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Question
Posted by: Jack | 2011/02/15

Midlife crisis?

Hi, I suspect that I might be going through a midlife crisis. I have done some research on the subject and all the symptoms are there. I am quite young (38) but got married at the very young age of 20 which might explain the early onset of this crisis. I find myself thinking about the past quite often and I have more regret for the things that I didnt do than the things I did. I endured a lot of hardships as an adolescent, I came from a broken home, I was ostracised at school by my peers and educators alike, got involved with drugs and consequently my self esteem suffered and I withdrew into my own fantasy world. Now 20 years later I am happily married with 2 kids, I live a clean healthy lifestyle but I feel trapped by endless responsibilities and a job that doesnt really satisfy me. I sometimes get these urges to just run away from it all. My marriage is also taking strain and to my dismay and shame I have to admit that I find the idea of an affair quite alluring. I sometimes have this irrational resentment toward my wife because she really enjoyed her adolescent years and when she would cassually talk about an ex-boyfriend in an innoccent and unassuming way I would go green with envy because I feel that I " lost out"  on those so-called wonder years. I have always done the right thing, have always been a model citizen, employee, dad and husband who put the needs of others first but now I feel that all I am reaping for all the sacrifices I made is depression (Yes I am on AD''s as well) and a sense that I do not really live but merely exists. I know there are a lot of people (especially males) that feel the way I do and this feeling of being trapped just becomes stronger over time. I feel like a wild lion in a cage - sitting in the office and traffic the whole day. I even took up Mixed Martial Arts in the evenings to rid me off my frustration but it is only a temporary remedy. I know that I take a lot of things for granted in my life but still these urges and feelings to live like a pirate, rock star, philanderer or adventurer just does not want to go away.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I think one is entitled to a mid-life crisis at almost any age. OK, maybe before puberty would be a bit excessive.
Regretting what you did ( indeed, forgetting what you didn't do ) is remarkably useless activity. Learning from both, to plan what you WILL and won't do in the future, is useful.
You cannot, now, enjoy a different adolescence - that opportunity has past. But the more time you spend looking over your shoulder at the past, the less you will be ready to make better use of current and future possibilities.
I think psychotherapy would be a reall good idea, to review what can most usefully be learned from the past, and apply it to a more satisfying present and future. The images you have in mind ( pirate, philanderer ) are of states that are satisfying only in fantasy, and rather grisly and unpleasant in reality. Exploring how to find better opportunities to build on your excellent successes, and include more lasting and worthwhile satisfaction, would be a better way to go.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jen | 2011/02/15

I agree with Happiness because my husband is having a mid life crises and our marriage has paid the price for it...

Explain to your wife and ask her to join you on an adventure or three..who knows you may both enjoy the ride :)

Reply to Jen
Posted by: Purple | 2011/02/15

Well by doing sport you''re handling your mid life crisis far better than my husband, who drinks 6 - 8 beers every weekend night and then passes out on our couch.

What about a " half way"  solution to some of your problems - a wild holiday for you and your wife somewhere overseas that you have always wanted to go, or some weekends away with your buddies to go fishing (drinking) just to let your hair down a bit.

The excercise you are doing does help you cope a lot better with the feelings you''re having.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Happiness | 2011/02/15

I think its possible to live that fantasy life and still be a father and a husband. Or maybe even recruit your wife to join you on the adventure.

I''ve seen a few men who drop everything during the midlife crisis to pursue the life they never lived. They are not any happier after destroying their families and losing everything they''ve worked so hard for.

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/02/15

I think one is entitled to a mid-life crisis at almost any age. OK, maybe before puberty would be a bit excessive.
Regretting what you did ( indeed, forgetting what you didn't do ) is remarkably useless activity. Learning from both, to plan what you WILL and won't do in the future, is useful.
You cannot, now, enjoy a different adolescence - that opportunity has past. But the more time you spend looking over your shoulder at the past, the less you will be ready to make better use of current and future possibilities.
I think psychotherapy would be a reall good idea, to review what can most usefully be learned from the past, and apply it to a more satisfying present and future. The images you have in mind ( pirate, philanderer ) are of states that are satisfying only in fantasy, and rather grisly and unpleasant in reality. Exploring how to find better opportunities to build on your excellent successes, and include more lasting and worthwhile satisfaction, would be a better way to go.

Reply to cybershrink

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