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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 1999
January-March April-May June-August September-October November-December

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June-August 1999

June 1, 1999

I am going through it. I am experiencing the pain of frustration and confusion. But I know, one day, when I finally get where I have always wanted to be, it will be the happiest biggining of all. Vivian - MSc Computer Science Student

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Even though it's been almost two years since my wife had her midlife crisis I still read this page form time too time. I think I understand what happened. It appears to be a classic example of unfilled dreams but I still struggle from the pain of it all. I must admit that the pain is almost nonexistent compared to what it was at the time but it is still painful. I notice a lot of you blame yourselves for problems your spouses are having, it probably isn't your fault. My wife told me she loved me almost every day we were apart, we dated, we had sex, but she was leaving me. A person in midlife crisis has problems, and you might be the person that is being blamed, but it is their problem and you are just a convent target. After it was all over she explained how she felt, but she couldn't justify it and I didn't ask her to, as she put it "I went crazy for a while". I just want you all to know sometimes it works out and although it has it's painful moments life can get much much better.

much happier now

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June 14, '99

Dear mike. Wife just turning 44. Hasn't loved me in 18 months. Chasing a gay peer at work. Re-incarnation, search for soul mate. Cold, selfish, self centered. Doesn't want a div/sep. Lots of transference...leave me and the kids if I found my true soul mate. Stressed/depressed, giving her space and reassurance of my love. On a journey, seeking out psychics etc, Neighbors also concerned and call it a deep seated mid life...help...I'm in counselling but it has just destroyed me..We have been married 15 yrs. What can I expect..KJM

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Mike. Want to continue...We have talked about counselling but she is not ready...She has projected me right out of the picture...She is looking for that "titantic type of love"...and have told her it is right in front of her..she realizes this but comments.."where have you been the last 15 yrs. I know I cannot reason with her. She is on her journey of self destruction. I love her dearly and it hurts to see I cannot do anything about it.

I am from Kitchener Ontario, Canada. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Books, articles, suggestions. I am at my wits end. Please. Also how do I get updated access to Q & A for 1999 May onwards. Thanks KJM

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KJM--Sorry, there are no updates to the Q & A page, but you can get a lot of advice on the interactive site: Friends of Best Years. Thanks for writing.--Mike

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This site has truly helped me deal with my husband's mlc. Seems that coming upon 40 was a very bad time for him, and therefore our marriage. It was so absolutely classic..."I don't know what I feel about anything anymore...I love you but I just don't feel the way I used to...It's my fault...It's your fault..." My heart goes out to anyone dealing with this hell. He had an "emotional affair" with a younger co-worker. Doesn't matter that it wasn't sexual-it would have been had she been as interested in him, or could have been with someone else. The damage has been done. The pain will never completely go away, but it is getting better. Please look up Retrovaille.org. This wonderful program has helped us so much in the slow, difficult, painful task of putting our broken family back together again. Yes, it is damaged, and the scars are here to stay. Our eyes are now so much more open. Please, folks, look into this before you give up on your marriage. We had tried counseling in the past. This is not counseling, it is learning how to save your own marriage, yourselves. I wish you the best.

BK

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This is in response to "Looking for some justification for deceit" (Feb. 99) -

It is easy to blame the one with the responsibility for the finances when they keep stuff from us. I know, because I tend to the same thing. BUT - and here is the big but - I had to ask myself how I set it up for her to keep things from me. Let's face it, you did not want to take care of the finances. You used the justification that you were traveling 4 hrs on your commute. If you were single, you would find a way to do it. Also, who were you to tell her what the consequences would be for lying to you about finances. This is like having a marriage on probation. Not a very good recipe for a marriage. Marriage takes unconditional love and commitment at the rate of 100%. The 50/50 proposition simply does not work. It is like being a little bit pregnant. Even 99% commitment to the marriage no matter what is a real b____h! 100% is easy. If you want a wife who is going to be 100% honest with you, take her off probation! People sentenced and put on probation will always lie to their probation officers when cornered. You are setting up your marriage for failure doing that. If you are not looking for an excuse to end your marriage and truly want to keep it, make a plan -- ask her to join in the plan and pay off the credit card debt. Get involved in the finances and stop acting like her employer or worse. All of this advice is if you want a wife and helpmate with which to share your life. There is little comfort in being right on lonely nights. I offer this in all kindness and sincerity. I do hope you can find it in your heart to be honest with her. It has taken me a long time to realize that the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Sincerely, Mike (BA)

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June 21, '99

how do you get you husband to come home? He has been gone since jan 1, 1999. And he tells us sometimes he is coming home but he then turns around and says no. He is drinking alot. We would really love to have him home!

Anonymous

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I am a new user & just came upon this site. Some of the quotes could have been me talking. It's very accurate & I can identify as my husband moved out 3 months ago. He's 45 & I'm 47. We have been together 19 years & before we met I was very independent & always had supported myself, but the shock of suddenly living alone again was a real eye opener. He is depressed & has been for about 9 months. Right now, we are in a "structured separation" & are trying to work through things with a therapist, but my independence seems to be coming up to the surface & sometimes I've just had it & want to get on with my life (it's not my problem that he can't decide what he wants to do). The main reason I've been patient so far is that he was honest from the beginning, did not have an affair (said he wanted to be with other women, but no one in particular), did not gamble all out money away, etc. I really believe that he is in great pain most of the time & feel sorry for him, but at 47, I was starting to relax & plan for a fun retirement. He said one of his fears was being alone at the age of 70 & not being able to survive; I sometimes get the feeling he's practicing for that. The best piece of advice I could offer to others who are going through this is: if your mate is mostly cooperative & honest, give them space (that is, if they are still coming to you). If they have decided to go off on their own, you need to do the same. In either case, keep busy--enlist all your friends, family & acquaintenences--you'd be surprised at how many others are going thru the same thing. When you feel real down, allow yourself to cry for 1 day max, but then go do something & believe me sometimes you do have to force yourself to do something. My sister said to volunteer & I'm thinking of doing that too. Enlist support wherever you can find it. Gradually, your personal strength will come back & it needs to whether or not you remain with that person. Good Luck

Been there

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June 28, '99

I would like to know or read some happy endings to this disease. My husband of 24 years, this year, ran away from home 15 months ago. Once the OW and he split up talk of a divorce ended. He engaged in our relationship from August through January, feeling as though any day he would come home I was again devestated when he just in one day turned cold, aloof, and totally terrible towards me. His anger was really predominate. Does anybody elses husband not see the kids very much using the excuse that "I do not want you or the kids living in a fantasy that I will return. Because right now, I do not forsee it". When he stopped working on the marriage, he did not tell any of us. He just assumed we would know it by his attitude. All we wanted to know was what we did to anger him. How long does this last? Do they ever return home? Do they ever come back to the same person they were? You see my husband and I also did everything together. Having a business together, running everything past each other in our jobs, etc. cooking, cleaning, kids. Now I have 3 daughters in crisis of their own due to his actions. The oldest 23 has a baby and living back with me. She got into financial problems due to her inability to come home because when her father ran away from home, he move up by her. He then took the OW to her home and lived with her. She could not face me, yet she could not face what he was doing to her also. Her finace was her only family , she thought. So she got into serious problems trying to hold on to him. I finally figured out what she was doing so I went and got her to come home. SHe and the fiance split up and she had a son. I am now financially bankrupt from trying to pay her things and help her because she has changed her life, and is trying to do what is right. However, she does not trust any men. My second daughter has community service due to her lack of attendence problems in school. She is smoking and taking up with some boys that are of a very negative nature. She is quiet about her father yet really does not want him to come home because of his behavior thoughout this entire thing. She also does not trust people... My third daughter has taken up with boys that like to hit her. She wears her bruises like tropheys. She can not stand to be touched by anybody (except me). When you walk by her and accidently touch her hand she draws back as though you hit her. She also trust nobody. They all need counseling... the two younger ones refuse to go. WHen I made them, the counselor had to go outside to get his senses back. I do not know if I should tell him the truth about his kids well being, or continue what he wants to hear. The kids are fine as though he is an aquaintance in their lives. This was a family man and his kids were well adjusted girls working towards college careers and everything they wanted. His behavior since he left has been to not call for weeks on end, not take them anywhere, except once when he told them he would be moving in with the OW when he first left. When he would call and ask them to go with him, he was happy that they said no...I am at wits end. I love this man, and He needs to come home and take care of his wife and children.....I need to hear a success story so I can have something to possibly look forward to....I have been in this thing all this time, I am not going to give up now.

JD

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July 2, '99

I recently turned 40.....have been married for nine years...have a step son who is ten, and a daughter from this marriage who is seven....I enjoy the kids very much, but I have lost total respect and love for my wife. I cannot stand to be in the same room with her, let alone the same bed. I have been feeling this way for some time (about 2 years)....I personally don't think it is a midlife crisis...I can honestly say I do not love her, and do not want to be with her....but I love my kids....my wife is self centered, selfish, and if I express an opinion that she does not agree with, there is a major fight....it has been this way since day one, and I have let things roll of my back....and I'm tired of it....she will not give me any "space" or time to think....and is always in my face asking me "how do you feel about me today"?? I tell her, and she just gets hurt....then I feel guilty....I tell her I don't want to talk, but she just keeps pushing me...my blood pressure is up...I am going for counseling at her request, and she is going too....I really don't want this marriage to continue, but I do not want to lose the kids...can you help me? The hardest part is, we are both christians, and I know the right and moral thing.....which I have always done.

Help me in Montana

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Dear TT, In response to your email, I will be forty-five this year. I have four kids, 2 boys, 26 and 23, a set of twin girls 22 years of age. I have been married for 27 years. I love my husband and am proud of my children, to the extent that they didn't grow up and do things I taught them not to do.

But, I have found myself getting tired of taking care of them ALL! I quess I've spoiled them as the saying goes. I feel crowded and overwhelmed by the kids a lot, they're all taller and bigger than me, and the boys are taller than their dad. My sons, are still in the house the youngest is working, I don't understand the older one's problem. My husband and I are more amorous now than we were in our thirties, and would appreciate most of our time alone.

Then too, however I HATE MY JOB! It was so challenging when I started 17plus years ago, my husband wants to retire form his 22years plus job too. I develop computer applications from various software for state and non-state agencies. And this job is the pits since 1989, management changed. I think maybe I'm going through MLC because I can not tolerate being bored, never could, but even more so now. I feel tired of having to do anything. HELP, is this MLC?

Sick Of It

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Mike Wrote to you earlier. Wife continues to pursue her dream. Told me she doesn't see her love for me ever returning. Realize more and more this is not about me. Family and our friends have echoed similar sentiments. Kids hurt and in pain. Wife doesn't see the damage. Lots of repressed anger and statements about leaving me and the kids for soul mate. Tells me she would let me know if she were to have an affair. So destructive, so damaging to our relationship which is virtually non-existent. Continues her fantasy with gay peer who I suspect has no realization of what is happening. Wife so caught up in the whole issue. Search for unfulfilled dreams. Thought she was going to marry into money. Claims I don't know her. Selfish, Self-centered..I need to do this for me...Giving her lots of space and trying to re-assure of my love. I now know I can't confront her about what she is doing as nothing will register. She is in so much pain and discomfort herself and she must work this through. Do not know whether I will lose her but do know that I MUST BE STRONG FOR MY SELF AND OUR CHILDREN. My only advice to others is to remain strong, look after yourself and your kids and find the inner strength to carry on whether in prayer or with supportive friends, family and counsellors. This web site has been a God send for me and has helped me see that this is not about me but my Wife. I continue to research and have been told by mental health professionals that people in mid life crisis "either snap back like elastic bands or do not realize until it is too late the damage they have caused". I realize so much more about how to be a better husband and father and I pray for the opportunity to implement those changes. Time, space and support for my spouse is essential as I love her dearly but this is her Journey not mine. KJM Kitchener/Ontario

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To "much happier now" who wrote June !/99. Would love to know how long it took your wife to come around..Further interest in knowing what you did to work on yourself and how you dealt with the pain/hurt/transference. I am certainly seeing a lot of this with my wife who tells me she hasn't loved me in years, months etc. See lots of obnoxious comments and hurtful things and have learned to walk away. How did you do it. KJM

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Mike, so many of these letters sound alike in terms of the "feelings" the person has that may desire a change in their life. Mine is like many of them twenty years of marrage, not a hostile one by any means but always seemed to lack any "emotional connection." I hid behind alot of other things for many years, work, kids sports, alcohol...the alcohol was not excessive but just enough on a daily basis to hide or mask reality of my unhappiness. I have asked myself a million times why...and the only thing i can come up with is the fact that i got married at a very young stage(22) and possible married because i thought that was what people wanted me to do and i thought it was what i wanted at that time in my life. Now at the age of 44 and after several months of no alcohol reailty has hit harder that ever. I feel a strong need to move on. I have two children ages 17 and 10. both are super and i have excellent relations with both. I don't want to hurt anyone however i am miserable all the time and cannott hide it any longer. I feel that i need to move out to take a look at the entire picture from the outside. I need to somehow find out if i am about to make a major mistake or really need to move on .I have already seen a counslor and she said i just need to do some soul searching. I have felt this way for at least the past 15 years. I do not feel that i love my wife the way i should and do not really enjoy being with her.. What are your thoughts. I know more info is needed but is there ever a time where ending a relationship is better for all? How can a person force emotions back that may have never been present?

JM

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July 12, '99

Well, I've been looking at your collumn and have been asked to look into the possibility of my going into midlife crisis. I really need some help in understanding what it is that defines this situation and what I can do to overcome the problems I seem to be having, ie: sexual, emotional etc. Maybe you could let me know what material you have that I can get started with so I don't have to hit and miss with the material. Thanks

Gary Y.

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Last Friday 7/9/99 my wife left me and our two sons to move into an apartment down the road. Her reasoning is she doesn't know how she feels anymore she still loves me as the father of our children 5 and 9 but wasn't in love with me (??) and needed some space. We get along pretty good, sex life was good all the way up till she left. The past few months were hell for her, work was stressful, the boys sports were always during the week which were very hectic. The boys put stress on her. She lost a close friend to cancer on Memorial Day which I think put her over the edge. She is certain she won't be back and will not go to a councilor but she said she will take the boys to a councilor. She won't talk to anyone and if anyone tries she gets real defensive. She has talked to the boys only twice since she left. She told me to give her space, it's hard but it's all I can do at this point. Every woman I talked to said she had it all, the house was here dream home, I was an excellent father and provider, the bills were no problem the yard was perfect as well as the inside of the house. And she said this to her sister as well. I tell her I still love her and the door is always open. Dennis

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My husband walked out last November after an argument. Since then, he has changed. His dress, his attitude, his actions are just not the person I married 24 years ago. He drinks, and when drinking can become hostile. Currently we are dealing with a situation where he is out of the home due to a reported incidence of domestic violence. He says he loves me, yet he doesn't want to come home. Yet he complains about not being home. My therapist says he is an alcoholic. I think he is suffering from a mlc. He is only 43. Is that too young for a mlc? Help. Frantic

So much of what I have researched about mid-life crisis pertains to men. I am a 42 year old woman who has been married for sixteen years and found myself in the deepest darkest hole of MLC. I left my husband 8 months ago, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I have done everything from changing jobs several times, to traveling, spending money like I have it and, engaging in several affairs hoping to fulfill the emptiness inside. I have only recently discovered that I had/have all the signs of Midlife transistion/crisis in the worst way and I am impatiently waiting to overcome this destructive period in my life. My husband has been as understanding as he can be and wants me back. I only know that I am not through this and would continue to make his life and mine miserable if I were to return to this marriage. I have been depressed and entertained thoughts of suicide, which I realize is not an option, thank God. I have found some comfort in counseling, talking to friends, church and my own spirituality.

How long will this last? What can I do? Where can I find help?

Desperate in Oregon

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My husband is 32 will be 33 soon. Recently out of the blue he bought a Harley, then announced he wants a divorce. He's being hateful and mean. Several years ago I forgave him for cheating on me and we got back together and it seemed things were going fine. We even talked two weeks before he decided he wanted a divorce about redoing our wedding vows! Everything has fallen apart.

We are getting a divorce and there is nothing I can do. He is also marrying someone else.

It's killing me inside. What can I do for me so I can be happy anyway? Our children are 12, 8 and 7 and they're broken hearted. But they told me they just wish I'd be happy and smile. I only found all this out the week before father's day just two days after I bought my husband a new wedding ring. It's hard to pretend to be happy when you're entire world is falling apart.

My oldest feels nothing will change because he's in the Army and has basically been gone the last five years. I'm scared to death though.

I just know he's going to regret this someday. The issues he has problems with and the reasons he wants out are really immature and half are totally fabricated in his own mind. I am absolutely certain he will repeat the same things with this new girl. She's young, never had kids, and has no idea about life really yet. She even looks like I did when we met. It's really scary.

Any suggestions? I cannot get counseling. Make too much money but have no insurance. I feel like I am OK but maybe if I had something to read I'd feel better. I have no intentions of stopping the divorce because if I do he could possibly be kicked out and also he already said if I fight him he'll give me less of a settlement and I need to be able to keep things as much the same for the kids as possible and money helps.

Thank you for listening.

Stephanie

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Stephanie, Oregon, Dennis, Gary,

I'm not a professional counselor. I recommend that you find one. Also, you'll find a lot of good advice from others like yourselves (many who have been walking this path longer than you) on Friends of Best Years. Check it out. There's no cost for trying it and no one will put you on some kind of mailing list.

Mike

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July 20, '99

I need some help real fast here. I don't know who is avalable bur someone really needs to email me or get online with me or give me a phone number before I explode. My husband is Nuts with MLC

Delarena

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Thanks for a place where I can see that I am not alone in what I am feeling. This is such an unusual time. I turn 40-in September, and I am not looking forward to it. I have a wonderful home, beautiful kids, but I keep thinking there should be something more.

I am currently having an affair with a 28-year old woman. It started innocently, and recently developed into something more. I told my wife about the affair last week, and we have communicated with one another more in the past week than we have during the previous 11-years of our marriage. I'm not sure the marriage will last. I'm not sure I want it to. These are indeed strange times.

JAB

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What happened to everyone? Either everyone lived happily ever after or you have all given up hope. This week marks the one year point of the beginning of my midlife nightmare and nothing has changed. My husband continues to "date" his secretary and I just sent my attorney the o.k. on the final divorce papers. I feel like I have no choice but to move on with my life even though I still love my husband very much. He has not made any progress emotionally and is still a complete stranger to me. Everyone, including our sons, has lost respect for him. I honestly thought that if I gave him enough space and support we could work it out, but he just didn't want to go back. Hang in there and try to remember that this is his struggle and you deserve better.

Getting stronger

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Mike, This is a huge stretch to write this, but I'm dying for answers. I am a 27-year-old single male who has been dating a 42-year-old woman for about 4 months. She's never been married, looks no older than, say, 35, and is very sweet. We get along nearly perfectly. Both of us thought we were mid-30's when we met, but have since decided to continue the relationship anyhow to see how things go. We are both committed Christians and believe firmly that sex is meant by God to be reserved until after marriage only. We've talked about getting married, and I know she wants to, but I have some concerns about our age difference. Traditionally, I've been attracted to younger women, and to be perfectly honest, I find myself attracted to a very mature (and pretty) girl in my church who is almost 16 and has shown interest in me. This scares me, because of liking someone so young and because I don't want to be in a marriage with an older woman wishing I was with a younger one. Does this make sense? Or am I being a fool for overlooking what a wonderful person she is and focusing on the wrong thing? Why am I attracted to this younger girl to begin with? Overall, my question is this: is there anything I should be aware of in this strange "reverse" age difference situation of 16 years? Is there a chance of sustaining a healthy marriage here? Thanks, Worried about Age

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Is it possible to be too satisfied with your life? The perfect job, the perfect husband, the perfect house, the paid for car? No more diapers and crying babies or PTA meetings to attend. Is this "Empty Nest" or hormones? I no longer feel competitive or inclined to dream. My kids think I'm boring yet I am having a good time. So where have the passions and complaints gone? It isn't a climb anymore and I am ready for the quiet but feel sad. Regrets many, divorce and remarriage at 40. Now I am 45 and all seems determined to be "just a life". That is okay, but illusions and folly were the enigma to navigate. Experience is a deliberate teacher. I want to upset the apple cart a little and go out on a limb. Not leave my husband but maybe quit my job, 13 years shy of a 30 year pension. Am I crazy or what? Donna

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Hi, My husband is having an affair. We have been married for three years. We have no children together but a total of three children from previous marriages. I feel so betrayed and I can't understand what would drive him to this. This woman is totally determined to break up our marriage. She pages him daily and I suspect that he goes to her home after work. It is hard to tell because he does home improvements and works all hours. He was not working for a few months and was always complaining about my working hours. I asked him about her and if he is falling in love with her and his response was that I must be crazy to think that he would leave me after all we have been through ( we have been through a tremendous amount). He seems to be more affectionate to me, we do things together more and we communicate better but the fact remains that he is still having the affair with this woman. At one point he accused me of having an affair with his friend. He claims that he was coming home and saw his friend running from our apartment door. I dont know of this. His friend knows our next door neighbour. Actually I couldnt stand his friend but I guess he needs a reason for his conscience. I dont want a divorce, he has not mentioned divorce. What do you suggest?

Anonymous

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Thanks for posting everyone. Remember; I don't answer questions on this forum--just give you an opportunity to--so tell each other what you think. And if you want more immediate response, try the folks at Friends of Best Years. I get email every week from people who tell me that this is the best advice/support group on the web.--Mike

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July 26, '99

Dear Mike, I wrote to you several months ago, you published my question in your question and answer section on Nov. 21st. I wanted to let you know that our situation seems to have improved greatly. My husband was in midlife crisis for a considerable period of time and still occasionally has problems with it. I wanted to thank you for your site. I printed so many of your columns and gave them to him. To be honest I didn't think he'd read them-but he did. It gave him comfort to know he wasn't alone in with what he was going through. I did this after discovering that there was indeed another woman in his life. I suspected when I wrote to you but didn't say because I had no facts, just a feeling. That was why he had come to me and told me he needed to spend time alone, although he still loved me. I read everything I could get my hands on and with your help and the help of Marriagebuilders.com we are finally coming through this. I remember seeing tears in my husbands eyes after reading your columns and saying now he knows what's wrong with him. Many times through the months he's asked me if I've ever read how long MLC takes, that he wished it would just go away. About three months ago, he received a job offer out of state. We weighed our decision carefully and moved within a few weeks of the offer. We had no stress of selling the house since my daughter, her husband and our new little granddaughter (who's impending birth was announced when my husband went "overboard") are currently renting it from us. My husband seems to be doing so much better living without stress, living in an apartment and we are finally enjoying "our time" together. We now live very near a resort area and we are experiencing the honeymoon phase all over again. I'm surprised he has already brought up buying a home here. I took your advice and although I didn't seek professional help, did alot of soul searching on my own. I made some positive changes in myself, both mentally and physically and feel 100% better about myself. I still have more to go, but I know I will be ok no matter what the future holds. Again I wanted to thank you for a very good website and all the hard work you put into it. You are an angel and I will forever be thankful to you. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in April and I really didn't think we would. He tells me now how much he looks forward to growing old with me. Thank you Mike!

Formerly lost, now found..but no longer in Ohio.

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Dear Fl,

What encouraging and kind words! It makes the little I do on this site worthwhile. Seriously, I'm not an angel, just a former soul in crisis, who hurt a lot of good people like yourself, and who now wants to atone some by sharing my recovery with others.

Mike

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i too am going through this mlc with my husband of 24 years. at first, he told me he didn't know what was going on that he loved me very much and wanted our marraige to work. then he says he needs space to see what is going on. he then tells me he is filing for seperation and moves in with his parents. it has been seven months now and he is having an affair with one of our friends who just went through the same thing with her husband. they got a divorce. he tells me he still loves me but the passion is gone. our daughter gets married next month. he wants us to look like the perfect couple and nothing is wrong between us but i don't want to pretend. i want him back with all my heart. his friends tell him he is going through mlc but he doesn't want to hear that. we have two children and they are devestated by what their father is doing. she tells him they will adjust in time and begin to like her as being in their father's life. i don't understand how she could do this to another woman after it was done to her. he comes over constantly to see our son and have dinner with us. he still lives with his parents but took her on vacation with him to florida. telling me that they have not slept together yet only kissing and holding each right now. i just wish he would snap out of this mlc and realize he still wants me. any one else that can help out there. my family says he is not worth all the pain he is causing and that i should just go on and find someone else. we are not legally seperated as i would not sign the papers. i know i would forgive him and take him back in a heartbeat but when does this end and how do you know that he is done seeing her and wants just me again. we did everything together for so long that it seems strange doing things without each other.

confused, carol

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I just have a little question. My father is 40 now and is going through midlife crisis. He may even been cheating on my mom. They have been married for twenty years and was always so happy. Now my mom cant work, eat, think nothing. How long does a midlife crisis generally last?

SR.

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August 3, '99

I am the result of a mid-life crisis. My husband of 25 years went out for ice cream on Oct 31,1995. He came back and announced he was unhappy and he was leaving. He came and went in the next 4 months 8 times and each time he came home, he was never going to leave again. He was retiring from the Air Force. He was looking for a new job. Our daughter got married. He was worried about prostrate problems. No matter what the kids and I did he was unhappy. In April of 96 he filed for divorce and married some woman he barely knew 2 weeks after the divorce was final. I felt like I had been ran over by a Mack truck. My life came crashing down around me. What did I do wrong? My self esteem dropped as low as it could go. How could my husband of 25 years divorce me and marry someone 2 weeks later when we had never even had a fight or exchanged words? As a matter of fact we had a good marriage. This devastated our whole family. Just as I was climbing up the other side and I was beginning to pull out of the shock I got a call from my husband. He had made a terrible mistake and wanted to come home. There was just one problem he was married. This man turned a family upside down and called it a mid-life crisis. If he had only waited, rode out those feelings, talked to somebody, maybe our family could have been saved. He is unhappily married. The kids won't have much to do with him. He has lost far more than he has gained. I am all right and I have met a very nice man and I am happy but I still mourn what could have been.

ST

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Recently I lost my job because of political and merger differences. I worked for a Video Post Production House in New York City and I've been in this business for quite sometime now. Though I was not in sales before this (Facilities Manager)I had a lot of exposure dealing with clients along with my people that I managed. Now I would like to get in Sales, not necessarily in this industry but maybe some other exciting industry. My feeling is we are all in sales to some extent and because of my present client relations I would think I would have more than enough exposure dealing with clients. Unfortunately, employers are looking for that "sales experience" how do I overcome this? Bill

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August 16, '99

I am finding it very difficult to know what career I should choice. I am 56 yrs old, and with a grade 12 education. Now what?

JB

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Mike were you in mid life. If so how long ? Is it true what they say that the person in midlife hurts the person he loves the most? Why would my husband jump to every one of his girlfriends orders. Its like she tells him what to do? Maybe I should have given orders like her and I wouldnt be in this position. But I always felt I was his wife not his mother. Thank You

BR

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Yes, BR. I had a pretty intense MLC about 10 years ago, and, yes, I also hurt the one I loved most. MLC's are not all alike and last for different periods. I struggled with feelings for an OW for about 18 months and with MLC-type symptoms for about another 18 months. Yet I am just a veteran, not an expert on the crisis, so I would suggest you read the books, get some personal counseling (even if your spouse does not), and keep hoping. You will get through this.--Mike

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I am responding to everyone here. Thank you for all these messages. I too am going through a midlife crisis husband. we even moved from Canada to Texas, so he could find himself. He left our children and myself for almost a year to see if it would be a good move for us.But when we all got to-gether he was different,says he is only staying with me for the cjildren,but in his next breathe says he loves me and no one else. Has taken up with some very unrespectable people,from gays to women (that he works with,who have no morals),. He says he wants space, I am one of the most trusting wives, love him with my whole heart and soul. Thank God for your web site, so now I know what the problem is,you see I used to think it was me also, but how do you get a stubborn person to go to couselling ? I have asked him to go, at first he says yes, then he changes his mind. I pray to god all day long,I see him answering my prayers but very,very slowly. Can anyone out there help me, as I too am not giving up . We have been married for 22 years, and it was the best up to 4 years ago,when everything changed. how do you get them to open up and confide in you again instead of some guy,who by the way is not married and really can't give a proper opinion. some times I think he would rather be with him them me. We were a very happy,passionate couple, but now things have changed,please tell me or advise me on how to help my beloved. Thanks for listening, looking for your advice. May God Bless of you for this site. Natasha from Canada

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KJM In answer to your question 2 and half months. The part that I did was by undermining the fantasy (very gently) loving her as much as I could and mostly being there when the fantasy collapsed. I talked to everyone that she worked with or knew, the support I got was tremendous, they all knew something was not right. You must feel sorry for someone in MLC they are trying desperately to fix there life but don't know how and usually head the WRONG direction. If you can figure out what the problem really is try to steer them in that direction, it's like pulling a ship with a string it can be done but don't pull to hard or the string will break. I used to ask one question or tell her one thing a day if I did any more than that all I got was a confused look. Mostly be there, the fantasy seems to collapse eventually and you may get one chance to be there, don't waste it you probably won't get another. As for me I went to counseling but it didn't seem to be necessary I enjoyed it but, I wasn't the problem. I got my wife to go a couple of times but I think that made things worse it seemed to give her permission to do things she knew she shouldn't do. The other thing I did was try to make things as easy to come back to as possible. You need to talk to people, but be careful what you tell who, if you want her back think about what she is coming back to, it is very embarrassing for the MLC person when the world settles back into place. Good luck

Much Happier Now

August 21, '99

My husband of 26 years took a job with the Army and is living overseas. After flying over this summer for a visit he informs me that he doesn't want to be married anymore. He doesn't know why, but that, that is what he wants. We all go through things in our lives that make us want to run away, but why or how can a man turn his back on his family. He has 2 girls, one married, one in college. He is about to be a grandfather in March and he told his daughter that he is not ready to be a grandfather. How cold can any one be. He tells me he still loves me, and that he doesn't want to hurt me. He has totally torn my heart out and stomped on it. I just don't understand why all of this is happening. I sorry if I don't sound sympathic, but I have been through menopause and I didn't abandon my family. What gives with these men!

E

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August 29, '99

Dear Mike

I really enjoyed my first visit to your site. I am looking forward to joining a live chat, I think it will be helpful to talk with others who are going through similar experiences.

My husband left me and our three children (ages 14, 11, & 9) two months ago. I suspected he had been having an affair for atleast 8 months prior to his leaving. I really felt like he was going through some type of midlife crisis and he would come to his senses. I tried very hard for 8 months to convince him how much pain and devastation he would cause our family, but nothing seemed to matter. He lied and said things that just became so unbearable. He made the decision to leave and moved in with the woman with whom he had been having the affair. This decision has destroyed our marriage, torn apart the family and most likely jepordizes his job and career. The children have only seem him a handful of times over the summer even though I have encouraged him to spend time with them.

Everyone keeps saying that life isn't fair, but I don't understand how one person can make a decision that affects so many other lives and not even care ? The kids and I are moving on as well as we can, but I feel like we are living the reality of this situation and he is living the fantasy. I feel like he gave up on our marriage and family without really even trying. He said he just wasn't happy and you only live once....the other woman had nothing to do with his decision. I feel like he had the affair and then went back to look for reasons to justify it.

Its been a very difficult time for all of us. I'm really not sure what approach I should take anymore. I know that you can't force a person to have the feelings you want them to have, but in my heart I really don't feel like our situation is completely hopeless. Do I just sit back and let him work through this ? I am eager to learn how things have worked out for others in my situation.

Thanks for listening. Josie

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Looking for BK

Read your entry on the Mid-Life Crisis Forum page, June 14, 1999. I am very interested in finding the Retrovaille.org page. Please help, I cannot access it. Could it be spelled incorrectly? I await a response......soon.

I'm almost positive that my husband is having a MLC that is scares me to death. All the entries here are so familiar in one way or another. Please help, and if you cannot, can anyone else?

SPS

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SPS

I think BK spelled it wrong. Here's the web site I found: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~retro/welcome.htm

Good luck, Mike

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I've been following this page for the past 10 months. my husband and I have been married for 31 years, together for 34. He has been going through a midlife crisis since March of '98. No matter what I did , I couldn't get him to open up to me or our two grown children. He became more and more emotionally detached from all of us. In Sept. '98, I received a phone call from his new employer 2,000 miles away. He was away on a business trip at the time and said he intended to tell me when he got home. He left his career with the Government 1 year and 10 months before 30 year retirement. He is 54 and can't claim anything now until 62. He had just retired from the Air Force Reserves. He said he did it all wrong and should have told me about the job. He left three weeks later. I thought I was going to be able to go and work on the relationship. The night before he left, he handed me legal separation papers. These have since been converted to a divorce which will be final in a few days. He could never give me a reason except to say he wanted a new life. The prestigious position he took paid less then the one he had, but is very stressful. He has aged 10 years since he left. I have been self-employed for the past 10 years, and now need to reinvent my life to support myself. No one ever saw this coming. We were the happiest of couples. Soon I will be divorced and I don't even know why. He said his intention was to leave me and not the children. They disagree and have no contact with him. I fought so hard, but now I have to accept the inevitable. The pain of losing a love like this has been incredible. I am trying to focus on my future and while I feel myself getting stronger, I can't stop wondering what will become of him. Perhaps things need to come to a conclusion before you can realize what it is you have done. I would appreciate any thooughts.

KC

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Help me in Montana

I read you letter and I though you would like Christians help It has help me There is a book wrote by Jim Conway call MEN IN MID LIFE CRISES his own life and others in this book Jim Conway is a Pastor and he gets down to the real thing and all that can happen to a man going throw this thing It has help me but I wish my husband of 28 years would read it but he won't I just wish one thing ( can someone tell me how long this thing last it has been going on for 3 years) My husband has gone throw so many different things from a girl-friend not sex just wanted to be with her no matter what he had to do or lie about to do it and mean to his family about every thing and now its money he will spend it on any one but what he should and other people he will go any where or do any thing to make other people happy and when I ask to go some where or to ask him to do some thing with me he says NO no ex. ( a friend of ours son turns 2 this Sunday he wants to spend $50.00 on this kid but on Aug. 3, Was OUR grandson birthday and he would ONLY let me send him $25.00 and he turn 8 years old I don't understand why and he won't talk , when we do he get mad , so I give up trying to talk

I WISH I KNEW HOW LONG

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Cathy, I too feel the same way. Well, which is it. Getting rid of a no-win, loser type of man or a mid-life crisis. I don't know. All I know is I feel as if I am a victim and if I don't get out now, I never will. We already sound like the bitter, nitpicking couple his parents turned out to be. Will we ever know if it is MLC or the best thing we did? Joanne

thank you. right now my husband and I are going through a major mid-life crisis. which at the moment appears to be very damaging all the way around and for years to come. what are the percentages of recovery for our marriage?

CH

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I am having trouble dealing with my husband's mood-swings lately. My friend suggested that maybe he is going through "Midlife Crisis". After I thought about what she said I think she might be right. He works a lot of hours which is something that I have gotten used to because I know this is necessary for his line of work. In the last month he has gone from someone that never got jealous and wanted to show affection in public to someone that is extemely jealous and wanting me to pay more attention to him even in public. Its seems like he wants his cake and eat it too - he is different from one day to the next. We have two children so we are very busy tending to their schedules. He blames me for his mood swings but I don't feel I'm doing anything wrong. I'm not sure where to go from here. I try not to do or say anything to make him mad which makes me feel like I'm on pins and needles when ever I'm around him. I love him very much and would do anything for him but this is starting to effect our relationship. Do you have any suggestions for me? I don't want this to ruin us!!!!!

Confused & Trying To Deal With It

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