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Life didn't turn out the way I thought, and it is bothering me

The Question

I am not sure if I am having a mid-life crisis or am just depressed.

I am a 46 year old male, married for 25 years with no children. I was pretty much happy with my life until about a week ago.

I was talking to an old girlfriend (no interest in) on a internet web site. I saw pictures of her and her family and her life and thought how well her life has turned out. We talked about marriage a long time ago and I feel that she married much better than me.

She has the big fancy house and vacations to different Islands and to beautiful kids. I have none of that.

We do alright but not that good. My wife has an auto immune disease which prevented her from carrying children.I do not blame her in any way but I do feel sad and guilty that I can not carry on my family's last name. I know most of this is just macho pride stuff but I do feel strongly about it. Other than feeling sorrow and guilt my life is fine or at least I thought it was.

Is this just a phase or should I talk to someone? I really can't talk to my wife because I know she would blame herself when really it's not her fault. Most of my close friends are women so I don't think they would understand the pride and sense of duty issue I am having.

I know I have it better then a lot of people and I shouldn't be thinking that I want more because I really don't need more. Any suggestions?

Noel's response

It does sound as though you are going through a phase, or transition. In my late forties and early fifties, I found myself 'mulling over' my life, and remembering old relationships (for example my high school girlfriend) and realizing that some of the ways I though my life would turn out, were not going to turn out that way.

That being said, you might well benefit from speaking to a counselor or psychotherapist, in order to help you process some of the feelings and thoughts you are having.

I also suggest a full medical with your doctor, in case there is some medical condition. You may also be suffering a certain amount of depression, which is common among middle aged men, and which may require a bit of medication.


Comments for Life didn't turn out the way I thought, and it is bothering me

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Aug 22, 2014
Response to Anonymous
by: Joe

I can't believe you spent time writing that garbage to a guy who is going through a difficult time. Your probably an old bitter person who is unhappy because no one wants you and taking out your own personal anger on someone looking for help. You are a sad person who seriously needs counseling.

Jan 18, 2013
by: Anonymous

Hi, I think you sound like a lovely person, try to replace regrets with dreams, shift your focus to what you plan to do.

Aug 23, 2011
Right On!
by: Similar Circumstance

Very good advice!

Men get this macho-pride thing going and forget how things "really" work.

The very fact that he mentions how proud he is for staying w/her w/o children says something about his personal state. Obviously not being able to -not- have children by *CHOICE bothers him. Again macho-pride or ego issues. (As he admits too). And I am glad he comments on not blaming her, as of course it is not her fault.

Please talk to your wife!! Only you and her can really work it out!!! And yes stop having emotional relationships w/other women! You are cheating on her in the most hurtful way a spouse can! Emotional ties are much stronger then physical ones!!

Jan 19, 2011
New Attitude
by: Anonymous

Hi There,

I think the fact you have several female friends, yet you have been married to an unhealthy woman for over twenty years says you have a problem. You do need to talk to your wife. Quit talking to the other women. You are emotionally cheating on your wife. If you think she can't feel your distance, you don't know women the way you should after living with one for decades.

Your wife is the one in whom you should confide. If it's hard for both of you, too bad. You're big kids now. Eventually dirt under the carpet will rot the floor boards and I sense that is what is happening here.

Perhaps her not providing you with children has a flipside. Perhaps you did not wish to adopt because the child would not have your blood. Statistically, women are much more willing to adopt than men.

I do not know those details, but your wife might have a few things to say back to you and you should be prepared. Together, you may have made poor decisions over the years because of poor communication. It is time to talk it out, hug and heal together. No matter what the problem, life goes better with love. True intimacy is still possible, but both of you have to be willing to become vulnerable with each other.

Don't continue to disrespect your wife and your marriage by confiding in other women in general, and especially about your marriage. Women are emotional beings and that is usually seen as a form of cheating. Try to find a group for men. A therapist may be able to suggest one. I don't think you need one-to-one counseling. I think you just need to find some supportive men and to open up to your wife.

And remember not to break your arm patting yourself on the back for staying with this woman who did not give you kids. She may be patting herself on the back that she tolerated her illness and she tolerated you. Actually, she may have thought you were the best she could do because of her illness and that she needed to tolerate your emotional distance and your time with other woman. That is sad for both of you.

I am sure both of you deserve better and that both of you can provide that to each other.

Good Luck,
Gives a Darn

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