7 Tips to Help You Survive Your Spouse's Midlife Crisis

Middle aged couple having a disagreement
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Focusing on yourself and your children is the key to surviving a spouse's midlife crisis.

Some people manage to navigate a midlife crisis, learn from it, and move on to a more rewarding life. Then there are those who morph into a lesser version of themselves and inflict enormous pain on their family.

Whether your spouse works through their midlife crisis without doing much harm or destroys everything within reach, they will go through changes of some kind.

These changes https://www.liveabout.com/how-to-respond-to-your-spouses-affair-1102877 may leave you wondering what you can do to help yourself (and your spouse) and save your marriage.

Helping yourself survive your spouse's midlife crisis is no easy task but it is doable if you take the right steps.

Here's how you can navigate your partner's crisis without it costing you a world full of hurt.

Steps for Coping With a Spouse's Midlife Crisis

1. Focus on Yourself and Your Children

You aren't doing your spouse, or yourself, any favors if you obsess over with what they are doing or thinking. You have no control over what your spouse does or doesn't do. You do, however, have complete control over what you choose to do.

Take my advice and focus on things that are within your control. If you are over-thinking your spouse's problems, you are filling your head with negative thoughts. You and your children will become very unsettled if your head is full of negative thoughts, worry, and concern over the actions of another person.

Occupy your time with enjoyable activities that will distract you from your spouse's behaviors. If there is tension at home, plan activities for yourself and your children away from the house. Take up a new hobby and get your children involved in new activities. Do whatever you have to do that will keep you and your children from becoming victims of your spouse's midlife crisis.

2. Set Clear Boundaries With Your Spouse

One way to keep your spouse's bad behavior from causing too much stress in your life is to set boundaries and stick to those boundaries. If your spouse is cheating, let him/her know that this part of their life is not allowed to intrude into yours. Tell your spouse that you don't want to know anything about their relationship with another person. Stress that you will not engage in conflict or become involved in a love triangle.

Your first instinct may be to find out everything you can about the other man/woman. You may even want to spy on your spouse, read their emails, hack their computer, and try to find every dirty little secret they're keeping from you. The truth is, when it comes to a midlife crisis, your spouse will do what they want to do regardless of your feelings. Just let it go. Let it run its course and accept that you have no control over the situation. Mainly, don't let it alter the way you live your life.

3. Process Your Anger in a Healthy Way

Trust me when I tell you, you'll probably get as angry as you've ever felt. This is normal. However, lashing out at your spouse–another normal reaction–will only make you feel better in the short-term.

Venting won't change your spouse's behavior and will only lead to more conflict in the relationship, and on the home-front.

It's best to get rid of your anger in a non-confrontational way. Take a kickboxing class. Throw water balloons against the house. Make a voodoo doll and poke holes in it if you have to. Whatever you choose, find ways to cope with your anger in a manner that doesn't engage with your irrational, midlife crisis spouse. Take it from me, no amount of screaming, cursing, or crying is going to make any difference if your spouse is going through a life-changing crisis.

4. Don't Initiate Relationship Talks With Your Spouse

You may have had a wonderful marriage. You may have been a couple who discussed and worked through every problem as it came up. But you're no longer that couple and you have to do a 180 and not expect your spouse to care about working through your relationship issues.

If your spouse has distanced himself/herself from you, insisting they talk about the relationship will only push them further away.

Your spouse is going through a change that has caused him/her to lose interest in you and your once solid relationship. It's sad but true. The more you attempt to discuss the situation, the less interested your spouse will be. 

You will get further with a midlife crisis spouse if at the same time they are distancing themselves from you, you distance yourself from them. It's human nature to want what we can't have. So, instead of relationship talk, become mysterious, get a life, get your act together, and get out of the house and make him/her wonder why you aren't so focused on them.

5. Listen Without Passing Judgment

It's not an easy thing to do, but I've seen this work for married couples time after time. If your spouse initiates conversations with you, listen without passing judgment. Your spouse will be experiencing doubt and confusion about what he/she is going through so listening is key. Any thoughts about how they're feeling should be kept to yourself.

Even if your spouse says crazy things that make your head spin, keep it to yourself. Whatever you do, don't try to explain the error of their thinking no matter how irrational. This will exasperate the situation. Don't try to get them to see it from your perspective. Anyone going through a midlife crisis has to figure it out in their own way, on their own terms. I know this doesn't seem fair, but it's the best recourse if you want to keep your marriage together. 

6. Get Into Therapy

There's a good chance your spouse needs therapy, but don’t expect that to happen. Most likely your spouse will stubbornly think that you are the problem. The best thing you can do for yourself is to find yourself a good therapist to talk to. A licensed psychologist can listen to your concerns and help you work through the myriad of issues your facing–including a sense of betrayal. The best thing about a therapist is that they're objective.

Family and friends are great if you need support, but they can't be objective when it comes to your spouse and your marriage. Those close to you may even cause you damage because they love you and don't want to see you hurt. Because of that, they may advise you to leave or strike back at your crazy-acting spouse. If you want to keep your marriage in tack, don't add fuel to the fire.

7. Do What Is Right For You

If your spouse dives into the deep end of the midlife crisis pool you have two choices. If he/she becomes involved with another person, starts spending money like an addict, or becomes abusive, it's up to you to take action. You have two choices: either stay and hope they (and you) will survive the midlife crisis or leave (i.e., divorce him/her and start a new life for yourself).

The thing to remember is, no matter which road you take, you don’t have to allow your spouse to drag you down to their level. When dealing with a spouse who is going through a midlife crisis it is best to always take the high road. Don’t do anything you will regret and feel ashamed of. In other words, just because your spouse is a victim of a midlife crisis doesn’t mean you have to be also.