Moisturizing, drinking a daily probiotic drink, buying an expensive bicycle, dieting, and inquiring about hairpieces are, unfortunately, not the only signs of the male midlife crisis.
The male midlife crisis affair may still be a cliché, but it’s real. It happens all the time, and though you still can’t believe it, it has happened in your marriage.
Did you ever imagine this could happen in your marriage?
Did you ever think that someday you’ll wake up next to your forty/ fifty-year-old husband and discover he is dating a woman half his age or his ex-girlfriend from high school – behind your back?
Your whole life seems to be falling apart, piece by piece.
- Why and how did he start his “midlife affair”?
- What does his age have to do with it?
- Will it last?
- How long will it last?
Will he leave you or has already left you and you still hope that it’s just a “phase” he’s going through?
In this post, I’ll try to answer all of these questions, show you the stages of midlife crisis affairs, and maybe convince you that this doesn’t mean your marriage has to be over.
But first, what’s different about the male midlife crisis affair?
Is a Midlife Crisis Affair Inevitable?
Some researchers believe that the male midlife crisis is hardwired and biological. The male version of menopause if you’d like (you probably won’t…)
But it definitely seems like men start hitting the gym more often, buying an expensive bicycle, and fantasizing about pretty young things – while women become depressed, go through hot flashes and gain weight.
There are dozens of midlife crisis “symptoms”, but the one that is most connected to the male midlife affair is the attempt to recapture youth.
Recapturing youth for men includes a rediscovered worry about appearance, contacting ex-girlfriends on Facebook, and becoming excessively nostalgic (among other things).
And what’s the most obvious (and exciting) way to recapture your youth?
A thrilling, exhilarating, action-packed, stimulating, and intoxicating new love affair.
Preferably with a woman half his age.
(But this doesn’t mean he has planned this in any way!)
Keep in mind, though, that a midlife crisis is, whether biological or cultural, a real deal:
What is a Midlife Crisis in a Marriage?
Your husband’s (and your) hormonal changes and life jitters can morph into problems in the bedroom.
And, midlife men often “turn tender” and start to focus more on people and feelings, but ironically this makes them more easily drawn into an affair.
In any case, your husband’s midlife crisis affair is in no way your fault.
HE chose to break his vowels. Not you.
👉 Here’s the best guide to how to make him stop his affair.
How Long Do Midlife Crisis Affairs LAST?
In my experience, most women try to ignore their husband’s midlife crisis.
(After all, they have their own midlife stuff to deal with)
They hope that it’s just temporary and soon enough, it will go away on its own.
But a midlife crisis affair can hardly be ignored. Right?
Your broken heart screams “run away! Leave him! Now!
But your mind interferes and reminds you of a lifetime of friendship, kids raised together, mutual friends, a life you built together as a family.
Deep inside you hope that his midlife affair is just temporary. Soon he’ll realize the huge mistake he has made, leave her and beg for you to take him back.
Will it last? How long will it last? Could he be really in love with that woman? Is it worth ending the marriage over?
To help you answer this question, here are the 3 stages of the marital affair, and how to predict the outcome in your marriage:
The 3 Stages of the Midlife Crisis Affairs
Affairs, in general, tend to follow a general pattern, and the male midlife crisis affair is no different.
1. Secretive Excitement
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to start a new love story after all these years? The excitement, the hot flashes, the fantasizing, and the daydreaming?
The sense that there’s someone new admiring your looks, your sense of humor, your smile. Someone who understands you (without knowing your weaknesses), who thinks you’re the best person on earth?
I’m sure you can imagine it, so now you know what the first stage of an affair feels like, and why it’s so hard to let it go, no matter what it compromises and who it hurts.
It’s a sharp contrast to the pressures and stress of daily life. It’s addicting.
Then the affair settles onto a second phase – routine meetings, emails, texting/sexting, and phone calls.
At this point, the focus shifts towards the affair partner. After all, she’s new.
He doesn’t know her flaws yet. The heat and passion of a new love affair can make anything else look dull and lifeless.
Your husband (mistakenly) thinks that this is the best relationship he has ever had.
To support this thought, he will rewrite history and may convince himself that he never really loved you and that he never wanted to get married.
At the same time, he knows that if he stays with this woman, he will lose living with his children, mutual friends, and some extremely needed cooking, laundering, and cleaning “services” provided by you.
Plus, he could be rejected by his extended family and face anger and resentment from his children.
At this point, he will decide whether to end it or choose the “cake eater” route.
He genuinely desires to be with both of you. The other woman provides some needs, and you provide others. And he wants it all.
The “cake eater” can stay in this phase for years, until you find out.
When you find out, he is forced to make a decision: end the affair and heal his marriage, or leave everything behind for the other woman.
3. Heavy Confusion
If the affair lasts long enough without you finding out about it, the cheating spouse enters the heavy confusion phase.
The guilt feelings (yes, he has those) about destroying his marriage, the constant lies and betrayal start to take a toll on him.
Not only does he lead a secret life, but now he starts to get demands from the other woman. She wants more and more. She may threaten to tell you everything.
He feels an urgent need to make a decision: end the affair, come clean and try to salvage his marriage – or leave you and his children for a woman he can’t imagine living without?
And the guilt keeps grinding. Emotionally and physically.
This phase usually determines the outcome of your husband’s midlife affair. It will determine how long it will last and if it will last, and whether he will leave you for her – or not.
If you think about it, the longer the affair goes on without you knowing about it, the more chances he’ll eventually end it and beg for your forgiveness.
Coping with your husband’s midlife affair depends, of course, in your current situation.
👉 1. If your husband/partner has already left you for the other women, do not assume that it’s the end of your marriage. Even if he said he has never loved you (which is complete nonsense!)
A temporary separation, handled in a smart way, can save your marriage rather than end it.
(Like a naughty kid who comes back to his mother, he’ll come back to his wife, if she gets her own life together and becomes un-dependant on him.)
Read: What to do if your husband left you for another woman.
👉 2. If your husband still lives with you and refuses to make a decision (asking you to wait for him to decide) – Do not beg and plead.
You don’t want him to choose you and your family only because you begged for it. His decision won’t be real and won’t keep for long.
If you had a rough marriage before his affair, the midlife affair could be the final blow. But it doesn’t have to happen.
If he can’t decide, I would decide for him.
Here’s how to use marriage separation to save your marriage.
👉 3. If he begs for your forgiveness and ends the affair – if your husband shows real and true remorse, ends the affair immediately (in front of you), and begs for your forgiveness – there’s a chance that his midlife crisis affair is really over.
In this case, chances are he is returning to earth with a hard landing.
It may seem weird to you, but a smart woman would focus on herself at this point. Put all your energy into you.
Get new clothes, get a massage, go out with your friends, discover yourself again, and find your calm and balance. It’s a critical step in saving a marriage after an affair.
Then, go on to deal with your marriage crisis. I would start by restoring your trust in him through the post-affair agreement.
The male midlife crisis usually happens to people between the ages of 35 to 50 who have a very stressful life, with too much responsibility and too little fun and leisure time.
And it is NOT your fault.
I believe that the way you cope with it will determine whether his midlife affair will end your marriage, or surprisingly make it stronger in the long run.
If you can lift yourself, and not let the anger, frustration, and sadness take over you, your marriage can make it out of the storm and possibly become better than it ever was.
I believe in it. Do you?
I have recently found out that My partner of 22 years has had an affair. (It’s been over a couple of months and it lasted about 4 months)
We have always had a good sex life so I know it wasn’t about just sex.
I have kicked him out to his parents house and it’s been 4 weeks now. I knew something was up (he was working away) and confronted him because we hadn’t had sex in 3 months. This has never happened in 22 years. I asked if he had done something he didn’t want to tell me about and he gaslit me into thinking I was paranoid and apologised for being distant and said he was depressed. So I have been worried about him for months, being extra attentive and patient with his lack of affection etc.
Turns out I was right.
He called it off in may/June with her but kept in contact with her because she was blackmailing him. He’s 43 she’s 24. I was still none the wiser
She found me on social media and told me.
I’m absolutely bereft. I’ve never known pain like it. In 22 years we’ve never split up even for a day. I thought we were solid. Our kids are 22 and 18, we have a mortgage etc.
He has never been a good communicator and won’t seek help. He’s depressed even more now and hates that he has hurt me and our kids. He’s wallowing in self pity.
I’m trying to get him to see a doctor or a therapist but he won’t. He won’t talk to me. He’s just so depressed
I’m so torn. I love him with all my heart but I don’t know if we can get through this.
It seems like I’m doing all the work and it feels like I’m making a fool of myself by trying but if I leave him to it I fear he will just spiral deeper.
Do I just get on with my life and let him sort himself out and hope he wakes up or do I carry on trying to help him?
Because he refuses to discuss it, I feel he is wanting out but doesn’t want to hurt me further so I’m making even more of a fool of myself.
Any advice would be appreciated.
My husband and I have been married for 19 years but together 25. We have 4 adult children and a 10-year-old son. I found out about his affair 2 months ago. He prayed with me and said he was going to end it with her then took his clothes and stuff in the middle of the night left for work and then wrote me a long text about how he never loved me.
A week later he came back. Because we have a 10-year old I filed for divorce but he convinced crying and begging me to stop it and high I did. He was home for the weekend but then took off again on Monday after work and filed for divorce and got the OW initials, and her 4-year-old daughters’ initials tattooed on his chest. I would like to note that my husband has experienced a similar episode while using sports enhancement drugs. We did dispose of them and as far as I know, he’s been clean and cycling off using another drug.
He came back a week later and said the woman was toxic we went to his friends’ house picked up all his belongings and moved home. A few days later he did the same thing, blocked my number, blocked me from all social media account. He put his initials, hers, and her daughters on his profile.
She lives about 2 hours away and he goes to see her as well as her coming here regularly. He lies and says he’s coming home then disappears again. He was never like this before. He told me Monday that his head is messed up and that he wants to be his old self. He also told me that he planned to move with her then realized he couldn’t leave his family. He’s now left and taken our only car and moved with her 2 hours away. I was just served divorce papers. He is not there for our kids and does not call or speak with them anymore. I completely stopped responding to his text emails yesterday after telling him I think the separation is a good thing and I understand why he left. He emailed me asking how do I understand why he left. Then he messaged me and said he didn’t understand what I meant. Then he messaged me later in the morning venting saying that he understands if I hate him, this has been hard for him. For the past month, he’s been saying he knows he needs to end it with her and he wants to be with his family. Now this. I’d there any hope? We’ve had a great relationship this is so out of the norm of who he really is. If he just wanted a divorce why lie, and not be there for our 10 years. It’s like he’s obsessed with this woman and her daughter. He drinks now and even got more tattoos to be like her. She has a ton of tattoos. He’s done this before while using sports enhancement drugs and Ben becoming a vegan and drinking Kombucha as this other woman was a vegan chef and drink Kombucha regularly. I feel like my husband is having issues with mental illness. Is there hope?
I found some texts on my husband’s phone that he is having an emotional affair with someone 20 years younger. I kept it to myself and started changing how I act towards him and treat him for the better because I know I haven’t been there for him emotionally or physically the last few years, we have gone through so many negative things I shut myself off. Honestly, changing myself has made me so much happier. But, we were having an argument a couple weeks ago and he mentioned something about this girl and I was angry, I said I know there is something going on, I accidentally came across it on your phone and I took pictures. He denied it and still hasn’t confessed but he knows that I know because he was looking at something in my phone and then later I was scrolling through my pictures and realized the pics of the texts were deleted, I’m pretty sure he deleted them. Anyway, my question is I really feel like he has or is trying to end it with her, as soon as I changed my attitude he started changing, not going on drives by himself in the evening anymore among other things but he still hasn’t confessed, will he? My goal is to keep making our connection strong and get back to the way we were.
Thanks for the tips, my husband want to buy a sailboat and sail around the world!
Jamie Winn says
My husband of 15 yrs just left me for the other woman. He said I abandoned him and made him feel so alone that he was weak. He holds so much resentment for me saying I choose my friends and my non profit over him. I own up to my part but I was busy taking care of our daughter, going through menopause and keeping busy with life. He said he fell out of love with me years and years ago and that he lost me as a wife the day I had our daughter.
I am his 2nd marriage and He went back to the same girl that he had an affair in his first marriage. In anger I kicked him out and now he’s living at her apt. He is smart and very successful business man and it blows me away that he’s will to throw it all away for this affair. He said he is no hurry to tell our daughter until we figure out out stuff. So he comes every morning to see her off to school and comes after work and stays til she goes to bed and he leaves for his girlfriends house. This has been going on for 2 months now and he’s starting to get tired. What is more confusing is the message he is sending me… he would come home and hug me. He would sit on the sofa and hold me and caress me as if nothing is going on. One day I had a melt down and he held me in bed for hours and told me he loves me and that I need to be strong and have faith. And then he kissed me and told me that was a love kiss. He does all that and then comes back the next day and he’s cold. I feel like I’m dealing with a bi polar man . One day he is making me feel love and the next day he’s telling me we need to TRANSITION. I am mentally drained ! I told him if he was so happy with his new love.. why don’t he move all his stuff out and live his life with her. I had packed all his stuff and he refused to move it all out. He said he didn’t care if we never divorced and that it didn’t matter to him if I stayed married to him for life. He said he just wants me to focus on myself and taking care of our daughter . He said he needs to be happy so that he can work and take care of the family. He said if he’s not in a good place, he’s useless to everyone. I want to know if this is normal behavior of a man who is experiencing MLC?
He is a narcissist and personality b disorder, he never know what he really wants because he has a false self and he entire life has been a lie. Waste of time trying to change this disorder.
Think my husband is on the verge of having an affair.
Some is my fault.
Had a hysterectomy at age 25 and using hormones since then (I’m now 53) I have absolutely no sex drive at all.
He has the drive of a 20 year old.
I feel the constant pressure to “perform” even though it makes me completely disgusted just thinking about having sex.
I gained a lot of weight this past year (150 up to 187) and I just feel gross all the time.
He’s been good about not pressuring me, but I don’t even give him affection because I don’t want it to lead him on.
We’ve been together 15 years and he’s a great guy. I just can’t seem to force myself to have sex with him anymore.
Tracy A Tiger says
My husband had a 3 month affair with a co worker. He says it really only lasted a matter of weeks and it was on his end just friends. He did admit to meeting outside of work and kissing (just pecks) but no sex. He said he came to his senses and tried to break it off. That is when she started emotionally blackmailing him with harming herself and physically blackmailing him with screen shots of texts she was going to send to me. A week after I found out she texted me to tell me they were having an affair. He claims to be happy he no longer “has to talk” to her. He quit his job, changed his phone #, we go to marriage counseling, he also apologized to both of our families. He claims he always loved me and there was never any choice. He never wanted to leave me. He tells me he loves me all the time and that he recognized what happened and won’t ever do it again. I guess I still just feel so hurt. How do I move pass the lies and deceit even though by all accounts he is doing everything right?
Lisa Penn says
Tracy I agree, he is doing everything he can to make it up to you, and I believe that he really loves you. The way to get passed the lies could be focusing on all these positive things and maybe use this “chance” to figure out what could be missing in your relationship (or just for him as a person) that could have caused this to happen – and use it to strengthen your relationship and improve the bond and the honesty between the two of you. A crisis is always a chance to make things better than they were before this happened.
Man In Crisis says
I notice that all the commenters here are women who are looking for answers and ways to deal with this catastrophic event in their lives. As a man going through midlife crisis myself (that’s how I come across this siste), I thought I would offer some insights that may or may not be helpful to your current situation.
I have been married to my wife for almost 11 years. We met in college, fell in love and married quick. I was in my 30s at the time and she was in her mid-20s. For some people in our circles, it felt rushed. But for us, at the time, we felt like we have found the one and there is no need to wait. We were both poor students at the time, so I could honestly say that our union was pure love and nothing else.
Fast forward to now, we have several kids together and a good middle-class lifestyle. We are not rich by any mean, but we are not poor either. We have a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Our kids are smart and healthy. From the outside looking in, we are one happy family.
But a storm is brewing, and I honestly don’t know how to deal with it. We had some ups and downs in our marriage, just like everyone else. But a few days ago, out of the blue, I just realize that I don’t love my wife anymore. I feel like we are not connected any more, both physically and mentally.
We barely have sex anymore. I am just tired and stress with work and fixing things around the house. She is tired with taking care of the kids and cooking and cleaning. By the time we go to bed, one of us (most of the time both) has no energy left for any intimacy. Besides the kids and a few things like cooking and outdoor activities (camping, hiking), we have almost nothing in common. She likes sitcom, and I like shows with deep plots and intelligent twists. I like scary movies, and she is scare of them. I like music with good melodies and meaningful lyrics. She like hip hop and anything with a good beat. We disagree on religion, politics, parenting, where to live, and many insignificant things such as what temperature our home should be set at. We do agree mostly on financial matter though, although she is more of a saver than I am.
I used to think our differences are our strength, and we complete each other so to speak. But now I feel like our differences are becoming a virtual divider that pulling us apart more and more each day. Our conversations each day have been reduced to small talks about what’s going on with the kids, the neighbors, her relatives or what needs to be fixed around the house.
She used to weigh less and more fit than I was, but the pregnancies and childbirths had taken a toll on her bodies and she has gained and retained weight. But that’s not what turn me off since we have talked about it and have plans for her to lose weight and get fit. What affects me the most is the disconnect I feel intellectually and emotionally. I can’t remember the last time that we have deep conversation about anything. She often told me she stops listening after a few minutes whenever I try to strike up a complex and intellectual conversation.
She had talked about leaving me in the past. Twice! The first time it was entirely my fault and the second time, well, it was not my fault. I was ready for divorce the second time, but she changed her mind. I love her dearly, but if leaving me brings her happiness, I can accept that. Never before the thought of me leaving her has crossed my mind. It’s shocking. It’s devastating. I am sick in the stomach just thinking about it. But I can help but feel like leaving her is the only way that I can be my true self and be happy.
I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I am a good provider for my family. I fix things around the house. Our cars are clean and well maintained. I help taking care of the kids (changing diapers, giving them baths). I do dishes and cook whenever she feels like she is not up to it. She took good care of the home. She is a great mom. She is a fantastic cook. She took good care of my when I am sick. To sum it up, I am a good husband and she is a good wife. But I just don’t love her romantically anymore.
I am torn between staying for the sake of our kids and leaving to find someone that I can relate to, both physically and mentally. I love my kids more than anything in the world and don’t want to do anything that could affect them negatively. I have not cheated on my wife physically, but mentally, the thought has crossed my mind. I don’t know when or if I will cross the line, but the depression is chipping away at me each day.
To sum it up, MLC is just a fact of life. Sometimes you and your spouse will recognize it early on and deal with it appropriately. Sometimes, it’s too late and MLC affair happens. It will be up to you on how you want to deal with it, but I truly believe most of the time it’s not one’s fault (yours or his). Sometimes things just don’t work out. I still love and respect my wife as a person, but I don’t see a future with her.
I am looking for a therapist right now to try to savage my marriage. But if all fail, I would choose the path of divorcing rather than cheating.
I wish all of you ladies the best and hope that you will overcome this and find the one that you love and love you back.
Tracy A Tiger says
I do appreciate your candor and honesty especially coming from a man’s perspective. I wish you all the best and much happiness. If I had to give you advice I’d say do in your heart what feels right for you. You leaving the marriage honorably and not cheating will probably be the best for you both. Good luck.
Help. My husband is going through a midlife crisis. He is having an affair with a younger woman. 10 years younger. He has moved into a friends house. How do I approach him about knowing about them being and spending time together…. he calls me and tells me he misses me and our talks and touching me. But yet turns around to do his crisis thing.
Lisa Penn says
I believe him that he misses you. People can have feelings for more than 1 person. He is confused right now. There is no right or wrong way to approach this, it’s up to what you believe and how deep you can go into your heart and understand yourself and him at the same time. It’s always possible to stay friends through this, and if you do – it’s the fastest way to see why this crisis happened and how you can evolve from it.
Silver Sunflower says
My 63 year old husband is dating and having regular sex with a 22 year old girl. He says it has nothing to do with me. And he is right! He is going through his own unhappiness with himself. His clock is ticking and suffering from FOMO- generally associated with toddlers. The sad thing that I have come to realize in the last few days (D Day was 3 months ago) is that we have spent our entire marriage trying to make sure the other one was happy but never speaking our truth so many stories we believed about each other were not true. We don’t like contention. We are pleasers. And unfortunately we became martyrs- sacrificing our own happiness for the other. We have built lives apart to compensate for the losses we feel and may not be able to rebuild because he is too engrained in his new life of non monogamy. We will probably divorce because we loved each other too much.
MLC or no MLC I am waiting it out. Working on me. I am not saying the pain and the tears and the tailspins are over just that I have to distance myself and work on me not on the relationship. It will all come out in the wash and I will be a better person regardless whether the marriage survives or not.
Distance is my best friend. And his too.
Just have to ride this wave and see where it takes me.
Lisa Penn says
Thank you for sharing this with us
My husband told me he was done and wanted a divorce two months ago. He said he needed to figure out if he could do things on his own or he would regret it. He also told me I had a drinking problem, which in some sense is true. He was never home and I drowned myself in wine. So, I started making small changes: going to therapy, stopped drinking wine, going out with friends to Panera or even just hanging out a Barnes and Noble by myself. We continued to live in the same house because he refuses to leave. We were being amicable and I was trying to be kinder and listen to his needs and emotions. Meanwhile he continued to hang out at a local bar with people who are less than stellar….who he has always said are below his level….but NOW they are his friends? Two weeks ago, I found out he was seeing another woman…who is also at the bar ALL OF THE TIME. He told me it had been since January when we “separated” but I have heard from others it has been much longer. In hindsight, all of the signs were there I guess I just chose to ignore them.
I asked him to go to mediate for the divorce with me, but he refused. I got the paperwork as the attorney I first consulted with told me to have him fill out the paperwork and he would look it over with me to see if it was fair. Husband put it in a drawer and didn’t look at it again. WELL…..I saw them driving together and lost my mind. I filled out the paperwork and told him we were done. It turned into a HUGE argument with both of us, well mostly me, saying mean things. Since then I have retained an attorney and he will be served with a letter to “mediate or we will begin filing” tomorrow.
I was really trying and was doing a great job, but feel he was having his cake and eating it too. I feel like I was an option, not a priority. I feel betrayed, disgusted, shamed and most of all hurt beyond believe. To all of you who hang on to a man in MLC….God bless you. All I can hope is that he comes to his senses at some point and realizes what he has done to his family.
Am I wrong?
Thanks Lisa for posting this page. Everything you mentioned makes a lot of sense and match up to my recent experience I have with my husband’s affair with a young girl half his age. I was very devastated and completely tore up inside when I found out. It’s very absurd and beyond ridiculous. We’d been married for almost 25 years. I think this was a midlife crisis for him but I never thought he would do such a thing.
I found out about my husbands 4 year affair after we were married for 34 years. That was August 2017. It sounds exactly as described. He never wanted to end our marriage, he wanted us both, he wanted to end it when she became too demanding and wanted more. He told me all this when she called me and outted them. He swore is was over, for 8 months I struggled with the heartbreak and disallusment. Then she emailed copies of the emails they exchanged since D day. Him begging her not to come to me, that he wanted to keep her in his life etc. He says he was so afraid that we wouldn’t make it and he didn’t know what or who to talk too. He admitted she was a backup plan, but says he never would have stayed with her. His therapist thinks it’s a mid life crisis affair. So what do I believe now? Again he swears it’s over. How do I know, feel safe and move forward into forgiveness and trust?
Lisa Penn says
The truth is that there is no way you can know. It comes down to a decision: either think about the worst-case scenario, prepare for it, and then of course watch is materialize into reality, or decide to trust, leave the past behind, feel safe anyway and try to forgive, and see what happens.
It seems to me that if you take the positive route, you don’t really have anything to lose. At least you would be able to tell yourself that you tried everything to save your relationship, and you may enjoy the “side effect” of being happier and more calm.
This is the decision to make. What do you think?
My story is very similar to yours. We were married 34 years, my husband was 60, when my suspicions occurred. We had just moved back to our hometown, and my husband, who was always a physical fitness nut, joined a gym near us. I was working full,time, while he was retired. He started mentioning this woman at the gym whose husband was also a marine (my husband was a marine). It was obvious to me (and his gym buddies) that this woman was actively pursuing him. Other confirmations came later. I confronted him several times about their relationship, but my husband said I was crazy, gaslighting me. I didn’t press the issue too much because my husband had a violent temper. About two years later, I really pressed him on this, and we had a huge argument. I told him he should go to another gym, but of course, he just laughed at me. Shortly after that, his health began to deteriorate ( he was a Vietnam vet who was a victim of Agent Orange exposure). Eventually, he did switch gyms, but by this time, his health had taken a drastic decline. I became his caretaker for the next 4 years until he passed away two years ago. As I was going through things for settling the estate, I found other evidence. What pains me the most is that he never admitted the relationship and never apologized. I summoned up my courage and called her. Once she heard my voice, she told me I had the wrong number and quickly hung up Well, I got confirmation of my suspicions. I am very tempted to let her husband know what went on. My advice to you is to find out all you can. It may have been a mid-life crisis, and if you really believe he is truly sorry you might be willing to forgive him. I never had the luxury of his asking forgiveness instead I spent the last years of his life in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Unfortunately, after mourning his death, I’m now mourning his infidelity.
Confused and concerned says
5 months ago I found out my husband who is almost 50 was having an affair with an 18 year old at the time. When I found out he promised it was over. I fought with my emotions for weeks. I tried dealing with the hurt and deceit. I lost over 30 lbs and had become extremely depressed. This man meant the world to me. How could he do this?? Of course I blamed myself. My looks, my attitude, everything so I changed by being more patient, more loving, more caring. I did everything I could think of to let him know I loved him. We had booked a family vacation to Brazil and he decided we needed that time to reconnect. The second day there I find out the affair isn’t over. I find texts, sexts, naked pictures, emails, you name it. For my sons sake I sucked it up for the vacation but I was miserable inside. As soon as we got home I dove back into the same feelings and depression as before. He suggests he is going through a midlife crisis but I just can’t get past the hurt and the way I am feeling. I don’t want a divorce but I dont want to be treated this way. His family is a wonderful Christian family and he once was too. I don’t know who he is anymore. I just want my husband back. I have no idea how I will ever get through this. Having an affair is just not ok, especially with an 18 yr old girl. I’m so hurt and confused and don’t know what to do.
My husband was having a five month affair with a work colleague when I discovered it on his phone six weeks ago. He left to go to his parents, then became guilted by them to come back. That lasted a week and the pressure and atmosphere became so unbearable I made him go back to theirs again. He hasn’t seen her since but admits he still has strong feelings for her. He has lost a lot of weight and is deeply depressed and anxious (guilt and self pity in my opinion). I had an urge to beg him and tel him things will be different if he comes home. I called him selfish and tried to make him feel as guilty as I could. He has ended our relationship saying he can’t give me what I want, which is a reconciliation and for us to work at things. From reading your threads I told him I’d no longer seek contact with the other woman, that I didn’t want to be angry anymore, and that he was right to leave and for us to separate, as our relationship was in no state to repair itself. I’m currently trying to set boundaries for contact with our two young children, have made plans with friends and joined a gym. Do I demand he takes all of his belongings and make things more definite, or just let things lie?
We became in a definitive rut, he started taking more care in his appearance and started changing his diet and going to the gym regularly. He changed his social circle and blamed me for challenging him every time he went out. I want my husband to realise what it is he is losing and come back home. He is a very good man who has done very very bad things, and I fear he will turn his back on the marriage because this is the path he has chosen and will feel he needs to honour it
Lisa Penn says
I think you’re doing great, and I think that if you stick with it, and just concentrate on yourself and on being happy no matter what he does and says – you’ll get everything you want, and this will be the storm that eventually will make your marriage better than ever.
Thank you. I’ve no doubt the two of them are still in some kind of contact, which is horrendously painful. I will maintain what I’ve been doing no matter how hard it is. I struggle with having no control but I see that I cannot make him come back. He has to want to come back. Will the affair just fizzle out?
I’m glad I found this website. I am currently struggling to deal with my husband who is having a Midlife Crisis Affair. He works with this woman who is married. I have asked him to get a new job and he refuses. I believe he stopped seeing her for a while. He became sad, depressed, had lots of anxiety and was in so much pain. We had been going to couple’s therapy together but he has now started going alone because of many issues he has as part of the MLC. I noticed that recently his mood had improved somewhat and I couldn’t figure out why. Then last week he went to his first individual therapy session and he once again became overwhelmed with emotions as he described it. I asked him about it because he was never so overwhelmed after the therapy when we went together. He said he has been feeling guilty. He’s been thinking about leaving, separating. He’s been looking up divorce. Can’t make up his mind about our marriage. He says he loves me but is confused. I asked him how much of this has to do with the other woman. He said it was not about her and they have been professional at work but his face told a different story. At that point he couldn’t deny it anymore because I told him he was not credible. His face gave him away and he did not deny they have restarted the relationship. Certainly we argued. I think he was looking for relief from the emotional pain and she feeds into his midlife crisis. She tells him everything he wants, that is selfish is good for him. What do I do? Sometimes my husband wants to be close to. me, other times he pushes me away. How do I live with a man who is having a relationship with another woman. How do I get him to leave his job?
Lisa Penn says
I think you won’t be able to tolerate this for much longer. I would let him leave if that’s what he wants, because we can’t control anyone and even if you get him to stay and leave his job, he will still feel the same for this woman and you’ll know it.
You probably know deep inside that this has started with some trouble in your marriage (it always does). Maybe some time apart will allow both of you to see a better relationship between you two, than you can do via couples therapy.
I hope this helps, and remember – it’s just my opinion.
So after finding out, I lost it. Got completely emotional, begged him to come back to me when he said he was going to stay at his parents for a while. Then came the back and forth…him leaving to his parents, coming back, me staying with him at his parents (we were living with my Mom at the time) and then both of us coming back, him still showing no emotion even when he used to be so full of emotion. Him rekindling the affair. Me finding them at a hotel together and literally throwing get his things on the front lawn and losing it all over again. I just want my husband back, not this jerk who looks like him. I know it’s a midlife crisis not to mention he’s a recovering alcoholic who decided to put his sobriety before anything else when this all went down. I’m grateful for his sobriety but don’t understand why everything comes before getting help for our marriage. I still love him. I can’t turn it off like he has. I want our life back. I can’t talk to him right now because I feel he doesn’t deserve to talk to me after all he’s done. I tried being the supportive wife but unfortunately read this article after doing everything you basically said not to do. My entire world is falling apart and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Move on and let him go? Wait it out and hope for the best while he spends our money on her? Close our joint accounts? Do I just wait for something that may never happen? This is killing me. I never in a million years thought I would have to deal with this. Not me, not my husband, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. What do I do now?
Lisa Penn says
I think that if you want any chance of recovering your marriage, you’ll have to let him go. At least for a while. We can’t force someone else to do anything we want, we can only see the situation clearly and decide where we go from here and what we do in this situation.
If you don’t want him to spend your mutual money than do what ever is necessary to prevent it, even it means closing your joint accounts. That can be reversed in the future.
You don’t have to turn anything off, and believe me, he hasn’t “turned off” his feelings for you either. He still loves you and now it’s covered up with a ton of guilt.
Do what ever it takes to restore your self esteem, to feel good about yourself again, and make this your primary focus at this point. You have to do that to clear your head so you will be able to hear your inner voice, your truth. You’ll know what to do and how to do it once you are able to calm down, to see clearly again. Not before.
Don’t make any decision while being angry and sad. You will most likely regret them.
Give yourself some time to reduce stress, and than decide what to do.
I knew what my husband was doing and it was not just hurting me but our children as well. The things my own husband has done and keeps on doing makes me so sick to even say that is my husband why because of the way my own husband has treated me and the children. Like we are nothing but his slave to do his bidding. This is not how a marriage is to work in my book. It is to people that love each other that would do everything and anything for each other but yet my own husband see’s it differently. My own husband said what I do is my own business and I am not to ask any questions. That is why I got to hide my money and get out of this so called marriage that is not a marriage to me but a death wish for myself. Why because no one should ever be treated like I have from my own husband. Like I am his animal at his will to to what he wants when he wants it. No one should be treated this way.
Great post. I dealt/am dealing with this entire situation this year. And this offered really great insight that was very helpful to hear.
Lisa Penn says
Thank you so much for your warm words and for taking the time to comment:)
How did it unfollow? I’m dealing with this right now?
Thank you! I REALLY needed this today.
Lisa Penn says
Thanks Mary, I apprecite you taking the time to read the post and comment:)
Mary Geisen says
Great insight and data into the male midlife crisis. Not being currently married I do not have firsthand experience but much of what you said does happen to some extent in every marriage. Visiting you from Messy Marriage today.