I’ve been witness lately to a number of strong, independent women who end up around the age of 40 experiencing a “mid-life crisis.” They decide that their husband or partner isn’t giving them what they need, and they want to leave the relationship.
I think it has less to do with being in mid-life and more to do with being out of touch with their feminine essence. I say this because that was my own experience a few years ago.
Women in America have bought into the belief that we have to be like men to succeed in the workplace, unless we stay in traditional roles like secretary, nurse or teacher.
The problem is that we bought into the belief so deeply that we forgot how to step out of the role once we left work. I see it repeatedly and did it myself: women who are so strong-willed at home that there’s no room for their man to be a man.
Men have been taught that in these days they shouldn’t be the iron fisted ruler of the roost; that the modern man is sensitive. Whiles it’s true that we don’t need abusive, insensitive men, there’s a lot of room between a brute and a weakling.
In romantic relationships, when a woman goes into a “mid-life crisis,” what’s usually happening is that she wants her man to step up to the plate. Subconsciously, she’s exhausted from keeping her masculine façade in place and desperately longs to return to her feminine essence. The catch-22 is that after years of seeing her man in the role she created for him, she no longer trusts his ability to “man up.”
Here are a few things each partner can do to improve the relationship:
SHE can tell the truth and ask for what she wants in the relationship. She can practice being vulnerable and open, even when it’s scary and she doesn’t trust that he’ll understand. She can stay focused on getting her needs met, even if it means the house isn’t spotless or the kids and partner have to do their own laundry. She can spend time with girlfriends each week, not trash talking about her partner but instead doing activities that she finds enjoyable and relaxing.
HE can listen to her without trying to fix what she’s talking about and without trying to defend himself, because that will invalidate her feelings and make her retreat back into her fortress. He can clarify, repeating back what he thinks he heard so that she realizes that he does, in fact, listen to her. He can ask her what she needs from him, and give her that if he’s able and willing. He can take her on a date and insist they not talk about kids or work. And he, too, can spend time with his friends each week so that he can relax and unwind.