1. Support your Husband, Wife or Partner in a Midlife Crisis
Ways to generally support a husband, wife, or partner in a midlife crisis:
- Listen more and say less
- Give your husband, wife, or partner more space
- Reduce your interactions when conflict is high
- Take good care of yourself
Here’s a list of what support DOES NOT mean:
- Don’t heal your husband, wife, or partner
- Do not be a teacher to your husband, wife, or partner
- Don’t save your husband, wife, or partner
- Do not parent your husband, wife, or partner
If you’d like help determining what is helpful and what’s not, please contact us. In our experience, working with hundreds of relationships, a person often thinks they are doing things to support their husband, wife, or partner that are actually undermining the relationship.
2. Release Marriage Expectations and Create Clear Boundaries
Marriage is a social construct that comes preloaded with expectations. Many of these expectations are from the past and not helpful for the current marriage. A midlife crisis is a good time to reexamine and ultimately release most of these old expectations.
Make a list of what you expect in your marriage. Be brave. No one needs to see this list. It may read something like:
- I expect my husband to be home for dinner
- I expect my wife to support my work
- I expect my husband to care for our children
- I expect my wife to pay the bills
Now burn your list. Release these marriage exceptions, many of which are probably weighting you down and no longer serving the marriage. Possibly, they are even creating conflict in your marriage.
Begin a new list. People create rules as a form of a personal or relationship boundary. Write new rules for your future marriage. We work with individuals in a midlife relationship to help you create new boundaries and realistic rules for your marriage.
3. Be Confident and in Your Power
There is nothing more unattractive than someone who has lost power and confidence.
Over time, begin to find ways to increase your confidence. You may begin with your body and eating healthy again. You may need to get a new hobby or job. Or, you may need to meditate so that your mind is not looping unhelpful thoughts. Find ways to start increasing your confidence today!
Being in your power means that you are living guilt-free, with the ability to shift negative behaviors. Building power may mean removing co-dependency or taking more time for your self care.
4. Don’t Restrain Midlife or Take Midlife Crisis Personally
If your husband or wife is going through a midlife crisis, it’s unlikely it has anything to do with you. You may remind your husband or wife of the past, but you aren’t the reason they are going through a midlife crisis. It’s not your fault.
Restraining or attempting to stop the midlife crisis usually backfires. Contact us if you have a particular challenge you’re working with. We can help you understand why your husband or wife is doing what they’re doing and find graceful solutions.
5. Reduce Fear and Judgment ~ Be Grateful, Graceful and Pause
If you don’t already have a gratitude practice – start one. It may be as simple as listing three things you’re grateful for before you fall asleep.
There is always something to be grateful for. Always.
Gratitude is a pathway to being more graceful with all that arises. Being grateful means you are allowing yourself to be connected in a positive way. Your mind is thinking about something that your heart feels grateful for. In this way, you align your true self and reduce self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is a common issue we work with in saving marriages.
If being grateful is easy for you – move into pausing more. Literally, stop your body and become aware of what you’re thinking and feeling. Pausing increases our awareness and is a gateway to deeper connection with ourselves and others.
By pausing more we can become aware of the root of fear and how it moves us. Is fear stopping you from acting? Similarly, when we pause, we become more aware of when we are judging our husband or wife.
No one likes to be measured and held to that measurement. This is judgment. Yet, unfortunately many of us judge ourselves, our marriages and our husbands and wives.
One of the ways we help husbands and wives save their marriages is by first becoming aware of any personal or marriage judgments and then releasing the judgments. In this way, you free yourself from being in a so called box and open up to more possibilities for yourself and your marriage.
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6. Practice being Respectful, Patient and as Kind as Possible
Respect means accepting a person. You don’t have to like them while they are acting out in midlife crisis. But, you do have to respect them for working towards becoming a new person. Often, in midlife crisis, the person in change irritates us by being disconnected to the current realities in play. However, we must learn to respect them if we intend to save the marriage.
Being patient with yourself, the process and your husband or wife goes a long way. Pace your actions so that you aren’t reacting but giving each other the time needed to find acceptance.
In this way, you’ll be more likely to be kind. Being kind is about being true to yourself yet respecting your husband or wife.
7. Improve Communication
One of the easiest ways to improve a marriage is to improve our own communication. Often, this work can be done without our husband or wife’s participation!
In our teachings, we help a person understand what the most common styles of communication are. What we often see is that different communicators find themselves in a marriage with differing rules about communication. This sometimes creates conflict and misunderstanding.
Once you realize your own communication style and are aware of your rules for communication you’re better able to navigate your marriage more gracefully and avoid common communication misunderstandings.
Fill out our FREE Communication Style questionnaire to discover your communication style now!
8. Rebalance Family Workloads
Creating space for a spouse in a midlife crisis does not mean you do all the work – in the home and out of the home.
If you’re in a midlife crisis find ways to share both in-home and out-of-home duties.
If you need to, seek outside help and find a reliable source to provide consistent help.
If you have children, split your time caring for them equally or in a way that gives each of you free time. Ensure you both have fun time with them and apart!
9. Learn From Your Mistakes
Life is full of mistakes. When supporting a mid-lifer or going through a midlife crisis, know that we all make mistakes. No one is perfect.
The trick is learning from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them and even live more gracefully in the future.
Here is a simple truth:
Focusing on the mistakes only deepens the judgments in play. Judgment creates conflict and, over time, destroys your marriage.
Turning mistakes into learning experiences releases judgment and circles you around to gratitude for having an improved life.
Often, using experts like ourselves allows you to step outside of focusing on the problems and turning the situation into a growth-based process.
10. Find Peace in Transformation Over Crisis
Crisis often brings unwanted and even painful circumstances to our lives. Know that we always have a choice in how we meet the circumstances in our life. It may not feel like it, but with the right tools, it becomes easier.
Transformation is about creating a new story that fully expresses who you are, your relationship, your family or even organization. It’s not about changing or fixing anyone.
Transformation is about allowing ourselves to explore, expand and be more in touch with our true essence.
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