The other side

by Better Now
(Cincy, Oh, USA)

I'm a 50 year old man, married 25 years, successful career and family life.


The trigger was the death of a childhood friend. I reached out to a mutual friend, (we were the three muskateers), and he didn't respond. It felt as if the first half of my life didn't happen and the death of a peer made my own mortality real in an instant. I cried in the car driving to work and home every day. I woke and slept and what occurred in between seemed banal and purposeless. I felt sorry for myself and was mourning my lost youth.

I stopped and looked very hard at my life, how I'd lived it, what I valued and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

I spoke with a therapist. This was cathartic as hell. All you men feeling these things, all you wives seeing these things get thee to a therapist! It clarified in a minute what was happening in my life and why. An objective third party can tell you what your actions look like and it's not your spouse so you'll listen. Awareness helps you act intentionally, not strictly from an emotional response.

After a few weeks I saw I was being a total tool. Mourning my lost youth, what kind of nonsense is that? I have a co-workwer who's 9 year old son is dying. That you should mourn. Living another day -- that you should celebrate.

I stopped my wife one evening before bed and told I was recommitting to our marriage and family. I told her that unless she told me to leave I was going to grow old and die with her and I meant it. Our marriage has never been better. If there a part of your marriage you don't like, work on it.

By looking at what I value and what I want, it was clear to me I already had it. My family is awesome. I won't recreate it with a new/younger/better person. That idealized person does not exist and you'll be the same person in your next relationship. Is this really all your spouse's fault?

My career while a little stagnant is perfect to support what I value and provide me a path to a reasonable retirement. I'm comfortable saying I work to live not the other way round.

For the first time in years I'm engaged in my life. I'm trying to make the lives of those I love better and to enjoy each day and moment with those I love.

I can't undo the past but I can try to live the remaning years of my life with purpose. My happiness is totally up to me.

I am not trying to say the feelings many men have aren't real. They're real enough. But I think of this time as being like when you're a teenager and act on impulse without thought. Losing your family or career based on feeling sorry for yourself? Snap out of it. Grow up and ask for help. What's on the other side is better if you are smart enough to hang onto everything you've built for the last 25 years.

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You rock!
by: Anonymous

I think its great you went to a therapist and you learned so much. YES! Your marriage is important! I am so glad you were able to wake up and see the light and realize what you have. My husband had something similar. His started with the death of a close cousin. I was totally blindsided by his foolishness but it is over. He wasn't intimate with her (so he says) but hanging around her at work made him feel young. It took months for him to figure it out once I knew but he was being stupid for 2 years! Thank God, he is mine again, and he is committed.

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Finally someone who recognized he needed help.
by: Jogirl

Glad to hear you chose your wife and family. Just wish you could convince my husband to get help. I too believe that if he spoke to someone about all that he is feeling he will also realize what is happening to him and how to deal with it.

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also there
by: Anonymous

Just friendly come-ons from her. shes twice divorced after being caught in several affairs in previous marriages. Myself at 60 married to the same woman 30 -35yrs yea. shes waiting I guess for another sucker so glad it never went any further although I'm still not over the 2 week rush of lust I guess still feel guilty. How long will I feel like a old fool

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Hits Right on target for me!
by: Anonymous

Sound wisdom and boy am I in the middle of it, having hard time snapping out of it and it is really driving me nuts

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Wow
by: Anonymous

Its the first post I have read and first time I landed on Midlife-Men.com . Does this ever talk loud to me . I'm so totally having this Midlife crisis!!! Thanks so much

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Good job
by: Anonymous

I love this post. Great advice GROW UP AND FIND HELP!!! Thank you very much for taking the time to post. It is encouraging

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Good news!
by: Anonymous

So encouraged to finally see a positive post, most are so incredibly depressing and discouraging. Now THAT is a REAL man!! Hurray for you.

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