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Forum:The Midlife Crisis

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

Midlife Crisis Forum by Year
April-December 1997 January-December 1998 January-December1999 January-December 2000 January-December 2001
Midlife Crisis Forum 2001
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Click here to view my policies for respondingor here to respond to something on thispage. Please type "midlife crisis" in the subject box ofyour e-mail editor.

May-June 2001

May 15, 2001

Sorry I've been negligent with this forum but my duties at work have taken more time than expected. I'm working on a new system to automate this so you don't have to wait on me to post. Until then, here are the additions since I stopped posting in March.--Mike


Dear searching,
         You didn't saw weather or not you and your husband believe in God. Well, I am 39 and 4months ago I felt there was something missing in my life as well. There is no longer anythng missing. God has filled that void. I am happier now then I have been in the last 15 years. God Bless.
Leaning on Jesus.


can you tell me how long does mid-life crisis last i have been holding on the best i can for 5 years with my husband he fell for a 20 year old about 5 years ago  she like him but that was all as a friend then she left work and won't talk to him at all  and he has gone throught so many diff. stageage sents then  he still trys to see her and talk to her and she wants nother to do with him    he has left notes on her car and send her gife and stuff like that for 4 years as of last sunday the cop's call our home and inform him NOT to try again she talk to her

in the last 4 years she has got on with her life (she has gone on with her life got married and has a child) and he still wants her to be his friend i have read the book men in mid-life crisis and he said that if something happen to the afare (it will take longer) a friend talk to her befor she left work and told her how he felt about her (more then a friend) and she got mad at him that why she won't talk to him  she said she never want that can of friend and he's to old for her

ever time i think he's over her   he will see her in town or a friend of both of them will say some thing about her and it start all over again

can you help me   (he said that it was over now that the cop call so he has given up on her as a friend) i hope so because iam at my end putting up with all this  i love him so much (for 30 years)    i don't know what to do he won't go for help

he was 2 months from being 45years old when they met now he's 2 month from being 50 is mid-life all most over  and if so how do i know for sure

he has told so many lies i stop belive him

this is so hard to take he was the best husband and father and a friend to so many people and now he has lost most of his friends because all he want is to talk about  is her and to fine out about her that most of his friends stop coming around or calling him   they told me when he is over her and wants to act his age for him to call them untill then  don't bother

he is hurting and  i seem to make it worise if i try to help

can you help me to help him   I hurt to see him hurting  and can't  help   I want to but all i can do  is hold him  he wont take to me.

thank you for leanding me your EAR



Hello Mike,I am 41 yo and my husband will be 44 this year.We live in NYC. I am a nurse and he is an Engineer. I observed and felt that my marriage life was getting cold and scarce and I felt that there was something wrong in our relationship. I kept observing and playing it by ears. My husband was always on the phone and in the cyberspace. Deep inside of me I know he was hiding something from me.That he is lying and trying his best to lie to me. Then I found out accidentally that he was having an "affair" with women half his age in the internet and they were talking on the phone, long distance,overseas calls. It was so funny when I foud out about this girl. She sent him a "love" card to his office and was forwarded to our address and he was away in the field, so I told him he has this big envelope from his office and he told me to open it because he was waiting for some papers from his work and so it turned out that it was a card from this girl. I told him that no one can call him "To the man I love" except me. I solicited the help of his brother to speak to this girl, just in case he does not know my husband's marital status. And it was true she did not know. Then the latest one was really young but this one knew his status and even the story of his life. My husband really lied to me and even the girl. Because of the first one and other girls in the internet, I was meticulously checking our phone bills. And I saw a long list of call with the same tel number . My husband was telling me he was calling his classmate from high schooI,I called the number when my husband was away. I spoke with the girl but this time the girl was so in love with my husband though they havent seen each other in person. Again my brother-in-law talked to this girl. I told my husband that they hurt me so bad. Though there were no physical contact but I read their e-mails by chance again. I did not know his password but the computer opened up to me and I saw their e-mails and I felt so betrayed. I gave my husband the go- signal and my piece of mind. Now we are trying to rebuild our relationship and I told him that we are going to seek help. I told him I am fighting for him and this marriage but if he surrender, he better tell me soon. I always tell him I will survive and he can not find any woman like me. Please pray for us that we will pass this crisis.I know we will with God's help and guidance. And now I know I am not alone.EM


I am a 35 year old woman going through something that I thought Would never happen.  I have been with my husband for almost 22 years, and wev'e been marrried for 13years and 10 months.  About 6 weeks ago he left our home.  He has change vertually over night.  Just a few months ago everything seemed to be going fine. At first he said he didn't know what was wrong but he was just very cold to me and snapped at me forno apparent reason.   we started counciling but the person we started going to the first visit with my husband she told him at some point that she was a man hater. Well I guess I don't need to tell you that didn't go over well with either one of us.  Now just a week ago he told me he had no feelings for me at all and if it wasn't for our two girls he would have left town by now and would never look back.  I was completely crushed and still am.  I don't really believe you can just shut feelings off just like that.  He says I have done nothing wrong, Its just him he wants to be alone.  Am I a fool to have hope for us ?  I found myself falling in love with him write before all this took place.  I just don't know  where to go from hear,


TB --

You aren't alone!  I was so happy to see your message because I kept reading about men having MLC and, being a woman, I was wondering if what I was feeling might just be insanity.

I'm 43 and have been in a happy and monogamous marriage for 14 years.  We have an eleven year old and just moved to a new state (I was hoping it may save our marriage and family relationships by us being together more.)

One of my male friends of many years and I struggled with the goodbyes as I packed to move and I realized that we were looking for more than friendship.

We've been having a wild and fun affair since then but this week he told me he wants to stay with his family (won't leave his children).  For 3 months I've been totally obsessed with him and cryed when didn't call or fantasize at length about him (yes -- I'm really distracted at work).

Because we were long-term friends I'm pretty sure we really do love each other but if he won't leave them I should stop seeing him (for the sake of everyone involved).

My husband is a great dad and funny guy.  He has bad points too but don't we all.  I just can't seem to find my way back to happiness -- I can't see him in the same way I use to.

I spent most of the weekend making a list of things that use to give me joy and doing them.  I don't want to keep hearing my daughter telling me I look "very sad".

I think I'm going to stay and try to put my marriage back together.  I don't want to be alone and do the dating scene.  My friend and fantasy man will probably come back at some point (he's 43)and beg for me to be with him but I'll cross that bridge later.  Hopefully I'll be more mentally stable than I am today.



This is such a great site and I am so glad I found it.  It's so amazing how common the signs of this midlife monster are.  I've noticed that most of the persons writing have one main thing in common - Most got involved with their spouses from very young and got married very young.  I guess, like my case, you were probably the first serious relationship for each other (wonder if that has anything to  do with it).

My husband started his MLC about 2 years ago, may be longer.  I say longer because it has struck me now that I  went through a similar crises about five-six years ago (we're both 41, high school sweet hearts,married 17 years) and had reached a point where I thought I had stopped loving my husband too.  Every thing about him and my life iritated me.  I think mine was triggered by the sudden death our darling baby boy six years ago and I don't think we did a good job of helping each other through it.  Anyway, I got quite fed up with my life and for some strange reason built up a strong anger against my husband that he really didn't deserve.  He suffered in silence through those years (we both did) and when he says now that he was unhappy for a long time I know he is telling the truth.

Well, finally my utter coldness and lack of interest (in every way) and his own developing MLC led to an affair with a 19yr old girl that was (still is) working in his office.  Amazingly, my own depression (MLC) ended abruptly one night when I picked up the extension and overheard the two in intimate conversation. I was devastated and my total love for my husband came crashing back!  Too late.

He has so far managed to resist the powerful urge he had about two years ago to leave our home and our kids.  He doesn't know what he feels for me or for the young woman.  He looks sad, lost and alone almost all the time, says he is trying to find himself and thinks about   He spends about two hours most evenings after work at the gym or taking relaxing walks with the young woman.  At first he said it was just an emotional attachment and that he HAD to keep seeing her. She had given him back a sense of self worth when he was at an emotional low.  I have spoken to the young woman a few times.  She is pleasant and pretty and thinks she is in love with my husband.  I am not one for giving ultimatums because I don't want to force him into doing something that will make him miserable. ( As if I could MAKE him!!!) I have told him that if he has lost his feelings for me and he thinks this girl can make him happy then go, be happy, and let me move on with my life.  He says it is not so simple.  He talks some times in ways which suggests he sees a future for our family, yet he continues to see this girl who is his only leisure companion (I have reason to believe their relationship is now more than friendship).  We do NOTHING together.  What the
HELL could be happening here.  We have loved each other in a very sepcial way before the death of our son.  Sometime I get the feeling that the love is still there under all the pain, but at other times he is so cold and distant.  He refuses to see a counsellor.   I am at the point where I am tempted to move outbecause I don't think he will, but then I think how he stood by me through my difficult years and maybe I owe it to him to give him some time to work this thing out of his system.  If there wasn't an OW involved I wouldn't have a problem.  But how can he ever know what he feels for me if he continues to build a deeper and deeper relationship with this young girl who should be freely enjoying her own young life.  I get so angry with him because we have a daughter not much younger and I would hate to have a man his age use her in this way, which is how I see it.  Can these kinds of situations really be salvaged?  I really love this man who still shows many signs of the caring, wonderful man I married. Any advice???



I too am finding myself at this stage.  In response to the first excerpt from this site, I would also like to find out resources to pursue as far as getting some direction as facing a career change.  Anything from web chat lines to various agencies, would be most appreciative.  Thank you!--Paul



I am going through a very difficult time.  My husband and I are to celebrate our 7th anniversary next month but he's informed me 3 weeks ago that he's questioning his life and everything in it, including me.  I am 33 and he just
turned 38.

5 months after our marriage, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  He said he wanted to stay with me and he has.  He's been there for me through all of it and has been supportive.  Over the last few years, I have gone through a depression as a result of having to end my career (which i tried to go back to a couple of times and had to quit) and ending my education (which also I tried to go back a couple times).  Basically, I suffered alot of losses.  During this time, my husband felt like i was pushing him away and he was trying to get me out to do things and overcome my depression.  I saw it as him being insensitive and pushy.  He saw it as him being ineffective.  I do have to say though that I did get out and do about 2/3 of the things he
wanted to do.  I do feel I was entitled to how I felt though considering what I had to deal with.  All this aside though, we made it through it.  It's just one of the many excuses he has for what he's doing.  The weird thing is that i came out of this and we've been doing alot together and been very romantic and passionate for the few months prior to his announcement.

When he told me of his feelings, he was very emotional about it and it took a week for him to decide if he's going to move or not.  Then he decided he needed to move to an apt to work it out and I guess live as a single person to "experience life on a different level"  (never been on his own).  Since then, he's been really weird.  He tells me he loves me but that he's moving
on and that I should too and then it comes out that he doesn't know anything and doesn't want to get my hopes up.  Says he loves me but not in love with me.  Says he cares deeply.  Is making sure all my expenses are paid.  Then he gets mean and harsh when i break down and ask him to stay.  So, basically, I get a variety of messages from him and none make sense and they are extreme to both sides of the spectrum.  I know that he has no concept of reality right now and he's being very very slow about doing anything such as filing legal seperation of which he agreed to and says has to be done.  Hasn't moved
to an apt, is going to rent a room from a friend.  I just don't know what to think.  I feel like he's already having second thoughts but he won't tell me that.  What do you think?
Thank you


I am a 45 year old women.  I have been going through the midlife crisis for 3 years now.  It is not getting any better.  Is there a chemical imbalance?   My husband loves me dearly, but is now very jeolous, and controlling after my admitted affair, which
makes me more unhappy.  My best friend lives out of state. I have become friends with his friends. I like to flirt with his friends because it makes me feel attractive.  It makes me feel more attracted to him, but it makes him very angry and upset.  When I am just with him, he is hurt and angry.  He makes me feel guilty when I have sex with him.  I know it is very complicated.  I wish I could be myself around him.  He doesn't accept appreciate who I am, and he may never will.  We have been married 24 years and don't want to divorce, I hope it is not inevitable.



Hey, i was reading some of the things on here, and there was a lot of  dissillusionment and feeling sorry for ourselves on here. A lot of the advice  was what I seem to hear every where else; find out what you want, irregardless of anyone else, don't consider those around you, etc. Well, I personally don't live in a vacuum, and I think we need to consider all the different factors in our individual circumstances before we take any major step. Been married 10, 15, even 20 years? And now you are going to make a rational decision in the midst of a personal emotional mid-life crisis? Is that a good time to make any major life decision? Run off with another person? What exactly makes anyone think another human being is going to solve all our problems for us? And what about those problems that crop up later on down the road, after you've gotten to know one another, after your new
honeymoon is over? Everyone has their dark side!!! Better the devil you know than the devil you don't. And have all of you been under a rock for the last 15 years or something? There are life threatening stds that can be contracted these days, all in the name of "I was having a crisis?" It's easy for that other person to be sympathetic to your problems in life, isn't it? They don't
have to live with you, do they? You are going out to lunch, showing them your best face, smiling and talking.I wonder what would happen if you really tried to do all that with your spouse? it certainly would be worth a try!!! I came to this web site looking for answers because my husband is going through his "crisis" right now and it would be nice to have a little support. I am a little younger than him, and so I am not some fat cow who has let her body and attitude go out the window.( Not to say you can't be an older woman with a great personality, you can) Actually, I think I look great, I have a positive outlook on life, and I plan to hold my husbands hand while he goes through this. He is a wonderful man, and this is making a lot of pain for him
and for me, too. He had an affair with one woman, and I put a stop to that, and then i found him making a play for another one who has been his friend for years, and frankly it threw her for a loop too.(or at least she said it did), But it was away with her too. She is out of our life. I think my marriage and my children come first, and quite honestly I believe that the only person at this stage who can understand my husband and make him happy in life is going to be me. Not that I am some dog, or nag, or anything. I have had plenty of offers for men who thought they could make me happy. No way!!! Who would want a man who would play around with a married woman anyway??? i love my husband and I married him for better or worse. Why hasn't anyone else thought of the wedding vows here? Be strong, people. Be willing to hang tough. If you are out of shape ladies, get in shape. Do something with that hair. Put on some lingerie and go down on your man just for fun. Enjoy life within the context it was meant to be enjoyed in. Don't do something that may make you feel really good now, but will make you feel really yucky later about who you are. Stand up and be counted. Slap that other woman if you need to. Take Care!!!-Cathy


Here's my response to the page.  I think it is absolutely wonderful!  Here is a place everyone can ventilate and let out there frustrations of all of your life disappointments and misgivings.  Whether it is a MLC or not I really don't know.  I just think it is years of giving and never receiving.  I have been married for 23 years and I know in my heart I have given all that I can give.  I have never ever told my spouse NO.  You can look at every aspect as far as telling them no.  Whether it was materialistic or sexual. I feel that I have been used and abused along the way.  I know I am the most accomodating person, it is my nature.  That is probably my downfall.  I think everyone needs to look at how they can improve whether they are male or female and not blame the other person.  I know that I have been experiencing all that everyone has wrote in about.  I have been trying to hang on to my marraige for the past two years.  My spouse said to me "you don't love me anymore" and honestly I'm not in love with them, but i do care about them.  I know my spouse has been trying but, I can see the self centerness creeping back in.  I know when and if I walk away I can actually say I have tried.  My spouse has told me so many times no in many different aspects that it has left me feeling so unwanted or needed.  Anybody have any response? Just thought I would ventilate.



My husband and I are probably having a midlife crisis. Our marriage is intact, thank goodness, but we feel our life is not what it could be and we have an overwhelming desire to have an adventure and to establish a life somewhere besides where we have always lived. We have always wanted to live overseas and are thinking of doing that now, but financially the only way it
could be done is to sell our family home. This scares us because of course we want our cake and to eat it too -we want to move away and always have a home to return to. But this is not the choice we are being offered.

Any experiences out there with this? Has anyone always wanted to move to a different state or a different anywhere and done so successfully? Just looking for some support.Some of our fearful relatives assure us we will hate it and will always regret selling our beautiful home (it has taken us years to find, years to restore)...I know no one can make the decision for us, but has anyone else moved on because even though life was good it was also boring, predictable and bland? Has it worked out? Would love to hear from you.

Thanks csd


Reply to Charlotte

how relieving to read your letter...I did not have to write this one and could have but for once someone took care of it!
Yes very much what you describe in simple words summarizes my life after my ex husband's midlife crisis and devastating divorce. The bottom line is that yes there is survival after that and life after that, yes I do have a job and raise my sons alone etc...but at what cost???? I don't trust anyone anymore to be part of my life, I cherish my time with my sons and my family here in France. I moved ourselves back to Europe from California after the divorce and it helps heal much faster because I put
things in a perspective now and kind of pity him. I am a whole woman now. I don't depend on him to lead my life and make
decisions. I can do it. I will be 40 this September and finally coming into this part of my life where I can really decide where I will be and what I will be doing. Like you I was a full time devoted mom (he had his own business) he lost everything for someone on the net and then left us all for her (she is 16 years younger) He makes me sick just thinking about how immature and self-absorbed he is. The contrast with our move to Europe makes it even more frivolous out of a B movie here and really embarrassing. I wonder what types of family values California can teach me and my kids??? thank you for your words of wisdom

Nathalie from California and France



I just read your letter and feel exactly as you do...as a matter of fact I wonder how I would react if my ex-of almost 2 years now ---eventually married his girlfriend...I am probably thinking that YES it would bother me...like you what bothers me most it that reading this site since the day he left (the 21st of November 98) on our little boy' s birthday, I don't always find myself in sync with the letters since some are still in the middle of the storm, others are past it...I am doing fine now with ups and downs, but still have not found any answers as to why did I know my husband of 17 years so little? that really frightens me a lot because I cannot commit to anyone else until I find out why I knew so little of him... I am going to be 40 this September and have to make a decision about moving back to California where he lives, or stay in France/Europe permanently. So far I have no answers as to why his lifestyle is so drastically different from the one he had with us, can he be a cameleon who can just change overnight? his personality is so fragile that he changes with the people he associates with?? he is going to be 47 next week...he thinks he is a college student, it is embarrassing for our boys. If he was going to marry this girl of 16 years younger it would also end up in a divorce (I am his second wife)  There is something totally wrong about immature men overthere and that is why American women have to be so strong --by default---men over there are given an excuse for having a midlife crisis, women cannot afford it most of the time. I am not a femminist, I was glad to raise our children, but I am glad to be able to work and raise them alone now it is almost less work than when He was part of the house and the family, I guess we were different, he is as messy as I am tidy, I kept cleaning up after him and he took all my energy away. I raise our boys to be organized and tidy and not treat women as maids.

good luck with everything,
no answer to the same question




Thank you for taking the time to list some of the few "symptoms" of MLC. I do agree 100% with them and diagnosed them in my now ex-husband. I would like to add one thing, with him, it happened almost overnight: new hairstyle, extreme impatience with his own children, cruelty with me, rudeness with friends and family members, compulsive ridiculous lying, irrational spending spree... I guess the main point is that there is a complete hyatus between the man from before and the one you have now. Thank you for shedding some light on some issues I did not really see such as dissatisfaction with work, I guess it is true in my ex-husband's case. I would like to know whether research has been done on their family background? In my ex-husband's case he comes from an unloving family. The father has no authority and the mother is called by the 5 children the dragon lady of queen of ice... She is very very cold. Yes his son never cut the umbilical cord. He has relapsed into the stage of a child. Last Friday was our son's 13th birthday--unfortunately spent in a hospital to have his appendix taken out---His father never called him. i know he never forgot to call his mom on her birthday despite the fact that he dislikes her so much.
How a soon to be 47 year old man would have fallen so much?

The OW he lives with controls him 100% and he has to ask permission to rent a video etc... By having a affair he thought he was getting free from mariage (17 years together, 2 sons) he now is trapped in another relationship with less freedom
than ever.

Is there some serious psychological research done???? What is the typical profile of a man who is likely to have MLC???
There must be something there? THat would help the deserted wife and family members to better heal knowing there is some kind of disfunctionment there... How can a man forget about his past? start a new relationship and adopt a new culture (Asian) and be amnesic about his own children???

I need some help with this?

Too many questions, no answers



Hello Mike,

I just finished reading a book  I found in the local library that fits in with the theme of your website.  It was written last year and is titled Making A Life-Making A Living, reclaiming your purpose and passion in business and in life.  It is written by Mark Albion.  I found it to be inspirational and thought you may want to add it to the book nook list.

I enjoy reading your columns.  I appreciate the truth, honesty, and humor in them.  They are also inspirational to me.

Thanks again, Dennis


I have been married for 21 years last month ,my wife is 41 years old and i think she may be going thought a midlife crisses. ,She told me last july that she was unhappy all the time and said she did`nt think she loves me anymore.She also said at other times she feels like she has no time to herself and she wants to be happy for her self in stead of always woorying about everybody else.I was very hurt and told her we could work though it .She agreed with me and said she felt it could work out too.Last week witch has been 11 months later I got a little mad at her and she quit talking to me for a few days ,she wood only talk to me if I spoke to her first then she wood only answer me back.I knew in my heart that this was the same way she was in july.So I talked to her about it and she said she has been nice to me just to pasifey me,and says she is unhappy all the time she gets  migrain head aches and she says she thinks she dosen`t love me and again wants to be happy for herself. .I told her I think we need counseling and she says she will think about it .But before when she had mentioned going to couseling to me I said no the first time ,then in july when I told lets go to counceling ,she said we don`t need it we can handle  it ourselfs ,I agreed with her and up until this last incodent I thought all was fine ,we had been getting along great .We coach my younger sons Tball team togeather and I coach my older sons team . Other than the normal stuff that happens in marriage  the spats here and there we have  always got along great, a very loving family . We have always done alot togeather as a family, there is no abuse or drugs on alcohol or other men or women involved .We have 3 greats kids and I love my wife with all my heart and would anything to keep our marriage and kids together.She has always been more than a wife or best friend she has been my sole mate.

Not doing so well


I came to this forum as a female who is about to enter "other woman" status.  The man I am going to become involved with is in the process of leaving his wife.  We met 4 years ago when I enrolled in a 4 year degree plan at a University.  He was a professor in one of my first classes, I am now 40 and he is 49, I expect to graduate this weekend.  We've been friendly for these past 4 years and had hypothetical conversations in which I "let him know" that I would not be interested in being "the other woman" under any circumstances.  The attraction has however been unbearable at times, and it's been obvious.  The proper thing to do would be for him to leave, and me to graduate before we could even consider investigating these feelings we have for each other..and that is what we are doing.

I am very torn between my feelings for him, which are very strong, and my fears about what this will do to his family, and whether or not it is even plausable, I mean we don't know anything about each other other than that this attraction has been very real for a very long time, and we have the same scientific interests.  His children are grown, the youngest is in college.  I don't want to be a tool to strengthen his marriage, I don't want to start something that simply fizzles after inflicting so much pain on so many people..and I surely don't want to disrespect the woman who has been with him for 22 years and helped to raise his children.  I do however feel that he and I both have the right to be happy, and if in fact this is meant to be, I don't want to be the one who walked away from this chance.

After reading this forum, one common thread seems to stand out ...the wives who are left feel that they have nothing since their husband has chosen to leave, and perhaps this is a big part of the problem.  The wife of the man I am discussing rarely worked, didn't involve herself in any self interest, and forbade him to bring his interests home.  She found all of his scientific interests boring, and this is something that means a great deal to this man.  Perhaps they married for the wrong reasons, perhaps it's time they found spouses who are mutually interested in similar things.  It's easy to coast for 20 years raising children and allowing yourself to stagnate, then blame the spouse when they don't find you interesting or find someone else who has remained active and up to date in current events more attractive.  Yes, I am younger than this man by 9 years, but believe me I am no beauty pagent winner.  I am over weight, and my hair if left undyed is greyer than his, but I am!
ctive, I am not helpless, and I share his interests.  I find his field of study to be equally interesting...and even have a degree in that area.  I didn't find it interesting because I wanted him, I find it interesting because it is in fact interesting.  I would be involved with it with or without him.

Things happen for a reason, perhaps those of you who are feeling abandoned and hurt are hurting more because of the abandonment than for real loss of love...Is it really a loss of love, or is it a loss of security?

I have not had an affair with this man, and I will not consider even beginning a relationship until he is free, he must make that decision on his own..and by god if he finds me attractive enough, and interesting enough...to want to make that drastic step to investigate it...then I'll not turn him away...at least I can rest assured that he would respect me enough to set me free before chasing his desires in the future, and for that I respect him.

Feedback anyone?





Well I am no expert but looking back it seems that it was all leading to mlc. Do you think I am on the right track ? Do they ever regret thier decision to leave their wives and kids and want to come back if so how often any % how many do it again and is there a rough time frame as to how long it takes   before  they come to their senses if they are going to ever?  He gave me now
real explanations!!!!   I need anwsers of some sort...............HELP PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  IS THIS  CLASSIC MLC ?



To JB......Your situation sounds exactly like mine....married 27 years, other woman...though both deny it.  divorce final 12/2000.  Still I listen for news about them and waiting for their relationship to end or blow up or something.....she is totally the kind of woman he always scorned.  He asked our son to include her in invitations to family things because "her feelings are hurt if not included."  What about our feelings when they broke up the marriage?  My sons want nothing to do with her, but their dad is refusing to come without her.  He is not the man I knew and loved.  mander


JB   A counselor recognized that parts of my husband's strnage and selfish behaviors had been present during the marriage, I just did not take them seriously.  I don't think i could ever take him back, and what we are waiting for is "the way it was", which can never be.  That is why you are so concerned.  You still want "the way it was".  There are better men out there.

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May 21, 2001

My husband and I have been married 28 years next month. He is 47 and I am 46. We have two married boys and one grandchild. I though my life was great and one day ,I discovered he had a one night stand. He has moved out 4 times since January. The most he has stayed away is 2 weeks. This time I think he make it longer. He bought a travel trailer and moved to the coast. In the same state that we live. He is so withdrawn. Very hateful speaking to me. I am so much in love with this man. He says it want work out, because all we do is argue.He has lost alot of weight, got a great tan, says he has finally found peace. I went to visit him for a week, but only stayed 3 days because he said I was nagging him. If I call him and ask him anything and get choked up in  my speaking, he says thanks for ruining his off day. I saw him on my birthday, he bought me a card and said he didn't buy me a present because he didn't know what I needed or wanted. He is breaking my heart. He says he loves me and he always will. I don't believe there is another woman anymore. I would like for him to come back and lets spend the rest of our lives together. I don't know how to reach him. Everything I do pushes him farther away. He will call me and say lets start
over we have done this 3 times and it has never lasted over 3 days. Please send any advice 



I am 45 years old and my husband is 43. He recently told me that he wasn't attracted to me and he wanted to move out, be single forever and date (have mad sex) with younger girls at his gym. He said that he has had several offers. Of course my response was shock and then despair as I cried all day. It is scary to think about loosing him as we do everything together, play racquetball, ski (have a ski house in the Poconos) are in a band together and love to travel to National parks and hike, to name a few. He is my whole life. We tried to find/get friends to come to our vacation house but they are all having problems themselves. My family lives in another state and I am locked into my job with no chance of transfer. I can't picture myself living in this town with no support nearby by myself. He said that he will get counseling but I think he feels that it won't help. He says the same thing everyone else says on your web site. "It's my problem and I have to work it out." I feel that if he moves out it might be too late for him to come back and rekindle what we had. The horror is that I have been telling everyone what a perfect marriage we have and that he would never cheat on or leave me. How embarrassing! I love him to death and don't want to find someone else as he suggests. Just need to air my feelings before I burst and hope to get some good advice. 

"Desperately seeking help"


To So or The Other Woman

It was interesting to read your testimony as it is rare. My now ex husband was 44 when he left us for the other woman and wrecked our lives on our little boy's 8th birthday. I can appreciate what you say about keeping the challenge in life and the interest. I can say that in our case, it was the other way around. he is an intelligent man but had stopped really learning and making any effort. Eventhough I had put my carreer on the back burner for a while to raise our 2 sons since he was busy enough with his own business, however I never totally felt out of touch with reality and always felt eager to learn more and stay 
on top of things. The Other Women he left us for is the opposite. Totally non-descript, did not finish college (I have had a maste'rs since I was 25 now almost 40) she plays game boy all day long, I play the piano and has a lower type of a job (I am a 
business school professor). 

You might not totally know the whole story about his wife. Don't ever underestimate the quality of the "homemaker". Raising kids and taking care of them full time requires tremendous amounts of energy, more than working full time as far as I am concerned. But you do it because it is worth it and you can never regret it. Some years are more stressful than others and as a spouse, it is difficult to be the wife/lover so you are more of a mom. That is the trick and the pitfall into which we all fall at one point. The husband feels estranged and if he finds an available woman out there (and there are so many) willing to listen to how miserable their married life is, they will go for it.

I agree with the fact that you might have strong feelings for this man, and that he might have some for you in return. The point is that I too could have fallen in love easily with very educated men and prestigious men. That is very easy to fall in love with someone prestigious (the pygmalion complex in your case) But I loved my husband and would have never cheated on him. I 
guess it is a matter of self-respect and morale. Now that I have been divorced for 2 years, I occasionally ---especially since 
I live in France--- do get the attention and pressure from married men on the job. 

I very quicky remind them of their status as husband and father and immediately recall the misery and agony we went through when he left us. Having been there, I would never inflict this kind of devastation on a man's family. Eventually you end up by wrecking the man too.  So you see I have both points of view and believe me it is not worth it. You will end up with half of a man. I can tell you that my ex who left everything for that girl---2 years later looks very unhappy and shallow. These men want to escape a reality only to find the same pattern a couple of years later.Men are hunters by definition, once he "has" you, it will be a deja vu scenario again and again. Only to cause more pain. 

Anyway good luck with your decision, think about the consequences 

N from France 

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June 5, 2001

I enjoyed reading all of the new responses.  I recognized so much from my life in the past two years as well.  Please know that life does go on and times will be better.  Do not become bitter....the only way to combat that is to forgive and at the same time you will become a better and happier person.  I know the devestation on feeling rejected, learning about the OW, and a husband who was my best friend, not wanting to work on our marriage........but life goes on and when my ex married the OW, I prayed for both of them and was able to carry on with my new life.  How did my life become so great after a hellish two years?  I have a profession I love dearly, two wonderful grown children, and a supportive extended family and very close friends.  My exhusband's ex best friend (when my ex walked out on me, he walked away from everyone else that had to do with his "old life, including his best friend,") told me that my ex had done me a favor. Actually at this point, I completely understand what he meant.  God is good all the time and I know he has something special planned for me and for all
of you that have suffered.......Take care and if I can help in anyway, let me know........JB


Gloria, You are never to old to do something to better yourself. I went back to college at the age of 35 to get my teaching degree. Now I am 42 and back in school getting my Masters. Believe me, it is worth it. Please do not hesitate due to your age. There were many women older that 40 in college. Go for it girl!



i wanted to know how long is mid life crisis? my husband of 16 yrs has left me and my 3 kids behind i mean behind we
never hear from him and he has a so called friend only relationship. but has said in the beginng of all this that  he loves her and has given his heart to her i love him but he hates me



Like all the other letters, my husband is going through a mid life crisis.  He has told me he doesn't love me anymore, acts like he is 16, and is still in the house for now, because "it works for him right now".  He is a different person that I hardly know.  This hasn't come overnight.  Hid dad died about 9 years ago and he went into a depression for about 6 years, gained weight, and I thought he might be suicidal. I made him get counseling, which didn't go over well. He withdrew from me and my teenage children.  I refused to have sex with him without love.  He stopped holding my hand, kissing me or being nice to me.  We moved into different bedrooms for several years.  Now, the kids are going away to college and a few months ago he started losing weight and is  happy with life again.  At this point, I went to him and asked if we could work on our relationship because maybe there was a chance now that he seemed over his depression.  He said no. He wanted to do what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it and I had no right to ask or expect anything from him and we were now only roommates.  We still do things together, like dinners and movies and stuff, but only when he decides he wants to, and when he leaves the house I am not allowed to ask where he is going.  He says he doesn't have a girlfriend, but I don't know if I believe him, but he has been pretty honest about his feelings right now, so maybe not, but it's probably next.   I don't know what I should do.  I don't like him anymore, but I loved the person he used to be.  Is that person dead? Is my marriage over? I am a 'roommate' but he still expects me to pay the bills, carry his reading glasses, clean the house and other non roommate things. What should I do? Kick him out?  I am leaning toward this but if this is something that might pass and we can get through it, then I will stick it out. I stayed with him through years of depression which was horrible.  I am a strong person and have a good job, so I could survive, but I am a wreck emotionally and cry daily which really pisses  me off because if anyone else had this same story, I would be saying MOVE OUT YOU FOOL, but now that it is me, I am being, I am not that strong.  Advice please!!!!



ML at 55

While browsing through the Internet I just by chance found you information. I just realized that everything that I once felt comfortable with has no meaning now. It seem the friends i once had or not friends and i am desperate to find someone to share the confusion that i am going through and the loneliness i am now encountering. being single at this time is no great
comfort at this time and being gay and living in a community without outlets to share has made it even more of and issue. when i go out now it seems I'm in the background looking in and not really being there. i really have no family that i can be close to, my only friend that i could always depend on is now gone, my mother. beyond her friendship there has been no one in my
life to really be close to. each day has become a challenge, but with the help of God i know i will get through this. you were right just writing about these issues has been a help in just this short paragraph. I hope that others will write and share how they are coping and the obstacles they have been through and how they overcame some of these issues. my first name Edward,
Tulsa, OK. I very thankful that I found your e-mail sight.


Hello SO or The Other Woman;

I have to agree with what Nathalie (I'm assuming it's Nathalie from France--right?  Hi Nathalie!) said to you.  Men are a funny species, and he's obviously going through something that's making him unhappy with his life right now.

You're right about women on this forum.  But we're in a very delicate place in our lives where we've been devastated, and the hurt is still very real.  You'll also read about men in the same situation, and hear the pain in their words also.  It's all the same.  But down the road, these women (and men) will become stronger than they've ever been before.  Going through this builds character, and you have to go through it to earn that character.

Back to you.  Maybe he's going through MLC, where men, and sometimes women, re-evaluate their lives.  They don't know what they want.  They think it's their wife, usually, because she's the one constant in their life, and has been for years.

You said "she" helped raise his kids.  I can pretty much guarantee you that it was the other way around.  You're hearing the story from his side only.  If his wife has been with him for 22 years, I'm betting that she took care of most everything.  He's a professor, so he probably puts in long hours.  I'm thinking that his wife took care of everything else.   You said she found his interests boring.  You said she didn't have interests.  It sounds like he didn't pay enough attention to know what her interests are.

Nobody "coasts" for 22 years!  Nathalie is correct!  Being a mother, raising kids to college age, taking care of a home and husband, etc., is the hardest job in the world, and the one with the least amounts of thanks involved.  It sounds like she also worked a regular job at times on top of the rest of it.

Here's a hypothetical history on men going through mid-life crisis:  They become disenchanted with their life.  They blame it on their wife, the not-so-perfect house (that they don't help clean), their job, whatever it is.  Sometimes they make the painful decision to leave it all behind and start fresh.  Everybody is devastated, but they think that this is what has to be done to make themselves happy.  They get their own place, and start feeling like "this" is where it's at!  They learn to do all of the things that their wife has done for them for years.  They pay bills, they cook, they clean.  They feel like a teenager again.  They spend
money like they've just won the lotto.  They start to look different, dress differently, maybe wear a chain, get a tan, a new car, whatever.  They go out and try to fit in with the singles who are 20 years younger, or with the rest of the men! i! n their situation.

The wife is devastated.  She cries all of the time.  How can he do this to her???  He'll be back, she hopes.  She's even willing to look past what he's been doing with other women.  After all, it must be HER fault.

Then it starts getting rougher on him.  The wife, though still devastated, starts to think more rationally.  She might get a lawyer and find out what he's going to have to pay her for maintenance, child support, whatever, and start the process.  You see, women are intelligent creatures.  While men are off being teenagers again, women have already grown up, and once the awful shock has worn off and she starts seeing what or who he's become, she starts getting her life back on track.  She starts looking and feeling better.  She starts taking care of the things that he always did.  She realizes that she CAN do it all.  She may start going out with friends and actually enjoying herself.  She may still want him back, but things are changing.

Within 2 years (the usual guideline), the man starts feeling like he's no happier than he was before.  If he's with another woman, does she make him any happier?  Maybe at first, but then many men start to wish they had the old routine back again.  His wife (or ex-wife by now) has moved on, she's looking good, her self esteem is back up, she may be dating other men and enjoying it.  The man is still going to his midlife crisis.  He's now given up his family, who used to be his source of enjoyment.  He's alone.  His new partner doesn't understand why he's depressed.  What he's finally realizing is that what he had before wasn't so bad, and may wonder how to get it back.  For some it's way too late, but for others, there still may be a chance.  For others yet, they're perfectly happy with their new life.

My husband explained it like the hero in Gladiator.  He had everything including that could be offered to him in life, but all he wanted was to go home to his family.

Be careful, SO.  For so many men and women, it takes a full two years after a separation or divorce to realize what it is that they really want.  If you step into a relationship with him, you may be setting yourself up for hurt down the road.  Just be careful.



I am a 29 year old woman who has experienced all the typical syndromes of mid life crisis. It is so good to have others for support. I am contemplating to ditch my "friend" and try to focus on a passion which I have yet to determine. But I still fear that somewhat loss of a relative or physical ability in future might trigger a 2nd traumatic crisis. Now it is just aging plus empty nest ! Tomorrow who knows ?



To the Other Woman

I found your perspective on your lover's wife very interesting.  Do you not realize that you have only heard one side of the story?  Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps he might cheat on you since he cheated on his wife?  Has he held back information on himself as to not tarnish his glowing image you seem to have for him?   When I realized how confused my then
husband was , I went to him and said we both needed counseling as 17 years together was just too much of a lifetime to throw away.  When he told me he wanted a new life and did not want to be reminded of his old one, I knew I had done all that I could.  I at all times maintained my dignity and the year (this past year) preceding the divorce was one of the most successful
professional years of my life. A very good friend of his had asked him if the OW was a better woman than he had been.  He looked at him with a blank expression as  that had never entered his mind.  Through all of this turmoil and many prayers sent my way, I prayed for both my ex and his girlfriend to find salvation.  I know that was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
So please don't take what he says as the complete truth.  Nothing good can come from deceit.................I know there is NO ONE on this earth that I could ever despise enough to do to them what has been done to me.........One more thing......I do not place all of the blame on the OW.....Think long and hard as what you have done can and probably will come back to haunt


Hello folks... just wanted to direct those of you who are suffering from infidelity or just need some good advice on working on your marriage..www.marriagebuilders.com



I have been reading some of the questions and answers on here because i am looking for answers in my life. My wife and I were married for 20 years and like all couples ..had our ups and downs. We always overcame them and moved on.We were both always faithful and would never even think about having an affair.  We separated because she felt the need to "get away"  She did this 3 times during our marriage and always came back..she said she needed space. She suffered from depression for 15 years and I stood by her.. and she was always there for me. The last time she left..I noticed a change in her. She never lied to me in 20 years..all of a sudden  she could not talk to me..touch me..or even look me in the eye. I asked her if she found
happiness or fell in love..she said  NO..I am going thru the change of life.. I don't like to be touched or looked at..  I don't have those feelings that I had 20 years ago. I thought that it was a natural feeling for a woman going thru menopause.. I continued to stand by her. but in the meantime..i found out that she had a "friend"   When I confronted her she was in denial and threatened to divorce me..  because she said I was imaging things. She worked nights and sometimes I called her at work and they said she was not there..she said that the people who asnwered the phones were stupid..she was there..she denied she had a cell phone..one day a bill came in the mail..it was her cell phone bill.. I looked at the numbers that were called on it..and it was the number of the man she worked with..the same man that she carried his picture around with her..the same man I caught her going to meet for lunch at the lake..when i confronted her..she said it was a coincidience. When I told her what I had found out
..she left for good.  Why does a woman live in denial..rather telling it like it is???  The woman I known & loved for 30 years could not even give me a chance to make things rigt or give me closure..Does anybody have any thoughts on this subject???



my marriage is changing as i know it our children are grown up and i feel so alone my husband is finding that after 22 years of marriage he wants me to loosen the rope. i did not know i had a rope on him i thought he did things with me because he wanted to.  My question is how to i go from being married for 22 years and doing everything together to still be married but doing stuff on my own like he is



Have you seen http://www.middleage.org?  It's a simple non-profit affair that may be of interest to your readers.


Bob Adams


Response to TB, who is 46, has a twelve yr old daughter, and is obsessed with a 24 yr old.  It sounds like you are having a MLC big time.  Believe me, unless the 24 yr old is a real loser, he will not want you.  24 yrs old like women in their twenties.  You should probably do a reality check, go back to school, become part of a church group, volunteer in an art museum or volunteer for something worthwhile so you will end up with some self esteem. 

Also you have some guy that is boring. It is probably because you are a twit and he is just quietly going thru his life embarrassed that he is married to you. If he was with a woman who was attentive to his daughter and loving and stable to him, he would probably start having a spark of joie de vivre in him, which probably was put out by you years ago.

Harsh words - yes. But the fact you are 46 and obsessing on a 24 yr old shows you are interested instarting your own life over  again. And sister, that ain't an option.  What you can do is make a chart of what you feel is missing from your life that you need and how you want to be treated (romance, appreciation, recognition) and then make a list of what a family needs and how they are treated by you (rudeness, lack of interest, selfishness), then reflect on these, and decide what you correct the situation (which will probably be unfixable unless you go to therapy).


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June 17, 2001
To Kelly, JB and OW 

Hi Kelly! 
Thank you so much for putting in simple words what  I was trying to say. See... I still get so emotional about it as you can imagine. Hard times are behind, I am a better, much stronger person now, but still, the pain inside never totally goes away. I think you explained the "OW to be" very well how painful and destabilizing the ordeal is for us.  We are allowed to be in pain 
and digestion may take years...I hope she understands that originally we are not bitter women, deprived of any interest in life, and losers as she seems to believe we are. I think typically these men take all the energy out of us like praying mantas, they feed on us, and as you commented upon very well"He helped her raise the children instead of she helped him raise the children" 
is a more appropriate scenario. I can relate to that 100%. I carried the family on my back alone. To JB : thank you for explaining the OW that she is only listening to his side of the truth and if he cheats on his wife, he will on her! My ex had 
left a first family BEFORE he left me, so I should have known all along, once they do it, it is a pattern and there is nothing you can do about it.  I was just #2 on his list who fell in love with him---my mistake--- gave him 2 sons--that is the best thing I could have done!! and considered him the man of my life. These types of men are incapable of fidelity, it is not part of their value system. They will never grow and remain the college student they think they are (like Kelly says) So life goes on and they stay behind. To the OW: What makes you think (OW) you are any different? Don't expect to change "him" no one can. He is only taking his luggage of problems to you but the bottom line is always the same. To any victim of MLC: In my case, the lesson I learned from the tragedy : Just protect yourself and never ever let yourself be hurt again. 

Nathalie, yes from France & California 


After 21 years of marriage my hushanb has up and left me and my daughter. With no notice just walked out of our lives one Saturday after a trip that he went on alone.  This has been the worst pain in the world, it is more painful than loosing a family member. I have asked myself a thousand times what did I do for my husband to just walk away. I have been researching midlife crises and from all I have read and found on the internet my husband is going through it. I wand to know is there a cure or is there something that I can do to let him know how much I love him.  After 21 years of marriage there has been ups and downs however nothing is worthing loosing a family and everything that we have and have had together.  At first I though there was another woman but I don't know, things just don't add up. He will not look me in the eyes, he says that he is mad at me but will not tell me why or what I have done. I pray that one day soon he will come home and realize what he is loosing, his daughter will not even talk to her Daddy or speak of him, she is so hurt.  I feel that we all are victims of the MLC. Please remember all the families in your prayers as we really need them to help get through this mess.  God Bless everyone and I pray that all goes well for all.


Hi Mike - thanks for your column.  They say misery loves company and  sadly it does help to know you are not alone and that your husband's alien takeover is happening to others as well.  I am trying desperately to follow the advice in the columns to move on with my life.  Reading the facts from others who have gone through this and survived is also inspirational.  Maybe one day my husband will wake up and realize what he has thrown away (32 Years of happiness) but I have a feeling if and when he 
does too much time will have passed.  take care and strength and love to all those travelling this bumpy road.


After being married for 21 years my husband has just walked away, we have up and downs as any marriage however, I trully don't understand what is going on.  My husband and I have traveled we rode Harley's and up until a month agao I thought everything was fine. This is the worst thing I have ever went through. The pain is worst than loosing someone close to you.  I just keep asking myself what I done wrong. Does this ever stop, the crying, the lonelyness, we have a daughter and she will not even talk of her Daddy at all. This has torn our family apart.  I pray that God will soften his heart and he will come home. I don't think or feel that he is seeing anyone at this time, he talks to me over the phone very little, however he will not look me in the eyes.  I am afraid that I will loose him for ever, I don't know how to make him understand how much that I love this man.  He has been my rock for 21 years and we have been through a lot together. Is there a cure for this and is there any help for the victims (the family) in a crises like this.  The man may be going through this but my family is suffering as well. Please remember all the families in your prayers as the wife and the kids are loosing sleep, not just the man.  God Bless everyone, my prayers are with you all. 

A broken heart!!!!!!!


To JB--you sound so good.  I'm sure that not all of your footsteps are forward, but you sound great!  You go girl! 

To ML--did the two of you go the the www.marriagebuilders.com weekend workshop in May?  How are you doing? 

We are working on things since we went to the workshop in March.  He moved back in a couple of weeks later.  The problem is that with teenagers, life happens while you're trying to work things out.  I think we're doing alright though.  And the kids are also surviving.  It's been hard on everybody.  Kind of like when he left, oddly enough, but we're enjoying each other.  I figure that it took two years for all of us to get used to the results of the MLC situation, so it'll take time to put it back together. 

Kelly :)

I'm away for a couple of weeks on vacation, but send me  your messages and I'll post them when I get back. Best wishes to all of you--Mike

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