A man’s midlife crisis is difficult for everyone. They are hard for the man dealing with these insecure feelings and hard for the wife who is suddenly getting shut out or dragged along for the ride. Here are some tips on what to do when your man is in a midlife crisis and mainly how to take care of yourself and how to support him. This is not about putting his needs before your own, or making sacrifices to hold it all together and hope that he comes around. Women have to take care of themselves through the pain and craziness. They are not to blame for what happens in a crisis or if the marriage survives.
• Stay calm
More men than not will go through some sort of midlife crisis, but that doesn’t mean that it will always be extreme and effect your relationship in a way that leads to marital turmoil or divorce. If you know that your husband is going through a midlife crisis, stay calm. It’s one of the best things that you can do for yourself and for him. You don’t want to assume that he can get through it without your support. You can let your negative feelings get the better of you and make things worse. Show tact and honesty and love. Show him compassion and understanding and he just might love and appreciate you even more!
• Talk with him
Talking is important, no matter what kind of relationship you’re in. If you suspect something is happening, sit down, and try to talk to him about it. You have to realize that he is trying to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer young and is in fact aging whether he likes it or not. Have a conversation about this. Let him know that you love him and that even when he is feeling moody or crazy, you will be there for him. Remind him that you find him desirable and ask him if he wants to try new things together to spice up your private life. Even sharing some of your own insecurities might help for him to see that he is not alone and that you can trust each other for support. Remind him of all the reasons that you picked him to be your life long mate. Ask him to remember what he saw in you and ways that you can find that spark in each other again.
TIP: Talking about how his behavior is affecting your relationship is honest and fair. Approach it in a non-threatening and sincere manner. It is important to let him know that you are seeing and dealing with his changes and that they affect you too. Some men draw into themselves and shut down so there will be many times when giving your man some space is the best thing you can do. Let him know where you stand and let him come to you when he is ready to talk.
• Join in
Does he want to buy a new car? Try new things in the bedroom? Take a crazy vacation? Has he discovered a new hobby that he never realized he enjoyed before? Join in! Accept these little bursts of wanting to feel young again and join in with him. New cars and vacations aren’t so bad, as long as you have the money and the time. Trying new things in the bedroom can be one of the best ways to explore your relationship, especially during this time in his life. And trying new hobbies is a great way to learn new things about each other! Do you both watch a lot of cooking shows? Make a list of famous restaurants that you want to visit and take some cooking classes together. Do you love the outdoors? Find some new hiking paths or concerts in the park!
Often times men have a midlife crisis between the ages of 40 and 50, not quite retired yet, but the kids are off at college and you both have plenty of free time to spend doing things that you enjoy together after work. Let him know that you are excited to have new adventures together! Never make him feel isolated as if he is the only person wanting to do these things or he may turn elsewhere for attention and that can be problematic for relationships. I am not saying to cash in your life savings for a boat to sail around the world, but I am suggesting to go along when he wants to take boating lessons or a cruise.
• Take care of yourself
Through all of these ups and downs of his midlife crisis, there will be days where you feel emotionally drained. When you’re in a relationship with a person who is insecure and unsure of themselves it can be upsetting and exhausting. It is normal to feel confused and helpless at times too, like when you want to make him happy, and you can’t. Or when you are trying different ways to show that you are supportive, but he is pushing you away. It is typical for men in a midlife crisis to get wrapped up with themselves and some even turn their feelings frustration and unhappiness onto their wives and families. It can be painful. Try to stay calm and supportive and also stay strong. Let him know how you are feeling and that you want to be his partner not his enemy. Remind him that together you can make something wonderful out of your new stage in life but that he has to be willing to include you. Always be true to your own feelings and take care of yourself in the process. The worst thing that you can do is stress yourself out or get to a point that it effects your life in unhealthy ways.
When things get crazy just try to stay close to him and remind him that you want him to be close to you too. Give him some space when he needs it and also let him know that you still need him to be there for you. Some men do not like to talk (especially when they are feeling anxious and crazy inside) but let him know that you both need to set time aside to talk together regularly in order to make it through this together. Sporting a new haircut and dressing younger is typical. . . shopping for the same clothes as your kids and and hanging out at their college parties is not okay.
New hobby, good idea! New hobby that you can have fun doing together, even better! New hobby that takes him away from your relationship, not OK.
Do you have experience with a man in mid-life crisis?
What suggestions do you have for women caught in the craziness?
What to do When Your Wife is Having a Midlife Crisis
5 Ways to Survive Midlife Crisis as a Couple