I get quite a few emails from partners of people experiencing Mid-Life Crisis.
This article is written and dedicated to helping partners work through change and crisis.
First, it must be stressed that if you have a partner experiencing a mid life crisis, then be aware there isn’t a single simple answer to make it all resolve quickly. Helping partners is a process that requires: patience, acceptance and time to accomplish.
Second, the more you restrain the process, bound it by expectations and limitations, the less likely it will turn out to become a positive experience.
Helping Partners Understand Crisis as Change
Your partner is changing. Don’t take this change personally. We all change, over time everyone needs to be able to shift with life. What makes this process difficult for partners is that mid life crisis will often force you to deal with change outside your own natural timing of change.
The process of joint change is far more complicated. Since in crisis, all checks and balances are tested in a relationship. Every aspect of the relationship: workloads, expectations, family support structures and other aspects will teeter about and shift.
So a basic part of the issue is: in reflection of your partner changing, it will force change in your own life. The act of helping partners change often shifts around the questions you feel to become: Are you ready to change? How much are you willing to change to balance out the situation? In changing to help you partner, are you actually hurting yourself? Just because your partner is transforming doesn’t mean you have to change. Yet, chances are no matter how you handle this situation; you also will discover yourself in a new light. Helping partners often also becomes a process of helping yourself work through change also.
This is a very delicate dance!
Don’t take your partner’s change personally.
Because the process forces you to change also, as partners we often take mid life crisis personally. This means often times we impose our own judgment, fears and desires upon our partner. In doing this you can actually accelerate the process, often to accelerate your partner away from you. After all, in trying to define their change in your own terms you can easily force them further away from their own change.
You can work on your own change within this process, but be sensitive to how you impose / share your own fears and judgments upon your partner. They are in a delicate state of mind. It takes very little effort to step on a mine in a minefield, likewise, it doesn’t take too much effort to step on deeper issues within your partners hidden internal spirit, issues that are coming to the surface now that the midlife crisis is stirring up the spirit.
The process of helping partners takes patience, awareness and kindness.
We change side by side, not in lock step with those we love. Freely flowing in the love of becoming more!
What is Crisis?
If you partner is truly in the middle of Mid Life Crisis, then it has the potential to become a time when you are literally living in a falling house of cards.
Think about an earthquake for a second, when the earth changes and rocks. You don’t stand in the middle of the house in an earthquake, hoping the house will protect you. You run for the door to either stand outside of the house or in a doorway to protect yourself from falling debris. After the earthquake is over you can go back in and fix the house.
A person experiencing mid life crisis is literally having an earthquake of the soul. Little stable ground exists inside them to act as support at such a time of inner shift.
Some counseling tips in helping partners.
- Help shift the crisis into transformation. Crisis is about breaking, the more you re-enforce crisis, the more likely your relationship will break from the crisis. Instead approach this as a process of transformation. Transformation isn’t about breaking, it’s about change. If you help your partner transform, it helps smooth out the breaking aspects of change and you will have a higher likely hood of being able to repair any relationship problems as a result.
- Don’t hold on too tightly to your partner. The harder you hold on to them the more likely their change will break you in reflection, or cause inner turmoil for yourself to be set off. Also the harder you hold to them, the more you reinforce the crisis and inner earthquake aspects of the process. Hold on enough as require keeping yourself and other family members together. Hold on enough to help balance your partner as required, but not too much to take the brunt of their lashing out.
- Since a partner is in part a reflection of ourselves, you will have to find peace in shifting also. Otherwise you will internalize the stress and take on the pain of mid life crisis yourself. It will be equally important for you to be extra pro-active in your own health practices, and look towards movement practices such as yoga, exercise or Qi Gong to help re-establish your own equilibrium.
Who is Your Partner Now?
All preconceived expectations quickly disappear in this state, and a person can shift moods, emotional state, and personality very quickly and unexpectedly at this time.
The person you thought you knew, is not who they are now.
In effect you are with a younger person rediscovering and re-establishing themselves.
Helping partners at this stage requires you to recognize and give space to this newer person waking up.
In effect you are having three relationships at once! One with the person you knew, one with a person experiencing crisis and one with the new personality growing out from the crisis! This is why marriages often fail in Midlife Crisis. Most marriages are based upon expectations and memories of the past. Midlife Crisis re-shifts and changes all the rules, as the person is in transition. Their desires and definitions are shifting as they change in the crisis! As a result marriages can and do break. The simplest way to help to prevent this is not to base your marriage on expectation or the past. Helping partners requires us to be forward thinking, to make new rules for the marriage and help discover a new partnership in exchange.
For many people this can be the chance to re-vitalize their partnership / marriage!
But by definition to re-vitalize, it will mean to drop old expectations, truly shift and jump in to something new!
Also be very aware, you may not like the new person evolving from the crisis. While we can help mold a person slightly at this time, the more you do so, the more you actually can hurt yourself and them in the long term. Trying to mold a person at this stage just introduces new problems to be dealt with later in life.
The stories of mid life crisis, are often that the person in crisis will leave the marriage or relationship. Yet it should be noted, it’s as equally valid that at times it might for you to consider leaving the relationship because you are not compatible with the new person your partner is becoming.
In this whole process: Kindness is one key step which I teach. Kindness is important for everyone involved. In helping partners transform, don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Don’t jump in to save your partner until you are truly ready to understand and accept your own problems.
It’s like when a plane is crashing and the oxygen masks fall down. You don’t place the mask on the other person first, instead, first take care of your mask which then lets you take care of others… This is a similar situation.
One common pattern is after helping partners change, is to take on too much pain. To take too many emotional bruises during the act of crisis can be very terrible. Don’t take on pain to a point it becomes destructive to yourself.
Be kind to yourself, take care of yourself in this process of crisis, because if you can’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to help heal another person?
When helping partners in crisis unless you are ready to handle the crisis yourself, the crisis can literally derail your own life more than you expect due to the force of revelatory repercussions that will also come with the process.
In working with crisis at times the process is made more complicated, since, the issues being worked upon can go deep and be a result of multi-generational problems.
At times, it’s hard for anyone acting as a healer not to use their own perspective to overlay upon another person. When we see a person going down a path that will hurt more, we want to help. Empathy is part of being a healer or being with someone you love. Ironically, the emotional pain can actually form the baseline for the healing they need.
It’s important while helping partners to not push them too hard and cause them more hurt which they wouldn’t be able to recover from!
The bigger issue is that at times pain runs deeper than you might realize. This is when Karma is part of the issue. Karma not in terms of your actions, but rather Karmic results coming from choices made from people in your family tree, this is “Generational Karma”. When Generational Karma is involved then it’s never a simply straightforward business to heal. Often times we have multi generational issues happening within a Mid Life Crisis. Mid Life Crisis can be a time when a person will begin to shed off family issues and problems from previous generations. Once you get into this territory, the healing process is more twisted and often passes its way through generations to resolve.
This means when Karma or Generational Karma is involved people hurt themselves more for larger reasons that go beyond just them. Healing in these cases can span the spirits of several generations… This means focusing help or healing upon the one person won’t directly work since it’s missing the larger picture of balance. This is something modern healing practices often miss in their healing methods.
So be aware of Karma and multi-generational issues when helping partners.
This also means to be careful on the timing of when you heal a person. If you heal a person before they are ready, they will often re-injure themselves or lash out at the person healing them. This is done subconsciously but on purpose to re-instate the pain driving the mid-life crisis process. When the pain is from generations, the wounds are deep. Just making things better at the surface can cause larger issues to surface which are more difficult to resolve if approached in the wrong manner.
Start to Find Answers Now
If you need help right away you can start here with this 30 minute video.
Helping Partners in Mid Life Crisis
Understanding and Helping Partners.
Learn how to help everyone make it through a difficult transition time.
This 30 minute video covers:
- An overview to Mid Life Crisis: What your partner is going through.
- Helping partners communicate more smoothly.
- The mirror of mid life change
- Will my partner leave me? Steps to avoid a breakup.
- How to work with change in your life. The rules are changing.
- What relationship means in mid life crisis.
- Helping partners by releasing judgment. The three key steps.
- What is co-dependency and how to remove co-dependencies.
- Don’t let other people force your choices.Breaking out of bad patterns.Considerations for children.
- You and your partner will see issues differently. Learn how to properly approach this.
- Release feeling guilty.
- Helping partners in redefining friendship.
- How to get over bad feelings.
- The steps to move past the midlife crisis.
Arrange Personal Help
Contact Julie & Casey
Phone: (360) 870-2897
All sessions are by appointment only.