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Coping With Your Husband's Midlife Crisis

This man in front of you, whom you trusted and relied on all these years, is no longer the same. You yell, scream, reason, cry, argue, debate, plead and finally demand he be who he used to be. It is not going to happen! He is finally going through what many before him went through and many after him will go through: midlife crisis. Nothing will be same from here on.

There is a big difference between women going through menopause and men going through midlife crisis: women are more prepared. We have read about it, talked to our girlfriends, our shrink and are allowed to show and verbalize our emotions. We have a support system in place that we can call upon. Men don’t understand what they are going through and why they feel the way they do.  Your husband will not want to admit that he feels old, unattractive, out of shape, overweight, balding, unhappy in his career and overburdened by responsibilities.  He is frightened by the thought that he might die before he has really lived.

He looks at his life and can only find fault: not enough money, too much debt, too much work, too much responsibility, no fun or play, getting old, fat and depressed. He has become negative and quite frankly, he is fed up. He is burned out and wants to escape.

Some men seek help to cope with this dreaded phase, but many more try to find answers on their own. Some may face this crisis with the help of their wives, resulting in a closer and stronger relationship. Some may seek the answers in a new hobby, fitness program, diet or simply rearranging priorities. Others seem to need a facelift, sports car and or the cute blond from the office. They may even blame their wives and family for their misery: “If I wouldn’t have married you, I could be sailing off in the sunset, instead of paying our mortgage and our children’s education.” The difference in coping strategies lies in a man’s ability to express his feelings and willingness to reach for constructive solutions. Men and feelings often do not blend. They want to appear strong, collected and in control, even when they are at their weakest.

So what do you do with such a man? Fist off, his crisis is not your fault, nor is it his. If you insist that he return to his normal self, you are asking for the impossible. Further more you will be the last person, he would want to ask for help. You simply have to allow him to seek his own answers and ways to deal with what he doesn’t understand himself. Encourage a healthy lifestyle, hobbies (except the blonde from the office), doing different things, getting rid of unnecessary obligations, vacations and simplifying life in general. Offer help if he wants it and suggestions if he seeks your guidance. This is also a time when many marriages have gone stale. Reinvent your relationship and do things that you enjoy together. Marriage that have been strong before are a huge support in helping overcome midlife crisis. Yet, not all marriages survive midlife crisis. He may take off with the blonde form the office to grab a piece of youth (literally). Should she become his selected survival tool, you are not going to stop it.

No matter, which way the dices fall, you must look out for yourself:

  • Take care of you
  • Become independent
  • Get fit
  • Stay healthy
  • Widen your horizon
  • Do new things
  • Strengthen your relationships with your children family and friends
  • Met new people
  • Be kind to yourself

While you are there to help him, don’t let him drag you down with him.

© 2006 Allie Ochs, Relationship Expert, CoachFree Reprint Articles, Speaker and the Author of “Are You Fit To Love?” ISBN 0-9720227-9-1. Her articles are published in numerous magazines and newsletters. She has appeared on radio and TV. To order her book or to take the Fit 2 Love! Test visit her website at For FREE relationship/dating advice e-mail:

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Allie Ochs, Relationship Expert, Coach, Speaker and Author or e-mail:

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