I believe my wife is having a mid-life crisis and I find your advice for dealing with the situation very reassuring. My question for you is should I allow my wife to force a divorce upon me as a result of her crisis when my overwhelming rational reaction to our current situation is to save our marriage?
I would really value your thoughts.
Women and Midlife Crisis
I wish I could tell you that you should not allow your wife to divorce you. The sad truth is, your wife can divorce you, “force” a divorce upon you regardless of how you feel about the subject. Thanks to no-fault divorce laws control over whether your marriage lasts has been taken out of your hands.
When it comes to midlife crisis and the desire for a divorce any rational thought flies out the window. Even your rational thought processes. I understand your desire to save your marriage, especially if you are dealing with someone you feel is making irrational decisions. She has to be of the same frame of mind, though, and having experience with a midlife crisis, we both know she isn’t.
Below is a list of 19 symptoms women going through a midlife crisis may experience. I’m sure you are familiar with all.
1. She is depressed and withdrawn.
2. She is discontent and bored with her life and our marriage.
3. She is emotionally detached.
4. She says that she loves you but she’s not “in love with you.
5. She says that she feels a lack of personal fulfillment.
6. She says she is “going through something” and wants to “take a break and find herself.”
7. She wants her freedom and independence.
8. She has lost a lot of weight, goes to the gym daily and has become obsessive about exercising.
9. She pays more attention to her appearance.
10. She dresses provocatively and acts very flirtatious.
11. She had an affair with a co-worker (personal trainer, son’s soccer coach, old flame, guy she met in a bar, etc.)
12. She bought a shiny new, red BMW convertible.
13. She focuses only on herself and is acting extremely selfish.
14. She is angry and irritable all the time and becomes easily agitated over little things.
15. She is sarcastic with one cut down after another, constantly looking for a fight or argument and sometimes even goes into a violent rage.
16. She spends her spare time on the computer instant messaging people or chatting with guys online.
17. She goes out drinking with younger, single friends/co-workers after work and stays out all hours of the night.
18. She started living like she was single again, taking separate vacations, going to rock concerts, going out to clubs and bars. Anything to avoid being at home in the evening
19. She is acting like a teenager!
Your wife is in a very selfish frame of mind at this time. She is thinking of no one but herself and satisfying her own needs and desires. Only time will tell if this phase of her life will promote learning and growth or if it will cause her to destroy what she once held dear…her marriage and family.
May I suggest that you focus on saving yourself? If you have children they will need rescuing also. I will tell you like I’ve told many others, if a spouse is going through a midlife crisis there isn’t much you can do other than stand back, protect yourself and hope they don’t do too much harm.
At this point that is all you can do, protect yourself and wait it out. Or, accept that she is gone and move on with your life. Hard to digest, but that is the reality of your situation. Protect yourself, your children, wait it out of move on without her.
If you decide to wait it out, while you are waiting, live your life fully and wholeheartedly. Live so wonderfully well that if or, when she wants to come back it will mean nothing more to you than a gentle shiver, a small movement forward in a life that you’ve neatly established without her.