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Mid-Life Crisis and it’s impact on Marriage!?!

Written by marriageenrichment  |  16. September 2003

Today there are more pressures on marriage then ever before - making it more difficult for couples to stay together. Two weeks ago we discussed the importance of communication in marriage and last week we discussed the impact of children/parenting on marriage. Today we'll explore what happens in Mid Life - what is this crisis people talk about and is there a way to handle it without it destroying a marriage? Statistically, more marriages end between 40's and 50's then at any other age - some attributed to the fact that children have left home - the empty nest syndrome - some to mid-life crisis - we at The Human Development Company feel that there is a different reason - that there isn't a crisis at all - but a period of profound awakening and transition. We are committed to helping people discover how to understand what they are awakening to, and how support and nurture the other during this period - . Here is a quote from a married woman about her husband - "..but eventually he convinced me that he wanted to do something altogether different from his everyday, white collar desk job as a real estate executive. As a real estate attorney in Chicago, I thought I understood how he felt. We both had good jobs and fine families, and took great (if traditional) vacations twice a year. Doing something different and adventurous was appealing. Maybe it was the mid-life crisis we were told to expect at turning 40." What happens when someone doesn't understand how the other person feels? What should the person needing the change do? Stay doing what the spouse wants or is comfortable with? Which brings us to a really central question about marriage - that we are constantly teaching about at The Human Development Company - and that is, what is the purpose of marriage? Is it for life to look the way you want it to look - whatever that is - or is it to facilitate having your spouse have the life they were created to have - even if that means parting ways - is it more important for each human being to have their life - to truly own this singular passage we call life - or to give it over to another? Who is giving it up - does one have to - do both have to - or can there be such love, compassion and understanding that each person can have their life without imposing on the other? Can people have bi-costal, bi-continent, whatever it takes relationships, to make sure BOTH of you happy? A truly magnificent concept - to make sure that in this one life both of us are truly happy - not just me - what I want and don't want - what I am afraid of - what fits my pictures of marriage and love - How do we get to this point? Well most of us aren't in touch with our life purpose - we do things when we are in our teens and twenties that are mostly family and society generated - for their approval - which is the way we approve of ourselves - through other's eyes. There comes a time we literally wake up! and look around and wonder what we're doing and what prompted us to make the choices we made? If we're unhappy or disillusioned we need our spouses to be our friend and help us find our way. The Midlife Experience When you look in the mirror whom do you see? Does the face in the mirror seem vaguely familiar? Does it bear a striking resemblance to your mother's? Do you feel comfortable with yourself as your body changes? Have you been waiting for this moment in time to pick up the pieces of a career you interrupted years ago? Has the current marketplace changed your profession so that you're no longer able to accomplish your meaningful goals? Has the position you worked so long to achieve disappointed you? Is it tougher to be a SUPER-ACHIEVER than you'd ever imagined? Do you feel threatened by age discrimination at the time you most need to feel job security? If you've been working in the same career for the last 20 years, can you imagine doing the same thing for another 30? Are your children needing you less these days? Are you struggling to balance their needs with those of a widowed and increasingly fragile parent? Did you put off forming relationships and having children to pursue your career? Has the marriage that seemed so right to you years ago left you empty, longing to start over again? Does the idea of "starting over" at 45 or 50 seem frightening? Are you living the life you dreamed of when you were 18 or 25? Or have you misplaced your dream in the stresses and strains of everyday life? What did you promise yourself you'd do someday? Is the life you're living consistent with the values you believed in so fiercely 20 years ago? Who have you become? "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot ...this whole month, Tuesday evenings from 7 - 8pm, you can listen to 540AM - www.wlie.com for a series of programs on marriage. Tuesday 9/9 - parenting and marriage Tuesday 9/17 - mid-life crisis in marriage Tuesday 9/23 - intimacy and marriage Tuesday 9/30 - women's organizations and marriage

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