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Can a midlife crisis change a man so drastically

by Ellen L
(NL, Canada)

The Question

My husband and I have been together for about 27 years and we have two young children. We have overcome many obstacles over the years but we got through them.

Recently my husband's behaviour has changed, moody, going out to his brothers/friends more and behaving out of the ordinary. About three weeks ago he said he no longer loved me and hasn't for quite awhile. Since then I found out he has been having a relationship (texting and physical) with a 27 year old girl. They have been meeting for coffees, texting constantly and well... other things.

My husband has talked to this girl about our love life and that I no longer did the things he wanted anymore. I will admit that our lives have become very hectic with work, kids, activities and home renovations. However, even though it has become very hard to make time for us as a couple and not just as parents, why would he not even try anymore?

Would a midlife crisis really make a man so unrecognizable, so uncharacteristic, as to leave his new home, his children, and all the things he once seemed to treasure? Can that man ever overcome this crisis? The damage has been done, the hurt so big that it would seem that nothing could ever repair it.

Noel's Response

A midlife crisis can change a man significantly. It can be complicated by the man (or woman) wanting their partner to 'make them happy, or fulfilled'. If he is getting together with a young woman, chances are he is trying to hold back the fear of aging, and of 'losing his youth'.

As with all things in life, this too shall pass for him. When one day he stops projecting perfection onto the young woman, he will realize his mistake, but in the meantime, he may continue to act 'out of character'.

As I suggest for many who write questions, your task is to move on with your own life, and if it is not too late, and he wants to come back at some point, to decide whether you want him back, and if so, what kind of relationship and commitment you want from him before you do.

If he has caused too much hurt, then carry on with your life. Get a lawyer to help you get as good a settlement as possible, and make sure neither of you drags your children into any kind of arguments or fights you have.

Comments for Can a midlife crisis change a man so drastically

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Aug 12, 2018
Been there done that
by: Anonymous

After almost 30 years of marriage my husband is an alien. He is 58 and had an affair with a 26 year old colleague (our son is same age). He ended it, apologized and then began the cycle of catching him out, him apologizing and promising to stop. "Don’t know why I do it". Finally after 8 months of this cycle and him perving after every young girl who passes, i am getting divorced. Now comes the begging, promises and undertakings again. From being a smart respectable man he has become a pathetic liar. One of the comments suggests it decreasing testosterone. Someone should do a study of that. If it wasn’t my life being destroyed I would pity him

May 28, 2018
My heart goes out to you
by: Anonymous

I'm 19 weeks into this journey I don't want to be part of. It's probably and hopefully the biggest challenge you will face and OVERCOME.
I'm not an exceptional being just an ordinary mum of three married for 18 years.
You like me will fine it tough but will make it (I'may not there yet, but for my kids sake I will)

Much love to you

May 27, 2018
Separated over 1 1/2 years.....
by: Anonymous

25 years married (at time of separation), the love of my life! I am 48 and he is currently 47. We too were the envy of our friends and pillars in our family. Shared a wonderful life, with the normal ups and downs but overcame it all together. 2 amazing adult children, he provided well and I was a stay at home mom. The 2 to 3 years prior to our split we had life crisis after life crisis. He also works in law enforcement and has been exposed to a significant amount of trauma that he has never gotten help for. He had a moment of realization one day and came outside with tears in his eyes saying,"I know I need help for myself before I can work on fixing us, will you wait for me"? I was so happy and knew it was an answer from God. Long story short, I had been away for 6 weeks taking care of a dying friend and came home early to surprise him one weekend, he was not happy to see me and the next day I mentioned something about his work hours
(workaholic with lots of power, prestige, and praise in his position)
He snapped and said, "thats it! I want a legal separation" (we had a handful of counseling appts in between life crisis's but he never slowed down on his work long enough to invest in our marriage crisis) That was Sept. 18,2016 he has not wavered once. He said after the fact that he believed it, our marriage, had been dead for years, news to me because he said he was happy and loved me and that I was the only one that had mentioned divorce/separation. I had mentioned it that last year before we split because we were in the same place over and over and over again. I actually had a letter written to him saying I could no longer live like this, and was going to read it to him early August of the same year....Like I said earlier he had this realization and gave me hope. Then switched. We are still trying to finalize our agreement and are almost 2 years into this. He started smoking cigars, getting more tattoos (finishing his "sleeve") and working even more. He had bouts of anger, otherwise all marriage love for him was dead!!!! I was a wreck and barely survived the first year same house/ then same property. I have tried every way, way to much, to tell him about MLC, PTSD from his job and not to exclude the most important factor in our lives...our faith in Christ. I am positive and have told him all along I do not believe this is God's will for us, I think it is just his own choice. He cannot see the division of family, the loss of finances, the loss of our future life an plans regret, no empathy at all for me. I have been grieving and so heart broken. I do have many good/better days now but I still cry so much and feel like this pain will never end. I do not believe a word he says at this point and would bet the bank he had/is having an affair although he has denied it from the start. I know I need to let go and move on however I wish this was not my reality. I am still struggling with disbelief. I do not know this person and it has made me question wether I really knew him all along or not? Nothing has changed for him as our adult children live on the same property. Just found out we are going to have our first grand baby in Oct. I fear that if he ever does regain his sanity or wake up to truth, it will be too late. Maybe he already knows too much damage is done? I feel for each of you and my heart and prayers go out to each of you as well. You are not alone! We will make it through this one day at a time right now.

May 08, 2018
by: Anonymous

My husband of 18 years, out of the blue stepped in front of me and said "I am done" he abandoned me and our four kids four months ago.

I am devastated, the one who was all about us and family, has turned into someone I don’t know, is like the aliens abducted him. I want my family back but nothing I say or do will make him change his mind, is like a hurricane hit my house. How long will this last? Will he ever com3 out of denial planet? I miss him so much.

Apr 27, 2018
Mid-life Selfish
by: Anonymous

We used to be the envy of our friends, look across the room with love in our eyes, after 22 years he reunited w/ his narcisstic bi-polar Mommy
who indulged his selfishness to serve her own controlling interests. Once a decent man,he literally "mutated" into someone totally unrecognizable, a shirking cowardly man who lied by omission, who blamed the world for his inconsistancies and wallowed selfishly with entitlement, suddenly, he became a man ugly. Does ebbing testerone rob them of their brains and hearts? After heartache, I became pissed, and now, I could care less if the 54 year old old goat finds a new witless mate, let her have him. After what he did to us, I'm a intelligent decent looking woman who did not deserve the cruelty he put me through while looking for himself at 50.I'm leary about dating again lest I run across another old goat who blames his wife while he goes down the yellow brick road without courage, brain or heart.
Let him go find himself without you getting lost.
Funny thing, they forget you were once 27 also, my isn't it all about them? IWe all have our dreams, not just them.Good luck ladies and welcome to the new statistic. Another one is older women and younger men now, the younger ones aren't as self-indulgent or bitter.
He looks like his pinch-faced mom now!! Aw yuck! Remember that you are free also now. Thumbs up!

Feb 06, 2018
by: Anonymous

Yes they turn into monsters! Narcissists who are fools on top of it! After 30 years of marriage and 2 beautiful children and moving all over the U.S for this NUT JOB (I deserve to give him this title now)to climb the totem pole professionally while I worked myself to the bone as a loving homemaker/mom...this is my reward, a divorce. He waited until our youngest got into college and filed. Divorce is final and he will not stop with his hatred and meanness until he has both of our children hating me. They are sick men & nuts! Let them go and Pray God Gives To Them One Day What They Deserve...and guess what, One Day, God Will!

Aug 15, 2017
My Sheroes
by: SDG

As I was researching what this horrible experience I was going through with My Love of 11 years could be I stumbled across this page. Thank Goodness I did. I'm hurting so bad but at least now I know that one I'm not crazy, and two I'm not alone. I'm book marking this page as these stories have already helped Me tremendously in a matter of minutes.

Feb 10, 2017
Mid Life Crisis: Why DId It Hit My Family?
by: Anonymous

My ex-husband of 25 years is definitely DEEP in the throes of a MAJOR mid life crisis! He was the epitome of a wonderful father, great husband & an excellent provider. He was always a man of integrity, kindness & character. For years, the kids & I were his life. He took us on very nice vacations & always made sure, we were his number one priority. Having said that, roughly 4-1/2 years ago to be exact, he started acting EXTREMELY strange, SNEAKY, mean-spirited, aloof, callous secretive, emotionless & detached, to say the least! That said, he BLAMED me for everything! Every day, he would accuse me of something negative, which was a FLAT out lie! Then one day he said these proverbial words: "For 20 years, I've been taking caring of this family & now, I'm going to take care of myself!" I knew then, something was WRONG with him! Notice, I said him, NOT ME! Long story short, he moved out of our family home & bought a foreclosed property, fixed it up to his liking & has been living there for four plus years, as if he were a single man in his 20s.. He became a man, I did not know! His personality changed completely! He had an affair, like MOST of them do & it was NOT emotional. I will say this, it started as an emotional affair & then it became physical! For over a year, I waited patiently for him to come to his senses.. well, he didn't. That's when I FILED for Divorce! It was finalized this past Novermber 2016. I could NOT wait ANY LONGER for him to return to his senses when I have very good sense! A year was long enough for me; just like he moved on, I had to do the same! MOST men in MLC are MONSTERS! They become hellraisers...literally overnight! Ladies, you must go on with your lives! Pray, exercise, eat right, take good vitamins, go to church, hang out with friends, go on trips, love your children, talk to a therapist, go back to school, volunteer, find a new hobby, spend more time with your aging parents, go to the movies, have backyard BBQS @ your home, mentor someone, take a cruise, etc.. The bottom line is this: TAKE care of yourselves! Please don't go into a deep dark funk! MUSTER up enough strength & courage to get through each day; no matter how PERPLEXED your family members, love ones, friends & coworkers are... regarding your new UNWARRANTED situation! FYI: MLC men go through a TON of money, so please protect yourselves financially! Don't ALLOW him to take you & the kids to the poverty line! Make sure he is paying the bills & make sure you have some form of emergency savings! From what I understand, MLC is a log rollercoaster ride. It can last anywhere from 2-7 years, give or take a few years! I made a conscious decision to get off that ride & find one more suitable for my well-being! That said, be your own advocate, educate yourself regarding this HORRIFIC, TABOO-TOPIC! This is his crisis, NOT yours! He is an emotional wreck & is having an emotional crisis! He will do sooo... MANY things to hurt you! You must detach from him, the only things you all need to discuss are basically the children & the business at hand! No mushy stuff, keep it strictly business! He is NOT the man you married! Yes, he looks the same, yet his mind is polluted! He is only into himself & SOMETIMES the paramour! Notice I said paramour, she is his good time girl, they are infatuated, until the MASKS slide off their faces! Don't pay her any attention, she is just as broken as he is! They are only going through the motions of lies, deceit, lust, credit card debt, unrealism, etc. They are phonies! There's NOTHING genuine in an affair... Anyhoo, I've given them enough energy! Now back to you, the wife... Please know that GOD loves you & sees ALL!

Nov 28, 2016
I'm suffering the consequences of hid mlc
by: Anonymous

I too am going or should I say have gone through the hell, his midlife crisis!! We were together 27 years, apart 2&1/2 years.. He and his new girlfriend live in our house!! I haven't spoke to him in 11 months, he was so cruel, disrespectful, and evil it drove me from my own home, after his threats of moving out and not leaving.. I can't believe what he has done, or even believe he was capable of his acts!! Disowned our 27 year old daughter, turned his family against his daughter and I.. I pray to god he regrets what he has done or at least has some remorse. It will prove to me he is human. For now I keep my distance, no contact and try to wrap my own head around this.. One day when I have the strength and courage I will seek legal advice on selling our home, and I would like my belongings from my home.. I'm sure he's sold or thrown our things out!! Who knows!! As it being said " what goes around comes around". God bless us!!

Oct 27, 2016
Have become and expert on this MLC thing
by: Living the good life now!

I have read all of the stories on here and they all sound too familiar. Husband of many years suddenly without warning becomes a stranger who looks at you with contempt in their eyes, very bitter, placing blame for his happiness, sexual needs not being met...although never mentioned it prior to the bomb drop. We were married for 23 years and over the year he was over the top as far as morals go, wouldn't even go to a friends house to pick up tools if the husband wasn't home. Didn't want to ever be put in a position like that. Went to church all the time, active youth director for several years...the whole nine yards. Where did this man I used to be married to go? Mid Life Crisis. When I got past the initial shock of it all, I started researching and found an awesome site that talked about a man or woman who had a chaotic childhood and how at midlife transition that chaos comes back to them and is what they are searching for...the normal feeling of chaos that they were raised in. The worse their childhood was, the harder crash they will have during MLC. I cried, prayed and did everything I could to make him see what he was doing to our wonderful marriage but found that he was wanting to move on to be with one of our friends who had just decided to divorce her husband after 25 years! He denied it all the way through the divorce and the minute it was final (he filed ...I refused to break my covenant with God) he was out running with her. So, let me just say this. God will not send you someone else's spouse, He will not bless a relationship that was built on lies and deceit and one day maybe a couple years later when he/she wakes up and figures out that the new person is not meeting his needs or making him happy, he/she will realize they gave up their whole family who loved them to play around with an adulterous woman or man only to feel worse than they did before. I have since moved on and remarried and am happier than I've ever been in my life. But I still want to see them crash and burn and I pray God allows me to know when it happens. Vindication is what I live for!!

Dec 09, 2015
It's really too bad.
by: Anonymous

The grass ISN"T greener on the other side. Why do so many men believe it will be? Maybe cause the other side has more fertilizer. By the time the dumb idiots figure it out it's way too late, the damage is already done. Sad.

Oct 18, 2015
my story too
by: confused

after 20 years I find out my once loving husband has turned into what I can only describe as a dirty old man.........yep we are into whores. Not content with getting his desires met by me he was also willing to pay for it in the company of friends too.

I have after 18 months of trying had enough and after leaving myself for a month have asked him to leave our home and am living happily with our daughter

for my mid life crisis I got a tattoo........go figure

Apr 02, 2015
Ditto guys!
by: Anonymous

I found out that My loving, sweet and considerate partner of almost 21 years had been cheating on me and when I confronted him he announced his desire to leave me and seemed so relieved. He has become 100% emotionally unattached to me and I have rather quickly also learned how to emotionally from him.

This seems to anger him since I think he fully expects me to beg and plead for him. I am so very happy that I never did and never will.

In my mind the essence of the man I once loved almost more than life itself is "dead." The MLC man that is so insensitive and cold to me, is just shell of what I once loved so in this manner I have allowed myself to really depleted grove the death while simultaneously being able to protect myself from the now empty shell that I must cohabitate with until the financial separation is complete.

It's only been 8 weeks since the announcement but I am proud and shocked at how strong I have been. I know I face years of emotional repair work ahead of me, but now my sole focus is on my future and the wonderful possibilities that are to come and not in I seeing over what went wrong with the past.

Feb 11, 2015
After it passes
by: Anonymous

My husband turned into a monster while going through his midlife crisis. I didn't handle it well because I didn't realize what he was going through. He suddenly turned into this mean, horrible person who blamed me for everything that wasn't perfect in his life. Every day there was a list of how I had failed him. He turned to everyone with stories of how his kids and I were failing him. He broke all our hearts. When I finally reached the end of my rope and told him it was over, he just stopped with the screaming and meanness. That quickly. We are still together, and I do still love him, but I am no longer "in love" with him. I miss that. I will always miss that. The kids and I have a lot of anger and I know we could benefit from counseling. He calls it his "bad time" and wants us to "just forget about it". I have no advice for anyone who's husband is going through it. It is so painful when the man you have loved turns into a horrible monster overnight.

Jul 16, 2013
I am so sad
by: Marie

I left France and gave up everything to married my husband .
My parents did cut me off after our wedding
He was the most wonderful person...
Now, suddenly he is 45 we have been married for 17 years.
He has no interest to be around me , he moved out a year ago to downstairs .. He goes out and if I would ask: he would said it is none if your business , or he will lie ...
I am so sad and heartbroken but now my feelings has shifted . Because his behavior is so horrible ...
What can I do ?

Dec 04, 2012
midlife crisis
by: Dot

i am going through much the same. My husband and I have been together for 25 years and I don't know who the man is anymore. He started this when he found out he had CHF. He wants to frequent bars, he stays out all night with the people from the bar. He says he doesn't know why this would upset me, he says he is just looking. I have went through the upset, the crying the pleading, all to no avail. We still live in the same house but I am trying to get up enough money to file for a divorce. neither of us has a whole lot of money but I am determined that I get my half of what we have. My hands are clean, I have stayed home, taken care of the house and bills, he has no responsibilities at all. That is now going to change. He will cook his meals, do his clothes, keep his room clean (I moved out of our bedroom), get his own prescriptions and take care of himself. He is in the hosp. right now, but i took him in and told him to call when he is ready to come home and i will come after him. i will not go to the hosp and let him be verbally abusive. He has been verbally abusive to me for months. i am getting out. I am through. Got a few more things to do and it will be over. Wish everyone else good luck with what they want out of life but I can't live this way.

Apr 01, 2012
husbands a stranger
by: Anonymous

My husband of 17 years has completely changed. The part of him that we all loved the most has switched off. He moved out, leaving me and our four children heart broken. His mother died over a year before and he has been resentful of his siblings and anyone doing well in life. Suddenly it was my turn. He didn't come when the children needed him he would turn off his phone, I had to watch the children suffer he just didn't care. This was a man who would have walked through fire for us, he loved us all so much and we did him. I tried to keep him informed about the children but he wasn't interested and that drove me insane. I knew if this carried on his crisis would end up being ours. So, I have been paying him the same attention he pays us. The children do not ask for him anymore they go to me and my parents our friends instead, I do not contact him or inform him when the children have things going on, when I did he didn't respond or turn up. So now he has to hear about his family from other people a risky move I know, but he hasn't met us half way. I know i sound like i am being spiteful but i am not I have tried for 6 months to keep his relationship with the children it broke my hearts, but his feelings have switched off. He knows where we are the door is open for him to see his children but he doesn't come, or care. He is a stranger, and I feel widowed, the man I adored has gone and have been replaced with a soulless body. We loved him so much, but it is time to accept he is gone and to somehow move on.

Feb 21, 2012
by: Anonymous


Jan 26, 2012
Just take care of yourself
by: Anonymous

There's an old saying that goes; "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!" The more you badger him the farther you will push him away, especially if you do desire to take him back other than divorce. A man going through a midlife crisis changes him permanently from the man he once was into a sudden stranger. Sad but true, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop his mental state of mind. He's at the stage in his life when he realizes he's losing his veril manhood and lowering of testosterone, and has to venture out to grab a bit of his former masculinity to prove to himself he is still a man. The wife is then trust out into left field and cannot do anything about it. The only thing the wife can do is ignore his moods and actions and distance herself from him just the way he is distancing himself from his wife. Give him something other to think about, MAKE HIM WONDER, but don't do the foolish adultery game he is playing against you. It's a hard thing to do but the wife must do this. She should also get spritual counceling and meet with groups designed to help with getting her through this type of situation. The sad thing about the man actually committing to a sexual affair with other women, there's the threat of veneral deseases that can be passed to the wife. I suggest if the wife has found proof of her husband cheating, to confront him and inform him that she will not allow him to touch her until he is over his crisis and repents of his ungodly sinful behavior of adultery. But he must surrender to having blood tests for sexually transmitted diseases, especially aides of which is deadly and not curable, before resuming sex with his wife. If he can't respect you enough to do that, then he is not willing to stop his extra marital affairs and has little respect for the wife. Be firm and demanding or send him packing for good...!!! You hold the keys to your own happiness and future...!!! YOU SET THE STANDARDS LIKE A REAL PATRIARC WOMAN...!!!

Oct 21, 2011
This sucks!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

I can relate to all of the above comments. I was married for 14 years and the signs of an affair were all there. I even know who it is. Denial was the word of the day from him. He was always so into our three children and a very unselfish man in general. He promised that he was cutting off ties with this woman at work and focusing on our family. He moved out and moved on, shutting of his phone so the kids could not contact him while he was out living his life. He often does not surface for his parenting time when the kids are anxious for his arrival and time with their dad. He will blow the kids off whenever it interferes with his plans with his girlfriend. It is hurting his kids so deeply and he is destroying his relationship with them for life. He thinks that he is free and clear from his responsibilities as a dad. I don't know who this man is any more but I do know that soon he will be a very lonely man with a lifetime of regret!!!!!!

Jun 27, 2011
is there any hope
by: Anonymous

my husband is 46 i am 33. two months ago the tells me that he is unhappy with our marriage, his two children and his job.

I found out less than a month later that he is seeing a 42 year old woman. he feels that he needs to be happy and he can only get this with her. He wants to sell the house and move on with his life. Some days he is bitter and hateful towards not only me but his two sons ages 22 and 26 still living at home.He says that he has no help, the responsibilities of the house/ family is too much and he just wants to move on with his life.

Yesterday he told me he wants a divorce, the marriage is not working for him and that he has been unhappy for too long, we have been living together for 9ys but only married for 2yrs. He still show me that he cares about me, but insist that he wants to be with this other woman.

About 6hours after he tells me he wants a divorce he left the house, to be with her i assume. but when he returns at 1 am he comes into my room to ask some silly question that could have waited for the morning. The next morning he is going out of his way to do something good for me.

Could this be midlife crisis or is he just wanting to have his cake and eat it. He seems confused

Nov 29, 2010
Husband midlife crissis.
by: Pale Rose

My husband and I were happily married for 21 years. We have 2 daughters 18 and 14 years of age.

I was the envy of the women. My husband adored me.
He was the perfect husband, father, responsible provider. His wife and children were his life.

Now he has found "the love of his life". He is 46 years old and says he is in love with a a 23 year old girl who has had 2 children with 2 different fathers.

He has changed so much to the point that I wonder: "Did he ever love me" ? or did he only use me to get ahead in this world financially.

I worked very hard in order to provide a good life for our children. We have a house and a business together.

It it is almost a year now. He moved out of the house and does not seem to have regrets.

I am a very attractive woman, a fitness instructor and have decided to go on with my life not minding what he does or does not do.

Jun 20, 2010
Can a midlife crisis change a man so drastically
by: Anonymous

Sorry - I think there are not very many success stories!

And your feelings in time will change because that man isn't the man you married! They will destroy it all including the children - even the adult children! You will start to dislike him.

And that dislike will grow stronger for every day that you tolerate his uncaring attitude towards you.

By the time he completes his journey you will have had enough and you will be gone!!

Life is short - don't waste valuable time! Worry about you. Not him! Make your own life! Because he's on a journey and you are not invited!

Jun 01, 2010
Stranger in my Life
by: Anonymous

That is exactly what i am going through at the moment. I have been married for 15 years, have two young sons and never saw this coming.

My husband is nearing 42, I knew him better than he knew himself, now I feel as though there is a total stranger in my life. he has moved out but uses the excuse that he has to see the kids every day so in a sense he hasn't left home at all.

Last night he asked our eldest son what the time was, I looked at him puzzled and told him that he was wearing his watch. I am only 33 years old and was not prepared for this, I feel abandoned and betrayed because he has felt no love for me for the past several months.

He said he never told me because he didn't want to hurt me yet he was the only person who knew how easily I hurt. He said he had hope for us several months ago. That's great but he has had a chance to deal with this. He gave me a weekend to stop loving him. I miss my man and want him back before my feelings change and they will, its only a matter of time.

Feb 18, 2010
I certainly can relate
by: Anonymous

My husband of 35 yrs. has done the same thing to me. He is still at home, but has completely checked out if you know what I mean. He threatens to leave, but to this date hasn't yet.

It is like living with a stranger. Wants to sell our house and move to town...not like him at all. Bought a motorcycle but now wants a bigger one. He has not ridden the one he has but a handful of times. Nothing makes him happy. Had an emotional affair and so on. Typical midlife crisis symptoms.

It is really sad as he has cut himself off from family and friends as well. I continue to pray and just do my own thing, but I miss him so much. Anyone have any advice out there and are there any success stories?

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