A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info

Reflecting on the mid-life crisis

S Updated
FCI have been reflecting on the mid-life crisis that seems to cause some of these terrible endings. I have read through lots of wiki stories and been struck by the similarities to the end of my own marriage. In my case we had a rehearsal 3 years ago -Stbx was suffering from depression and anxiety and he was drinking very heavily. A crisis erupted and we agreed that he would move out and stay with his sister down the road. He grew to like this arrangement. I ended things, he went onto match.com immediately and met a woman in Spain online. He went out to stay with her a couple of times. During this time we were talking and he said that life with me felt like an old book which he knew from back to front. Charming! He said he wanted and needed change. Anyway she dumped him and bizarrely I took him back because I felt sorry for him and missed him. The next two years we avoided an emotional intimacy and got on with our lives together. His depression and anxiety returned as well as the heavy drinking. We had a lot of responsibilities and in fairness it wasn't much fun with the teenagers. He lost it with the drinking and I had to call the police on a few occasions. He said he felt trapped and I think on reflection was trying to force my hand to push him out. You know...make things so bad that life together is untenable. Meanwhile he began an emotional relationship with an old friend of ours via Facebook. He would put up a message saying he felt really low and she would 'mother' him. Things at home came to a head. The police strongly recommended a restraining order as he had become so hostile towards me (he was emotionally invested elsewhere). He lived at his mothers for 3 months then he left for the seaside to be with my old friend. She is/ was married to a much older man and has 3 teenagers. This was 6 months ago. Now he seems to be happy, he is no longer depressed, drinks rarely (according to our daughters), still has most of his very large salary as his work extended to his new circumstances. He has achieved the change he so desired and unshackled himself. I am so different - I loved our life, bringing up our children and had been patiently waiting for the better times in our 50s but something very powerful was going on in him - a desperate need for change and freedom I guess which involved him throwing everything away. It could have been any woman - he 'fell in love' very quickly both times and both women offered a new area - one in Spain and the other on the South coast. I have little choice now but that's another blog!

User comments

To write a comment please register or
View all user comments
I sometimes compare this treatment of the spouse left behind with 'constructive dismissal'. This is where someone's working situation is so unbearable that they cannot reasonably be expected to continue working there.

In the same way, the ex claims that it is impossible to continue living with us and they need 'evidence' to put before the tribunal, so they lie. Lying then is like a snowball. They tell a few to cover up the affair etc and then a few more to justify their leaving, by which time lying is second nature to them and our reputation is in tatters. Very sad that they saw that as the only way out of the marriage.

Stay strong Stem ginger. xx
Sun flower, you have summed up the last few months and what was going on perfectly. Thank you it really helps me understand a little more. My Stbx likes to compare himself to a Phoenix rising from the ashes. My one crumb of comfort, vengeful though it is, is that he has now got a criminal record so his golden Phoenix wings have indeed been clipped:)
I've read back over this - and I just wanted to add one wee thing.

Your ex, like so many of them - tried to make us be seen to end the marriage so that they could come our smelling of roses - very manipulative. But it left us reeling - we did not know know at the time what was happening - so by the time the ex's finally went we were already punch drunk and exhausted from trying to hold a family together with the mad person we thought was still the decent person we believed in. In fact often we were tryig to boost them up, mend them, still putting their needs before our own.

We were exhausted and confused before the process started - where as they are relieved and have boosted their own ego following their dreams and watching us fall to bits thus confirming how right they are to leave these 'howling bitches'....or whatever.

It is no wonder we fall to bits for a while. It will get better. Seeing these men for what they are helps. Little boys, trying to get thier own way. I hope pixy is right. I hope their demons re-emerge.

But more importantly I hope we find the route to love (even if for ourselves and our children/families), laughter (without that bitter tinge) and fun again.

Stay strong when you can, allow yourself your duvet days when you need them - see them for what they are (not always easy when you are in them). They are a temporary shut down of the system while the brain is rewiring - they will pass, we can help them pass, (walking, hobbies etc) but I believe we do need them.

Express yourself to those who will listen. That seems to be part of the re-wiring process Thank god for wikipeeps.

Most importantly please be very kind to yourself and start to believe in yourself. We believe in you.

Lovely words from all of you. I don't understand it all and maybe as flowerofscotland suggests, I shouldn't spend too much time on it. I feel sad reading your comments too but certainly not alone anymore. Earlier this year I felt so alone and felt that my friends and family couldn't really understand although they tried. It's hard to express what I feel about it all. It all happened so fast. I just hope I can stay well now with the doubling of responsibilities. Exchange of Form Es tomorrow - dreading those bank statements xx
My husband reinvented himself dramatically too and yet it wasn't as sudden as I once believed. Oh, the wisdom of hindsight ...

I think they begin to feel older and believe having a younger partner will make them young again.

Like every one of us, I've been over and over the possible reasons for the dramatic change. Yes, they believe that life is passing them by and life had become routine with work, home, household stuff, children's tantrums, teenage problems and they can't hack it. But who said life has to be exciting all the time? Life is what it is and family life - which they opted for- is about being there for the children, bringing them up together, not ditching overboard before they're grown and leaving, in most cases, their mother to carry on. To your credit you simply got on with it through all the pain.

The responsibilities are great that's true, but they're doubled when one person is shouldering all the responsibility. They may have wanted out of the responsibilities, but so many have lost their children too. They're missing the fun times together; watching them grow, taking pride in all that they do and sharing their success and comforting them when things don't go quite so well. As you say, throwing everything away. That is a huge price which they will one day have to pay.

It sounds as though you had a tough time, with the police being involved and I hope you've had help to put those particular memories to rest. Hugs for being brave! xx
I too sadly can also relate my Stbx has reinvented his whole persona.He's with a girl/women 20years his junior only 8years older than our son and they are "thrilled to announce the birth of their newborn". The carnage he has left behind can still reduce me to tears on a regular basis,but not to worry all is fine and dandy in his new life and that's all that matters.
Hi stemginger,

It is hard dealing with their reinvention of themselves, they are lucky we are here to deal with the day to day responsibilities of parenting.

I remember reading an e-mail from my STBX's first OW and he actually said that when they met again they would go in search of more blue skies! Quite astonishing really whilst me, his Cinderella, was as usual being his Chief Cook and Bottle Washer and he was totally ignorant of that fact, spending our hard earned money on sleezy hotels with the OW.

Somebody told me today, that I will never understand the cruelty of my STBX and his family and it is time to draw a line...I believe she may be right...we will never work out why they change into animals!

Take care for now FoS x
Hi Stemginger - It is such a familiar story. My STBX has also wasted no time in throwing off the shackles of his 'mundane life'. He is always out socialising, buying new clothes, I strongly suspect he is involved with an OW. He is behaving like a teenager with a sense of entitlement. He is in his mid-forties and said to me and also to our son that he had to find happiness before he was too old. He has given up everything for this new life, at the moment communication between him and our son is non-existent. I just feel like screaming at him 'was all this worth it, are you happy now?' But I doubt I would like the answer.

I just don't understand how they could discard everything and everyone that mattered to them so casually. I don't have any answers but I do have empathy for you and everything you are going through. XX
9 months and still waiting for karma
too true,Im sure the reason my stbx is delaying divorce is cos lifes not going exactly as he thought with ow and this is a cop out,me, personally, cant wait to no longer being married to the lying cheating shallow........
View all user comments