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Am i having a midlife crisis?

Community Member

Hey, ive recently turned 40 and have lately been reflecting over the past alot and also what the future may hold. I work alot especially over the past 10years as we've raised kids (now in their teens) and feel as though i havent done alot with my life. I feel like im having a bit of a midlife crisis. I have a real desire to travel overseas and would have to say its my number 1 thing on my bucket list. I never did the travel O/S thing when i was younger as i married and had kids in my early 20s. At the moment i feel life is passing me by and worry the time may never come to live out my dreams.

In the last few years my wife has a chronic illness which has taken its toll on her energy levels so we dont do a lot on weekends anymore as she prefers to stay home and relax. Im a bit of a home body too but do enjoy to go out at times but usually if i do suggest something she will only go along if i persist. The illness she has causes alot of pain and I then i feel guilty because she is only coming along to please me when i want her to want to do things together too. I understand that her illness is the cause for this and it just frustrates me as i want her to be well and be like we were when we were younger.

Turning 40 i reflect a bit on my younger days and i fantasize quite alot about wishing I'd done things differently. Travelled more, played the field more before getting married, partied etc. I have a great wife and marriage and kids and really i should be thankful for what i have. But lately i just have feelings i want more excitement from life than the current mundane monday to friday 9-5 existence and boring weekends at home.

I have a house that needs major renovations and i dont have the motivation or finances to get into them lately. Id rather be lying around dreaming of running away from it all and selfishly living a life where its just me and my wants and needs.

Ive also lately have fantasized with the thought of having an affair. I do feel guilty about this and haven't acted on it, but i dream about the excitement and to be sexually desired to have fun and get a bit on enjoyment in life and an escape from normality.

I just put all these feelings down to being 40 and in a reflective time in life. Id love to hear from anyone who has had similar thoughts or experiences or advice for me on how to get thru this.

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Worried xgen~

Welcome here to the Forum, a good place to come to get other’s perspectives, particularly as the things you are talking about would not be that easy to discuss at home.

When you look back you can see a life of being a faithful and successful provider, husband and father. This has been made far more taxing by having a partner with a chronic illness and one of your children with learning difficulties.

This ongoing effort does indeed drain a person, and added to that is what sounds a bit like my own anxiety condition, overreacting and having matters form an ongoing highly unpleasant loop in one’s head.

All of this can make one wish things were somewhat different. Travel overseas, a partner with whom sex is fun, not having renovations and mortgages to deal with, and a home life that is enjoyable and fulfilling.

I guess you could call it all a desire for an ‘escape from normality’, to think of other worlds. People do get ground down by their job, or by their life in general and this is a very common result - for me too at times. I would think that this is not a one-person problem, but is something you need to address together with your partner.

While you have not said so it may well be she suffers for a desire to escape too, though maybe due to guilt or ongoing pain or boredom being confined in her actions.

Often two heads are better than one (yes, a cliché I know, but true) so I’d like to suggest you gently talk to your partner about how you feel- and how she feels too. I’d not suggest mentioning a desire for an affair which might be hurtful – but see what ideas you both can come up with to make life more enjoyable and less pressing.

A scale of priorities on what really needs to be done about the house, the opportunities you both can share that do not tax her medical condition to much. Seek out the enjoyable parts of life.

Sometimes it helps to have a third party, may I suggest that Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) can do an excellent job of counselling. You may not end up doing everything you fantasize about (and they are fantasies after all) but can improve your lives to the extent they are no longer necessary

What do you think?