Introduction to Midlife Relationships
Midlife crisis changes the way a person connects to other people. Several common patterns arise for a person experiencing midlife change.
- A person in midlife crisis will often revisit old or forgotten friendships to close unresolved questions.
- Some midlifers will begin seeking experts to find shortcuts and insights for their path ahead. This tends to happen earlier in the midlife process.
- Some midlifers will become more reclusive to focus their thoughts. This tends to happen later in the midlife process. Many friends will feel abandon when this happens.
- A midlifer will often release current friends in favor of brand new friends.
Additionally, a midlife crisis can shift relationship chemistry between existing partners. It isn’t uncommon for a person in midlife crisis to no longer feel connected to their current partner.
In change, people will often look to others as a way to help them change. This means midlife crisis does shift relationships around quite a bit. In reaction partners cling to their midlife partners. The more a partner clings to a midlifer, the more the midlifer will shake things apart to change things in their life.
The more the non-crisis partner holds only the ideals of the original relationship, the less likely they will be able to adapt to their changing midlife crisis partner.
If your partner is experiencing midlife crisis and everything is falling apart then start with Midlife Marriage Support first!
Julie and I help people sort out midlife relationships. We also have a complete relationship section to help you work through your midlife relationship challenges.
The most common midlife relationship trap is simply that people force their relationship to stay as it was and not change over time. A person can force a relationship in many different manners. Forcing a relationship to meet an ideal can blind a person from seeing what they need in their actual relationship or that a current relationship is shifting.
Looking for Deeper Relationships
In midlife transformation, people shift their focus for what they look for in midlife relationships. While a younger a person might look hard to find a person to have a family with, they later in midlife crisis flip around to seek a partner more about passion or other measures. Another angle to consider: If a person when younger doesn’t feel they had a soulmate, then ironically during midlife transformation looking for soulmates will all of the sudden take on new importance. So many very different patterns come out of a midlife crisis in how people hold and look for partners.
It’s common for people in midlife to focus on a new person as a key part of their path ahead. At times you will hear a midlifer declare they have found their soulmate.
People love to say that a soulmate is their goal as a partner. For all the talk about soulmates, people rarely understand or know how to spot soulmates. Our feelings/emotions trick us more than we may realize. When we first meet a person with a powerful connection, our emotions tend to bind very deeply and also initially blind us a bit. Yes, soulmates do exist, but our biology can fool us in thinking some people are soulmates when they are not soulmates.
Midlife Relationships and Judgement
If a person is truly your soulmate, they then can be released to be free and grow.
True soulmates will give space at critical points of life when space is required to find oneself.
To force a person to stay in a midlife relationship: with judgment/guilt, with words, with need, only will break your relationship. I see this in my work, especially in codependent relationships. A codependent relationship might feel deep, but it’s a forced deep. Often an insecure partner responds to midlife changes with judgment in an attempt to hold back their partner from leaving. The fast truth and answer: this approach never works. If you restrict your partner only because you fear being hurt or losing them, then you are not their true soulmate: you are forcing their change to be about you rather than their own choices.
You will discover that the full definition of soul mate is to survive the testing of midlife crisis and change. If you feel your partner is a soulmate going into a midlife crisis: then you will still need inhumanly deep patience, over two years of change, to discover if they’re your soulmate. Not everyone has the endurance to make it through such a test.
Never force soul partners. Instead, give your partner the freedom to grow and become who they need to become. When you give your partner space to grow, you are then giving yourself space to grow! Part of the midlife crisis process is getting time to grow for yourself!
I know this is hard for many people to understand initially: but some relationships are so close to being a soulmate, that often you only discover the difference at times of extreme testing. Midlife crisis is such a time. If you respond with grace and non-judgment, not only will you discover what depth of relationship you truly have, but you actually will also strengthen your relationship. If you force a relationship thru an extreme time by adding more tests on top of that, then being human, most of the time, you will break each other’s spirit and destroy the relationship.
To be soul bound is not to be glued to a person but rather to move in and out of a dance over time.
Never think this soul dance as binding the other person to you. Rather you learn how to gracefully move through life with your soul partner to help each other always grow.
Deeper Thoughts about Partners
When I was younger, I used to wonder if soul mates existed in life. Not everyone believes in soul-mates. From personal experience in helping people find partners, I do know soulmates exist.
Soulmates are neither rare nor common; rather it’s a question of awareness that determines if you find a soulmate in life.
It isn’t that soulmates need to be rare: the real problem is that people try too hard! In a rush to have a relationship, people just are not patient enough to find their soulmate. It’s easy to say a person is your soulmate, but seeing the proof and having a soul mate, is a more profound process in the end.
You cannot be with a soulmate if you are busy struggling and blinded by a just good enough relationship. If you’re always rushing to be in a relationship (as most people do), you are pretty much assured you will not find your soulmate.
Also to find a soulmate, you cannot speed up the process. A person in a midlife crisis often rushes the process of finding /keeping a partner to heal their crisis. You need to have some inner peace within your spirit, so your internal conflicts don’t mismatch you to the wrong person.
An interesting truth is people match themselves first relative to their issues/insecurities and then secondly to their strengths. Since in weakness a person avoids personal issues, it means also avoiding those who can help face those insecurities. So until first addressing and slowly removing personal insecurities, it isn’t easy to see the people who would truly be a soul companion to us. Soulmates are rarely the white knight that saves us from our problems. Rather soul partners help us grow up to be strong enough to deal with our problems.
Soul partners aren’t our foundation, they’re our inspiration.
If you are busy just struggling to overcome personal issues, you will also be too preoccupied to spot your true soul companions.
How to Help Your Partner?
If at all possible start by simplifying your relationship to being a true friend. Releasing judgment from your partner isn’t always easy nor possible, but it’s a great starting baseline. Read more in Helping Partners Change.
How do You Find Your SoulMate?
People in midlife transformation are often dating again for the first time in a long while in their life. I have written another article How to find your SoulMate to help people connect to a soul mate rather than just finding a new midlife relationship.
To explore relationships check out our healing and relationship section of the site.
Discover you don’t have to be alone, in figuring out how to improve your relationship.