by my colleague Marike de Valk
“I think he is in a midlife crisis! ‘
We often hear this statement in the therapy room, after which the wife substantiates this claim with remarks of the husband having purchased a motorcycle, dying his hair, hanging out with ’the boys’ more often, wanting to purchase a glitzy car and at times falling in love with another woman, usually years younger than his partner.
Midlife crisis or not, when you feel dissatisfied or unhappy about your life there is a considerate chance that this will lead to relationship issues, and very often even cheating.
If you’re not careful , it will linger under the surface. Life is so full of things that need to be done, that after a long day of work you come home exhausted and just want to sit on the couch switching channels. Everything in your life has a meaning, a rhythm, a routine. All projects are on track; the house has been purchased, children have been born, the promotion you were longing for has been received, or not, you feel yourself getting older and having to go the gym more often. There are no major problems, but you are certainly not enjoying life to the fullest.
And your partner, well, is a repetition of the same old routine, the deadliest comment I have ever heard in this context was; “My wife was a beautiful book, but I read it from cover to cover already”.
So then the question arises: is this it? Do I want to be that old? Is this the life I want to lead? Do you live your life or is your life being lived?
That is what people report when they suddenly fall in love: that they finally have the feeling that they are living their lives, they are struck, blood starts flowing again, life has meaning again.
It would be nice if it does not have to come that far if you regularly take a close look at your life.
How does that sound to you? Do you still really enjoy your life? Do you regularly feel inspired? Are you still regularly touched? Can you still wonder and feel real happiness, real joy, without any alcohol? And are you occasionally really sad or really angry? Do you feel real emotions or are they toned down?
And do you still show a real interest in your partner, or do you fill everything in for her/him without checking? Do you give each other genuine attention? And how is your sex life? Do you still make love to each other to your mutual satisfaction? Do you encourage each other in your personal development and ambitions? Are you each independent or will you end up as a drouzy couple on similar bikes with identical windbreakers?
It pays to consciously reflect on these questions on a regular basis. Start now and make up the balance before you get into this crisis.
You will do yourself and your partner a big favour!