Midlife crisis isn’t just a problem men have to deal with as they get older. Women, too, struggle with issues that may change their life course completely.

She is 35-years old, married since she was 20 to her high school sweetheart, and newly separated. She says she has what every woman wants: healthy kids, a nice home, an attentive and faithful husband. She says her life is in transition and out of control and she doesn’t know what to do.

I said:

If I had to give what you’re going through a name, I would write it in big bold letters: Midlife Crisis. It’s the awakening of “you” and the need to validate your place within this monstrously large universe.

You aren’t alone in your struggle, and your family and friends are not alone in their confusion. There is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling, so let’s see if you can “find yourself” without losing those things that are the most precious in your life: your husband, family and friends.

You’re past the opportunity to “just be content with what is.” You’re in a survival struggle now. As far as what pushed it, my guess is the birth of your son may have triggered your feelings of losing control.

Take a look at what you’re trying to do: be a good wife, be a good mother to two small children, be a good homemaker, and do a good job for your employer. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it! As a woman, you’re supposed to be able to handle all of this effortlessly.

For a start, you might want to read Excess Baggage by Dr. Judith Sills. This is one of several excellent books available which specifically target the female midlife situation and which may open your eyes to possible answers The experiences of others who have gone through this difficult time will help confirm that you aren’t crazy. You will also find excellent on-going support if you join The Midlife Club forum.

Go slowly, you’re in the middle of a pit of indecision and confusion right now. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one decision at a time. You don’t have to change everything at once because when you make one change it will automatically change other areas of your life without you doing anything at all. Losing lifetime friends is to be expected. We grow, our goals become different, our interests change.

Just as husbands and wives sometimes can grow too far apart to remain married, so do old friends drift away. In each phase of our life we meet people who see us through, sometimes bonding for the long term, sometimes not.

If you can get counseling for yourself and your family, through someone who understands what you’re going through and who won’t judge you to be wrong, do it. And, good luck, you’re definitely not alone.

© Pat Gaudette. All rights reserved.