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Forum:The Midlife Crisis
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|Midlife Crisis Forum 2000|
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|September 1, 2000
Hi I'm a mother of two children I'm going through the same thing as
all of you are.. Just a couple of months ago my husband sat me down
and said he needed space and time to get away.. I wasn't too sure
what he was getting at but he went on and on about he needed to find himself
and he wasn't happy at this marriage. He said he found it very difficult
to talk to me about it because he was scared about what it would do to
me.. He kept telling me that it wasn't my fault and it was nothing that
I've done but this wasn't sinking in because I thought that we had the
perfect marriage. We never fought and we've been married 13 years
this September.. I love him so much and I haven't given up on him
yet!! Just the other night we talked and he said it was hard to say
he loved me. Well that was a blow because it is not like him to talk
that way, he says that he felt he was falling
I've never communicated with anyone over the internet before but after
reading your comments about your troubles with your husband and MLC I feel
that I could have written the same thing! Like you, I find a little
comfort in knowing that others are dealing with the same problem I am.
I wish you or someone would say that counseling worked and things get better.
My husband just opened up to me in the past month and I am trying to find
a counselor or doctor to help us thru this. I was so
I am currently struggling with MLC myself and it is no fun for my family
or myself. People tend to make fun of men as they go through MLC which
I think is an attrocious double standard; who thinks its funny when women
go through menopause.Just as menopause is a time when women realize that
they no longer can bear children and are growing older,MLC for men is a
time when we realize that all of the dreams that we had as young men will
not be fulfilled unless we try to do them NOW!! This is NOT because we
do not love our families but because time is running out on us and if we
dont act NOW then we will never
I can feel for all the women I have just been reading about. My husband is in mlc and has been since 1997. It started around his 50th birthday and in the same year he was made redundant. He left me and the teenage children to go and teach thoudands of miles away in Thailand. He has never returned and like a fool I am still hoping he'll return ( I know hwe won't of course ). I've been told to hang in there but it's painful and pointless. I thought I was everything to him and that he truly loved me. Now I wonder if he ever did. My story is similat to many on the Forum pages but there is no younger woman involved. I am hurt angry and devastated as well as left with all the resoinsibilities while he does what he wants and escapes to the Far East!
I don't really have much to say at this point. I am affraid if I start I won't be able to stop. Thank you for your website
September 10, 2000
Welcome to Mid-life Crisis
You know, I didn't really expect these years to be as tramatic as they have been. My daughter recently went off to college. No doubt, I anticipated her departure, but it wasn't just her exodus that shook up my family.
First of all, my 13 year old daughter had a really rough time of it. She idolized her sister very much. And since my older daughter moved across the country, it was very tramatic for my younger daughter.
Aside from that, it brought to light to my husband and I that we are eventually going to be alone. I know, "Big News Flash" but when you've been parenting for almost twenty years it is still a shock. I, as a mother, have had a difficult time defining my new role.
Now, my husband and I aren't really getting along. And I wonder if the Mid-life crisis thing is survivable.
I've been married for 18 years to my 42 year old wife. We have two children both teens. Our marrriage was rocky at times. I drank but quit. My wife tells me she loves me but doesn't have any feelings for me and wants out of the marriage. She is willing to go to counselling but says to me not to get my hopes up about staying. I'm devastated and in shock. She had told me 2 months ago she was not happy so I changed to suit her but not enough apparently. I've begged her not to leave me because I love her intensely. What now?
I'll give this a try. I'm only 46 and not thinking of leaving my wife or quitting my day job, so to speak so my desire for feedback doesn't seem as urgent as some of the other stuff I've read. However, I suppose that, left unaddressed, it might become more of a problem later in my life.
I got "stuck" in a career path many years ago and have finally lost all interest in it. Luckily (I guess), I work for a university and am thinking of pursuing a PhD on the side (as I said, I'm not quitting the main stay). Coincidentally, just this past week, the chairman of one of the departments at school asked me to teach for him but it would be in the same area that I really have no interest in anymore. I'm already signed up to take a statistics course this semester to brush up for entering the PhD program in spring.
I know these don't sound like such bad options - they're not - but, since this forum is about midlife crisis, I thought I'd ask if people can successfully change careers at this point in their lives. If I had to give up very much of things like contributing to our retirement, I don't think that it would make me very happy overall since I'd be taking away from my wife's and my sense of security, which is very important to us. But, if I didn't give it a try, I think that I'd always regret it.
My husband has been involved with a girl at work for quite awhile. They have been having an affair since February. He is not the same person he was a year ago. Could he be experiencing a mlc? We have been married for 28+ years and I love him very much. He says he wants a divorce but he doesn't want to marry her. He sometimes acts like he still cares for me. I can't figure him out. He doesn't know what he wants. What should I do?
Having read all the things on this page I dont have too much to add
but hope to help if I can. My husband is also in his MLC. He prepared his
abandonment a few weeks before he shocked us with his sudden disappearance
when we woke up on Easter Friday after a normal evening before all his
things and him were gone car and all. I have two kids who have just hit
A little advice to other Moms out there in the same situation - he is
balistic - he is searching for his lost youth, last chance, lost dreams,
the perfect woman he can give energetic perfect service to - even all of
them. Its shocking to know he is suffering too. He wont admit that to you
or anyone else. There are stages to MLC. First the realisation he is getting
older - panic sets in. He is scared of losing his manhood and those abilities.
He is afraid of being unable to do things he could when he was 25 and is
sure he still can and will prove it. Dont try to stop him - if you do youre
history. Then secondly - the pain of leaving his loved ones, thier not
understanding and thier reactions. He will perhaps drink, drug, or go sex
crazy to ease the pain he is feeling. He will justify this to himself and
out of this try to create a bad wife and kids and himself a hurt hero.
Dont help him - if you do youre history! Then thirdly - he wants
to come back and doesnt know how to undo it all. He gets confused about
if he wants to come back or not. He gets confused about whether to divorce.
He has a new life now - this will work. But how sweet memories are of you,
how he misses you and the kids.... dont get involved, dont comment, say
nothing! If you do youre history!! The final stage if you havnt divorced
him/moved on/whatever.. is when MAYBE he will try to come back to you.
This can take months or years. Ive heard from other women who have been
strong enough to handle this much abuse that thier realtionship is fantastic
and the kids have a wonderfull father. He found his peace and stayed stable.
Knowing this if your up to it, remembering there are NO guarantees he will
ever come home again (hard isnt it?) my advice is to get on with all the
things you wanted to do. GET INDEPENDANT FAST or lose yourself to depression
and hopefullness. Move on
I hope this helps and if not then better adivce is needed so dont hold back - give it freely.
Thank goodness a man has writtten to tell us how men feel. My husband
has been going through his MLC for a few years now, and i wish i could
help him. I have read all the books around, but i have noticed their is
not very many. They stress on the women but what about the men. I think
that is very hard for the men to go through this, and as loving wives we
must try and let them know we are in their corner. On our wedding day we
made a commitment ,for better and for worse,i think we must look at all
the good times and i am sure they will outway the bad. I know it is very
hard for men to talk about it, as they are always teased about it,
and I am sure that is why they get so defensive when we want to talk about
it. As a man can you give us women any advice as to how we can help our
loving husbands through this trying time. I refuse to give up and throw
away a 22 year marriage.Lately, my husband has been giving me the
odd positive feeling that everything is going to be alright, but then he
goes back to his ways of being distant,unloving, etc. I know it must be
killing him inside, but I am here to help.
Canada in the USA
September 17, 2000
To DMC and Christine:
Christine, I read your note on the forum and the part "He still tells me that he never stopt loving me but he does not know how he loves me and on other days he tells me he still loves me but he does not know if he is still in love with me" could have been written by me early this year. I heard those same words, exactly, from my husband then.
My husband told me he needed some time in January of this year. He moved out on March 1st, with me begging, pleading and promising anything as he walked away from our 22 year old marriage and our two daughters. He would not consider counseling. Between January and March, we talked extensively. None of it did any good. I wish I could tell both of you that there is some miracle cure, but there isn't. I wish I could tell both of you that it will work out, but I can't, because it may very well not. What I can tell you is that I am not the same person I was when we were together. Our separation has given me time to reassess our marriage, too. I have discovered that he has been distant and uninterested in our life for a long time. I have discovered that he is very self-indulgent. I have discovered that life for him when we were together was pretty easy. I have discovered that I am a very giving person with a lot of very wonderful qualities. You see, I work full-time. And I take care of this house, and just about everything else. He pretty much did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do, and if he wanted to do. And with all that giving from me, I still wasn't good enough. So be it. I filed for divorce 4 weeks ago. There are still days when I wish he would just come home, but then I realize that it is not because I love him, but rather because life would be easier if there was not so much change in my life and things just went back to the way they were so I could be "comfortable" again. Change on a daily basis at the age of 44 is not easy, especially when I look back on my wedding day and realize that I never thought this was where I would be in 22 years.
The best advice I can give you is to be selfish. For once! Be selfish about finding out who YOU are. Be selfish about YOUR needs. If you have children, make sure that you are supplying their needs, emotional and physical. They shouldn't have to live without you emotionally just because they have to live without him physically. TAKE this time that he has given you and cherish it. Do something every day for YOU. Just for YOU. Be good to YOU. It's about time somebody was! Remember, he is an adult and has made his choices. He can take care of himself. He'll have to, because no one else is going to any more.
You will get through this. That I CAN promise you. Search for your own inner strength - you may be surprised at how strong you really are. Go to church. Pray. You WILL find an answer. I did!
I have been wanting to write for some time. I read so much of the pain
of those of you whose spouses are "taking off". I am in the midst of my
crisis and I am "hanging on". My heart goes out to you.
I discovered a way to talk about my pain which may be helpful to those
who read this forum. I read this analogy in another context but it certainly
fit my situation. This is what (my) mid-life crisis feels like:
Imagine that you have planned a wonderful vacation for your family at Disney
World. You have made all the arrangements: tickets, transportation, expenses,
rooms, etc. Now imagine the day you are to leave (or arrive) you wake up
in Washington, D.C. Now Washington, D.C. can be a fine place to spend a
vacation but you made all your plans for Disney World--and you are not
there. You might begin to panic, you might desperately attempt to get to
I never thought I would question my marriage.My husband left in Nov.1999 to think about what he wants.I always thought he would be back,I never would have guessed different.I love him with all my heart and would welcome him back with open arms.I know I have my faults and he finally told me where I was wrong and I went for help.Thing wre good for 3 weeks then he would find something else wrong and I would try to fix that then something else and so on.My heart is empty since he left I am very lonely and hurt.After being alone for the last 9 months he has decided to get a divorce.How can someone not know what they feel for you anymore?We have been married 26 years.We have 2 children and 2 grandsons.He does not think this has any effect on our kids.He is seeing a girl from work who he says is just a friend but he is with her and her son every weekend.He says we had a good marriage but that he never dated anyone else but me.I know how much this man loved me but he avoids confrontation because he does not like to argue.He also just woke up one morning and said hedidn't know what he wanted.I need your help! How can I make him listen to me or get him to talk?
Karen, Oh to see 40 again!
Hi Mike and fellow midlife crisis sufferers
What on earth is life all about !!!!!!
I feel as though my life is passing me by. I had the unspeakable birthday in February this year and am feeling empty with no direction whatsover. Its comforting to know I am not the only one suffering, reading the stories on your site it appears there are hundreds of crossroads with bewildered people wandering round, not knowing which direction to take.
I wrote to you yesterday but I don't think you will receive it.I am
47 and my husband is 45.In feb. of 1999 he woke up to inform me that he
didn't know what he wanted anymore, he was not sure how he felt about me
anymore.We have been married 26 yrs. I love my spouse very much more than
I thought.We sold our home,moved to apartment and after living with me
for 3 weeks he said he had to get away and figure himself out. It broke
my heart to see him walk out that door.Previous to him leaving may I say
we were only surviving in the same house,there was no sexual contact at
all.For the last 5 months we lived in the same house he would not even
sleep in the same bed.This man never left for work without kissing me goodby
untill then.We had a good marriage but he missed out on alot of things
he felt because we married when he was 18.We
Reading the messages for September/October 2000 brings up the past for me: all the pain and waiting and ups and downs and waiting again for the other to decide to make a move...
In my case, my husband finally left after torturing himself over leaving our then 5 year-old daughter...when he saw that I had emotionally let go after years of trying to make it work.
That was three years ago.
What is essential is to take charge of oneself, as one other contributor
said: Get independant fast! Financially and emotionally (emotional independence
takes longer, a lot longer and I guess much of the work is done before
the actual separation).
Beware of rebound: I fell into that too quickly...and it didn't work.
Rebuild your love of yourself and your children. Be good to yourself.
Let the wandering partner go awandering. If the relationship is salvable,
he or she will try to return, if you apply no pressure. If that wandering
soul perceives that he or she has really lost something precious and strong
and enviable, well, perhaps there is a chance. But don't count on it. Count
only on yourself. Make new friends, find new interests, retrain, work hard,
build a career. Look after your children. Be strong for the children. Protect
them from destructive conflict and from too much exposure to your pain.
Take up physical activity that
In my case, the relationship was too far gone, too twisted with too much bitterness, recrimination, manipulation, on both sides. It had to end.
This may sound trite, but the end of a relationship is also the beginning of a new life, new self-acceptance, self-discovery.
It is crystal clear to me now that having a relationship - a marriage - is not the most important goal in my life. Of course I am nostalgic at times; of course I feel sadness at times, especially for my daughter, but also for myself. Sometimes I wish Mr. right, the one I'd want to grow old with, the one with a house with a picket fence, would just drop out of the sky. But I know that my goal is to raise my daughter and give her a good, strong model. To enjoy my work - while balancing it with what really counts in life: love and sharing with friends. Over the past three years, I buried myself in work, to put away the pain, and I exhausted myself. Now I am setting new priorities. And the most important one is to slow down and pay attention to my daughter, my friends, and the boyfriend I see only occasionally. I try to savour the present.
All that sounds well and good, but perhaps doesn't mean much to you
when you're in the midst of such overwhelming pain and fear. The process
of letting go of the other, to listen to oneself, takes time and is surely
different for every individual....For me it came in several painful
steps, the realization that the love was gone. I had to get very angry.
For one year I was livid, till I became tired. Till it just came to me
one day, when my husband started yet another verbal assault. It felt
That was a huge step. Of course the fighting went on, even after he left. But eventually the financial stuff got settled. And the fighting finally stopped altogether when I insisted he no longer set foot in my home.
The point is that in one moment, I stopped being the furniture, stopped responding to the cruelty, the insults, stopped trying to control another human being. Stopped begging for...maintaining something that just did not work at all anymore after 13 years.
In other cases, the realization and assuming of responsibility for one's own life could well end up in reconciliation...
Take courage, take heart, is really what I wish to say.
Life goes on in Canada
September 25, 2000
I read your analogy about thinking you were going to Disney World and
instead were in Washington, D.C. Let's take it one step further.
You are in the lobby of the hotel in Washington and you know you don't
want to be there, but the porter wants to take your bags and you punch
him right in the mouth. The hotel clerk asks if he can show you the
executive suite and you
It's good to hear these stories of others dealing with this problem. I have MLC but it's a bit complex. My wife developed major depression 2 years after having our second daughter. I lived with withdrawls, binging, alcohol, obesity, hypersomnolence, credit card debt, medications, and repeated illnesses and injuries that came out of it. Finally, after 8 years of this stuff it culminated in a drug overdose and psychiatric hospitalization. I told her to stay away and get her life back in order. Now after 8 mons of intensive psychiatric care she is back in my area, living in her own apartment, trying to get me back. It took me so long and after so much trauma, that I'm not sure I want to go back. i am unhappy, unfulfilled, And lost myself in this process. You know the story- no time for friends, interests, self-priorities go out the window. I have told her that I have to get me back before I can know if I want togive me away again. Only now I have to figure out how to do this. Where do you begin?
Mother earth is made up of wee lil particles of stuff called specks... and everyones life is just that; a wee speck. What we make of the speck; if we want to make anything more of it is up to only ourselves, Me, myself and I. I don't know where,or what or how I'll be, but to my own self I will be true. I hope this faze lasts awhile...kind of like this age!
I want to experience a proper mid life crisis.... But I can't decide what kind of sports car to get. I tried a red Mercedes SL.. But it wasn't my style...... Too flashy... Now I am thinking of a Miata..... Fun but not too show offy......
I am responding to let you know that you are not alone in this and that
many women also go through the midlife, so called crisis. I
have a hard time with the word crisis because i am going through alot of
the same things right now , but it feels more like a fog has lifted and
i am becoming more conscious of my oun feelings and needs. At 41 years
of age I now realize that
And finally, while I hope for your family that things work out; I want to share a little note that was given to me by a dear friend.
I wrote several months ago, when I thought my toes were dipping into
the deep end. At that point I wanted to use my husband's boat and
his girlfriend as kindling for a bonfire! I wanted to read that these
tragic stories had good endings, meaning the wayward husbands would come
to their senses and go crawling home to their families. But that's
I can't tell you how much better my kids and I are doing now.
It's been over a year and a half since my husband left. We are supposed
to have final orders next week. I still don't want the divorce, but
I also wouldn't take him back right now if that's what he wanted.
He still has a long way to go to get through this and he needs to do it
on his own. He did move back in last January, but he wasn't ready.
I thought everything would work out, but it was too soon for him (and probably
I played mind games with him for a long time, and I figured I should tell him how I really feel, since he's making very important decisions now that impact his future, my future, and our children's futures. I'm still in love with him. I let him know that, but also added that I'm not going to chase him. Right now, it's kind of strange, but we are friendly with each other. I really think that he'll figure out what he's losing one day. He's a good man. MAYBE we'lll have a chance at a fresh start then, but who knows what I'LL want if and when that happens?
In the mean time, I'm finally enjoying myself and feeling optimistic
about my life and my children. I feel confident and self assured,
I take care of myself, I go dancing, and at 41, I think I'm doing great.
I went through a year of pure hell emotionally, and at the same time, Mother
Nature decided play several dirty tricks on me. Now things are looking
up. It's too bad that during the 20 years of our friendship and marriage,
we didn't take greater risks with each other. I think we fell into
the trap that many others fall into. We should have taken more time
for each other, and made life more exciting for each other. I
I am really worried and disappointed in my dad. He just turned 49 years old and is acting like a dog in heat. He is having an internet affair with a woman whom he met on a Soprano message board. He has been married to my mom for 25 years and is a successful business man here in St. Louis. Shirley is the woman who he is carrying on with. She knows that he is in a very vulnerable state of mind right now and is taking advantage of it. My dad, who used to be so responsible is now sitting at his desk all day at the office in front of the computer waiting on this woman to either e-mail him or IM him. She calls him collect but won't ever let him call her, because she is married too. All of this has my dad acting like a complete jackass and I have lost so much respect for him, I can barely look at him in the eyes anymore. My mom knows something is wrong, but he told Shirley he would never divorce her because he would lose half of the exterminating business that he has worked so hard to build all these years. Shirley is working him like a wind up toy. She will tell him in one e-mail how much she loves and needs him and when he confesses he feels the same she will back off. I hate her and want so badly to e-mail her and tell her off. If you are wondering how I know all of this, I work in my dads office twice a week and found the e-mails and read them. I know that was not right, but it does effect me and my mother too. It won't be long before I will have to confront him, he knows my feelings for him have changed, I rarely speak to him anymore. The only reason I go to the office anymore is to find out the latest about the affair. It is going to kill my mother when she finds out. I just don't understand this, he has a woman at home that has done everything for him all of these years and now he pulls this. Shirley lives in Wyoming, what the hell is he hoping to get out of this?
What an insightful website! For those that pooh-pooh the existence
of the Male Mid-Life Crisis -- let me tell you it is a FACT! I KNOW
BECAUSE I AM LIVING (OR TRYING TO) THROUGH IT (my husband's that is)! The
story: My husband is about to turn 41 and was "showing the signs"
of going into a mid-life crisis right before his 40th birthday (buying
Scared, confused, angry, resentful and betrayed in Alabama
October 1, 2000
To Scared, confused, angry, resentful and betrayed in Alabama:
After reading your post, there's one thing that kept popping into my mind. As I've been going through my husband's MLC, I've kept refering back to a book that has really helped me understand how I should handle it. After all, this is new to the majority of us, and we're totally in the dark after all of these years with the person our husbands used to be. The book is called "When the One You Love Wants To Leave" by Donald R. Harvey. There are parts in there that pertain to your situation and it gives you advice on how to handle the situation and your husband. I've read all I could get my hands on, and this one has given me the most information that I could really use. You shouldn't have to put up his behavior. You're better than that. Hope this helps,
p.s. To Getting Stronger---VERY WELL SAID!!! Getting to Disney World is a trip that can be taken with the family--try using a travel agent (therapist).
If you only knew the valuable service you are providing to these good people. I just turned 47. 47?!? That's almost 50 What happened to 30?!? My dad was 50! My beautiful young bride was now a middle-aged woman, and my oldest daughter is 22, one year younger than I was when I got married - yesterday.
I slammed full speed into this thing called MLC. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I felt like a cross between Rip van Winkle and Ebeneezer Scrooge waking up after 20 years finding everything different - marriage, outlook, everything. Like Scrooge facing his own mortality, I felt that new priorities were in order. I did the school thing, the career thing, now its time for other things, like jazz piano and rediscovering our marriage.
I've heard of midlife men dumping their families and buying sportscars. I thought they were just acting stupid, but now I know.
I searched the web for help and found your site. There I read about all the things I've been experiencing and knew what ailed me.
Your website has helped me put things in perspective and, hopefully, not to do anything I'll regret later, but only time will tell on that.
Now I Know
And thanks to you "NIK" for writing. I'm glad you've found this web site helpful . . . Mike
Hope I have sent this e-mail question to the right place.
I noticed my husband changing in January 2000, right after his 52nd birthday. He talked and worried all the time about getting old and dying. I just thought it was stress of the job he lost in January and stress of the new job, (I helped him get) in February. In January he set up his own e-mail on his computer, (instead of using mine) and one day I notice SHOCKING PORNOGRAPHY by the tons coming in on his e-mail. WHAT A SHOCK FOR ME. He had NEVER before been into pornography and didn't believe in it.
He is very deep into a midlife crisis right now and seems to be falling deeper into it on a daily/weekly basis. He met a new woman that started to work where he works, started going with her in 1 week later and after 4 more weeks, he left me. He has now been with her for 70 days, I believe they have split up once and he went back because he had no where to go. His friend called me and said my husband wanted to come stay with him, as his "new living arrangements weren't working out", but the friend said he really didn't want a room mate.
I thought my husband loved me, (15 years together) and he always told me he loved me, and I did him. NOW I AM "PUBLIC ENEMY # 1" AND HE CAN'T DO ENOUGH TO HURT ME" AND I DON'T KNOW WHY. He will do ANYTHING this woman tells him to do. He hand writes hate letters to me and to add insult to injury SHE ADDRESSES THE ENVELOPE. I got tired of hurting and now just mark through my name and put "return to sender".
He has fought me for 2 months, I have wasted $2,000 in attorney cost, and he won't give me a divorce. I now go Monday to FORCE a divorce in court. (I filed for divorce less than 24 hours after he left. THIS SHOCKED HIM!!!)
TO date, he has stopped paying his VA mortgage on our home, and is not longer pay ANY of our bills including water, electric and phone. He shut off my cell phone, cable TV and long distance phone service the 1st month.
If my husband would only talk to me or explain ANYTHING I think that would help, but he pretends he doesn't know me. I guess I just need answers. My husband refuses to acknowledge he was ever married to me.
October 8, 2000
My husband is SO typical of the mid-life crisis person. He was the "perfect" son growing up and "perfect" father and husband (at least to the outside world). Suddenly he decides he hasn't been happy for a long time and has left for a secretary he's having an affair with. We have been married 21 years and have 2 girls 14 and 11. His personality and morals have completely changed (consensus of his family, coworkers, and friends). Is this a "PHASE" he'll grow out of? Is he sick? My children are devastated!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the advice about reading a copy of "When the One You Love Wants to Leave." I am sure I will have to order it because most of the book stores here carry very few self-help books (I guess no one in this area needs help of any kind <smile>).
To all others:
There was something I have noticed in posts to this BB and Forum as
well as others about MLC spouses. How so many people said "If I had
only done this, that or the other my spouse might have not left..." If
you have tried your best and your best was not good enough then it had
nothing to do with you (chances are even if you didn't try your best it
still had nothing to do with you). Your spouse married you because
he/she loved you (faults and all as you did him/her) -- whether they now
say they never loved you or not. It doesn't matter how pretty/handsome
you are, how skinny or in-shape you are, who paid the bills, who saved
the most money, whether you cooked fancy dinners, made his/her life comfortable,
didn't harp or complain, kept the house perfectly clean, did things with
them, didn't smother them, paid attention to them, complimented them, etc.
My husband's friends always commented how lucky my husband is because he
has a wife that is loving, caring, doesn't harp, lets him do his hobbies
with his friends, is a gourmet cook, keeps the house spotless, doesn't
have children to distract him, looks 21 at 34, is in good physical shape,
etc. My husband STILL had an affair with OW. What is so funny
is she is my exact opposite! Very plain, kinda dumpy, has 4 kids,
she whines and complains all the time (is VERY pitiful), can't cook, lives
in a dump, is always broke, and is 14 years older than I am. What she provided
was re-affirmation. I could have told him a million times a day that
he is still handsome, witty, talented, smart, etc. However, he needed to
be told by someone OTHER than me to REALLY feel he is all these things.
She said all the RIGHT words and since she "needed" him made him feel like
he was her hero. He didn't realize that he was being used by her
until after I had found them out. So he got used for all he could
give her, everyone he works with found out, I was in the process of leaving
him, etc -- he then decided he had made a mistake (duh). Now he sort-of
has his wife back (me) but the relationship that was the envy of all his/our
friends is now torn apart. So, what did he gain? He found out
that he is still attractive and can "get the women" but is now in relationship
hock. So, for those of you feeling the need to go out and "find yourself"
think it over and over -- you may be throwing away everything to find out
Crazy in AL (formerly "Scared, confused, angry, resentful and betrayed in Alabama" -- that was too long to keep typing)
Like the others that write to this column, I am left behind by my husband
of 23 years. He has no interest in anything that had to do with those
23 years - home, children, mutual friends, my other family members, etc...
This has been the shock of my life and I have been reading, praying, going
to counseling, taking antidepressants, and talking to anyone who will listen
to my tale of woe. I have been crying since this started about 10
months ago. I am sure everyone is tired of my tears and sadness.
What I want to know is, is there any research that provides some insight
into the predisposing factors, causes, treatment, or prevention of this
phenomenon. It is very frustrating to me to know that this has been
going on for years or centuries, and plenty of people can describe the
same manifestations, same devestation to those left behind, and yet, there
seems to be very little scientific
Hello everyone. I just turned 43 years old 3 days ago. I have been married
for 7 years. I have been grappling with MLC now for at least 3 years. I
have sought out and received therapy for this mental disorder, as diagnosed
by the DSM IV. I have worked very hard and now feel that the smoke is clearing.
I can now see light at the end of the tunnel. For a long time time now,
I have been desperately fighting off chronic feelings of obsolescence,
complacency, degeneration, all leading to intense alienation, loneliness
and despair. In response to these feelings I believed as many others that
by changing my surroundings (spouse, clothes, fitness level, car, geographic
location, employer) I would change the feelings. I was wrong. These superficial
attempts at external change only lead to further confusion and isolation,
temporary gratification notwithstanding. I have now reached a point in
my recovery process where I have gained enough insight to recognize that
the pathology of MLC is internal. It lies within heart and soul of the
person. It affects the heart and mind and manifests itself first through
emotions (feelings), second through cognition (thoughts) and thirdly through
actions (behavior). I have learned that to overcome MLC one must reconsider
the beliefs, stereotypes, roles, and expectations that family and society
have impregnated and conditioned into our minds. Many false beliefs are
implanted in our heads as children by parents and friends and not necessarily
through bad intentions. The point is that they are not etched in stone
nor do they apply to everyone. They are all valued judgments that are often
eschewed by bias. Unfortunately many of us carry these unrealistic expectations
into adulthood. This causes terrible problems when we try to live up to
the expectations of others instead of attempting to truly understand ourselves.
Only by getting to know ourselves will we ever be able to identify our
true talents and aspirations (as well as our shortcomings and
2 recommend readings:
Girdano, Daniel A. Better Late Than Never: How Men Can Avoid a
Midlife Crisis 1981
Here's my story and time frame references:
Background: H and I have known each other for 23 years. I went steady with him since I was 18 (he was 23), got married 8 years later, and divorced after 7 years. I initiated the divorce (no 3rd person). I think I was going through a MLC (my father died). His father died the same year as divorce. We began seeing each other again after 6 mos. of divorce, moved to another place and lived together for the past 2-1/2 years. He moved out 5 mos. ago after he began seeing someone else. We never remarried, but here goes...
About 2-1/2 years ago, he started doing things to improve his appearance.
Got braces, fixed teeth, laser treatments for his face,
August of last year, he said he wanted separation, just wanted to be
alone and figure things out. I asked if there was another woman, and he
said no. He said it was him, nothing to do with me. We worked through it
(or so I thought) and we were okay. About March, he started talking separation
again. This time he was telling me that he wasn't 100% in love with
me and he wanted to love me that way but couldn't and that he'd felt this
way for sometime now. He was also unhappy about his job,
In April, I discovered that he began running with and talking to a woman about his feelings (emotional affair) of disatisfaction with our relationship. While I was away visiting family, he would see her (don't know if it got physical). By mid-April he was talking moving out again. I suggested counseling and he refused and wanted to work things out his way. He moved out at end of April into his own place, but actively began seeing OW regularly. I didn't hear from him for 1-1/2 months! When I finally did, he said he missed me but he didn't know what he wanted and couldn't figure out how to decide.
It's now been 5 months since he moved out. We went to 5 sessions of counseling, but to no avail because he couldn't commit to the relationship, just wanted to see where it would go. Last night at dinner he barely said anything to me, I initiated most of the conversation. I finally asked what was going on with him and how he was feeling about things. He said he's tired of talking about how he feels and people trying to change what he feels. Friends believe he is going through a mid life crisis and so I began reading about it and at dinner explained that this may be something he is experiencing. Thus the comment about changing what he feels.
Lately most of the things I say or do upsets him. I am a peaceful kind of person, I don't yell or throw things. And he is very much the same way, except when upset then he'll clam up and when really angry he will raise his voice. In all our 23 years together, he has never raised his voice to me except within the last 5 months. This is scaring me, I'm a wreck! I don't know what to do anymore.
Is this a mid-life crisis? What can be done, can anything be done, or is this something he has to process alone? Will he ever come out of it? I have ordered your book, His Mid-Life Crisis. After I read it how can I get him to read it, if in fact this is what he is going through. He is an educated man, and a school counselor. He doesn't take kindly to people telling him things about himself especially anything from me these days. He is like a stranger to me.
Help me, In Tears
October 10, 2000
Attention: Can any of you help with this?
October 16, 2000
I'm a twice divorced 40 year old man that awoke this morning to a sense
of deadness inside and a sense that time was running out. Could this
be part of a midlife crisis? I don't know! What I do know is
this feeling has been within me for awhile--years!. In an attempt
to make it go away, I thought a fresh start would do the trick.
So, a few years ago I got a divorced from my "ex-number-two." I really
make that sound too simple and I could write volumes about that relationship.
However, the short story is she was one of the best and most loving
women I've ever known and I killed that relationship because I convinced
myself she was the reason I didn't feel alive. So, what did I do?
I went out and bought a Corvette convertible and established a relationship
with a much younger women that I now feel is incredibly wrong for me.
Currently, I have a daughter that will be a year old this month and though
she brings me much joy, nothing has really changed. I still feel
dead inside. Worse yet, I've recently started having these little
mini realizations during the late evening about my mortality.
I don't know how to get over these feelings of dread and nothingness.
I thought a spiritual inventory would help but what I know of the Dead
Sea Scrolls, Druids, Judaism, other religions, and history in general,
has served to undermine many of my core religious beliefs and has resulted
in a type of cynicism regarding western religion, as a whole. Unlike
some, I can't just hand-off the garbage in my life to god and know with
certainty that there will be life after death and that all my questions
Hello, I am desparate for help in my marriage. My husband and I have
been married for 26 yrs. I love him wiyh all my heart even though he has
hurt me in the last year very bad. My h woke up one day to inform me that
he no longer knew what he wanted, that he loved me as I am the mother of
his kids but he did not think he was in love me anymore. That was in Feb
of 99. We sold our home, our kids are 23 & 25 so they are on their
own now. When we sold our home I thought that we would have more money
to do the things we wanted to do as with our home money was tight.We moved
into an appartment and in Nov99 he decided he had to get away to find himself.
He asked me to let him alone to think,I love himenough to try to respect
that but he comes from a family of 9 kids and 1 of them was constantly
reporting things to me and I would get upset and find him and confront
him he would get angry as I was usually histericle.He says this drove him
further away and things esculated from there.We have been apart now for
11 months and in May he filed for divorce but he says he is not sure that
he is doing the right thing I do not want a divorce. The problem with this
is we never talked since he left untill recently. Two weks ago he finally
agreed to talk to me and we talk about things that were wrong in
the marriage,he says our marriage was good but we did not comunicate. We
have gone to court twice already and the div will be coming final befor
long and I am scared thathe does not want it either because he keeps
saying we'll see what happens when I mention the div moving so fast.He
was speding time with someone but he swears she is only a friend ,I believe
him. He has been very confused about all this and we have both had
conseling ,we have been going since Feb99.If he really wanted a divorce
then why is it so hard for him to just say there is no chance for us again
and why is he so depressed about his decision? I know I did some things
that hurt him too ,he use to hug me all the time and i would tell him to
cut it out and he says that bothered him real bad. I wish we talked more
than we did
please give me some news soon ,
October 23, 2000
Hi,We been married for 12yrs. we have 2 kids ( 10 & 16 mos.) it's now going on 4 weeks sense everything started.My wife work's nights & I work days, sense she started it's been trouble, now she decided to move out with one of the girls that work with her & a guy that works day's their.She started the job 6 months ago to make extra money for our trip & her bills for credit cards that she promise that she wouldn't do so she is to pay the bill.She says that I don't pay attention to her, yes in which I'm at fault.Now I'm trying so had to get her back into our lives & for our kids.She says she needs her time & space & I ask her if she is seeing anybody else. The answer is no.I have offer use to go to cancleig she said no.How long does she need time & away ? She will come in the morning to take our son to school & watch our daughter until I get off of work then she will leave.I will left with the kids all night.Is this fair? I'm going to be 36 & she is Turing 37.Does she have a midlife Crisis? I only hope & pray that she will come back.
Found your "The Addiction of Midlife Affairs" article to be very beneficial.
October 30, 2000
I have read most of these stories and all I can say is, boy can I relate.
My husband has just turned 30 and I am only 28. We have only been
married for three years. He was married before me at age 19 and has
two wonderful children (6&5). We have always believed that we
were soul mates. Our marriage has evolved in that we are not only
mates, lovers, but also best friends. Thank god he is talking
to me about what he is feeling, but that doesn't make it any easier for
me. It all started before his birthday in June. My family noticed
it first, but I just passed it off as he wasn't looking forward to turning
30. Through the summer there were more signs but I kept thinking
they were something else. Then about two weeks ago, he started talking
to a girl online that lives in the same city as us. She is single,
mother of one, and 33. She is a big partier, and he started to show
My husband has just turned 37 & he is suffering from M,L,C. I am suffering, the family suffers he wants a divorce because I talk 2 my friends about the marriage, He says he loves me . Please somebody I need guidance .
Hi! I'm Carol. I am really going through a wild mid-life crisis! I am (40) ugh! I don't look like I am 40, this makes it worse!! Thanks,
I simply must know what your on-line friends think about an issue that
is threatening to break up my and my husband. For many reasons, when
we married five years ago, we agreed that we wouldn't have children.
I have had a complete turn-around in that feeling and am longing for a
child of my own, but he doesn't want one. The question I'd like to
see discussed is this: Should I have to choose between marriage and
a child, even IF I thought I didn't want to have any at the time of our
marriage? Do the Christians who read this think I am bound to my
marriage vows under the very circumstances that were occurring at the
I'm old enough that I only have a couple of options left to carry a child myself. However, adoption is a very viable alternative, as many agencies have said that neither my husband nor I are too old to adopt through their agency.
My husband did some things that showed he took a serious look at all the options. He visited a school for special language programs for international adoptees, he went to a fertility clinic with me, and other things, but he decided he couldn't go through with it.
I need some feedback from whomever cares to answer. Please respond to email@example.com
Hello,I have been married 5 years to a man whose ex-wife has been living with another man in another state for the last 10 years. As far as I know in the 5 years that we have been together he has had no contact with her. Well, his grown kids have contacted him and told him his ex is very sick and in intensive care, although she probably will recover. He thinks he ought to send her a get well card,I think he ought to stay out of it,she has been with a different man for 10 years! I am not trying to be petty but this really has me upset. What do you think?
Hi. I'm sitting here writing looking for help. It's 9:40
and my husband is still at his new friends house. It's been
nearly 6 weeks since we had our talk about his wanting changes in his life
and felt he needed to move out. He felt something was missing and
kept reassuring that it wasn't me. That it was all him. We
also have no children. I love him dearly with all of my heart and
it's killing me slowly. I'm 35 and he's 32. We've been married for
nearly 13 years. He says that he is looking at his life and everything
that he has wanted he has not fullfilled and that something is holding
him back and he doesn't know what it is. He
I have been seeing someone for almost six years. this past year I have been ill. My fiancee recently turned 44 and is now dying his hair , goes out all night sometimes.He is very angry but doesnt know why. Recently we seperated because he needs space and is planning to do things hes never done before. He asks me to be his friend instead of his wife. Is this part of midlife crisis or can theire be more. He says he loves me like a friend one day and the next he loves me. I am 36 and totally confused by his behaviour. He recently lost his pet, his son moved away from home and now im gone. Thank you
Lost and confused in canada
To All Men who are:
How I can relate to this story! I am a French-American 39 year old woman
who just went through Hell. After losing my younger sister to cancer at
age 32, she died in France while my husband and I and 2 sons lived in California
(for 15 years) one year after I lost my sister, still grieving her, the
father of my children started having an affair with an Asian girl. He was
44 at the
I filed for divorce since he refused to come back. 8 months later I sold our house and moved myself and the boys to France------Stability--------He is still with his Vietnamese girl friend (16 years younger) and bought a house with her last June. His relationship with his children is very sporadic and superficial.
America is encouraging the babyboomers to do so. This generation of
men is so self-absorbed, so selfish and materialistic that men never grow
and never become fully adult (only when they start having prostate problems
do they start thinking)Woman cannot afford to have a midlife crisis.I believe
this type of problems starts in childhood, the way little boys are isolated
from normal interaction with girls (if they want to learn how to they join
the Cotillon clubs!) Lack of role models (their fathers are big
After more than a year in France, my sons ( now 9 and 12) realize the
difference and the disfunctionality of the Amercan society. They ask questions
such as why is it impossible in California to have coed birthday parties?
Things is more natural in Europe! If Americans ran their families as well
as they do business it would be great but I believe that if the old Continent
has to learn from the new continent from an economic point of view, America
has so much growing up to do regarding human relationships! It is
the land where you can make a fortune just selling self-help books, opening
a counseling practice or becoming a new guru because common sense is deficient
Nathalie M Q
I was reading all the articles about husbands being unfatfull and wife's. Well I'm in a similar situation I have been married for 10 months i'm 21 my husband is 26 and all he ever does is lie. I don't understand why he lies to me about really stupid things. If I treaten to leave him he gets defesteded and he cries to me but yet he is very abuse. He lies to me and I get the beatings for it. I am so stressed I have lost so much weight I weight 90 at 21 years old I am always sick and very depressed. The worse part now is that the church we attend have just made us the youth leaders of the church. I mean he can be the best to me so sweet and stufff but now that I know he lies I feel like he's being fake to me in every situation, I feel like everytime he say's I love you he's lying. How am I to have kids and a life with a man who can even tell me he had peas for lunch because he will tell me he had beans. Why? I AM SO FRUTRATED AND CONFUSED, I WISH I HAD NEVER COME HEAR. WHY DID ALL THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN WAS IT A HUGE MISTAKE. I'm starting to believe that. If anyone has some advise for me please help.
Dear Too Many Questions, Not Enough Answers ....
I read with interest your recent e-mail about your mlc and two relationships, one that you walked away from and now realize was indeed a very good relationship, and one that you are currently thinking about walking away from.
I think you should change your signature to "Disaster Dan." You appear to be just an accident waiting to happen for every woman whose life you enter. Do you realize the trail you are leaving behind you? Does no one else's feelings count but yours? What about those women?
In my opinion, you have no right whatsoever entering into any relationship with anyone until you straighten yourself out. Everyone feels a void now and then, and asks themselves "is this all there is?" The answer is - YES! And it's a lot! And you better make the most of it, instead of spending it feeling sorry for yourself because you think you need "something more."
My husband of 22 years ago left me in March of this year, giving me the same song and dance that every other man going through this does. All the classic lines I've now read on this web site over and over again since he left. I got over him. I hope he doesn't change his mind and want to come home again, Dan, because that ship sailed. And you need to consider that your options are not going to be open forever. And that little girl of yours needs her Dad. Get a grip and straighten up, before it's too late and you leave another trail. Do whatever it takes - counseling, reading, whatever.
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