5 Rules For Communicating With a Midlife Crisis Spouse

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When dealing with a spouse who is going through a midlife crisis the biggest mistake you can make is attempting to communicate with your spouse. The last thing someone going through a midlife crisis wants to do is talk about it. Why? Nine times out of ten they don't understand themselves what is happening sim how can they communicate to you their experience? 

Attempting to communicate with and initiation relationship talks with the spouse in midlife crisis only backs them into a corner and causes him/her to withdraw further.

If your desire is to save your marriage, my advice is to get over the need to talk about the problems in your marriage. You can't communicate effectively with an irrational person and I have enough experience with people going through midlife crisis to be able to say that they are very irrational in their thinking.

You aren't going to get answers that are satisfying from someone who is experiencing emotional turmoil. All you will get is more frustration.

 

When it comes to communication and relationship talks with your midlife crisis spouse, follow these 5 rules:

 

1. Let go of needing to know why, where, when or who.

There is no figuring out why. Don't expect honesty when trying to find out where she/he has been. It is human nature to want to know when he/she will start acting "normal"  again but your spouse won't have an answer to that question because they don't view their behavior as abnormal.

If you suspect an affair, knowing with who won't lessen your pain and confusion so, don't even go there.

You have to be willing to let go of your need to talk about the marriage and relationship and ride out the crisis. If you're lucky your spouse will navigate their midlife crisis without doing too much damage.

2. If you must communicate stick to business.

Talk about the children's schedules, what bills need to be paid or what color to paint the family room. Keep communication simple and civil. Simple and civil communication is about all your midlife crisis spouse can handle and doing so keeps down any confusion and pain you are feeling when they respond in anger. 

The key is to communicate in a manner that doesn't cause your spouse to feel like you are blaming them for ANYTHING. Seriously! If it sounds like living with a two-year-old, it is. 

3. Don't email or text your spouse.

If you are used to sending regular emails to his/her place of work, stop. Your spouse is withdrawing from you emotionally. They will view any communication from you as an attempt on your part to invade their privacy. The best way to deal with someone who is withdrawing is to give him/her permission to do so.

Actually, this could end up being a battle you can't win. If you don't communicate it is upset them, if you do communicate, it will upset them. With a spouse in midlife crisis, you are damned if you do and, damned if you don't quite a bit of the time. 

4. Learn the fine art of listening.

Do not talk about your relationship unless your midlife crisis spouse initiates the communication.

If this happens, listen more than you talk. If he/she accuses you of being a terrible spouse, bite your tongue; do not go on the defensive. Expect any discussion of the marriage or relationship to reflect negatively upon you. Your spouse is in blaming mode and needs to play the victim. 

You will learn more about what your midlife crisis spouse is going through and feeling if you don't go on the defensive. You are the rational thinker. When he/she tells you the marriage has been miserable from the beginning, you know better. Why defend yourself against untruths to someone who isn't interested in anything other than justifying their bad behavior?

5. Focus on things you have control over.

There will be times when you feel if you don't sit him/her down and have a talk you will go crazy. What you don't understand is attempting to get answers is only going to drive you further down the path to crazy.

When you feel that driving need to initiate a relationship talk get busy doing something else, anything other than trying to get answers from your spouse.

Distract yourself from the need to talk about the relationship by leaving the house, going shopping, taking a walk or calling a friend to rant to. Do anything other than try to control something you have no control over.