Save Your Marriage: Is He Having a Midlife Crisis?

Here’s the next video in our blog series “Dr. Dana Answers Your Questions.” Today’s question is from Grace: “My husband is 43 and i am 45. We have 3 children ages 15, 11 and 7. For the last 15 years, my husband has worked away from home and then comes back the weekends. He is not having an affair. 6 months ago he said he does not want this life anymore and has now moved out. I still love him and want the marriage to work, but he says he still loves me. He is emotionally distant from me. He does not say whether he wants this marriage to work. Is he having a midlife crisis?”

Please comment below the video to ask your own questions or just to let us know what you think. We’re frequently shooting new videos and will answer the top questions as part of this ongoing series.


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Melinda 11 years ago

Can a marriage survive alcohol addiction? I am 14 months sober and whilst my husband has been supportive, 3 weeks ago he said he hasn't been happy for a few years and wants to separate and then divorce. Then, we had a long chat and I said I would give him space to work out what he wants as long as we can see how things go, he said ok. I am not hopeful as the trust has gone from both sides, but I really want to work things out with him. Please help :(

Kay 11 years ago

My husband had an affair for 10months before I found out. His job takes him away from home 6-7 days and then home 4-5 days. I discovered the affair 6 weeks ago. I do know he still talks to her and sees her at his job. He has said he is sorry and loves me and wants to work things out. He also said he needs time. I purchased your system the day I found out and have been using it daily. He has not. Am I doing the right thing by continuing to believe him and work alone to save our marriage? I love him dearly and even though I am broken hearted I have forgiveness in my heart want our relationship to grow stronger and stay married. We will be married 39years in May.

Kim Rogers Dunaway 11 years ago

I need advice. After reading "Having said this, it is often difficult for people to let go of fighting because anger often feels good!..We feel righteous and safe, (safe from acknowledging our true feelings, that is). And we know that anger is always a result of feeling fear or pain, which are often far more complicated and uncomfortable to deal with. So if we're coming at each other with anger, it’s most often because we're actually not dealing with our real emotions." My question is this: my husband and I split up - his choice. We've been together for 20 years, married 17. I think he is going through a mid-life crisis (just turned 45 and both parents died 14 months apart) but of course he denies it. My husband told me that he didn't love me anymore. When I told him that I didn't see it coming and was devastated he laughed at me and said the only reason I was with him was because I was afraid of being alone and needed him for financial reasons. I moved out after 6 months of verbal abuse and am finally at a point where I can be cordial. When we converse through email or text I tell him that I miss him and still love him because I do. I still cry and it's been almost 9 months. He writes hateful things back to me - I'm a winch, a bitch, fuck off, etc. He left the bedroom and I moved out and I think he was shocked. Do you think his anger towards me is because he is pain and still loves me? He's never been afraid of anything. My husband was adopted twice and I was with him longer than any other woman in his life. I don't know whether to accept that my marriage is over because he's too proud to tell me that he wants me back or try to talk to him face-to-face about his feelings.

Sera Watson 11 years ago

I believe my husband is having somewhat of a mid-life crisis (48 yrs. old), and after having gone through a rough 13 years of marriage, it has become evident he means it when he says he no longer wants to remain married. He recently went through a "phone affair" for two months with a much younger woman he met on the train, and then they ended their "affair". Initially I wanted to try and stay together and work things out, and he said he would try, but he constantly found errors in my behavior and told me I wasn't being what he needed in life and he finally decided it was really over. Meanwhile, he also quit his job and we're struggling, etc. etc. I am going back to school so I can try and train for finding work (we have an 11-year-old son and I've been at home for 13 years!) While I wish things could be worked out between us, it really appears that we BOTH have to want to make the effort in our case. I've tried to do what I needed to, but it really looks like he's already made up his mind, and I feel that I just need to accept it. I found myself sobbing after dinner tonight out of the blue, and I think I'm just becoming more and more overwhelmed, between marriage breakdown, financial issues and work training. What should I be focusing on?

Susan 10 years ago

I've been with my husband for 20 years, married 18. I thought we had a good marriage. We worked side by side our whole marriage on our family farm and never did anything without the other, i.e. grocery shopping, etc. We sold the farm and he went out to TX with a friend to work for some ranchers while I stayed here in NY. I didn't have a problem with him going, in fact, I encouraged it because he has been a farmer pretty much his entire life and I wanted him to experience something new. He never gave me a reason to not trust him. He came back two days before our anniversary, two months after he left, and stated that he had met someone. I was blind sided. I was devastated! How can he send me a birthday card one month telling me how much he loved and missed me and then the next month say he wants out of the marriage? He told me that it wasn't "my" fault, that he grew up and worked on the family farm while growing up, then went in the military for two years. In those two years a tree fell on his father and he died a month later. My husband said he "gave up" his life in the Marines so he could go back home to take care of his mother, brothers and the family farm. He eventually bought his own farm, met and married me. It was HIS choice to give up his life & freedom to take care of his mom and brothers and it was HIS choice to continue farming. I am so hurt, he threw me away like a piece of garbage. Some people think "the grass is greener on the other side". Do you think he'll ever realize that it's not so green and he threw away something really good, me?

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

Hello, Susan - That sounds like a tough situation. We do have some advice that addresses just this - - and I hope your husband decides that you can be incorporated into his life changes.

Susan 10 years ago

Some days are a lot harder than others but are getting a little easier. Thank you, I apologize for not thanking you sooner.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 10 years ago

I'm happy to hear it's getting a little better. It does take time. I hope nothing but the best for you both!