How to deal with your or your partner’s mid-life crisis

How to deal with your or your partner’s mid-life crisis


A midlife crisis is a stage of a middle-aged person's life that often occurs between the ages of 35 and 65. During this time, they may feel forced to confront and/or reconsider their mortality, confidence, identity, and accomplishments. Psychotherapist Elliott Jaques originally used the term in 1965. 

Do you feel your partner is experiencing a midlife crisis? Sports vehicles and trendy hairstyles aren't everything. A midlife crisis is a difficult emotional time that adults between the ages of 35 and 65 experience. Many people experience the crisis as a time of existential self-evaluation since they are at a crossroads between youth and old age, continually second-guessing their decisions or actions. Some people see this time as a true "crisis," which leads them to act inconsistently in a variety of ways, whether through minor adjustments to their daily routine or significant alterations to their personality and values. 

This questioning could result in a sudden change in career, a commitment to a relationship, or the pursuit of a new pastime, but it could also encompass more impulsive acts and behaviors, such as reckless spending patterns and health worries.

However, the shift in perspective and awareness of death that occurs during a midlife crisis doesn't always show up as negative symptoms; it can instead result in a stronger desire to devote more time and energy to family or less time to work and more time to living. Although there isn't one telltale symptom, it typically denotes a change in viewpoint regarding one's participation in life and sense of self.

What causes a mid-life crisis?

Who helps middle-aged clients negotiate life transitions? A midlife crisis can be brought on by a wide range of significant circumstances, such as divorce, the death of a loved one, boredom, or a critical life event. The change happens when a person's identity and purpose in life are directly at odds, typically as they get older.

And while it's simple to think that a midlife crisis is simply brought on by a fear of aging, in reality, a midlife crisis is typically brought on by a life-altering event and is more associated with the anxiety of change than the fear of age. What you might refer to as a midlife crisis can also be exacerbated or started by very specific stressors or setbacks during adulthood. Changes to your work, physical health, finances, or interpersonal relationships, could be among these pressures.

Career change

A poll found that people often change careers when they are 39 years old. Many people are juggling more employment obligations as they get closer to middle age. You might move up to more senior roles if you continue in your current employment. Even though those positions pay more, they also come with additional responsibilities that will increase your stress levels.

Others in their mid-20s observe a decline in their professional advancement. Your repetitive daily routine may contribute to your discontent at work.

Troublesome Childhood

Certain childhood events can increase your likelihood of developing poor health impacts even as an adult. These health issues could make your midlife more stressful, which could amplify your sense of crisis. For instance, depression may be more likely to manifest itself later in life if a parent's death was experienced as a child. You may be more prone to heart disease and persistent stress as an adult if you experienced poverty as a youngster. Being abused by your parents or seeing their divorce can both have negative effects.

These repercussions aren't inevitable, though. You can develop a number of coping skills to deal with midlife difficulties and go past society's occasionally negative perception of aging.

Changing Financial Situation

Many of the mentioned circumstances may have an impact on your financial security. You might need to make extra purchases while you take care of your parents. If you decide to change occupations, you could also need to make budget cuts. Financial difficulties might also arise from losing your work or experiencing a sudden shift in the employment market during a period when you would have anticipated feeling more secure.

If you have financially strapped adult children, you might feel more stress. According to a study, middle-aged parents exhibit higher levels of worry and melancholy when their children's financial future appears to be in jeopardy.

Physical Transformations

Maybe you're not as quick as you used to be. You may even be at an increased risk of contracting a disease or being diagnosed with a condition like high blood pressure. The bodily changes can make you feel defeated or anxious about the future.

Hot flashes, mood changes, and insomnia are a few of the symptoms of menopause that afflict women. All of these could lead to an increase in one's overall stress level.

Men's testosterone levels may steadily decline after the age of 30 or 40. But low testosterone can also be caused by illnesses, drinking, bad drug reactions, and an increase in body fat. Depressing symptoms including poor sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and trouble sleeping can be brought on by low testosterone.

Indications or Symptoms of mid-life crisis

This crisis brings on emotions of suffering, depression, and grief connected to a near one's death. It is also noted that it frequently resulted in a loss of imagination and self-assurance. Hereunder are mentioned some signs that show, your partner might be dealing with a mid-life crisis.

  • self-doubt.
  • diminishing life satisfaction and pleasure.
  • a lack of direction in life or purpose.
  • dullness and overall dissatisfaction with your life, your job, or your relationship.
  • discontent with shifting tasks and roles in life.
  • thoughts about the afterlife, the purpose of life, and other existential ideas.
  • worries about how they look and are perceived by others.
  • energy levels fluctuating, ranging from increased restlessness to unexpected weariness
  • less drive, or enthusiasm to pursue the goals and activities they once enjoyed.
  • emotional swings, such as irritation, melancholy, and anger.
  • modifications in sexual drive.

How you can contribute to helping your partner with a mid-life crisis

Focus on yourself and your family

If you are preoccupied with what your partner is thinking or doing, you aren't doing yourself or your relationship any big favors. Avoid being overly possessive. You still have total power over the decisions you make, though. Put more of your attention on the things you can manage. It's useless to obsess over your spouse's issues because you probably already have a lot of unfavorable thoughts running through your mind. These unfavorable ideas will eventually affect both you and your family. It's essential to occupy your time with an activity that will keep you from becoming distracted by your partner's actions while they are going through a mid-life crisis. Plan activities for yourself and your family apart from the stressful situation at home if there is one.

Channelize your anger differently

Often Especially if your partner's midlife crisis is negatively affecting you, anger may be a reasonable response. Even if your anger may be at its peak, letting it out will only temporarily help you feel better. While some people find that talking things out helps their feelings, others find that it makes things worse. Your partner's actions won't alter if you spontaneously vent your anger at them, and your relationship will only become more difficult.

Taking a non-confrontational stance is the best way to let your emotions out. Become a member of a gym, and hurl water balloons at the house's walls. Burn the negative memories' images and eliminate them. The strategy is to deal with your rage in a way that excludes your spouse. Your partner's midlife crisis won't be affected by your yelling, swearing, or crying.

Don't judge your partner

When your partner starts a conversation with you, pay attention without passing judgment. The goal is to listen empathically because it's likely that your partner is having self-doubts and is perplexed about what they are going through. Sarcastic remarks should never be used. It is more difficult to state than done, especially if they seem unreasonable or deserving of your pity.

Don't discuss the relationship with your partner

Any relationship has the choice to talk about relationships and work out any issues together. But since you two have since separated, you cannot expect your spouse to be interested in resolving your marital problems.

Instead of focusing on the pleasant past memories of your relationship, acquire new hobbies, concentrate on your profession, or come up with excuses to leave your house. Make it a practice to put yourself first because this will really aid in your recovery.

Rarely are people able to navigate the midlife crisis, grow from it, and continue on to a more fulfilling life. Few people can change into a tiny version of themselves and cause enormous discomfort to those around them. The simplest method of surviving your partner's midlife crisis might be understood as concentrating mostly on yourself and your children.

Even if your partner manages their midlife crisis without significantly hurting or damaging those around them, they frequently go through some sort of transition. You could be left wondering what you and your partner could do to help yourself and your partner save your relationship in light of these changes. The midlife crisis of your partner is not an easy chore, but it is manageable when you deal with it correctly.

There is no single treatment or cure for a midlife crisis, which is not considered a medical disease. However, folks in need of assistance have several possibilities. Experts frequently advise seeking counseling with a certified mental health professional to reduce the effects of mood, habits, or physical ailments associated with midlife crisis symptoms and to reframe negative beliefs into a healthier mentality and routine. A midlife crisis is something that needs to be digested, thought about, and investigated. The likelihood of responding impulsively to the point of having unexpected negative repercussions can also be reduced with the therapy.

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