Is My Partner Having A Midlife Crisis? 5 signs to look for
The scene of a middle-aged man with a fast car is a very stereotypical image of a person having a midlife crisis. However, not all midlifers act out in this type of scenario. Sometimes, the signs of someone having a midlife crisis are infinitely more subtle. Most couples are able to adapt to this phase of their lives, while others have a harder time adjusting. What may be even more difficult to deal with is if you’re sailing through your middle age while your partner is struggling.
If your partner has entered their second half of life and you suddenly find them acting strangely, they may be in the midst of a midlife crisis. To help you both through this stage of your lives, it helps to recognise the signs of a partner who is having a midlife crisis. Here are 5 tell-tale signs to look out for.
- The Roving Eye
It may be a little cliche, but one of the most obvious signs of a partner having a midlife crisis is that they suddenly become very flirtatious towards members of the opposite sex and, in some cases, they may engage in an extramarital affair. Infidelity or a roving eye are classic signs of a person suffering from a midlife crisis. It may be due to being bored or wanting to once again prove their amorous capabilities. Your partner may seem withdrawn and perhaps disinterested in intimacy with you. While these signs are classic examples of a cheating partner, you don’t want to rush into accusing them of being unfaithful. There may be many other reasons for them displaying this behaviour and you don’t want to accuse them of something they may or may not be doing.
- Sudden Moodiness Or Anger
People change right throughout their lives and even more so when they are experiencing changes. We see these changes as we transition from toddlers to teenagers, right through to adults and beyond. During these times we are subjected to hormonal changes which may bring about erratic mood swings. If your partner suddenly displays bursts of anger or is unusually moody, they may be suffering from hormonal imbalances brought about by the transition from adulthood to middle age. These mood changes can also bring about episodes of depression and anxiety. Let your partner know you are there for them if they need to talk and encourage them to seek help if the issues become difficult for both of you to deal with.
- They Become Uncharacteristically Indecisive
Suppose your partner is usually great at making decisions on the spot but has suddenly become indecisive when it comes to making decisions on everyday matters. In that case, this may be due to them dealing with a midlife crisis. They may suddenly be incapable of making decisions or they may spend days or weeks alternating from one possibility to the next. This can lead to a sense of confusion and frustration. Encourage your partner to include you in helping them make decisions or, at the very least, offer ideas for them to consider.
- They Need Frequent Change Or Adventure
Our second half of life can be a wonderful time of rediscovery and simply enjoying the life we have spent decades building together. However, some people start to question everything they have and have not done in their lives. Often, these questions come with regret of missing out on certain opportunities and adventures and as middle age sets in, some are seized with an urge to rush out and sow the wild oats they neglected to sow in their younger years. Some of the changes your partner may be seeking can be quite tame – such as wanting to travel more, while others can be alarming and may result in them making rather large purchases without thinking them through or wanting to try extreme sports or even embark in an illicit affair. If your partner’s behaviour is becoming a little crazy, try sitting down with them to discuss their needs and steer their attention to tamer activities.
- Everything Is Being Questioned
It’s perfectly normal to evaluate and re-evaluate all the different aspects of our lives and perhaps even more so in our second half of life. After all, life changes can come hard and fast in today’s face paced society. While questioning our lives and making changes is normal, examining every aspect of our lives and our beliefs can also become a point of contention and frustration. For example, if your partner suddenly quits their job for no apparent reason, without a backup plan, or suddenly makes a series of impulsive and irrational decisions, they may be in the midst of a midlife crisis. Rather than berating them for these sudden changes and beliefs, encourage them to seek help from professionals to help them make the right decision. Recommend a life coach, financial advisor or even a psychologist to help them find the safest path to change.
The most important thing you can do if you suspect your partner is in the middle of a midlife crisis is to not panic or jump to conclusions. While these are some of the signs of a midlife crisis, they may also be the result of stress, depression or a person just wanting more out of life. Try to be supportive and hopefully, this stage of your partner’s life will pass and you can get back to living a healthy and fulfilled life together with your partner.
Remember, we all face challenges in life and it’s perfectly fine to seek help to overcome some of the difficulties we all face in midlife.