Mid life crisis? Should I stay?

by Christine
(Canada)

Hi there...



My husband and I have been married for 6 1/3 yrs, Together for ten. things seem to have fallen into a comfort zone I guess. He several times over the past couple years has made either divorce threats or dropping major hints. I believe he has been faithful despite this. There have been a couple topics that always come up, neither are huge. Each time we have a dispute like this we both vow to try and work on said issues and each time we don't. I keep seeing this as a major part in us being able to make progress. My husband refuses to see a councilor as he 'doesn't have faith in them' ... There is a lot of love in this marriage and I feel if we both at least gave our all into trying and making an effort in the areas of concern... things would be very different.

He told me about a month ago, we are done, he doesn't want to try. Next day, he acts like he typically does including calling me pet names as per usual. After a couple weeks of this, I call him out and say this is very confusing, are you trying to make an effort or what?

He said he was acting like this b/c he thought I 'wanted' the affection. I answer yes I do, but b/c we are trying and love each other. We again had another discussion after I found 'protection' in his work bag, I was calm when I asked him and he said that was for 'if something should happen' and that he hasn't slept with anyone yet. I believe this to be true.

When I ask him about trying and thanking him for being so kind as of late... he says he hasn't acted any different...He says:
1) He doesn't want to try...
2) He wants to be single
3) he's not replacing me
4)He wants to date other people...

I also bring up the ways I have been trying so hard the last couple weeks, and he says "Yeah , the last couple weeks have been great"... I in turn think to myself...wtf? You can obviously see it can be great.. why not try.?!

He swears there isn't anyone and no one is 'in line'..I also believe this to be true.

I guess after this crazy letter... my q's are like this ...
1) How long do Mid life crisis' tend to last?
2)I have been thinking of having an open marriage b/c I hope that after this mid life crisis he will calm down and we can move forward.... How common is this? What kind of restrictions do people put on the openness of the marriage?
3) Should I just cut my losses and give up fighting for the marriage?

I have told him I am trying to change these things and the response I get is "I wish you had started trying a long time ago"....I want to try and keep this going and work through things but it's very difficult when you feel like there is no bending on the topic.

Some back ground info: I am 35, he is 40. My mother died when I was a teen, father out of picture for over 10 years, all grandparents are deceased as well.... This I feel is part of the reason I am so trying to hold onto this love... he says he loves me a lot but... yeah.....any info or input would be greatly appreciated.... My emotions can't take a lot more...Thank you so much.

Noel's response

I am not sure how to answer your questions, as there are no 'standard answers'.

A midlife transition can last from a few months to a few years.

I do not know anything about open marriages, having never been in one, but my recommendation is that unless it appeals to you, I would not bother with it. I doubt having an open marriage would necessarily save it, and you might end up resenting him for it.

Only you know whether to cut your losses, but a few sessions with a psychologist might help you figure out what to do.

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