It All Begins Inside of You

It’s very understandable to ask questions at first, because you’re in a place where you’ve been bombed, you’re angry, you’re frustrated, and you’re baffled. The person you thought you knew, has now become different, negative, angry, and yes, withholding of the good things that you know you deserve.

Before the midlife crisis, we spent our lives looking to other people to validate us, make us feel worthy, make us feel good, make us feel happy and make us feel loved. We never learned to find these same things in our Self, because our earlier experience pointed to external solutions for internal problems.

Not happy? Find a relationship that makes you happy, that fits your needs, that “fixes” your loneliness…or this is how Society looks at it. If something goes wrong with that relationship, dump it, you don’t deserve that, get a divorce, find someone else–but guess what? The whole cycle begins again, and in a matter of time, crisis is going to visit that new marriage, and then what are you going to do? Dump it again? Find another partner? See the emotional/relational cycle? What’s missing from this?

One thing is missing:

The failure, and/or refusal to look within Self to see what it was in you that decided a new relationship was going to fix all your insecurities, your problems, your immaturity, your lack of commitment.

The only way to break a negative cycle is to do something different–don’t keep doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result. The only way to get a different result is to change yourself, to change the way you think, do, be, and relate…and it takes a journey into your past, to resolve that past, in order to create a better future. Mature people understand that life is not all roses and light–it’s often an emotional rollercoaster that can leave you breathless when you least expect it. Mature people know the value of facing adversity, and the lessons that it will yield, if they keep an open mind, and continue to understand that there is nothing to it, except to do it.

You might change partners, circumstances, situations, scenery, job, and a whole host of other external things, but IF you don’t make, and complete, the changes necessary within yourself, so you can change, grow, and become that mature person–you’ve just wasted a lot of money, a lot of time, and a whole chunk of your life running from your SELF….that’s where it all begins INSIDE OF YOU, where the answers to all of the problems that lie within YOU have always been.

In the beginning, this is NOT about love, because love is eventually created, chosen, built, and it must be found within you, FOR YOU. However, if you don’t have the knowledge and the tools to do what you need to do for yourself first, it won’t get done. This is all about something being missing that another person could never fill, that is your responsibility to fill within yourself, and so, people who search for their self worth, self esteem and self confidence to be found in other people, look in the wrong direction–outward, instead of inward–and meet failure each time.

It goes deeper than deep, when you begin looking within Self to see your own unresolved issues, your own failures, your own inadequacies, your own lack of Self love that projects outward toward people who are not to blame for what you have become. Yet, because you can’t own your feelings, you’re ashamed, and guilty for having these feelings, you seek to force someone else to own all that you are, but they are not.

This is what the midlife spouse does, when they blame, shame, accuse, shift responsibility, accountability, and try to manipulate the left behind spouse into taking from them, what the left behind spouse does not own. The left behind spouse didn’t damage their spouse all those years ago. In fact, the left behind spouse was not even there when the damage occurred, but because the left behind spouse has issues of their own, they take on the midlife spouse’s problems, make those all about them, carry a burden of shame, blame and guilt that doesn’t belong to them–and the midlife spouse skips off somewhere else until the next time the pressure become too much, and then what do they do?

Well, they come right back to the left behind spouse for their “projectionist fix,” of course. The cycle begins again, as the left behind spouse starts trying to fuss, argue, put everything back the way it was, the midlife spouse starts blaming, shaming, guilting, off-loading their bad feelings onto the left behind spouse, and the left behind spouse, who still doesn’t understand that nothing they do or say will make any difference in the midlife spouse’s crisis, participates once more in this negative cycle.

The reason cycles like these repeat, is because the one who lives in chaos, does not know how to live in peace. Chaos gets them attention, just like little kids who create drama, just because they can. It’s what small children do. It’s what the midlife spouse does, too.

One last thing…while I understand the importance of getting your focus off the midlife spouse, and getting it on yourself, I also understand that until you begin to understand a whole lot more, the questions you have will become a barrier to your journey…it becomes enough in the early days to begin detaching from the midlife spouse so that your view is more clear, and so that you can begin to heal from the devastation.

Detachment will also clear your mind so you can better process what’s going on, process the answers to your questions, and so that you will feel better, and a little more settled with what’s going on.

This isn’t a good situation, but then NO midlife crisis situation can ever really be “good” until your perception shifts way down the road. Time and the journey will bring you more advanced understanding down the road, when you have grown into that knowledge.

I don’t make Standing sound like a cakewalk, because I know it’s not. I walked a long, hard road, and I finished that road in full. I’m honest about what a hard road it is, but at the same time, I also understand that you, as the left behind spouse, are just as fragile as the midlife spouse who is rebelling like there is no tomorrow, and they’re hurting no one but themselves.

I don’t give out everything at one time, because “informational overload” (my term) is a very real thing that happens to left behind spouses who want to Stand, but that whole road exposed can be very overwhelming to a newbie.

Until the newbie gains more strength, questions are answered, but the whole picture isn’t painted—and believe it or not, that whole picture cannot be painted in full for each individual. The reason is because each person’s road is so very different, owing to the differences in people.

You have people who say they’ll stand, and when the road becomes harder, because it will, they drop off, do something else, run away, or immerse themselves in an emotional rut they created, and refuse to get out of it.

You have some people who get that quickie divorce, find someone else, and in a few years, they come back mad, because the same crisis they ran from, has now caught up with them again, through a new relationship. There is merit in the saying about jumping out of the frying pan, and into the fire in regards to new relationships. The midlife spouse does it, but the left behind spouse stands the same chance of doing it.

At the end of day, whether you Stand or not–the journey lays before you, because all of us have areas in our lives that could stand major improvement. We aren’t lily-white examples of perfection, we have our problems, too. They may not be exactly the same as the midlife spouse’s, but we, too, have that journey to find out who we were, who we are, and who we will eventually become.

The hardest task for any person who is growing is to dig deep within Self, to recognize that damage, to dig deeper, for the root of that damage–to accept it, resolve it, forgive the person who did it, and to eventually heal from it.

It takes TIME to do these things, and having balance in our lives is very important, because life goes on in spite of what the midlife spouse is going through. We need to become detached observers, understand that what they do and say is NOT about us, but about them. They were the ones who decided they weren’t married anymore, they were the ones who decided to make choices that destroyed their lives, their families, and everything that was once good is laid to waste, during their path of rebellion.

Taking their actions personally won’t do anything, but make you feel worse and worse over time, and over what? An immature, and rebellious midlife spouse, who is raging like a bull in a china shop.

Learn to set behavioral boundaries against what you know will directly affect you, and let the rest go, because what they do, isn’t really hurting you–it’s hurting THEM. You can’t make them see what they’re doing as being wrong, because they’re not choosing to see beyond their own selfish desire.

The midlife spouse is gambling everything, thinking they’re going to win the jackpot, but if they’re not careful, they might go bust. It’s ALL about them, and no one else. Draw the line on how far they are going to be allowed to hurt you, step back, and watch them fall on their faces, while you learn to create a life that does NOT include the midlife spouse.

You don’t have to choose to walk away from the marriage IF you do NOT choose to–but as time goes on, and you choose to continue to Stand, while walking the road of your own journey, somehow, some way, you’ll need to find a way to adjust, and then adapt, to the situation, so that you can emotionally survive, and not lose your sanity during this time.

Draw that line between what’s yours, and what’s theirs, emotionally separate yourself from them, and don’t let fear overrun you, because all fear will do is drain you, exhaust you, and bring you down to the ground.

Food for thought.

((HUGS))

Since 2002, Hearts Blessing has been a pioneer in the area of knowledge and information written about the Mid Life Crisis. The owner and author of https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org she writes articles that help people learn more about this confusing time of life. The main goal of this site is to help people know and understand that no matter what happens, every situation works out to the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose. :)
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