Most of the people I hear from wanting information on midlife crisis are women. The term has long been associated with men but contrary to popular belief, women are as likely as men to experience a midlife crisis.
The focus of this article is the difference between the experience for men and women. I also hope to answer the question I hear most often, “why is my spouse going through a midlife crisis?”
Why People Experience Midlife Crisis:
People who live their lives fulfilling their dreams and with a purpose are less likely to experience a crisis at midlife. A man or woman who is able to meet their own needs while, at the same time meet the needs of their spouse will more than likely find the transition into midlife easy.
People who put little thought into what they want out of life and more thought into taking care of others are more likely to experience a crisis at midlife. If your spouse works hard, spends most of his free time with his family and doesn’t pursue life experience outside his family he is a sitting duck. He is someone in danger of going through a midlife crisis.
If your wife spends her days taking care of children, cooking, cleaning and putting the needs of her family before her own she is asking for trouble. If she has no outside interests, no career and nothing to fulfill dreams she may have she is in danger of going through a midlife crisis.
Differences Between Male and Female Midlife Crisis:
- Men go through midlife crisis because they reach a certain age and realize that life is passing them by. They become afraid:
- Afraid of the changes that come with aging.
- Afraid of becoming ill.
- Afraid of becoming less attractive to the opposite sex.
- Afraid of not attaining goals they have set for themselves.
- Afraid of dying.
- Women, on the other hand are thrust into midlife crisis because they reach a certain age and find they finally have the opportunity to do all the things in life they have put off doing while caring for her family.
- A woman’s children are grown and all of a sudden, she has the opportunity to do all those things she put off while being a mother.
- She and her husband have both worked hard, are now financially secure and she views this security as her opportunity to explore all those things she has put on the backburner.
- She goes through menopause, which means both biological and psychological changes. The psychological changes a woman experiences at menopause can cause her to question how she has lived her life and whether she should make changes to the way she lives.
Stages of Midlife Crisis:
Male or female most go through the same stages during a midlife crisis:
Some will process through these stages smoothly. Some will go back and forth between stages until they work their way through the crisis. Anyone who goes through a midlife crisis is experiencing an internal change that will have either a positive outcome or negative outcome. Any crisis is an opportunity for growth. If your spouse is a person who is able to look internally and use the changes in a healthy way you will both profit from his/her experience.
If your spouse is not a person who is able to do some internal investigation and use the changes he/she is experiencing then, hold on because the ride will get bumpy and you will both suffer the consequences.