Mid-Life Crisis Q&A-Anonymous

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I have never felt so scared in my life. Two young children and my wife has moved out, is having an affair with a guy the same age as her dad… she wants me to be her friend but won’t leave the other guy and all her sense and emotional intelligence seems gone. She doesn’t understand why I can not act like a normal husband while she continues the affair…. I feel so lost and alone. I miss my wife… I am trying to be civil but distant, but this makes her angry and she claims I don’t care…. I love her so dearly, but I don’t know how to act with her… whether to accept her cake-eating. It is devastating

I am really sorry you’re going through this. It must be hard to watch this happening, while trying to stay emotionally balanced enough to care for two young children who don’t understand what’s happened. ((hugs))

Your wife is, of course, having a Mid-Life Crisis, complicated by an affair with a man who is old enough to be her father-and I suspect her affair partner is also having a Mid-Life Crisis, considering his having chosen your wife as HIS affair partner.

I will tell you right off the bat, you cannot be her “friend”, not like that-a true friend doesn’t betray you. As you can see, your being friendly and distant is triggering her anger, because she wants to have this best of both worlds, but she hasn’t accomplished that.  She also gets angry, because you won’t cooperate, accept what she’s doing, act as if nothing is happening, treating her like you always did(the normal husband aspect she thinks to have)and allow her to draw you into her current drama.

What I’m not seeing, other than what is necessary for the children,(which should become a matter of business while she is within her affair), is why you’re continuing to interact with her while she’s otherwise occupied in the first place. She has made a choice at this point, and you need to detach in such a way so she can experience the full consequences of HER choices, and also you need to get completely clear of this, so that the other man gets the entire burden of meeting her needs–and he really doesn’t know her like you do.

As long as you keep being afraid of losing her, you’ll keep dancing this emotional dance, and she feels the freedom to continue having her affair.  She IS trying to still have you on one side, and the other man on the other side-so, she’s trying to “play” both of you. She’s selfish enough to try and keep both of you on an emotional string of her choosing.

Get over your fear of losing what has already been lost, and begin distancing further from her–as long as you continue to play her sick emotional game, she will continue to do as she wants. There is NO guarantee, either way that she will eventually return to you in the first place, and you need to understand this. However, you really would need to back away from her, and the situation she’s in, regardless of how angry she gets about it…she wants what she wants, and again, she needs to be left to experience the full consequences of HER choices.

As long as you continue dancing the tune, she will play the pipes.  Either way, you choose, she’s already lost to you in the first place, so you have nothing further to lose by backing as far as away from her as you can, Dominic.

Of course, when you don’t act like she wants you to act, she will accuse you of not caring. This is in the hope on her part, that you will continue to participate in an emotional cycle that allows her to have this best of both worlds. She’s in no hurry to choose between the two of you-she wants both of you, but on her terms.   Actually, she is currently deep within her affair, as she is living with the other man-unless I’m missing something here.

Your wife’s common sense seems gone, because she’s thinking emotionally, rather than logically. She’s deeply infatuated with this man, and it looks to me, like she’s looking for her father at the moment. The affair partner that a spouse in emotional crisis chooses, is always either just as broken, or even more broken than the Mid-Life spouse is. The Mid-Life affair partner chosen usually represents one or both parents, and a subconscious need to relive a time from childhood, that wasn’t resolved correctly the first time.

The affair itself must run its course, and your wife wants you to be OK with what she’s doing, and it seems she wants you to continue to “compete” with this other man for her affection. She’s also suffering guilt and shame-she knows this is wrong, and continues doing it anyway.

When you are friendly, but distant, because she wishes to control the interaction between the two of you, she becomes angry, because she loses that control, when you don’t take the emotional “bait” she offers, designed to keep you in the emotional cycle she wants you to participate in.  She needs you to continue feeding her justifications for what she’s doing, and you’re  not doing this, you’re actually doing the opposite, which is a good thing, because usually anger brings forth clarity.

Each time she gets angry, it’s because she’s forced to think of what she’s doing, and she doesn’t want to think-so the anger is designed to be a kind of barrier between you and her.  However her anger shows her a flash of clarity she needs to see. My advice to you is to keep doing what you’re doing, with the added aspect of beginning to back away from her, reduce your contact, and let the affair run its course.

I sincerely hope everything works out for you.

Big hugs,

HB

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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