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Is the Mid-Life Crisis Real?

midlife_crisisToday’s guest post is by LovedAJackass.

Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is.

–“Is That All There Is,” Jerry Lieber and Mike Stollar

I’ve always hated the song “Is That All There Is”— and I’m old enough to remember the Peggy Lee version that was popular in the late 1960s— not just the 2004 Chaka Khan cover. Both lyrics and tone present a whining complaint in which every life experience is found lacking; from the house burning down to the circus to a broken heart, everything is an excuse to “break out the booze and have a ball.” Given this perspective, even the moment of death will be a disappointment, because life is meaningless.

“Is That All There Is” might be a great theme song for cheaters who are diagnosed by self and others as suffering a “midlife crisis.” Elliott Jacques, a Canadian psychologist, coined the term “midlife crisis” in the mid-60s to describe why so many famous male artists stopped creating (or died) between 35 and 40. Jesse Bering, a research psychologist writing for Scientific American, traces the term from Jacques to a psychologist in the 1970s who popularized the term to describe a life stage in which people encounter life disappointment and mortality. Typical articles on midlife crisis are illustrated by a cliché´– a middle-aged smiling man (anywhere from 35 to 65) alone in a red convertible, sticking it to the specter of mortality with something sexier and more powerful than booze.

Other articles assume that women, too, experience midlfe crisis. Huffington Post sage Dr. Mona Ackerman counsels one woman having an affair:

You are at a point in your life where the future doesn’t seem as appealing as the past. It is much more fun to go back to adolescence, to feel the freedom of no responsibility, to once again experience total sexual freedom and experimentation…

Dr. Mona offers two resolutions: continue the affair in secret or accept the “reduced expectations, reduced vitality, reduced importance at work, and, yes, the nest that will, probably, soon empty.” Run that through the UBT: risk it all for cake or walk quietly into the sunset.

Jesse Bering, however, points out the flaw in our notions about midlife crisis: there is no empirical data to support that midlife (however defined) has a monopoly on life crisis:

Epidemiological studies reveal that midlife is no more or less likely to be associated with career disillusionment, divorce, anxiety, alcoholism, depression or suicide than any other life stage; in fact, the incidence rates of many of these problems peak at other periods of the lifespan.

Bering believes that midlife crisis as we know it — the desperation to hold onto youth and freedom in the face of aging — is a myth, whether applied to men or women, since similar life problems can “peak at other periods of the lifespan,” from adolescence to old age.

But that myth of the midlife crisis provides social spackle for cheaters. A midlife crisis explains how a seemingly nice person can be so unhappy as to carry on a secret affair or break up a family. And if everyone goes through a “midlife crisis,” then those who blow up their families without remorse are simply following a predictable life path. The damage they do can be as a “midlife crisis,” when what they actually have is a Crap Life Skills Crisis.

Middle-aged cheaters, whether 35 or 60, face the same problems as their partners. The highs and lows of raising children. Paying the mortgage. Problems at work. Dealing with aging or dying parents. Confronting gray hair and the need for bifocals. Admitting that they can’t dunk a basketball any more or have too much loose skin to wear a halter top.

Instead of facing problems and developing inner resources to deal with them, cheaters with crap life skills looks for escape: “Let’s hit on a high-school flame on Facebook. Maybe start an affair with that colleague. Or trade in the old family unit for a convertible or breast implants.” After all, as people with crap life skills, they see themselves as entitled to walk away from the difficulty of real life, commitment, and growing old. If that’s all there is, they prefer cake. And they rely on the myth of the midlife crisis to spackle over their lack of life skills.

Most people have crap life skills in some area, from having a broken picker to thinking (in my case) that being in a relationship will fix everything wrong in life. But chumps develop good life skills from confronting problems. We keep the family going when money is tight or the house is in foreclosure. We struggle through the sandwich years, when three generations rely on our unflagging effort. We hold on through real crisis — layoffs, cancer, Alzheimer’s, custody fights, traumatized kids — because we aren’t surprised that life is hard.

And even when we are betrayed and left with minimal resources, we see that life, with all its struggle, can be beautiful. We face our mistakes. We learn and change. We stand firm in our truth. We see that we are agents who can make meaning in our own lives. We don’t ask, “Is that all there is?” for very long. We pick up the pieces and begin again.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Midlife crisis in French is “le démon de midi” = the demon that comes at noon. It does indeed seem like a demon is possessing the person, doesn’t it ?

    In my case, I am still amazed at how a quiet, shy geek who admired me so much and was eager to please me with expensive technological gifts, who viewed me as a miracle in his life and enjoyed our time together, suddenly turned into this cold snarky cruel egotistic guy with contempt in his eyes, a dark soul whose actions and words don’t make sense.

    • Perhaps that was his true face all along, and the person you saw was just a mask to lure you in.

      • Perhaps. But more than a decade is a pretty long time for wearing a mask.

        • Yes, this is very true ChumpFromF. It happen to me with the ex. Way over decade when I started to see the true him. With me I had many red flags during our dating years and marriage but it really came off about 13 years after marriage. Basically it can slip off from time to time. Just depends on the person and how deep you are in the relationship cycle with them. You can be busy with your daily life things and never noticed that it would slip off from time to time. Like me I had excuses for his behavior from him being immature to him being a follower to poor parenting which are all signs Personality Disorders. I basically spackled the hell out of our relationship. All of us chumps do. Very common. Let me give you a great link to listen to that explains in great detail the relationship cycle with these Personality Disorder individualities:

          • ChumpfromF, give that a listen if you haven’t already. That was a game changer in my healing. 🙂

            • ChumpfromF, I have listened to this about 20 times, I am embarassed to say. These ladies Sandra Brown and her colleague describe a person who might as well be from another planet, they are so alien. That is why I had to listen to it so many times to get it through my head. They look like us, but they are not like us. They wear a mask, a very well developed mask. When ever your resolve that they suck wobbles, listen to this. It helps.

              • Nice way to think about these PD their are aliens. I’m going to use that now ringinonmyownbell. Thanks for that! ha!

          • I listened to that before Beth and saw the exact patterns with STBXH, it REALLY helped me to understand and accept what happened to me. That knowledge helped me with my healing I’m doing.

            • I had a lightbulb moment when she said that cluster-b’s are perfectly content to sit in (live with) the dichotomy. They don’t experience the dissonance that an emotionally healthy person would. WOW! This is so true. My stbxh lived a double life (and a very sordid one at that!) for over 20 years.

            • TheBetterJamie, Kate 50, and ItsAJourney, I’m so happy the link has helped you with your healing process. When I found it and listen to it like you all it answered a lot of questions I still had about the ex and his followers. Like all of you it really jump started my healing process and that is when I really began to educate myself about Personality Disorders. My heart goes out to everyone that has to deal with such pain. I hope others do listen to this and it can help more chumps. This also goes for the male chumps. The female cheaters are the same like the males. Much love to all and hugs!

          • Beth – Thank you for that link. I’m finally divorced & have defintely achieved “meh” (on a Tuesday!) but do occasionally wonder how my ex’s current woman puts up with him. She’s not the woman he left me for – he actually ran off with a very sparkly sexy Boderline so that imploded rapidly. But his new girlfriend seems like a good person & is probably another chump. I feel kind of sorry for her but it’s none of my concern. This discussion really explained a lot & was helpful because I don’t want to get fooled again!

            • Hi Martha, I just read your comment. You are most welcome. Congrats on you reaching meh!!!! Hugs to you with that. It can be very hard and a long road but at the end of this long road we all have to travel you are amazed by how strong you really are. Just remember this when it comes to the ex and his life…..Not my circus, not my monkeys!!!! Focus on yourself and stay no contact with him and his life because sooner or later he will try to sneak in your life again.

              • You are so right! I don’t think much about my ex these days & we don’t interact. But it’s sad to see that he’s found another chump victim who will likely end up here with us someday. They sure know how to find us, don’t they? It’s too bad most of us don’t find CL until after the damage is done.

          • Thank you for sharing that! Holy Cow…that is my ex to a “T”!

            Anyone know what book they refer to in the podcast?

            And how do we help teach our children that this is who their father is?

            • Nomorebs, the book is called “Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of inevitable Harm With Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists Perfect Paperback” by Sandra Brown.

              Excellent book!

              Excellent question you have “With you child the idea of telling them who their father is; however, it can back fire on you”.

              Why do you ask? Because I can recall my mother doing that (both of my parents were Cluster B aliens) and all I thought she was doing was lying like she did with everyone else. It just made me want to be with my dad even more.

              What I would do is generally educated your child about these personality disorders. Teach them healthy boundaries are ok, teach them to respect themselves and others, teach them the basic right and wrong and you child will sort it out themselves during their lives.

              I would NOT say “Hey, Johnny your father is such and such”. Trust me with my experience that will back fire and your child needs comfort and education not hearing things about his/her father. If you do that you will push that little one more toward the ex and also make you look like the nutter. That is what the ex wants trust me. Just educate yourself and your children about personality disorders and gaining healthy boundaries and how they need to treat themselves and others by gaining healthy life skills. I am sure you can find some great books out there that can break it down for you to explain it to the level of a child to understand according to their age and during their lifespan. They will in no way can process what these books are writing about right now (the one I recommended to you above). Also when they mature they will see how their dad is because you have provided them with a healthy environment and healthy boundaries, just a general healthy life skills to know their dad isn’t right. Let them make that choice when the day comes.

              Let me also add it is excellent that you want to help your child to better understand and educate them about these disorders. I am a strong believer that this needs to be brought to our education system and mostly to our homes because these disordered people are all over the place and the percentage numbers are increasing as the population grows. That is great parenting in my eyes. Education starts at home. That is my belief.

              Remember your child’s brain is still developing and his/her’s frontal lobe (which is the part of rational thinking) does not fully develop until the late 20’s into the mid 30’s. Also your child is also at risk with having a personality disorder also per his father.

              The book will explain that in greater detail. There is a lot of studies going on about nature vs. nurture aspect of Personality Disorders. Now in my opinion (whatever it is worth) I think it is somewhere in-between. Every person is so different. The upbringing can be the best of everything or the worse of everything and even in-between and they can or cannot have this disorder per nurture debate. The nature debate comes toward if any parent has these disorders and there is an increase percentage that the child also have a personality disorder. That is another great part of the book it really breaks down all of these debates and gets you to thinking and gets you wanting to know more and more information about these disorders.

              • Hi Beth – thanks for posting the parent info. Ugh – I need all the help I can get. My STBX pulled the Mommy is crazy crap several years ago with the first Dday. I wont admit to the number of Ddays its effing embarrassing . I dont want my kids to burdened withe the gorry details, but I do think they should understand its not ok to be a spackle queen!!!!

          • Thanks, Beth for posting the link. It may have been you who posted it before and it helped me to hear their perspectives. Also sent it to my other chump friend.

        • 20 yrs will a few mask slippages. I accept that I spackled the crap out of it all just to keep the house of cards from imploding.

        • More than two decades here. He deserves an academy award.

          It’s easy to believe in “midlife crisis” because sometimes they do have the “signs”. Mine had a good friend die. Then came the OW. However I do think it really boils down to character. And stupidity. And disorder. He always did form “friendships” with female coworkers that made me uncomfortable. Married female coworkers. Really weird.

        • The mask on my STBX stayed on (most of the time) for between 10 and 12 years. So, yeah, they can do it.

        • I’ve wondered since my Dad left, if he hadn’t had a stroke. He told me right before he started his EAs that he had astral-projected himself through the bedroom wall into the dining room. We should have had him evaluated then, it may have prevented further damage. His behavior after that statement was completely contrary to how I had always known him.

    • ChumpFromF, the same happen to me. It began very fast and it ended very fast. I agree with Keep on Thriving this is their true colors just the mask coming off. Trust it. Trust they suck. It is basically the typical relationship cycle that all of these Cluster B Personality Disorders follows. Just the names change that’s all. There is nothing good at all about these people including the AP and the people around them that support them.

      • Hurt1, that is what these Disordered aliens are just clone. They all follow the same relationship cycle. None of them are original. Nothing in-between their ears. That goes for the other men and other women. They all think they are so special and they are not. They don’t add anything good to this world. They are just clones. No substance at all. No souls. Nothing really just empty matter.

    • ChumpFromF- my story is very similar to yours but it was 20 years that he hid that cruel side from me and, wow, is he cruel. I had others warn me something was off with him but he didn’t show me that man under the mask for almost 2 decades. It has taken me a year to accept that but I have finally realized he didn’t have a midlife crisis, this is just who he really is. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

      • Nicole I was in for 25 years, I saw his mask slip off towards other people many times over the years, I even made many apologies to people for it and told him how embarrassed I was. Now that I got the discard, I’m on the receiving end.

        • Nicole and Kate50, I was in it for 23 years. After the last Dday, when I finally got tired of spackling, the mask came of. And boy was it ugly. I could not recognize him. And he only showed it arround me, because now I knew what he was about. His family still sees him as the timid forest creature he potrays himself to be.
          Whitney Hustons song “Heartbreak hotel” has a line in it where she tells the other woman “same script different cast”. That is so true.
          So good riddance to the cluster B., and hello freedom. Just trust that they suck.

          • Kate50 and Joyce- There is just something comforting in knowing other people understand the crazy that I have experienced. I would not wish this on anyone but an understanding ear is a blessing. Thank you. Kate- I made so many apologies and excuses too. I feel I was naive to think he would never direct that cruel behavior toward me. Joyce, I did way too much spackling. It got to be so exhausting. Yes, so long Cluster B, hello peace and not only trust that they suck, but trust that you are awesome.

            • Well then, I must be the all time biggest Chump! Mine hid his true self for nearly 40 years! Folks, that’s a whole lot of spackle! Wish I had stock in it!

    • The Midlife crisis is pure BS. It’s s social construct popularized in the 1970s based on a flawed model of human development that has no empirical data to back it up.

      It is, however, a convenient excuse and a useful stereotype that is a good substitute for thinking.

    • I went through months of believing in the therapist notion of a possible midlife crisis. My STBX was duh-huh yep that explains it. Seriously, then he has been having an effing crisis for over a decade. Bullcrap! It is all self absorbing having cake and eating it too! Ya know if he would have only engaged in financial infidelity or only anger issues or only arrogant narc dialogues or hell ONE infeidelity encounter perhaps I could grasp a “momentary crisis”. Hell no I got the ultimate package along with verbal and physical abuse. What the hell is wrong with him. Why didnt he just leave!!
      LOL no, what the hell is wrong with me! Again midlife crisis–BULLCRAP!
      Have a lovely day chumps! Kickass, and keep moving forward!!!

    • This is almost exactly like what my last month or so has been like. Where did my appreciative & loving wife of almost 20 yrs go? Finding out less than a month ago abt her emo cheating & her current exit affair has been the most painful experience of my life. She’s so cold and indifferent abt destroying what I thought was a happy marriage based on many of her own statements public & private. I own my part in the weakening of our marital bond & would have done almost anything to help fix it but she never told me that she wanted us to do marriage counseling & admitted as much. I never have & never would have cheated on her in response to what were typical & fixable marriage problems, but she did/is & refuses to end her current affair. Part of me still childishly hopes she’ll snap out of it & realize how wrong she is but i realize that is unlikely. Since this all occurred so recently we still live together in separate rooms & may have to for nearly a yr from now. Because she is still seeing & enjoying “happiness” with the OM, it feels like my heart breaks again each day. This website has been extremely helpful & I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to meh. Does anyone have any tips on surviving having to live with a cheating STBX? It’s so hard to stop craving the attention, care & kindness we used to share.

      • I tried living with my cheating ex wife and lasted 3 weeks. Then I told her she needed to get out as her mother lives close by. It was hell. I would live anywhere but together if I were you, it delays healing and just makes you feel miserable 24-7. 17 months post split and I’m doing a lot better, we were together 24 years and raised two kids and she dropped her atom bomb. Fuck her.

        • kbchump, thanks for the advice. Sorry hear about your situation. I just resent the possibility of me having to be the one to leave (for financial reasons) on top of being the BS. Has anyone successfully lived with their cheating stbx for 6 months or more?

    • I have been in this crappy situation for almost 6 years now. Trying to understand how someone can destroy a family for a shag with a whore. Amazing

      Someone who avoid discussion because he is afraid to face the damage done.

  • Mid life crisis? A huge crock of shit – its basically a term so narcissists can do whatever the fuck they please and act like a spoilt brat and when called on it, and have a ready made excuse. I don’t see chumps acting like morons in this manner.

      • My ex was 33 when he had his ‘mid-life crisis’. I think it is crap. We had just had a child and I know that caused a lot of changes and questioning life. I mean I had just become a mom and was thinking “OMG What do I do now?” But I didn’t cheat, I got into a new mom’s support group, I read some books and got on forums. He got on Craig’s Lust! We all have the choice of how to deal with life, the ex chose to pursue OW/OM online instead of dealing with his feelings like a grown up.

  • I am undecided on this

    For years I thought that my deadhusbands behavior was midlife crisis…I knew he had crap life skills but I was not willing to see the cluster B issues that were there (cleverly cloaked) all along.

    I do agree with the “his coping worked right up until it didnt anymore” idea

    I dont think that the people (not my H who was generally a jerk) who acted like nice guys for YEARS were faking or putting on a face..I cant believe there wasnt SOME genuineness in thier outward expression, but they surely can turn into shark eyed monsters in a heart beat. Those folks who exhibit the most extreme shifts in behavior….they puzzle me.

    My deadhusband habitually over used his very limited coping skills AND … had career challenges in his early 40s that his narc self could not deal with. My capacity to spackle masked much of the really dysfunctional depths of his typical behavior and that worked for a LONG time – until his acting out became bigger than any humans capacity to spackle.

    My really hard developmental task (which you all have seen worked out right in front of you as you read my words) is to come to see the actual reality that I was too scared to see before, that he was a huge jerk to me and our marriage sucked much more than I was brave enough to admit.

    but the long term jerky behavior did hit some sort of critical mass at midlife

    my mistake was thinking that the fact it was a (seemingly sudden) crisis meant that it was amenable to improvement…it wasnt.

    • Unicornomore, I felt the same way for many years. I can fully understand how you feel. I never understood and/or wrap my head around why and how the ex could act the way he did. I had so many red flags when it came to the ex. It was like that until one day when I was reading some article about that Spelling girl (Tori I think) and her husband (whatever the douche bags name is) and both of them being Narcissistic and in the article it was going into great detail about NPD and other Cluster B Personality Disorders. Then I had this light bulb moment in my head and I said to myself (very out loud btw) that this is the ex. Then I read more information and more information and more information about Cluster B Personality Disorders. I got every book I could fine and search and search the internet for more information. That is when I found this site and many others that deal with cheaters. It was an amazing process for me. It helped me in my healing process.

      Then I found a wonderful radio link that went into great detail about the relationship cycle that all Cluster B Personality Disorders follow. Let me give you the link. Don’t be mislead in the title of it. Please listen to it. Like I wrote above it helped me so much:

      I highly recommend for you to read as much as you can about Cluster B Personality Disorders, That is if you have not all ready. It has helped me and also has helped me be better prepared with meeting others like this in the real world. From what I read the experts say that there is about 1% of the world’s population that are Cluster B Personality Disorders or 1 in 10 that are walking the streets. However, I think those stats are very wrong and underestimated. There are so much more. Plus most of us have them in our families and our friends. Now I fully understand why I had so many red flags about the ex and his family and friends. Yes, even many of my family and friends also. Let’s say now they are no longer in my life. It’s best that way and so very peaceful.

      • You mean 1 in 100.
        Because if it was 1 in 10, there would be no reason to consider them disordered, that would be too many people to use the word “disorder”.

          • Correction to my statement above and it is based on a study done in 2007 and it is saying 1 in 11 people or 9.1% of the US population. The estimates were
            5.7% Cluster A
            1.5% Cluster B
            6.0% Cluster C
            9.1% any PD.

            From what I read there are other studies that have higher numbers with estimated percentages between 9.0% and 15.7%.

            This is from
            US National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health

            I’m sure there are new updated studies out there.

            I need to look to see if there are any updated studies about this. I really think the numbers are higher than that.

        • Current estimates are 1 in 25 for the conglomerate of Cluster B disorders. In the history of my dating pool, it’s more like 9 out of 10 (my father was a narc; we go for what’s familiar. or DID).

          • Nice, new updated numbers. I thought the numbers were higher than what I read. Where I live I can fully understand the 9 out of 10.

            • I meant people I’ve dated, but you’re right–some pools have higher rates of narcissists than others (from what I can glean from months of CL, I’d list academics, physicians, airplane pilots, and musicians as having greater-than-average personality disorders.)

              • No worries Tempest. I get what you are writing about. Don’t forget about the wonderful Politicians, Criminal Justice from Judges to the Police to the Lawyers (not CL hubby of course), Actors and Actresses, Bankers, the list goes on and on. These disordered creatures love love power. The more power the more they feel “alive”. They all come in different shapes and forms. I do get what you are writing about.

              • Ah, yes, Beth–those professions, too. Wish there was some easy way to identify the narcs so we could just drown them at birth.

              • Any profession which has the chance of gleaning kibbles in some way = rampant with PD’s.

              • Oh I forget the Athletes and those sad Reality people. We know the ones.

                Very true, Lania.

                Tempest I’m with you about that idea.

                Oh the traveling salespeople. Very true not Juliet.

                Power, kibbles, any form of attention. What do they provide for the world? Nothing.

      • First, 28% of the population suffers from clinically diagnosable mental illnesses at any one time. If you want the break-down on Cluster Bs: 1% ASPD, 1% NPD, 3-6% BPD. Imagine yourself in a room with 100 people (the cafeteria at work, say), and it puts it into perspective, at least for me. The thing to consider is that this doesn’t account for people who are sub-clinical, or strongly traited along these lines. My friend’s mom, for example, is likely sub-clinical BPD. Her daughter, however, ended up being diagnosed with BPD (and some other things) as an adult, long out of the house.

      • My question is…how do we explain about these disordered people to my young children. My daughters are so confused by “Daddy being weird”. If they are incapable of love…then that also means true, healthy love for their children.

        • Nomorerebs–tricky situation. You don’t want to tell your daughters Dad is incapable of love (as that would apply to them), but that he is certainly incapable of behaving responsibly in a relationship. I’ll bet good money he eventually will show how he can not sustain “love” for his children, either, but let that play out. Don’t lie to your daughters about his actual behavior; in my view, they count on the sane parent to provide as much truth as they can handle. How much truth is that? Give them the basics, and then let their questions guide how much more you say.

    • UnicornNoMore: “My really hard developmental task (which you all have seen worked out right in front of you as you read my words) is to come to see the actual reality that I was too scared to see before, that he was a huge jerk to me and our marriage sucked much more than I was brave enough to admit.”

      Thank you for expressing that, UNM!

      Same here. I’m done trying to define the origin of his horrid behavior. Instead, I’m trying to understand why I accepted it for so long. My “mid-life crisis” is learning to accept that while I cannot change the past, focusing on the years I’ve lost being married to him only serve to keep me from living my best life NOW.

      With the exception of visiting this site for fortification of my resolve, I make a concerted effort to not allow him to invade one more second of my best life.

      • ChutesandL, yes, I love that. That is what I am trying desperately to do, “why I accepted it for so long,” that is the part I want to own. I’m still in court hell over child custody so when I see him I am activated with such repulsion I become someone I don’t even recognize in hatred and rage. I know that is not who I am, but I really wish I could get a handle on that. As we were leaving court yesterday I stated out loud, “Deadbeat Dad,” even though I had such resolve to be strong, calm, and quiet. This was after the judge denied my motion to collect back child support based on his verbal agreement to pay, which I believed at the time of divorce. Sorry to re-hash, I’m still burning about it. Geeeez, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I move on?

        • ChumpB, the reason you cannot move on is that because you are a good person. You have morals, character, and you have a soul. Nothing is wrong with you. Everything is right with you. Hugs!!!!! You are a good person. He is the shit. Trust in that. You are in pain and the child custody mess you are dealing with can mess with your head.

          Since you are in the middle of this child custody hell it can be very hard to heal. I feel for you and everyone that has kids with these disorder shits. I didn’t have kids with the ex so I was able to move very far away and go full no contact with him, family and friends around him (including my family and friends).

          I did read some other post on this site about doing what is called Gray Rock. Maybe look into it more. It is a great idea for chumps that have kids with these cheaters. If you cannot find it let me know and I can post more information about it. Also if you can get Chump Lady’s book. It is really good. Plus we are here for you. Also if you register on this site there is a post with a list of books to read. I got many of them and others. Plus if you can find a great therapist that can help you. Also please vent with us. We are here for you! hugs again.

          • Gray Rock. I need to look this up too. So fat I’ve been defusing my rage – using it’s power more constructively – via therapy and running. Lots of running. The endorphin rush helps me refocus and spend my time getting things together. I need to remain cool when dealing with cheaterpants. Any amount of emotion is his fuel to manipulate the situation.

        • Because he continues to abuse you through the courts and neglect your children’s basic needs by withholding child support.

          I have one of those X’s, too. I’m just a little further out from our last court appearance. It does get easier to stomach when you don’t have to interact with them all the time.

        • Because you just took another major hit from a jackass judge yesterday, that’s why you can’t move on. Rage is a natural reaction to profound helplessness and sense of injustice over what you have suffered. I’d be more concerned if you didn’t feel rage. You probably want to whisper “Dead Beat Dad” under your breath so he hears it but others don’t, or actually incorporate it calmly into your plea, “your Honor, X has been a dead beat dad because he doesn’t pay child support and neglects to spend any time with children.” There, you are controlling your behavior/speech connected to the rage. Denying the rage will just make it worse; own it & use it as propulsion for a fairer edict on child support.

          Hugs to you, ChumpB!

        • ChumpB,

          Just wanted to let you know that many of us empathize with you. I, too, get angry that a reasonable request for support made in our out of court is treated as the most outlandish thing anyone could ever request by selfish cheating STBXs and that judges seem to think that these selfish cheaters offer arguments with some merit.

          • Fuck the judges. Seriously. In my situation the judge ignored all suggestions from the child support enforcement representative and gave my ex every break. The man makes more in his annual bonus than he pays for an entire year of child support. For a while I was more angry at all of the other officials involved in fucking me over than my ex. It is injustice and in some ways oppression. A judge has the right to victimize you without any recourse in a way that can completely mess up your life. And sometimes it seems so arbitrary because it is. Just. Like. Being. Discarded by a narc.

            For me it feels like having to operate in a system that I can not figure out how it works. At the same time I’m running into this in my medical treatment here and in trying to get ANYONE to do anything about the fact that we experienced poisoning in the apartment we were living in. It’s so bad that we can’t even go in and move out my stuff because it makes everyone immediately sick. And it’s caused permanent lung and neurological damage. I feel like I have a sign on my fucking head that says Go Ahead And Deny My Reality Repeatedly. I deserve it. I already get enough of that shit from my foo. Ugh. Sorry. Total angry rant. Infidelity needs a Batman. And a Solomon. And in some cases a Dexter.

            • Kat I completely relate.
              Yesterday I asked a friend if I had a sign on my head that says “Violate Me “. Self advocating (within the judicial system and medical world) can be an exercise in insanity.

              • Jeeze, I oughta check my behind. “Violate Me” sounds exactly like the sort of sign my ex thought should go there. Honestly. I feel like I’m drowning in the middle of a lake and all the people along the shore don’t care. The doctor is bending over and telling me I’m not drowning. “You are not choking on water” “You are not having trouble breathing.” “Your anxiety is causing the breathing issues and the sensation of choking” “There’s nothing wrong with you, have you tried counseling or antidepressants?” The judicial system is telling me I don’t need a flotation device or a rope and that not only do I not need those, but that I should be working full time while I swim. The system asks me why I’m drowning to begin with because clearly it must be my fault even though my legs and hands were tied and I was thrown in the water by my ex. And all the while my lawyer is standing next to my ex and putting her finger on my head to help push me down.

                The only thing as bad as or worse than a narc’s gaslighting is the medical community or court systems gaslighting. I want out of this goddamn lake. Maybe I need Aquaman 🙂

                Sorry you’re going through it too. 🙁

              • {{|Kat}}} I’m so sorry but I have to admit I’m relieved to know someone gets it! I used to say my lawyer might as well get up and argue for the ex–these Narcs watch out for each other. (It was my 3rd lawyer, couldn’t change–sheer bad luck, ex had money for far better representation, etc.)
                Almost a year after hearing, “your EKG is fine, essentially you’re nuts” I was put on a beta blocker yesterday. But not before the symptoms got so bad I was having palpitations to the point of distraction. I went in expecting the symptoms not to behave, just to ask if I should be concerned. By the time the doctor had finished shaming me for not coming back sooner–to be told I had no symptoms–she was telling me to go to the pharmacy immediately because my ticker was firing off the clock. At one point I had to ask her to please stop reading my medical chart in an exam room with another patient where the entire front office could join in. But two of my other Drs recommended her highly (they stick together!) and she’s a cardiologist so I figured she oughtta’ know. In between it gets exhausting and I gotta’ rally for the next appointment…
                This follows the latest debacle where my confidential health insurance copies were “mistakenly” being sent to the ex as well as myself. I was mortified when I found out, apparently for no reason: He waited…7 months to let me know. And only then because it annoyed (It/her) and he was “sick of this”. Forget about the invasion, the breach of privacy, my civil rights, that he didn’t give one fuck about my health either way. I was just beginning to forget how little he thought of me. No wonder I’m pumping adrenaline, I haven’t stopped running since I left. Hang in Kat, sending power support hugs!

              • Kat & Sara–switch doctors, if possible. Many are notoriously arrogant & condescending, and willing to ignore patient complaints because they think that they know best & the rest of us are just intellectually beneath them. Last I checked, no one has phenomenological access to anyone else’s pain or symptoms.

              • Tempest. I’ve seen 19 docs that I can count here. 21 if you count my surgeons. All of the sucky docs for the state end up here. I have an amazing pulmonologist but otherwise the whole it’s in your head bs is very standard here. Especially because I’m a woman. I told so many docs including my regular doc I was having breathing issues and heart palps and they told me I was just anxious. Guess what. Turns out I have adult onset asthma at 36. The lack of oxygen causes heart palpitations and anxiety. Not the other way around.

                When I was hospitalized in June for seizure/stroke type stuf fthe doc on duty told me there was going to be nothing wrong with me because I’m too young. And attractive since he hit on me. Super creepy. I

        • Its because people pussy-foot around PD’s, or are PD’s themselves – that we have to put up with this shit. Its why people who play Switzerland are culled immediately from my life.
          They give concessions to people who are undeserving of them, and you have every damn right to be pissed off as a result. The morons don’t realise that this just plays into the game of a PD.

    • Ringin–I think the core nugget of cruelty is in these guys/gals to begin with, and getting away with more and more escalates their behavior to a critical level. Note I am NOT blaming the victims–us–but our ability to spackle and sidestep their excesses gives THEM just enough intermittent reinforcement for bad behavior to increase it, and increase it, and increase it. The problem is still *them;* after all, many of us know people who are chumpier than ourselves and we don’t take advantage of them. If anything, I find myself defending and protecting too-nice people. It takes a special brand of cruel to prey on kind people.

      • Sara, the release of your records to your husband, unless you had signed for them to be done that way is a HIPPA violation and the physician and his office can be in severe trouble ($$$) with your clear cut violation of patient privacy. They can be reported and the fine starts at$25,000.00 dollars. Just letting you know your rights. I’m a nurse, so I have to know these things. It is a big deal in the medical community. If you did not sign consent for them to be released to anyone but you, they are in violation of state and national laws regarding HIPPA. You just have to speak the words about reporting it, and reading your chart in front of another patient is also a HIPPA violation. Now they are looking at 2 counts of violating the privacy act and they would get in huge trouble for it if they were turned in. Not smart on their part, know your rights.

        • Unicorn it is the empire of blue cross. I’m trying to get a complaint to the insurance commissioner–it’s been a nightmare and extremely triggering. It is a very clear HIPAA breach but that’s meant squat so far. It was a “mistake”. I do intend to file the complaint when I’m up to it. It’s atrocious. They get away with murder. Thanks–sorry to get so off topic!

        • And thank you Unicorn. It was my second visit to that doctor and both times I had to ask her please not to read my medical chart in public. The other day everyone looked so disinterested I thought maybe I was being oversensitive. She was in another room with a patient when the nurse handed her my chart–she started reading my lab results out loud and chatting with the patient who recognized the logo it had on it from another office! The HIPAA thing is on a bigger scale–why I thought I must be wearing that “Violate Me” sign!

          • My lawyer actually gave out my unlisted private phone number and my court sealed address. But it’s just no big deal here too. Same thing with what should be considered malpractice. Add to that when you’re exhausted from feeling violated and gaslighted and out of resources and pretty much without an advocate they just walk all over you. You can only make a complaint within the system if the system is working. So sorry you’re going through this Sara. Thank you for sharing though because I finally get that it really isn’t me that is somehow presenting myself wrong. (It isn’t you either!!!) I knew without a doubt that my husbands sex addiction was all his fuckedupness and had nothing to do with me. It’s a little harder when you have a whole system of people messing with your reality. And then if you stand up for yourself and get pissed they just label you as having a mental disorder. I wish I was wherever you were because I would love to be the bitchy one who advocates for you. If you don’t mind someone who literally freezes when my system is overloaded. I’m like a fainting goat!! Like a bitchy fainting goat. It’s strange how my reserves for advocating for myself are worn out but I might have a bit left for someone else. 😉 Glad you’re on beta blockers. They’re supposed to help with anxiety too. I just started an inhaled steroid for my lungs and miracle of miracles it made me feel better in general. Ya think maybe all this stress has depleted my own cortisol/adrenals much? I take small bits of pleasure in writing bad reviews for the medical docs and the lawyer online. Thanks for the support hugs!!! You too!

            They say that in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. I think it’s a lot more likely that all those blind people spend time convincing him he isn’t really seeing what he’s seeing.

  • Great post LovedAJackass and CL!

    I truly believe that term of “mid-life crisis” is just another excuse. Just like the term it was a “mistake”. Also another one is that the cheaters were not “happy” in the relationship.

    Basically these cheaters (including AP’s and the family and friends of both the cheaters and AP’s) are to messed up in the head to own what they have done, they have no common sense what so ever to know the basics of what is right and wrong, they don’t know how to treat anyone with any type of respect, they have no morals, no character just empty evils devils on this planet, they also cannot love, they are not capable to love, they don’t even like themselves. Also they are missing sensitive chip. There is so much more they are missing from their souls and we all know they are not human beings. They are not normal. They don’t offer anything good to the world. All they do is take and take and take. It’s about them. That’s all!!!!! There is no cure. There is no way they will ever be better people. They are not good people no matter what. They blame everyone when something happens bad to them. They have done nothing to cause their problems. They will never ever see that. My option they are predators!!!!!

    We chumps had and still having to deal with so much abuse from the Cheater, APs, and the cheater’s family and friends (I called them the “followers” yes like a cult). The court system also is lacking so much education in protecting chumps and the children from Personality Disorder individuals. The laws are very outdated and also no fault divorces need to end. We chumps need to have more rights and the court systems and the laws need to change to protect us from these Personality Disorder individuals. Also there needs to be more life skill education to help us to deal with these Personality Disordered individuals.

    Another form of abuse is still the old fashion thinking that it is the chumps’ fault that their spouse cheats. Another very sad old fashion thinking that your marriage can be better and saved after an affair. We do not and cannot make someone do things. I am a true believer that a marriage and any type of relationship with a cheater cannot happen. I read this all of the time from newspapers, the internet, to TV shows. It is the same very old fashion thinking. There is no real true information out there saying anything about Cluster B Personality Disorder to help people educate themselves about these mental disordered creatures. It is the same old mess when it comes to any type of printed information and if you watch this on the TV.

    • Nice job Beth, well articulated. And LovedaJackass, I LOVE your article, well-written, great facts, so on point. Thanks for sharing your wisdom you two I appreciate it more than you know. Midlife crisis, what a hoax!

    • My cheater ass clown always used the “It was a fuckin mistake” excuse whenever his cheating and lying was exposed. He constantly said “How many times do I have to be reminded about my “mistake”? Probably as many times as the mistakes there actually were. Found out he was fucking his haggy nutty ex-wife and a nutty ex-girlfriend he slobbed around the bars with. He was fucking both of them during the 2 plus years I was involved with him. Oh, but it was just a “big mistake” doncha know? His ex-wife now resides with that prize. She apparently enjoys being a sitting duck for the time bomb cheater. Denial and low self esteem is a beautiful thing for some folks I guess. The more alcohol they both consume, the more they can revel in their “twu wuv”.

      • Yes, no more free cake what you wrote about your ex just proves all of the points I was writing about. Some other interesting things I have read about personality disorders is that they have higher risk levels of substance abuse (alcohol, illegal, gambling, prescription and etc.) and most do. What I can recall with the things I have read that it comes down to them not having the coping skills to deal with what is going on in their head. Meaning the intense hate they have for themselves and for the world. They are not able to run away from what they are thinking and feeling. With the substance abuse they are able to “feel” some type of normalcy at some level and also they are able to “like” themselves because the abuse of drugs or whatever it is . Also they think they are able to control what is going on inside of them and around them. Whatever they are abusing takes a life of it’s own and temporarily “kills” off the feeling of the intense hate they have for themselves. There are some other details about it and I forgot but I need to refresh my memory on that book.

        Real mental thing is that these personality disorder things think that they are so much better than others and also their other men and other women and really they all are just trash. I see it time and time again.

        It was very interesting reading. I must say the dark side of these personality disorder things is very dark.

  • Exactly!!! I thought X-hole was having a mid-life crisis, seemed like the only possible explanation until I found out the truth…that it was a “repeat” performance. His version of the truth was that his ex-wife THREW him away….her version was that she monitored his affair for 3 months before confronting him and telling him to leave, their youngest child (of 3) was 5 months old at the time. He said nothing when confronted, no apologies….nada. To this day he still lies about what happened. They all have their own version of the truth and they have NO shame!!

    Googling his atrocious behavior and lack of remorse and other symptoms led me to researching Narcissism and eventually I found my way here. I am ever so grateful for this site, for CL and my fellow chumps, just knowing that I wasn’t the only one and I wasn’t crazy helped.

    • NCStevie, what is really shocking all of them behave the same way. There is no unique thought with any of them. It is the same type of reaction with them all. For some reason they ALL think and act the same way. Then for some reason the Other Man or Woman think that are special. They are not special. It is the same old cycle over and over again. From what I have read on this site and other sites and books that I have read the Other Man or Woman had the same mental disorder/illness that these cheaters have also. Also it can be even worse because the Other Man/Woman are enabling this type of behavior with the cheater because they think they are so very “special”. To me it shows how uneducated and disconnected they both are in the real world. It is all about them. They are entitled to poor behavior and extremely poor morals, and have no impulse control and really not type of adult reasoning when it comes to any type of common sense, even the lack of their frontal lobe of their brains not being fully developed.

        • Ha! Thanks ChumpB. It’s amazing what happens when you get into this healing process and you gain some great insight with this disorder beast. The amount of education I have gained over the past year or so has helped me so much. I hope and pray everyone here will be able to have that also. The pain that they cause is unbearable. I will never forget that. Sending my love to everyone here. If I can do it from the state I was in those many years ago to now. I know others can also. It does take time and don’t rush it. Also knowledge is power.

          • Yes Beth, you’re nailing it!

            OW is a disordered f**k that played games and led him on just because she could or maybe it was to feed her ego. Probably both. She’s so special. And sweet, sending me candy and all because their “friendship” was not acceptable to me. What she should have done was stay away from him. Not saying he wouldn’t have walked anyway, but there’s something wrong with that bitch. I feel sorry for her kids. And I don’t understand her husband either. Was he cool with it, sparkling, or what? Ex told me she was “all about her family”. Then why was she spending time alone with someone else’s husband?

              • Thank you, Lina. Yes, they can be even worse than the men at times. That was another light bulb moment I had listening to another podcast about the OW via the wives talking about how they were treated during their D-day and the divorce process. Now these OW are very well know and have loads of money (now I’m reading they don’t have the money anymore). Their events with the OW and cheaters were very shocking and they are still dealing with legal aspects of the divorce and it’s been years for them also sadly they have kids with them. Then I read some other blogs about the AP (OW/OM) and it just confirmed what I heard from that podcast. I was able to put it all together and look at it from the outside and say to myself these OW/OM most likely dealing with even a deeper level of Cluster-B Personality Disorder than any of us understand.

                Now I think from what I can tell with the ex and the OW he married that he is very deep into his personality disorder also and the thing he married is enabling that behavior. That is what they do. It’s normal for them. From what I can tell and what I have heard they don’t let each other out of their sites and they shared many social media sites also (this is about the ex). I have seen several pictures of them also and there is no connection between them. Just a picture for the hell of it or for social media to let others know they are so very happy. Soul mates! Isn’t that so cute! NOT….ha!.

                So to answer your question Lina about her husband I would have to say from my experience (I am not an expert in this field) would be yes to spackling and she most likely love bombs him and gaslightening him also. It is a combo of things.

                Why she is spending time alone with a someone else’s husband? If she is a typical Cluster B personality disorder she is just doing the typical relationship cycle. If you can look above when the comments start to be posted and I shared a great link that explains in great deal about the Cluster B Personality Disorders relationship cycle and it explains what men and women do. Don’t be mislead with the title. If you cannot find it I will post the link again. It is very helpful.

      • Perfect description of cheaterpants and the UNPaid sex buddies he has fucked. I knew some of them, the other wife- MOW- is a true piece of selfish, entitled fucked up ever. These old farts live and breathe as if they are still15yrs old. I have photos of them partying with teens during Mardi Gras. They are emotionally stunted vampires.

  • LAJ!!! I missed you! You say stuff that my brain would, if only it could type better.

    Wait, midlife crises start at 35? Shit. I missed that. Instead I think I was getting std tested while pregnant after being abandoned by my husband. I understand the concept of examining the juxtaposition between the way you envisioned life and what it really is. Decent people feel grateful for what they have or take responsibility for doing what they can to make things better. It’s totally normal to sometimes need to process and come to terms with how our life turned out. But only selfish pieces of shit blame it on others and only the entitled think they are entitled to a perfect life at the expense of others. I do also think feeling old can happen because hormones are out of balance as I’ve recently experienced. It still doesn’t justify cheating.

    I am curious, and would hope that the men would chime in, as to why it seems that it IS men who are more obviously ascribed to having such crises? Buying the big toys, much younger women etc. I’m not saying it’s true, but I don’t often hear about women in such ways. Maybe we just decide to become vegetarians and yoga instructors instead or whatever. Thoughts? Or maybe I just don’t get it in general because I think the simplicity of having a family and a partner is exquisite.

    As for lamenting body parts not being where they used to be, who needs a midlife crisis for that? Any woman who’s had kids has fun with that conversation. Now here’s hoping that my biggest worry in the next few years is whether I can still wear a halter top.

    • Kat – Ok, I’ll chime in. I don’t really think the stereotype is true, but if it is reinforced every now and then (like the famous psych experiment), it tends to stick with us. My ex wanted to become a Jazzercise instructor. She started doing lots of “self-focused” activities, like Jazzercise, weekly tanning salons, nail, and hair appts., etc. Was going out with “the girls” a lot while I took care of our twins. Don’t know how stereotypical her behavior was but I diagnosed her with mid-life crisis early on. Allowed her too much slack based on that “excuse”. Now I know better.

      • They still have Jazzercise? I would be worried that was a sign of a tumor before I’d think midlife crisis. It is kind of along the same lines as the yoga instructor thing though.

        • Ha! Thanks for that! Yeah, in fact, I let her go to a Jazzercise convention in Las Vegas almost a year after DDay1. Can anyone say “Uber-chump?” Now I think of Jazzercise as much more cheater-ish than yoga.

      • My ex quit work to be a part-time nursing student. She signed up for Jazzercise and went several times a week and then would complain when I got home from work and didn’t do the household chores she apparently was too busy to attend to. The only child in the house was a 15 year old who stayed in his room playing video games all day (when not in school, that is), so it’s not like she was chasing young children around all day.

        • Ok. I had to youtube it just to make sure I wasn’t imagining that this shit originally came from the 80’s. I was correct. And now after hearing it from the two of you I am going to assume that anyone who Jazzercises must be evil. In fact I’m pretty sure it’s an evil order with like initiations and secret hand signals. Secret Jazz Hand Signals. I’m thinking that if TwinsDad’s ex was an instructor she was a High Priestess or some shit. 😉

      • I think it’s the pattern of change that’s more important than the activity. And the focus on self. I never saw my STBX as selfish, but the truth is, he was. Since this happened, his family has come out to me and told me things I’ve never known about him.. so I do think it was there all along, he was just able to suppress it. He is generous, but now I wonder if his generosity is a form of manipulation too.

        Like the Jazzercise.. mine started working our furiously and a guy who normally enjoys food/beverage all of a sudden didn’t want to eat anything or have a cold beer. This frustrated me because I Love food and love to cook. It’s like he just sucked the one thing I thought I did well out of me. He started nit picking the meals I made (too caloric, too many carbs, etc). I’m thinking, I liked the sort of chubby guy better, he was a nicer person.. this new guy is obsessed. But I didn’t want to discourage his new good habits- so I went along. But it became manic. Then he started buying all these new expensive clothes, leased a crazy expensive car… out of character. He also started “manscaping” which was a clear sign he was cheating.

        Final sign was he started smoking like a stack.. so on one hand, he looked better with the weight loss but on another he looks gaunt, almost sick. The cigarettes taking a toll. Found out later the whore smokes too. I wonder if she’ll be there when he gets lung cancer like his mother did. I doubt it.

        Their behaviors are so crazy and in some ways, contradictory. (ie, weight loss and smoking).

    • Kat – Yes, agree! Us chumps missed the mid-life crisis because we were too busy taking care of our households, jobs, and families. You know, those small things….things that apparently get in the way of ClusterBs’ fun.

    • Kat, yes I think the men do all the stereotypical things. Buy a sports car, buy a boat, buy a motorcycle, buy a bunch of new clothes, etc. It’s all cliché but perhaps it’s more noticeable with men because what they do are more dramatic.

      Women do things too, it’s just not a stereotype — yet. For instance, my wife suddenly didn’t want the minivan (that she originally begged for) anymore and at the same time became a gym rat, went tanning, got breast implants, and suddenly started wearing yoga pants everywhere she went. I wrote it all off as her doing things to make herself happy and attractive (she was overweight of a while) — and I supported it — but in hindsight it was really just to attract eyeballs and advertise that she was available.

      • I see a lot of these types at my gym. Especially boobs version 2.0, lots of posing on elliptical so, weird flirting with young trainers. Weird. The Juicy-on-the-ass wardrobe, the desire to be the ‘cool mom’ and compete with their teen daughters, the flirting with their son’s friends. Blah blah blah. THIS is the female midlife crisis stereotype and it’s pretty spot on.

        • I just came from High School orientation for my 14 y.o. On my way out, there was a 45ish mother walking in with skin tight leggings, skin tight shirt, red lipstick & nails. If you’d told me her clothes had been spray painted on, I wouldn’t have disbelieved you. Meanwhile, normal-looking daughter was behind her and I wondered who would pick up a 16-year old first.

          Why do mid-life women think that look is (a) attractive, (b) appropriate for your child’s school environment? I guess it must work to get the kind of attention they are seeking.

        • No kidding on the gym clothes ANC. My wife goes to the Powerhouse Gym (suggested I shouldn’t join there with her since I’m not serious enough) and I go to my local YMCA a couple nights a week instead.

          Even at the uncool Y, you can tell the difference between people who are just there to work out versus those who treat it as a singles’ bar. The difference in the attire between the types of people is what’s telling. The makeup the ladies wear (or the lack thereof) lets you know who’s there to lose weight and who’s there to advertise as well.

          My wife looked like she was going to a fashion show every time she went to work out – a red flag right there.

          • I have middle aged girlfriends who wear the full warpaint to work out at the gym. They go half speed on the treadmill so their mascara doesn’t run :). What they don’t seem to get is if they truly want to be attractive, doing a full workout would be far more effective.

            And if anyone starts trying to engage me in more than a passing hello at the gym? Get lost buddy…I’m working!

            • “And if anyone starts trying to engage me in more than a passing hello at the gym? Get lost buddy…I’m working!”

              Me too. I hate being hit on at the gym. Which is part of why I don’t go to gyms anymore.

      • Gym rat and tanning tell tale signs. Yoga pants? Not sure why those are sexy, apparently I missed that memo.

        • Did you miss where LuLuLemon (most popular yoga store) was selling pants that were so tight they fully showed off the outline of the vaJayJay. They were creamed (pun intended) in the marketplace for that.

          • Yoga pants….We call the ‘ mumblers’ …. Your lips are moving but i cant hear what your saying.

            • * we call yoga pants “mumblers” because your lips are moving but I cant hear what your saying.

      • Breast implants are a huge red flag especially when you are happy the way they are.

    • In this day and age, when I think “mid-life crisis” I immediately thing of women, not men as being the ones who are prone to mid-life crisis. Maybe it depends who you hang with and where you live.

      I really don’t know any men who suddenly buy sports cars and have affairs when they turn 35 or 40, but I’ve known plenty of women to get into ultra-triathaleting, yoga retreating, quitting their jobs, getting their own apartment, and having affairs and optionally divorcing. But perhaps that also has something to do with who my stbx attracts (entitled women) and who I attract (fellow chumpy males) and that I live in the more liberal west coast where hipster liberal men are too politically correct to have mid-life crisis.

      I think the other thing in this crowd (and I’m generalizing) is that the women have dominated the finances, so these guys can’t afford a new sports car or wardrobe even if they wanted.

      • My deadhusband’s sister dumped her husband (Im sure she expected full alimony, hope she didnt get it) even though he was a good guy by all accounts. She fancied herself upper class (with LOTS of style) but herself never made better than a working class wage. Its OK though, she decided to make her fortune in self published porn-fiction…hmmm wonder how that is working for her.

  • My friends have all told me asswipe was going through a ‘mid-life’ crisis. He went out and got a scar on his forehead removed, which I thought was odd, because it was barely noticeable. And he didn’t even tell me about it – the Dr. left a voicemail on our answering machine confirming his appointment, which I heard. Otherwise he had no intention of telling me he had taken the day off of work to have this scar removed in the cities (an hour away). That should have been red flag #1. He went out and bought a 350Z sports car and “Gave it to our son.” (He drives it but is hoping to claim it is our sons in the divorce so he won’t have to pay me half. Hahahahah). He is bald – but keeps what hair he has left long so can do the ‘ol swoop over from the ear over the forehead and uses TONS of hairspray. He started using Rogaine YEARS ago and has obviously not worked. He started flirting A LOT! And didn’t give a shit what I thought. He has a beer gut.
    Personally – a ‘mid-life’ crisis is basically low self esteem. My stbx is an alcoholic. Alcoholism is equated to low self esteem.
    My stbx’s philosophy on life is – “Drink Up! You only live once. I don’t want to get old enough for people to have to change my diapers so I’d better drink now, therefore I won’t get TOO old for that to happen.”
    Well, good thing I won’t be helping with those diapers. I’m just praying I get to sit back and watch him suffer from cirrhosis or pancreatitis instead. SOON!

  • I firmly believe in the midlife crisis. I’ve had a front row seat to four people going through it in the last 35 years, where they went from loving family members to creatures from another world who turned on their spouses and walked out on their kids, only to return to “normal” status years later and regret that part of their lives.

    One even told me, “You couldn’t tell me ANYTHING back then. I thought I knew it all.” (She left her husband for a married man; her AP stayed married. Their relationship lasted 14 years, until she “snapped out of it” and realized AP was playing her for a fool…)

    • Reed, it comes down to poor character. I am getting near 50 years old and I have no desire to do anything like that. It is a part of life we all age. I rather enjoying being older. There is no way in the world I want to be in my teens, 20’s, and even 30’s. What your friends and that woman are dealing with is entitlement. There is no such thing as being “sanpped out of it”. She wasn’t getting the attention that was getting from her AP. It is about kibbles. That’s all. Typical Personality Disorder. They DO NOT care about the harm they have done. They had their mask on for years and then it slips off. Believe they are not good people. Actions speak louder than words. I believe they suck. Believe they are “creatures from another world who turned on their spouses and walked out on their kids”. That is what they are! Actions speak louder than words. It is common type of behavior they will ALWAYS return to the chump sooner or later. It has been proven time and time again. They just suck! Midlife crisis term is a myth. Just an excuse for poor character.

    • Red – It doesn’t sounds like your friend snapped out of it at all, it sounds like the AP just never followed through and therefore her affair started to suck. If the AP would have carried her off into the sunset as planned, your friend wouldn’t have looked back. It sounds to me like she regrets it only because the kibbles stopped coming, not because of some moral realization. Just sayin.

    • I firmly believe in the notion of a mid-life angst because I have seen and experienced it. Does it excuse bad behavior? Hell no, but there comes a time in everyone’s life when they begin to wonder why they are on this planet. For my X, this doubt manifested itself as a fear of growing old, not being desirable, not being at the top of the heap. He was by no means perfect during our marriage and had a huge ego, but, all in all, he was a good husband and a great father and we had a good marriage. As he aged and fell into poor health, he could not accept that he was no longer physically attractive. Since he was financially well-off and professionally respected, it wasn’t difficult to find someone who wanted a piece of the pie. His reaction to his questioning was wrong, but I completely understand the questioning itself.

      My mid-life reflection has taken a different direction. I have also been fortunate to be in a well-paying and meaningful profession. Still, at 58 years old, I am old enough that my kids are mostly grown, my marriage (that I thought would last forever) is over and I am at the tail end of my career. My dad just died and I am dealing with a mom with dementia. Do I sometimes wonder. “Is that all there is?” Hell yes!!! And I don’t feel a bit childish about it. To me, the song is a recogntion of growing older, permission to perhaps, let go of all the mundane bullshit that makes me weary. If that is all there is, enjoy life, have a glass of wine, take time to do the things that are meaningful, and do something that brings you joy! Recognize the fleeting nature of this human existence and use that recognition to change what you don’t like about your current situation. This mid-life questioning has been necessary for me to be sure that the end of my life is not a time of regret for what could have been. “Let’s bring out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is.”

  • Definition of a cheater’s mid-life crisis: every single time a cheater wants to sleep with someone other than my spouse

    Synonym: Lousy character

  • I believe we all have a “midlife” crisis in that we begin to realize that we have lived more life than what we have left. BUT that is not the only crisis in this adventure we call life. We all deal with many difficult situations that qualify as a crisis…a child with a horrible disease, the death of a parent, the loss of a job, etc. All of these are more devastating than just realizing you have been given the privilege of getting older and living life. BUT the problem is the person’s reaction to whatever crisis is thrown at them. A person with a moral compass with face the midlife crisis without blowing up everything in their path. So as with most situations…it boils down to a person’s character…or lack of.

    • Exactly. A healthy mid-life crisis:

      – a long-awaited career change
      – losing weight, getting healthier
      – Throwing yourself into a new hobby
      – Buying that new car/house/etc. you’ve always wanted
      – Moving to a new place
      – Taking that vacation/sabbatical (with your family!)
      – etc…

      All things that expand your mind and opportunities, but keep your relationship with your loved ones intact and don’t leave a path of carnage behind you.

      • I have a friend who had “mid-life angst” & started to play the piano again after decades of not playing. He started to write songs for the first time & even had a few published. He had a saying that those at the crossroads of mid-life just need to find their own piano – meaning open up a new positive chapter in your life.

  • I hate it when people use “ugly coping” as an excuse. Okay, something happened – family member died, lost a job, realized your getting older – whatever it was something. Some people buckle down and work through it. They may falter and have missteps, but they work through it. Other people have an ugly coping – drinking, drugs, gambling, affairs. Okay, fine, that’s their method of coping. We all have character flaws, but once you realize what they are, you need to work to improve them.

    My character flaw, I talk too much. I’m always afraid that I haven’t been clear so I keep talking trying to explain myself while other people’s eyes glaze over. I could either say, “It’s not that I’m trying to stop you from talking because I love the sound of my own voice, this is just a coping mechanism for when I get nervous.” (true). Or I could stop trying to talk as much, be aware of how it could hurt other people’s feelings and my relationship with them. Because that’s what people like us do. We become aware of our flaws and work to correct them. But that’s hard. Cheaters prefer the easy route.

    You know something else, just because a person is coping badly doesn’t mean the consequences don’t exist. Explaining to the judge why you were driving drunk for the sixth time? “Your Honor I’ve been having a midlife crisis for the last two years.” Bargaining with the bank because you lost the house in a card game? “I was just having a midlife crisis, it’s unfair to foreclose on the house.” Talking to the police officer who arrested you for drug possession, “yes I was using drugs, but I’m not a drug user. I’m just going through a mid-life crisis so you shouldn’t hold those against me.” Justifying yourself to your spouse after having an affair? “Yes I was sleeping with other people, but I was having a midlife crisis so it doesn’t count.”

    The quote, “there are always reasons, but that does not mean there are always excuses.”

    • For some reason a paragraph was left out/deleted. Let me clarify here that although I said “fine” I followed it up with a paragraph on why you shouldn’t do any of those things. If you want to turn to alcohol, you stay away from alcohol. If you want to cheat, don’t go on dating sites, “just to look” etc. There’s a difference between, “I’m stressed, I want a beer” and getting drunk just like there’s a difference between, “I’m feeling old, I wish I could relive my college years, be young and free, experimenting with different people. I wonder what Alex is up to these days?” and having sex with a person you’re not married to.

      Thoughts are fine, and hard to control. Actions are not.

      • LovedAJackass: Excellent, excellent piece of writing. The two last paragraphs are gems – chumps, cut those words out and put them on your fridge, so you can read and re-read them, when you’re down and feeling low. “Stand firm in your truth” – truly inspiring.

  • Beatrice Straight’s Oscar-winning monologue from the movie “Network” perfectly summarizes my thoughts on the Mid-life crisis affair:

    “Then get out. Go anywhere you want. Go to a hotel, go live with her, but don’t come back! Because, after 25 years of building a home and raising a family and all the senseless pain that we have inflicted on each other, I’m damned if I’m gonna stand here and have you tell me you’re in love with somebody else! Because this isn’t a convention weekend with your secretary, is it? Or — or some broad that you picked up after three belts of booze. This is your great winter romance, isn’t it? Your last roar of passion before you settle into your emeritus years. Is that what’s left for me? Is that my share? She gets the winter passion, and I get the dotage? What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to sit at home knitting and purling while you slink back like some penitent drunk? I’m your wife, damn it! And if you can’t work up a winter passion for me, the least I require is respect and allegiance! (sobbing) I hurt! Don’t you understand that? I hurt badly!”

    • THIS. At one point my STBX tried to talk me into a separation because his buddy, let’s call him Bob, had at one time left his wife, let’s call her Susie, because Bob was looking for “something else”, he “loved Susie, but was not in love with Susie”. My STBX told me that after being gone about 6 months, Bob came back to Susie because he “didn’t find what he was looking for”. I asked STBX.. what was Bob looking for? Magic pussy? And did you ever think to ask Susie how she felt about this? I mean, you’ve heard Bob’s side of this, what about Susie? Anyone ask her how it felt to be compared to various pussy and then chosen as the default?


      You can have your “mid life crisis”.. but don’t do it under my roof, manchild. And don’t come back no more no more!

      • I agree with you NewChumpAtl, get out and don’t bother coming back! I also like the end of the Network clip when Louise tells Max, “you’re going to live to regret it.” Amen to that! You can’t just shut the door on decades of marriage and not expect that it will come back to haunt you! It’s just a matter of time for all these dysfunctional fools before they actually grasp the fact that they truly screwed up the best thing they ever had in their lives! Their marriages and family. The punishment for them is the fact that they burned all their bridges and a return trip to real love and trust has been thoroughly destroyed! We chumps are actually the lucky ones. We won’t have that regret hanging over our heads like a guillotine. When we lay down to sleep at night we can actually rest, but a cheater will NEVER know true rest or peace. They know they are guilty of destroying not only their families, but themselves. And in the end they know they have to own it!

        • My X has told me many times about how much he regrets destroying our marriage and has asked to return home. His AP is long gone and I am sometimes viewed as the bad guy for not taking X back. Why don’t I? Because I can no longer trust him and a marriage without trust is an illusion. There was so much dishonesty, so many mind games, that I would always wonder whether he wanted back into the marriage so that I could be his caretaker. I spent so many years pleasing others, being the good wife, the good mother. Perhaps selfishly, I feel that it is my time to finally do some of the things I want to do. I have found that I enjoy being alone. Sure, I sometimes get lonely but, for the first time in my life, I am giving myself permission to consider my needs and wants to be at least as important as those of the people in my life.

          • Violet, just a reality check here – when you are being viewed as the “bad guy”, HE is the one who ended your marriage by cheating. That literally is a definition of a bad guy! Regardless of who agrees with this, it is a fact. And if he were a new suitor who wanted to marry you, I imagine his credentials would result in a No Thanks (?)

            When I read your posts about how you had a good marriage and then he cheated in a mid life crisis kind of way, I find myself getting drawn into that narrative about my own marriage. I believed this for several years. Until I found Chump Nation. Then I let myself remember – and see – what was under my two decades of spackle.

            Yesterday I had the thought that if XH showed up at work and pleaded to come back (my old hoped for “after he-came-to-his-senses” fantasy)… I would say no. Not because I couldn’t trust him (which couldn’t) or as a punishment. But because if he was someone I did not know, and I learned of his past, I would not want to even date him – much less spend the rest of my last few decades of life with him. Guess that was a check in with my Meh progress.

            Violet – I wish you much continued enjoyment of the life you are carving out for yourself. Recognizing that your needs are important is like opening birthday presents everyday. Life really is good, isn’t it?

          • Thank you Violet, you are mighty!

            Your words as well as all the comments today resonated with me so much because this week a friend asked me if I would ever take my cheater back. His reasons were that my STBX is right into the age group for midlife crisis, that he might snap out of it, might learn from his mistakes, or even become a wiser, kinder partner after he comes back to his senses.

            Thank you to CN and CL, I was so happy to feel a sense of crystal clear confidence in that moment – My reaction was like a big “HELL NO!” green neon light flashing in my brain. This was a welcome clue that I am getting closer to Meh.

            Comments from all of you have helped me be so clear included:
            * I realized my marriage was over when I had proof that my ex has been using lying and deceptions as problem solving tools. There is no recovering from that.
            * As much as he is projecting his low integrity and character to interpret my actions, I projected my high integrity and character to spackle and rationalize his poor behavior. He might never stop projecting on me, but I sure stopped spackling.
            * I, or anyone, can’t negotiate with the disordered. I trust that he sucks, big time, and that I have to protect my kid and myself from his influence.

            Bottom line, whether or not his midlife crisis was real or not, I don’t care. My STBX has proven that he was a sh*tty husband to me. Hence he only deserves Cold Civility for the sake of our kid. And that is all he will get from me.

            Thank you CL and CN for providing all of us with a safe space to build the sanity shot/vaccine/immunity we need to build our best life!

            • I am so right here with you on this one! I learned that the Sad Sausage was not committed to the marriage, was only interested in the money, and cut off his relationship with his own children–did not even ask for one picture of them. All for a 25 yr old girl-child. (He is 65—so this is the cliché of mid-life crisis.) Myself? I think he came down with a terminal and malignant case of idiocy. And I’m a doctor, so I can say that! (merely a phd however 🙂 )

              • OMG, so many similarities Happily Never After! So glad I found CL and fellow chumps, we are each other’s best vaccine against the side effects of our exes’ “terminal and malignant case of idiocy.”

            • “* I realized my marriage was over when I had proof that my ex has been using lying and deceptions as problem solving tools. There is no recovering from that.”

              I wasnt as quick or as smart as you were, I didnt recognize that it was over, I allowed myself to me profoundly hurt by the realization that he got himself into a problem where “be mean to Unicornomore” was his chosen coping skill. It may sound primitive, but if this is how they cope then the dysfunctional mess they are manipulating does not fit any definition of “marriage” that I can conjure up

              “* As much as he is projecting his low integrity and character to interpret my actions, I projected my high integrity and character to spackle and rationalize his poor behavior. He might never stop projecting on me, but I sure stopped spackling.”

              I have really struggled to deal with the fact that he assumed to very worst of me, he really did project terrible things onto my actions that were simply NOT there, he had no fairness or charity in his attitude towards me. I did the opposite, I assumed the best of him, I forgave, and gave a thousand chances.

              It had to be a genuine horror for him when he got the meet God and the veil of his delusion (which he fed into so mightily) was lifted and he saw the reality…right in the moment when he couldnt fix any of it.

              • unicornnomore – Too often I am too “Luke Skywalker”, trying to find the good, there, buried deep down inside that Darth Vader shell…

                “It had to be a genuine horror for him when he got the meet God and the veil of his delusion (which he fed into so mightily) was lifted and he saw the reality…right in the moment when he couldnt fix any of it.”

                Well said, probably the slowest one, but the ultimate Karma bus, isn’t it?

                I can so related to your regrets, and if they feel half as bruising as mine, well, yeah, I believe it was Luziana or another brilliant chump that said is best: “it sucks balls!”

                Even with more distance, I still struggle big time, especially when I catch myself trying to rationalize and find the good in my STBX way more than I should.

                But thanks to CL and the amazing advice of CN, I know the pain is finite, and yeah, I do trust that he sucks!

                I am a chump, and like many chumps, I have realized that we are a mighty bunch. You know why? Because we have all endured subpar relationships even before we discovered just how bad we had it. And through it all, we have shown that we make the best out of tough situations.

                The hard part is to redirect our incredible chump qualities away from the familiar trap of putting the needs of our exes ahead of our own, and towards reaching Meh.

                I sure hope Mojitos are a Tuesday Special in Meh :)!

  • Awesome post, LovedaJackass! (and glad to see you back–we’ve been missing your wisdom)

    If I didn’t loathe my X’s being in the world as much as I do, this column would have triggered me as “Mid Life Crisis” is the excuse he used for bopping a 22 year old when he was 56. Yawn.

    Two more links about the myth of the mid-life crisis:

  • Don’t have anything to add other than I’m glad to hear from you LAJ! Hadn’t seen your name in a while and was wondering about you.

  • I think the origin of “midlife crisis” is that this is the point in life that ones life choices, good/bad/appropriate/inappropriate really manifest themselves. This is the time when one really has to step back, think, and own your s@#$ which some folk do poorly or not at all.
    A tale of three populations: the first lived a life with high salaries in their youth without having an education. Drug/alcohol use, cheating, wife swapping was rampant. Jobs went away so what did these folks do? Felt sorry for themselves, blamed everyone including us folk that moved here 20 years later, are working hard to drink themselves to death, wives left long ago, body parts don’t work too good, barely have any relationship with their kids if at all. The other left, retrained, worked to get an education, stayed with their families through thick and thin, took care of themselves, stayed sober, and when they come back, yep a few wrinkles, not as fast as they used to be, but body parts work and they look 20 years younger than their peers. The third are the racers that come here every year. Mostly grad level educated, mostly in stable marriages, often come here to train with their adult children, eat healthy, avoid excess alcohol, refuse other drugs, body parts work and exceptionally well. This week, an 82 year old is cycling the 100 mile race, no midlife crisis there.
    I will celebrate my 55th not by finding someone to cheat on, but by running 50 miles. I was sandwiched between raising a bro at 17, then taking care of a slowly dying alcoholic parent for 18 years. In between, I earned three college degrees in the sciences, enjoyed a wonderful 12 year marriage, had my life threatened due to controversial research, battled breast cancer totally alone. At no time did I cope by using/discarding folks for attention, nor did I drink/drug/overeat myself into a stupor. I faced my reality with strength, cried when necessary and picked myself the f@#$ up. Yep, now I have to deal with Narcboy and Latest Conquest starting tomorrow, I hate it, really wish I could be somewhere where I could be total NC and where same aged men aren’t broken. However, jobs are scarce for aging profs and I have bills to pay, retirement to save for. Done everything possible to transfer/find a new job but it aint working. Now it’s a matter of facing reality, meeting responsibilities, delaying gratification, being a damned adult. Life is choices.

    • Indeed, the way you live your life sure has a lot to do with apparent ageing. On dating sites, many men my age look far too old for me: bald + white hairs + beer belly + outdated clothes + nasty complexion. I could not one minute imagine dating someone like this. It’s just impossible.

    • Copper, don’t be sad! You sound like you got it so flaunt it! Educated, employed, athletic! Damn, that’s the real deal! So when you do have to interact with the cheaters, let them see just how well you are doing! Remember, these types of broken idiots thrive on believing they have destroyed you! Don’t feed the beasts! The best revenge is living well and trust me, they can’t stand knowing they couldn’t totally destroy you. It pisses them off to no end. You sound fabulous, your Ex must be brain damaged to have lost you! Now go show them how fabulous you are and they didn’t “win”!!!

    • I agree with Copper. Midlife is the time that ‘the chickens come home to roost.’ Having studied developmental psychology of adults (from early adulthood to late adulthood), I am skeptical that ‘midlife crisis’ as perceived by the layperson is more than a social construct. My STBX’s midlife crisis’ has lasted approx. 35 years (15 years old to 50 years old) and shows no sign of ending. Over the last few years, I have been faced with various types of abuse at the hands of STBX, divorce, unemployment, loss of career dreams, poverty, terminal illnesses of several loved ones (including a child and a young adult), disability of loved ones, cognitive impairment of one of my children, and my own chronic physical ailment, which rarely responds to treatment that I can afford, Despite being imperfect, being repeatedly abused by my now STBX, and having opportunities to cheat, I never cheated on my spouse as I thought doing so was unethical and cruel.

  • Midlife crisis my ass. My ex had nothing to be in crisis about. Maybe that was his problem? Me on the other hand had lost my mum at age 39 and my dad 3 years later. I discovered his cheating 4 months after my dad died. I drop kicked the POS cheating muther fucker to the kerb the very same day I confronted him. Has it be hard? Hell yes!!! But worth every ounce of respect I have for myself.

    I’m the youngest of 7 and won’t begin to go into the raft of shit my family has experienced over the years. No matter what personal hell was going on in my life I have never, and would never cheat. I respect myself too much and know I’m worth so much more than being anyone’s side fuck. It’s who I am.

    When you accept your ex does not share the same character as you you no longer feel the need to try to explain their fucked up disordered behaviour. Instead you focus on you. You devote your time and energy on healing self. You live life to the full. You spend time with people who TRULY love and care about you. Leave the POS ex mid life crisis waste of human existence where they belong – in the gutter!!!

    • Hell yes, Deloris! Now that is a strong person! You need to take over the world.

      • Thank you Beth. I owe all my strength to my kick ass mum. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.

        • You’re welcome Deloris. It’s good to have kick ass mothers like that. It’s good to be that way. We need to have more people like you and her in this world. I hope to see more of your comments on this site. I would love to read more of your insight about things.

          • Beth, I will try my best to post more comments on this site. The experiences I’ve read on here have taken my breath away. I’m so glad I discovered CL when I did. It is a life saver for chumps.

            • Deloris, I agree with you about reading experiences. The amount of pain these cheaters cause takes my breath away also. Yes, CL is a life saver and she and others say the truth. It’s good you are here but at the same time I am sorry you had to deal with the pain of a cheater. We all are in the same boat here.

              • Beth, we are all in the same boat and we never deserved to be here.

                What is so heart warming about about CL and chumps is we tell it like it is, no matter how heart wrenching and painful our experiences have been.

                When we see a fellow chump drowning we know how real that pain feels because we’ve felt it. We extend a helping hand to them as a lifeline. Let the POS cheaters carry their own disordered millstone, while we swim away free of them to safety and a better life.

    • Well freakin’ said, Deloris!
      Its all about self-respect and knowing you’re worth far more than being tied to a piece of shit whos entire being is deceptive, or being second best or plan B to anyones affections, time, or effort. And if a person can’t respect that, they’re not worth knowing either.

  • Blaming your affair on a midlife crisis is the same as blaming the dog for your farts! That lie has been around since the dawn and cavemen were sitting around the fire pit. In walks fido ….. Groog lets one rip and throws a rock at poor fido for stinking up the camp. Blame shifting… Is prehistoric. Those fucking cavemen started it all.

    • TheClip, LMAO! And actually my Ex used to lay blame for that on our dogs! I used to tell him that if the dog actually produced that odor then he needed to see a veterinarian ASAP cause death was surely imminent!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    • And while we’re on lies, how about the seduction technique these jackasses use about “my wife/husband doesn’t understand me..I’m in a loveless marriage,” while still coming home to screw wife/husband several times a week, take advantage of their homemaking skills, use them as a cloak of respectability?

      And how do people buy that line? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone attempted the “my w/h doesn’t understand me” line, I could retire to Costa Rica.

      • How about this for a response to that garbage: “Then why did you marry him/her?” or “Why don’t you try to understand him/her, or actually ask him/her what she is thinking or feeling?” Cue crickets in those cases.

      • i got the “my wife doesn’t understand me” from a guy who also insisted that continuing staying with his wife was “non-negotiable”. I passed on that marvelous opportunity to be a side piece, but another woman eventually took him up on the offer–and the guy was shocked, SHOCKED! when the “non-negotiable” wife kicked his middle-aged ass to the curb.
        Another guy friend (way past middle age) thought that confessing to his “sexless” marriage would somehow be appealing to me (again insisting that he’d never leave her, though). WTH? I told him that’s what hookers are for and went NC.
        It baffles me why people would think these statements are appealing. Do some people perk right up and decide “I’ll save you from your sexless marriage/misunderstanding spouse while you remain married to that person and I’m only an afterthought that you use like a toilet! Gosh, yes!”

        • They think that telling you up front that they are not leaving their marriage makes them somehow “honorable”. If you choose to have a fling and end up getting attached, they can say hey I told you right from the beginning………….fill in the rest.

  • IMO, the mid-life crisis is a concept generated by the kind-hearted to spackle. What is implied by the term is that the middle-aged person should know better than to relapse into the obviously self-serving behavior of the selfish youth. Truth is, for most narcs – this is not a relapse, rather the next horrible bead on the rosary of their self-worship.

  • My counselor said that midlife crisis are real but they are minor like taking up deep sea fishing at 45 and becoming a little obsessed. She said leaving your family and taking up with another woman has nothing to do with midlife crisis, that’s just crappy character. Yep.

    • You mean like taking up belly dancing at 48 – and actually doing it in public? Count me in

    • Your counselor needs to revisit the history of where the idea came from along with following studies which have failed to support the idea that this is a “phase” of human development, which is what the popular myth presupposes.

      Honestly, Psychology is one of the last refuges of myth makers in academia, but thankfully some folks are starting to insist on things like falsifiability and supporting data.

      • only in some branches of psychology is myth-making still acceptable (unfortunately, still in counseling & clinical psych, where the most damage can be done). The rest of the profession is heavily empirical now.

        • I did psychological research for some years and agree that most areas are driven by the scientific method (base conclusions on data). Good clinical and counseling psychologists and psychotherapists, too, base their conclusions (and treatment protocols) on empirical research.

          • 20 years ago, they were still teaching the “five stages of grief”, “mid-life crisis”, etc.

            On top of that, practitioners bring their own baggage and magical thinking quite often.

            I’ve been down both tracks–social ‘sciences’ and hard science– eventually opting in the 1990s for something more tangible and concrete and less obsessed with coining new terms.

            That being said, I am grateful that some folks have taken it upon themselves to question models in the social sciences that often took on a life of their own outside of academia in the more peculiar institutions of self-help publishing and the popular press which–to put it kindly–suck balls.

    • Midlife crisis just an excuse for cheaters not to responsibility for their actions. Just form of gaslightening. Also keeping us chumps in a fog and maintaining that pick me dance and cake from us also. Still the old fashion thinking is you ask me.

  • I do think there is something to hitting mid age and feeling like something is missing.. but I agree with the author that pretty much EVERYONE goes through that.. but not everyone blames their loyal spouse, their children, their job, their parents, Obama, or whatever… some people actually take responsibility and turn inward, perhaps even taking up a hobby, or maybe going out there are doing for others. I am a member of a social club that is FULL of people 35-65 who dedicate their free time to giving back to others. This is a positive way to channel one’s dissatisfaction with the disappointments in life into something positive. Not everyone throws a bomb at the people who they were supposed to protect.

    As for my manchild.. he acts as if he is entitled to this freakout because, his words, he’s “given” me 20 years. Apparently that’s the expiration date. Where was I those 20 years? Eating Bon Bons watching Oprah? Hardly. I was working a job, bringing in income, patiently waiting for him to finally graduate college, raising two kids, enduring job losses/changes, recessions, hair brained schemes of his, his overspending habits, family crisis, you name it, we’ve been through it. I was wiping noses and asses, preparing food, doing laundry, running carpool, making lunches, volunteering with the PTA, ensuring homework gets done, micromanaging schedules.. all while working a job and keeping the family financially afloat. It’s not like my life the last 20 years has been all kicks and giggles. Sometimes I felt neglected, underserved sexually, and under appreciated. I could have used more nights out and more “excitement” as he calls it. Sometimes I felt like I gave more than I got. I’ve had men hit on me all my life, I’ve had plenty of chances for “winter romances”, I could use a little excitement too (who couldn’t?).. but what stops one person from taking that road while someone else dives in? Entitlement. Chump Lady is right, that’s the common theme. We all have mid life crisis.. we all have early life crisis, mid life crisis, late life crisis. Life isn’t a bowl of cherries and it’s not supposed to be. Shit happens. Since when did society get so stuck on the narcissistic theme of “perpetual happiness”, and since when does life owe you never ending bliss?

    I always thought raising children and doing the tough work of life was part of the deal. I didn’t grow up thinking the world owed me something for nothing. That’s the trouble with my STBX, he did grow up that way. He is spoiled. His parents never set limits, they enabled his self absorbed tendencies, and they didn’t teach him practical skills. Sadly, we were finally reaching the point where our youngest is getting older and we could have rediscovered each other.. but he didn’t want that. I can’t be new and sparkly. And I still represent a caged, inhibited life- even though objectively I am far better looking, smarter and a better long term relationship bet than the skanky whore.

    So after 20 years of pretending to be an adult, he’s decided he’d rather be a teenager. My loyalty be damned. His kids and their future, be damned. Extended family relationships, be damned. The whore is “fun and easy” (his words) while life over here in the real world is a bit more complex. He prefers fun and easy. Don’t we all. It’s just some of us have the integrity not to dump our responsibilities on others and walk away. Entitlement.. that is the key.

    • “Not everyone throws a bomb at the people who they were supposed to protect.”
      Your first paragraph is really, really, really good !!!

  • The mid-life crisis is complete BS.
    I parent, work full time and take care of a home. I don’t have time for BS.
    What I can tell you is what I tell my kids

    “Life is hard, and that’s OK”

    He cheated, now he has to leave. It sucks and it’s difficult to recover from the intentional infliction of pain and suffering, that someone did this to me and our children ON PURPOSE, but the sun will rise tomorrow and so will I.

    • I LOVE your philosophy and your attitude! I know the expression is considered trite by many, but I really like the saying, “It is what it is,” and have a wooden sign with that written on it hanging in my living room. It reminds me that there is no point in trying to untangle the skein, and I have more important things to do with my life.

    • A cheater continuing to cheat? Owhore, are you REALLY Surprised that you aren’t special??? WOW… I”m SHOCKED. NOT.

      You get what you deserve Owhore. The only person in this scenario I Feel sorry for is the baby.

      • Ha!, Ha!, Ha!, Ha!….she thought she was so special. Just proves my points above about the Cheater and Other Men/Women. OMG Still A Chump thanks for the laughs with that link. Ha! She isn’t bothered an open marriage and he is screwing around but she is bothered he lied about it. Really proves my points above. These Other Men/Women are just plain STUPID!!!!!!!! I’m not shocked about this at all. The child will be the same way like her and the cheater. The cycle never ends.

        • Recently I happened to be trolling STBX’s facebook pictures and came across some from several years back where the Owhore, then his boss, decorated his office for his 40th birthday. She put up all these hand made signs.. several of them were misspelled. Like EASY words. Another point of proof she is a dumbass. I think often cheaters affair down to dumbasses because they are easily taken in by their poor sausage bullshit.

          These OM/OW aren’t the brightest bulbs and they lack a basic sense of self respect. No self respecting person would delude themselves into thinking screwing with a married man/woman is okay. We have blurried all these lines in society. “Separated” people are somehow fair game to date (fucked up). If a person moves out but is still married legally, it’s okay to fuck them. Even okay to fuck them if they are living in the guest bedroom. People tell themselves what they want to believe. The lies the Owhores tell themselves are as bad as the lies the cheaters feed them.

          I can sort of give this woman some grace because she was young… she will learn a tough lesson here.. but my Owhore is over 40- and some of them are 50-60. If you are fucking married men and you are over the age of about 35, you are a special kind of stupid.

          • “If you are fucking married men and you are over the age of about 35, you are a special kind of stupid.”

            I’m on the same page. I just couldn’t believe the unpaid Fuckbuddies could be such losers. I spent time after DDay for about 3months obsessing about these women. And all of my findings about them were contrary to what I had made them to be. They were not hot, smart and. They were older than me, less educated and obese. And in relationships, engaged, dating or married, with other people. Complete zeros any way you look at them, including my cheater.

              • Don’t give the “young” fuckbuddies to much credit because they will always let you down. They are just what they are fuckbuddies with nothing between their ears. No Dial tone at all. Just from the letter she is not bright at all. Remember she stated she wanted a “open marriage” and that is what she got. She is just upset he lied about it. Shocking……ha!….not. Young or old they are all just stupid. It’s a disorder and they will not learn from what they have done. It’s about being entitled. Of course the cheaters step down with the AP and especially when they married them and they have kids. These AP all think and do the same. Blah, Blah and more blah.

                Still today after her learning he cheated on her time and time again she doesn’t get it. It is about what she wants. She didn’t do a thing wrong at all. She is blame shifting. Is he a dirt bag? Yes and she is one also. That’s the thing about these disordered fucktards they cannot see beyond their noses. Sadly it all makes sense to them and they expect us to feel sorry for them. That is NOT happening with me. I call her what she is a waste of space.

                Any man or woman with any respect and self esteem for themselves would not do this. It’s not an age thing it’s a disorder, it’s a lack of character, it’s about morals. This cheater and this AP still don’t have it. Their parents should have used some type of birth control and that woman in the article got what deserves. She is just getting her due karma but she doesn’t see it that way. She is playing the victim. That is what these disorder things do. I don’t feel sorry for her and she will raise that child just like her. Everything I have read from experts in this field say the same thing and this woman is just another stat.

              • I agree 100%, Beth. Over 18, you’re responsible for your actions. These young APs know societal strictures on sleeping with married people and do it anyway. Most of them have poor character or narcissistic traits themselves (my X’s 22-year old grad-slut tried to seduce a married professor months after my X dropped her).

                If you sleep with a married person, you KNOW you are victimizing someone. You might convince yourself the victim deserves it because a cheater has whined, “My wife/husband doesn’t love me enough and treats me poorly,” but that still means you know you are doing something wrong.

                Old enough to vote? Old enough to be held accountable for your moral actions.

            • None of them get the memo. Look at their behavior. Not the brightest things on this planet. I would be shocked if they can even read at all. Their ways to reason their behavior(s) both the cheater and the AP is mind blowing.

              • and my Westie typically exhibits a higher level theory-of-mind that APs. We’re not talking highly-evolved creatures, here.

              • lol Tempest. I’m good with that for now. Still pushing that but for now it is ok. I know we can have a better term for them. Just to late for me to have my thinking cap on. lol!!!!

          • No AP gets a free pass, irrespective of age. They all should know better – but don’t care.
            You fuck my partner – you’re complicit in taking something from me. And you get no sympathy, regardless of whether you’re 16 or 60.

          • The “married” Owhore coworker that STBX was screwing is 41! He was into porn big time, I think he could get her to do things that he knows I wouldn’t do and I still wouldn’t EVER!

  • I totally agree that it isn’t mid life but lack of character or very weak immature character. My cheater was always very shallow but I put it down to a fucked up childhood and believed that he was invested in our lives. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He treated me like a broken down white appliance and as for the kids – well they too had to be erased from his happy new life. In his 70’s now (he was late 60’s when he cut and ran) he is unbelievably immature. Was I foolish to be taken in by him? Yes but one can only beat up on oneself so long and one needs to move onward – and upward. Early life, mid life, elder life these people, and I include women here because there are some out there, are definitely crap at life skills. Oh and his schmoopie is 68 and he is still married to me. What does that say about her? Stupid indeed, immoral and perhaps even as shallow as he is!

  • Even knowing what I’ve learned about cheaters and how they are all cut from the same mold, it’s absolutely astounding to me that for their ages, education and apparent success, they are down right STUPID! I have boiled it down to a couple of things now. I do not want to be married to someone so utterly gullible and obviously stupid! And I just won’t tolerate the lack of respect from some imbecile with a PhD treating me like garbage. The OW? Obvious lack of morals, intelligence, looks….. Well your basic hardup whore! They can have each other! I’m free of all of that chaos and drama. I know who I am and I know what I will and will not put up with. Too bad these cases of arrested development haven’t grown up yet! But let it be their problem and not mine. I’m not going to stay in the putrid swamp they have created for themselves! I deserve better and if it means going it alone then I’m fine with that outcome.

  • Agreed on poor character. But disagree on the midlife crisis. I think it is real.

    Personally, I think that people have complicated psychologies…and that certain life events send them for a tailspin – especially turning ’40’.

    My EX traded me in for a 25 year old model when he turned 40. She wasn’t even attractive – but she was 25. This, of course, is in retrospect since I did not know of this affair then.

    Fast-forward a year, to the month before I turn 40. He gaslights me by telling me he needed ‘space’ and ‘time to think’ and was getting his own apartment to ‘sort things out’…(no mention of OW) BUT thought it would be mean to do that before celebrating my 40th with me. So I played nice and we celebrated with friends/family, but meanwhile I was dying inside. He left a few days later but only went to this ‘apartment’ to sleep/eat. He’d return every day to change clothes and shower. (Yep, weird, weird behavior). I spent a year or so in limbo including a reconciliation until DD2 (and the end).

    Everyone bought into the midlife crisis explanation. His lame excuse to me was that ‘he was bored’.

    At the time it was a terrible birthday gift but now I see it as LIBERATION. I am free from that fucktard.

  • Midlife schmidlife….fuckers think their pecker is a divining stick and they go searching for the fountain of youth. The female cheaters think their vv’s ARE the fountain!

    Until they have clarity. Ah yes….realization sets in and the losers realize that the years have ticked by and they are older and nobody give a rat’s ass about them. Chumps have moved on. Gone deeper into life and continued to grow while their ex’s cheating asses were stuck in recycle mode.

    The pecker and the vv no longer do the job delaying the inevitable…they are, in fact, getting older. It was a hamster wheel after all.

    • OH Calamity, those of us new to this want to believe this so bad. My STBX is just GIDDY with his new life, his new townhouse, his new car, and his various new whores. He’s whooping it up and I’m left here to care for our two young boys, work and job, take care of business.

      I want to believe some day he will be hit with the 2×4 but there is this nagging sense that he is getting what he wants and the unfairness of it all.

      I do trust that he sucks, but not quite at meh yet.

      • newchumpatl, let your STBX whoop it up while you continue to be a kick ass mother raising your two young boys. They will appreciate what a bad ass, loving, caring, self sacrificing mother you are, and they will have nothing but respect for you for that. Their father has already shown them who he really is.

        There will come a day when you will not give a single fuck whether your STBX is whooping it up or not.

        • Totally agree Deloris and Newchumpatl!
          My 2 now adult children tell me that and are so proud of me. And the day has come (finally) when I seriously don ‘t care a single flying fuck what he is doing or how happy and giddy he is.
          Stick it out Newchumpatl, your Tuesday will come. It’s a given.
          Hugs to you.

  • My ex cheated and lied and manipulated through our entire 20 year marriage. But he covered it up very, very well, and appeared to be a loving, devoted husband for the majority of those years. Whenever a crack appeared, I spackled it over and pretended not to see it.

    But once he reached his mid-40s, it all blew apart. I guess it could be seen as a “midlife crisis,” but I tend to think that he either was no longer able to hide his disorder, or more likely, no longer wanted to be bothered hiding his disorder. So he plunged headlong into delusion and narcissism, threw away our marriage (although of course he blames me, because I’m the one who actually filed) and went after his self-proclaimed “destiny” of being famous.

    To a great extent, that seems to have died down now. He lost everything, now lives with his father in his childhood home and has no job, no car, not much in the way of anything. He no longer talks about YouTube videos or all of his insane schemes. Perhaps he has snapped out of his “midlife crisis,” but I know that he remains as character disordered as ever. I feel sorry for any woman foolish enough to fall for his sparkly charms.

    • Sounds VERY similar to my STBX. He was the model husband for years.. it blew family and friends away when he basically freaked out on me and left me in a lurch with two kids. His family thinks he’s totally delusional. My family wants to knock him with a 2×4.

      And I still have these young kids to protect and he needs to have a relationship with them (not to mention PAY to support them). Same thing… 20 years, mid 40s.. just lost it. I wonder how long before he completely implodes.

      You are right they reach a point where the mask slips and they can no longer put on a show. Once it became clear to my STBX that I was not buying his lies on the whore and didn’t believe him anymore, he bolted. Once you see who they are, you immediately becomes useless to them. You become a threat. I also feel sorry for women who are dumb enough to buy his lies.. seems the whore may be no more but he’s on the prowl for another one!

    • Wow, GladIt’sOver here’s one for the I could have written that album:

      But once he reached his mid-40s, it all blew apart. I guess it could be seen as a “midlife crisis,” but I tend to think that he either was no longer able to hide his disorder, or more likely, no longer wanted to be bothered hiding his disorder. So he plunged headlong into delusion and narcissism, threw away our marriage (although of course he blames me, because I’m the one who actually filed) and went after his self-proclaimed “destiny” of being famous.

      I’m waiting for mine to move in with his mommy. He is refusing to leave the house since his name is not he mortgage because he doesn’t want to go to live with her disordered ass, and one of my flaws was that I wasn’t friends with his mom, you know going shopping and hanging out with her during all that down time I had raising two children, working full time and taking care of a house by myself while he traveled. Mediation in less that 2 weeks – then his name won’t be on the mortgage.

    • Gladit’sover – my story exactly, except for the fame thing that your ex “followed”. The ex in my case was also this model of a family man – loving husband, great Dad who coached lacrosse and soccer and always volunteered at hockey games. In his 40’s, he couldn’t keep up the facade anymore. By then I started spackling big-time, even though I was unaware that that’s what I was doing. I held it together because I thought we had such a great marriage/family.
      When the jig was up, it was up. I left and off he went into the sunset without a backward glance.
      So glad it’s all over! and that I’ve reached meh with only a few moments here and there wondering WTF happened. When I start thinking that, I give my head a mental shake and can usually leave those thoughts in the dust……….Yay!!!!!!

  • I’m conflicted on MLC as well. My now XH actually told me he was having a MLC. He said he didn’t know if he wanted to be married anymore and wasn’t sure if he wanted to be alone. He told me that “He loved me like a family member” – a derivative of “I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You” – typical MLC speak. About 5 years prior, he had taken to marathon running after the loss of a close friend. It continued where he was doing at least 1 full marathon per month. He manscaped and took a liking to salads and healthier eating. I never suspected anything, because he was a “nice guy”.

    Of course, XH didn’t fess up to being 42 with a 33 year-old, crazy whore waiting in the wings. Divorcing me would take more strength than what he had, so he just delegated that to Schmoopie – who was only too happy to set about dismantling my nearly 17 year marriage, while trying to destroy me in the process. How convenient that at age 33, she had already 1 divorce under her belt, so she knew the ropes.

    The next part was also fun, where he re-wrote the history of our marriage. Guess who got cast as the villainess in that role? Yep, yours truly! I’m always controlling and negative. That’s just the stuff I know about – God only knows what he told his family as they dropped me like a hot potato. Then, of course, the Order of Protection, because I told his family about XH and OW, and how they were not “just friends”.

    Fairytale ending here for XH and whore, they got married earlier this year. I got to clean up the mess and am now rebuilding a life.

    • What an amateur. My ex had two divorces under her belt by 33. And yet she seemed like a good idea at the time, as I had never met anyone I felt so connected to. Sparkle, I suppose. D’oh! It’s a sign of progress that today I’d run from someone with her history. Meep meep!

    • Cindy, in time one of them (or both) will cheat on the other. It’s who they are. And then somehow they’ll be shocked that it happened.

      Also, I got that family member line. Actually I got both ILYBIDLY and “I love you like I love my brother” in the same conversation. Along with “I don’t find you attractive but you have empirically attractive traits.” That’s one I won’t ever forget. WTF?

      • “I don’t find you attractive but you have empirically attractive traits.”
        Best word Salad of the day! Let me get some Ranch for that!

        • Cheaters love word salad, don’t they. I’m guess that spewing this type of baloney (a variation of many idiotic things out of my STBX’s mouth and brain), makes cheaters feel smart and healthy (enlightened).

      • Lost, I second the WTF on the “empirical attractive traits” bit – what the fuck ever does that mean anyway?! I also got the I’m not attractive. Silly me, I asked if it was that I am not physically attractive. He was kind enough to clarify: Both physically and emotionally. Hurt like a SOB – until I saw the hell beast he left me for…woof!

    • The karma bus always arrives – just not always in a way you see, Cindy.
      Its funny because I heard the “I love you like a sister” from an ex-boyfriend many moons ago, when he was preparing to ‘break up’ with me – and what you just said tells me that its very likely that he was cheating on me at the time. Plus other strange behaviour like having his ‘cousin’ visit him while he was in a foreign country (aka where I live). Come to think of it, his ‘cousin’ was probably his OW. I’m at ‘meh’ from that though, it actually makes me laugh in fact. Kinda gives more clarity to the situation.

  • I want to add, that while I think MLC may cause unrest and impulsivity – I don’t think it causes someone to no longer know the difference between right and wrong.

  • Congrats to the two fucktards Cindy! Now let’s see how long this match made in Hell lasts! My prediction, long enough for them to get bored. Give it 6 months to a year and I believe that’s optimistic!

    • Hi Roberta, He left me to be with her 2 years ago. I never thought it would last this long!

      • My Ex has been balls deep on Schmoopie going on three years. Sometimes it’s just a matter of time for these types to line up another “Mark”! Most of these unions last about five years on average and the last year of the so-called relationship is chaotic and drama filled. Karma is coming, don’t worry, just go live a wonderful life and watch his fall to shit!

          • Cindy, What everyone wrote is correct. These things don’t last. Just a matter of time. She is most likely more disordered than him and they are just feeding off each other. That is what they do. Disorders “love” other disorders. Just a cycle. You did nothing wrong at all. It is so normal what you are feeling and what you are dealing with. The best thing you can do for YOURSELF is go full no contact. Living a wonderful life is the best thing you can do for YOURSELF. Also if you find a great therapist. Of course please know we are here for you and vent away with us.

            What you are seeing is typical reactions that these cheaters and the AP act. I know it is hard for you to deal with. I have been in your shoes. I do remember the pain you are dealing with. The questions and the doubts you are dealing with in your head. I have been there. I still have doubts but the more I educate myself about these cheaters the more I know without a doubt he and OW and the people around him are Cluster B Personality Disorders.

            If you can look up this page and listen to the podcast I posted. That might can help you with your healing process. Now please don’t take this guy back. Also when you listen to it at the end it will say they all will try to sneak back into your life. That is why NO CONTACT is the best way to go. It is not for him and the AP is it for you. It is for your healing process, it is for you to clear your head and get out of the fog. You had years and years of abuse with this guy. It will not stop until you go NO Contact. Don’t look back. Yes, he and her are assholes. We know that and we are here for you!!!!! Hugs, Cindy.

            • Thanks Beth. It is so hard to discern if he is a Cluster B or if the MLC is something different. From what I’ve been reading about MLC, many don’t come back. There are some of those that come and go continuously, then a portion that are gone and stay gone. I suppose it doesn’t matter the title – shitty character really is the cause. Thanks for your advice. Great article and comments!

              • You’re welcome, Cindy. Don’t believe in MLC. It is just an excuse for poor character and behavior. The act of cheating is a Narcissistic act. It is a entitlement act just like Chump Lady writes about. It’s a choice.

                Using the myth MLC is a very old fashion excuse. It is 2015 now and we have so many ways to educate ourselves about these mental disorders. These creatures are all around us. What he did was and is wrong. Yes, poor character is what he and her are. Trust that he sucks.

                Normal people don’t do cheat. Normal people do not do what he did to YOU! Think and expect better for yourself. Think and expect better behavior from others in your life. Also remember and I know it is hard right now YOU ARE MIGHTY!

                Why would you want him back? He exposed you to disease (STD’s and HIV/AIDS) and not matter what what he did is abuse. Would you want that for your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friends? If no, why would you want that for yourself. Respect yourself.

                I would highly recommend for you to get into therapy to gain healthy boundaries. Just remember the pain he caused you and why would you want that abuse again.

                Life is so much better cheater free. Also let me add this and I don’t mean to be hateful at all but he doesn’t love you or her or himself. Why would you want that? Get yourself involved around people that see how special and loving you are. That is not him.

              • Also Cindy, I highly recommend CL’s book and if you register for this site you can get into the site as a member and there is a great resource page you find some really great self help books. Read and read more about Cluster B Personality Disorder. Also don’t believe anything he says. Focus on getting your mental health better. Find support groups that help you in this matter. Find new hobbies and even go back to school. Make a list of things you always wanted to do and to it. Start living. Don’t live on the “hope” he will come back. Why would you want to have him come back and there is no way you can ever ever trust him again? What he did was abuse! Don’t fall for that mess ever again. You are so much better than that. Of course we are here for you. Much love and hugs you can do this. Just takes time! If I can do it you can also. I was a mess in the beginning but now I am so much better and stronger. It took a lot of work but it was worth it.

      • Cindy-they may still be in the “us against the terrible ex wife” stage. This is euphoric for them and will hold them together for a bit……then later on down the line daily, mundane life will set in and narcs don’t do mundane. How many narc/borderline relationships have you witnessed over the years that usually involve drinking, fighting, making up drama and then it starts over and over again. Eventually that even grows boring and so the next person that shows up…..buh bye.

        • I totally agree with you KB22! Once these cheats figure out that nobody cares about what they are doing and the affair is no longer a “us against the meany world”, then the monotony of everyday life and pressures set in and they find themselves with absolutely nothing in common but their magical genitalia! The reality of it all sets them off onto the next drama. Because they thrive on drama without that they are just regular, immoral, gutter creatures! They can’t possibly face that reality!!

  • I don’t believe in mid life crisis as such, but I do believe that certain conditions and medications can affect a person psychologically and emotionally. That’s not an excuse, but more of an explanation.

  • I could be wrong, but I imagine the trolling for meaningless pieces of ass gets old pretty quick. Especially when they don’t have the comforts of home and marriage to fall back on. Your relationship with the fuck buddy just loses some of its spark when you take away the sneaking around and lying. Not trying to be ageist, but normally you see someone hot with someone less hot, there is a trade off involved. Young people see $$$ signs, maturerer people just see an old coot trying to relive a past they never even had. Just plain creepy.

    • I would think it would get old too. But maybe not for a while. It might be fun for a while. Also you have to remember these guys/gals have a great propensity for denial. They create the reality they want, even if that version is counter to what really is. They are massive liars and they lie to themselves most of all.

      But you can run from yourself forever, and you can’t fool everyone all of the time.

      • Well, the thing of it is, Maree, is that what they do any of us could do as well but we don’t want to. We know it’s a fool’s paradise. Any person with money can get someone younger, hotter, etc. To bed down with them. But we don’t want to.

        About four years ago, a friend of mine turned 40. Had a party at a male strip club. I went, ogled some wangs, and went home. Never went again. She kept going back, dated a 23 yo who turned out to be using her. Had a gf, baby, etc. Heartbreak for her. Then she dated afew more 20 somethings. Same basic story. As long as she had the money, they had the time.

        Last one took her car, got drunk, tried to run over his ex, baby momma. In her car. Spent over a year in jail, she supported him all that time. When he got out he stayed about a month, then moved out and got married while she was at work. Anyone with you for money will eventually find someone with MORE money.

        • You hit it, as long as you have the money they have the time. But is that deep love/affection? Or is that superficial? Clearly it’s superficial and superficial relationships don’t last. STBX will really be open to this sort of abuse because he has money, has a nice car, looks good on the surface and is emotionally distraught. He will be taken advantage of by the wrong kind of woman and the vibes he is putting out will attract those types. Smart, mature, decent women will sniff him out in a hurry, so what’s left is the girls who are looking for someone to pay their meal ticket.

          I always thought what I had with my STBX was so much more than superficiality.. but apparently it wasn’t. A nice home, family, money in the bank, healthy kids, great neighborhood with families like us, a good job, a beautiful wife WILLING and able to work on the marriage and meet you in the middle.. that seems as good as it gets from my end. What could be better than that? What’s better than a family you love?

          Trolling for strange pussy, is it worth all the life long building blocks above? Apparently to these people it is. They are never satisfied and what is sad is that they won’t find what they are looking for because they aren’t looking in the right place. The happiness and contentment they seek is within THEM.. it doesn’t exist in strange women, new cars, fancy clothes, etc. Its in THEM. But you can’t tell the that. They’ll never listen. This is one of those “hard” lessons some people have to learn.

    • “Not trying to be ageist, but normally you see someone hot with someone less hot, there is a trade off involved. Young people see $$$ signs, maturerer people just see an old coot trying to relive a past they never even had. Just plain creepy”.
      not Juliet, you have just described my ex, 63 year old and his 23 year old gal !! By all that I have seen and heard, he is as happy as a pig in mud. He is shacked up with her and her 2 little boys in Cambodia and he is there for good as he bragging to anyone who will listen to him what a lucky fool he is. He is now becoming an expert on everything to do with Cambodia so I assume that this is the real deal. He tells how emotionally drained he is when he visits certain sites and hears of all of the atrocities but I find it interesting that he wasn’t emotionally drained when he torpedoed our marriage and family and I find that logic very strange indeed. The only people I really feel sorry for in this whole ugly mess are our 2 adult children. He destroyed our marriage and family unit and now he is off living the life of Riley. Somehow doesn’t seem fair. The amount of times I have heard “as long as her is happy” I can tell you now, if I hear it one more time I will scream.

      • Let’s be realistic Maree. She is with him for the money. Let him have diabetes, or a fib or any other chronic disease and you won’t see her for the dust. He is having a great time lying to himself but even Cary Grant got old.

    • No not at all Not Juliet. They have to do it because how much they HATE I mean HATE themselves. They have to feed off from other’s attention to feel something. Remember it is a disorder. It’s a cycle. It never ends. Now over the past what 25 years or so we have the internet and social media that makes it even easier for them to do this. It is like a drug to them. Well it is a drug. If they don’t get their “hit” aka attention they think they will die. From the books I have read it is an endless game. They don’t want to be alone. They cannot be alone. They will never ever be happy. How the disorder works in their brains it will not let them stop. It’s a cycle. No beginning and no end.

      • Also remember they don’t think or act or behave like normal people. They think the world is against and also the world hates them at the same time and also at the same time that they are the best thing that has ever come around since slice bread. I know that sounds mental but it IS a mental disorder. They don’t look at the same things like we do. Just remember how mental it was with them. I did ask the ex many times in a joking matter what was really going on in his mind and he would say to me you really don’t know. Oh I know now. Evil per evil. They are their worse enemy.

  • Thanks for that LAJ – a good point, well made and worth debunking.

    Ages ago (early 2014 I think) – either CL or one of our fellow chumps (though sadly, I can’t remember who) linked to an article called ‘Midlife for Dummies’

    The person who posted the link advised to substitute ‘cheating’ for ‘midlife’ and it all still applies.

    At the time I read it, I was still trying to work out WTF had happened that turned ‘The Great I Am’ into ‘Shark Face’. Anyway, the article made me laugh like a drain (anyone know what the hell that saying means, btw) – and that’s always a good thing in my book 🙂

    Great to see you ‘guesting’ LAJ – nicely done! 😀 xx

    • OMG, Jayne. That website is haunting. It’s like the Holy Grail & Bible for cheaters, all rolled into one delectable Amazon Prime package. Funny, yet chilling.

      • Yeah – it’s great isn’t it? I thought it was absolutely spot on I saved it to ‘drafts’ and toyed with the idea of sending it to ‘The Great I Am’ when I first read it.

        Wouldn’t dream of sending it to him now, of course. I’ve come to realise, while as a Chump I’m pretty adept at this ‘spackling’ malarkey – believe me, ‘The Great I Am’ should run his own dojo on ‘How to Spackle the Shit you Do and Say and Make it Look and Smell Beautiful to Yourself and Other Fools’!


    • OMG – that is the frickin funniest thing ever!!!! So – you are telling me that all these behaviours (and I cannot believe, but it it true that my stbx possesses ALL of them!) are due to a mid-life crises? Huh. And for all this time I thought it was his alcoholism.
      Thanks for sharing that link – I would like to send that out to everyone I know – it is just way too funny (but sadly true!)

    • Oh, man, the article at that link is *PERFECT*!!! Amazingly similar to my ordeal with the STBXW. And amazingly funny. And sad how predictably similar it is to so many of the scenarios recounted here.

  • My air air conditioner stopped working the other day, and I had to call a repair guy who didn’t show up until 36 hours later, and then he charged me $$$.

    I considered having a midlife crisis. But then, who would take care of the dogs?

    • True, TimeHeals. Plus, I can’t decide how to exercise a mid-life crisis: Nose ring? mohawk? Teal hair? all-black clothes and makeup? take up skateboarding? troll for middle-schoolers?

      So many options, so little time….

  • I do believe in midlife crisis in the sense that people reach their 40s or 50s, take a look in the mirror and realize, “Oh fuck, my pretty years are gone.” Or that they are as far in their career as they are going to go, or that they are never going to accomplish some of their goals or that they are never going to have as much money as they wanted. I think just about everyone experiences that. But the difference is, normal people respond to this “crisis” by joining a gym to lose weight, or taking up a hobby, or figuring “what the fuck, I’m just going to accept myself,” or by getting a little depressed, or by changing jobs. The disordered, on the other hand, respond by throwing away their life for a piece of strange, as if by doing that, they can escape their middle-aged selves. But as Buckaroo Banzai said, “Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”

  • I went for the older (single) guy because I wanted the stability. I thought he was mature, wanted to be settled down, etc… He pulled all the typical narcissist stuff. Appreciated my intelligence. Agreed with my politics. And on, and on… vs the guys at my age who wanted me to play the role of porn star while paying their bills. He just had enough experience to have a better con game going. Remember that us “younger” women (45 now, lol) or men aren’t always the enemy. We are just falling for the same con artist who fooled many of you for decades and can end up being the driver of the karma bus about to him them! I am sending in the paperwork to show the bankruptcy fraud he has been committing to screw his ex out of their property settlement. 🙂 Chumps need to unite!!!!

    • Yup, I went for someone 12 years my senior because I thought he would be less likely to cheat on me, given how much younger I was. Ha ha ha ha ha…..

  • I was 46 when I divorced my lying cheating spouse… He initially told people that he had no idea why — that I blindsided him — and that I must be going through a midlife crisis!!! LOL

  • Great post, LAJ.

    Early on in my now-ex-wife’s affair, I believed that she was having a “life stage crisis” related to belatedly moving on to the next stage of life: having children and settling down near family to help us raise those children. It was SO easy to say that my wife had “bad coping skills” and was “acting out” because she was in a crisis of life changes.

    Given our age, it wasn’t a “mid-life crisis.” Instead, it was a pre-cursor to a mid-life crisis. (Not quite quarter-life crisis, either, given we were 34 at the time.) And it felt good to be able to claim that my wife wasn’t dealing with life changes appropriately…as opposed to facing the harsh reality that my wife sucked at life.

    As CL and others here have pointed out, however, there is no excuse for cheating. Plenty of people the world over have crises a lot more dire than my wife’s ambivalence toward having children…and yet they manage to stay faithful to their spouses.

    So, the entire mid-, quarter-, late-life crisis is a sham. It’s a nice little blame-shift: it takes the blame off the cheater, and puts it on…what? Aging?

    We ALL age; few of us revel in each new wrinkle. But saying that aging causes affairs is equal to saying that aging causes grand larceny. The two actually have nothing in common.

  • I feel like I’m eavesdropping on a genius consortium today, LAJ. And all the commenters.

    *Awe and gratitude.

  • Excellent topic today as well as a wonderful post and comments. LAJ, you nailed it, Girl.

    As far as I’m concerned, shitty behaviour is shitty behavior. Doesn’t matter what it is called. It’s still indicative of shitty character.

    Time to kick said shitty character to the curb.

    Nuff said.

  • AMEN SISTER!!! Mid life crisis my ass! Disordered assholes. 🙂 Great post! Thank you!

  • LAJ, I have been missing your voice on here and am SO glad to see this guest post. Believe me, more than a few of us have been wondering where you were. You really nailed this, and I’m looking forward to going back and reading all the comments. For now, it is just a shout out to a poster whose comments I’ve come to cherish and whose absence I have felt deeply. I’m sure many other chumps feel the exact same way.

    It is really something how folks you’ve never met IRL can come to mean so much to you, isn’t it? And how clearly you can hear them speak, even when you’ve never even shared so much as a phone call. Yet, the level of intimacy goes so far beyond what we share in our day-to-day lives. A couple years ago, before I’d “met” you all, my elder daughter wrote an expository piece about how Internet friends are as valid as real-life friends. It was a good essay, but I didn’t then have the experience I now have gained through participating in this forum. I almost feel like apologizing to her, because even though I gave her positive feedback on her writing, I don’t think I validated the actual experience she used to back up her claims. So much has changed since then, and now I see how much she has taught me. If it hadn’t been for that essay, I never would have gone searching for you guys.

    All that, plus the fact that I found out Chaka Khan did a cover of this song? As my daughter would say (and be totally embarrassed to hear *me* say), “HELLA.” I’ve been a fan of Chaka since her Rufus days, and I’m gonna go download this now.

    Blessings to you, LAJ. I miss you.

  • Is the mid life crisis real?

    Beats me; real or not, it doesn’t justify or excuse cheating.

    Is road rage real?

    Maybe; it doesn’t justify smashing someone’s car windshield in with a brick because they always cut you off and then take your parking spot.

    If someone commits assault, I’m holding them accountable. Same goes for cheating.

    The explanations like mlc are for the betrayer, so that they can untangle that shit in working on making themselves less of an asshole. As someone who was betrayed, I don’t care about the whys of cheating; don’t care if it was mlc, shitty character, or mind rays beamed down to the cheater’s head by alien space monkeys. In all cases, it’s a deal breaker, and the cheater can own their crappy choices on their own time, because I’m walking away.

  • yes whynow I lived with mine for over 2 years. He was never home which i guess made it easier. Then I had had enough and attacked him one night, within half an hour he left and hasn’t been back, that was 5 months ago. By the way, he is 69 and I am 60. His mid life crises started at age 65 and completly blindsided me. Now I am left with two adult children with different disabilities and a 12 year old grandchild to look after while he goes off into the sunset with his much younger Thai prostitute. Now he wants to sell the house because he wants to retire, more like his slut wants his money but he is too stupid to see it.

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