"Mid-life crisis” is a term that was coined in the mid-sixties by a psychoanalyst who observed that personal and professional performance decreases around age thirty-five. Today, due to our increase in longevity, mid-life crisis is most likely to occur around age fifty. It can affect women and men equally.
The struggle for many comes when they realize that the path they had carved for themselves and the life infrastructure which comes with it are no longer fulfilling. A mid-life crisis can come as a result of a sudden life change such as health issues, loss of employment or change in marital status. In these cases, the event becomes the catalyst which leads us to re-evaluate life. As a result, it is not unusual to see a shift in values and priorities and the creation of a new vision and focus for the future.
Alternatively, a mid-life crisis can occur with a natural transition in an adult’s life. Whether it is marriage, becoming a parent or entering retirement, such life transitions may bring a psychological impulse to engage toward change. During this period of change, living in a meaningful and passionate way is often what the person will seek to achieve. It can be a confusing and perplexing time. It can also be distressing to those around that person as they might feel frightened by the impact of the life alterations this person is considering making.
It is important that we don’t confuse an extra-marital affair with a mid-life crisis. The two are very different. Affairs occur as a result of unresolved personal and/or marital issues. An affair is an illusion of happiness and rarely provides the foundation necessary to make life more meaningful.
Working with a life coach can assist you in navigating the challenges of mid-life and designing the second half of your life.
Manon Dulude is a Professional Certified Coach and a Psychotherapist. She can be reached at (905) 873-9393.