Good day. Thanks for dropping in to discuss a pretty thorny subject, Midlife Crisis for Men. The term means very different things to very different people (depending on which side of masculinity to lie on I guess). Now that you have spent a little bit of time focused on the topic something weird is going to happen over the next few months, it is going to start to pop up in some really strange places. Here is a few examples of what I am going about. I have heard midlife crisis for men being used as blame for all sorts of events, such as him
- getting a different haircut or wearing some different clothes
- starting to exercise
- going on vacation by himself
- seeking out a new social group (away from his wife or partner)
- buying a hot rod (or car that is not considered a familiar car)
- quitting an unfulfilling job or career
- not wanting to comply with certain rules forced onto him
- ignoring things that he never used to ignore
- and many more…
Underneath the facade of the everyday events I see over and over again there are some general themes going on (that is if you understand enough about masculinity, biology, sociology, psychology and modern day collectivism to see past the shallow expectations and criticism).
Most people can’t do the above mentioned and I have been thrust into a situation where I can so here is the view from my seat.
1. Accomplishing Childhood Fantasies?
There is a bunch of different premises that create the found for my first point. I will expand on the most relevant two below.
#1 Modern adults always carry baggage from their childhood into their adulthood. We have very few mechanisms in which to jettison said baggage so it usually gets carried as a chip on the shoulder under around the age of 40 when changes happened to a mans biological makeup. See point 5 below.
#2 Modern man is trained (by society) to sacrifice everything from the minute he is a teenage in order to win the woman of his dreams. As part of this teaching he is required to work hard for her, to everything for her, sacrifice everything for her and suppress all desires he has of his own that will not benefit her or their relationship. [This may be a bit over-melodramatic description but I hope I got my point across]
Once you read the other points below I strongly believe this will make a lot more sense to you. Quite often you hear about a 50-year-old man (apparently going through his midlife crisis) buying that Trans-Am or hot-rod that he has been dreaming about since his childhood. I see these scenarios as an exercise using an external means to complete broken internal links (aka to get rid of lingering childhood trauma by replacing it with childhood fantasies).
2. Facing His Mortality and an end to Blind Self-Sacrifice?
Most mid-life crisis occurs around the halfway mark of a man’s life right, around 40. Have you ever wondered why? The halfway mark is the point where you have to (subconsciously at least) front up to the fact that you are not facing the downhill run. With this fact comes quite a few realizations around his future, his health, his procrastination and ultimately his happiness.
What you will also witness is an end to him blindly doing what dominant forces around his tell him to do. Underlying the defiance he is struggling with a new-found drive for life and desires to make the most out of it for himself.
3. An exercise in Self Nourishment?
As I mentioned above all this sudden energy and new purpose in life leads to a greater focus (or more commonly the time ever he has focused on) improving both the physical skills & mental skills he needs to reach his spiritual goals.
On the outside you will be him exercising, joining in on those 60 day body transformation programs or similar things like that. Quite often the focus on self-improvement is mistaken as sexual energy playing out. Wrong, see point 5.
A lot of wives in particular have big problems with a 40-year-old man acting in such a selfish way. After all, they are quite often facing the exact opposite process at the same time (female menopause).
4. Rekindling Lost Passions & Personal growth?
I see also a stage of growth beyond the physical and mental. This is going to be harder to explain without sounding all new age spiritual guru like.
If you are familiar with any of the great philosophers in history who have discussed masculinity you will be familiar with the concept that a man’s nature strives for a purpose in his life but also needs tangible, practical and visible results for his efforts.
Whilst these may be long suppressed traits of masculinity they resurface after our man in question comes out the other end of his “midlife crisis”.
This is when he will see things very differently. Now all his efforts to earn great amounts of money just to buy household consumer goods and a bigger, emptier house will start to seem counter-productive to his new life goals.
5. Conquering his sex drive? The BIG change.
There is a video below which explains why but it is a scientific fact that around this same around (40ish) is when a man’s testosterone levels start to drop and the result you will see is quite profound. To be quite blunt around the subject I would go as far as to say that for the first time since puberty a man can start thinking with something apart from his penis.
Previously this was the defining attribute to a man’s makeup so it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to understand why such drastic changing will follow to a man’s mental faculties, emotional landscape, relationships and life direction.
Sadly, young men, middle age men and probably most importantly their wives are not educated in such matters. We have all come to believe that the same fairy tale should continue on throughout life and change is all bad. Please do everyone else out there who is not aware of these issues a favor. Share the knowledge.
Also, let me know if you want to hear around the female equivalent story to midlife crisis, it is very different and very combative to that of a man’s if again you don’t understand the underlying issues.
Andropause? Is Male Menopause a thing?
In the process of researching this post I also came across andropause. A lot of people out there are starting to link together falling testosterone levels in middle age men with these dramatic life changes. Check out the video below and let me know what your experiences are or thoughts in the comments below.