Journeying Toward Wholeness

Vibrant Jung Thing Blog

Midlife Crisis in Men: 5 Signs Your Life is in Transition, 1

April 27th, 2014 · No Comments · midlife crisis men

Here are 5 signs of midlife transition or midlife crisis in men.

midlife crisis men

Experience in therapy tends to confirm that each of these 5 “signs” tend to be specific to men, and each is connected to at least one question important for men to ask during midlife transition.

Feeling: What am I Feeling?

Someone once said,  “The great problem for many men at midlife is that the chest is a numbed zone.”  Men are trained not to feel from early life, and to stay in their heads.  Yet without feeling, it’s impossible to know what we really value, how things are really affecting us in our lives, and what direction we want to go.

E-Newsletter-CTA

Identity: Who Is That in the Mirror?

James Hollis offers a pretty blunt and bleak assessment of where many men find themselves in our culture.  It may seem harsh, but, for many men at midlife it represents the truth:

Conditioned to shun feeling, avoid instinctual wisdom and override his inner truth, the average male is a stranger to himself and others, a slave to money, power and status….

There are few models in our culture that invite or permit a man to be honest with himself.

In our culture, men are socialized to ignore their feelings and their own inner voice and wisdom, and to go after priorities that remove them more and more from who they really are.  While men are told that this is “independence” and “individuality”, by midlife, many are locked into stereotypical roles, with immense pressure to conform.  Midlife crisis in men often takes the form of looking in the mirror, not recognizing who’s there, and feeling how much that hurts.

Persona: When Can I Drop the Armour?

Example: Jim, 51, married, 2 teenage kids, IT management consultant. Travels North America, 200 days a year.  Professionally, people expect Jim to provide expertise and solutions; he is continually climbing new, steep, learning curves.  He faces unrelenting pressure to know, to be right, and to meet tough deadlines.

Jim is often alone in strange cities, relating only to business contacts, and dealing with conflict situations.  Jim sees little of his kids, who are becoming more independent, and will soon leave for university.  He finds his relationship is getting colder and more distant.  He and his wife talk less and less.  He has no time for non-work interests.

midlife crisis men

Jim represents someone lost within the armour of the persona, the social mask that he’s conditioned to present to the world.  Often, a key question in therapy is what actually belongs to the man, and what to persona.  This is a common sign of midlife crisis in men.

In Part 2 of this post, we’ll look at two other key signs of midlife transition, or midlife crisis in men.

PHOTO:  Attribution Share Alike  ©  Kevin Krejci ;  Kevin N. Murphy
© 2014 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)