Men In Mid-Life Crisis, Not Easy for the Wife, Either.

I'm not doing bad at all - no crying spells, I seem to get happy a normal amount of time.  But there IS a problem that I'm not sure how to deal with at this time.

I know that in a healthy relationship you are somehow supposed to detach your emotions from your significant other.  I don't mean not CARE about them, but not to let them ruin your mood or bring you down.  Is that actually realistic? Because I just don't know how to do that and get a tremendous amount of anxiety.  I'm the type of person that wants to "fix" everyone.

My husband is going through a rough time emotionally right now.  He's got a lot of stress at work, woks way, way too much, and says his therapist said he is going through a mid-life crisis.  It is very difficult to listen to...all the time we spend a significant amount of time together.  It usually seems to come up a lot when we are in the car together and I'm trapped.

I've learned from him that a man's way of crying sometimes is to get angry.  When he complains about being unhappy, treated unfairly, his life not turning out the way he wanted it to and is SO down about it, it does effect me.  It effects my whole mood. 

I end up getting so anxious that I take klonipin over the whole thing.  I don't KNOW how this will end.  It's pretty much about his job, but also his place in life.  I consider him very successful, but apparently he expected to be so much more than he is now at 37 (omg, really?  37? He is the highest ranked professional at his age in his department, yet that means zero to him.)

A man's mid life crisis is so incredibly difficult and I have no idea if or when it will end.  I don't know how this will turn out, and I hear so often when men go through this they get younger girlfriends and divorce their wives.  That isn't so much on my mind, but I am constantly trying to be, as I am with other people and I wish I was this way for myself, the glass half full person to him.  But that infuriates him more, so instead of giving what he calls "Pollyanna" advice, I've just learned go with it and agree with what he says. I am not saying that he is wrong in his views, his feelings are valid and his reality.

I just wish he would DO SOMETHING about his complaints and anger (it's not towards me).  I constantly suggest and that, but it's his life and he is going to do what he wants, even if that makes him miserable.

So when he feels this way, I do take on his emotions, it can totally bring me down. It may be a sense of the "unknown", I have no idea what he is going to do or feel on a daily basis, and especially what he will ultimately do.  He said over the weekend that he wished he would just die.  I don't take things like lightly.  I asked him if he was thinking about suicide and he said no.  But then I asked him if he would tell me if he was, and he responded with "Probably not".

After telling him there was no way I would move back to Texas, now I just want him to be happy, whatever that is.  But it gets so old, hearing the same complaints all the time yet he does nothing about it to change anything - his circumstances, how he feels - nothing.  That is so opposite of me. I go to the psychiatrist, to therapy (when I don't cancel) to do anything I can to "feel better".

We are also opposite in what we think of ourselves.  I tend to think I'm not good enough, not worthy of anything, while he thinks a whole of lot of himself and everyone else (he works with) are idiots and he is better than they are.  He becomes frustrated when he sees other people be rewarded when he thinks he has done so much more than they have.  And honestly, he has done miracles.  The work he just completed made national news.  I was in SHOCK about that. Supposedly everyone at work considered it a "miracle" he was able to accomplish it, and I don't disregard him telling me that.  He is the most determined person I have ever met in my life.  I have seen in his personal life, once he decides to accomplish something, he does it, things I have found impossible.  He does not fail, it's not an option for him. It is truly an inspiration and I have no idea how he does it, but he pushes himself too hard. 

Because I take on his emotions, I am constantly anxious.  I want him to be happy, in a good mood, but he really isn't, probably ever.  And there's nothing I can say or do that changes his mind, just for him to call me "Pollyanna".  He doesn't WANT to see things differently, he doesn't WANT to consider other reasons for things.  I'm the kind of person that thinks of reasons why people who do things that upset me might have done them, and perhaps not have meant it.  Obviously not ALL the time, I get pretty frustrated, but of course it is easier to look at someone else's life, not your own, and see it that way.

I've got to figure out how to let him have his feelings without it effecting me.  That seems so rude though.  To be in a good mood in front of him when he is obviously feeling mentally tortured.  I really think he should go on an anti-depressant for a short time, but maybe I'm wrong and there is no way my suggesting it would get him to do it.  He loathes taking psychiatric medication.  And...since that is my answer most of the time to "fix myself", that doesn't mean it is the right answer for everyone.  He is entitled to his feelings, not saying they are wrong at all, I just want him to be happy.

It just sucks to feel one way the minute and be totally frustrated or down in the dumps because of his emotions, his inability to mentally turn things around.  He said his therapist told him to stop trying to manage my emotions, it makes him unhappy, and that is good advice actually.  Wish I knew how to do that as well.


lynn said...

this is one of the reasons I'm never getting married again. No offense to married people. I had a bad experience that included a lot of this.

KansasSunflower said...

Sorry to hear that, Lynn. It really is a difficult position to be in.

lynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KansasSunflower said...

I'm so, so happy you are in a better place now. : ) I want to believe there is a way to detach my emotions from his especially because, well, I have a mood disorder! (haha). I don't bounce back like others might, but I don't know that because I've never really asked anyone.

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