“Okay! This is it. I can’t take it anymore. I want a divorce!” This is a common sentiment people experience when they are going through that mythical midlife crisis. A midlife crisis often has a spillover effect on marriage although, at times, a bad marriage is what actually triggers a midlife crisis. If that actually is the case, then the option of divorce would merit consideration. However, if the former statement is true (the perception that the midlife crisis is ruining the marriage), then divorce shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of the list of best options to get out of the crisis situation. We know that this would be hard to believe for someone who is going through such a testing phase but that is just what the truth is. If thinking a midlife divorce could be the solution to a midlife crisis, then perhaps we should think not once, not twice, but a thousand times! For if one goes through with that thought, then it could be a recipe for a lifetime of regrets and repentance. Read on to find out why.
Why do we think a divorce could be an end to all the troubles?
First things first, it is both natural and understandable if the feeling goes stronger that a midlife divorce could put an end to the midlife crisis. Being in the middle of a crisis situation, no matter what the nature of the crisis is, subconsciously the focus is on 2 main things – a cause and a solution. Finding a cause for the crisis is a tricky process. There are a variety of factors at play here and it is quite easy to often confuse a symptom for a cause. For example, thinking that poor performance in professional life might have triggered the crisis, but the actual cause could be a general disinterest in life, which would have filtered through into the work life. Poor professional performance is just a symptom here and is, in fact, a reflection of the state of mind.
When the truth is hard to swallow, which is usually the case, we humans tend to look out for something that we could blame it on. We try to find a scapegoat. So the search for the cause of the crisis may well turn into a search for something that could be blamed for everything. More often than not, the scapegoat is something or someone that is very close to us. Which brings us to the question – is there anyone close to us than our spouse? Consequently, both your partner and your midlife marriage bear the brunt of your wrath. This may, or rather would, create discontent in the midlife marriage for your partner as well. And as the friction assumes even more serious proportions and becomes unbearable for both partners, midlife divorce is looked at as the most practical solution.
Why a midlife divorce could result in a lifetime of regrets?
Without looking at it objectively with a strong belief that the midlife crisis is the reason for all that is wrong, and making no efforts to combat it might prove to be very costly. The crisis would eventually get resolved as it is not going to last forever and When the clouds disperse, reflecting back at just what was lost during this troubled phase might lead to the realisation.
If it indeed was a situation that leads to a midlife divorce during the crisis period, Another realisation would be to wonder about if it could have been avoided.
Realisation: You have hurt the person who loved you the most
Your partner had loved you for who you were all your life. Yes, they may have tried to change a few things about you but those would have only been for your good, or at least that was the intention. You had the gift of unconditional love, something that not everyone is lucky enough to experience. You consciously let go of it, and also of the person who gave it to you. You hurt the person who loved you the most.
Realisation: The collateral damage is huge
When you part ways with your spouse, you two aren’t the only ones affected by the separation. Your kids, your close family, your close friends are all affected by it. Your kids, in particular, would be hit the hardest. Having spent their whole life growing under their parents together, it would be unbearably painful for them to take sides between you two. They would likely experience a massive emotional upheaval. The collateral damage of your midlife divorce would be massive.
Realisation: You ruined what you had worked hard for a major your life
Being in and maintaining a relationship is hard work. It’s even harder if that relationship has progressed into a marriage. Making a marriage work requires a constant and conscious effort from both the partners. Lots of sacrifices have to be made to be successful at that and one troubled phase has the potential to destroy all that.
The above mentioned potential post-divorce realizations are scary and depressing, In the manner of a story, they were all hypothetical! If the hypothetical ones managed to leave you sad and depressed, just imagine how you would feel if it all turned real one day! This is what a midlife divorce could do to you!
A midlife divorce is simply not the answer to all your midlife issues. The solution to your midlife crisis could only be found if you accept it, take responsibility for it ( avoiding the blame game), and communicate your problems and needs to your loved ones; especially to your partner. Your partner could play a huge role in getting you out of this rut if you just talk about it with each other. A constant two-way dialogue could ultimately help you arrive at a genuine, plausible, and (most importantly) happy conclusion to your midlife crisis saga.