What most people fail to understand is that it is an emotional crisis more than a physical one, often hitting men harder than women. Whether you are in your forties or fifties, a midlife crisis is a transition and adjustment at that point of life.The only issue is that at this transition into the remainder of one’s life, they tend to use it as a standpoint to stop and evaluate their past and current opportunities and successes, making room for jealousy and, in some cases, mild depression.
No one can point to the exact cause of a midlife crisis. Perhaps you and your spouse had to go about planning your retirement and were considering the best places to retire, and it drove them to the verge of a middle-aged meltdown as they had to come to terms with the fact that they have to embrace the final stretch of their lives.
You must realize that a midlife crisis can present itself in many forms; the telltale signs are symbolic of a much deeper emotional retaliation. Here are some of the significant physical changes that you may notice:
Weight Loss or Weight Gain – depending on how your spouse reacts to stress, they will either eat to fill a void and therefore gain weight or lose their appetite altogether. It may sound cliché that a healthy balanced diet and exercise come up as suggestions, but one cannot deny their benefits.
Confront your spouse in a manner that is as gentle as possible, especially in the instance of weight gain. While moderate weight gain is not abnormal for adults who have reached the age of around 50 years old as the metabolism slows down, monitor your partner’s eating patterns for any irregularities. The best thing that you can do for your partner is always to keep active and opt for nutritious food, keeping treats and sweet delicacies to a minimum.
Insomnia – Emotional distress has one nasty side-effect, insomnia. Insomnia is one ruthless disorder that could be a result of a midlife crisis, the major disadvantage of this is that it gives your partner more time to lay awake, deepening their anxiety, and welcoming an overactive thought-life.
Missing a night’s sleep now and then cannot be considered a problem. However, one may identify more than three times a week as chronic insomnia. There are many ways to address this sleep disorder; different measures work for different people.
General Loss of Interest – Your partner or spouse may seem to have lost interest in their career, hobbies, relationships, and even religious beliefs. This may seem quite shocking as their passions may have seemed to have faded, although the best way for you to approach this is to encourage positive thinking.
A Lack of Obsession with Physical Grooming – The reality of a body that is aging may be harder for women to accept than men. It may either become fixated on improving their appearance or, ultimately, avoid grooming themselves entirely as they have given up. Try to remind your spouse what you find naturally attractive about them to encourage them to keep up their appearance, or to realize that they do not have to achieve unrealistic beauty goals.
Mood Swings and Rash Decisions – This is understandably overwhelming, as we want to support our partner or spouse as best as we can when they are going through the mood swings. Often, we are not sure how to handle them, as a midlife crisis is not something that has been addressed as a severe condition, although it has taxing effects.
Men and women undergoing a midlife crisis are vulnerable to mood swings, often resulting in rash decisions. Being empathetic and understanding will help your partner realize that you are there for them, as the last thing they need is someone judging their choices and actions. Calmly communicate to them that you both should take time to discuss and consider decisions and offer yourself as a sounding board to them.
Embarking on a Journey of Acceptance
A midlife crisis in and of itself is when one is looking back at their life and weighing everything that has happened, perhaps even comparing their lives to the lives of others. Taking your spouse or partner’s hand in the effort to move forward instead of looking back regretfully at their past is the best you can do for them.
So many people think they have so much to lose by letting go, but this is not the truth; there is everything to gain. As daunting as entering the last stage of life may seem, there is always something to look forward to in the future, especially if you have grand retirement plans and an amazing spouse to carry them out with.