Recently, a friend met with an old flame (both parties now married, to different people) and the events of their meeting was a classic case of mid-life crisis. Both parties briefly relived their independent pasts through the conversation. They may have been transported back a couple of decades, experienced old feelings, felt good about themselves and tried to stay in the zone for a couple of hours. It’s this desire to go back in the past and experience something from your younger years that’s a sign of you going through some form of mid-life boredom?
As a 40 year old I resonated with your article. The nostalgia could also be for a life not lived, in relationships not had owing to parental pressure to not indulge in bad habits like "love". This could be even more severe as an "imagined" could-have-been relationship can make your present difficulties in marriage seem even worse.
As a Christian I agree that the counseling by the church helps but it is not perfect (an unmarried priest or a younger married one pontificating on challenges of marriage !). But something is better than nothing. We need to normalize and find ways to have such pre-marriage counseling in society at large.
The stages of marriage (newly married, kids as toddlers, independent kids, empty nesters) and the different phases of marriage (steady or transition) are very helpful prisms to look at marriage. If you identify what stage you are in and what phase then you can identify the remedy for your problems.
This one is a reality check for dreamy people like me! 😁
I still dream marriage would be a cake walk, lol.
Thank you for sharing your insights on this topic. I think it's an important conversation to have, and I'm glad you're raising awareness about it.
Wholly agree with the take that being in a marriage or a long term relationship is about riding the ebbs and flows and realizing that nostalgia or a longing for the road not taken is about regrets for the outcomes of decisions taken.
There is this wonderful podcast which is long but a portion of it is relevant to midlife crisis : https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/huberman-lab/id1545953110?i=1000622115223.
The idea is that we gravitate towards certainty, but uncertainty is what creates dopamine. From that point of view a midlife crisis is more about feeling bored with certainty and craving the dopamine hit of a change in scenery and if we can see that then one way of creating the dopamine hit within the current context is to create uncertainty within the context as paradoxical as that may sound.
very true. It’s the difference between thinking short term or long term that makes one want to chase a dopamine hit or not.