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Midlife crisis marriage falling apart

My husband of 17 yrs is going through what I believe is a mid life crisis. 15 mths ago he told me he loved me but wasn't in love with me. I cried and pleaded. Fast forward, he's had an affair on and off with same lady and he has seen other women as well. He moved out 4 months ago because we both agreed that's what had to happen. He's been more available in the last 2-3 weeks telling me he wants to work on our marriage. Then just yesterday he backs off again and says he's not ready to give up his freedom just yet. I told him if he wants a divorce but he says he's not sure he wants that either. He doesn't want to commit because he thinks in a Few weeks or months he might want to go out and he might fail. He doesn't know if he wants a divorce. He just knows hes on a self destruction path and he doesn't know if he wants to get out of it.

Is this a mid life crisis?? I still want to save my marriage, is there anything I can do???

Noel's response

It does sound like a midlife crisis. I don't know whether you are having sex with him when you are together, but if you are, I suggest you stop until he can decide what he wants to do. The way it sounds, he has the freedom to come and go as he pleases, so there is no particular motivation to commit to anything.

You might also want to look at your own life goals, with or without him, and move forward with them.

If he is open to suggestion from you, you might also recommend he see his doctor for a thorough medical to rule out any serious illness. His doctor might also prescribe an anti-depressant, which may help.

Comments for Midlife crisis marriage falling apart

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May 18, 2016
but trying
by: Broken

My husband of 16 years told me 6 weeks ago that he "loved me but was not in love with me". We are going to marriage therapy but now he has decided that maybe he never has loved me. We have always been the best of friends. Our sex life was ok (I have always had a higher libido than he did) until a few years ago when he had a bypass. I thought he was scared because of his heart but he says now it was my weight that made him not be "in love" anymore. I have started to go to the gym daily, and have lost a lot of weight including the fact that I found out that I have a thyroid issue. I am getting into much better shape. He says he feels dead inside and just doesn't know what to do and has even talked about maybe he needs to leave and then maybe he'll realize what he has. I have been giving him space. When we go out people comment how good I am looking and he has said he feels like he is a bump on a log when they do that. He still kisses me goodbye every morning but no other affection. Don't get me wrong, he has never been mean to me and he is feeling very lost and confused. We have 2 kids and I adore this man. Is this a midlife crisis?

Jan 20, 2015
I can't accept this.
by: Anonymous

I'm sad to be in this club. I hate this MLC thing. We are left with no choice. Still loving them and yet probably needing to let go. I'm so sad.

Jan 25, 2012
In Love with Ex Wife
by: Anonymous

My husband just told me he wants to spend the rest of his life with his ex wife he divorced 41 years ago. He had a reunion with his daughter and the ex has been there through the whole process. She lives out of state and he has been back there 3 times. He claimed he only wanted a relationship with his daughter, but a relationship with his ex wife came about. He claims that they had never argued and his time with her was the most beautiful, and his leaving her has resulted in his life being messed up. Claims he never got over her. He has not moved out, and even tried to have a 9 day vacation with her. Says he still loves me, but we don't get along.

Jan 10, 2012
Same ship..
by: Anonymous

I am sailing on the same ship as these other woman are. Married 27 years and Husband in MLC. He told me in May that he was done, he was not happy for a very very long time and that he did not love me. That was on a ride home after visiting and fishing with friends in the morning. He moved out and said he was taking time for himself.

I found out he was seeing a woman he had gone to HS with. That broke up a few months later. He then became involved with another woman he went to HS and has moved in with her. I have done everything wrong. We have kept in constant contact, he comes and visits and sleeps with me and then returns to someone elses bed. Cake and eating it too. We never had any troubles in the marriage. A few spats here and there. I am just so heart broken and for the first time in my life I am depressed. He won't go to counseling. I told him I was functioning on the idea he was in a MLC, but now that he has moved in with another woman.. I need to let go.

He claims he does not love her and that I am reading more into it than what it is. UMM HELLO USUALLY WHEN YOU MOVE IN WITH SOMEONE YOU DO SO BECAUSE YOU ARE IN LOVE. He sends mixed messages and tells me to hang in there. I try based on the belief that we have a strong foundation.. but it is becoming more difficult to do that as time passes. I also have been hoping and trying as I remember the man I fell in love with and married. This guy now.. is a totally different man. sigh.. I guess some men need to relive their HS days.. I am filing for divorce as i just can't take the emotional abuse any longer. It's killing me!

Dec 06, 2011
The ex
by: Anonymous

I believe my husband is also going through midlife crisis. He came home with I love you but I am not in love with you. He had been contacted by an ex-girlfriend. He told me he loved me and that she meant nothing to him. In June he moved out to get his head together but he kept in contact with her. He kept telling me he was coming home and to trust him that we would get through this only to rent an apartment and move in with the ex. I am so hurt and heartbroken. I don't know if I should file for divorce or wait him out until he files?

Dec 06, 2011
is it a midlife crises?
by: Anonymous

I am very husband has told me he loves me but is not in love with me. we have been married for 15years and I was under the impression our marriage was fine. We are sexually active and I thought we were fine. He has said I am not adventurous enough in the bedroom, and he feels I have sex with him as a chore. He has also had a fling with a co worker. He says he has only kissed her 3 times, only kissed no sex.but he says he is attracted to her. She gives him the butterflies we used to have. The moment they did it, they knew it was wrong but they did it twice after that. she is also married with children. He says it makes him feel alive. That makes me feel terrible. He has said to me he can't guarantee he wont do it again, because be feels our marriage is dead. But I want to sort it out and work on our marriage but he says if we worm on it, will it be fine for a couple months then go back to the same old routine again. I am not sure what to do? I do love him dearly.

Noel's comment

I suggest marriage counseling to help the two of you talk about things that are 'too small' to talk about, and eventually build resentment, which can take the life out of a relationship.

If he won't go to marriage counseling, another exercise that works well is using a watch or clock that lets you keep track of minutes and seconds.

Each person gets three minutes to talk, and while it is one person's 'three minutes', the other does not get to speak AT ALL. Then it is the other person's turn. I suggest you set aside at least an hour for your first session.

Use 'I statements', so you are both talking about how you feel, rather than what a jerk the other person is. The spark can be put back in almost any relationship if people are honest with each other, and talk about the 'small' resentments that most of us don't want to talk about because they are 'too small to bother with'.

Dec 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

Hi there. We seem to be on the same time frame. My H gave me the bomb on 08/31/2010. He hasn't dissapeared, on the contrary, he wants to eat the cake and have it too. He has turned into a pathological liar. He has become a stranger, nothing like the man that I married.

It's a horrible roller coaster ride!!

Nov 30, 2011
by: Anonymous

Just a husband has been going thru MLC since 8/2010. Been in no contact with me or children (M20/M11) for 9 months, then out of blue starts texting me approx once a week. Once, just good morning, then nothing for 2 weeks, then Good morning and am I dressed normal or all sexy? Can you believe with all that MLC brings, a man can just cut his emotions on and off? PMS has nothing on this crap. It has taken me a year to detach and look at this objectively. 6 months of listening to how I was to blame for everything bad in the universe left me feeling beat down and guilty, but finally I have come to realize he is truly suffering. The only thing that keeps me hanging on is that the man I knew before MLC would have NEVER EVER ignored and distanced himself from his children. I really am ready for this ride to be over though. I am TIRED!

Nov 30, 2011
Mid life crisis
by: Anonymous

Noel, I have been sexually active with him. Not regularly like a married couple but enough.

Last night I told him I was done. I was detaching from him completely until he decides what he wants. In the meantime I'm moving on with my life. He was offended and asked of that meant I was going to start seeing other people. Really!!!

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