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Is a Midlife Crisis Really a Midlife CRISIS??


Ok, so we’ve all known that guy, or that dad who, all of a sudden did something completely out of character, like buy a sportscar, or started hitting the gym, or bought some trendy clothes and started partying again.


I personally know a guy who, in his late sixties, went out and randomly got a vasectomy.


So, when a guy does all this stuff, people usually laugh and say he’s going through a midlife crisis.


But, is he really going through a midlife CRISIS? Or is it something else?


In this blog, I wanna explore whether the term “midlife-CRISIS” is actually accurate.


Is it actually a negative thing? Or is it completely justified and reasonable to feel that, after decades of child rearing and playing house, you can go out buy that Porsche you’ve always wanted.


Hi, I’m Stuart from Communicate with confidence, I’m a coach who’s not afraid to tell you how it really is. If you haven’t already done so, please hit the subscribe button for more of my content and don’t be afraid to give this blog a thumbs up. Also, if you’d like my coaching for any relationship issues you may be having, feel free to contact me at stuart@cwconfidence.com for some free coaching.


So, I was triggered into writing this after watching a video by “dating and relationship expert” Amy Waterman, where she condescendingly runs through a series of tips for women on how to help their “silly silly husbands cope with wanting to feel young again”.


The videos called “3 tips to help your man through his midlife crisis” and I’ll put a link to the video in the description below so you can watch it for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Kw503uDtU


I think the title is a tad misleading. It should be called “3 tips to help YOURSELF through his midlife crisis”, because it doesn’t really mention any help specifically for the guy.


Actually, an even more accurate title would be “3 tips to help YOURSELF through his late onsite hypogonadism”, but it’s not very catchy.


Because in her video, she’s not really discussing a midlife crisis, or the existential crisis that a man faces usually in the middle of his life. She’s discussing a physical medical condition, not a philosophical, emotional condition.


Her video covers how testosterone levels drop in men as they get older. And yes, that’s proven to be true. But then she goes and calls this male menopause, or andropause, which is a made-up word. It’s a misnomer.


Because that term, “male menopause” is misleading. It implies that it’s similar to female menopause but it’s different, and, to her credit, she states this difference in her video.

Testosterone levels drop gradually over a prolonged period of time, decades in fact, unlike in female menopause where the changes in hormone levels are relatively sudden.


And so, if you’re feeling any of the symptoms associated with late onset hypogonadism, such as a loss of libido, lack of energy or difficulty sleeping, it’s best to see your doctor to treat this.


But anyway, back to the midlife crisis. If it’s not late onset hypogonadism, then what exactly is it?


Well, I think midlife crisis is one of those broad all-encompassing terms that’s defined culturally and contextually by a set of symptoms.


Those symptoms usually entail the “sufferer” acting in a way that can be construed as them attempting to relive their glory days or reclaiming their youth.


But what triggers this?


Well, first a quick history of the midlife crisis.


The phrase was originally coined by Canadian psychoanalyst Elliot Jaques in 1965, but that was used in the context of a man experiencing work related issues


But the one who popularised the concept of the midlife crisis as we know it today was psychologist Daniel Levinson.


In 1975 he, through a fairly small study consisting of 40 American men aged 35- 45, concluded that a major transitional stage happens around the midway point of a man’s life due to a feeling that they hadn’t accomplished enough.


Further, more extensive studies have found the common cause for midlife crisis’ is expectations not being met.


Now midlife crisis can occur in both men and women, and they tend to last longer in men than women.


Red pill exponents have theories as to why midlife crisis occur in men and why they last longer in men than women. And their theories are generally based around the concept of men being subjugated into provisioning roles and playing house and settling or capitulating to the female reproductive strategy to nest, and then suddenly undergoing an epiphany and rebelling against this domesticity.


Other researchers believe the midlife crisis is a cultural construct, and that the culture of youth in western society drives the desire to relive their glory days.


Now, I’m not here to tell you whether or not going through a midlife crisis is good or bad. My own personal belief is that as long as you continue to take care of the people and things that you’re responsible for, then cool! Buy that Porsche! Hit the gym, buy yourself a new wardrobe! There’s nothing wrong with that. The only time it should become a problem is if you’re raiding the kid’s college fund to finance that Porsche.


But if this midlife crisis means you’re actually having a serious existential crisis, and it’s led to you suffering from depression and anxiety, and as a result you’ve taken to drugs or alcohol or gambling or sleeping around or any other kind of self-destructive behaviour, to cope, then you need to seek professional help.


What I’d really like to address here is there seems to be a culture of shaming men in our society who are going through a midlife crisis that is NOT self-destructive or harmful in nature.


Now, yes, before we go on, women take steps to fight the ravages of time too. And we’ve all seen those tragic images in women’s magazines of D-list celebrities who have gone a tad over the top with the Botox or the plastic surgery. And in some ways, the struggle of combating age is more noticeable in women, as their attractiveness to the opposite sex is based so strongly on their physical looks. And I acknowledge that. The struggle for women is real. But this video is aimed at men. And I don’t want to get into any “whatabout-isms” here.


So, it seems to be perfectly acceptable in our society to ridicule an older man who suddenly buys a sports car, or gets hair transplants, or takes up running or hits the gym. If a guy starts indulging in activities culturally deemed “not of his age”, he is derided for not “acting his age”, or for not aging gracefully.


It seems on the surface that the man has stepped out of his lane and needs to be hauled back into line. But why? His actions aren’t hurting anyone.


A man displays his masculinity through his virility, strength and endurance. Through his ability to overcome challenges and to make things happen. If he still considers himself as a man who values being desirable to others, including his wife of course, he’s going to want to do whatever he can to hang on to those traits that make him an attractive masculine man.


I’m wondering if this derision guys face when they’re deemed to be going through a midlife crisis has anything to do with what the pick-up community call “dread game”.


Dread game is where you indirectly create insecurity in your partner due to your perceived desirability as a high-quality prospect by other members of the opposite sex. It basically means you have options.


If you’re suddenly looking better and taking care of yourself better, you’re naturally going to become more attractive to the opposite sex.


And then suddenly the potential for you to ditch the wife for a younger hotter model becomes a real threat for your partner, instead of just a flight of fancy.


So, her derision of you may be born from her own insecurities to the new status quo you’re attempting to create.


But this thing they call a midlife crisis is only noticeable because there’s been a change in your behaviour.


But one could argue that you changed your behaviour to suit domesticity. But nobody ridiculed you for that, because that change is deemed socially acceptable. When you go through a “midlife crisis”, you could just be getting back in touch with how you were originally before you met your wife or significant other.


Now, if you’ve always valued looking after yourself, eating well, going to the gym, driving sports cars and generally acting like a cad throughout your marriage, would people perceive you going through a midlife crisis? Probably not. But then again, it’s debatable whether such behaviour is really conducive to domesticity anyway.


Because It’s only a midlife crisis if your current behaviour has differentiated from your expected behaviour.


I’d consider this type of “midlife crisis”, the one that’s not directly detrimental to your health, to be more of a midlife re-evaluation. Because you’re rediscovering yourself. You’ve asked yourself “Is this all there is? Is this what all my hard work has led to? This boring,

unstimulating domestic existence? There’s got to be more”.


Now, women don’t want you asking these questions, or questioning the reality of things. Because it upsets the stability and security, they’ve grown accustomed to. That they’ve worked towards. You can potentially turn their life upside down. But that’s the power you have here. You can choose to turn everyone’s life upside down, but there will consequences. But there’s also be consequences if you choose to go back to being a good little boy and go back to acting the way you’re expected to act. Because you’ve essentially been woken up.


So, how do you deal with this? What would I say to women out there who are struggling to understand the changes in their man?


Well, I think the rule should be to give a little, and take a little. Let him buy the Porsche if it’s not going to break the budget. But hold him accountable to his responsibilities. And encourage him to look after himself and to look better. And make sure you’re taking care of yourself too. There’s nothing more unattractive to a man than a bitchy insecure woman. Right now, a guy needs his woman to understand that this is something he just has to do. And if he’s allowed the freedom to indulge himself, within reason, he’ll come to the conclusion that it ain’t so bad having to play house.



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