Do Affairs Last During Midlife Crisis? - The Healthy Marriage (2023)

Midlife crisis can lead to sudden changes in behavior, including affairs. This article discusses whether affairs last during midlife crisis and what you can do to prevent them.

Do Affairs Last During Midlife Crisis? - The Healthy Marriage (1)

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The midlife crisis is a reality for many people, and it can cause couples to consider making major changes in their lives. They may begin to question their marriage or long-term relationship and look elsewhere for intimacy. Affairs then become more tempting.

While the exact number of marriages ending after a midlife affair is not known, studies suggest that up to one-third of marriages end due to infidelity.

In This Article

Understanding A Midlife Crisis

A midlife crisis is a difficult period of transition and insecurity many people face in their 40s and 50s. It can be triggered by a variety of sources, including career changes and hormone imbalances.

Common symptoms include confusion about one’s direction in life, restlessness or feeling dissatisfied with life choices, mood swings, and a longing for excitement and new experiences.

A midlife crisis can trigger changes in behavior including, but not limited to, reckless spending or even seeking out an extramarital affair. It is therefore essential for us to recognize and acknowledge signs of a midlife crisis when we notice them in ourselves and others so that the issue can be addressed promptly before it gets out of hand.

Ways to address a midlife crisis may include talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking help from a mental health professional, and engaging in self-care activities such as exercising. Taking these proactive steps can help manage any possible symptoms and ensure that your mental health remains intact.

Reasons Why People Have Affairs During Midlife Crisis

People going through a midlife crisis typically have an affair for various reasons. The most common reason is they are looking to bring the thrill and excitement back into their lives or seeking validation from someone else.

Another important reason to note is unmet needs and unfulfilled desires in their current relationship. People who feel neglected by their partnership are more likely to look elsewhere for companionship and attention.

One final reason to mention is as we age we feel less attractive and desirable. Some look to an extra-marital affair as a way to feel young again.

All these factors can make having an affair during a midlife crisis particularly tempting to many people who are dissatisfied with life and seek a new form of gratification.

How to Know if Your Partner is Having an Affair During a Midlife Crisis

When it comes to knowing if your partner is having an affair during a midlife crisis, there are some telltale signs that could indicate something is up.

If your spouse begins spending more time away from home, making changes to his or her appearance, withholding information from you, becoming less physically intimate or behaving in a secretive manner, these may all be indications that they are involved in an extramarital affair.

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It’s important to remember that these behaviors may also point to other issues occurring during their midlife period and should not automatically be interpreted as adultery. Be sure to communicate openly with your partner and bring any concerns you have to the table before jumping to conclusions.

The Impact of Affairs on Relationships During a Midlife Crisis

Experiencing a midlife crisis can have an enormous effect on any relationship. If your relationship is struggling due to one partner’s midlife crisis, the consequences could be serious and far-reaching. Take the time to assess the situation, talk with your partner, and seek professional help if needed in order to protect your relationship from irreparable damage.

From feelings of betrayal and hurt, to deep resentment. These emotions can place a huge strain on the relationship and shatter trust and open communication between partners.

This makes it extremely difficult for couples to rebuild the connection they once shared. Affairs during a midlife crisis can leave both partners feeling isolated, confused, and abandoned – leading to damaging consequences for any marriage or partnership.

It’s clear to see that affairs have the power to drastically alter relationships, making it essential for individuals going through this challenging time to be aware of their actions and recognize how their decisions could affect the future of their relationship.

What Can be Done to Mend the Relationship After an Affair during a Midlife Crisis

This is perhaps the most difficult steps. Once you’ve processed what has happened, you have to decide what to do next.

Divorce is an option. However, this is not our first recommendation. And, if both parties are willing to work together, it is often possible to rebuild.

One couple put it to me this way: It’s like setting a broken bone. Once it heals, it is stronger than before.

The key is in the healing. Once the pain is healed, your marriage can be stronger than ever. It takes work, but it is possible.

Do Affairs Last During Midlife Crisis? - The Healthy Marriage (2)

In order to make the marriage work, these five steps are important:

1) Seek Counseling

After an affair, both partners need counseling. Not just couples counseling (to work on the marriage) but individual counseling to help you deal with the trauma and root cause of the infidelity. Start here.

2) Focus on Rebuilding Trust

Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship. One of our mantras at The Healthy Marriage is building trust. An affair breaks trust, so the focus should be on rebuilding. Everything else is secondary; trust is primary. Never forget this.

3) Practice Open Communication

Talking about what happened is a big part of the healing process. This is part of the accountability process.

Open communication is non-negotiable. This means, accountability and willingness to discuss the affair is vital to the healing of the relationship.

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We discuss this in more detail in our article,Can A Marriage Really Survive And Affair?

4) Respect Each Other’s Feelings

Respect for each other’s feelings is important if a couple has experienced a midlife affair because it helps to rebuild trust and communication, which can be essential for repairing the relationship.

Taking the time to understand each other’s emotions can also help couples move forward together in a healthy way.

5) Forgive and Let Go

This is one of the most difficult aspects of the healing journey. Learning to let go doesn’t happen overnight. But it must happen.

Holding on the offense will create walls and barriers that make it impossible to reconcile.

At some point, forgiveness must be extended.

That point only comes when the pain, disappointment, and rejection is healed. At that point, it’s possible to forgive and let go.

Do Affairs Last During A Midlife Crisis?

The answer to this question is not a straight yes or no. It mostly depends on how willing the couple is to work together to heal the relationship.

The main factors that determine if a couple reconciles after an affair include:

  • The willingness of both partners to work on the relationship and rebuild trust
  • Their ability to communicate openly
  • The level of forgiveness that exists between them

If these things are in place, the possibility of restoration increases

It is important to remember that with the right communication and understanding between partners, most midlife crises and affairs can be overcome successfully in the long run. So while they may present challenges in the short term, there is hope for lasting relationships even when infidelity is involved.

Also read: Can A Marriage Survive Repeated Infidelity?

Where To Find Help

We have resources available to help you create the marriage you desire and deserve.

The Healthy Marriage QuizIf you want specific help for your marriage, or you want to know your healthy marriage score, take the marriage quiz. You’ll get immediate access with suggestions on how to improve your relationship.

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Books, Courses, Programs, and Tools designed to help you create the marriage of your dreams.

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If you are having serious marriage struggles, we recommend starting withSave the Marriage System‘ by Lee Baucom.

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