Husband in Midlife Crisis or out of love?

by Mary A.
(Argentina)

I’ve been married for 22 years and we have three wonderful kids. My husband was always a perfect father and husband. Last April he told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to keep being married or plan a future with me. It really devastated me because I always felt we had a very good marriage. Among the reasons he gave me, he said I am a wonderful mother but that I have not been loving enough with him. (When his parents divorced the one who left was his mom, which he took as being abandoned by her; he has never felt loved by her and thinks she chose her job over her kids). I’ve always been busy with kids and work and housework but I never felt all this could be a deal breaker. We’ve always had something to talk about and we are not used to fighting or quarrelling.

I’m quite sure he is going through MLC since he’s worried about his hair, he’s changed wardrobe, he’s bought expensive items and he’s planning on going fishing to another country. (It kill me he’s not including all of us when we’ve done everything together as a family). He feels he always put everybody else first except himself. I feel he’s done everything on the list: he listens to romantic songs, he listens to songs louder than usual, he keeps checking FBK all the time, he sleeps on the edge of the bed, he barely looks at me, when he bumps into me around the house, he tries to avoid any contact, he’s absent-minded, he’s changed the way he addresses me, he seems detached from the house.
I’ve tried to be loving, gentle and understanding since I see he’s in pain. I’ve tried to follow all the advice I read on line: staying calm, not letting him see me cry, not arguing, etc. We have kept having sex but he’s been very passive and we do it when I approach him and he allows me to do so. I feel I’m losing some dignity but I’m terrified he could easily fall for someone else, which would make things worse.
Yesterday I tried to tell him that although he may not feel like loving me, he could try/choose not to drift away. He didn’t like the talk because he says he’s said everything he has to tell me. I know having the relationship talks does not help but I feel overwhelmed at times.
I’m being counseled but I feel the therapist does not quite get what he’s going through since she tells me I should tell him how I feel, which I’m sure it’s not such a great idea right now. I’ve lost weight. I can’t sleep well and I’m obsessed with this whole situation.
I need some practical advice as to how to treat him on a daily basis, should I keep approaching him for physical contact, should I keep being gentle? I know I should concentrate on me and my kids but right now It’s just impossible for me to do. Will he leave after 8 months of keeping this relationship? I believe he’s staying for the kids and the comfort of the well- organized life we’ve built, Should I accept this? Should I accept he's just fallen out of love and throw away all the happiness I always felt we had?He’s not being aggressive or mean but the detachment, selfishness and self-centeredness is killing me.
I would try to weather this crisis despite how long it takes if I knew he’ll stay in the end.
Thanks for reading about this terrible situation I’m in and I’m open to any piece of advice you could give me.

Comments for Husband in Midlife Crisis or out of love?

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Dec 17, 2016
Dependence
by: Mary A.

Hi ! Thanks for your reply! It really helps knowing someone understands what I'm going through.

I was also wondering about the following: my husband asks me about everythinng! He asks about his clothes and other unimportant things and seems very dependent on me for many things. So my question is how come if he wants out he goes by what I say in everyday stuff.
Should I help him with those unimportant things? They make me feel a little bit more important in the face of the lack of care he shows in other aspects.
How can I make sense of this contradiction? I feel that if I show I don't care, he may even feel less cared for/loved, which is one of the things he said during BD.
Thanks for reading about this terrible situation I'm going through!

Dec 02, 2016

by: Noel

Hi Mary,

I am sorry to hear of your struggle.

My only advice is to look after yourself and carry on. There is no guarantee he will stay no matter what you do, so I suggest you hang in there, and try to live your life as normally as possible.

Marriage (and life in general) often has periods of hard times, and they just have to be gotten through.

Possibly others on the list will have more suggestions.

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