How to handle a partner’s midlife crisis — Forever 39 Podcast
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We've all heard the stories of the 50-year-old man who trades his wife in for a woman half her age, all the while parading around in a shiny red Corvette. It's the quintessential example of a midlife crisis, and it's something that all of us are at risk of experiencing at some point in our lives.
The length of time a midlife crisis lasts and the reasons for it can vary from person to person. According to an infographic by Accounting Degree Review created using statistics from a dozen sources, males can experience a midlife crisis for three to 10 years. For females, it's two to five years.
So why do people experience a midlife crisis? Well, the reasons vary from male to female. According to the Accounting Degree Review's infographic, the most common reasons men experience a midlife crisis include a fear of getting old, a fear of getting sick, or a fear of not fulfilling their dreams. For women, the reasons are different and include menopause, dealing with an empty nest, or biological and psychological changes.
Not only can a midlife crisis affect people's well-being, but it can also hurt their wallets. In fact, according to the Accounting Degree Review infographic, a midlife crisis can cost big bucks as people seek to improve their lives with plastic surgery procedures, purchasing expensive items like a new sports car, or signing up for thrill-seeking adventures like skydiving.
Regardless as to the reasons, a midlife crisis can be taxing on not only the individual, but on his or her partner as well. In some cases, a midlife crisis can lead to divorce, but it doesn't always have to if partners can navigate the crisis together.
In this episode of Forever 39, New Jersey licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Martin Tashman joins us for a frank discussion on how couples can survive a midlife crisis together. Tashman said in his experience, not only can couples work through a midlife crisis together, but it's possible for the relationship to grow into an even stronger one.
"Relationships get stronger when you go through tough times together and come out the other end successfully," Tashman said.
For this to happen, Tashman said it depends on how well you go through the crisis together, how non-judgmental you are, and how patient you are. He said the bottom line is love is a choice and a behavior.
"You make the choice that you wake up in the morning and you're going to figure out a way to love your partner, and then you behave in that way," Tashman said. "It's an ongoing process."
That being said, Tashman said that some boundaries need to be set, especially when it comes to finances. For example, if the partner dealing with the midlife crisis wants to get a sports car, you need to discuss that expense together as a couple and see if it's something that can be achieved.
To hear more advice from Tashman on how couples can successful navigate a midlife crisis together, click on the podcast player above.
Have you experienced a midlife crisis? Share your story by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Are you 40? It's time to stop doing these things. PLUS: If you could start a business, what would it be? Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at email@example.com.
— Annette and Megan, Forever 39
Join us for next week's special summer podcast episode when we talk about all things summer including new adventures at the Jersey Shore, swimsuit horrors, and creating a smart summer vacation budget.