When you start to think about this topic, your mind can fill with questions. “What is a midlife crisis?” “When is a midlife crisis?” “Is this a normal age to be having a midlife crisis…?” So let’s start things off with a simple definition of a midlife crisis.
It is when you are experiencing anxiety over the direction and quality of your life. It’s a period of anxiety, doubt, and disappointment related to your career path, your relationship or marriage, or even your finances. Everything is called into question and it feels like you aren’t standing on solid ground. It feels like you’re unsure of all the choices you have made up until now. People often associate a midlife crisis with a middle-aged man who leaves his wife and children to get a blonde, 20-year-old girlfriend and get a red corvette, but a mid-life crisis can happen as early as in a person’s 20s and 30s. This would technically be called a quarter life crisis, but it is basically the same thing.
It can also be defined as the fear of not having goals, or feeling like the goals that you have set for yourself are not attainable. Chidden and work, or lack thereof can also be causes of stress when you are experiencing a midlife crisis. It is an identity crisis that makes a person feel the need to redefine their values, and it comes in stages. The first stage is shock, then denial. Then depression, followed by anger, and then finally acceptance.
The reasons behind a midlife crisis are rooted in fears. For example, the fear of getting old, the fear of missing out on things, fear of death or illness, or even the loss of swagger! The good news is that a midlife crisis does not last forever, and as time goes on, it will begin to feel less acute, less intense, and you begin to find peace. A crisis is a strained period, but it is not the “new normal.” I know that many people panic and fear that they’ll be stuck in it forever, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The fact that you’re already on this website, reading this article means that you’re searching you’ve got a solution-oriented mindset. We can help you to recalibrate the situation to help you find peace and joy in your personal life AND in your relationship again.
In fact, I am currently working with a client who has a wife that is in a mid-life crisis. She’s frustrated, feels her life has passed her by and that she’s spent the entire marriage focussed on everyone other than herself. She started to go out more and make new friends, started drinking more, had little patience with her husband, and ultimately said she needed to get her own place. She moved out with one of their children back to her parents and refused to speak with him.
Shortly after her move out, her husband began working with me. Together, we dove into their relationship – the good, the bad, and the causes of her stress. We established an “action plan” where he focussed on making appropriate changes to his life – he worked on his need to control her, his unwillingness to let her have a life of her own, and his belief that his wife’s role is solely to be a caretaker to their children. After several weeks, he reached out to her to share what he’s learned and all that he’s doing and she was thankful. So thankful in fact that she asked to spend more time together. They still do not live together, but they are “dating” again for the first time in years. He gives her space, lets her feel value, and reinforces how sexy and attractive he finds her to be. Slowly, she’s opening up to him again and is excited by their relationship.