Is your mid-life crisis ruining your marriage?

Maggie Morrow, counselling, CBT therapy, life coach and psychotherapist London. MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Psychology, Adv Dip, UKCP.
Author: Maggie Morrow, Award Winning Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Life Coach
Last updated: 21st February 2024

Man and Woman in Disagreement

A mid-life crisis may sound like a cliché but it’s an experience that many people go through. Not only can it spark a deep reflection of your life’s goals and priorities, and have a profound influence on the course of your own life, but it will affect your relationship with others too. And if you’re married or in a long-term relationship, reviewing your commitment to your other half may be part and parcel of this often-painful and difficult process.

How does a mid-life crisis manifest?

Life transitions and milestones have a way of triggering self-reflection. Whether it’s an anniversary, career achievement, loss of a loved one, historical event or just another birthday, these moments can starkly confront us with the passage of time. Suddenly we realise our mortality and may grapple with anxiety about how to spend the time we have left.

What all these experiences have in common is that they bring a sudden realisation of your age along with a growing sense of anxiety about the amount of time you have left to live. In the throes of such a transition, it’s natural to question if you’re fulfilled, if past decisions were right and if certain goals remain unexplored. Perhaps you are wondering whether life is passing you by without the chance of doing all the things you still want to do before it is too late. Some call this a ‘mid-life crisis,’ but it can happen much earlier or later than middle age.

Whenever it occurs, it helps to have skilled guidance. At KlearMinds, our professional team of psychotherapists, counsellors and life coaches are highly experienced in helping clients work through mid-life crises positively. We see many clients who are struggling to figure out the path ahead, and can provide the right therapeutic environment to help you see the bigger picture and decide on what the next steps should be. We create a space to process these existential questions, gain a clear perspective and chart your next chapters with confidence.

What effect does your mid-life crisis have on your marriage?

A mid-life crisis can have you questioning whether you’re happy in your relationship and whether your partner is the best match for you at this point in your life. Maybe you and your partner have developed established patterns of behaviour over the years and you are now wondering if ‘this is it’, or whether there could be more?

Maybe your interests have changed over the years and you’re wondering if you still have enough in common to stay together. Many separations and divorces are the result of a mid-life crisis being experienced by of one of the partners, but splitting up doesn’t have to be the outcome.

Physical aging can also strain bonds. Seeking a younger partner, suddenly changing style or taking up new hobbies to recapture your youth are cliché responses to ageing. These attempts to reject maturity often leave partners feeling hurt or abandoned, or struggling with low self-esteem.

If you have kids, their teenage experiences may highlight the passage of time since your own youth. Becoming an empty nester after decades as parents can also disrupt a couple’s dynamic. Without established parental roles, some struggle to reconnect as romantic partners. Can you remember how to be a couple again without the now long-established roles as Mum and Dad getting in the way?

Can you get through a mid-life crisis and stay together?

Life transitions don’t have to break relationships. With understanding and adaptability, couples can grow stronger. At KlearMinds, our counsellors guide partners through life’s challenges, offering perspective to improve communication and connection.

The key is staying engaged as a couple. It’s natural to view changes through a personal lens, but try reframing them relationally. Be honest with your partner about struggles, even if it’s uncomfortable – having vulnerable conversations demonstrates commitment to the relationship. Solutions may not be immediate, but communicating together keeps you moving forward as a united team.

For relationships to thrive through transitions, being open to change is crucial. As life happens and people evolve, resilient couples adapt together. They maintain intimacy through changes, facing experiences as a united team.

Alongside meaningful connection, don’t overlook fun. Amidst life transitions, it’s common to feel the joy has gone out of life but making time for play and laughter together can powerfully strengthen bonds and remind you why you fell in love with your partner.

At KlearMinds, our experienced relationship counsellors can help you identify what is causing problems in your relationship and show you simple steps to take to improve your marriage. We use a powerful combination of relationship counselling and coaching, advice and active strategies you can put into practice to achieve the improvements you want. Contact us to book an appointment.

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Maggie Morrow, counselling, CBT therapy, life coach and psychotherapist London. MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, BSc Psychology, Adv Dip, UKCP.

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