How to Deal with a Partner Having a Midlife Crisis

midlife crisis

Ah, the midlife crisis. The bigger, worse, older brother of the quarter-life crisis (which seems to hog headlines these days). The time when men and women alike question their life choices, confront aging and mortality head-on, and may even pick up a book or two on existentialism. It’s also the time when many relationships begin to buckle and collapse, no matter how healthy they’d been in prior stages. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn how to deal with a midlife crisis alone. You have Marriage Couples Counseling & Life Coaching on your side. Today, we’re here to answer the question “what is a midlife crisis” and give you practical advice on how to help a partner deal with one! 

What is a Midlife Crisis?

You’re not alone if you’re scratching your head and wondering “exactly what is a midlife crisis?” A quick Google search turns up well over 28 million results. That’s a lot of people who aren’t quite sure what this seemingly simple term means.

Part of this confusion is probably because midlife crises look different for everyone. Your midlife crisis, if you’re one of the 23 percent of people who are expected to have one, is going to look different than your partner’s. Both of your experiences will differ from someone’s in, say, England or Brazil.

Despite the unique circumstances that make up someone’s individual midlife crisis, there are some similarities we all share. These include:

  • Occurring between the ages of forty and sixty-five
  • Lasting between two and ten years
  • Feelings of incompleteness, remorse, unhappiness, and other “should” emotions
how to deal with a midlife crisis

Then there are the clichés pop culture feeds us on how to deal with a midlife crisis and what a midlife crisis looks like. Think a man getting a divorce, buying a sports car, and dating a twenty-five-year-old. Think a woman getting a divorce, running up her credit card, and traveling the world. Regardless of what movies, TV, and social media say, these extreme responses are far from most people’s experience. If you’re reacting to midlife in any of these ways, midlife crisis counseling is a great way to find a healthier outlet. 

Helping Your Partner Deal with a Midlife Crisis

Learning how to deal with a midlife crisis in a partner isn’t that much different from learning how to deal with one for yourself. Both involve introspection, healthy communication, and challenging ingrained societal beliefs and expectations.

Let’s start with healthy communication. This is easier said than done, of course, but it’s far from impossible. Talking to your partner in a respectful and compassionate manner is a great start. This means different things to different people, but usually involves:

  • Avoiding yelling – Arguments are okay, but don’t let them get out of control.
  • Speaking in “I” statements – This is how I feel, this is what I’ll do, etc.
  • Asking questions and listening to how your partner answers
  • Compromising

Next, it’s time to rethink how society is telling you and your partner to react. Men and women are often shoehorned into distinct, rigid roles. Think the silent and stoic man or the beautiful and emotionally volatile woman. These roles are not conducive to helping your partner, or yourself, through a midlife crisis. Respond to your partner with kindness and understanding, rather than acting in a societally expected fashion. 

Midlife Crisis Counseling in New York

While it’s entirely possible to help your partner deal with a midlife crisis on your own, midlife crisis counseling offers a number of benefits. Chief among these is a safe space to express fear, anger, disappointment, hurt, or any other strong emotions. Marriage Couples Counseling & Life Coaching, led by LMFT Andre Moore, can give you and your partner the support you need. Find out what to expect in your first meeting, and then give us a call today at (212) 673-4618.

This entry was posted in Marriage Counseling, Relationship Therapy. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • NAP Details:

    Marriage Couples Counseling & Life Coaching
    160 Bleecker Street, 9C East, New York, NY 10012
    (212) 673 4618