A Midlife Transition and Men

When men are young, they feel invincible. They feel like they own the world. However, when they reach middle age and they go through a"midlife transition" or "midlife crisis" their life can seem hopeless and less meaningful. 

Yet, it can be looked at in a more positive light, as an excellent opportunity to start over again! 

Instead of considering it as a midlife crisis, it should be a "midlife awakening." Its a time when a man gets a perspective of his life, that is, of who he is, where he is and what direction his life can take.

A midlife transition may be difficult for a  man, but with some support and with his own strong efforts, life can get better and life worth living again.

Signs of a Midlife Transition

The following are signs of a midlife transition in men:

  • Depression can set in and his whole character and disposition can change. 
  • Many asks "Is this all there is?"
  • He becomes bored with his lifestyle and all those around him especially his spouse.
  • Begins to doubt that he is still in love with his spouse.
  • Infidelity becomes a possibility.
  • He feels he needs a change and wants to experience new things.
  • Angry at the mistakes and choices he has made in his life.
  • Regret and blame for things that he did not get to do.
  • Totally unhappy with the way he looks and feels about himself.
  • Feeling of loneliness and confusion as to which direction to take.
  • Feels just so tired, worn out and old.

Men who are in a midlife transition are some times stereotype as the guy who buys a brand new flashy sports car. Gone is the mini-van, and in its place is a Corvette or Camaro. Yet, it would be an unjust to say that all men are like this, but there are some that go out and do this.

Men are generally in competition with other men and themselves, and our culture constantly harps on them to be “younger, faster and stronger!”

It’s a shame, really, that the world puts such intense pressure on mature men to maintain the looks and feelings of their peak time of life—roughly their late teens and early twenties.

When a man starts “getting older,” he doesn’t like that feeling. He looks around at other men and wonders how he can go back to “the way it was” when everything was possible, and life had a sense of adventure. That’s one of the reasons why so many men going through a midlife transition buy sports cars. It makes them feel young and alive again.

Other signs a man is going through a midlife transition? Well, hair color is a another issue. Once a man starts getting some gray hairs, he can either accept them as normal, or, if he’s in midlife crisis, he may have his hair dyed brown, blonde or black for a more “youthful” look.

Along those lines, he might go to the dentist and get his teeth whitened, and if he’s really feeling down in the dumps about aging, he might get plastic surgery to lift his sagging skin, improve the look of his nose, or remove fat from his belly.

A midlife transition can develop over a period of time, or it can suddenly come upon men and their partners. They may feel the need to have "time and space or have a new adventure!"  Such actions can make it very difficult for their spouse and family to cope with and accept.

During this midlife transition, a spouse must learn and understand how to deal with this unrecognizable person.  She must prepare herself for this emotional roller coaster ride that has no rhythm or reason, and has its very own agenda. 

She must educate her self about a midlife crisis, and understand that is not all of her doing. It is about an overwhelming panic that is experienced by men when they reach middle age, and begin to question their existence and purpose in life.

The outcome of a man's midlife transition can vary among individuals.  There are those that make it through their midlife crisis a little worse for wear, and others who's strained marriage ended in divorce.

How do men deal with their Midlife Transition?

The best thing a man can do during his transition, is to really set a plan for himself.  The success to any challenge in life is to prepare, to think things through carefully and develop a strategy or a plan.

He can once again take control of his life and consider this time as a "midlife awakening." 

A man may have suffered a loss, and undergone a divorce, but he can chose to view this as an opportunity to rebuild and repair. 

It begins with a total physical, mental and spiritual makeover.

A man's personal makeover begins with making changes on how he looks.  He can get a different hair cut, change his style of clothing, try to lose weight, can begin an exercise regimen or change the way he eats for a healthier lifestyle.  All these things can help him feel and look better about himself.

It can be a mental makeover, which means that he has to adjust the way that he thinks and acts. His mental makeover consists of an attitude adjustment, from being negative to having a better or more positive attitude overall.  A "positive mindset can bring about positive change."

It also involves "counting one's blessing," and coming to the realization that he already has a lot going for himself.  In-fact, possibly better than most.

It is respecting the gift of life that God has given to him, and making the best of it!

What a man is experiencing, should not be considered as the media calls it "a midlife crisis," but rather a "midlife awakening." Awake and really see your life for what it really is! Be thankful and grateful for all that you have. There are things that are good in your life.  Things that fulfill you. Take a moment and reflect on what those are. Start with your family and value and cherish them!

A man's awakening is an opportunity to set some new goals and take action to achieve them. Start out small and work your way to bigger projects that will enable you to fulfill new ventures.

Take this time to think about the things that you haven’t done yet, and chose to pursue them. This doesn't mean that you push aside your spouse and children. It means you communicate with them about the things you wish to accomplish. They will and should support you.

Create and continuously update your bucket list and go out and make it happen. It can be done. While there is hope and perseverance, it’s never too late!

Some may not be so keen on this next idea, but men should consider a "spiritual makeover." The spiritual side of a man should definitely be addressed.

You may think of this suggestion as a bunch of crap, but let me tell you, there are a lot of men out there, who not only nourish their minds and bodies, but their spirits as well.  In doing so, they are all so much happier, fulfilled and accomplished.

How can this be done? Start off with prayer and develop your relationship with God. This can be easily done by just saying these simple words "God please help and guide me." Prayers are heard.  I know.  I speak from experience. Just start talking and begin your personal interaction with God, and it is done with the up-most confidence and faith. Then wait and see God in action. If you believe it you can achieve it!

Another way toward spiritual development is to actually go out and help others. It is as simple as that! This may take a huge effort for someone who is experiencing a midlife crisis and divorce, but it can be achieved, if you set your mind to it.

Men are strong individuals and when they set their minds to do something they will accomplish it. Sometimes spiritual growth involves humbling oneself and doing the tasks that no one else wants to do. 

It can involve volunteer work at a hospital or school, helping kids learn to read or learn a sport. Think of the gifts you possess and share them with others.

Men can spiritually grow by visiting the sick and elderly, perhaps even run some errands or do grocery shopping for someone who is disabled. There are so many ways that a man can give of himself, and feel rewarded.

Doing things for others, genuinely caring for them, can make a man feel better about himself, and he will soon begin to realize: “I am invaluable, I am useful and I can make a difference.” You may be in a midlife crisis and even divorced, but you can still become "spiritual leader," by being humble, selfless and giving.

So how about falling in love again?  I can hear it, "are you nuts?" No! This can be another option to considered when a man has healed from his midlife crisis or divorce.

It can only happen when he has come to terms with himself, resolve past issues, and is once again mentally, physically and spiritually happy.

Consider going out on a date again.  At first, it doesn’t have to be serious, just find someone to enjoy a new friendship with. As the friendship develops and a man is ready, he can choose to develop the relationship into something more serious.  Remember "love heals all wounds."

Other Alternatives for a Midlife Transition

Men undergoing a midlife crisis and divorce can have a hard time talking about it; they can feel lost and confused as to what direction they can take. Depression can develop and become a serious matter.

If you find that you really are having a hard time, there are many other men who are experiencing a similar situation, and can help. The following are some online resources that can help:

  • MidlifeCrisisForum.com
  • Midlife Club Forum
  • fortysixty.org
  • 50ish.org
  • mengetdepression.com
  • midlife-men.com
  • middle-aged-men.com
  • aharleyormywife.com
  • man-o-pause.com
  • There are circumstances that a man and his family may need to seek a professional like a therapist, marriage counselor, or a religious leader to help them work through their pain and learn to cope during these tough times.

    Life provides challenges that we may need to face and deal with, but it can be overcome and happiness can be found again. We are in charge of our own destiny.

    More importantly we should all take responsibility for our actions, and be conscious of how those actions effect others, especially our family.

    Yes, a midlife awakening is a chance to start over again "responsibly;" to repair, renew and rebuilt. You may be older, but all that wiser and capable of feeling complete once again.

    A midlife transition can be viewed as a catalyst for change – essentially an opportunity for personal growth.  We all make mistakes, and when a man makes a mistake it’s OK to forgive himself,  to seek forgiveness from those that he may have hurt. Most importantly to learn from those mistakes and grow from there, to becoming “the best that he can be!”

    Does it have to be a Midlife Crisis? Are there ways to prepare or prevent it?

    Do you have any recommendations, solutions or insights on how to handle a midlife transition? Please Share it!

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    From Midlife Transition return to Middle Aged Men and their Sexuality

    Other Related Articles:

    Myths about Men

    Middle Age Exercises

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