Do you believe in midlife crisis?”
We were in the middle of our normal overseas chat, you know, a different- time zone -chat, when my partner blurted out that question. I was lying on my bed, stretching out, and found myself stunned at the question. I thought to myself, uh oh…why is she asking me this? Is she having a crisis? Do we have problems in our relationship? Have I done something wrong for her to think I’m undergoing a crisis, and worse, a mid life one?
My partner and I have been together for 18 years, and for the last five years, I have to be away in a foreign land because of work. The only thing that binds us is trust. She wasn’t my first partner but I always knew she would come along. We made an agreement right from the start that we will keep an open communication. No secrets,no surprises. When we were still living together, before we sleep at night, we would talk about anything, from what happened that day, what are our plans, and most of the time we would reminisce the time we first met. We wouldn’t call it a night without going through that routine. We both believe that open communication is healthy and would make our relationship stronger. I always assure her that even if we are apart at the moment, nothing would change. That I will stay the same and will always be faithful.
I know her well enough to think twice about her faithfulness to me. There was never a single moment that she became unfaithful. If in her mind she thinks of someone else, I couldn’t blame her. I don’t have the looks, I don’t have the figure. And if she does so, honestly, I’m not bothered, because I’m mature enough to think that she is only human. What matters to me is that in the real world she’s honest and she’s mine.
In that tiny space of time, between her asking that question and me asking her why she’d ask, lots of things came across my mind already. I lately realised I was afraid. Afraid that after 18 years she had realised I’m no good for her. I was dreading the moment she would say that she’s not sure anymore if she would still wait for me.
She kept me hanging for quite a while. Then she told me why… it is because her sister in law phoned her from Australia to inform her that her brother went away without telling where he’s going. That they are having marital issues. And who she’s blaming it for? Yes, mid life crisis.
My partner, thinking I know something about it, in which I feel insulted, asked me if I believe in the myth. I gave her an answer which I think was a very honest one. I explained to her that this midlife crisis is experienced by people between 40 to 60 years old. I couldn’t say that what my partner’s brother is going through today is because of mid life crisis. I went through it in details. Based on what I read in the internet and health magazines long time ago, it is an emotional transition that can sometimes lead to depression. It can be a simple transition and for a short period of time but for others it could be more complicated. According to those articles, people who are stuck in this emotional stage might experience any of ,but not limited to,these feelings: unhappiness with life or lifestyle; boredom, anger at their other half or being tied down,confusion about who they really are and what they really want in life, desire for a new and more intimate relationship, feeling the need for change or adventure,doubts in the choices they have made,or validating the choices they have made in their lives. Her brother has history of extramarital affairs. Why he is doing that could be for a lot of reasons. It could be that he is a natural philanderer,a good- for-nothing husband and father or the wife could be a nagger or had become undesirable in his eyes. It could also be that he is looking for fun because she isn’t fun anymore. I am not justifying his behaviour, I’m just exploring the reasons for his action.
So, to answer my partner’s surprising question: yes,baby, I believe in midlife crisis. But don’t you worry,as long as we keep an open communication, there is nothing we can’t sort out.
To Life and Peace! Cheers!!