Is it okay to mention midlife crisis to my spouse?

by theresa
(MA)

The Question


My husband and I have been married for 33 years. We separated several months ago per the advice of his therapist. He was really angry, demeaning to me and dealing with continual relapses of a porn addiction - so the short term separation continues. He has been in therapy for depression and porn addiction. Recently he had a short-term outside relationship.

He flip flops about coming home - first demanding, then backing off completely. He talks about divorce and in the next sentence talks about our future plans. We are in marriage counseling, which he wanted, but threatens to jump out and then is committed to moving forward.

It seems to me we are in transition and both finding our individual self in the process. We can't go back to where we were - thank God. I find him delightful, exasperating, confused and at times enjoying getting to see the other parts of him. I tread lightly. Don't want to push and am open to see who we are and if we are meant to be together or to go our separate paths.

Should I mention that this could all be part of a natural process of transition through our mid-lives? If I do, how do I word it without being offensive or thought to be controlling, coaching, a know it all.

Will he eventually be able to see me as the woman I am versus the woman he has defined me as?

Noel's response

As you are already in marriage counselling, you are probably already doing all you can. As to mentioning this might be a midlife transition for both of you, you might ask the marriage counsellor during one of your sessions whether he/she thinks you might be in such a transition. That way it comes as a question from you, rather than an answer.

If you continue in marriage counselling long enough, he may begin to see you for who you are now.

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