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7 Tips to Help You Survive Your Spouse's Midlife Crisis

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Middle aged couple having a disagreement
Gary John Norman/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Male midlife crisis

Some people manage to navigate a midlife crisis, learn from it and move on to a more rewarding life. Then there are those who turn into a person you don't know, take up with another man/woman and inflict enormous pain on their family.

Whether your spouse works through their midlife crisis without doing much harm or turns into a bull in a china shop and destroys everything, they will go through changes. Changes that will leave you confused and wondering what you can do to help yourself and your spouse and hopefully save your marriage.

This article is about helping yourself survive your spouse's midlife crisis. If it helps your spouse, great. If it saves your marriage, great. The only way you are going to be of any help to your spouse or possibly save your marriage is to learn how you can navigate their crisis without it costing you too much emotionally.

1. Focus On Yourself And Your Children:

It may seem impossible to not try to control your spouse's actions during a midlife crisis. You aren't doing your spouse or yourself any favor when you become obsessed with what they are doing or thinking. You have no control over what your spouse does or doesn't do. You do, however have complete control over what you do or don't do.

So, take my advice and focus on things that are within your control. If you are over-thinking your spouse's problems, you are filling your head with negative thoughts. You and your children will not experience contentment in life if your head is full of negative thoughts, worry, and concern over the actions of another person.

Occupy your time with activities that distract you from your spouse's behaviors. If there is tension at home, plan activities for yourself and your children away from the home. Take up a new hobby; get your children involved in new activities. Do whatever you have to do that will keep you and your children from becoming victims of your spouse's midlife crisis.

2. Set Clear Boundaries With Your Spouse:

One way to keep your spouse's bad behavior from causing too much stress in your life is to set boundaries and stick to those boundaries. If your spouse is cheating, let him/her know that, that part of their life is not to intrude into your life. Tell your spouse that you don't want to know anything about his/her activity with another person, that you will not engage in conflict or become involved in a love triangle.

Your first instinct will be to find out everything you can about the other man/woman. You will want to spy on your spouse, read their emails and whatever else you have to do to find out the dirty secrets they are keeping. You won't be doing yourself any favors because, when it comes to midlife crisis your spouse is going to do what they want regardless of your feelings about it. Do yourself a favor and let it go, let it run it's course and accept that you have no control over the situation and don't allow it to intrude into your life and the way you live your life.

3. Process Your Anger In A Healthy Way:

If your spouse is going through a midlife crisis, you can count on him/her doing things that will make you angry as hell. Lashing out at your spouse will help you feel temporarily better. It won't change your spouse's behaviors and will only lead to more conflict in the relationship. Get rid of your anger in a manner that means not engaging in conflict with your spouse. Take a kick boxing class. Throw water balloons against the house, make a voodoo doll and poke his/her eyes out with needles. Find ways to cope with your anger that doesn't mean engaging with your irrational, midlife crisis spouse. Take it from me; no amount of screaming, cursing, yelling or crying is going to make any difference if your spouse is going through a midlife crisis.

4. Don't Initiate Relationship Talks With Your Spouse:

You may have had a wonderful marriage. You may have been a couple who discussed and worked through every problem as it came up. You are no longer that couple and you have to do a 180 and not expect your spouse to care about your relationship or talking about your relationship. If your spouse has distanced himself/herself from you, insisting they talk about the relationship will only push them further away.

Your spouse is going through changes that have caused him/her to lose interest in you and the relationship. That area of their life is low man on the totem pole right now. The more you attempt to discuss it the less interested they will become. It is human nature to want what we can't have. Why should your spouse put any thought into a relationship with you if you are constantly reminding him/her how much you love them or want to save the marriage?

You will get further with a midlife crisis spouse if at the same time they are distancing themselves from you, you distance yourself from them. So, instead of relationship talks, become mysterious, get a life, get out and make him/her wonder why you aren't so focused on them.

5. Listen Without Passing Judgment:

On the other hand, if your spouse initiates conversations with you, you want to listen without passing judgment. Your spouse will be experiencing doubt and confusion about what he/she is going through. If your spouse comes to you and wants to talk, be willing to listen. When dealing with a spouse going through midlife crisis, listening is key. Giving an opinion or judging how they are feeling or thinking should be kept to yourself.

Your spouse may say things that you feel are crazy. A conversation with him/her may leave you with a spinning head. Don't try to explain the error of their thinking no matter how irrational. Don't try to get them to see it from your perspective. Anyone going through a midlife crisis has to figure it out on his or her own. As a spouse the best thing you can do is, listen without criticism and then get on with your life.

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