During midlife typically we are burdened by taking care of children and parents. We are faced with loss — loss of youth, previous roles and opportunities. Midlife transition often is associated with a shift in our sense of time, leading us to reflect on our lives so far, decisions we’ve made, and the future. Midlife transition does not have to involve calamity, but for some people it turns into a crisis.

Midlife crises can occur in both men and women, but take a particular form in men facing identity crises, often spilling into family life. Men in midlife crises feel hopelessly trapped in an identity or lifestyle they experience as constraining, fueled by an acute awareness of time passing. Finding themselves in a life that feels empty and inauthentic, they feel pressure to break out, and may desperately grasp at a chance for vitality and pleasure.

So, what is a Midlife Crises exactly?

Those… going through a midlife crisis are struggling with their own mortality, confidence, identity, and accomplishments thus far in life. A midlife crisis usually occurs between the ages of 45-55 and can lead to depression, remorse, and/or anxiety, as well as cause the individual to potentially make drastic changes to their current lifestyle. In today’s demanding and fast changing world, especially with the constant pressure from social media we expose ourselves to every day, it is possible for some men to experience a midlife crisis from as early as 35.

You’re making unusual choices.

Men may go through a “teenage-like rebellion” at this point in their lives, says Boston psychologist Lynn Margolies, PhD. “A sure sign you may be in a midlife crisis is if you are feeling trapped and very tempted to act out in ways that will blow up your life,” she says. These may include:

  • Drinking more.
  • Having an affair.
  • Leaving your family.
  • Feeling that your life no longer fits you.
  • You’re more concerned about your appearance.
  • You feel more desire for excitement and thrills.

Navigating Your Midlife Issues.

 

A midlife crisis can lead to “growth or destruction” for men. You can look for the causes of the unhappiness you feel, then make thoughtful decisions to address them. That’s growth.

On the other hand, making impulsive decisions, like trading in your familiar life for a relationship with a younger partner that quickly ends, or buying a car you can’t afford, leads to destruction.

 

During this season of your life, be sure to:

 

  • Remember that your feelings are not commands. Just because you feel like you have to escape your home, job, or marriage, doesn’t mean you have to actually do These feelings may indeed point to problems that need solving. But they may also fade or change over time.
  • Be thankful for the good things. Take time to be grateful for the parts of your life that make you happy. Ask yourself how you’d feel if you took an action that caused you to lose them.
  • Talk it over. Before you make major decisions, discuss them with someone whose advice you’ll trust. A friend, pastor, or a coaching professional can help give you guidance and self-introspection, on whether you’re making wise choices.
  • Ask whether your wishes are realistic. Men make plenty of successful changes in their 40s and beyond: Going back to college, traveling the world, or starting their own business. Just make sure your new goals are practical, and within your grasp.
  • Avoid shaking up your loved ones. Consciously think about your actions and realize that you may not need to blow up your life to be happy. But if it needs to be dismantled, then doing so thoughtfully will be less destructive to the people around you, and yourself in the future.

Sometimes having a midlife career crisis, may be exactly what you need!

It is the push you need to re-evaluate:

  • Where you are.
  • What’s working at work, and what isn’t.
  • Who you’ve become.
  • Who you want to be.
  • What’s important to you now.
  • What it is now that will bring you happiness, joy, fulfilment, contentment?
  • How you can bring that into your life.

The trouble is it’s really difficult to know where to even start when you’re feeling like this and you still have to pretend that you’re not feeling lost. Making it look like everything’s fine and you are on top of your game. A transformation coach can help you find this part of yourself that you long to re-connect with.

While life is really short, you probably have another 20 years or more before you can retire!