Signs of a Midlife Transformation

Finding Answers & HelpThis article is an introduction and a list of signs to help identify midlife crisis for yourself or someone you love.

I professionally work with many people in Mid Life Crisis by guiding the process to become a time of transformation. The most important truth is that this event doesn’t have to become a crisis. This should be a time of life to embrace change to become something greater. Don’t let this be a fear driven event, instead follow inner inspiration to make life better.

Signs of a Midlife Crisis

People often look for a list of signs to validate if a midlife crisis is at hand. The experience is a combination of feelings, events and physical changes that indicate a transformation is at hand. The final proof often occurs in retrospect after a person accepts they have changed and comes to terms with new life patterns. However, it’s possible to see the signs that forewarn of crisis and over time use the symptoms to actually help guide the mid life transformation process.

The truest indicators are the signs that actually illustrate drastic lifestyle changes in a person’s life. Most typically it will be friends and co-workers who diagnose the Midlife Crisis before the person in crisis will even realize it. In fact: just having someone point out you are in a crisis can be enough stress to trip a person into actually having a crisis.


Symptoms of Mid Life Crisis

The following is a list of symptoms that illustrate how defining a mid life crisis is truly relative to the person experiencing the changes.

  1. Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
  2. Desiring to quit a good job.
  3. Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
  4. Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
  5. Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
  6. It feels good to get hurt.
  7. Wanting to run away from everything.
  8. A desire to get into physical shape.
  9. Irritability or unexpected anger.
  10. Change in allergies.
  11. Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
  12. Exploring new musical tastes.
  13. Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
  14. Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
  15. Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
  16. Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
  17. Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
  18. Extreme changes to what you eat.
  19. Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
  20. Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
  21. A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
  22. Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
  23. Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
  24. Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
  25. Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
  26. Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
  27. A desire to teach others or become a healer.
  28. Desiring a simple life.
  29. Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
  30. Playing again just to play!
  31. Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
  32. Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
  33. Recently experiencing something extremely stressful. Stress can trigger a Midlife transformation. Some examples include: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close, Chemical/Toxic exposure upon the body or experiencing a major illness.
  34. Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
  35. Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”



A Midlife crisis is actually the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart. Due to existing personal commitments, it often isn’t easy to self resolve the inner conflict a person’s feels. As a result many times a person in mid life crisis will act confused or lost while trying to sort out the contradictions they feel and now have in their life. Also many times a person is trying to improve their life while not really understanding why they are acting in the manner they are. This mixture of conscious to unconscious actions often makes a person in midlife crisis unpredictable. This is also leads to the most dangerous mid life crisis symptom of denial. To confront a person in the initial stages of midlife crisis will often invoke and reinforce strong statements of denial due to the disconnect of conscious vs unconscious actions.

Most often a Midlife Crisis is defined well into the process of change. This is because it becomes most visible after a drastic shift’s in one’s nature. However, the process often has started long before the visible symptoms appear. It’s possible to aid a person to discover how to define life to fit better to what makes them content and happy. Care does need to be taken as often times a person in midlife crisis will feel trapped and in a corner without options.


Handling the Symptoms of Mid Life Crisis

Experiencing a midlife crisis is not about curing a set of symptoms. In other words this isn’t something you go to a doctor for a treatment to cure, rather this represents a time of life when a person is looking for an education to expand their life. It’s about shifting life to better fit where the person’s spirit yearns to be. A midlife crisis is a very natural biological and psychological process of a person maturing. While some of the symptoms might indicate a process opposite of maturing: at times a person needs to step backwards in order to move forward. This can also mean learning to play again since play is indeed a form of education.

Everyone evolves within their life as they get older. The truest resolution to crisis is learning to embrace the facts of one’s change and investigate methods of transformation. To do nothing is to let crisis decide how you change, Crisis still invokes change, but it’s an external change that a person no longer can control and often breaks those around us in the bargain.

Another problem is that modern western lifestyles are based upon chasing dollars and goals rather than supporting personal truth. People are so focused looking forward to their incomes and the next pay check that they forget or feel they cannot afford to embrace living to their true internal personal needs in the now. Sadly this way of looking at the problem in terms of finance only, also means just doing nothing and that only promotes and expands the crisis into happening anyway!

Understand: It is far cheaper to address and educate oneself in this process than it is to pay the longer term consequences of letting it become a full fledged crisis.

Midlife Crisis Symptoms

Find Help Changing Direction

One of tht most difficult symptoms to resolve is the fact that people experiencing midlife crisis often feel separated, misunderstood and alone.
A bigger truth when in midlife crisis is that you don’t have to be alone. Rather you can find solace with those that don’t limit the transformation by outside judgments. Many times people in midlife crisis seek solitude to more easily avoid judgment from others.

I know from personal experience you can find answers that gracefully work. This isn’t easy and this is always an educational process. Finding guidance can make this process more graceful by showing ways to work around the common pitfalls. Don’t look for help that tries to define you, rather look for help that helps you avoid common mistakes! The trouble is the pressing feelings of being alone and the need to make this process one’s own path often make it all the more difficult to find outside help.


Partners of Mid Life Crisis

We must also consider the partners of those experiencing mid life crisis. Some of the signs that Mid Life Crisis partners often exhibit are:

  • Becoming more judgmental
  • Ignoring there is a problem at all and thinking it will all go away with only patience
  • And usually 1/4th of the symptoms that the person in midlife crisis is experiencing

As stated earlier: becoming judgmental or patiently waiting for things to resolve actually only reinforce the problems of crisis..

Understand that the process of change is often as hard for the partner as it is for the person experiencing crisis. Partners often find themselves confused and even worse getting left behind as the person in crisis sometimes goes running off to search for freedom that eludes their capacity to define. This often forces partners to become more judgmental as they look for answers and this further drives a wedge between the partners. Know that the worse thing a person can do is to act in a judgmental manner that will actually aggravate a person in mid life transformation into running away straight into facing a full blown midlife crisis.

The most ironic fact is since partners are so close, is that they reflect each other. When one person is in midlife crisis, that midlife crisis is often psychologically contagious to partners. As a result, partners are often a few steps earlier in the process and this can allow the partner to approach their own mid life process more openly in terms of transformation. Since usually they are looking for answers to help their partner, partners often use those very same answers to help themselves unconsciously. Three times out of four it’s the partner who I first assist as they are usually the first person to contact me for help. Being earlier in their own process it is easier to help shift the process in transformation as they have made less mistakes to recover from and are all too eager to avoid the problems they see from the other person in crisis.

What If My Partner has Left?

Start to Find Answers Now

If you need help right away you can start here with this 30 minute video.

Introduction to Midlife Crisis: A Time of Transformation


Growing Beyond Mid Life Crisis

If you are on a mobile device and the video doesn’t play, you can watch directly on Vimeo instead here:

Introduction to Midlife Crisis
from Casey Kochmer on Vimeo.

Learn how to regain control of your life.

This 30 minute video covers:

  • What is Midlife Crisis?
  • What age does Mid Life Crisis typically begin?
  • A deeper explanation of Midlife transformation. Don’t get trapped by the word “Crisis”.
  • Explaining the natural life cycles we all live through.
  • The psychological aspects of Mid Life transformation.
  • The duality of transformation.
    Putting to words the frustration a person feels in change.
  • How to reveal the new side of your life.
    The attraction of new relationships and friends.
  • What happens in the body during Mid Life transformation.
  • How to re-balance out your life in Midlife.
    A person going through Mid Life Crisis is not crazy!
  • How to remove conflict from your life in Mid Life Crisis.
    Expanding life options.
  • Dealing with Mid Life Crisis frustrations.
    How to talk with others.
  • Dealing with Depression from Mid Life Crisis.
    Discovering how to pace yourself and play in transformation.
  • I want to run away!
    How to stay true to oneself rather than run away.
  • Releasing with Grace. How Long does Mid Life Transformation take?
  • Speeding up a Mid Life Transformation.
  • I can’t stop myself! How do I move ahead in a better manner?
  • Expanding your awareness to more efficiently move ahead in your transformation.
  • Don’t repress, rather learn how to release.
  • The next steps to your Mid Life Transformation.


Finding Help to Resolve Mid Life Crisis

If this page resonants with you, then it means: it’s time to change routines and shift how you move in the world. The very nature of the signs you are witnessing are also a reflection of a process of change. Denying change is what brings about the crisis you are in or feel is looming ahead of you. Holding on to old answers gives life no space to grow into something new, the very thing a midlife transformation is all about. To preserve the aspects of what you love most often means to release and switch around quite a bit in your life to open space for the path of discovering positive transformation.

Change isn’t easy, and the prospects of change often paralyzes the strongest person. Ironically when this is the case then the solution is often to take a simple retreat to pause and to reflect on one’s life. Sometimes to take pause in awareness itself is the change people need! Often times pausing means to stop the actions which were fostering the crisis. As a result, Pause isn’t to do nothing, pause is an active process of examining potentials and considering which options would fit best in life! People often need to be taught how to pause and this is why those in midlife crisis often seek to learn meditation as a technique of pause to help them find peace in their situation.

This is a time of choice, the choice of crisis or transformation. To do nothing is to pick Crisis, To do nothing is to continue living life to the past choices that led everything to this crisis you face. In these articles I give a person some basic information to work with, enough so you have a chance to encourage the process towards transformation. If you have questions then it is a simple matter to contact me to ask a question.

Without help, on average I see people take 3 to 5 years of many false starts and painful side trips before they settle down in their life. Also many of these people don’t end up in a place that truly matches where they were hoping to go.

With teaching and patient guidance Every person I work with works thru these changes in less than half the time ( 1 to 2 years of learning and exercises to rebuild a stronger life) and everyone I work with ends up in a place they want to be. Since I guide people to grow in their essence rather than chasing expectations.

The solution is about getting a new perspective to encourage actions that channel the crisis energy into constructive processes. Sometimes just asking a question is enough of an action to resolve a seemingly impossible crisis into a process of growth that truly transforms everything.



For teaching or counseling assistance to help resolve problems you are facing, contact me at:
(360) 870-2897

Additional Midlife Crisis Reading Materials

Please post below your experience or questions regarding your midlife transformation.

I will remove any comments which are rantings, are morality/judgement statements, link to outside pages or aren’t respectful.

343 Comments. Leave new

I am surprised by the lack of men’s comments, so I wanted to contribute my point of view to assure you that this is very very real and very very scary for those of us who have lived it. I am 47 years old, and I have been struggling for the last few years trying to figure out if I am going crazy. I recently took an unpaid leave of absence from my job as I felt too unpredictable and mentally unstable to proceed. (After holding my last career for 20 years with less than 10 sick days)

Now that I have found this site, I realize that I fit over 30 of the symptoms VERY closely. I feel better just realizing that this is normal. It’s horribly confusing…more emotions than I realized were possible, but overall I do feel that I have changed my life for the better. My priorities now make sense to me, and they are completely different than my priorities just 5 years ago. Now I know what I need to focus on, so thank you for sharing this information.

My wife has been amazingly supportive which helped a lot, and we talked at great length about what I was feeling and how I should proceed. Fortunately, we will still be married after this is done, but that was not always guaranteed. She did need to address one of her own demons that was causing me distress on a daily basis, and she has lived up to her end of the bargain. Overall, I am optimistic that we will have a happier and healthier relationship moving forward as I have learned to value my family first and put my career in the second slot. (Something I failed to do for the first 20+ years of my career)

Hang in there!!! Don’t give up!! It may take a while to happen, but hopefully we’re all sane and happier in the end. I suspect that I have 1-2 years to go to get through this completely (mine seemed like a complete nervous breakdown), but I believe that I am over the worst part of the process.

If you are trying to understand a spouse in this mode, just try to understand that it is one very long panic attack. There is very little logic involved…just an overwhelming number of feelings that we’re not accustomed to feeling and therefore a complete sense of panic. However, we will think of every option possible to try to feel normal again…and sometimes the solutions we come up with just make no sense (but we’ll likely try them anyway).

And for the record, MLC does not mean that all men go after other women, sports cars, and gold chains. Mine was more of a defeatist attitude where nothing seemed important…instead of shaving daily, I converted to weekly. Instead of nice clothes, I wear cargo shorts and t shirts. I really stopped valuing everything that I had worked for (material goods) and starting looking for the deeper meaning in life. Sorry for the long post, but what did you expect….I’m crazy.

Casey Kochmer
April 24, 2014 9:14 pm

@Walty: You are not crazy at all, you are growing more sane every day thru your own mid life transformation.

You are finding your life and centering.

Unfortunately the path of centering is often thru crazy at times. So we make the mistake to associate that crazy to be us. It isn’t: crazy is merely recognizing change is in process still.

Casey Kochmer
April 25, 2014 2:05 am

@Suzanne: Mid Life transformation is all about rediscovering yourself now.

What is it you dare to dream? Or
What is it you need to rest into? Or
What will electrify you? Or

Or a thousand thousand other options…

“Going off the rails of a crazy train” — Ozzy

But who wants to be on rails?

And which is crazy?

Casey Kochmer
April 30, 2014 8:21 pm

Hi S. I deleted your comment to protect you.

When dealing with a Abusive / Vindictive ex-partner you have to be very careful and patient. You have to release 100%. You will often need professional help to recover from the abuse and to change your own personal behaviors so you don’t encourage further abuse.

The path ahead of you will be hard and don’t underestimate how much another person can lash out.

I don’t work with situations that are based in abuse and I recommend directly contacting a local counselor who specializes in helping abuse victims recover.

I am in a two-year relationship with a married man, whom i believe, after reading articles on the subject; yours included, is undergoing MLC. He has got all the symptoms and I am one single woman who has been longing for someone stronger and more stable than I am, whom I can entrust myself with. In the earlier part of our relatioship, I fought with his girlfriends who were already existing, even without me. Now I am starting to get jealous with his wife.

I am only 34 years old. Could it be possible that MLC has come to me earlier?

I love the man and I couldn’t imagine living a life without him around.

What could have been happening to this once sweet nice and responsible woman, me?

I am only 34 years old. Is it possible that MLC has come to me earlier?

I am only 34 years old. Is it possible for my MLC to have started earlier?

I am now 34 years old. Looking back in my younger years, I am that good girl who was responsible enough to earn for her whole family.

Casey Kochmer
July 1, 2014 11:29 pm

@Diamond: Change has come to you. The question isnt if it is MLC.

The question is how will you turn this all around to be a better person, and to make life flow around you in a better way.

Your challenge is to live better, not to be in crisis, but use it as incentive to live a better life.

I am so bored. I am so stuck in a rut. I am drinking, smoking, working and not a lot else really. I hate what I am doing. I am so fed up but cannot see a way out. I am a single mom and work full time. I lack patience, motivation and money!!!
I know I want and need to sort myself out, but I just can’ t see how to do it. I keep waiting for a surge of motivation and a love of something to hit me, but it just isn’t coming. I know, really, it needs to come from within, but how do I make that happen?

My husband seems to have many of the signs pointing toward MLC. He expressed a desire to not be married to me anymore which obviously devestated me as well as blind sided me. Our marriage has always been wonderful, or so I believed. He tells me he doesn’t know why and that it isn’t me. I did all the wrong things, I cried, pleaded, argued my case etc. Finally, I felt calm enough and lost enough to just accept it was what he truly wanted. Then, out of nowhere, he asked me to let him reconsider his decision. This scarred and confused me as I had just went through this emotional rollercoaster that ended with me broken and lost. He doesn’t want our teenage children around anymore and seems to either want to be alone or to just party with friends. We have very recently decided to begin the process of working things out. Part of me is so terrified as I don’t want to lose him or go through this with the same end result. I find that he will push me away and then pull me back to him. It seems that he can’t decide where I really fit in and I am at a complete loss as to where to start bridging this gap. We are actually just taking baby steps. spending time together with no pressure, talking about light hearted things instead of the heavy issues, (I don’t believe that our marriage could survive that yet)I just hope that when this is over, we are still a team.

Casey Kochmer
July 17, 2014 9:55 pm

@Angela: Many people get stuck in mid life crisis. It’s often a question of resolving out the various personal factors in play undercutting the person. Such as getting back into shape, fixing or releasing bad relationships, re-balancing out how a person works. ETC. There can be many tangled strands of life that need to be addressed.

The goal is to open up space which then allows a person to start new things.

So if you feel unable to start and move ahead, it could mean some strand of an issue is de-powering you. If you are drinking it means you are avoiding tackling the very issues which are preventing you from moving ahead as you desire.

The first step for someone stuck in avoidance patterns is to release the drinking. Start small actions to fix or improve what you can in the life that is yours but on many level you don’t want.

Until a person wants their life, they can’t get started in living a life.

Okay, this talk a lot about the person experiencing the MLC….Wha about the husbands and wives that suffer from the MLC. Many times we are the ones that get abandoned, have to live with affairs the irresponsibility, etc. What help exist for us? Any way we can keep our marriages from crumble? We also suffer the MLC.

Casey Kochmer
July 26, 2014 8:24 am

@Hector: The teachings I use here work equally well for partners and those in midlife crisis. I have worked with hundreds of people from both sides of the midlife crisis process. It comes down to removing judgement and slowly stepping those involved towards kind and modest solutions.

Because those in mid life crisis and their partners often avoid tackling things at the earlier stages of crisis, this often means the problems evolve into extremely tangled webs. It takes a deep patience for people to slowly step towards the graceful answers.

Also since judgement makes problems too personal, it often requires a neutral outside teacher to help untangle the issues without stirring up extra pain from the process.

Robert Ludlum
August 19, 2014 3:45 am

I’ve been in a 20 year relationship. I’m 40, and been laughing about having a midlife crisis for the last 15-20 years, except i realize a now have one. The reason i say its been a 15-20y mlc is because i like having things i like, and doing things i love, like skiing, sports, trips, etc. I thought this was just a normal think, and as they are, they could be, but now i have added hurting my partner of over 20yrs. I ve told her i have not been the same and felt we were becoming distant for a few years already, that our passion is gone, and things that hurt her and moved her solid marriage foundations we had for so long. She realized we also have lost communication and have not shared personal and intimate desires for a while too… we have 2 amazing kids, and although they are so great, the change in our lives didnt help towards our relationship… we are doing councelling together and reading a fair bit about all things happening in break up marriages, crisis, and so on. All I want is to get back and feel as we were the first years we met, i know we change, and are completely different persons as we were when in our 20’s but don’t see why we can’t get that thrive and desires that came with that part of our journey in life together. Im trying to get a different approach in life, i am going through many of the described mlc changes, learning music, doing sports, etc, although i always been and loved doing these things, so im still confused as how much im into this mlc and how is this affecting my relationship or if and how to fix it. I am a very positive person, thinking and exploring ways to improve myself, love my wife and kids infinite but see that we also might ‘ve transformed into completely different people and might’ve distanced from each other or lost all our connections, laughs, passion, and a lot of the things a couple needs to share, but i cant and dont want to give up. Its too much the love i have for her and my kids and there is nothing i wouldnt do for her, even leaving if i see that i hurt her so much. so much in my mind, but in general i guess you get the idea. thanks.

Casey Kochmer
August 22, 2014 11:21 pm

@Robert: Be strong, be patient. Allow for change and allow for space. Since I haven’t worked with you I don’t know enough of the details and cannot give more precise answers for your path ahead unless I do work directly with you.

What I do see is you listing out frustration and everything you have. However, you haven’t really put down to words what it is you are changing into yet. I see pain of change but not the awakening of who you are yet.

Until you have come to terms with this personal frustration you will not find answers that will complete a family. It isn’t enough to wish or know your family is what you want. The process of mid life crisis must be acknowledged and worked against first. Then you work at a balance for the family. You don’t build a new house in the middle of a hurricane. Likewise you do not fully repair a family in the middle of a mid life crisis either.

It takes time and timing is everything.

Many times the real reason family and relationships break up in mid life crisis is due to poor timing in how people work with each other during the mid life crisis.

I work very closely and personally with each student I have because the process is so timing dependent. It literally often comes down to how two people hold themselves. That’s a difficult thing when you are being torn apart and don’t know yourself yet.

Hi, firstly I would like to say what a great site this and already after reading these comments I am feeling a lot better about what is happening to me. I am 32 and feeling really down and out about life. I am a single mum to a very active 3 year old. I am in a 2 year relationship to a wonderful man. I work full time. I feel in the past year that everything has gone hill for me. I hate my job I just want to quit. I find it hard to get out of bed. If it wasn’t for my child coming in a poking me in the eyeballs I wouldn’t get up. I find no joy in doing anything I used in enjoy doing. I just feel lost and empty. I feel like the lady above when she said she feels like she is standing beside her spirit and watching myself fade away. I feel scared because I feel I no longer have any hopes or dreams or goals in life. I am literally living each day as it comes and somedays I don’t even want to see the day out and it scares me. I have no idea what I am doing in life just marely a shell of my former self. I live in Australia and was wondering if you know of any support networks here? I feel I can’t talk to anyone close to me as they are all judging and I feel I might be going slightly crazy! Thanks in advance

Casey, I just turned 30 this year and I am surprised that i have 29 out of the 35 symptoms you’ve mentioned. Did MLC came to me very early? I am married for almost 3 years now and I opened up with my wife regarding MLC and she just ignored me and brushed it off. We are a perfect couple I assume but considering the situation i am right now, she should be the first one to feel concerned about me. There are a lot of times i feel i don’t have life at all. I feel bored of the things i am happy about before. Sometimes i feel like committing suicide is the only sweet escape for what i am experiencing right now. Any advice.

Great article!

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