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Midlife crisis

(56 Posts)
withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 10:20:03

Tell me your experiences of your partners' midlife crises. What did they do? How long did it last? Did they realise they'd made a mistake? Did you forgive them and/or take them back?

I'm needing strength right now as I find myself in this situation.

All0vertheplace Tue 22-Mar-16 10:22:24

Are you yourself having the crisis or you with a partner who is? Either way, what are the main symptoms?

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 10:37:15

Not me, it's DH.

I've had the 'I love you but I'm not in love with you' speech,

He wants to leave so that we can co-parent from another house nearby. There is interference from another woman just to really stir things up. But just prior to all this, DH's brother died suddenly (though we knew he was terminally ill, we didn't know it would be so quick or traumatic). He's not grieving properly (we've seen a counsellor who spelled this out to him and he 'heard' her though he's not accepted it when I've said it). It's all a mess and I'm trying to hold it all together but it is so hard. I'm really struggling.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 11:15:05

Not really sure how to deal with the woman, either. He says he has feelings for her. I want to rip her head off. I have spoken to her to ask her to back off, but she says that she's just supporting him and she has enough in her plate. The text message I found suggests she's offering more than support.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Mar-16 11:30:41

Very similar here, DP of many years left me a week after we both suffered a close and unexpected bereavement and were struggling with our grief. Similarly there was a young and pretty and carefree colleague in the background encouraging him to leave. I too found messages indicative of an emotional affair.

Like where you find yourself, I was suddenly in a huge fucking mess, our happy life and relationship suddenly wasted. And like you I was struggling to make sense of it all and hold it all together.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 11:35:05

How did you manage, Red?

BubblingUp Tue 22-Mar-16 11:40:14

My dad had an epic mid-life crises around age 40 - sports car, OW, change of dress, working out - textbook. Their marriage was deteriorating before he met the original other woman, but with the OW he was happy. With Mother he was unhappy. Simple as that. Mother and the OW both fought for him which was painful to watch as my Dad is an asshole and I can't imagine any woman wanting him - but he had money and looks, and there you go. If that particular OW had not been in the picture, there would have been another one (and later on there were many).

No use going after the woman. She could be anybody. Most women know men don't leave one relationship before having a new woman lined up, so the fact the man is married means nothing to a lot of women - and is almost expected. My dad dumped the 1st OW when he divorced my mother. She was just a catalyst.

My dad ultimately married the first OW - although many years and many women later - he went back to her years after the divorce from my mother. They have been married longer than my parents were married (both 20+ years). Mother is still waiting for him to get over his mid-life crises and come back to her. He's 77 now.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Mar-16 11:43:39

I'd lurked on here for years, so I pretty much knew what to do. There was only a couple of times I slipped up and begged him to reconsider and come back to me to just talk about

You see, I thought he was still my DP, still the man I'd shared my life and dreams with? It took me a while to realise that whatever he said about being uncertain and there being hope, his actions showed me that he'd already moved on.

I let him go.

I read lots of books and wrote one.

I talked and talked to any friend who would listen.

I cried and screamed.

I walked miles and miles.

Some days I lived my life 15 minutes at a time and there are a couple of Sunday evenings I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I said 'yes' to every invitation. Even if I didn't want to.

And slowly, but surely, I survived. I learned a lot about myself. I became a better person and my life became better. I realised that I was happier than I'd been for ages.

How can we support you?

hellsbellsmelons Tue 22-Mar-16 11:44:44

Well mine had an affair.
No I didn't forgive him.
He moved countries to be with her and have a baby before it all went tits up.
It took him about a year to realise I am the best thing since sliced bread but by then it was too late. I couldn't forgive him and knew I would never get over it and let it go so I had to end it.
Best decision ever!!! grin

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 11:47:49

I don't know. I'm so sad. We have 4 primary school aged children. We were each other's first loves at age 14. I've known him for 27 years. I still don't know how we got here. Everything seemed alright, then his brother died, and now this. Just like that.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 11:48:59

I don't know that I can let him go. I have tried, but I don't think I can.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 22-Mar-16 11:52:24

Sorry - with what you are going through the grin is inappropriate!

I've no idea what to suggest for you as we all handle things differently.
We all have different boundaries and deal breakers.

I would take him up on his offer to co-parent from another place.
Get some head space away from him.
Then see how you feel.
But look after yourself. Keep yourself hydrated and your sugar levels up!

It's horrible, truly truly awful. Unless you've been there you can't know how it feels.
The physical pain the inability to stop crying and sobbing.
The realisation, the perfect life you thought you had has gone. It will never be the same no matter what happens.
The steam roller that hits you when you realise the man who you love and thought loved you and would do anything for you and protect you and his DC is NOT that man at all. His is a nasty piece of work, a lying cheat who is prepared to hurt you in the most painful way possible and not even realise it. Because he's selfish and not the man you thought he was. That man will never return and that's the hardest bit to face up to.

wordassociationfootball Tue 22-Mar-16 11:56:15

He may be using his brother's death as an excuse to stop investing in your marriage, to give into feelings for the OW. "A wake up call" about what would make him happy and a belief that his bereaved status gives him some kind of packsies, you know, that fingers crossed, 'you can't get me' thing. Vanites???

Very sorry you are going through this.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Mar-16 11:57:42

It is so painful witha and your mind and body can only deal with so much at any point. But you will deal with it.

You can't let him go because you're just not there yet, and that's ok. I remember a friend's husband breaking his silence at one point and saying, "Red, you've tried. You just got to let him go now" and I realised that not only did I know he was right but that I was able to do it.

The other big step forward for me was Acceptance. I just Accepted that it had happened and I didn't know how or why and I never would but I could just Accept it.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 22-Mar-16 11:58:27

I do actually think he is unwell. His brother's death was traumatic and he was there for much of it and I saw in his eyes how affected he had been by it that day. But since then, this barrier has been pulled up around him. I am hoping that the bereavement counselling he's going to have will start to unpick things. I may be a fool for clinging to this tiniest of hopes, but it's all I've got. I know him and for 27 years, he has not been this person, for 3-4 months he has, and I can't accept (at the moment) that this new version is here to stay. I've been wiling him to have a breakdown or some kind of moment where he sees what he has to lose. The OW and what she represents is fantasy and will not live up to his expectations. The counsellor agreed with me, but she said he won't accept that truth from me.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Mar-16 12:17:38

I do actually think he is unwell.

I'm sure you're right. And I know in my case my ex was on anti-depressants and in counselling a couple of months later.

I may be a fool for clinging to this tiniest of hopes, but it's all I've got.

You're not a fool, and who can say what might happen? What I do believe is that you can't stand around waiting. Let him know that the door is open to him but in the meantime get on and build a new life just in case.

Kr1stina Tue 22-Mar-16 12:19:49

No, I'm sorry, hope [ that your H will change his mind ] isn't all you've got .

You've got four beautiful children, your health and a mind of your own . Stop making it all about him and what he wants . You count too .

You need to get smart and get angry . Sort out all the practicalities of separating . Joint bank accounts, credit cards , bills, council tax, mortgage . See a lawyer and find out what you and your children are entitled to . Make plans for when you want him to move out . Work out when he is to have the children . Do NOT let him see the kids at your house.

He needs to stop floating about having an existential crisis and chatting to his counsellor and start dealing with the harsh realities of separation and divorce .

Do not let him stay under your roof enjoying the pleasures of family life while he works out " what he wants " . Do NOT do the pick me dance .

Hobbitwife001 Tue 22-Mar-16 12:43:24

Firstly, withasponge I'm so sorry this has happened to you and your children, I understand how totally shocked and devestated you are feeling right now.

Secondly, I had almost exactly the same scenario happen to me, although I am older and so are my children. My ex's brother died suddenly, just collapsed and was gone immediately. He had counselling and I worried about him being depressed , we had a mutual friend who also provided him with some support.

I then had the "I love you, but I'm not in love with you speech" and how he was moving out to start a new life with this other "friend" because after all life was too short to be unhappily married wasn't it? We had been married for 27 years, and I believe what started as an emotional affair became a physical one after his brother's death. I didn't think we were "unhappy" tbh, we had a lot planned until this whole MLC imploded our family completely.

Have you family and friends to support you through this? You will need every ounce of strength my love to get through the really tough times ahead. I'm eighteen months on now, and divorced, and although I'm through the other side, I still can't believe that he's put us through such hell.

Homelesslove Tue 22-Mar-16 12:47:14

Good advice there from kristina. He will only see what he has lost if you act as if you are fine. That's an awful thing to say as you would think that someone who loved you or had loved you would respond to you being upset but ime it doesn't work like that.

My exh had a breakdown, saw the light when he left and went on anti-depressants. He probably played the field a bit (I didn't want to know the details) and lo and behold a year later he wanted to come back. By which time I didn't want him back.

It is heartbreaking and I daresay the bereavement has triggered all this off but stand tall and wave him off. Don't put your life on hold in the meantime and if he does want to come back, he should grovel.

MatrixReloaded Tue 22-Mar-16 14:01:13

Bereavement aside , your husband has a girlfriend. It's absolutely impossible to resolve things while he's involved with her. It's a mistake to continue to support him and doing so is only facilitating his affair. Cheating has harsh unpleasant consequences , none of which he's experiencing. Your absolute best chance at saving your marriage is to take steps to end it. It is totally unacceptable for him to still be in the family home while he has a girlfriend.

Maybe it is a midlife crisis caused by bereavement. Maybe like a pp said he believes his bereaved status allows him certain priveledge. Either way the end result is an affair. In your shoes I would approach this as an affair as opposed to a bereavement / mid life crisis issue.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Mar-16 14:05:22

This will sound harsh, but no way would I excuse my husband shagging someone else because he lost a family member and is starting to feel the effects of time.

We all lose people close to us. We all look in the mirror and see the freshness of youth disappearing. But is it a free pass to shit from a great height on the ones we are supposed to love and love us ?


Your husband is just like every other middle aged shagger. The cliches are laughable. Put the blame squarely where it lies...he made those choices and he must have had to do a lot of devaluing of you to get to that point. He must absolutely love the idea that you are gunning for the OW. How low he brings all of you.

In my mind there is no coming back from that. And no man is worth it.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 22-Mar-16 14:34:54

Mine was very similar - although I got the 'I don't love you any more' version of the script. He actually had a complete breakdown subsequently, which lends credence to the idea that a midlife crisis is a form of illness. He'd lost a beloved relative but also didn't grieve, just transferred his affection to another (unavailable) woman, and I was history.
I spent weeks trying to be his best friend (he is ASD and struggles socially), was being repeatedly told 'we will never be more than friends now', so eventually I just stopped. Cut him off, deleted his details and we've never spoken since. I was getting a lot of mixed messages - he served divorce papers on me (which I refused to sign), citing the fact that we'd not spoken in two years as his reason for wanting a divorce!
He was the love of my life, younger than me (he had this 'midlife crisis' aged 30!), and I barely survived. I couldn't collapse, I had kids to bring up, and eventually I convinced myself I was over him.
And now I hate him with the fire of a thousands suns.

Costacoffeeplease Tue 22-Mar-16 14:47:56

Your anger at ow is misdirected, redirect it where it should be - fairly and squarely at him.

If he wants to go, let him, in fact make him - mid life crisis my arse - he's not special, he's just one of many ordinary, cheating twats - I don't know why you'd even want him now

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Tue 22-Mar-16 16:20:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dilys4trevor Tue 22-Mar-16 17:02:14

I agree you need to show him the harsh realities.

I kicked mine out at 6am, 7 hours after I discovered the truth (which wasn't even the actual full truth but it was enough for me). He left with a bag and a sobbing goodbye to the kids (always was a drama queen). I changed the locks and immediately told all our friends and our mutual boss what he'd been up to. (I was the more senior and I think he had supposed I'd shrivel up in shame and not want to tell anyone: not fucking likely). He lost his job for shagging a junior at work (who turned out to be just one OW he'd been messing with) and was living in a hotel.

After a week he killed himself, which is not a desirable outcome by any means, but he was very feeble minded (which existed uneasily alongside a blistering arrogance) and loved victim status, literally, more than life itself. Most men wouldn't do that but my point is that he had never dreamed there could be any real consequences I don't think. I honestly think he felt that it would all just work out in his favour. And then, the shock that he'd made a fool of himself and lost everything. He'd spent a year messing me and the kids about: wasn't sure what he wanted, didn't want to go, didn't want to try and make it work though, either. Belittled me and mocked me at every turn. So he stayed and made life hell with constant picking and bitching and slagging off his kids (yes his kids) to all the young women he was hanging out with. Oh and used a bereavement of EIGHTEEN years previously (his mum) as an excuse to treat me like shit. It was only when he was booted out unexpectedly, and suddenly was exposed as an adulterous creep with no time to construct a favourable story, that he came round fast and begged to come home. It was too late for me and I refused. It's a shame he took such a cowardly way out and succeeded in hurting us even more, rather than facing up to the consequences of thinking with your willie. But bloody hell, he certainly saw the consequences when they came.

This is always what cheaters need to see and feel, fast. They tend to then very suddenly work out 'what they want'. Often it's their wife and family although even then their 'loss' is mixed up with the loss of a family home, kids, 'nice guy' reputation, double salary. So it's hard to know how genuine their remorse is anyway. But kicking them out beats letting them do what they want. They sure as hell never chose their wife when she does the pick me dance.

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