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Midlife crisis in the relationship

Help for Midlife Crisis

Midtvejskrise i parforholdetAre you experiencing problems in your relationship?
Is your partner completely impossible, and has it been going on for a while?
Do you suspect a midlife crisis as the reason for your challenges?
Either your own or your partner’s midlife crisis?

Many different studies have been conducted on various problems on this earth. Not least our human problems with each other and life.

Some studies show that happiness is continually increasing throughout life, while other studies show that there is a low point in the 40s.

Here is a funny example of how certain questions can influence a study.
In the TV series “Yes Prime Minister“, Sir Humphrey Appleby clearly shows how leading questions can lead to a specific answer.

Read more at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/english

2:15 minutes

There is much to suggest that men’s and women’s midlife crises are not Universal.
It seems more limited to a specific culture in a particular social group, influenced by specific factors and challenges.

The pursuit of a career, or having children mean everything, can create a feeling that life is passing by too quickly, leading to a crisis atmosphere.
When the young start to surpass you, or the children leave home, your entire identity and reason for existence may be reassessed.

Since not everyone suffers from a midlife crisis, it also means that something can be done to solve the problems.


If you feel that you or your relationship is heading towards a midlife crisis, then test yourself with the following ten questions:

  1. Do you often complain about your terrible relationship?
  2. Are you unable to express yourself freely and honestly?
  3. Is there a “lack of trust” between you and your partner?
  4. Do you tend to feel you are losing control or perhaps become insecure whenever your partner gets ‘eager’, ‘aggressive’, ‘introverted’, or ‘indifferent’?
  5. Do you have a strong need to confide in your friends, family, parents, children, or colleagues before confiding in your partner?
  6. Do you try to avoid confrontations with your family, friends, and others?
  7. Have you realized that you are not taking good enough care of yourself, or are you trying to be less responsive to yourself?
  8. Do insignificant things, like the way the toilet paper roll is placed, suddenly become very important—so important that you want your partner to fix them immediately?
  9. Do material things matter more than people (primarily your partner)?
  10. Are either you or your partner busy making one new “house rule” after another for the other?

If your answer is yes to some of these questions, there may be problems in your relationship. Big problems!

Signs of Crisis

If you are still unsure whether a crisis might be brewing and a midlife crisis in the relationship is on the horizon, or if you are unsure what is “normal” and “natural” in a (good) relationship, take a look at the list below with some typical signs of crisis:
Signs of crisis in the relationship

  1. Cold air and silence
  2. Criticism, accusations, and belittling (the three expressions “you”, “always” and “never” are used interchangeably)
  3. No sex with each other for an extended period
  4. The white flag is ignored by one party (meaning the “sting” is attempted to be removed, and an apology is made)
  5. Stonewalling, meaning contact is cut off (likely because one feels overwhelmed, and the physical alarm system is about to choke them)
  6. The past is seen in a negative light
  7. Contempt for the other, disgust, cynicism, sarcasm, name-calling, ridicule, snarling, snapping
  8. Children have problems, e.g., chronic illnesses, eating disorders, hyperactivity, crime, or substance abuse
  9. Defense (“It’s not my fault, but YOUR fault”)
  10. Living parallel lives without communication with each other
  11. A symbiotic relationship where one – or both – drown in the other

If you experience one or more of these signs of crisis, there is probably something wrong, and it is high time to do something about it. Otherwise, the situation and the relationship risk getting worse and worse.

ALL of the above 21 points are only SYMPTOMS of the problems – just as a fever is not the disease itself, but rather a symptom of something else. The CAUSE of the unpleasant fever and pain must be found elsewhere – either physically or mentally.

Symptom Treatment

If you choose only to treat the symptoms (e.g., with painkillers without doing anything else), it is like turning off the fire alarm bell because of the annoying loud ringing. Meanwhile, the fire continues to destroy, which may only be discovered when it is too late. The above 21 symptoms are important indicators that something is wrong, but often it is difficult to see and do something about it yourself. If it had been easy, you would probably have done something about it long ago.

If the problems are not acknowledged and addressed in time, they can worsen over time. If you want to keep and improve your relationship – and you might also have children together, you need to work towards maintaining and securing the relationship. Here are a few quick tips to help you handle a relationship in crisis:

Communicate with Your Partner

Communication in the relationshipCommunication is not just exchanging words and opinions.
Good communication creates understanding and empathy for both parties.
Lack of or poor communication is the biggest source of misunderstandings and conflicts in relationships – and in all other relationships.

First, you need to understand your partner.
It requires a great effort and agreed common ground rules.
If both try to understand, there is a basis for understanding.
However, if you only do what you can to BE understood, and both do this, it is called a quarrel.

Express yourself clearly and distinctly, in an appropriate manner, at an appropriate time, in an agreed, safe, and respectful framework.
This means that you should not just babble on about your feelings and what occupies you right now.

Often, I find that many people have not learned the frameworks and therefore (without knowing it) break them repeatedly – to the great and unconscious frustration of both parties.

When you articulate your frustrations, it will ease the pressure and heal the pain.
But it must take place in a safe environment, so you do not express yourself critically, and your partner does not feel criticized and blamed.

See some of the communication tools at “Wish Well” (where you can vent your frustrations), and “The White Flag” (where you stop an escalating conflict), and “Surfing” (where you stop your partner who has gone berserk).

Be a Good Listener

It is important to listen to your partner.
Listen for the meaning and intent behind the words.
Make an effort to understand the other before you try to be understood yourself.
Remember, everyone is doing their best. That includes you, right?

Have Trust

If trust is gone, it must be reestablished as soon as possible.
Trust is being able to confide in another person, and you can express yourself freely within very specific boundaries.
Without trust, security, and respect for each other, there is no love.

However, expressing yourself completely freely does not mean just saying out loud, unfiltered, what you feel and feel and feel.
This can be very damaging to the relationship.
Feelings are a fleeting thing that changes all the time.
Sometimes you are happy, and the next moment you are sad.
There must be a balance between the emotional and the rational before you express yourself – to get what you want.

It is rarely a good idea to try to solve problems with the same tools that created the problems.
This can take a long time and have some serious consequences.

If you have spent many years “practicing” something that has not been able to give you what you need or want, you must do something different.
This different thing is for obvious reasons unknown, or difficult, or artificial.
If it had been easy, you would probably have done it long ago.

There are many ways to learn the “Relationship Traffic Rules“. There are slow ways and fast ways. There are effective ways and ineffective ways.

Are You Thriving ♥ – Or Is Your Relationship Hurting?

  • I can save and improve your relationship quickly and effectively with concrete communication tools and strategies so you can understand each other.
  • If the relationship is in chaos with fear, anger, confusion or stress, there may be a need for overview, structure, and clear common rules to create mutual understanding for each other.
  • I am a kind of driving instructor, teaching the “Traffic Rules of Relationships”. In a way, it’s about theory, parallel parking, city driving, night driving, and slippery roads. All of this must be learned thoroughly before finding your own driving style – also in the relationship!

Read more about couples counseling, couple therapy and couples therapy Copenhagen at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/english