What to do when your woman is in a midlife. (How to take care of yourself and how to support her.)
Men are most often not as emotional as women, and that’s that. If you are in a relationship, and your woman seems to be having a midlife crisis, it can be easy to panic and not be sure of what to do to help them. Women and their emotions can be uncertain territory (like a mine field). But remember that if her feelings have you feel crazy, imagine how your wife feels on the inside. It is hard to deal with all the crazy feelings, thoughts and emotions of midlife crisis. Don’t freak out though, you can both get through this together.
Talking and Listening
Hopefully when your wife is going through a midlife crisis she will be able to come to you for validation, support and attention. This time in your wife’s life is also a huge time in your marriage so you need to show that you support her fully as soon as she comes to you. If you think something is wrong but she isn’t talking to you about it, bring it up. Start the conversation yourself with kindness, love and non-judgement. Talking and listening is what you need to do when a midlife crisis happens. Be open, listen to what she has to say, and give suggestions only if she wants or asks for them.
Your wife says; “I feel like you don’t find me attractive and don’t pay attention to me anymore.”
DO say: “I’m sorry that you feel this way because that’s not really how I feel about you. What are some things that I can do to show you how much you mean to me?”
DONT say: “You’re crazy, of course I like you.”
DO say: “I’m sorry for taking you for granted. I think you are beautiful and amazing and I want to spend more time with you starting right now.”
DON’T say: “I’m not stopping you from working out and eating better! Or, “you know that showing attention is a two way street.”
During a midlife crisis a woman’s emotions are running high. Women are thinkers who often need to talk it out. Women are not necessarily looking to you for answers as much as they are looking for you to listen, show support and validate how they are feeling. (This site says that a dog can be a part of a good support system.) If your wife is going on about how she is feeling lost in her life and needs to make some changes, it may be a bad idea to give her advice on how to update her resume and suggest she make a fresh start by cleaning the basement. She will probably want some hugs, some eye contact and some validation for how she is feeling. She needs to know that you are there and that you care, not that you think you have all the answers to fix her emotions.
A wise man shared this video with his married guy friends and I thought that it says more than I can put into words about this section. . .watch this video – It’s Not About the Nail
(Guys take note of the Do’s and Don’ts)
“She needs to know that you are there and that you care, not for you to provide her with the answers to fix her emotions. “
Do the Little Things
Depending on your wife’s needs and personality, there are things that you can do to show her that you appreciate and value her. Things like doing the dishes when normally she would, or joining her in folding the laundry will take just a few minutes out of your day can make her feel better instantly. Know your wife and what she likes then do little things to boost her emotions while she is going through this emotional time. Maybe she wants some sweet or sexy texts during the day. Maybe invite her to take a walk in the evenings to hold her hand and connect. Perhaps finding a new and exciting hobby that you can do together will ease tensions, bring some focus during this uncertain time in your lives and give you both a chance to make some new memories together.
Your wife expresses that she feels lost and sad now that the kids have moved out if the house.
DO: Suggest that with the extra time and the fond memories, she could begin making photo albums and scrapbooks from old photos that will honor your family.
DON’T: Suggest that she finally be happy to have time to herself for a change.
DO: Give her a hug, tell her that you appreciate the wonderful mother she was while the kids were at home and talk about ways that you and she can begin a new fun stage in life together while she adjusts to her new role.
DON’T: Tell her to “find a hobby or better yet get moving on all those projects you always wanted to get done around the house”.
Hold Her Hand and Tell Her She’s Pretty
Never forget to tell her and show her that you love her. She may be emotional and you may not always say the “right” thing but making the effort is what counts. Midlife Crisis for both men and women are often when affairs are most prevalent. Men and women have the need to feel respect, desire and affection. It is important to work on getting those needs met from our spouses, especially in times of crisis! If your wife needs to know that she has still “got it” and you are oblivious or not interested, she will naturally seek the care and concern from others. If you are not willing to put in the extra efforts to fulfill her emotional and/or physical needs then who will? Her needs don’t go away just because you ignore them. Tell your wife that you are proud of her, that she is pretty and that you are a lucky man to have her as your wife. Women don’t like to be patronized but they sure do like to know that they mean something to you. You are the man they chose to go through better and worse with after all! Remind them that they were your choice for good reason too!
Your wife seems especially emotional and distant. She has expressed that she is beginning to regret not finishing her degree, never traveling or exploring her individuality.
DO: Hug her and tell her that you see the best in her and want to support her in realizing her dreams.
DON’T: Tell her that she should be grateful for her accomplishments and pull herself together.
DO: Excitedly offer some new ways to spend time together and do the things that she desires, like planning a vacation to a place she regrets never going to. Remind her that you love her and ask her for new ways that you can show your affection.
DON’T: Tell her that you are tired of trying to please her and that maybe she should get herself a hobby.
“Humans need to feel respect, desire and affection in their lives. During times of crisis it is especially important to get these needs met from our spouses.”
Taking Care of Yourself
There will be times when you may feel overwhelmed by her emotions, especially when nothing you do can make a difference in how she feels at the time. If you feel like you just need to get away for a while, then be honest. She might feel the same way and want her alone time too! Take a few hours to go and do something that relaxes you. It is just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of her.
DO: Work out or go for a run (or a walk) to get the endorphin’s going and relieve stress.
DON’T: Tell her that you have to get the heck away from her before you go crazy and then go out drinking to drown your sorrows.
DO: Go to the batting cage and whack the heck out of some baseballs! Or, buy a gift that you can enjoy together, like a board game or a movie.
DON’T: Say things that have been building up under stress and that you will regret later.
If your wife is going out to try new things like hobbies or classes or exercise, these can all be very positive in making her (and your) life better. Ask if there are ways that you can enjoy these things together and at find ways to show that you her support her new interests. If you think that her behavior is out of line with your values than you need to speak up. Getting a new hairdo and joining a gym is great! You might love her new look and it might be exciting to work out together. If you feel like she is pulling away or going in a direction that compromises your relationship, make sure to bring it up and be honest about how you feel. New hair do, fine. New guy pal, no.
Your wife is trying to find herself by experimenting with new looks. When she is ready to leave you see that she has gone “all out” with her hair, make up and flirty little dress.
DO: Tell her that she looks gorgeous and should hurry home so you can make her feel like a queen.
DON’T: Ask her why she looks like a sleaze bag and tell her to put on some sensible pants.
When we feel threatened or uncertain about our spouse’s intentions it is hard to act with tact and remain supportive. All you can do is remind her that you love her, need her, want her and then hope that she feels the same way too. No amount of accusations, subtle hints or off-putting attitude is going to make your relationship better.
You and your wife have been going to dinner and a movie on Saturday nights for as long as you can remember. But she started going out with her friends and finding less and less time for the two of you. She seems to find reasons to cancel your time together more and more.
DO: Initiate a calm conversation about midlife crisis, stages of marriage and your relationship. Do tell her that you support her having a life but that you want your life with her back too. Do ask her to be honest about her feelings about your relationship. Do talk about what you both need from each other.
DON’T: Remain silent, harbor resentment and let your wife slip further away. Don’t act out in passive aggressive ways hoping that she will change and resenting her because she won’t. Don’t decide that two can play at that game and find your own new routines that don’t include her either. Don’t pretend like it will all go away without work and love.
Have you dealt with a women in midlife crisis?
Men, what suggestions or stories do you have to share?
Women, what advice would you give to men?