- You don't ask the person going through the crisis if they are having a midlife crisis, you ask the people around them who know who they were and how they used to think. The person in crisis is confused, forgetful and ambivalent. They cannot and never will cop to being labeled as someone experiencing a midlife crisis. But everyone around them can plainly see the vast changes and feel the unbridled ramifications the person experiencing the crisis leaves in their wake. They have lost their footing, they have questions about everything with very few answers. The self they used to be no longer has grounding in the body and life they are living. They are desperately searching for a way to make sense of it all and to get back on solid ground. And because of this they act out.
- I know this through direct experience. I watched my lovely wife transform almost overnight to an entirely new person who had very little use for anyone who was important to her before in her new life. So far, I have hung in there and watched, learned and grown myself. And because of this I am witnessing the other side of the crisis. I am witnessing an awakening. I would venture to say that most people are only around for the tearing down, the destruction caused by the midlife sufferer. They never get to see the ever-so-slow recovery and grounding on the other side.
- This is what happened to me and my husband. His sudden, extreme change in behavior (and total loss of ethics - he took almost everything we own and cleaned out my bank account to pay for an affair with a woman he was soon cheating on) and complete disowning of me and all of his old friends) were so dramatic that MANY friends wanted to legally and medically intervene in order to check whether he had a BRAIN TUMOR.
He had acted like he loved me, never told me he was anything but happy, never stopped sleeping with me, never stopped telling me he loved me until the day he just left.
I don't know what happened to him but midlife crisis is the only thing that makes sense; he appears to be healthy two years on so I don't think it's a brain tumor.
I miss the husband I knew. I don't know who this person is, but his complete change in personality makes me think of the German word "Doppelganger" - the concept of someone having a twin (or evil twin) must have come from somewhere! Like demonic possession, I suspect the idea of Doppelganger comes from a radically changed person who no longer bears any resemblance to the person s/he used to be. I still miss my husband and don't understand what happened to him. Although I try not to, I keep hoping one day he will be back. I loved him truly.
- It happened to me! Seven years ago when my husband was 42, he decided he wanted to reunite with his high school sweetheart. He just packed and left one Sunday morning. Needless to say, I was quite upset. After 6 months, he called me out of the blue one day and wanted to take me to dinner. I was just curious enough that I had to go, and needless to say, my kids were furious with me, but I went and we had a wonderful evening. We ended up dating for 6 months before I let him come home. To this day, he can't tell me why he did it. He says that something just came over him and he felt like he had to do it. For the last 6 years, he has been the most loving, kind and selfless husband a woman could ask for. Guess the old saying is true: you don't know what you have until it's gone. And that goes for both of us!
- Let me tell you what a midlife crisis does to families. I was married to a very successful surgeon. I myself am a doctor with three wonderful children. Then it happened: the sports cars, the woman, the cheating, all at 50 years of age. Then the blonde hair to look younger, the tanning and the parties, and then the depression crash. The practice is no more. We are divorced. Three children who were good students plunged. Their home is gone. There will be no college for the second child because of lack of money and and my ex refuses to pay. I’m working 8am to 9pm; the third child is raising himself. The extended family is divided. My ex’s mother has paid off his debt from five years of spending. He is remarried to a 26 year old -- he is 61. He doesn’t see our children because the 26-year-old is jealous of his daughter. After counseling and with the family that stuck by us, the children and I have spent our first Christmas in five years with all trimmings. It has been a whirlwind ride I would not wish on my worst enemy.
- I have heard or known about at least 50 situations where (mostly men) have fallen apart around their 40s, up and walked away from a devoted family and left the family completely shocked. I had a 42-year marriage in which my husband had a crisis every 20 years: lots of wine, women and chasing after men of status and power. We finally divorced. Experience is truth for me and I continue to hear more stories every week.
- Of a group of 10 friends, 7 of them had husbands in their 40s leave without warning. One came home from work, announced he had a 19-year-old girlfriend, and walked out on his wife and three young kids. Another sent an email while on a business trip saying he wanted a divorce. His wife and two kids were shocked. A third thought it was a swell idea to hook up with prostitutes he found on Craigslist. A fourth had secretly been taking a girlfriend on business trips with him while the wife stayed home and cared for the kids. You get the picture. In all cases, these were educated men with good jobs who seemed to love their families. The wives were devastated because they thought they had good marriages.
- I've seen quite a few men and women run off with younger partners for a few years, then realize they threw away what was truly important. In every case it was far too late to get back what they lost and they all are these sort of sad, ghost people who lurk at parties, laughing too loudly and drinking too much while trying to get off with younger people. It's kind of pathetic, particularly how they dress.
- My sister-in-law's husband went through a classic midlife crisis with the nose job, sports car, moving to a new town, losing weight, chasing younger women, etc. The only reason the marriage survived is that he didn't catch any of them. I myself went through a rough patch when I hit 40 that lasted years. The only people who laugh at a midlife crisis are people who have never had one.
- I went through what I know to have been my midlife crisis and have seen many others go through it with no childishness or dishonesty or irresponsibility involved, only deep inner conflict and despair.
- It is not a myth! I had one and wished I had had cancer instead! I was in a fog and hurt many people that I cared about! Thank goodness I survived it and was able to repair some of the damage!
- I'm 51, I watched everybody I knew who was of my age go through a midlife crisis. Most did not handle it well, generally they came out of it less happy than before.