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Question
Posted by: Emothional wreck | 2004/03/06

Midlife crises issues

The information pertaining to Midlife crises in Helath 24 are a Text book case of my husband & I.
I am going thru menopause, he is having Midlife crises and we have an adolescent son who does not make life easy.

Hubby is having an affair, although he denied it until I told him I had evidence. He keeps saying he is confused and does not
know what he wants. The affair is with an old friend whom he went out with 20 years ago. He actually left her for me.

Is Midlife crises an illness. Do I stand by him during this crucial stage of his life?

I do not feel as though we as a couple had any problems prior to this period, although he now says he has not been happy for the past 7 years. The amount of stress that we have gone through i.e. financial, family, friends, business, children etc has not made it easy I agree. Also my mood swings made life difficult, but I feel we have gone through all these together,
why can we not get through this.

We have both been fo counselling on our own, the counsellor has said she can only help if we go together. He feels it won't work and has refused to go. I feel we will not know if it will work or not until we do go. Am I answering my own question?

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Our expert says:
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Dear EW,
I wonder sometimes whether, if an adolescent son ( or daughter ) DOES seem to be making life easy, one just has to be missing something !
Midlife crisis is not an illness, nor any recognized disease. It's a popular label for a common situation to which different men and women respond in different ways, and it is ABSOLUTELY NOT any excuse for misbehaving.
Maybe he has been "unhappy" or to some degree dissatisfied, perhaps mainly with himself and his choices, for 7 years --- but it's not good enough as an excuse, either, as he ought to have told you about that and taken reasonable steps to work things out.
When he refuses to take part in joint counselling, on the specious grounds that "it will not work" that's rather feeble. As you say, he cannot posibly know whether or not it will work unless he both takes part AND makes a sincere and serious efort to see that it does work. If he's implying that your relationship isn't worth some time and effort to try to put things right, then he's making himself a major part of the problem, rather than a part of the solution.

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