Zoomer Magazine – Midlife Crisis – August, 2015
You think your mate is having a mid-life crisis. Out of the blue, they announce they’re getting tattoos. Or buying a luxury boat. Or quitting a longtime accountant job to go build houses in Ecuador.
Has your loved one lost their mind? More likely, they’re taking stock of their life. In February 2014, a German think-tank reported that our sense of well-being dips lowest in our 40s. (Satisfaction climbs again as we progress through the next two or three decades.)
“Underneath it all, it’s an existential crisis,” says Sig Taylor, a Calgary marriage counsellor. In your 40s and 50s, parents are aging, children have grown up, a high school buddy just had a heart attack. In your 60s and 70s, you’re looking at retirement, your body is slowing down and more of your friends are facing serious illness.
“It’s usually during mid-life that you start to realize life is not forever,” Taylor points out. That can prompt you to think about the way you want to spend the time that’s left.
“It’s when people make unilateral decisions that causes a lot of stress on the relationship,” Taylor says.
When Taylor’s client had a sudden desire to drive his motorcycle around the world, he and his wife planned it out as a team. Instead of leaving her for a year, he took time away in three-week chunks, and she joined him for segments of the trip. “They made decisions around the dream together, she felt part of it and they found a way to make it work for both of them.”