There are some birthdays that are more dangerous than others. Turning 40 can be a major shock to men and women and it can start the slide into midlife crisis if they are unable to cope with aging and their own mortality issues.

Midlife is an age, generally between 40 and 60, that prepares us for the “golden years” as promoters have dubbed the elder years. For many of us there’s nothing “golden” about getting elderly and the very thought can cause us terror.

Looking in the mirror and seeing the lines, flabby skin, thinning hair, and other signs of aging can push a person to irrational behavior in a struggle to reverse the years and prove to themselves that they are still young, still desirable.

Marriages have a strong potential for failure during the midlife years particularly if one or both people are having a difficult time coping with aging. Emotional needs change and if the spouse cannot recognize the change or meet the new need someone else may.

While it’s said that a spouse whose behavior changes due to midlife issue is going through a “midlife crisis” the actual “crisis” is most likely being experienced by the spouse who is caught in the whirlpool of their partner’s changing needs.