I think your wife might be going through a midlife crisis. Here are some reasons why If it feels like your wife is determined to push away from the marriage If she's decided that there's NO WAY the marriage can make her happy, she may be going through a midlife crisis.
The problem is without knowing exactly what to look for, a midlife crisis can be very difficult to spot. This post is Part 1 of a two-part series about midlife crisis in marriage. You'll also get a downloadable PDF workbook including a midlife crisis quiz? Many times the conversation will go something like this and this is the nice version: If we fix the marriage, you can be happy again.
No… I just need space. Maybe… Not right now. I just need space. What DO you want? Okay… Chances are that the version of this conversation you had with your wife was a bit harsher than this. For example, many times she DOES want that separation, but she's not sure whether or not she'll come back to the marriage.
Or, here's another situation that may sound familiar Are the reasons she says she wants out of the marriage superficial problems that SHOULD be pretty easy or straightforward to fix? Here's a real-life example She was going to leave the house for this reason. Over the weeks leading up to their separation and eventual divorce, she gave him a different reason every time they talked about the marriage.
In the end, none of it mattered because none of those issues were the real problem. She ended up asking for a divorce, even after he fixed every single problem she pointed out. Sign 2 Empty Nest Syndrome Does your wife seem extremely distant from the marriage ever since the kids left home?
Empty nest syndrome is a classic sign that your wife is going through a midlife crisis. Just because your wife is struggling with empty nest syndrome doesn't automatically mean that she's going through a midlife crisis.
But, if you're also seeing several of the other signs here, it probably does. Sign 3 She's Started Going Out With Her Single or Divorced Friends This is one of the easiest-to-detect signs that your wife is going through a midlife crisis, and it is also very common.
This sign may also be accompanied by your wife starting to flirt with other men, or even outright dating them. She remembers or believes she could be having a lot more fun and feeling a lot happier if she was single, and so now she is trying to rewind and get that feeling back.
Of course, you and I both know that this is a crutch and that ultimately the same problem will continue to resurface over and over again until she figures out what really gives her life meaning and fulfillment. Does it seem like she's always looking for new ways to get involved at work? This sign is similar to empty nest syndrome in that, by itself, it doesn't necessarily mean your wife is going through a midlife crisis. When this sign is combined with others, that's when you should be worried.
She also told him that she was unhappy in the marriage, but didn't have a good reason why. Another guy told me how his wife was in the midst of getting her PhD, and over the past few months had thrown herself more and more into her studies, to the point that he barely ever saw her anymore.
She also told him that she was unhappy, and he soon discovered she was having an affair with one of her fellow students. That brings us to another classic sign of a midlife crisis Sign 5 She's Having an Emotional Affair or physical affair, but it starts emotional An emotional affair almost always goes back to unfulfillment. Just think about what happens in a midlife crisis Your wife is convinced that she cannot be happy in the marriage, and so she has begun looking for happiness outside of the marriage.
It is very common for her to find that happiness — or at least what she believes is happiness — in an extramarital relationship. I talk more about boundaries for opposite-gender friendships in this reader question. When your wife is feels like something is missing from the marriage… When she feels like she cannot be happy in the marriage… It makes it much harder to avoid temptation.
If your wife is having an emotional affair, be sure to check out the Emotional Affairs series here on the site. Emotional Affair Recovery Keep in mind, like many of these other midlife crisis signs, it is possible that your wife fell into an emotional or physical affair without going through a midlife crisis. Everyone — midlife crisis or not — is exposed to temptation from time to time.
But, it is very common for a midlife crisis and emotional affair to go hand in hand. Sign 6 She's Constantly On Her Phone or Facebook This is a fitting follow-up sign to the emotional affair because it is probably the single most common sign of an emotional affair.
Your wife is using the common excuse that love should not take work. You can't control passion, right? The truth is, love takes work. Of course, what this really means is that she is either: She has identified her lack of fulfillment as a lack of passion. Maybe all of the above. Basically, for whatever reason, your wife feels that she is unhappy, and because she is unhappy she has distanced herself from you. And because she is distant, by definition, she cannot be intimate with you.
Intimacy is, after all, the physical expression of closeness. This problem is often made worse by the fact that so many men today put HUGE pressure on their wives to have sex.
This touches on a subject that would take and entire post of its own to explain, but the long and short of it is that while yes, sex IS a part of marriage and you SHOULD be having sex in your marriage, sex is NOT a need. And chances are that your definition of a healthy sex life goes beyond what is normal or reasonable to expect. No matter the reason, if your wife has suddenly become unwilling to be intimate with you and she's remained dead-set against intimacy for some time, then that could easily be a sign your wife is having a midlife crisis.
And it is a topic that hits close to home for me because I personally struggled with intense depression for much of my young adulthood. But, if you think about it for a second, it makes sense… Someone who suffers from depression almost always believes that there is no point to their life.
In extreme cases, they might even say that they're better off dead because they believe that the pain of this world is not worth the trouble of living in it. Again, when someone struggles with depression, I believe it really points back to a lack of purpose in their life.
Because they literally cannot see the point of living, it is only natural that they feel depressed. Instead, I highly, highly recommend that you try and get her to see a counselor. Similarly, if YOU struggle with depression or if you have suicidal thoughts, please schedule a session with a therapist. Reach out to someone close to you, preferably outside the marriage. You may even reach out to me, because I genuinely care about everyone who comes to the Haven and I will do anything and everything I can to help.
My email address is inside at husbandhelphaven dot com. But I digress back to the topic at hand The point here is that depression and a midlife crisis are two different responses to the same root cause. If your wife is depressed, then her attitude and actions towards the marriage will often be identical to that of someone going through a midlife crisis. This post is Part 1 of a two-part series about midlife crises in marriage.
If you see just one or two of these signs in your wife, you may not be dealing with a midlife crisis. You might be, but you might not be. However, if you see 3 or more of these signs happening with your wife, then there is a pretty good chance that a midlife crisis is playing a role in her attitude towards the marriage. You can also take the midlife crisis quiz in the PDF workbook that will come with the next post.
This question quiz will tell you if your wife is having a midlife crisis and what level of crisis she is going through. If you're still not sure whether or not your wife is having a midlife crisis, don't feel bad Spotting a midlife crisis is something that even trained therapists and mental health experts sometimes struggle with. Even then, some experts argue that you can see signs of a midlife crisis as early as late 20s! Whether you want to call it a midlife crisis, an identity crisis or a midlife "transition" No matter what you call it, the first step to dealing with your wife's midlife crisis is to recognize that it is actually happening.
This helps you put yourself in her shoes. In the next post, you'll learn more about why your wife is going through a midlife crisis The reason she's feeling and doing these things in the first place. We hinted at it a little bit in this one, but next time we'll go in-depth on what causes a midlife crisis and what you can do about it, complete with a curation of advice from several different mental health experts.