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Mid Life Crisis

by Sheila

The question

My husband came to me in August of last year to tell me that he wasn't happy. It came as a shock to me of course because I had no idea that he wasn't happy.

He told me that he feels numb and empty inside and that he doesn't know what he wants out of life. He is unhappy with his job and is a workaholic. He travels M-F every week and is responsible for so much in his job.

He cries almost every night and doesn't get a lot of sleep. He can't tell me that he loves me when I tell him. He says that he doesn't love himself, so how can he love someone else?

I feel like it has put so much stress on our relationship as a couple. I walk on eggshells when he is home and try to make everything good when he is here. I make sure the house is clean, laundry done, kids homework taken care of, grocery shopping done etc... I want to make sure that he doesn't have to feel any more stress than he has to.

Work will call him on the weekends and he will answer. We will be eating dinner, his phone rings and he picks up. Work is his life! He consumes himself in his work to put aside any of his feelings. When he lays down at night, his mind will start to wander and he becomes sad.

I love my husband with all my heart, but what do I do in the mean time for me? He says that he feels like he can't give me what I deserve, which is LOVE. I have no idea how long I'm willing to wait around for him to come out of this. Please help me!!!!!

Noel's response

The symptoms you describe do sound like midlife transition and as with all things, this too shall pass.

My suggestion is that you get a life for yourself outside of waiting on and worrying about your husband.

You say he is gone all week, but don't mention whether you work outside the home. Either way, find some activities that interest you - anything from joining a bridge club to singing in a choir - and start living as full a life as you can without him.

If he tells you he cannot say he loves you because he doesn't love himself, accept that. No doubt at some level he loves you as much as ever. Hang in there with him. In my experience, couples that come through a transition like this, and do their own personal work, end up with a deeper, although different, and more rewarding relationship.

Comments for Mid Life Crisis

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Mar 20, 2011
by: Heartbroken

My husband of 22 years started to act very strange about one year ago. He left five months ago and has isolated himself from everybody else.

He has somebody else in his life already. It has been very tough on me as I expected to get old with him. I go to therapy twice a week and I also speak to a priest once a week.

When men go through this crisis, we must stop blaming ourselves. It is their problem and not ours. I know for sure that I can go to bed every night and think that although I have not been the perfect wife or mother, I have not harm anybody like my husband has.

I don't know if he will every wake up from this nightmare, my hope is that one day he will and we would be a family again. However, I have to be realistic and take care of myself and my daughter, because I don't know if this will ever end.

In the meantime, life continues and we must continue living. It's very easy to say, and hard to do, but my intention is to one day not feel any pain and be able to feel complete. My heart goes out to you and to all the women that are hurting.

Feb 23, 2011
midlife crisis
by: Anonymous

I've been dealing with my husbands midlife crisis for a year. I did have something to do with the regret he's feeling but not all.

Anyway, he's been partying 6 days a week has a mistress and every weekend is an unexpected event.

We are sleeping separate rooms and barely spend time together. I'm running out of tricks.

Jan 30, 2011
Mid Life Crisis
by: Sheila

Thanks so much for your responses, it was greatly appreciated!

Jan 30, 2011
Mid Life Crisis
by: NWF


You are lucky that he can tell you these things he is feeling inside. They are true! They are caused by his hidden low self-esteem.

Most do not talk about it--they just leave. Hang in there for you and him. It will not be easy but it is easier then when they leave and have an affair.

Listen to him carefully and try to validate his "false" issues without arguments.

This MLC sounds mild and will still take quite a while to go through. Be patient, 6 months to 1.5 years, if you can. Give him his space also.

Take care of yourself please, NWF

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