How to Respond to Your Spouse's Midlife Crisis

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If your spouse is going through a midlife crisis, is having an affair, or has asked for a divorce, you are probably feeling helpless at the very least. Watching your partner struggle through a problem that you can't help solve may feel heartbreaking, but you don't necessarily have to stand by idly. If your spouse is suffering through a midlife crisis and the thought of your marriage being a casualty is too much for you to bear, rest assured because we have a few psychologist-approved suggestions that can help get you through this.

While you're in the midst of your spouse's struggle, you probably can't help but think back on the good times and wonder if wives and husbands return after a midlife crisis. The answer completely depends on the person and the emotional support he or she receives. That said, it is not your responsibility to try to fix them because they may not be able to be helped at this point.

When a spouse goes into midlife crisis mode, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up hope. People with strong relationships can beat the odds! What it does mean is that the life you choose to live should be one you enjoy and wish to continue, whether your marriage survives or not. Explore a few ways to help you live your best life despite the circumstances.

Make a Change

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Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash 

While marriage is certainly a union, it is comprised of two individuals. So when you're navigating these choppy waters, don't forget about yourself and your needs. Perhaps your husband or wife's midlife crisis will open your eyes to something about yourself you'd like to improve.

Making positive changes to your life is key, but to avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with something small. It can be as simple as waking up earlier to read a few chapters of a book. Licensced psycologist Dr. Walkup offers, "Treat this time as a soul call waking you up to appreciate that at this age and stage you may be on the cusp of finding a much better use of your time and talents."

The good news is that even if your marriage doesn't survive your spouse's midlife crisis, you will have made changes for yourself that will help you in your daily life and any future relationship.

Find Inspiration

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Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Discover things that you want to do with your life. Whether it's something small like taking up a new hobby or joining a gym, or something a bit bigger like adopting a rescue animal or transitioning careers, the choices you actively make to better yourself will inspire your journey forward despite your wife or husband going through a midlife crisis.

Practice Acceptance

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Change isn’t easy, especially when that change might mean the loss of a relationship with someone you thought you'd be with forever. However, fighting the changes in your relationship is what will keep you stuck in a bad situation and unable to move forward with your life. Surviving your spouse’s midlife crisis means working with what you have, not constantly pondering what you might be able to do to bring him/her back to the marriage. Trying to solve your spouse's insurmountable problem is not your responsibility.

Treat this time as a soul call waking you up to appreciate that at this age and stage you may be on the cusp of finding a much better use of your time and talents.

Acceptance isn’t easy but the sooner you get there, the sooner you will overcome your sadness and grow stronger in your own life. Our suggestion? Try journaling. Writing the day's realities down tends to make them feel more real and concrete.

Be Patient

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Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

Practice patience with both yourself and your spouse. Your spouse may be the one experiencing the midlife crisis, but you are both going through a difficult time. You won’t make the changes you need to make overnight and your spouse won’t work his/her way through their crisis on your timeline, so finding the strength within yourself to be patient is key.

Don’t beat yourself up for backsliding or moving forward as quickly as you feel you should. Time is your friend, so be willing for some time to pass: It's time that you can use to build a better life and become a better person. When your spouse does something crazy or frustrating, try to remember that he or she is experiencing confusing and frustrating emotions just as you are. In the end, you will both end up where you need to be. Don’t become impatient and try to rush the process.

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