Tips for Surviving a Husband’s Midlife Crisis
We’ve all seen the classic sitcom moment when a middle-aged husband and father suddenly needs to break out of his shell, dropping the family savings on a sports car and a vacation home. While the concept of a “midlife crisis” has become cliched, the phenomenon is no less real: Many men at a certain age experience a period where they feel “trapped” by their job, their marriage, and their parental responsibilities. They may experience a crisis of identity, questioning who they are, what they want, and whether they made the right decisions. These periods can be accompanied by reckless spending, drug or alcohol abuse, increased or decreased sex drive, and other symptoms. As the partner to a man going through a midlife crisis, what can you do to protect yourself and your family while still being supportive of your husband and his journey? Continue reading for a few tips on handling your husband’s midlife crisis. Call a dedicated New Jersey family law attorney for help with any family law issues that arise.
Midlife Crises Are Normal
The first thing we should emphasize is that you and your husband are not alone: Having a midlife crisis is very normal. While not everyone experiences a midlife crisis, and some are more extreme than others, they do happen frequently. Midlife crises are more common among men in America due to a variety of social factors.
Be Supportive and Open
Within reason, it is helpful to be supportive of your husband’s experience. Do not lose your cool just because your husband bought a new sports car. If your family can afford it, then allow it. Be open to the idea of new experiences. Maybe you can even join your husband: If you can afford it, leave the kids with their grandparents and go on a month-long trip to another country. Do not react negatively or sarcastically to his new desires. If your husband wants to learn to play guitar, what’s the harm?
Support should be offered within reason. Make sure you are firm about expenses your family cannot afford. You cannot let your husband drain the kids’ college funds to buy a $100,000 Ferrari. Communicate fairly but clearly when you are concerned that your husband may be stepping over the line.
Part of the pressure of marriage can be alleviated when both spouses are satisfied independent of the marriage. Make sure to take time to care for yourself: Nurture your friendships, keep up with your hobbies like yoga, sports, or reading, and maintain your own separate life.
Get Couples Counseling
If you are concerned that your partner’s midlife crisis is causing him to create distance, or if you suspect he may be having an affair, then you need professional help. Couples counseling can help you and your husband work through both of your needs and desires, finding a responsible way to deal with his concerns and to work together. Ask your husband to accompany you to therapy. It might take a few requests, but if you keep pressing the issue hopefully you can get him to relent and discuss what is going on.
No matter how long you have been married, you can always be surprised by the thoughts, needs, and desires of your partner. Especially if their life goals have changed, it is important to sit down and map out each of your goals, separate and shared, and how you can work together to achieve those goals.
Protect Your Family and Your Livelihood With Help from a New Jersey Family Lawyer
If you need seasoned and savvy legal help with divorce, premarital agreements, child support, alimony, or other family law matters in New Jersey, contact the Union offices of family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro at 908-964-0102.