Am I Having A Mid-life Crisis? What Do I Do Now?

The stories written here have been so informative. I thought I was the only woman in this situation! I am so glad I stumbled across this web site!

This is my story.... I am 47 years old. I have been married to my husband for 23 years. I have 2 children( 9 & 6 yrs). I have been dissatisfied with our sex life since before we married. At first, everything was good. We met when I was 21. He was 28. He was mature, responsible, & he swept me off my feet. About a year into our relationship, my younger sister moved into my rented room with me, and our intimate/ private time was disrupted. I thought we would resume our passionate times after we married and had our own home. I thought it was just temporary circumstances. I couldn't wait to get married and go on our honeymoon. Sadly, our 10 day honeymoon resulted in only 2 sexual encounters. I thought it would get better when we got back home. I envisioned christening every room in the house! Wrong!

A few months into our marriage, I stopped taking birth control pills, because there was no need for them. Nothing was happening! Our sex life was very sporadic. I tried to " fix" things plenty of times. I wore sexy lingerie, made attempts, had talks. I spent many,
many lonely nights lying next to him, crying, wondering what was wrong with me. I didn't talk to any of my friends or family about this. I was too embarrassed. I felt ashamed that my husband didn't desire me the way I thought a man should desire a woman, especially one that he loved and married. He was a great man in every other way. People thought I was lucky to have such a wonderful husband! I tolerated the little sex we had because everything else was good. I told myself that no one has a " perfect" relationship. There is compromise in all marriages. Eventually, the sex stopped completely....

I am not even sure how long it has been. I know for certain that we have not been intimate in at least 13 years! It could be 15. I have lost track. Along the way, I also lost myself.....

I want to point out that 13 years ago, my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He went through hell! He had multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, etc. It was a terrible time, but thankfully he made it through! Throughout it all, I was right there with him, as a loving, supportive spouse would be. When it became clear that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and he would beat it, I was filled with " hope" that his illness would somehow be a turning point in his life, in our life. People always say how having a potential fatal illness "changes" them. I thought he would "wake" up and realize that life is a gift. I hoped he would appreciate me and our relationship more. After all, no one knows how long or short life will be. Make the most of what you have! Embrace the important people in your life! Because, when you get to end of your life are you going to regret not having that new car /huge house, or are you going to regret not telling someone special that you love them, just one more time?

Well, nothing changed....I gave it a few years and felt I was at a crossroads. Stay and try ,(Prior to his illness, we were trying to have a baby and struggled with infertility issues.) or leave. Who knew if the grass would be greener on the other side of the fence! I chose a family. And I totally quit trying to have any physical relationship with my husband. I threw myself into being a Mom! I convinced myself that it was all I needed! I did my best to switch off any sexual feelings. But deep in my heart, I was unhappy. I turned to food as my pleasure source.

Fast forward 10 years ... The children aren't babies anymore and don't need me as much. I feel like I have woken up! All the issues that were in my marriage before children, are STILL there! Only now I am much older! I am filled with such anger and resentment for all the wasted time. This is my one life to live too! I have embarked on a self improvement journey. I have lost weight! I go to the gym. I am trying to piece together my shattered self esteem. I have had several discussions with my husband that we have drifted apart. How can we live as brother & sister and not drift apart? He gave me all kinds of excuses for the lack of sex. There is absolutely no intimacy in our relationship! I have been neglected for years. I am no longer in love with him. I think he was worried I might be leaving, because believe it or not, he started making lame attempts with me. ( while I was sleeping) Years ago, I would've taken any scraps he offered, but not anymore! I have no intention of having a physical relationship with him, ever again! I cannot open my heart to the pain. I don't trust him. I knew his attempts weren't sincere, because they have stopped. I feel like I am at another crossroads. I am so afraid of making a mistake! My life is half over. I don't want to waste anymore of it! It saddens me to think I may never feel the touch of a man again. I haven't felt it since I was in my 30's and not very often then! I miss it! I miss the emotional connection too! I have two young children to think of though. I don't want to hurt them! But I long for MORE! Am I having a mid- life crisis? What is the solution?

ANewLife4Me ANewLife4Me
46-50, F
15 Responses Mar 11, 2011

I'm with ya! I don't really have any good advice, but I can give empathy and support. I have a 5 year old daughter and I'm petrified of what a divorce might do to her. We are close and I'm think I'm a good dad. I feel like I'm living a grand sharade with my wife. She portraits everything is great to everyone around us. I'm so tired of the rejection of even a small sign of affection. She always has an excuse. I started to feel guilty like I was wanting too much. I started feeling like there was something wrong with me. After reading the stories in this group, I don't feel so guilty anymore and I see there are other people just like me. It helps a little but I still struggle with what I should do on a daily/nightly basis. I hope and pray that we both, that we all, find the wisdom and strength to do what we need to do.

I want to spend a night with you. I'm 24 yo!:*

You say you're no longer in love with him. Don't do him or yourself any favors by sticking around. You said it, the love is gone. Unless you were just feeling blue when you wrote that, you already know what you must do. And staying for the kids? You don't want to hurt them? Well, therapists, parents and a whole lot of other people would highly advise against doing that. The "hurt' they will feel now will probably not compare to the psychological damage of being exposed to a dysfunctional relationship between their parents in the future.<br />
. <br />
Your situation sucks. It sucks for many reasons, but one that really bothers me is that he has tried, physically, to make love but since you no longer love him, you actually refuse him. It sucks because his years of refusal made you fall out of love. So at this point it's not really about a blame game; it's more like quicksand for both of you.

Thanks to everyone for all your input! I am comforted in the knowledge that I am not alone in this sad situation...<br />
<br />
Bazaar: I have been reading your comments on other stories on ILIASM. I have been lurking for awhile before I posted my story. Your comments are always very honest, insightful, informative & direct. I appreciate your thoughts on my SM. I have grabbed that cup of coffee & been reading! Hell, I drank the whole pot! I know there is no " magic bullet". I wish there was! I guess the stage I am at is somewhere between "stuck for the moment" ( kids) & " working on my exit strategy".<br />
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Eternalhope: You mentioned your son.... I am very concerned about my children. I don't want to hurt them! They love their Dad & would be devastated if we were to split up. This is not their fault. I don't want them to suffer. I know I will be sacrificing a part of myself if I stay. I wonder, how long can I continue like this? <br />
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Endthegame: All your comments resonate with me. I do feel that it is "dead". I have been "disengaging". You have summed up my feelings correctly. " It really does take you apart one bit at a time."<br />
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Chocciebean: I "am" pretty sure I will walk out at some stage. I am hoping to get some guidance from everyone here. Every time I think that " I only get one life" (& I think it often) it brings me to tears.<br />
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Enna30: You are spot on. You have also summed up my situation correctly! I liked your balloon analogy! Like the balloon that refuses to stay under water....I refuse to continue on the way I was.....<br />
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AnarChristian: My stomach doesn't feel very well right now. I walk around with a knot in it quite often. I don't think my H REALLY loves ME. How can he? He doesn't even know me anymore. He loves the IDEA of me & our family. He loves the illusion that our marriage has become.<br />
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Vivalashoohah: That is what I will tell my H when I finally exit. "My life is half over. I don't want to waste anymore of it!"<br />
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Mvcmvc: Your comments are also very true. I am trying to rebuild my womanhood & improve my life. The genie is most certainly out of the bottle! Lol. However, I am terrified of making a mistake. The consequences are so high. I am changing. I am regaining power, albeit slowly. Wish I knew for certain what the "appropriate manner" is.....<br />
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Pinto pony: I can't wait to wear my sunglasses & feel the warmth of the bright sunshine on my future!<br />
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Jthehuman: Thank you for your suggestions. I am on a journey of self improvement. It feels wonderful! I do think it will take some time to sort it all out. Maybe you are right, & a year? from now, things will be clearer.

13years4m2, You have really gotten some good sound advice from your story. Bazzar is probably the best, but all have good points. You will have to leave to be ultimatley happy. You are in fact still young by many standards. You will have to wade thru all this to come out to able to enjoy the rest of your life.<br />
The kids will make it thru better doing it at this age than as teens. Work out a good arrangement with him for them. If he is a good Dad he will want to do whats needed for them after he gets over the seperation and divorce aspect. Dont be used! Do what is fair for them but DON`t be put on a guilt trip.<br />
My suggestion is get your weight,fitness and mind in good shape, get a job in order to have your own funds, he wont be for it but do it, get out of the house and meet people, groups, things you like with like people. Plan on at least a year to get thru and over this as a start. A year passes faster than you think. You will have a totally different perspective a year after you make your initial move. It isnt and wont be easy but regular people do it every day. When you do make the move take your time in any new relations with men. Really get to know someone before you get deeply involved otherwise have a good time dating till you find someone really worth your love and interested in your children.<br />
You will get a lot of support on here, a few flakes but 99% really interested good intelligent people

Dear 13Years4Me<br />
Read my story, we are so at the same place in our lives. I too have started the self improvement journey. I'm already starting to feel better. I always was a glass half full person but now I think it's going to rain and overfill the glass. I can't say we'll get divorced but I'm not waiting for him anymore. Yippee, the sun does shine. If I have to think about everything, I'll go crazy, so I'll think about the exit plan another day. However long that is down the road doesn't matter, I'll get there when I get there. The SOB is too lazy to do it on his own. You can call it whatever you want, mid-life crisis, what-have-you but come join me in the sun because our futures are so bright we'll have to wear shades.

I"m with the poster who said grab a coffee and read. I always make a full pot of coffee when I plan to go on here and read. <br />
<br />
You are a normal person with needs................................the problem is surely not with you but with him.

You are too young for this crap! Dump your unloving and dishonest husband!<br />
The solution is to divorce and start looking at other men. <br />
<br />
I know, I know, it sucks. We all know how you feel. <br />
<br />
<br />
" especially one that he loved and married. " <br />
Only the second one of those actions is ob<x>jectively observable to be true. To determine whether the first one is real, you are going to have to rely on your gut. <br />
How does your stomach feel right now?

"You could find a mate in your neighbourhood and be clear that there is no long term relationships and only flings whenever you feel like that. Do it discreetly and you will get over the urge in a few years and live a normal life with your family". <br />
<br />
Whew ! rotten advice :-) spoken like a true might as well have said "get those nasty, dirty sexual urges out of the way and face up to life without them" Sex is a beautiful thing and can last forever in many cases.

"I feel like I have woken up! All the issues that were in my marriage before children, are STILL there!"<br />
<br />
This is very common. Many of us, including myself, have spent much of our marriages suppressing the fact that our partners are simply NOT the right ones for us. We have denied the truth to ourselves. We have convinced ourselves that we can cope with our situations because there is much that is good in our relationships. We have denied our sexuality and our need for intimacy, passion and ardour. Usually we are unaware that we ARE doing this - denial is like that!! LOL<br />
<br />
I liken it to trying to keep an inflated balloon under water. We invest HUGE amounts of energy in trying to hold the damn thing under water, but eventually it pops up and REFUSES to be ignored or denied any longer. . . . That is where you are at present IMO.

You need to read a lot here to understand what's happening. The first thing is to realise it's not you, it's not a midlife crisis or whatever, and this is absolutely not a normal way to live. <br />
<br />
I wouldn't say walk out now, but I'm pretty sure you will at some stage. You've already made a lot of progress on your own - now you're here things will probably move a lot faster. You'll get a lot of support here from people who are or have been in the same situation, and that helps a lot. Remember, you only get one life. Very best of luck to you xx

You are not having a 'Mid Life Crisis'. You are facing the truth.<br />
Crisis means change, and that is not a bad thing.<br />
<br />
Baz is correct (As usual), read here and also look into yourself. You are trying to accept that it is dead, you already know it is but you are working it through, this is part of the process to disengage.<br />
The next choice is what to do next.<br />
It is the anxiety that will cause you pain now, inside your mind is made up. You are about to justify a lot of things to yourself and which ever way you turn you will hurt people you love or once loved.<br />
<br />
"But its only sex!" you say.<br />
<br />
You have nothing left, be honest with yourself. All the intimacy has gone, the bond has gone.<br />
And do not apologise for needing this. You are human, and humans need inclusion and intimacy. It really does take you apart one bit at a time. But people can not see this, or understand until they have been denied it.<br />
<br />
Good luck, chill out, and all in your own time...

The only true solution is for you to leave. <br />
<br />
There is no way you can live in that situation and have the fulfilment you seek. <br />
<br />
An affair is an option but, not a long term solution.<br />
<br />
The decision to leave a marriage is NOT an easy one. We wrestle with a lot of issues. It took me 4 years before I could take that final step. <br />
<br />
All I can say is this. If you're staying for the kids, the younger they are, the better they deal with a separation / divorce. It DOES NOT get easier as they get older. <br />
<br />
My regret is NOT leaving 4 years ago when my son was only 6 and even less attached to his father.

I think you are very human. I feel so sorry for you. Keep trying for someone who is compatible with you <br />
and someone who loves sex as much as you do. My situation is similar in a way. I miss having sex with a woman so much. I divorced my wife in 1982 and have had a partner for 2 years since then. I am reduced to watching **** and ************ to relieve the tension. I am still living in hope to find a lady more compatible sex wise as life is passing so fast. <br />
Don't give up hope - keep trying. Winston Churchill said "Never surrender"!!<br />
I'm in Western Australia - where are you?<br />
Good luck.

Regretably 13, there is only one guaranteed solution to alleviating the pain of a bad situation. And that is to vacate the situation.<br />
<br />
This is not want you want to hear and is far too confronting to accept straight off the bat.<br />
<br />
So, how about you take a deep breath, grab a coffee, and start reading in here. In very short order you will find that - although you are a unique individual - your situation is far from unique.<br />
<br />
You will see stories where people are trying to "work on their marriages" in various ways to fire up the sexual ex<x>pression component again. <br />
You will see peoples stories where the attempt to re-ignite the flame have failed, and they are stuck, for the moment. Beaten.<br />
Stories where the person is starting work on their exit strategy.<br />
Where they are executing their exit strategy.<br />
Where they are out the other end.<br />
<br />
What you will NOT find is a magic bullet solution where, in one grand gesture, the situation is fixed.<br />
<br />
I suggest you read, read, read for the moment. I will bet that within the first 10 stories you read you will see yourself.<br />
<br />
You are no longer alone, this group welcomes you. This group will be honest with you (that can be confronting). When you are comfortable, start asking questions. Be as direct as you like. Take what resonates with you out of the group. There are very varied viewpoints held, all argued with passion and personal experience. Don't be shy about putting your views forward either.<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.