What is happening to me?
I am 52 old and unhappy with my existence. Till now my wife and I have been happily married for 30 years. I love her as much as I always have. She is a wonderful woman and has been faithful and loving for all of our married lives. She is still good looking too. I really do love her. She isn't the problem. The problem is me!
I find myself feeling like I want a younger woman. I want to fall in love with someone new. It's crazy and reckless but those are my feelings. I never thought I would face something like this. If I could die it would be better than ripping my family apart and hurting everyone I love. I don't know what to do and I am afraid I am going to ruin everything. I am actually have feelings for another woman. I fantasize about having an affair. I am trying to think of ways to make it happen and keep it under cover. I am hurting inside. It's like I feel I could love another woman and have no less love for my wife. Maybe I am becoming a polygamist but how did this happen?
What a weird stage of life this is. I never dreamed it would be so crazy. It's very hard on me emotionally. These thoughts run counter to my life-long values. I have been stressed and crying about it off and on for days now. I hope I can
get through this. I have actually had thoughts that if my wife died I would be free to love another yet, if anything happened to her, it would be so painful to lose her.
I could go on but this is some of the pain of my MLC that I am experiencing right now. Noel's reponse
You are in a transition to what Daniel Levinson in his book "Seasons of a Man's Life' called 'early old age'. In traditional hunter-gatherer societies, a man would begin to work toward becoming and elder (as opposed to simply becoming elderly, which most men and women in our society do) when he was about fifty.
From a Jungian point of view, the desire for an affair with a younger woman is explained as our inner feminine 'awakening', but we project it on to women around us. I found that in my early fifties I became more emotional, and had a greater appreciation for beauty than I had ever had, which I recognized as 'feminine' characteristics, even though I did not feel any less like a man.
The other thing that happens as we age is that we begin to realize some things are gone from our lives (such as the heady feeling of being in love), and we will not experience them again. This can lead to a preoccupation with having the experience.
Hang in there. This too shall pass, and you will be glad you did not act on your present urges.