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Forum:The Midlife Crisis
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|Midlife Crisis Forum 2001|
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|January 2, 2001
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
-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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
MIKE- HERE IT IS ANOTHER YEAR AND STILL WAITING FOR THIS MIDLIFE
CRISIS TO END FOR MY WIFE. WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR THE PAST 17 YEARS
AND YES, WE HAVE HAD OUR UPS AND DOWNS WITH LIFE. NORMAL AS ANYONE
CAN TELL YOU. MY WIFE IS 45 YEARS OLD GOING ON 46. HER MIDLIFE CRISIS
IS GOING HAND IN HAND WITH PERIMENOPAUSE(THE TIME LEADING UP TO MENOPAUSE).
THE MOOD CHANGES HAVE BEEN HURTFUL, THE ANGER AND TRANSFERENCE HAS BEEN
DEVASTATING. I CONTINUE TO LOVE THIS PERSON BUT IT IS AS STEPHANIE
BENDER SAYS IN "THE POWER OF PERIMENOPAUSE, "YOU WILL NOT KNOW THIS PERSON.
HER MOOD CHANGES ETC...WILL BE LIKE LIVING WITH A DIFFERENT PERSON.
THE CHANGES IN YOUR
I HAVE NO ADVICE TO OFFER, I HAVE ONLY PATIENCES NOW. I HAVE A HOBBY AND TRY TO BE AS HELPFUL AROUND THE HOUSE AS POSSIBLE. I HAVE SEEN OUR RELATIONSHIP ON HOLD FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS AND DON'T KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME WILL BE.
I HAVE FAITH AND FLOOD THE GATES OF HEAVEN. I KNOW THAT NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO HELP HER EXCEPT HERSELF. THERE IS SO MUCH ANGER, DENIAL IN PLACE AND IT HAS BEEN SO DESTRUCTIVE. WE DISCUSS EVERYTHING EXCEPT OUR RELATIONSHIP WHICH IN HER EYES IS NON EXISTENT. WE HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN WHO ARE 13 AND 10 AND MY DAUGHTER IS AWARE OF HER MOM'S FEELINGS ABOUT THE LOSS OF LOVE SHE HAS FOR HER FATHER. MY WIFE EVEN WENT SO FAR AS TO DISCUSS THE LOVE SHE HAD FOR A GAY PEER SHE HAD AT WORK. MUCH TO THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF MY DAUGHTER.
THIS WHOLE PROCESS IS SO FILLED WITH PITS AND HIGH HILLS. I CAN ONLY THANK YOU MIKE FOR YOU COLUMN AND WEB SITE. IT IS REWARDING TO SEE SOME SUCCESSES AND THE HARD WORK THAT SOME ARE PREPARED TO DO TO GET THEIR RELATIONSHIPS BACK ON LINE.
A LOVING HUSBAND FROM CANADA. .
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
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
I am going to make it!
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
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.
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?
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
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?
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
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
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,
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,
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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
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
And keep squeezing those lemons.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
February 19, 2001
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
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:
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
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
I think MLC can be good for a person if they can take the self criticism associated with it.
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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