Every man goes through the hell once called a midlife crisis. More precisely, he thinks that he is going through hell. In fact, it is not a man who tours the underworld, but the unfortunate one who is beside him at the moment. While the husband is wringing his hands his better half has to be smart, patient, and understanding. Of course, you’d better prepare in advance for the thing called a midlife crisis.
A suffering husband will be constantly sad and whining: from morning till night, on any idiotic occasion. He’ll be whining because it’s Monday, Thursday, autumn, because the house ran out of coffee, life is a failure, etc… In the atmosphere of that slobbery whining you will have to be friendly and active. However, your kindness will upset him too. Because he is a forgotten, lonely tuberose, and you are a wretch shining with goodwill.
2. Unjustified anger
When your husband will not be sad, he will be angry. As a consequence, he will annoy everybody, first of all you. Even if you know how to cook soup “like his mother” or play the bagpipes – it will enrage him. You do everything wrong. At such moments you’ll get a desire to hang him by his balls on a chandelier, but it’s impossible. Firstly, he’s heavy. And, secondly, it is a Crisis!
A suffering from a crisis husband turns into a hellish paranoid. He will seriously believe everything in the world happens in order to “push him to his breaking point”. This poor fellow will even blame the mother in law that she overdoes burgers on purpose. “What for?” – You’ll ask and get the answer: “To drive me mad!” And he will check receipts from the supermarket, secretly read your mail and absolutely know that someone (the mother in law, of course, who else?) persuaded the cat to piss on his slippers.
With time he goes over all real and imaginary “grievances”. It turns out that over the years of your co-existence he’s been carrying a whole lot of grudges. It’s time for you to open the depths of your man’s subconscious. You are surprised to learn that ten years ago you threw away his favorite t-shirt. You find out that all these years he’s been waiting for you to congratulate him on Easter, even if he’s always been an atheist. And the most important thing: in 2008 you ate a cherry yogurt, and he wanted it! And God forbid you to say “Oh, I remember! The yogurt was great!”
5. Dull old movie
Your husband begins to listen to strange music and watch strange films. Get ready for him sticking to something complicated, mournful, and suicidal. He will be spending the amount of time free from annoyance, whims, and whining enjoying his “fantastic new hobby”. You will wake up and fall asleep with these “funeral marches” as a background noise. Instead of family comedies and thrillers you will be constantly watching dreary documentaries about submarines, airships, fortification, and dead generals.
If you’ve decided to go for a walk or visit friends with your going-through-crisis husband don’t expect a magic transformation. Ugly scenes with your neighbors, janitors, waiters, and vendors as well as regular skirmishes with fellow car drivers will become commonplace. You’d better be armed with indifference and pepper spray. Because in 99% of cases it will turn out that the driver of a nearby car is going through a midlife crisis too.
7. Active stage
At some point he’ll tell you that “something needs to be globally changed”. Of course, it starts with you, but you have already learned how to beat off his attacks and can just send him on his way. And then comes an understanding that all those things before, including a complaint to the police from your neighbors, were only the beginning of troubles because the “active-crisis-husband” is much more dangerous than the “passive” one. At best, he’ll get a dog or have an affair with a young mistress; at worst, he will start spending your long-term savings for adventure tourism or gambling. And he’ll start hanging around stupid get-togethers: buy a T-shirt with some stupid print, bike or helicopter. It’s up to you whether tolerate it or not.
In the end, he will certainly do something irreparable. He will declare, for example, that he’s wasted his life on something that’s not worth it, and in fact he is a brilliant stockbroker, web designer or, even worse, writer. Spewing nonsense, he’ll quit his normal job and plunge into the abyss of ruthless freelance, and you (and children) will go through the total financial hell. It is impossible to dissuade him from it; appealing to reason is pointless. You can only wait until this catastrophe ends.
A going through crisis husband can leave you. Really can. But if he’s done his best to complete all the levels described above, then you’re likely to think: “Feelings are dead, and to hell with that”. And you will be absolutely right.