According to clinical professor of psychiatry Calvin Colarusso, someone having a true midlife crisis usually wants to change their life in a hurry. If this is your spouse, what does that mean for your marriage?
That depends on a few factors:
What is he/she looking to change? – There are certain things that are common for an individual to want to change during a midlife crisis:
Many of these changes are manageable for a partner, however some are a little more difficult than others. Obviously if your partner is no longer satisfied in the relationship, that is cause for serious concern.
Is their behaviour destructive? – It isn’t uncommon for those going through this crisis to make uncharacteristic choices. Psychologist Lynn Margolies, PhD describes a “teenage-like rebellion” in men going through this crisis. They may be feeling trapped and tempted to act out in ways that will disrupt their spouse’s life:
- Drinking more
- Having an affair
- Leaving their family
- Seeking more excitement and thrills
Not all people going through a crisis of midlife experience this destructive side, but if they do it can cause serious friction in a relationship.
Set your own boundaries
It is up to you and only you how much bad behaviour you are willing to put up with. Some spouses are able to deal with an extra-marital affair whereas others are not. It is your right to set boundaries with a spouse who is having a midlife crisis. It is your right to file for a divorce and remove yourself from a marriage that is too painful. As an individual, only you know what you can and can’t put up with.
Take care of yourself
In the meantime, focus on you. You have no control over what your spouse does or doesn’t do. You do, however have complete control over you. Discover a new hobby, engage in activities with your kids, and stay physically active. This is a great way to channel negative energy, if you are sitting at home the problems and frustrations of your marriage will consume you. Getting out of the house will give you and your spouse some needed space.
Don’t take it personally
Your spouse is likely acting out of character, so when he starts criticizing the house, his job, and even you, its important for you to try and understand that he isn’t out to hurt you. No, they’re doing it because of something within themselves, nothing to do with you as difficult as it might be to believe.
It can be confusing and difficult to see one’s partner going through a midlife crisis. When deciding whether you and your marriage can handle this storm, let us at Family TLC help you. Having an objective professional listening to your difficulties can give you a sense of relief, knowing you are not the only one dealing with these problems. We have knowledgeable and professional staff that can help guide you and your spouse to a happier and healthier life.