The phrase, mid-life crisis, has become a cliché term, laughable to most and the brunt of jokes at a middle-aged person’s outrageous and spontaneous choices. It’s laughable to everyone except the person experiencing it.
Consider this – according to a study conducted by Dr. Elaine Wethington, Cornell University, 36% of women and 34% of men reported to having had or were experiencing the definition of a mid-life crisis. For this third of the population the emotional turmoil of the mid-life crisis is quite real and not a joking matter.
Is it normal?
The average age of a person in a mid-life crisis is 46, however it’s been experienced anywhere between 28 and 53. The number of women finding themselves in the throes of this dilemma is on the rise. For years it was posed as being a man’s problem causing husbands to ditch their family in favor of sporty cars, trophy wives and a sleeker lifestyle. Now women are surpassing the men in the statistics leaning towards throwing caution to the wind and investing their life savings into the dreams they left on the back burner. Some women do stray, some women do even go for the trophy boyfriend, but what men and women have in common is the sudden realization that life is passing by and they’re flooded by the terrifying notion that their life has meant nothing, they haven’t truly lived, but have only been on the wheel sustaining life.
This happens in particular with people who are married with children. This is the ultimate slap in the face when for the majority of childhood and adolescence people are told that once they’ve reached adulthood part of the quest of completeness is being married and having children. To suddenly be in a crux causing an individual to question every choice he or she has made and feeling his or her life is lacking totality can be daunting and confusing when it would seem that they’d already achieved society’s concept of Nirvana.
Differences between men and women’s midilife meltdowns
In truth men can get lost on the family wheel by being stuck in a constant cycle of earning, providing and tending. Women find their rut in putting everyone else before themselves all of the time and losing their sense of who they are while being lost in a sea of fulfilling others. Neither of these traits is bad and both are necessary to be a good husband and father as well as a wife and mother. However somewhere along the line it’s paramount that both people remember to nurture their individuality.
When someone gets married it doesn’t mean they lose complete touch with who they were before marrying. The distraction comes later when roles are defined and daily routines become treated like a religion. It’s important to not be dogmatic in your life. Listening to what your partner wants and desires in their life and then doing things to help them fulfill those goals is also a part of strong relationship. Remembering your dreams and goals and taking time each week, even if it’s only something small, to pour energy in that facet will strengthen you as a person and in the long run help make you a better husband, wife, father, or mother and role model for your children.
Having fun for life
Having fun is an essential component in staving off those mid-life moments of desperation and worry. Filling your life not with busy to-do events that others thing you should participate in, but with meaningful and personally poignant moments. Take classes, be adventurous, travel, volunteer, create things, read, dance and laugh.
Something to do which opens new doors of interest, fun and can really stimulate your relationship is to take a dance class. Most women respond deeply to dancing, fantasizing about being Salsaed across a dance floor. Now whether that’s a reality or not it’s fun to try, creates an amazing memory and the physicality of the dance helps stimulate endorphins to increase joy and positivity.
Three wonderful dance schools in the Tampa area to take a session on any dance style you choose from Rumba to Quick Step to the Viennese Waltz:
- Easidance Ballroom Inc, 5111 Ehrlich Rd., Ste 140., Tampa, FL 33624 – (813) 908-3340
- Swing City Dance Studio, Atelier Dance School, 1110 Platt St., Tampa, FL 33606 – (813)961-4644 (3 Locations)
- Come Dancing Ballroom, 3802-B South Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, FL 33611 – (813) 839-2725
Find something to do to together as well as things that encourage your own individual interests and then support each other in those endeavors. Doing so will lead to a stronger partnership, a deeper friendship, an appreciation and respect for each other and more exciting and complete life.
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