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Readers Respond: How Did You Survive Your Spouse's Midlife Crisis?

Responses: 94


When a husband or wife goes into a midlife crisis and seems hell bent on destroying their marriage and family the pain and emotional destruction are great. The only person who doesn't seem to be touched by the fall-out is the one suffering the midlife crisis. Were you a victim of your spouse's midlife crisis? If so, share with our readers tips that helped you move past the pain and destruction and onto healing and a new life.

For advice and support on a particular problem, check out the Divorce Support Forum.

Share What Worked For You

I Left And He Is Taking Advantage Of It!

At the end of the summer last year I left my husband as I felt we were going in different directions. We still continued to see each other and spent many nights together. I thought our marriage was on the road to recovery. However, I found out later that a month after I left he had already slept with our granddaughters nurse, was trying to get with a few of our female biker friends. Thankfully they declined. He also started taking nude photos of other women (he's a photographer). He also slept with at least 2 of them. He refused to take any of these type of photos of me. His personality seemed to change over night. Even his friends noticed the change. Then about 2 months ago I noticed he was calling the same number every day at least 10 times per day. Unfortunately I found out later this was his girlfriend. My world has totally been turned upside down. She has him totally under her control. I find myself constantly trying to defend myself about lies she and his children tell
—Guest Mary

Living in Hell!

I can't believe I am here writing this. Thank you to everyone who has responded up till now. My wife told me the 'I love you but don't love you' story along with a 3 page letter. We had a perfect marriage and perfect life. She took off to Vegas right after that for 5 days and then met up with another man on a work trip when she came back. It took me a while to realize that this was really mid life crisis. She is a perfect match for it. She recently lost 100 lb's after a lifetime of struggling with her weight and undergone a tummy tuck. She's on the computer 8 hours a day and considers herself a rockstar for her blogs on a weight lifting site. I wish there was some way to get her back. She turned into a completely different person in the matter of 1 minute. I was totally blindsided. We had just returned from a 2 month vacation and I was planning our early retirement and now I find myself alone and fighting for a fair separation. Life has gone to hell. Bless you all.
—Guest guest Richard

He Is Not The Man I Married!

I could write a novel, but I have one important issue. We married knowing we both wanted a child together, regardless if the child was our natural born, or adopted. WE wanted one. Now, he doesn't. He changed his mind. What the hell am I supposed to do? I haven't changed mine. I won't. It is so unfair for him to do that to me. I am so hurt by his choice. Why does he get to make that decision? Why don't I get to? This whole "crisis" is SO NOT FAIR. It is not part of "sickness and health". This is deliberate choices being made that are selfish and hurtful and are affecting our entire family. I will do everything I can to help him through this, but what about me? I am NOT being selfish by saying that, when I am the punching bag here. I want to get in my car (some days) and drive and drive and drive - no direction, just drive. And never come back. My soul won't let me. God won't let me, I'm smarter than that. BUT WHAT ABOUT ME? THE WIFE? THE ONE WATCHING HIM SLIP AWAY?

contact him for help.

Thank him for making my wish true! I was totally devastated when crane left me. It was like all my world vanishing into sorrow and pain. But Doctor Messiah kind words when I first emailed him gave me hope. I felt how sincere, honest and authentic he was from his first email. I know it sounds weird but out of all the casters I contacted, he was the only one to give me that impression of being so true and caring. More than his words, it s the fantastic work he accomplished for me that I will keep in mind. He brought my lover back and he made all my wishes come true. He s now loyal, pays attention to me, he offers me flowers every Sunday, and we often go out at the cinema and the restaurant eventhough we have food at home. I will be forever thankful for turning my life from hell to heaven! i believe who need help should contact freemercytemple@yahoo.com and have your problems solved just like mine.
—Guest gaticia

Responded to Divorce

I have been married for 30 years and 10 months and out of no where my husband wanted a divorce. We very seldom argued and we purchase a house and paid for it. My girls all graduated and we were on our way to having the good life. But out of no where he filed for divorce and now there is nothing I can do. He went out and purchased hiself an apartment and swear its not another woman! I am done because I gave him the world! He blindsided me but I keep telling myself when one door closes God has something better in store!
—Guest Carolyn Nashville

How Long will it Take

I've been married with my wife for 23 years and have 3 children, On the 1st day of Chinese New Year my wife breaks the news that she wants to leave me for another man she was chatting on line, she trusts him so much but have not met him but decided to leave me and the children. I fought hard to convince her that this is not true. I managed to stop her from leaving. She has decided to stay and tells me she loves me and realized the mistake she has made, but time to time i see her confusion. She has changed in the ways she dresses (like a 20 year old girl) spend alot of time and money on her appearence ( looks and figure) the type of music she listens. I realized all this started after my eldest son left abroad for further studies, ofcourse i neglected her by spending less time with her and conversation mostly end up arguing. Now she realized the mistake she made and what she cause in the family. Its been 4 months now but still notice confusion in her.
—Guest Badlybeaten

This is me

I am about two years into a MLC, and hopefully at the end. This is hell and I am pretty much responsible for most of my current situation. I see the hurt to SO, my manipulation to get her to love me after what I've done. I feel alone, confused and scared but also some acceptance of whatever is going to transpire, I'll make it through ok. Getting caught Details: I started seeing some escorts, she got my best friend to send her his jerk off videos, and it's been a war of who hurt the other more. We are stuck in the past. I finally decided to ask for the divorce last night, and it felt like a concrete decision for the right reasons. Now I'm reading about the MLC, and seeing myself and spouse in all I read. I think I obsessively and foolishly jumped the gun here. I thought MLC started way after 40, looks like I am right on time. Ouch. We have three kids, been married 11 years, and I have no idea what's going to happen. Me timelining and trying to force an outcome to my liking hasnt worked
—Guest Dan

Get Over It

@Keith and the others...this happens all the time. Keith...if you chose to hit her then you deserve the rap. Don't write checks with your mouth that your butt can't cash. My ex hit me once in the face and I called the cops. She was arrested. Even when she attempted to convince me to hit her, I didn't. Now, she has the record and I have the children. There is no such thing as a mid-life crisis. It is simply LUST! It happens at different ages, but the tune is still the same (a guy catches a female's eyes, tells her things she doesn't hear at home and...mission accomplished)(Guy told "that's sad she treated you that way...didn't appreciate you", etc.) and another one bites the dust. It's called ADULTERY, and it's at crisis levels in America, but certainly not a crisis in and of itself. If people took more time to pick a spouse (myself included) than it takes to pick dinner off a menu, we would have far less "crisises" happening.
—Guest Meiewe

More Common Than You Know

So, here's my sad story. We have been together for 13 years. There have been ups and downs, but mostly everything is great. We do everything together. People always told me how lucky I was because he worshiped me. In a week that changed. One week he was the person I loved, the next week he didn't really talk to me. I thought it was his work, so I didn't push. On Easter Sunday morning I finally asked him what was going on. He told me he wanted out. He feels like he has no freedom or control over his life. I'm ashamed to say I did everything I shouldn't have for about 7 days and tried to changed his mind. That was three weeks ago. We are still living in the same house, him in one room, me in another. It feels like the person I loved is gone and there's a stranger there now that I neither know nor want to know. It still hurts sometimes, but in the end I will be fine. This is his issue to deal with and I won't let it bring me down. I'll be moving next week and getting on with my life.

Why you didn't survive (men and women)

You didn't have the perfect marriage. Your spouse didn't change overnight either. Just like overnight success requires years of practice overnight failure requires years neglect, then it all comes to a head and you are blindsided. You were unresponsive to your spouses needs. You thought you were doing the right thing but the truth is you put effort into what you wanted them to be, not who they were. After a while they felt like you didn't know them and never would. It's a fair conclusion to come to. For every person here that had a spouse that cheated, you probably have a lower sex drive and did not make enough effort to satisfy your partner. That's what kills the "in love" part of the relationship. So, you got fat, stopped putting out, worked weekends/nights at the office instead going out on the town. I really believe almost everyone here who says they did everything right neglected some core need of the other party, until they had to search elsewhere for fulfillment. Accept it.
—Guest Mr. T

Focusing yourself

Try to take it easy, stay within the framework of the law and never ever start an argument, when, not if they start accusing you of unbelievable things. Remove yourself by saying, " i listen to you, i respect what you say but i don't agree with you and try to save what you can, bankaccounts, house, car, etc. These persons go through a lot of irrational emotions, you must stay on course. I know there is a lot of pain for you, it will be easier after a while, trust me, i have been there.think about the relation between your ex and the alienator with its qarrels, mistrust, guilt, shame(yes they feel burdened with guilt and shame) and be glad you are not part of his/her life anymore. Wish you the best of luck!
—Guest Paul

Symptoms sounding familiar

I see a lot of commonalities here between what is happening to others and what has been happening to me. I was married for 12 years and thought we had a great marriage. Then my wife has a breakdown on her 38th birthday and unleashes complaints of things she never mentioned before over 12 years. Since then they have become a sticking point - that I did so many things wrong for so long that she is now wounded beyond repair, yet she never brought them up before now. Turns out these are all after-the-fact rationalizations of her current midlife crisis, or at least it would seem. It blew my mind at first and I could not for the life of me figure out how anyone could just suddenly fall out of love, but now after reading about the experiences here I am seeing some patterns. I've been doing everything I can to try to heal our relationship but, sadly, it looks like this may not be a solvable problem.


It started with my husband wanting to date about a month ago. He used to be very attentive and jealous and now it's a one eighty. Doesn't take to the kids or me and now he hit me with he wants a divorce. I think there is someone else and she's pushing. I'm just wondering how long this will last and if he will ever come to his senses.
—Guest Misty12

Maybe Midlife Crisis?

He was close to 48 & I didn't realize his worries of getting "old" tho he made many comments about it. Add stress of my kids & his kids legal troubles, misbehavior, ect. We were married 6 yrs at the time. We both made mistakes. He "wasn't there for me emotionally", "likes to be the boss", ect...I got depressed, didn't take care of myself or our home, ect...It all came to a head on Black Friday 2009 when he didn't come home all night. Next morning he told me he spent the night with a woman 11 yrs younger than me, I was 41. I was devestated. Within 6 months I was literally dying, grieving myself to death. We had a hell of a 2 yrs after his affair...I went crazy, no joke. Finally, after antidepressants, mental health facilities, jail, payback affairs & making myself thin, tan, long blonde hair, I feel good about myself again & can deal with our problems. Story is too long to tell all but today we r closer than ever. We truly love each other. I still hurt but choose to love instead.

Cell Phone App Got Him in Trouble!

A friend of mine and I were talking on my front porch about our Droid phones and I told here that I frequently tried out apps (both dumb and useful) so my husband asked me if I could do the same with his Blackberry. I found I could and set it up. While waiting on the confirmation code to come thru, I thought I had it, but it was another female asking if she could "visit" him. He'd told her that i was "visiting our son", but I replied back to her that "I LIVE HERE AND PAY RENT and we're still married" she didn't reply back. Then I find a picture of (I assume) what are her breasts the same night on the phone. I printed it out and blew it up, she was in our truck where I think he's had sex with her. Devastation follows. . .
—Guest Lee

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How Did You Survive Your Spouse's Midlife Crisis?

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