When does midlife begin?
Women like men can’t tell if they’ve entered a midlife transition by counting the number of candles on a cake. Reaching a certain age that ends in zero is not as accurate a predictor of transition as experiencing your first jolt of awareness that time is passing. If you’ve purchased your first pair of reading glasses, plucked a dark chin hair, launched your child into adulthood, or witnessed your parents’ health decline, you’ve already received your wake-up call.
While forty typically represents the beginning of midlife, stressful life events – death of a parent or family member, divorce, loss of job, career change, significant personal illness, or early onset of menopause – may initiate the transition process in some cases as early as mid- to late-thirties. On the other hand, they may be in their fifties and believe they’ve successfully avoided the process completely simply because they’ve failed to recognize what’s happened.
Midlife may be denied, but not escaped. It’s a biological inevitability to grow and enter the next stage of development. Like adolescence, midlife transition is a period of getting a sense of who they are and establishing their identity. Just as adolescence transforms a child to an adult, midlife transforms the person they think they are to the person they believe were meant to be.
Frequently, a midlife crisis is brought on by their internal feelings of discontentment. It’s a reaction to the fear of losing youth – their “last chance” for happiness. They wake up one morning with a profound feeling of emptiness inside, haunted by a vague sense that something is missing in their lives. Suddenly they’re bored with what used to interest them and dissatisfied by their present relationships or in their chosen roles in life. It’s not uncommon for them to feel depressed, lost and confused. Just knowing that this is normal can help you stay sane.
Transition, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “a passage from one stage to another, whether gradual or abrupt.” Transition by its very nature involves change, and change can be difficult. Change, even by choice, turns the familiar into the unfamiliar, resulting in feelings of fear and inadequacy as they enter unknown territory.
For many women, the transition to midlife is a period of confusion and uncertainty. About the time they think their development is coming to an end, they find themselves embarking on a totally unexpected journey of growth and change. Although a normal part of maturing, midlife represents distinctive adjustments for women:
- Losing their sense of purpose – feeling perplexed about the meaning of their life
- Shifting parental responsibilities as children are launched or need less attention
- Awareness that their beginning to show signs of aging
- Concern about approaching menopause and how it will affect their life
- Behaving completely out-of-character – feeling like a stranger to themselves
- Bewilderment over a “crush” they’ve developed on someone not even their type even though their married or in a longtime relationship
- Neglected talents demanding to be expressed – dreams and desires reemerging
- Boredom with activities that previously held great interest and dominated your life
- Caring for aging parents – discovering the roles are suddenly reversed
- Biological clock ticking – wondering if it’s too late to start a family
- Questioning the accuracy of assumptions made years ago about God and faith
Embracing life requires the courage to face fears, change habits that perpetuate the lives they have, and acknowledge the dreams they’ve kept suppressed. You probably know several women who have taken considerable risks in order to lead more authentic lives: perhaps someone who turned down a promotion to have more time with her family, forfeited a steady income to launch a new business, started a family after forty, earned a college degree in midlife, or took early retirement in order to volunteer full-time.
At forty, they may be a grandmother or may have just had their first child. If they are in their twenties and thirties were spent raising a family or developing a career – or maybe struggling to manage both – they suddenly discover that they’re longing to do all the things they had to postpone for the sake of their children or work.
But like some men, some women cannot control their urge to change, and this change sometimes is extremely hurtful to her present family, husband or longtime companion. Women like men, sometime look to someone else for understanding and this leads to a relationship that the women believes is what she has been missing. In her mind, this has happen to help her find herself.
The “His and Her” midlife crisis was put together to help anyone who needs a little help understanding what a midlife crisis is. It’s very different in men and women but for all men it’s almost always the same signs as it is for most all women. I researched this information from different sources on the internet and found this to be very informative. God Bless and I hope this helps!
Tags: midlife crisis