39 and midlife?

by ts
(minnesota)

The Question


We have been married 15 years, and Monday night he asked me for a divorce. He is just tired of working at marriage. Five days prior we were planning our summer trip.

We have had a stressful year and he suffers from degenerative disk disease (bad back pain) and sleep apnea. He says he loves me but is just tired of it all. He wants to move to a one room apartment because that would save us money. Yep he said that, also we have two kids, one almost 16 the other ten, both girls.

I am heartbroken. Our family and friends are shocked - one friend who I told thought I was joking. We are both very stubborn but everyone knows how much we love each other, they say you can just see it.

My mom thinks he is having a midlife crisis because his actions aren't matching his words, he is very angry and irritable lately (which he is not, he is usually the most laid back guy). I just don't know what to do.

Noel's response

It does sound as though he is in a midlife transition. As with all things, this too shall pass, but there is no way to predict the outcome. I can only suggest patience on your part, and marriage counselling if he will go. If not, maybe some counselling for yourself to help you determine what you need to do.

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