, get hit on by numerous women between 20 and 50 years old, come home and hear the words, "I have a headache, Can you wait till tomorrow night?, I'm not in the mood, I've had a rough day, etc.

I walk in the door, I try to kiss her hello, all that I get is a cheek turned towards me.  Same for the morning goodbyes.

I bring flowers, she puts them in a vase, then I hear, "Just because you brought me flowers doesn't mean that we're going to do anything.

I take her out.  We come home.  I try to romance her.  She tells me that she wants to watch TV.  Finally, when the TV goes off, she is too sleepy.

I take her on 2 night overnight trip to fancy restaurants, clubs, shows. Zilch!

My best friend comes over to the house while I am at work.  He feeds her a couple of lines.  Bingo!

And my wife has been telling everyone that I am having a mid-life crisis.

Mid-life crisis my donkey.  I wonder how many of the men whose wives are hitting on me at work every day, are destined to have this so-called "Mid-life Crisis".

Or is a mid-life crisis, just another way of saying, that one spouse has not been meeting the needs of the marriage, and the other just finally got fed up with it.  Then they decided that hey, I want something for me.

Something to ponder.



I am a 46 year old woman who has been married to my 43 year old husband for 24 years.  We have one 12-year old daughter.  My life at home feels empty and I only want to be around the people I work with.  I work with all men, and a 
lot of them are single.  One in particular is 24 years old.  I am obsessed with him, think about him day and night, and pout when he is not at work.  I barely tolerate my husband, who is a non-emotional person, and snap at my daughter.  All things point to a MLC.  I just have lost interest in real life, and prefer to live in my fantasy world, aka work.  My husband is a good provider, good dad, and has never given me any reason to leave him.  He is just BORING.  I can't stand it.  Part of me wants to leave and be on my own, but if my fantasy-boy doesn't want me, I cannot bear being all alone and losing everything.  Please tell me I am not alone. 


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February 5, 2001


Your relationship with your wife, sounds like my relationship with my husband.  I am 41 years old, and have not had consistent sex with him over the last 10 years.  My husband claims that he has tried everything to no avail.  I too felt that everything he tried, was because he wanted the sex. Your wife sounds just like me, but I didn't want to have sex with my husband because quite frankly, I deeply resent him.  If a woman does not feel good about her partner, she simply cannot have sex with.  Men on the other hand do not have to feel good about the woman in order to have sex. Having sex when a woman does not feel good about it, makes her feel cheap and resentful.

My husband has had affairs of the heart with other women, whom I do not know.  Friendship he calls them, and he does this because of his needs not being met.

My needs aren;t being met as well.  My resentment stems from disrepect and not honoring me, but since my husband will not validate my opinions or feelings regarding this, I have decided to cut him lose.  I need the remainder of my life to live, and not be unhappy about not meeting his needs or him meeting mine.

I found your paragraph:

   Or is a mid-life crisis, just another way of saying, that one spouse 
   has not been meeting the needs of the marriage, and the other just 
   finally got fed up with it.  Then they decided that hey, I want 
   something for me. 

quite interesting.  I think when we hit our 40's, we are just so fed up   with all the bullcrap that we have put up with our spouses.  Some people are able to work through it, some aren't.  I am not willing to work through our problems, because I am just so tired of his crap.  And since 40 is mid life...the stigma sticks. 

Good luck in your search for what is right. 



What I truly find ironic about the so-called "Mid Lifer in Crisis" is that the person initiating this totally self-centered and destructive  agenda refuses to acknowledge the right of their partner and children to make decisions based on THEIR decision.

What helped me the most was asking myself 3 questions.

1)If I met this person for the first time today would I want a  relationship with him/her?

2) Do I respect his/her values and priorities?

3) What has this person done that requires my forgiveness and can I   realistically grant it?

In my case the answers let me to the path of divorce. Your answers might lead you to a different path. It is also helpful to realize thatdecisions based on your emotional state of mind are usually the cause of much regret. If you doubt this then the next time you're having a bad day at work....QUIT YOUR JOB. Sounds ridiculous right? IT IS.Why tolerate this mindset about your marriage and children?God gave you a brain for a reason.USE IT!!! Evaluate your relationship for yourself. Decide for yourself whether or not you want this relationship. Mid Life Crisis if it exists is NOT a disease. It is a selfish mode of 
behavior and you are under no obligation to stand idly by while your partner inflicts emotional and mental damage on you and your family. Take back your life. Set boundaries and enforce them.

And keep squeezing those lemons.

Mike K


Dear Miserable in Paradise,

 I understand your position. Sometimes it takes a long time to learn that  true happiness does not come in material things. I believe it comes in  fulfillment of our dreams, whatever they may be.

 I understand your concern about your age. Look at it this way... your  years  of experience is far more valuable than the freshness on a 20 something  coming out of college.

 You are still plenty young enough to pursue your dreams... and it sounds  like  you have the financial security and support system in place that will  allow you  to take that "chance" on finding your happiness.

 Recommendation... resource the tasks required to reach your dream...get  your wife and family to agree to support it...and go for it with all the  gusto that a mature, intelligent, experienced person can muster.

 While food service is  different industry than financial you will find  that many of the same skills and knowledge are  transferable...  especially the management skills.

 Don't leave your brother holding any bags... make it easy for him to buy  you out. You'll make a supporter and you'll always know in your heart  that you treated him right.

 Good luck..God bless...go get 'em.



 Hi Mike--

 I'm wondering if you or anyone else could print a list of the "symptoms" of  MLC.  Many women have responded to this forum, describing similar things  that their husbands have done, but I've never seen a real list of  "symptoms" together in one place.  I find it very interesting that so many  men (also women, I'm sure, but my situation is with my husband) seem to  react the same way to the stresses of life, and do the same things as  others in their situation.  At the same time, they seem to think that they  are the only ones going through this, and they need to deal with it on  their own without external help.  I also find it interesting that the women  who respond here have described their husbands as good, caring, wonderful  men before this happened.  I guess if they had been jerks all along, we  spouses wouldn't be so devastated when they left.  As I'm moving on with my  life, and definitely seeing my future as rosy and exciting, I'm trying to  see this whole fiasco from a different angle.  Thanks for your help,



well folks i wrote in november stating that i thought hubby had finished his MLC and how hard i had  stuck it out and how when i asked him if he was over it he said "i think so"   well it seems that i  should have listened closer,,, it was a no,,,  more this week when it hits the fan,,, ya know what i am going to do... solve it for him,,,  going,,going gone!

 finished with the trash



 Oh, where do I begin....I'm on my second marriage, 10 years this Oct., my husband was there  supporting me through all that ugliness from the 1st, but we were best of friends, I thought.  He's  been the best any person in their right mind could offer, family man, husband, provider...yea we had  our indifferences (only casual disagreements), but never, any major yell out loud fights.  All of a  sudden with out any hint, he walks out, Jan. 01, 2001.

 It killed me!  I never saw it coming.  I'm pushing 38 this summer, his wife (1 child together & 2 step  children that worships the ground he walks on) of three kids, the youngest is almost 7.  WE have a  very comfortable home and acreage, away from it all.  He says he's "not in Love with me any  more"...How can this be?  He says we've grown apart, yea I'll agree on that, but why all of a  sudden?  Never once did he say he was unhappy.  Why now?  The oldest is graduating this year,  we have applications, etc. to make, he's been the only really father figure to him.

 I can't think of the possibility of being alone, not at my age.  When we met, we were young, I'm out  of the "going out" stage, I gave it all to the family.  Maybe I gave too much, without thinking about  "us".  I want it to be us, we should've put us first....Please someone tell me there's hope that we  can be as one again and live ever after again.....

 He's moved out and living in an apt. alone for now, wants the kids to visit regularly, and is supporting  us financially, I need more than that.  I can't support this property by myself, that's not why we  bought it.  I want & need him back, how can I convince him & myself that there's too much to loose  by giving in into "not happy" that what we need to be together for each other?

 I pray & HOPE each and every day that we talk that things can and will be better, that's the only  place this can go BETTER, we can be forever as promised.

 God give me the strength.  Is there hope out there on my own?

 Any advise is welcome.


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February 12, 2001


 It is really hard to define the symptoms of a MLC.  There are other maladies  that may create the very same symptoms.  Perhaps more sleep, less sleep,  excercising more, more distracted, less attentive, thinking of oneself  often, depressed etc.  I witnessed may of these in my own husband's MLC.  However, he had a job that he stated daily that he hated and also had an
 affair.  So many of his symptoms could be from one or all the above.  I hope  you and everyone else having to deal with their spouse during this  devestating time will take time for yourselves.  I offered to seek  counselling with my husband and told him that 17 years together deserved  more than just walking away.  He said, "I don't want you, this house, my old  life....I want to start over." Six months and fifty thousand  dollars.........he had a new life.

 It has been a year for me and I am blessed to be staying very busy.  We were  divorced in July and it has been worse than watching someone you love die.  There is an emptiness in his eyes, a sadness that almost makes hime  unrecognizable.  I hope you and your husband can work things out.  My ex  tend to blame everything on everyone else and I truly believe he has yet to
 face the situation.  He moved in with the OW, has had 5 jobs in the last  year, stop attending church, has detached himself from almost all family and  friends.  He has had no contact with our two children who he helped raise  since the younger child was in Kindergarten.  The children are now grown, 26  and 24, but I know especially for my daughter that it is very hard to
 understand that the man you saw as your father, the one that walked you down  the church aisle, and gave you away has no desire to see or talk to you.  I  try to explain that perhaps any reminder of his past life reminds him of a  different life he prefers to forget.

 I pray for you, your family, the spouses that have to deal with this  devestating transistion, and finally those that go through this tunnel and  may never be the same.  May God bring each and every one of you to your  highest good.

 Become more compassionate to one another and realize that the Lord does not  give you anymore than you can handle.



 In response to JJ:

 You are not alone - I too am dealing with the (Jan 2001) out of the blue "I don't love you anymore." "I  can't stay" "We have grown apart." one-sided conversation from my husband of 14 years.  We have  no children but a lovely home (which I thought he loved) and a great group of friends. Didn't see this  coming, but then again, I probably wasn't clearly seeing what was happening in my marriage. That  old adage, those closest are the last to know. Single hood frightens me.

 Now here is my situation...he is still at home but sleeping in a separate room. We do separate  things on the weekend, and are preparing for counseling at the end of this month. We have dates for  dinner one night and prepare a meal together during the week.  But as the month progresses, I am  wondering.  Is this man evolving into someone I want to remain married too? I am trying hard to  realize that the old landscape is gone and that I am currently living on a new planet with a different  person in preparation for my future.  I cry a lot, but also am exercising and dieting (yes like many  women who are lonely in marriage I gained weight) and have written a list of things I want to do in  my future. It is very difficult because I really like my mate. But I will continue to focus on myself.  Give my all in counseling to relearn how to have a healthy marriage with this guy or not.  But, damn  this single hood stuff frightens me and I feel extremely vulnerable. 

 Not much more to say. Hang in there....focus on yourself and your future. Peanut



 I don't want you to feel hopeless but let me tell you that if he's really  having a mid-life problem, nothing he stands to lose matters. Your only  38, that's young honey. I know exactly how desperate your feeling right  now as I'm going through the same. The only difference is I'm 49 and  have been happily married for 32 years. Just over night he decided he  wanted to be free again.  Talk about pulling the rug out from under you and your hole life, that's  me. It is the worst feeling I've ever felt in my life. I cried every day and  night for 3 1/2 months till I thought I would go crazy. I'm now feeling  bitter but still alone. I bought a good book that has helped me very  much. "Mars and Venus Starting Over" by John Gray. It is great and  helped me so much. There is still hope honey but you must not cry and  snivel to him. That only makes it worse. Let him think you are getting on
 with your life and he won't like it. Bless you and remember it may feel  like it but it's not the end of the world. Take this time to get to know  yourself and do allot of thinking.




 Durning my husband's mid-life confusion he decided that he needed to move out  to think things over. I told him that he could call our children who are 16  and 14 but I did not want any contact with him until he decided if he wanted  to stay married or get a divorce. This was the hardest thing I have ever had  to do. We have been married for 17 years. After 4 days he came home and asked  if he could come back. It has not been easy but we are now closer then ever.  I realized that I need to put my relationship with my husband above my  children and my job. I've also learned to let my husband know when I'm upset  and about what instead of expecting him to read my mind. I hope this helps  you. This would be a good time to look inward and find out what you want out  of life. What really makes you happy. 



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February 19, 2001
Life is on an upswing for me right now and wanted all to know that life will get better.  It may not be on the time table you want it to be, but have faith and pray for the highest good.  I did this for not only myself but for my exhusband as well.  One needs to know when to "let go" and come to grips with the inablilty of being in control of a spouse's mlc.  That was very difficult for me because I felt we had something worth saving.  After monthsof therapy and counselling with my pastor, many many books read, and this website, I can honestly say that I am moving on with my life.

Believe me when I say that I think God for being able to support myself and having the wisdom to stipulate in the divorce settlement that a huge boat loan would no longer have my name on it.  I gave him six months to do this and it was recently accomplished.

I can only say witnessing the love of your life going through a mlc is worse then seeing the soulmate die.  I very seldom see him, but when I do he is only the shell of the man I once knew and admired.  I am proud of what I told him in closing, "I wish you well." Please do not become revengeful, it will only do more harm to you.  Even though we were together 17 years and he
cast me aside, I know that God must have something special for me in the future.  I have learned to enjoy my own company.  For the first time in my life, I think of what I would like to do; not everyone else.  Please take care all and I just felt the need to write a message on a good day and let you know that all of you are in my prayers.  JB


Kelly -  I haven't written in awhile, but I keep reading the forum and your question prompts me to write again.  I've been going through my spouse's midlife crisis for almost two years.  I'm sorry to say, but there is no quick fix.  It all depends on how much love you have and if you believe in the spouse and the marriage enough to hang in there.  In answer to your question here are some of the symptoms of midlife crisis that I've come to believe in: 
                        1.  Extreme dissatisfaction with job (and their life in general)
                       2.  Drastic change in personal appearance (ie hair, clothes, jewelry)
                       3.  Change in handling finances:  extra frugal or extra and unusual spending
                       4.  A shifting of priorities
                       5.  Major personality changes.  Usually, goes from being a responsible, 
                            caring and giving person to a self-centered one.  Morals seem to
                       6.  Difficulty in making decisions
                       7.  Wishy Washy in the commitment area
                       8.  Dwells on what could've been and what they think should've been
                            rather than the here and now
                       9.  Many unrealistic complaints about spouse
                     10.  Laden with guilt
                     11.  Depressed
I hope this helps.  I honestly look at MLC as a sickness that has to be gotten through. Like everyone else, I wished it didn't take so long.  I loved your statement about "if they had been jerks all along...."  and I think that is the key.  You have to remember that what they are now is not necessarily what they will remain.  My spouse kept showing me enough signs of the person he had been to help me keep hanging on.  For us, I think it is going to work out.  But, as always in this period of time, one day at a time is the norm.

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February 27, 2001

I was so glad to find this site, finally people who know exactly what I am going through. I am a 35 yr old female who has been married almost 17 yrs. We have two children 11 and 7, and had a great life together or so I thought. Husband started school while I worked and raised our children, he finally after 16 yrs received his Masters, achieved the job we had been working so 
long for, I thought we had finally made it. Before the holidays he became moody,rude,inconsiderate, and just not like the man I thought I knew. I thought maybe it was the new job, the more I pried the angrier he would become. After the holidays had settled, he walked up to me one night with a bag and told me "I don't love you anymore" I am not happy" I don't like this house anymore and I don't think I will be back ,and he walked out the door.   He seems fine with everything now, but I am still devasted, the only thing I have realized is that he had plenty of time to think about this and it came as a shock to me. The hurt is something I have never felt before. And it is so hard to explain to kids when you don't understand what happened yourself.



Just wanted to respond to all those (predominately women) who don't know what to do about "MLC".  You all have to understand that reaching the age of the MLC is very difficult for people to deal with.  You are taking a hard look at yourself and your relationships and trying to determine if your life has been worthwhile or not.  You think your job sucks, you think your sex life sucks, you think your not attractive to anyone and you think you have never contributed in life any way importantly.  There are a lot of self doubt on one's part.  I know because that is the way I feel most of the time.  Look at what your partner contributes to their well being.  Do they do things that make them feel good?  Most say that they do things together but that's not enough.  If your husband is having an affair it's because you aren't giving him what they REALLY want.  It ain't the sex!  If you ask your husband why he hangs around this other person I'd be willing to guess he would say because they make you feel good about yourself.  It's how you make them feel about it.  You can do your duty but if your not making them feel like they are the most important person in the world and the most needed person than your wasting your time.  If your partner is looking for
something then find out what it is and do it.  If he's looking for a little "trashy romance" in his life than find time to do that.  If you really love that person you should be willing and comfortable enough to be what they are looking for.  We all like to dust off the cobwebs and be different sometimes.  The couple that can roll with the punches and make life interesting survive better.  (MY own opinion)  My spouse has told me she thought I was in a MLC also.  And I explained to her that I was and that what was wrong with that!  I was stepping back and taking a hard look at what I have done with my life and how I want to live the last half of it.  I told her I have things that I want to do that I haven't done yet and I want her to treat me in ways that she hasn't before.  Some things she has agreed to try and some she still draws the line at.  (Nothing illegal)  Find out what it is that we need because the MLC is just the eruption of emotional desires that have been bottled up by responsibilities and marriage and kids and everything else that weighs a couple down.  You have to create an environment that makes it acceptable to discuss your wants and desires in an atmosphere that gives these wants and desires a chance of happening.  If your mate decides that they want to move to Arizona and open a dude ranch than at least listen to it and see it there is any merit to it.  You have to
make reasonable decisions in life that make everyone satisfied.  If your husband wants you to wear sexy nightgowns to bed and you prefer flannel than compromise and wear what he likes on occasion.  On the other hand if you prefer flannel he should understand that and be Ok with that.  Everyone wins when you agree on a compromise.  I am not all together happy with my
situation but I have 20 years invested and kids, and a house and cars and STUFF that I would like to keep.  My spouse is making an effort to accommodate my MLC and my wants and desires.  Stop the mundane, boring and predictable life and see what that does for the MLC.  I want my wife to treat me like I want to be treated but since she is a woman and can't think
like a man I have to tell her what it is I want.  What I need is for her to reassure me that what I'm doing as a husband and a man is of value to her and the world.  And if a good roll in the hay makes a guy feel like he is special than you should want to do it.  Just as if your wife wants you to appreciate her and what she does you need to tell her that 50 times a day if she wants.  You have to find out what it is that the person is missing from their life  and fill that need.  I ain't saying it will be easy or you will
succeed but you will know in your own heart that you did all you could if it doesn't work.  

I think MLC can be good for a person if they can take the self criticism associated with it. 



To MA:

Thanks for your response on the symptoms of MLC.  Most of my husband's symptoms are somewhat different, but some are the same.  He still says, after 2 years, that it isn't MLC.  I call it what it is.  He's 44, and in a crisis.  I hope that you and your husband make it together.  I was hoping that it would work out for the two of us, but my husband doesn't want that, and he's ready to sign the divorce papers.  He wants us to remain civil to each other.  Right.  To me divorce is a slap in the face.  Maybe after it's over, I'll feel differently than I think I will.  I was hoping that in time he would come to me and tell me that he wanted to work things out between us, but he's not there yet.  If he wants to let everything go that we've worked for during the past 20 years, he needs to leave me alone and deal with it himself.  He doesn't want my input about anything right now, so I just try to leave him alone.  I'm tired of the emotional roller coaster.  I want to get off!!!  It's all about HIM now.  Not me, not the kids, not our family.  Just him.  I'm tired of dealing with it.  I have many more 'up' days than 'down,' and my life is going well right now.  I'm actually pretty happy!  While he's still in MLC, I'm dealing with the usual stuff, and all of the responsibilities that we used to handle together, and I'm doing just fine.  It took me a long time to get to where I am today.  I didn't ask for the extra responsibilities, or to be a single mother raising teenagers. Maybe one day he'll figure out what's going on within himself, and work to get through it.  I hope he does, and like JB says, "I wish him well." Since his father left his family when my husband was a teenager, it seems that he's letting the cycle continue.  Our teenage daughters are learning about the gritty reality of what can go wrong in a relationship, but unfortunately not how to work at putting a family back together and make it work out.  He doesn't understand why our older daugher is moving on without him and away from him when she used to be "daddy's little girl."  He thinks she'll "come around" in time.  Maybe she will, but he's missing precious time with her right now.  She misses her daddy, but he needs to be the one to try to put their relationship back together, or at least make her feel better about it.  He tries, but she stays busy.  She's hurting.  He didn't just leave me.  The father that she adored left them too, in her eyes. She's 16, and has enough to deal with without this mess.  They've both been in therapy, and I try not to put him down.  I want them to have a good relationship with him.  I still have a hard time giving up on him.  At times I see and hear his old personality peeking through (pre body-snatching by aliens), which leads me to believe that this new guy isn't in total control of his body.  I guess only time will tell.  In the meantime, I'll just concentrate on my daughters and myself.  I guess that as long as he thinks he made the right choice for himself, nothing will change.  But, as long as his eyes look so sad, I won't believe that this is what he wants or that he is happier now.  It's one day at a time.....



Well I wrote back at the end of January and said I was going to get rid of the trash and truly I tried,,, I filed and got the meanest lawyer in town to do it.  Well the trash wouldnt leave and as it turns out that in my situation when it hit the fan and I refused to take any more BS and my significant other saw the aftermath of my hurt,,, then he came around....you would think that it shouldnt have taken that for him to come around.... what did he do that changed my mind? he went to church asked for forgiveness and has admitted to all our family that he had treated me with much disrespect.  I once again admire this man and clearly recall why I fell in love with him in the first place... have I given him another chance? absolutely! if God can forgive why shouldnt I?  with much as stake and as hard as it has been,,, three weeks later I am not sorry,,, but I am still cautious... I have found a website which has brought much ENLIGHTMENT for those of you who are looking to find out how relationships get to this point please please go to www.marriagebuilders.com.... I can not explain enough how much this site has helped... along with Bestyears of course...lastly there is a book which I am reading called The Celestine Prophesy which seems to hold many answers also. Well I thought that this site was about sharing and helping and I read much despair in all our letters and I thought I would share what I have learned in this journey we call LIFE!    Dont give up on your marriage if you think it is salvagable...  as it seems that all things happen for a reason and maybe part of the journey is to simply learn and help others.


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