1. Dating & Relationships

Video:Tips for Coping With a Spouse's Midlife Crisis

with Jane Fendelman

A midlife crisis can be a catalyst for positive change and growth in your marriage. In this video from About.com, learn ways to cope with and understand your spouse's midlife crisis.See Transcript

Transcript:Tips for Coping With a Spouse's Midlife Crisis

Hi, this is Jane Fendelman for About.com and this video is all about how to cope with your spouse's midlife crisis.

What is a Midlife Crisis?

While your mate is going through their midlife crisis most likely you'll be in fear. They're in rebellion, much like the terrible two's, which is the first process of individuation, or a teenage rebellion. If they don't get in touch with their life's work, their life's purpose they will have a midlife crisis in their forties and fifties. So, helping them through that means talking to your fear, saying I know you're here. Being there with your mate, letting them go through that change and that process while paying attention to when they get "crazy" crazy, like don't let them blow their entire savings account, getting with an expert sitting down talking, opening up communication but not trying to stop them.

Support Your Spouse Through a Midlife Crisis

If you try to stop a midlife crisis, it's like trying to stop the river, it just won't work. What are some of the things you can do if your beloved starts going out and blowing money like they have never done before? Well, let's start with the preverbal red sports car. Well, one thing is you can get in the car, and ride around with them and enjoy it, that's one thing. Another thing is, you do need to sit down at a calm time and have a conversation with them, you might need to go over the budget.

Another example of a symptom of midlife crisis is when your beloved starts having extreme bouts of anger. Now, when this happens, the first thing you want to do is, I always tell families, have a family motto: "encourage all emotions." If anger is coming out, it's coming out about something. Let's say your mate is having anger about their career, or anger about something in your relationship. It's time to make a change. It's ok to make a change. Don't be afraid of change. The only thing that's constant in this universe is change. If it's going to upset the household financially, sit down and have a conversation about that. How can they make the change in the career or in your lifestyle in a way that isn't going to completely devastate you financially. 

Use Your Mate's Midlife Crisis as a Catalyst to Change Your Life for the Better

Now let's say one of their midlife crisis symptoms is they want to go skydiving, or do something dangerous. Well, make sure they're safe, and maybe go with them. Don't be stuck. That's the key. When your mate's having their midlife crisis, use that as a catalyst to make better changes in your own life. One of the keys in dealing with a mate with a midlife crisis is in realizing that it's not personal, it's not about you. Don't be hyper-focused on them, that will make your life smaller. Now is the time for you to look around and decide "how can I make my life bigger?"

Resist the urge to hang on to your mate and to try to turn them back to who they were. I know it's scary, and realistically they could leave you for that younger person, they won't find their happiness there. Just don't let it keep you stuck in that resentment. Start taking classes that you've always wanted to take. Get the degree you've always wanted to get. Do the dance classes that you've always wanted to do, take the trip with your girlfriends or guy-friends that you've always wanted to take. Do the things that you always told yourself you couldn't or shouldn't do. 

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