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Questions and Answers with Psychologist

Mid-life crisis. My husband has changed a lot during the last year. Since his father’s death he has had problems falling asleep, is always thinking about something, has become less sociable, and gotten gray hair. He is 42 and he says that he doesn’t know what to live for and that he is experiencing a mid-life crisis. I heard that when a man falls into this crisis he loses interest in his wife and looks for younger partners to feel young again. What should I expect and how should I react?


This crisis is usually called “the 40 year crisis” and men have more problems overcoming it than women. A man realizes that he has

not a lot of time left for active living. Your husband understood this after his father died, and now he is thinking about how to live the rest of his life. Many experience disappointment in unfulfilled dreams and life plans. It looks like your husband has forgotten the meaning of his life but not his interest in you. Right now he is concentrated on himself - he is actively creating new interests and goals in an attempt to rebuild his self-image. Quite often this crisis leads to problems in family life resulting in divorce. This crisis usually happens when the children have grown up and are living their own lives. At this moment, it becomes clear if the marriage is based on something else other than children. If this bond is weak, a man often begins to look for one last exciting experience in his life, usually with a younger woman. What to do to prevent this? First and foremost, you should be grounded in love and a deep level of understanding for each other. If the marriage has just become habit, it is very hard to save it. During this crisis, a man usually becomes more sentimental and emotional. He needs support and understanding (it looks like your husband needs this right now). And if you need new experiences, this is the time to go for them. Go on a family journey or rekindle some passion of your youth. Why don’t you make an old dream come true?


A beloved puzzle. I am 28 and I have lived with a loving man for several years. Everything is alright, except one thing: he doesn’t want to marry and have a child, saying that it is not the proper time and that we have to wait until we can afford a better apartment and a new car. And I am afraid of postponing pregnancy for health reasons and this situation makes me worry. Please, help me to understand what’s going on?


First of all, you need to understand what about your desire to live life together is he afraid of. Maybe he is dissatisfied by something in the relationship with you or he feels that his love is not that strong. Does he really think that everything is all right? Perhaps he is hesitant to marry you because he is afraid of the responsibility or what life changes it will bring? Maybe he is happy with his current situation and is not looking for any new troubles or duties. Whatever is the cause, you both need to seriously talk about your future plans, wishes and fears. Are you both sure that you share the same vision of the future? Analyze your motives - maybe you want to marry him and have a child because everyone else does this, or because you are simply afraid of losing him. If a man feels that these are a woman’s real motives, he will be against marriage.


The art of saying “no”. Me and my husband have lived together for seven years and have lost interest in each other. We began having many arguments. He had many times told me, “Ok, let’s divorce”. Finally I answered, “Ok!” and left him (I had been living in his apartment). I started a relationship with a man who had been in love with me for a long time. But now my ex-husband calls me saying that he loves me, that he wants to come back and that he will kill himself. Recently he tried to commit suicide. All this is driving me mad and I don’t know how to explain to him that I will not come back.


If you want him to understand that there can not be any relationship between you two again, you should treat him like a stranger. Don’t give him any hopes by sympathizing with him. It is better to stop any kind of contact with him. Don’t show him that his life impacts you, because if he suspects this he will try harder. Perhaps the main cause of all of his calls and pleas is the fact that he senses your hesitation. As for the promises to commit suicide, don’t pay attention to them. Usually it is just for show (as probably were his suggestions to divorce you in the first place). This is a dramatic act aimed at morally suppressing you, making you feel guilty and getting him what he wants. The best way to stop this psychological blackmailing is to ignore it.

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