Midlife Crisis in Men and Divorce
Age 35-65 is usually the age at which mid-life crisis symptoms are observed. It is a manifestation of one’s battle with their thoughts regarding mortality, beliefs, life choices, and one’s identity. It can be initiated due to a life-altering event such as the death of a loved one, a career upset, a major catastrophe, e.t.c.
A midlife crisis manifests as anxiety associated with change rather than old age itself, therefore there is no specific age for its onset. Decision making and choices made in this phase are highly erratic and irrational.
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Mid-life crisis in men and divorce
Men go through a phase when they take a hard look at the current state of their lives. They realize they could be happier, and if they need to make a drastic change, they feel the urge to do it soon. These thoughts are responsible for triggering a midlife crisis.
It is important to be in tune with your state of mind and accept that you are in this certain phase, only through acknowledgement and acceptance and by making wise decisions can you get out without any major regrets.
A midlife crisis can be a catalyst in the growth or destruction of an individual, the outcome solely depends on you. You can identify and address the causes of unhappiness in your life and make thoughtful decisions to resolve them.
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Can a midlife crisis cause divorce?
A midlife crisis is a transitionary period with uncomfortable and unhealthy symptoms which makes the individual highly impulsive and detached. This can trigger latent marital issues or give life to pre-existing issues. This may or may not culminate in divorce. A partner going through a midlife crisis will try to make big changes, is highly irritable, and this will hurt or confuse the other partner.
Midlife causes loss of interest and depression among men. This is due to the expectations one places on themselves, and the perceived unfairness and meaningless of life that is apparent to someone going through a midlife crisis.
A midlife crisis also raises the chance of infidelity among both partners. This may be due to the sexual ventures and desires of the first partner experiencing the crisis who wants to experience more of life, or due to the second partner feeling left out and being sexually frustrated for a prolonged period.
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Do husbands come back after a midlife crisis?
Men going through a midlife crisis feel the need to rediscover themselves and attempt to recapture their youth. Wives are often left clueless through this whole ordeal and have no idea how to grasp the developing behaviours. However, warning signs are always there if you are keen and observant.
The chance exists that your husband will leave you and remarry or continue living a life he sees fit in which you longer belong, but through careful steps, you can help to change that outcome. Midlife crisis is a wake-up call for your husband and you should help him navigate through all the alien emotions and thoughts.
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What are the signs of a midlife crisis in a man?
More often, men go through a midlife transition period in which they make smaller changes over time. Some warning signs or events that point to or directly cause a midlife crisis include:
- 40th birthday
- Uneasiness concerning major life elements and roles
- Feel that the ‘clock is ticking’
- Being rebellious or acting out
Other signs include drinking, having affairs, leaving family, concerned about appearance more than usual, being extra adventurous and taking uncharacteristic risks.
Male midlife crisis stages are generally characterized into 6 types:
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How do I deal with my husband’s midlife crisis?
For you to deal with your husband’s midlife you need to take some very important steps. You have to understand that this is completely normal a part of life. You should gauge the severity of the crisis by the responses and behaviours your spouse is exhibiting rather than the mere fact that he is going through a midlife crisis.
You should support his newfound desires and feelings and accompany him whenever you can. If the new interests and hobbies have no long term effects and are within a reasonable range, you should not give him a hard time and join him on this journey of self-discovery and reinvention.
You should give him attention and care during this vulnerable period. You are also not responsible for his happiness but you are responsible for your happiness. You should focus on yourself and pursue your interests and desires just like he is so you are less dependent on him and he gets some space to himself.
You should get couples counselling and get the help of support groups. Also, work on life goals together.
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Signs he is coming out of the midlife crisis
Negotiating personal midlife crisis is a difficult job but not impossible. Midlife crisis ending can take longer or less depending on what triggered it. Signs that your spouse’s crisis is coming to an end include the following.
They communicate their feelings to you and acknowledge their behaviour change. If they accept their crisis and come to terms with their thoughts then it is evident that their crisis is coming to an end.
When they also confirm to you that they may have not handled their fears and depression in the best way. Finally, if your spouse seeks help in the form of therapy it confirms positively that your spouse’s crisis is nearing its end.
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Midlife crisis divorce and remarriage
Regrets after a midlife crisis divorce are common and include regretting hurting loved ones, allowing emotions to guide decisions, wanting life to change and impact their children’s lives.
The probability of marriages that survive midlife crisis increases with age, but it is increasing as societal and cultural norms regarding divorce have changed drastically. It is important to note that an increasing number of women have been the ones to initiate divorce making it that much easier for the relationship to survive after the male spouse’s midlife crisis.
The chances of remarriage after a divorce are pretty low considering divorce is not simply a checklist that you untick but a rather lengthy process that leaves scars. Furthermore, if children are involved it makes it that much harder as midlife crisis destroys families and makes the chances of resolution between spouses that much slimmer.
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Male midlife crisis tends to be related more closely to the financial situation, sexual performance or appeal rather than identity crisis or a breach of ideological boundaries. Also, men do not go through the same suppression as many women go through which builds up over time and erupt in middle age. Therefore, it is easier to resolve a midlife crisis in men as their crisis is much more material than normative.
Partners need to take shared responsibility for the crisis and navigate together. It is important to remember that divorce is a traumatic chapter that has long-term costs and consequences. If you are in a marriage with someone going through a midlife crisis, you should know that you’re not alone and there is adequate support available.
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