S.S. asks from Brooktondale, NY on November 03, 2011
Husband's Midlife Crisis
My husband of 17 plus years will be turning 45 soon and seems plagued by a serious case of the midlife blues. He hates his job, his life, feels like he has done everything wrong, asks me why I chose him when he is such a "loser" (his words, not mine) and is just generally moody and negative. We've been together for over 20 years and while he has always struggled with his self-esteem, I've never seen him quite like this. It is true that we are struggling to get by and living paycheck to paycheck and I know he wanted to be able to give us more. And yeah, he's made some dumb decisions in his life and is not where he wants to be careerwise. But we are making sacrifices to get by and I love the guy like crazy. To me a man who works hard and is loyal and loved is far from a loser, but I can't get through to him at all.
Have any of you ever gone through a midlife crisis with your husbands? How long did it last? What did you do? Therapy is out until April because of pressures at work, though that is what I am ultimately aiming at. Any stopgap measures until then? Words of wisdom? I am really worried about my sweetheart and don't know how to help him anymore.
T.N. answers from Albany on November 03, 2011
My guy is 55 and goes through occassional Blue Periods. Here's some of the things I do to help him through it.
1) Extra sex. Not just sex itself, but sexual advances, sexual attention, sexual compliments.
2) Exercise. He tends to be sedentary, but goes on and on about how good he feels after a long walk with the dog, etc. Still he won't just GO do it, he needs encouragement.
3) Come up with things that need to be done around the house. Fix something, paint something, CHANGE something. Doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but wouldn't you like new switch plates in the downstairs bathroom? tehehe
4) Write him a letter, send him an email, just because, and tell him all the things you told us here, why you feel fortunate.
5) Laughter, nothing brings good cheer back to our house more than an America's Funniest Home Videos marathon! (or funny movie/show of your choice!)
Also, if he were able to be honest with his doc, maybe try a light antidepressant?
He's pretty lucky to have you!
8 moms found this helpful
J.B. answers from Houston on November 03, 2011
I'm 42 and have had some of the same thoughts. Mild depression? Regrets? Anxiety? All or none, keep doing what YOU are doing. Your support is irreplaceable. If there is something he enjoys doing, or a hobby of some sort, make the time for him to do that. Some time for him will help him. By doing this it could let him know to some degree that 'things' will be ok if he steps out of the picture for a minute or two. It will get him out from under the 'weight' of it all. These things helped me. Good Luck and keep being you.
6 moms found this helpful
R.D. answers from Richmond on November 03, 2011
Awww you are so sweet!! My husband's almost 40 and kind of going through the same thing; looking forward to your responses. Just had to say, he's very lucky to have a strong, kind, caring woman like you!! :)
5 moms found this helpful
G.T. answers from Redding on November 03, 2011
Hopefully it's just a phase he's going through and will pass eventually.
Use your imagination and try to do some fun things so he realizes everything is not as doom and gloom as he thinks it is.
He's obviously comparing himself to others, envy is a bitter seed to swallow.
Keep being cheerful, usually if Momma's happy everyone is.
Sounds like you two need a little getaway, he sounds stressed and depressed.
Mine is 62 and is just now doing the midlive depression thing, it's been hell for a couple of months now. He wishes there was more money in the 401k and some life insurance, and etc. I just tell him to take one day at a time and it's all gonna be fine. Doesnt matter how much money you've got, look at Steve Jobs, he was rich and powerful but it couldnt save his life.
3 moms found this helpful
✤.J. answers from Dover on November 03, 2011
He sounds depressed. My husband has said precisely the same things to me verbatim & an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant has really helped. His primary care physician prescribed it so therapy is not necesarily required (though it is advisable).
The next thing I wanted to let you know (which has literally taken me years to understand) is that there is nothing you can do for him to help him out of this funk. He needs to do it on his own & if he can't just snap out of it & medication is needed, he is the only one who can take the pill every day. Of course you have the power to exacerbate the situation & make him feel way worse, but you're clearly not doing that.
2 moms found this helpful
K.F. answers from New York on November 03, 2011
Actually this doesn't really sound like a midlife crisis but his already existing depression creeping up bigger and badder than ever. I think that therapy should be a priority for him RIGHT NOW. I don't believe it should wait.
Strategies to help him should include having him write down all of the blessings in his life and then reading them out loud. If you can disguise this exercise as helping the children with an assignment or even helping yourself to not forget. This may help.
Getting your husband to participate in some kind of physical activity. Walking, running, jogging, martial arts, or some other kind of activity will help as well. It will help set his brain chemistry in a direction of stimulating positive chemicals in his brain and creating more balance.
While things may be tight financially it may do you some good to have a talk with a few financial guru's. Sometimes we just continue thinking the way we think and we only know what we know. It is good to have a team of people to give you wisdom about many things. Most initial consultations with fiancial advisors and some accountants are free. Get some valuable information on your finances. I know it really helped me and I don't make alot of money but I do manage what I have well with the advice I received from a Certified Financial Planner.
Get him to try new things. If he doesn't like his job he should try to find a new one. My husband never stops looking for a job. He was initailly laid off from his job in Florida in 2009 and since that time he has found 4 new jobs, each on paying more than the last. He is really diligent about looking and maticulous about the process.
Check out different community centers. Perhaps even getting your husband to volunteer in some endeavor he may be passionate about. You have to try to get him to stop focusing on himself and begin focusing on others.
Alternate counseling options you may want to try is your local pastor. Some have been trained on how to counsel but your husband has to be willing to put in some hard work himself. His glass is not half empty.
2 moms found this helpful
P.S. answers from Houston on November 03, 2011
Can you get him to excercise? Buy a basketball hoop and shoot a few baskets with him. I bet he'll love that.
Sometimes doing something physical like that (not talking about sex) can help ease a troubled mind.
2 moms found this helpful
S.L. answers from Lexington on November 04, 2011
Hate to be the one to tell you, but I strongly recommend that you NOT wait until April. This sounds much more serious than a mid-life crisis. It sounds very much like a major depressive disorder. Your husband may not answer the questions on standard measures of depression in a way that will trigger a probable, but if he were to be interviewed by a professional (social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist) it is likely that they would diagnose him as experiencing depression. This level of unhappiness has other health consequences that can be at least as serious (if not more so), and he really needs to get help. It may be that therapy is not possible, but being on medication may help him to be able to function until such time as you and he can find time for him to be in therapy.
1 mom found this helpful