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Will my husband ever come out of his midlife crisis?

Community Member

Basically, hubby,42, has been moving in and out of our family home in excess of 30 times in two years. He left to “get space” back in 2016. I caught him having an affair. He came home and said he ended it. Long story short, he stayed in this affair for two years. Leaving me, then leaving her. (Tripod affair) We have been together 18 years and he has now decided he has been unhappy that entire time. He says I trapped him with our first child, and the second was a mistake. The kids are 17 and 12. They are gutted to see the change in their dad these last two years. When he leaves, he is gone for about a few days to a week, then he comes back sorry, depressed, upset, promising me he loves me and the kids and he will put more effort in to our marriage and family. This lasts a week then he withdraws and leaves. Cycle repeat.

The last two times he has been violent to me. I decided to take out an AVO. More to stop myself from taking him back this time. I fall for his words every time. I believe him. i decided this time if I keep him away and see that he has lost his family then that may be what leads him to hit rock bottom and come out of this crisis.

Am I stupid to think this way? I have been single parenting the kids anyway. I’m not afraid to be alone or independent. But I just cannot completely give up on him.

Im hoping what I have done is the right thing. And I’m hoping I need to be cruel to be kind. Every other time he has left I’ve just taken him back. Even when I asked him to move out for three months, I still allowed him home every weekend for family fun time. I realise I have enabled this pattern, and it had to stop.

Am I stupid to still hold out hope?

7 Replies 7

Community Member
Stupid isn't the right word.

I'd say you dont understand that you deserve so much better.

The avo is a great thing, but it shouldn't be used a tool to try and manipulate him to coming back

Unfortunately he has no respect for you as a wife or person and that's why this cycle continues for you

Everytime you let him come back from his affairs and abusive behaviour you reinforce this behaviour. Its the definition of insanity....continuing to do the exact same thing but expecting a different answer

Let him go, you're still young...find someone that respects and values having you in there life

Take care of yourself and let him go.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear GLJ,

I am so sorry for all that you have been through in this last two years. It's sounds very difficult and painful.

I would like to share some insight from my own experience with you, and hope it might make some sense, and maybe even help a little.

You can probably tell my my username - Soberlicious - that I am sober ..... which obviously means I was once upon a time, a drunk. And in my drinking I kept doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. And when I got into recovery, it was explained to me that that kind of behavior was defined as 'insanity'. It was 'insane', or if you prefer, irrational, to keep doing the same thing over and over - as in drinking alcohol when clearly I can't handle alcohol, or going back/taking back the same man who abuses me again and again - and expecting it to be 'different this time' without actually doing anything different ..... such as not drinking, and not getting back with the abusive man.

Please note that what I am trying to say is that by doing something radically different, and by showing him tough love, maybe most certainly the right thing to do. It's quite natural to hold out hope that someone you love will change their destructive and hurtful behavior, but it's also quite irrational and unhealthy to keep allowing it to happen. And the only one you can do anything about is yourself.

You didn't cause his behavior, you cannot control his behavior, and you cannot cure it either. But you CAN do something about, and for yourself. so yeah, do whatever you need to do to keep yourself and your children safe. And hopefully a better life is just around the corner ...... however that better life may look.

I wish you all the best, and will be keeping you in my thoughts. Please feel free and welcome to keep coming back here to BB and sharing with us. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved. xo

Thanks for your reply.

He just changed late 2016. And hasn’t gotten any better. I know I have to let him go this time. And I will. But I think for now, I will hope that he will come good again, like he was Pre midlife crisis.

there is no turning back with the AVO. He has to stay away from me and cut all communication. I need to emotionally heal from this torment that has plagued me for so long.

In my heart I’m hoping for him to navigate through this crisis on his own, discover what it is that is making him so unhappy, take responsibility for his behaviour and begin the process of re building all the relationships he has burnt on this downward spiral. I’m well aware it may not happen that way.

past behaviour tells me he will come back. But I need to stay strong and keep him away.

Community Member

Do you think he will ever respect me again? Is that something that will or can change?

Say I manage to keep him away, even after he comes back (because past behaviour says he will try to win me back over.... I’ve taught him he can), he changed in to this monster, can midlife crisis men change for the better after coming through a midlife crisis?

My head is just full of questions, I’m baffled. What makes a good man suddenly go off the rails 🤷‍♀️

Community Member
A mid life crisis makes one question there self worth....job, situation in life etc

It doesn't give justification to have extra marital affairs and physically abuse you or anyone else

He wont ever have that respect for you, or any other female...Thats who he is as a person to be quite blunt

Community Member

I understand. He never used to be like that. He was a decent husband and father.

i need to stop holding on to who he used to be.

Community Member

Hi GL.

My ex w went into mlc over 6yrs ago , could not recognize her she was a totally different person. We divorced sorry to say , that was her choice . l tried to stall it bc she just wasn't herself, and she was also early menopausing , 39.

l was in an mlc forum for a long time trying to cope and sorry again but it was generally expected to last a long time 5, 6 even 1o yrs. I haven't spent any time round my ex for a few yrs now , she married the affair guy , but she was still a totally different person last l did and she still sounds it now whenever we do talk about my daughter stuff.

Anyway not sure if l can put this in but that forum was called the heros spouse , specializing in mlc.Check it out if you'd like , it might help.

Good luck with everything anyway and l hope the kids are ok.