Their Mid Life Crisis Is Not About You

Note from Author: Upon request, I drew this writing from my forum. It answers a number of questions and contains multiple lessons written within.

Hi I have a question about detaching. Is it important to forgive in order to detach?

No, you don’t have to forgive in order to detach—forgiveness and detachment are separate entitles–and each one has layers.

Detachment is needful to help you not to get so drawn into his drama, helpful in reaching forgiveness, and it’s also for your mental health. Forgiveness is for your peace of mind, not his-so that you don’t get caught up in a huge angry cycle that would be detrimental to your own health.

Even when you forgive, there are still layers of feelings you have to work through in order to reach a whole new level of forgiveness–the article on forgiveness explains the layers one must work through to get to a point of full forgiveness.

Detachment is most helpful in seeing clearly what one would need to forgive, and even why forgiveness is necessary–getting a bigger picture of what’s happening is another aspect of detachment. When feelings cloud your judgment, you can’t see clearly–therefore you might seek to forgive but find that you’re unable to because your angry feelings are “blinding” you to the broken person behind the sin. I completely understand that, because I’ve been there, too. ((HUGS))


Detachment articles:

https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org/total-detachment-dropping-the-emotional-rope/
https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org/indifference-vs-total-detachment-an-explanation/

Forgiveness article:

https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org/forgiveness-has-many-layers-an-explanation/

I still have compassion towards my h but can’t seem to forgive him for being with the ow. I feel like I’m almost there but the anger is keeping me attached. How do I let go of the feeling of betrayal without condoning the affair?

God says it the best when He speaks of hate the sin, love the sinner–which is separating the behavior from the person. God doesn’t condone sin at all, but He understands that when a person commits sin, it’s about them, and not Him. You’d think that God would take every sin committed personally, because of the simple fact that He created us…but He doesn’t, because He knows that whatsoever one sows, they will reap in consequences–and this is how we must learn to separate actions so that we don’t feel that it’s personal, because, really it’s not.

People hurt themselves, when they hurt other people with their wrong actions–they gamble so much on so little–and it’s always possible they may lose everything–but at the time they’re committing an act of sin against their marriage, they’re not looking at the big picture.

The worst loss of all, is that of relationship–and it’s more than one relationship that’s destroyed, which brings it back full circle to the person who committed the sin–they destroy their relationship with God (sin is wages that lead into death of that relationship) marriage (act of adultery that puts marriage asunder causing destruction of love, hopes and dreams), family (loss of love, respect, and regard), and worse of all, they destroy themselves (complete destruction of character, resulting in loss of integrity, honor, and moral code, as they’ve gone against everything they’ve been taught).

There is value in standing steadfast and true, in spite of temptation–but considering the way Satan paints this pretty picture that hides all of the ugliness, all the mid-life spouse can see is an attractive forbidden fruit–all they have to do is bite into it, and Satan has them–but before he completely consumes them, he ensures they are caught so deep in his trap, it becomes next to impossible to get free. Weakness of will to get free of a trap a person has entangled themselves deeply into is something Satan heavily gambles on when he lays traps like these.

As a whole, weakness walks them into it by choice–and to get out requires great emotional strength-because it’s easier to go in, than to come out, if that makes sense.

On your part, the first step to overcoming betrayal is to accept this happened, that there are various aspects to this transgression/sin, and nothing will ever be the same. The second step will be forgiveness, in full working your way through all layers.

As long as you hold a grudge of any kind against the one who has sinned against you, you have NOT fully forgiven…because forgiveness even involves letting go in full…letting go of what’s happened, letting go of the right to avenge this sin, and letting go of the past–and this is even after working through all of it.

This does NOT mean you simply “forget it”–forgetting takes on a different aspect–and from my own experience I found that “forgetting” was connected directly with my emotional healing that rendered me whole and complete. I haven’t humanly forgotten, if that makes sense–but emotionally, I HAVE, because I remember events as FACTS, and since I accepted them in full–YES, they happened. Am I still angry about them? NO, I worked through and forgave in full long ago. Do I relive these events? NO..because my emotional feelings don’t even come up when I experience total recall of these events of the past–and in the past they remain…and I use these experiences to assist me when teaching others who are navigating through marital problems I can relate to.

I could go through my entire story, and never shed a tear…why? Because in my fullness of healing, all emotional memories associated were actually “taken” by God who healed me. He wrought a deep healing in me that reached back across the years to my own childhood. I have a very painful story of childhood, and people who don’t understand think that I might still carry wounds from that time, and forward, but I don’t.

I have other painful memories that occurred long before his two bouts of mid-life crisis, and my transition, that I sometimes share for the purpose of illustrating that life does go on, and a person can continue to live forward, fully healed, in spite of what cannot be changed in the past.

The one caveat was I had to accept this healing after learning something from the experience–and this has also been true of each life’s trial I’ve walked through in my lifetime. I don’t exactly know why God allowed me to navigate through more emotional trials than physical ones, but that’s not for me to know, or even to understand–that’s with God, who knows me better than I know myself.

What I do know is that everything He has ever brought into my life has been for a purpose, a reason, and I also know that one cannot help another unless they’ve walked in those same, or very similar shoes. I have learned to be OK with this, because I know that my suffering has always had a purpose that has been helpful to people for their own learning. ((HUGS))

Everything that I, as a human being, have gone through has always led into this third step–healing—and all these aspects take time…and for each transgression that’s been perpetrated against you, these three steps are required again–and each of these steps contain layers unique to the person going through this kind of process.

If you cannot accept this sin happened, you cannot forgive, and if you cannot forgive you will not heal in full. To reach full healing, you must accept in full, and forgive in full. More food for thought. ((HUGS))

You feel betrayed, and this is a normal feeling that has brought you to grief, and is a normal part of grieving the lost connection your husband caused when he transferred his connection from you to his affair partner–you’re betrayed on a number of levels…and betrayal of trust is a major aspect—he’s betrayed your emotional,(your love for him which brought you into a place of security) mental, (he’s doing something you never thought he would do) and physical trust (destroyed his vows which said he would be faithful to you, his wife).

The level of deception he exercised was bad enough, but when he carried the rest of it through–it caused destruction in you, that will take time to work out within yourself. This doesn’t come overnight, but it will come.

The first thing you must realize, is that what he’s doing is NOT about you–this is about him…and it’s rooted in a wrong line/aspect of thinking that he bought into, and this led him down the road into destroying HIS marriage vows.

This is also one of the layers of forgiveness you have to work through. His affair is not about you–and until you discover and realize this for yourself, you’ll continue to harbor ill feelings that border on vindictive thinking.

It takes time to realize that when someone commits a sin against you, that it is not about you.

For a greater understanding, let me give you a good example using God–when we commit sin, who is that about? US. Does God “cause” us to sin? NO. Is God angry when we sin against Him? Yes, and He has every right to be, but at the same time, He is hurt.

He also grieves in His heart, as He works out His own angry feelings..yes, God is most capable of emotion, except that His emotion is holy and without sin, whereas ours are often caught up in sinful thoughts of revenge against the wrongdoer. God doesn’t think that way–God knows to let us go to do our worst, and when the time is right, we’ll return until Him on our own, receive forgiveness, and hopefully change our ways, and do better.

Now, apply this to the mid-life spouse–of course, you don’t agree with what this man is doing, and yes, it hurts, because you love him, but you can’t do anything about it. You’re thinking this is about you, because you’ve not separated yourself from your husband. You and your husband are One Flesh, as per God who joined you together, but are of two SEPARATE minds, which dictate that decisions made by one are completely independent of the other.

OK, so food for thought–if your husband’s affair is about you, how is it that he made a decision that you had nothing do with, and did not take into consideration the hurt he would cause, your feelings, etc.? If his affair had been about you, then you would have orchestrated events AND made the decision that took him into this sin…but yet, you didn’t do any of these things–in fact, you were living your life forward at the time he made that decision–so what he did, had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with himself.

One last thing–IF he had been completely thinking of you, and taking you into consideration, he would not have gone this far. Why? Because he would have been thinking of you, and not himself, and would have known/understood that this would hurt you. However, what he did was put you in a box (compartmentalization) where you were “out of sight, out of mind”–and with this, he justified getting into an affair as he convinced himself that you wouldn’t care, wouldn’t mind, and his disrespect was such that HE DECIDED it was OK–if he had asked you, of course, you would have said no..but again, he was not thinking of you at all, but himself.

Also, when he chose this path of sin, this wasn’t about God, nor you, this was about his selfish desires, and so God, like you, were cut totally out of the picture into an “out of sight, out of mind” kind and type of selfishness that led to the entitlement thinking he was in when he got thus entangled in his affair.

I have next to nc with h.

Keep in mind that NO CONTACT is for you–not necessarily him. Considering there is nothing you can do to stop, or otherwise end his affair–take this time of NC, and allow yourself to heal. ((HUGS))

https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org/using-no-contact-during-the-mid-life-crisis/

I’ve read on other sites that you are supposed to be nice and happy around h, I believe it is so they feel able to come back.

Total detachment will help you to deal with your husband without showing anger–they remember how they are treated while deep within the mid-life crisis. Do Unto Others is a good rule to follow. It doesn’t mean you don’t set boundaries against bad behavior, but one of the lessons of life dictates that you need to learn to be calm in conflict because anger feeds anger.

Once you progress further along on your journey, it won’t matter if he returns or not, because your journey isn’t about him–it’s about you. You can work yourself forward while leaving a door open for a possible return, but don’t ever bank on an absolute positive, because there is no such thing as absolutes during the mid-life crisis–he will choose to return or he won’t choose to return.

What’s more important right now, is what you achieve for yourself in your own growth. As you accomplish changes within yourself, your attitude will undergo a change, and you will find that you will be just fine with him, or without him. Again, it’s not about him–it’s all about you.

It’s not that you would forget him–it’s just that once you completely recognize that there isn’t one thing you can do for him, or even to “make” him do what’s right, you learn to begin living for God first, and you second…if you don’t take care of either one of these relationships–God, and you–you would be unable to properly care for your children, who benefit from the positive “trickle effect” of the changes you would make in yourself.

These lead to being able to live in peace–and you would need to reach this point whether this man returns or not.

My h has said since bd he is never coming back so while he is deep in replay can I show him anger or do I have to be friendly?

Saying they are never coming back, is pure mid-life crisis “script”–they ALL say this, and most of them are sure, or they say they are from the supposedly “secure” place they are in at the time they say it. Learn to take everything he says with a grain of salt, believe nothing he says, and simply watch his actions, which speak louder than his words, let him go, and move forward for yourself. ((HUGS))

I haven’t cried in almost a week. I am getting a little concerned that I am detaching too much.

Let me say this: One can NEVER be TOO detached–detachment is for you to heal, and if you were crying all of the time, you could not function at all. So, considering that detachment won’t last forever, take this time to heal, because you won’t remain this way for all time. Rest in the peace that this total detachment is allowing you to have, and don’t worry about being too detached–your mind is clear, able to think, and that is another positive side effect of total detachment–you’re doing just fine, Sweetie. ((HUGS))

I have read a lot of your posts and know I’m not supposed to take the affair personally. I am not understanding how that is possible. Being intimate with someone else while married is the ultimate betrayal. How does one not take that personally?

The ultimate betrayal is against SELF (emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually) when one chooses to allow oneself to fall into temptation which influences that person to stray completely away from God.

In marriage, the ultimate betrayal is the fact he has left the marriage, and everything he has done to put the marriage asunder–it’s the whole laundry list of sin this man has committed–the adultery is only one aspect of his ultimate betrayal of your long term marriage, and in the long run, he has actually betrayed, and hurt, himself. For all that he has sown, so shall he surely reap…and it will be HIM that receives heavy punishment, NOT you–you didn’t betray your vows, nor cause your marriage to fall apart in this way–your husband did all of that, and his sin committed was all about him.

The only way this could become about you, was if you actually enabled him to do it by wrong influence, by emotionally blackmailing him into cheating on you, and manipulating and controlling him into committing this sin of betrayal. Rhetorical question: Did you push him, force him, blackmail him, manipulate him, control him, influence him, and/or enable him to commit adultery? Did you? OF COURSE NOT!!!!

So, you tell me–since you had nothing to do with what HE DID–how did YOU personally cause his sin? If it were personal to you, that would mean you had a hand in it, caused it, etc……yet, you tell me you didn’t.

Do you see my point?

His affair IS NOT about YOU–his affair is all about what HE DID in answer to a real or perceived problem that was all about HIM.

I’m trying to help you see and understand how this is NOT personal, nor about you, so you can learn some more about your husband’s fault, because the fault lays in HIM–not you. You could have been the most perfect and beautiful wife in the world, and he would still have had a mid-life crisis and cheated. Why? Because, first you didn’t break him, so you can’t fix him, AND, you didn’t have anything to do with any decisions HE made to cheat on you…again, NONE of this had anything to do with you, and everything to do with him, because the weakness, the tendency, the crack in his character was NOT caused by you–this was in him. ((HUGS))

Well, let’s see if this post will load, LOL–I got quite long…but maybe this will be helpful. 🙂

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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