HELP!! Has anyone survived a partner's midlife crisis? (why do I feel like such a loser?)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 7:14 AM GMT
    DRAMA Alert.. this is long! (sorry)

    I don't really know how to begin.... my 10 year relationship with the man I had planned to spend the rest of my life with is collapsing around me. I feel like I'm caught in a huge tidal wave, the more I fight, the more tired I just become... all the while the waves continue to crash against me and sweep me out to sea.

    Over the last 6 months my partner has entered into what I've finally realized to be a mid-life crisis.

    It started in July at a birthday pool party that we threw for a good friend of ours... I accidentally knocked over a stereo speaker (due to a slightly drunken state) and dented the corner of it (it still works perfectly well). My partner got very upset and demanded that I buy a brand new one... unfortunately (and probably due to my inebriated state) I told him that I was sorry for dropping it, but there was no way I was going to replace a perfectly good $300 speaker just because it was dented in the corner... I promptly went back to the party and didn't really think about it again... Well, later that night as everyone else had left and I was thinking we were getting ready to go out to meet them... He drops the bomb... he asks if I think we should take a break... He says that I'm mean and he really doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore... Obviously, I was totally caught by surprise and devastated. I ended up sleeping in the guest room, but the next morning he came to the room and we made up...

    Well, it just been a roller coaster since then... about a month and a half later, we were at a party and got into tiff again (over something really stupid... he was fawning over an friend's (gorgeous) new home and kinda bashing our house in the process... and I got upset) Well, we got into a fight and the "break" came up again, but this time, in a fit of anger, I decided to call his bluff... so I agreed and told him since it was his idea he could move into the guest room that night! He's been there ever since.

    Since then it seems like one week we are good and the next we are back... I feel like I don't even know him anymore... He's gotten obsessed with aging (his 37th birthday was last week). He's hired a personal trainer (even though he probably knows more about training than the trainer), he's started dying the gray in his hair, he's made all kinds of friends with twenty-something kids who he doesn't want me to meet, he started smoking pot (used to be "morally" opposed) and goes out for "drinks" all the time with his new friends (and without me).

    It all came to a head the week before Christmas... we went out to a party and he decided that he wasn't feeling good... so he leaves (I arrange a ride with friends) 3 minutes later he calls me and tells me that he's going out instead! I get home and fall asleep in the living room.... only to be woken up by the sound of him coming in with a TRICK! Needless to say, I left him that night... took the dogs and slept at our rental house. The whole next day he's calling me and trying to find me... apologizing profusely, begging me to forgive him and come home. He even wrote me this long letter telling me how he couldn't live without me and that he's ruined the best thing he's ever known... I gave in and came back... I decided that I couldn't give up on the ten years that I've put into this.. I was determined to make it work at all costs!

    Well it had seemed that it was steadily getting better since then (we even had sex two weeks ago - for the first time since the break)... until this past week - his 37th birthday. We went out for dinner with some friends and I made a stupid joke about him (in a teasing sorta manner)… He got furious with me and the whole night was spent in turmoil… since then its been all down hill… I spent Valentines Day alone – he went out to play tennis during the day and then left me this message in the evening saying that he had had a bad day and wanted to be alone and go out for a drink.. I might have believed him except that same day I stumbled across a birthday card (hidden) that he had gotten from some guy… who referred to him as “babe!”

    Since then it’s been the silent treatment for him, but he acts like he doesn't notice (or doesn’t care)… and I couldn’t help but rummage through the guest room every day looking for clues or confirmation to my worst fears. Well, today, I found it… a condom in the trash, the wrapper still in his drawer… He had the gall to bring that guy into my home!!!!! This evening he came home stoned and went directly to the guest room.

    Being the coward that I am I didn’t confront him… how did I become the weak, abused housewife stereotype!!!??? I just want to wake up from this nightmare and get my old boyfriend back!!!!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 7:14 AM GMT
    What do I do? The Taurus in me tells me that I've put into too many years into this relationship to let it fail and to just endure and that he’ll eventually realize what he’s doing and come back to me, the engineer in me tells me that I’m an weak emotional loser and to leave this jerk who I don’t even know anymore!

    Please help me out!
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Feb 18, 2009 8:04 AM GMT
    *BIG SIGH*

    This is uncomfortable [at the least]...and unfortunately strikes close to sound like you have a really good head on your shoulders from what you wrote [I don't hear any 'day dreams' about what this is or isn't]...and I suspect you already know what you need to do...

    Truth be told, you aren't going to change him or do anything to alter his behavior. Only he can do this - and I have a feeling you already know this too.

    You have to determine what is right for you. Is staying in the same house the easy thing or the right thing while you both figure out what the next steps in your relationship are? Is this a mid-life crisis or his way of telling you through his behavior, the relationship doesn't mean the same for him as it appears to do for you - that something has changed?

    - You both need to talk to find out if you are both on the same page or whether someone turned that page.
    - You need to figure out some boundaries for moving forward that keep you safe [emotionally and physically].
    - You need to realize this is not going to be easy - obviously sitting back and hoping this crisis will avert itself over time isn't working.

    I have realized I can't judge another person's relationship. Only those two [or more] know what is best for one's self. I know this for myself when my partner [at the time] started the same type of behavior. I realized a monogamous relationship comes with a level of security in the commitment two people forge. Dating behavior allows for relationships with many people, but no commitment and therefore no security in those relationships. The two are mutually exclusive [in my opinion]. I give up one to have the other.

    In my situation, the relationship dissolved. In the long run, I realized it was the best thing. I am MUCH happier not having to emotionally manage another human being who couldn't figure out what they wanted/needed in life.

    Hope you come out of this with few battle scars. Much luck to you.

    - David
  • rnch

    Posts: 11502

    Feb 18, 2009 11:35 AM GMT
    you already know what you have to do.

    he is hurting you mentally. he is fucking other guys on the side. he is NOT your bf anymore. he thinks he is a free player. he is enjoying all the benefits of yall's long term relationship, while enjoying being a player.

    it's time for ya'll to separate and go your own ways.

    forgive my bluntness...but someone has to say this.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11502

    Feb 18, 2009 11:37 AM GMT
    P.S. your soon-to-be-ex sounds like a selfish, shallow, surface orientated, self absorbed fuck. icon_evil.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 12:38 PM GMT
    My heart really goes out to you....I have had so many of those feelings myself! I am going through some similar things with my bf and I also believe its related to him getting older.

    Reading some of the stories of other guys on here and how they tuffed it out for their relationships really inspire me! To go through all that we go through and to still try to save your relationship and believe in "love" is so admirable and outstanding!!

    Unfortunately, you cant let this guy keep using you like this. If he is going through some sort of crisis, he needs to do it on his own without damaging your self worth and dignity.

    I am so sorry you are going through this and we are all here for you, but its really your choice and man its a hard one to make...I myself am at a crossroads.

    I think you deserve better than what your getting after 10 years, and if he cant give you what you deserve, then you need to find someone who you want to be asking yourself these same questions and going through this in another 10 years?

  • rnch

    Posts: 11502

    Feb 18, 2009 1:01 PM GMT
    the famous advice collumist, Ann Landers, would give this reply to people in similar situations: "you just have to ask yourself 'am i better off with him(her) or without him(her)?' "
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
    All LTRs have their rough patches. People grow and change at different rates and some are better than others at communicating their needs and weighing their priorities.
    That said, there are certain lines that should never be crossed and one of them is bringing home tricks behind the other's back. That's why the consensus on this thread appears to be it's time to split. But before ending a ten-year partnership why not try counseling or at least talking it out, instead of silently nursing your grievances in separate bedrooms?
    About half the posts on this site seem to be by attractive guys bemoaning the fact that they can't find anyone to date. You and your partner clearly had enough of a bond to stay together this long. Why not make a serious effort to work on your problems before joining the ranks of the single?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 3:14 PM GMT

    Wow, TexDef,

    That's pretty potent and good stuff! *admire admire admire*


    What he said, daystroom!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    Clearly one of you needs to decide who is going to get the main house and who is going to live in the rental property because the roommates and on
    again boyfriend thing is not working for you.

    It is enabling you from your being able to move on because to some degree sweetie he already has. Most importantly it just is not healthy.

    Granted you have put 10 years into your union but even the best of relationships end. How can you ever feel secure again? You will always feel that you have to walk on eggs shells, when you want to voice your opinion which is your right as his partner and heck has a human being.

    I don't see this as mid life crisis he's not even forty, he's too young for a mid-life crisis. I'm 45 and I have not even had.
    This is more a sign of his maturity or the lack of. My ex-lover used to do the same thing to me, it drove me crazy ended up dropping 15 pounds from the stress until I just finally decided that I had had enough. It was the rapid weight loss that hit home. The gaunt look is not a look that I was able to carry out well.

    You have to look at what's important your emotional well being or the material things and hanging on to a person who behavior is mentally abusive.

    I wish you well and God Speed. One thing is for sure one way or another you have to get off this roller coaster.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    that sucks -- i'm in a LTR too and we have our ups and downs. (nothing like what you're going through...) It sounds to me like the relationship is already over. you're not sleeping together or living together, he's seeing other people, it's been this way for a while... nothing left but to make it official. sorry, dude.

    look at it this way -- you had many great years together (and a few sucky ones) and it's time to let him go so you can both have more happiness either alone or with new people. staying together can only bring more sadness. icon_cry.gif

    be strong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 4:51 PM GMT
    Take a look at "Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life"
    by Gail Sheehy

    She describes the changes that most of us go thru in each decade of our lives.

    Just as you expect a baby to be able to do certain things like roll over and sit up at certain ages, that doesnt stop throughout your life. We all have pretty defined developmental stages that we go thru.

    Your partner is going thru his turbulent thirties where is he struggling with having "tied the knot" with you and being pulled to being single again. There will be a rebound. He probably doesnt even realize that it is happening. But if the two of you understand what is happening and that it is pretty normal, you can go with the flow and ups and downs better...and come out still intact in the end......then you get to live thru the Forties ....hahahahahaha

    funny pictures of cats with captions
  • rnch

    Posts: 11502

    Feb 18, 2009 5:48 PM GMT
    if this is what one should expect from a LTR then i shall remain single!

    any man who mind fucks me like that (and fucks some trick in out house) would suffer the Full Fury of my financial, physical and emotional revenge.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11502

    Feb 18, 2009 5:53 PM GMT
    and daystroom: the looser is not you, it is your soon-to-be ex.

    years from now when he is fat, fifty and alone perhaps then he will realize what a Great Guy he had in you!

    come move to new orleans!!!
  • DrStorm

    Posts: 185

    Feb 18, 2009 6:00 PM GMT
    Daystroom, you are not the first person to encounter this situation, nor will you be the last. I totally sympathize with you since I've been through worse than what you went through. Similarly, my ex in his late 30s became "restless" after 6 years together.

    I will not to go into details, but rather say a few things looking back in retrospect. Yes, you feel like a loser, but actually, you are not. It's HIS loss. You will be HIS loss. There is pretty much nothing you can say or do during this period of "unrest" he is going through that will make him "see the light' and go back to what you had. Consider that part of your life finished. I can say these things now that I look back without any emotional clouding of my judgment. I was devastated at the time - once you've been any amount of time into a relationship you do not want to give it up. Yes, you can forgive him and take him back and love him more....I did that for a year. However, here is what you can NOT do. You can not make him feel better about himself or tell or try and make him feel the way you think he should feel. If he doesn't know where and what he should be feeling and doing then no-one can. He has to come to terms with all this himself. I realized that if I stuck around longer I'd lose my ex the "bad" way, i.e. I'd never see or hear from him again if we continued on the road to hell. Instead, I left him the "good way"...I let him to decide how and what he wanted to do on his own and it took him another year to figure that one out. Moving to across the country away from him help me get over him a lot quicker.

    Today, we are still good friends, he has a new boyfriend and I am happy for him. Do I miss him, hell yes. Do I want him back, hell no.

    Somethings can last forever, somethings don't. You may think your current boyfriend is the best thing in your life....perhaps not. Perhaps there really is someone else out there who WILL be that person to spend the rest of your life. Consider yourself very fortunate to have had 10 years together.

    Whether or not you should dump your ex and move on, well, that's up to you. I do not know either of you and nor do I know if he will "come around"...but life experience has told me that you'd be better of (and so will he) if you move on.

    Perhaps not what you want to hear, it certainly was NOT what I wanted to hear at the time, but glad I took my friend's advice to move on.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 6:08 PM GMT
    It's easy to say as an outsider looking in, but it sounds like this relationship's doing more damage than providing you with the good that loving relationships provide. Your partner is obviously very uncomfortable with the loss of his youth, and doesn't sound as if he's very secure with himself. Cheating, drug use, and suggestive messages from other guys are unacceptable and you're more than within your right to dismiss him from your life until he gets his shit together. Everything he's doing is his choice so you have no need to feel guilty or to feel like less of a person because of his decisions.

    In my opinion if you want this to work, couples counseling along with some individual counseling for both of you would be the way to go. Him because he's insecure with the aging process, and you because it seems like this is affecting your self esteem. You do not want to be the victim, there's no way to move forward when you're stuck in that mentality.

    Don't get pulled into the "I'll change" bs. He's got the perfect situation as an above poster mentioned. For him to change, the costs will have to outweigh the benefits. Either way you need to follow through or else he'll think this kind of behavior is ok, and he'll know which buttons to press to placate you while he whoops it up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    Talk to him, ask him what the hell is wrong with him. You said you gave him a second chance right? Did you ever ask him about what was going on in his mind when you gave him that opportunity and you had him opening up his feelings and fears? If not, then you never gave him a second chance. You are just in the same place where you started.

    Im saying this cause this is a 10 years relationship otherwise I would have sent your bf really far away.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    I´m so sorry this is happening to you. (virtual non.sexual hug)

    The situation as you describe it is not sustainable and is not helping either of you. Along with the others it seems to me there are two things you need to do: (1) really try to talk this through and work it out and see if there is a relationship which can be salvaged (counselling) and then if it won´t work (2) move on and don´t look back.

  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Feb 18, 2009 6:23 PM GMT
    Short answer.... dump him, your old boyfriend isn't coming back. He's only 37, he's already moved on (his actions have shown this), you need to too.

    Long answer...You've had 10 really good years, that is more than a lot of Gay people will ever have. But sometimes we change and we want different things. Sometimes it is a crisis, or temporary thing and we get over these urges. Sometimes that is part of change, and things can't ever be the same.

    YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON HERE. Remember that you should be looking after number 1. If your partner keeps doing things that are humiliating then you have to get your strength together and get out of the situation. It's not your fault. If this relationship is over, then be grateful for the good times and move on. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS. Damn you're hot stuff and deserve someone who treats you right (or more than one person - haha)

    Good luck.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
    Wow - I am so sorry this is happening to you, you sound like you truly love your partner and want to make it work. There is only one problem - he doesn't want to make it work. You are fighting an uphill battle with this one, only made worse by the number of years you have been together and his total lack of communication and honesty with you.

    I know it is difficult - but I would confront him and let him know that it is over due to his lying, cheating and selfishness. Usually I would recommend couples counseling, but from what you have described he has been checked out of your relationship for quite a while. I agree with several of the other posts - are you better off with or with-out him? I think it is time for you to do some soul searching of your own - and put your needs first for once.

    Good Luck! (hugs)
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    Feb 18, 2009 8:31 PM GMT
    Its funny i'm getting out of a 20 y.o relationship and I see my situation in yours but i'm a bit more like your partner in your story. But my partner kinda began to ignore me...never wanted to do stuff with me anymore but i had built my life around the relationship so i got anxious about not having a "shared life" anymore . Counseling confirmed that i was doing all the work in the relationship but its weird how my cheating was not tolerated or forgiven. I wanted to patch things up and start over but that suggestion was soundly rejected very much to my surprise. I ask myself now what is the purpose of continuing in a one way relationship?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2009 8:49 PM GMT
    Thanks for all your advice, guys... looks like I have a lot of soul searching to do... My gut tells me I'm not at the point of giving up yet... but as I said I have a lot of thinking to do.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Feb 18, 2009 9:31 PM GMT
    Days ..... I see that you are hurting and that you are very much into what HE'S going thru

    But dude .... what about YOU?
    You need to get yourself into the driver's seat and sit yourself down and first decide what you what out of this guy if anything

    If you think there's a shred of something in this for you and to me it doesn't sound like it
    Then sit this 37 yr old loser down and say ... where do we go from here?
    If he gives you a song and a dance you know it's over
    Counseling is fine if there are two of you working on it
    But you gotta know if he doesn't give you anything in return
    you really don't have anything to work with
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 18, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
    You guys are no longer in the same place.

    I say cut your losses and move on.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2009 3:40 PM GMT
    I never can understand why these threads go on after I have given the definitive correct answer. .... icon_confused.gif