how to survive midlife crisis

Today I received a question from a woman who’s going through what I went through (and am still going through) and I want to share it with you…

Dear Laurie,
I read your article on His Midlife Crisis … a Personal Experience. I found the information very helpful. It is so hard to find someone who has actually been through this and can understand what I am going through. I would love to know how long your husband’s midlife crisis lasted? Did your husband move out? How did he finally come through it? Please reply if you have time. I would love to hear from you. It would be so helpful to me.

Dear Sue,
I’m sorry. It’s so tough. I know how you feel and what you are going through. I searched and searched for answers to my questions (and I had solo many questions) about what was happening to my husband. And why.  And I searched for people to understand and support me.  As a writer I was able to find and interview hundreds of people of all ages, who either went through it themselves, were children of parents who went through it, or were just friends of those who did.  The most interesting conversations I had were with older people, above 65.  They had stories you would not believe.   Some were positive, some negative.  But all showed the true heart of each of their human spirits.  And I listened and learned.  You need support. A group of 3-5 friends you can call to dump on, yell, scream and cry about the hell you are going through and not to tell you what to do but just support you. No one knows or understands unless they’ve been through it.   If you are facing this don’t take it lightly….it’s real and it’s hard.

To answer your questions:

How long did my husband’s midlife crisis last?
It started when his Dad and Joe Paterno died (his idol). He had an affair, moved out, stayed away, was 80-100% not wanting to be married anymore (depending on the day), saw me as the source of all his unhappiness and problems, and then he lost his job, and then his mom died. Due to the job loss he moved home. This is where we are now. I feel REALLY good that he’s back, sorry and happy to be home. AND I’m really happy with me…what I did to get though this. I’ve seen so many that did other things and it didn’t work.

Did he move out?
Yes. I asked him if he wanted to be married and have a girlfriend, he couldn’t live in our home where I was trying to raise a family of 3 children with good morals. He moved out. He loved his freedom and I let him have tons of it. I asked him nothing. Zero.

how to survive midlife crisisHow did he come through?
I’m not sure if he’s through it yet. But he’s close. I think it started when he lost his job.  That’s such a hard thing for a man.  Their job is their identity.  Overall he became nicer and kinder to me. However…it’s just time. Time is a good healer.

If I can give you any advice right now:

1) Decide what you want. Do you want your hubby or do you want to let him go?
2) If you want to keep him….I can help. If you want to let him go….I can help with that too.
3) pick 3-5 people to be your support system. Tell them what you want: them to be your friend. And tell them you need them to listen to you, and give you lots of hugs.  Be sure to warn them they they are going to want to tell you the opposite, however please tell them they aren’t allowed to tell you to leave him or that you are a fool.

If you are reading this now and your husband or wife is going through a midlife crisis, send me your story…ask me questions.  I’ve been there.  I’ve been through it.  I can help.