The man in his 50s with the sleek, cherry-red sports car. The woman in her late 40s who suddenly starts looking into plastic surgery. The change of wardrobe. The daredevil acts.
The affair with the secretary or yoga instructor.
No doubt, you have heard all of the stereotypical signs of the “mid-life crisis,” a period where men – and women – seem to recognize their own mortality, and start exhibiting behaviors that are uncharacteristic at best, and dangerous or risky at worst. As it happens, the mid-life crisis tends to coincide with the middle years of a marriage, where two people may have fallen into a routine, or are busy raising almost-but-not-quite adult children, or dealing with “empty nest” syndrome.
In other words, the middle part of a marriage can be stressful enough, without one party acting out (or seemingly losing his or her mind) in odd, unexpected, or even hurtful ways. Some marriages cannot take the additional stress, and the two parties drift quietly apart, or rip from the seams.
The good news is, a mid-life crisis does not have to be the end of your marriage. There are counselors who can help you and your spouse find a path forward again. However, some marriages may have started to fall apart before the crisis came along, and whatever reckless behaviors one spouse engages in will be enough to make the break permanent.
Signs your marriage may be ending
Every couple is different; what may cause one to falter may not affect another at all. We want you to know that we recognize these differences. What follows is a brief list of signs that could indicate it is time to consider a divorce.
- Your spouse starts hiding or lying about expenses. There are plenty of jokes about one spouse trying to hide how much money he or she spent from the other. However, if your spouse has opened a secret bank account, or if you notice “past due” notices coming in for bills your spouse swore he or she paid, there is a bigger problem at play.
- Your spouse becomes verbally or physically abusive. All couples fight. That’s true in any relationship. If your spouse begins to pick fights in public, becomes irrationally upset at every move you make, or raises a hand to you or your children (or to walls in your home, or by throwing your possessions), it is time to get out. Your safety and the safety of your kids should be your top priority.
- Your spouse starts engaging in addictive behavior. Maybe your spouse has always liked a drink on a Friday night or a glass of wine with dinner, or maybe he or she take a few trips a year to Atlantic City or Las Vegas. If, however, you notice that he or she is drinking a lot and often, or has suddenly started gambling online, or is hiding pills – this is addictive behavior. Addiction often leads to divorce, especially if the spouse with the problem refuses to seek or accept help.
- Your spouse rents his or her own place. Many people in the throes of a mid-life crisis claim to want or need space; actually going out and renting a new apartment, or moving all of his or her stuff out, is a sign that the marriage may be over for good.
Dissatisfaction in a marriage does not always mean the end of that marriage. Some couples go through really rough patches, and end up together and happy on the other side. If you are not a part of one of those couples, you want to work with an experienced Nashville divorce lawyer who can represent your best interests from the start.
At Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, we protect our clients’ futures and interests. If you are ready to speak with an experienced Nashville divorce attorney about your next steps, please call 615-391-4200 or use our contact form to reserve an in-person or video consultation.