The thing is, when we get into the whole comparison thing in general, it’s a confidence depressor anyway where we judge ourselves as inadequate against our own imagination, assumptions and generalisations, and maybe what we believe is the information that we know.When we compare ourselves to our ex’s toxic ex when we have been The Great Girlfriend / Boyfriend, we’re so busy viewing things through the that we actually fail to see that person and reality.
When I asked a friend recently how she’s doing, she paused and answered, “I keep wondering if this is all there is.” She, like me, is 50-something and like many 50-somethings we are empty-nesters or about to be empty-nesters; we’re either 20-something years into a marriage or divorced.
We’re in the so-called “midlife crisis” years, a time when we question what we’ve done (and, more likely, haven’t done) and where we want to be.
It was odd timing, coming just days after I read Monique Honaman’s provocative post in the Huffington Post, These women are done. They say they aren’t in love with their husbands (or any other man — they aren’t having affairs). Honaman doesn’t say how old these women are or how long they’ve been married, but since she indicates they have another 40-plus years ahead of them, I don’t think I’m off in guessing they’re in their 40s, 50s and 60s — yep, midlife. Well, beside the study that found that age 48 is the pivotal year for women’s unhappiness, women tend to be more prone to depression anyway.
They say they simply wish they were no longer married to him. They wonder if this is how they are doomed to live the rest of their lives (and God-willing, most of them have another 40+ years ahead of them). The common factor amongst all of these women is that they say that their husbands are really solid, good, nice men. they just don’t want to be married to them anymore because they have fallen out of love. But at midlife we’re dealing with menopause, the loss of our role as nurturer, the loss of our youth and beauty, etc.
And I don’t doubt that some women have been inspired by the “Eat, Pray, Love” life or, what Ask Men calls the Second-Act Syndrome: After raising a family and tending to the home and baking brownies for the Boy Scout fundraiser and volunteering to drive on who-knows-how-many field trips while doing paid or non-paid work (and, yes, being a stay-at-home parent is work), it’s finally “me” time.
We want to stop nurturing others and start nurturing ourselves.
We want to feel a little bit selfish instead of selfless.
But does that mean men are out of the picture or just husbands?
Since, two-thirds of all divorces are initiated by women and many women tend to do well after divorce, it’s a valid question to ask.