Couples often come to counseling during times when one partner is experiencing a midlife crisis. How might a midlife crisis manifest in the relationship? One partner may express being unhappy with the relationship, acting out, or becoming more removed.
Is it the relationship or is it a midlife crisis?
When these actions are affecting the relationship, how can you tell if it’s midlife crisis or the relationship? Often times a partner may look outward at things they want to change in others, when they really need to change something within themselves. Even if it seems like the blame is on the relationship, what if we just aren’t satisfied with our own life choices?
If you find yourself in a marriage experiencing this kind of crisis, here are some actions to help you discern where the real issues are…
The first step is to talk about what you’re feeling even if you don’t know why you’re feeling it. Acknowledge how you feel to your partner. Consider sharing your answers to the following questions:
- How you are feeling about your life?
- Are there regrets?
- Do you wanting something that you don’t have yet?
- Where is there unaddressed dissatisfaction in your relationship?
- What is really causing your dissatisfaction that hasn’t been discussed?
Next, try deepening the intimacy in your relationship by communicating your unmet needs with your partner. Focus on letting your partner know that you want to grow more conscious individually and together. Set new goals for yourself and or your relationship.
Consider the questions:
- What would improvement look and feel like?
- How is satisfaction measured as you work toward your goals?
- What are the actions, habits, or commitments that need to change?
If all else fails, talk with a professional counselor. Talking to friends or your partner may not be enough. The power of process with a therapist can help you get the best results.
Going through a midlife crisis is a sign that you need to change things up to make your life more fulfilling.
See this as an opportunity to grow. With a little bit of extra communication, you can work to improve your marriage as well. As a couple you can face the crisis together and work out ways to get through it and evolve and grow together.