We’ve all seen it – the Hollywood depiction of a stereotypical midlife crisis. First the snazzy new sports car. Then the irrevocable impulsive acts, like quitting a job and getting a strange tattoo. And finally, the dumping of a spouse you’ve been married to for decades, and replacing them with a much younger partner. Toss in a few unexpected piercings and a handful of wild nights at the bar, and you’ve got the quintessential midlife crisis.
But how does reality compare to this media-hyped version of midlife? Is the midlife crisis really all it’s cracked up to be? Or is there more to the story? As it turns out, while there’s some truth to the stereotypes, the reality often isn’t nearly as crazy as it’s portrayal in the movies. And neither is it always as bad. So what are the facts?
A midlife crisis isn’t really a crisis – it’s more of a transition
Currently, mental health experts are saying that “crisis” is rather a misnomer. It is more of a “transition” from one phase of life into another. A period, triggered by life changing events, that causes people to reevaluate their lives and consider major change.
According to Jane Fendelman, certified counselor, teacher and developer of the Fendelman Metanoia Techniques (which aim to provide methods of personal empowerment for life change) it all makes sense. After all, if your life has been following a particular track for years and years, it can look like a crisis when you suddenly reevaluate your priorities.
Major change can certainly feel like a crisis to the person in the middle of it!
“When a person has not followed their life’s calling, (when) people live a life that was not the life they were meant to live and they’re living out the ‘shoulds’ that either were given to them by their parents or their teachers or their religion, and when people are doing what they think they ‘should’ do, eventually they’ll crash into a huge brick wall and then they start doing all kinds of crazy stuff. That’s what causes a midlife crisis.”
So is the 42-year-old man who suddenly leaves his wife and gets a 20-year-old girlfriend really having a crisis? Probably not. But he is transitioning. He may be suddenly aware that he’s aging. That his youth is behind him, and he’ll only get older from here on out. He feels less relevant, perhaps less important. This can trigger a desperate search for something that will make him feel young again.
Does a midlife crisis always have to end in divorce court?
Of course not! A midlife crisis, handled the right way, can be a very empowering period of life. It all depends on how you approach it. Join us next time for a look at what that involves. Until then, if you or a loved one have decide to end your marriage for whatever reason, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled family law attorneys can help you plan for the future and prepare for every aspect of the divorce process.