If you are a Man and you’ve read my Article on “What women want” which really was all about female midlife crisis, you might be a little more understanding of a women’s match and maybe even have a little more appreciation for your partner, But there’s also a chance that a small part of you might also be saying to yourself:
“Well, what about me?”
“I have challenges, I have responsibilities, I have dreams.”
The reality is that men go though just as many phases of their lives as women do, some are obviously biologically different from women, but many are in deed emotionally, very much the same or similar.
Some are natural and some are imposed, but regardless of who they are, or where they are, they will probably all experience some or all of these thoughts and feelings whenever they want to or not.
Currently, the largest group of people in the World, are the combined groups called Baby Boomers & X Gens.
If you are a Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964, which makes you between ages 45 & 63) you might be saying to yourself “I’ve worked hard all my life to try and get ahead and provide for my family, now I just want to have some fun. I’m tired of driving and driving every day. I’ve earned it.
If you are an X Gen (born between 1964 and 1976, which makes you aged between 33 and 45) you might be saying to yourself; “Hey stuff work, I still want career success but we’re here for a short time, not a long time, I need more excitement and freedom in my life and I want it now!”
I’m generalizing I know, and I’m sure that none of these thoughts ever run though your mind. They probably run through the minds of all the other males you know, but just not yours. Whatever the case may be, together these two groups of men (Boomers & X Gen’s) may represent just over a staggering half a billion people.
The reality is that as “mid-life” seems to suddenly and quite uninvited arrive, for many men certain previously ignored facts start to emerge and converge into equally un-invited clarity. Clarity that may feel anything from mildly annoying at one end of the scale to absolutely terrifying at the other.
As with women, this “converging” of events is definable & very important. In fact so important that for many men, the decisions that they make during this phase of their life may, in fact, influence the rest of their life.
Let me give you some common examples.
Their birthday arrivals and everyone around them reminds them that they are getting old. All delivered with good humor, but after the 50th joke, trust me, it’s wearing thin.
Your “teenage” or “twenty-something” daughter pats the fat bulge that is camouflaging your once defined six pack, and requests when you’re due. (There’s something that happens to a proud father’s self-image when he realizes that his daughter no longer sees him as the all-powerful King in her world).
The son that you could once easily beat at an arm wrestle is now 2 inches taller than you and built like a train. Or smaller than you but beats you with the same disrespect. Somehow overnight, the old alpha dog has lost his ability to intimate & command.
Sometimes he’s found his first gray hair. Or his hairline is replenishing faster than ever.
Perhaps he is struggling to read the newspaper but refuses to wear those 0.01 glasses that he’s been prescribed.
Sometimes he’s caught himself in the mirror and suddenly realized that he’s starting to look more like his father.
His nose & ear hair is getting out of control.
For both men & women of this age, the “Midlife” could be brought on by the death of a parent or children leaving home.
And all of a sudden his own mortality seems all too real as he senses the passage of youth and the commencement of old age.
But that’s not all. Other ego-denting factors also bump into his already prepared self-image & self-esteem; the fact that he may not be as financially free as he thought he would be by this age starts to play on his mind.
It may be that he is starting to feel a little less energetic; it may be a little harder to get out of bed in the mornings. Maybe his body is not working the way it used to.
Perhaps his doctor is talking about the need to lower his stress or cholesterol or alcohol consumption and may change his diet.
Perhaps his doctor is bringing up words like “Prostrate.” Or he’s finding that his libido is taking a tumble. He may even be experiencing some dysfunction which for a male can be both disturbing and embarrassing.
Statistically many men will probably avoid doing anything about it, and especially avoid talking about it with their partner or anyone else unless they really have too.
In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that many men never seek help because of the level of embarrassment they feel.
Suppressing that stress, like suppressing any kind of emotion causes irritability and irrational behavior. And can leave their partner feeling rejected because they do not understand what’s changed.
Even if that is not the case, He may become less tolerant and more easily irritable anyway.
He may talk about feeling bored, show signs of restlessness or apathy.
He may feel depressed, show signs of frustration and even become quick to anger. And, when his partner tries to talk to him about it, he will not or can not translate what he’s feeling, because he may not understand or know what he’s feeling.
He starts to question his life. Even if he has achieved a lot in his life, all of that may suddenly have lost its meaningfulness as he asks himself; “Is this all there is?” Or “I should have more by now!”
He may become more nostalgic and relive stories of his youth. Reliving the memories of all of those “boy’s nights” out
He may begin to question what he does for a living. And even who he’s married too.
As this phase progresses he may start to change. For example, he may start to take more notice & care of his appearance, change his wardrobe, and join a gym.
He might start spending on things that were not on the radar before, say a Harley Davidson or a sports car.
His eye may start to wander towards another or younger women. Someone he can wow. Someone, he can woe. Someone who does not know what he perceives are his flaws.
So what do they want, what are they looking for?
Having spent most of their early adulthood chasing women or experiences and later chasing “things;” The big house, the new car, the boat, the career, the investment portfolio, the kid’s college education, the keeping up with the Jones’s. They suddenly “get” that they did not “get it” in the first place. Accept now they are middle-aged, and they do not like it.
What they are hungry for, what they are going crazy trying to find is whatever is going to satisfy their need, whatever is going to quench their thirst.
In a nut shell, most are looking for “Meaning.” They are looking for a reason to get up in the morning beyond “things” & beyond “ego.” Whatever is going to make them feel truly happy. Whatever is going to help them feel truly truffled.
The problem is that unless they search for the answers in the right places, they will likely ruin a lot of what they already have.
If he’s smart he’ll trust himself & learn to talk about how he’s feeling rather than act out un-useful fantasies or retreat into his cave.
Having a “midlife” does not have to be or end in a “crisis”.
There are ways of successfully navigating the “mind field” in resourceful ways.
In fact for those men that have taken control of their feelings and taken stock of their lives using our Go For Gold Program say that it was more like a “Midlife Awakening” than a midlife crisis, giving them a greater sense of control, a renewed sense of freedom, a clearer understanding of what they needed and far more resourceful ways of communicating that and getting it. Leaving them feeling more at peace and content as time went by. We encourage you to pass this article onto all of your friends, both male and female.