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Is my hubby just starting his mid-life crisis?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Health, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (19 March 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 21 March 2017)
A female age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Dear aunts and Uncles,

is my hubby just starting his mid-life crisis?

He was always athletic and eat well so I can't say that all of a sudden he changed his life style, but he seems more interested in these areas.

He picked up a new hobby two years ago and became very passionate about it. He even considered giving up his job and start earning his living from his hobby, until he "woke up" at work and started fighting for himself earned a promotion and so on...

I don't think he's interested in somebody else for now, but I cannot ignore that he might feel the need to explore or whathever...

Last night he started an argument over a bowl of soup.

I didn't want to argue, tried to calm the situation down, but he wouldn't let go and claimed theatrically that I do understand what he was saying even though it was not the case. Then from the soup he moved on to life in general and our life in particular (we've been together for almost 15 years) speaking of all sorts of improvements we should make.

Then he started saying that he will never ever leave, despite my faults, and that if I do not accept who he is I should leave him.

It was mostly a monologue, I could barely put a word in. Then he said that he is aware that his sex life (before and with me) was plagued by his sexual frustrations, that have nothing to do with me, which led to extensive porn watching until couple for years ago, when he stopped this "addict behavior".

I did my best not to take things personally and make everything about me and my "faults", but I did ask him what it is that he wants, that excites him... He insisted he didn't have any preferences, he had just always felt the lack of desire in general and was excited when he so excitement/desire in other people (even though it was acting).

I can't tell what his intentions are, but I got an impression that he was at least fantasizing about something or just playing a few scenarios in his mind. He said that if we were to split up he would be the one to move out (from the small apartment we bought together and are still paying of the debt). I just reminded him that it wouldn't be fair for him to continue paying for an apartment he wasn't using (and this would be a blow for his personal budget he's not earning that much more than me) and that in that case we would have to sell since neither of us alone can afford to keep it. He changed the subject.

When describing his feelings for me I was stunned at how much of the vocabulary he used had nothing to to with emotions. He was attracted by my intellect and I made him feel safe. I don't remember if he used the word "love". Maybe by that time I was too distracted.

I understand that he's having a difficult time and that I shouldn't make any rush decisions. But I feel horrible to tell the truth and cannot just sit do nothing and hope for the best. I asked him twice if he'd like to go with me to the couples therapy to help us better communicate not to force him to do anything he doesn't like. He refused.

I took a look at our finances (mine in particular), housing market, divorce proceedings... I don't want to bore you with details, but I am in a more precarious position than he is and cannot afford to sit around and be surprised if one day he decides that he can leave me after all.

Needless to say all of this has instigated some soul searching on my part... DO I WANT TO BE WITH HIM if he is what he says he is right now? Do I want to be with someone who doesn't doesn't use the word "love" when he talks about how he feels for me? Do i feel safe and love din this relationship?

Well it is a scary thought to be alone at 40. No family no kids. Without a career, just a job... But I need to start considering this seriously and prepare, deal with my fears.... I guess the most logical step would be to improve my own finances and find a better paying job, just face the realities of failing economy of the country we're living in.

I don't know... things are just bleak right now...

Thank you for advice!

View related questions: at work, debt, divorce, porn, sex life, split up

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2017):

Dear Aunts and Uncles,

thank you all for your comments!

It is true that I can be too rational in emotional moments, but I did tell my husband I loved him and that I was there for him, ready to listen...

Anyway, even though we have since sat down and talked several times, found ourselves again in all that mess, this episode cannot be ignored.

Some good did come out of it. I definitely need to stop working two jobs and find one that would be better paid and allow me to have more free time to invest in my hubby's and my together time :) I realized that even though we spend a great deal of time together, we do not do a lot of things together and that we should find an activity we could share.

He realized that I am not afraid of change and that I am willing to try.

He agreed to see a therapist and go to the couples therapy with me. We'll see what that will do. He has my full support on all levels. It turns out that his lifelong sexual frustrations could be a consequence of ADHD. He wasn't ready to deal with that diagnosis when he was seeing a shrink a couple of years ago and now he says that he is.

I too plan to take some more time and invest in myself. I was too focused on work, earning and solving all sorts of problems that never seem to end, hoping that ONE DAY I will be able to be more focused on what really matters.

I have no idea how will all of this affect us as individuals and as a couple, but now I feel grateful that he said something and in case that somebody else with a similar problem might be reading this I would strongly advise that they encourage their partners to speak up. Whatever it is that is brewing inside won't magically go away... Not that I'm not scared... It's just that this is not paralyzing.

Thank you all once again!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2017):

Look up, narcissist. If the behavior matches up then divorce him and run fast as you can.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 March 2017):

The mid life crisis.. most all guys in their mid thirties to forties hit a point where they stop and ask themselves "do I really want to stay in this career? Do I really want to be married to my wife? Does my life have a lot of meaning?" This is normal because it's the developmental stage where they set the foundation for which they will live the rest of their life on. It's a science. Often when this happens they are open to meeting new females etc and sometimes divorce is equally hard on them because they have years invested into it. A marriage counselor is pretty much going to tell you to place a lot of focus on yourself. Are you still the same girl he married? What do you bring to the table that he'd miss if he lost it? Do you still flirt with him and make him feel manly? Find something stimulating to do together. Something for him. We get married, settle into routine, then we're stuck tending to that routine while watching unmarried people attend concerts, gatherings, cool events etc. To the point we over look the hot dinner and good things in life. Luckily for you he's talked to you about it. Some women don't know until he's found someone else and then the household is so chaotic nothing really fixes it. Style your hair and nails and tell him you want to go out and do something spontaneous with him

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (20 March 2017):

Yes, I believe middle-aged crisis may have something to do with his sudden realization of life, and his feelings about his present situation. However; as we mature, we also start to reassess life from college up to the present. That's to determine where we're going. We're usually hard on ourselves.

You could have a sudden epiphany, a frightening medical diagnosis; or a shocking wake-up call! Your immediate reaction could be panic, if not anxiety.

It's just a phase, disconcerting as it may be from where you're standing.

He knows men don't live as long as women; and may feel he hasn't accomplished anything. At 40, (halfway through a lifetime) sometimes life seems mundane or complacent. That makes him feel he isn't living life to the fullest, or he's lacking in ambition.

In his late 30's into his 40's; sometimes a man starts to worry if he has no legacy to leave his mark on the world. Most people can do that through their children and grandchildren. He has no descendants to carry on his name or memory; so he may feel it all depends on the two of you.

Women don't think like men; so it's not surprising you're assuming everything is about his discontent with you and your marriage. Changes may include, but are not restricted to the context of your relationship.

It suddenly opened your eyes and motivated you to even look at your own financial position, employment, and to look forward to your future.

Be prepared for all things in life. That's the rule of survival.

Don't jump to all negative conclusions and see everything a prelude to divorce. If he was contemplating divorce; I think he had every opportunity to express that in his diatribe over the soup! I think the soup was a metaphor, or just an example meant to represent his feelings in general. His way of expressing his thoughts may leave something to be desired.

If you start talking about couples therapy, he'll just assume you're the one contemplating divorce. If he decides that's the route he wants to take; therapy probably wouldn't change his mind, or yours. He didn't let you speak, because he had to vent. He needed an ear. You just assumed he was complaining about your marriage, and wouldn't have considered anything else matters. He was thinking in logical terms, and less on the emotional side.

Which comes to the question... why are you so eager to bailout? Remember your vows? Did you marry for love? "For richer, for poorer, for better or for worse?"

I think you should calm down, and keep things in proper perspective. Don't presume he's upset with you; when he made references to change. He was talking about himself, his life, and his future. It's scary because it's out of the blue; and he seems so passionate about it.

By the way, you never made any reference to your love for him in your post either. Only how uncomfortable he makes you feel. Now give that some thought!

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (19 March 2017):

janniepeg agony auntHis problem is that he can't get an erection unless there is variety and novelty each time. As an effort to improve the marriage, he stopped porn. Unfortunately that did not reignite his desire for you. What he is saying is that you are not getting any loving and if you can't accept that, then he would move out. That could be his mid life crisis or his previous porn watching or whatever sexual frustration or fetish that he's hiding from you. He could also be gay. Maybe that's the reason he can't use the word love with you. Love is the glue that holds you together when everything else falls apart. What you are having is what a lot of people are having too, and that's not reason to just talk about leaving and starting arguments. Not even wanting to hug, cuddle and kiss means the relationship is dead. If he makes a good roommate, like he cleans up, pays the bills, and stop bitching about life then maybe it's a good idea to keep him there until you figure out what to do. As far as affections go you can't expect anything from him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 March 2017):

It's strange the way that he started it. With an argument. My feeling is that if he wanted you and he to improve your relationship, he would have approached it differently. The nice, loving way to do that would have been to sit you down, introduce the subject nicely etc etc. But he cloaked it all in an argument. Does he usually behave this way?

Talking about the logistics of leaving each other out of the blue is strange isn't it?

He must have been thinking about it. Why? Did you ask him what has brought all this on? Or was he too difficult to talk to. It sounds as if he was a volcano that had been bubbling under the surface and then had to let it out. Question is, what was he letting out?

You sound as if you are very rational and not very emotional with him. With all this being said from his side, all you tell us that you said was, that it wouldn't be fair for him to continue to pay for an apartment he's no longer using. Where was the emotion? The upset and shock must have been horrible. Did you show any emotion to him? I'm just wondering where this very clinical sounding relationship has come from....him or you?

He talks about your intellect and making him feel safe as the reasons he's with you? And when he erupts with all these shocking confessions, you mention the logistics of having to sell up etc? I'm not being negative, I'm just trying to understand if this is the norm for you both? To only talk about surface stuff and not anything emotional?

From what you write, that he doesn't want to go to counselling, that he's already thinking about how it would work if you split up, telling you that you must leave him if you can't accept him for who he is? Why would he suddenly say that? What is it that he thinks you suddenly won't be able to accept?

Then his sexual frustration. It sounds as if he is giving you a list as to why you should no longer be together and that he doesn't want to fix things. Mentioning 'your faults' but not elaborating on them or discussing a way forward. Other than you leaving him if you can't accept him. Like it's his way or the highway.

He could be making himself out to be 'the good guy' by not ending your marriage, but giving you a list of reasons why he is not happy with it, but offering no solutions. Rather as if he has led you up shit creek and left you there. I realise that I am not offering any solutions either, just thinking aloud and trying to help. I can only think that a frank discussion on BOTH sides is required and it doesn't sound as if he wants to do that.

I left a marriage at age 38, no house, no job, nothing. Went travelling with the money I got bought out with and then came home and retrained. I have since done the same thing again at 48. Now 55, I have a different business and hope to travel again someday. I have no children and one sister who is moving away. Life on your own can be hard or an endless sea of opportunities......depends how you spin it. Good luck x

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