Most folks work very hard to save their marriage during a spouse’s midlife crisis. The objective should be to work on themselves. It is imperative that your only motivation for working on yourself is not to save the marriage. When dealing with a spouse in midlife crisis there are no guarantees when it comes to the marriage.
Statistics say that 80% of those who experience a turbulent transition during midlife will remain in the marriage and they themselves will make positive changes that strengthens the marriage. So, odds are in your favor but there is still the possibility you will end up in divorce court.
When all is said and done you want to be able to honestly say that you tried everything but when dealing with midlife crisis you are limited in what you can do. You can work diligently to change negative behaviors in yourself and your behavior inside the marriage. Doing so will not only be helpful to you but will also teach your child that marriage is a commitment that requires work. A lessen they will find valuable later in their own lives.
The Situation Won’t Change Overnight:
For some transitioning through midlife takes time, especially if they go into an emotional crisis. You, the spouse can’t rush it. You can’t expect her/him to be on your schedule and take into consideration your needs. There are no quick fixes and you will do yourself a favor if you remind yourself of that fact often.
Some Refer to it as a Roller Coaster Ride:
There will be a lot of ups and downs. There will be abrupt, extreme changes in circumstances, as well as the quality of your relationship with your spouse and his/her behavior toward you and other family members.
You will see signs of positive change in his/her behavior toward you to only have him/her tell you the next day that nothing has changed. His/her moods will be unpredictable and he/she will keep you on your toes when it comes to keeping up with what he/she may or may not want from you.
You should probably invest in a large supply of Dramamine because according to those who have been through and come through a midlife crisis the roller coaster is the only way it can be navigated. So, fasten your seat belt, throw your hands over your head and expect a lot of bumps during this process.
Waiting it Out or, Welcome to Limbo Land:
The worst aspect of his/her crisis will be the feeling that your life has been put on hold. It is easy for resentment to build if you feel someone else is holding you back for “getting on with your life.” Most of the resentment you feel will come from the fact that your spouse, the one in crisis is calling all the shots. They are quite literally holding the fate of your marriage in their hands.
You may find yourself…
- Waiting for your spouse to change their mind.
- Waiting for your spouse to want to be with you again.
- Waiting for your spouse to come to their senses.
- Waiting for your spouse to turn back into the person you were married to.
- Waiting for your spouse to care about the negative impact to your children.
- Waiting for your spouse to stop behaving like a two-year-old.
You will spend a lot of time waiting. I suggest you get busy living your life while you wait. Your spouse may be in control of the path your marriage will take. He/she is not, however in control of how you choose to live your life during this time of limbo.
Live your life “as if” all is OK…
- Plan family activities with your children,
- Focus on your career,
- Build a good support group,
- Stay socially active,
- Engage in activities that will distract you from the problems in your marriage.
Learn the Virtues of Patience:
There is a prayer that my mother used to say that comes to mind when I think about how one feels when dealing with a spouse in midlife crisis. “Lord, give me patience, but please hurry!” I look at it this way, your spouse is in a position of emotional weakness. It is his/her weakness that will test your character now more than ever. There weakness is also an opportunity for you to strengthen your character by learning the virtues of patience.
According to the dictionary those who are patient are, “steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.” In other words it is important that you be unwavering when it comes to living YOUR life to the fullest during your spouse’s midlife crisis.
While you are waiting, “carry on” and keep your expectations low.
Taking Control During Your Spouse’s Midlife Crisis Part II