How to Deal With Female Midlife Crisis

When you reach the age of 40, or maybe hit your 50th birthday, and then suddenly you realize you don’t have anything that you want or you’re thinking more and more about affarirs; you must be suffering from a female midlife crisis. Are there solutions? Can you deal with it?

Let’s find out!

Life Undone

A midlife crisis is defined as the lack of confidence and being emotionally unstable when a woman reaches the middle of her life. This situation doesn’t happen to everyone; psychologists say that the chances of it happening to a woman becomes high if said woman has unmet goals in life.

In this post, we will discuss the most common causes of a midlife crisis and the possible solutions. Please take note that these solutions don’t have guaranteed effectiveness. For one, the severity of the crisis depends on a lot of factors (like how many of the goals have been unmet, and how supportive the support system is), and second, each woman has her own coping mechanism. In other words, it may be trial and error.

  1. You don’t have a life sentence – The most common sign that you’re suffering from a female midlife crisis is the thought that you’ll be dying any minute. No joke. A simple headache will be viewed as brain disease, and just one cough will be thought of as an incurable lung disease.

This comes from the concept of “being old”– and it usually starts when you experience menopause. Relax; don’t have a check-up for the smallest of pains that you have.

  1. You’re not the only one aging – When you face the mirror and see the fine lines appearing rather boldly, in a snap of a finger, you want to be youthful again. The sad part about a midlife crisis is this: the loss of youth often leads to having an affair– an affair with a much younger man.

That affair will make you feel ‘young again’– you’ll start wearing more provocative clothing, apply heavier makeup, and party all night long. You simply feel like you’re catching up on life.

The severity of the consequences will be lessened if you don’t have a spouse, but still be careful because the younger man may not be totally into you.

  1. Go out, have fun – The partying all night long may not be appropriate, but please don’t think that you’ve no right to get out and have some fun. As much as possible, do this with your man. He may not be as handsome as that young boy who seems to like you, but he was the man who stood by you through thick and thin.

If you’re single, then why not go out with friends? You may or may not find a man, but the only suggestion is to make the progress slow but sure.

  1. female midlife crisisIf it isn’t that bad, then it’s a good thing – If you’re not having bouts of depression, and nothing in your life is undergoing a major shift, then perhaps the female midlife crisis you’re having isn’t a crisis at all. Maybe it’s just a time to reflect and ponder on things.

Why not create a list of the things that can still be achieved? Places you want to travel to and activities you want to do. If they are achievable, what’s stopping you? After such reflection, you might be surprised that you’ve accomplished a lot of things in your life. And to think that you’re just in the middle of it!

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In other words, you’ll still achieve a lot!

A Female Midlife Crisis Is Real— It’s Not A Cliché

What is a female midlife crisis?

A midlife crisis is a term used to point out a certain period in the life of women where they experience being in an emotional crossroads. They are “forced” to look back on the life they have led. Has it been worth it? Did I do my best? Am I happy? These are just some of the questions that a woman asks herself when experiencing the said crisis.  The real turn of events occurs when she negatively answers all the questions. No, it wasn’t worth it. No, that was far from the best I could have given. No, I certainly am not happy. At this point, she will struggle—is it better to move on and make the best out of the time left, or is there a chance to reverse everything?

In a nutshell, a female midlife crisis occurs when a woman finds it hard to move forward in life.

When does a female midlife crisis happen?

A midlife crisis may happen anytime after the woman reaches 40. Sometimes, it happens a little bit earlier,especially if said woman has been through a lot already. Numerical figures aside, the crisis happens when she starts feeling like half of her life is over. In other words, it happens when she starts feeling “old.”

What happens to her in the midst of a crisis? 

As any emotional condition, a female midlife crisis can go from mild (which is barely noticeable) to severe, which demands medical attention.

Milder forms happen when a woman “thinks” about the aspects of her life in a frequent manner. It doesn’t affect her that much—she can still function normally, hang out with friends and family, and perform tasks at work. At night, she may lose sleep due to thinking and she may decide to do things she should have done before. That’s it. Nothing major will happen and nothing life-altering will turn her table.

A severe female midlife crisis happens when there’s a deep regret. It runs so deep she wants to go back in time and change everything. And since that task is impossible, she diverts her regrets in other unhealthy forms, such as:

  • Resorting to substance abuse, mainly alcohol.
  • She tries things to be “young again” – this is perhaps the most noticeable behavior. She wears heavy makeup and dresses up like she’s a teenager. She’ll try to get rid of wrinkles by buying expensive creams; she may even wear a wig if her hair is thinning.
  • At some point, she’ll spend a lot of money for items that she doesn’t really need. And most of the time, those items are expensive.
  • The woman will also surprise friends and relatives by being involved with a guy who is much, much younger than she is. You can talk to her about the dangers of affairs, but chances are, she won’t listen.
  • If she has kids, she may “transfer” her dreams to them. She may force them to join contests even when they have no interest in joining them. This is damaging not just for the kids, but also to the whole family dynamic.

These are just some of the things that she will manifest. A female midlife crisis isn’t simple, thus, its effects are also complicated.

A female midlife crisis: what starts it?

There isn’t one exact cause of a midlife crisis; in fact, experts suggest that there are triggers for it. A woman may have been through a difficult process of divorce. Perhaps it’s hard for her to accept that she has already reached menopause. Maybe the company she has been working on for years has shut down and now she will face unemployment. It can also be that she really dislikes her career but has no choice since it can pay the bills.

Since women are unique, their triggers will also be different. Help from family members is welcome, and if severe, professional medical help may be needed. Knowing all this, it’s clear that a midlife crisis is never a cliché.

Female Midlife Crisis— Averted!

Handling the female midlife crisis may be a long and difficult process, but it’s never impossible. There are a lot of coping mechanisms, and whether you believe it or not, a female midlife crisis can be prevented. For now, we will focus on the interventions.

  1. Start with double “A” – To be able to handle a midlife crisis, one must first be aware of the situation; after all, no one can win a battle she doesn’t know she is fighting. The second step is to accept that there’s a crisis. Acknowledging that it’s really happening means she will be welcome to the interventions to avert the progress. Although the bulk of the job here is centered on the woman, friends and family can also help.
  1. Talk, talk, talk – Communication is an important part of the midlife crisis management. From the previous article, you learned that women undergoing the crisis spend a lot of time making impulsive decisions, such as buying expensive things; this can be prevented by talking about her thoughts to a trusted family member or friend.
  1. Seek professional help – Contentment and satisfaction are two things that can avert the female midlife crisis; however, these two cannot be achieved abruptly. Communication can help, but when the emotional wounds run deep, it’s best to consult a therapist. The professional can enlighten the woman that her life isn’t something to regret; it is, in fact, something to cherish and love.
  1. midlife crisisUse memo notes – And no, you won’t use it to list things that you hate about life, or the expensive things you’ll buy; in fact, you’re going to use it to do the opposite. Like the popular saying suggests, “Count your blessings.” You may think that this is such a trivial and simple thing to do, but this is very effective. Listing the good things in your life will help you realize that there’s so much good in you and your life. When you acknowledge it, you’ll be truly thankful.
  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself – Remember that the female midlife crisis will make you do things that you really don’t want to do; it’ll also make you feel things that you don’t really want to feel. Your situation doesn’t mean that you’ve done more wrong than right. Think of it as a period of reflection.
  1. Compromise – Instead of doing extreme things and buying expensive items, focus your energy on other productive things, such as sports (helpful for your overall health) or volunteer jobs (helps you appreciate life more). Widening your social circle will open your mind to new possibilities and get your mind off the bad-natured thoughts.
  1. Be youthful in health– It’s a common sign that women suffering from a midlife crisis want to become younger. The best way to do that isn’t to wear revealing clothes or putting on heavy makeup; it’s to be healthy inside and out. Exercise and a healthy diet should not be forgotten. Health from the inside will permeate on your physical aura.

These interventions and solutions may sound simple, but when correctly done, it can pull a woman out of the misery of a midlife crisis.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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