Mid-Life Crisis?

Whatever you want to call it – it’s a crisis of some type and some magnitude!

I almost physically shudder every time I am reminded of the long months of emotional and spiritual fog my husband was in during the height of his crisis. For me it felt like I was in this rushing whirlpool of change that I was trying my best to understand and yet the foaming, angry water kept sucking me under  . . . . . but my feet kept moving, pushing me upward!!!   His career was soaring and his personal life was plummeting. Psalm 130. Forgiving, open to God, watching and waiting.

How do you deal with all the hurt and anger when you’re in this rushing whirlpool? It feels merciless, unfair, unrelenting and the sorrow is CRUSHING. This brief video was one of the most helpful pieces of advice for me at a time when only our counselor and two friends knew that we were having marital difficulties:  What To Do When Your Husband Is Going Through A Midlife Crisis.  I watched this several times and went to her website to read whatever I could find to further help my resolve to work towards reconciliation. I watched several more of Michele Weiner-Davis’ videos and found them helpful. I had no idea things would get worse, but I now believe that leaving was so firmly entrenched in my husbands thinking that it was simply a matter of time and there wasn’t a thing I could have done to prevent that. All this gathering of information was important groundwork for what lay ahead. I know this is alarming to read – the dread is coming up and gripping me again as I type and realize others may be in that same situation. Trust me, I understand. I sincerely hope that your situation can be remedied without months of further sorrow.   Never, even in my darkest moments, could I have envisioned my husband insulting me like he was, let alone leave me. But he did. I promised to love him in sickness and in health back in 1983. We were now very sick with emotional pain. That vow . . . . God help me!

There’s a book you should read. Even if you read it before I would highly recommend you read it again now.  Captivating

I had heard of this book often but I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a bit of Christian fluff.  I liked John Eldredge’s books and had found them helpful, but for some reason this one written by him and his wife Stasi got marginalized in my thinking. A girlfriend sent it to me when I was away for 3 weeks this winter, getting my head together as I realized that my husband was very likely looking into the possibility of divorce, which he was. Hands shaking again here – we’re on the other side of all that, but the horror of it is still palpable.This book was so timely. Many tears fell on the pages.

You need resources to help you understand, help you cope, and to give you comfort.   Captivating is mainly a source of comfort I would say, but certainly the comfort of knowing who I was in God’s sight gave me understanding and helped me cope with what man could do when in pain. This book is often read by young women.I’d say it’s more pertinent for women who have had a bit of life lived under their skin, a few arrows shot through their heart, disappointments, hills and valleys.

I’m sure you can borrow that book from a friend or a church library.  It’s quite common. A book that you’ll likely have to purchase is this one: Contemplation and Midlife Crisis  A line from page 18, “Realistic people know that life traumas resolve themselves positively only with personal effort, professional help and supernatural grace”.   Page 66, “Left to our own devices, we would continue to live in terror. Surrendering to God, we begin to live in trust.  It may be the most important decision of our lives”. This book was immensely helpful as the author explains the 3 types of crisis (Crisis of Limits, Crisis of Meaning, Crisis of Faith), shares examples from others lives, and gives you wisdom and insight into what may be happening with your spouse, but also what is happening for you. You are now in crisis, probably the most significant crisis of your life.
It’s his ‘mid-life’ crisis, we can’t fix his crisis nor should we try. But certainly, we need help to tread water and even swim as we try not to drown in the tumultuous sea we’ve been tossed into.

A lot of the information in this link made/makes some sense to me for our situation and likely will for you too. I didn’t order the materials but it may have been good to do so as I did make several mistakes that could have been avoided. I actually have no idea what to call what all this has been for him, for me, for us, but I just keep reading, listening for God’s voice in it all and trying my darndest to make some sense of it all. My culpability has been hard going and very painful – much of what I read and hear applies to me too. I’ll soon write about that.

I would encourage you to read a lot.You are so full of thoughts, emotions and physical turmoil that you may think it’s a complete waste of time to try and read anything of value.  You may be tempted to just read for escape. Hear me roar! You don’t have time for escape, you need to be very disciplined, you are in a fight for your personal wholeness, you are in a fight for your marriage. Read with a pen in hand so you can write in the margins, underline, circle. The more actively you are involved with what you’re reading, the better chance you have to retain it. God will use this reading in your subconscious so keep going even if you think you’re too upset to remember anything.
And so, the BIG announcement.
My husband did move back home a few days after my previous post.  He was obviously ready because it seems that he can’t speak enough of how good it is to be living with me again.   He calls it a miracle. A miracle indeed. Never mind I could strangle him with my bare hands when he says stuff like that (feels to me like he’s trampling on so much goodness we’ve shared together – part of the sorrow has been his seeming lack of memory of anything good in our marriage), because I’ve learned like never before to wait out my emotional responses. I’m also seeing how there are stages to the coming out of the fog and heaven forbid I wallow in one of the stages and mire us down!
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