Self-Discovery Thought Leader: Joan Senio
We all encounter various challenges and transitions as we navigate through life.
One such phase that often affects us in our 50s is known as a “midlife crisis.” This period can be confusing and overwhelming, not only for the person experiencing it but also for their partner. When our partner starts acting differently, it’s normal to begin to wonder what may be wrong.
The Seven Signs:
Here are some of the signs of what may hopefully be a temporary midlife crisis, and how to get through it, together.
1. Uncharacteristic Behavior.
One of the telltale signs of a midlife crisis is when your partner starts exhibiting behavior that is completely out of character. They may suddenly become impulsive, seeking thrills and excitement to combat feelings of monotony. This can manifest in various ways, such as pursuing new hobbies, engaging in risky behaviors, or making impulsive financial decisions.
“A midlife crisis often stems from a deep sense of dissatisfaction and a yearning for change.”
2. Sense Of Dissatisfaction:
A midlife crisis often stems from a deep sense of dissatisfaction and a yearning for change. Your partner may express feelings of regret about missed opportunities or a sense of unfulfilled dreams. They may become increasingly critical of their current lifestyle, career, or relationship, constantly seeking something they perceive as more meaningful or exciting.
3. Preoccupation With Youthfulness:
When people go through a midlife crisis, they often become fixated on regaining their youthfulness.Your partner may start obsessing over their appearance, seeking cosmetic procedures or making drastic changes to their wardrobe and hairstyle. They may also gravitate toward younger friends or acquaintances in an attempt to recapture their lost youth.
4. Relationship Discontent:
Midlife crises can put a strain on relationships. Your partner may suddenly question the foundation of your relationship, expressing doubts about their happiness or the compatibility between you both. They may even contemplate drastic actions such as separation or divorce, believing that starting anew is the key to their happiness.
“Midlife crises are characterized by emotional turbulence.”
5. Increased, Intense, Self-Reflection:
During a midlife crisis, people often engage in deep self-reflection. Your partner may begin questioning their life choices, their values, and their overall purpose. This can lead to intense introspection and a desire for self-improvement. They may seek therapy or embark on a journey of self-discovery, attempting to find answers to their existential questions.
6. Emotional Turbulence:
Midlife crises are characterized by emotional turbulence.Your partner may experience mood swings, ranging from euphoria to deep sadness. They may become more irritable, easily frustrated, or prone to anger outbursts. It is important to approach their emotional state with empathy and understanding, as they navigate this challenging period.
7. Need For Freedom:
A crisis like this often brings about a strong desire for freedom and autonomy. Your partner may feel trapped in their current life and long for a sense of liberation. This might lead them to explore new experiences, travel extensively, or seek unconventional paths. They may express a need for space and independence as they attempt to rediscover themselves.
“When your partner goes through a midlife crisis, it can be a perplexing and demanding time for both of you.“
How To Cope With Your Partner’s MidLife Crisis:
When your partner goes through a midlife crisis, it can be a perplexing and demanding time for both of you. Suddenly, they may seem discontent, dissatisfied, or in search of something beyond their current life. Understanding that this phase is a natural part of self-discovery, and their life journey is the first step in coping with it.
What happens next is dependent on both you and your spouse. The following suggestions include a variety of options to consider exploring to make this experience easier on both of you.
1. Be Empathetic:
Effective communication is vital during this time. Engage your partner in open and empathetic conversations to understand their feelings and concerns. By actively listening and sharing your thoughts, you can create a supportive and nurturing environment for them to express their emotions.
2. Provide Support And Encouragement:
Supporting your partner during their midlife crisis is key. Show them compassion and understanding while encouraging them to explore their feelings and desires. Offer reassurance that you are there for them and willing to navigate through this phase together.
3. Seek Professional Help:
If the midlife crisis is significantly impacting your partner’s well-being or your relationship, consider seeking professional help. A trained therapist or counselor can provide guidance and support to both of you as you navigate through this challenging time.
“Amidst the challenges of a midlife crisis, prioritize reinforcing your relationship.”
4. Embrace Change Together:
Embracing change as a couple can strengthen your bond. Be open to new experiences and possibilities as you support your partner in finding fulfillment and purpose. This may involve redefining goals, exploring new hobbies, or pursuing shared interests.
5. Reinforce Your Relationship:
Amidst the challenges of a midlife crisis, prioritize reinforcing your relationship. Find moments of joy and connection to build resilience. Weathering this storm together can lead to a deeper and more profound connection in the long run. Your partnership can emerge stronger and more resilient as you navigate through this challenging time together.
How To Navigate Your Partner’s MidLife Crisis:
Navigating a partner’s midlife crisis can be a challenging journey, but understanding the signs can help you provide the support and empathy they need. A midlife crisis is a temporary phase, and with patience and open communication, you can emerge stronger as a couple.
Coping with your partner’s midlife crisis requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to adapt. Being open to change and reinforcing your relationship can lead to growth and a renewed sense of connection. By recognizing the signs and being there for your partner, you can navigate this transition together, ultimately strengthening your bond.
Additional resources can be found in Joan’s bio below.
About the Author:
Joan Senio’s professional career includes 20+ years as a private sector health care facilities executive and 15 years (and counting) as a consultant. Joan’s current consulting work is focused on strategic planning in energy, environment, and sustainability infrastructure resiliency.
Joan founded KindCompasCoach to provide free, on-demand, kind, compassionate coaching via an openly accessible platform. KindCompasCoach articles and resources are well-researched and provide facts and knowledge as well as tips, guidance and advice for those who need support to address obstacles and challenges to their personal development and fulfillment. Areas of focus include mental health, physical health, well-being and relationships, just to name a few.
To learn more, visit KindCompasCoach. You may also connect with Joan on Twitter (@KindCompascoach). Want to take the next step on your journey of self-discovery? Learn more about your authentic self today by reading this: Your Personal Mission Statement. Would you like to work with KindCompasCoach? We enjoy working with authors, coaches, bloggers, and advertisers and will consider a wide variety of collaboration opportunities. Contact us today and let’s talk about the possibilities!