Part 2 of 2
Both men and women are susceptible to experiencing a midlife crisis. But would you know how to deal with a midlife crisis in a woman if you recognized it? As discussed in Part 1 of this series, What is a Midlife Crisis in a Woman, a midlife crisis can look different in women than it does in men. That means that the approach for handling things needs to be different as well.
In the previous article we discussed the two ways that a midlife crisis may be expressed in a woman. The “I’m not waiting anymore,” woman and the “where did my youth go,” woman. Because these behaviors, although both potentially destructive, are different how you deal with a midlife crisis in a woman needs to be different as well.
What to Recognize When You Deal with a Midlife Crisis in a Woman
Most women are relationship driven. They want to feel connected to girlfriends, a romantic partner, children or family. These connections are, in part, how they define themselves. “I am Tommy’s mom, Rick’s wife, etc.” They certainly are not the only things that define her, but they play a big part. So when figuring out how to deal with a midlife crisis in a woman, it is important to know that she may start to re-evaluate these relationships and how she fits into them. This re-evaluation can then bring about changes in the way she relates to people in her life.
These changes can be difficult for those close to her. In the best case, the new hobbies and other positive things in which she engages will make her happier, more excited about life, and provide new things to talk about. Of course, this is only true if those around her are supportive and react well to the new version of the woman they know. At its worst, these new behaviors, especially the destructive ones, like the wives that cheat, can tear relationships apart.
Changes a woman experiences during a midlife crisis are selfish, and this new focus on self may feel to those around her as though it is exclusionary and leaves no room for them in her life. Indeed, given the right, unfortunate circumstances, it might not.
Can You Stop a Midlife Crisis in a Woman?
The short answer is, no, you can’t stop a midlife crisis, but you can intervene. When trying to deal with a midlife crisis in a woman know that it might be dangerous and self-destructive, or it might be a push toward things that are fulfilling and positive – but possibly in the extreme and to the detriment of relationships. Depending upon the scenario the intervention is different.
If you are being pushed out of your relationship and replaced by new hobbies and adventures, excluding you may not be the intent. It is possible her crisis is of the “I am not waiting any longer” nature. She may not even recognize that she is dealing with a midlife crisis herself. She may see herself as “reinventing” herself, or starting a “new chapter” in her life. In this case trying to participate in the new activities along with her could actually bring you closer.
If the woman you know seems to be trying to recapture her youth through risky or questionable behaviors, like text or on-line flirting, body-changing surgeries or sexual exploration that can lead some women to even begin watching porn, then you will have larger hurdles to jump. Nothing you can do will bring back the years, but you may be able to help her focus on all the achievements she has made and the good things her life has given her. Figuring out how to deal with a midlife crisis in a woman when it is of this nature can be far trickier. The important thing is to disrupt and change the destructive behaviors.
Either case can create a slippery slope toward depression. If she is exhibiting symptoms of depression, or you are not able to effectively communicate in either scenario, then professional counseling may be needed. She may be depressed and have no idea what to do.
In his practice Dr. Kurt deals with both men and women in midlife crisis. According to Dr. Kurt,
Being depressed is always a component of a midlife crisis for a women or a man. The feeling of dissatisfaction with life that triggers a MLC obviously has an unhappy theme to it. However, how depressed someone becomes will vary from person to person. It's important to understand that depression, although always present, is often masked by the acting out behavior that gets all of the attention.”
The incidences of midlife crisis in each gender are about the same, but the way the crisis manifests can be different. If you are asking yourself, “How do I deal with a midlife crisis in a woman?” understanding that a woman’s behaviors when she is going through this can differ from a man’s is important.
If you have someone in your life that seems to be experiencing this, communication will be the key. Remember, at the bottom of it all they are trying to cope with aging, something we all experience. Whether they are doing it effectively is another story. Support and caring will go a long way in helping to smooth their pathway and help to maintain the important relationships in their lives.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- What it Means When a Woman Experiences a Midlife Crisis (Part 1)
- What Mistakes Do Wives Make During Their Husband's Midlife Crisis?
- Do You, or Does Someone You Know, Have a Secret Porn Addiction?
- Get More Help with a Midlife Crisis