Midlife Bachelor


January 9, 2011
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Every single email that comes into ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR concerning a midlife crisis affair and pending divorce asks WHAT DO I DO?  Well here is a very good list of action items for you to consider:

  1. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  This short but very wise statement should guide every single action you take during this difficult period in your life.

  1. Get an attorney - protect the marital assets, half of which which typically are yours.  Never assume that your spouse still has your personal best interests in mind (if they did, you wouldn't be heading for a divorce, right?). You have to think of yourself, your children (if any), and your own future. Attorneys are expensive - but you absolutely need one in order to safeguard what you are rightfully entitled to. Getting an attorney should be the very first thing you do!

  2. Figure out your best emotional support system.  This could be your own family, maybe a few key friends of yours, perhaps clergy - and should also include a professional counselor, ideally. You are going to need a personal sounding board - and several different viewpoints are always good. Professional help is especially good because it is unbiased - and if you don't like the therapist, you can always switch to a different one.

  3. Get a job, if you don't already have one. Or volunteer.  You need your own income, and you need to stay busy. The sooner you get started with this, the better off you will be in the long run. You should no longer count on your husband to continue to pay for everything. Take charge of your own financial destiny as soon as you can, any way that you can. If you have not worked in a long time, then my suggestion is that you seek employment doing something you've always been interested in ... because working in a field that you enjoy will make you a happier person.

  4. Focus on making one decision at a time.  This "action" comes from one of the women on our Midlife Forum - and it means just be deliberate with everything you do. Think each decision through, and focus on getting through each hurdle as it happens. Try not to get overwhelmed - each decision is one small part of the overall process.

  5. Be as nice as you can be at all times.  And don't bad-mouth him around the children. I mentioned this earlier in the "Things to Recognize" section (previous page) about keeping the karma good - this should be a deliberate lifestyle choice on your part, and should be kept in mind at all times ... throughout all that you say and do. Trust me on this one.

  6. Give him space - give yourself space.  If he moves out, take that as the start of your own healing opportunity. Often times, the best thing for all involved is not to see one another and/or to keep contact minimal ... otherwise it can just remind you of the betrayal and emotional hurt at hand. You've heard the statement, "out of sight, out of mind"? Well, that is not completely true - but there is definitely some truth to it ... especially in cases like this.

  7. Control what you can, and take charge of yourself.  The only thing you can truly control is yourself ... your own actions and thoughts. Recognize this, and take charge of yourself. Don't let yourself slip into self-pity - no. Focus instead on gathering the necessary strength to move forward. You are in charge of your own happiness - and your happiness depends not on someone else, it depends completely on you. Take this time for yourself, and try to figure out what it is in life that truly makes you happy - and focus as best you can on that ... maybe even set some goals for yourself. Make "you" the focus - and conduct yourself accordingly.

  8. Be prepared for a thriftier lifestyle.  Most of the time, when you go through a divorce, you wind up with a lot less of everything ... less income, fewer assets ... and the result is typically a more minimalist lifestyle. Don't fear this minimalism - embrace it. Your happiness does not depend on "things", it depends on the people and relationships in your new life. Focus on the moment - see the things in front of you now that you may have missed in the past.

  9. Join our Midlife Forum.  Many of the men and women on our Midlife Forum have lived through a midlife crisis situation (one side or the other), and can share some specific wisdom with you. Remember to give back to the forum, too - share what you learn with others as you go through this process of change and personal growth in your life. Here's a link to our Midlife Forum
The last idea I want to leave you with is my suggestion that as soon as you can, try your best to focus on putting the past behind you. This is more of a longer-term goal - a stretch goal. Know that the marriage/relationship that just ended was good for a certain time in your life, and now it is (most likely) time to leave that old life of yours behind in your rearview mirror, and move forward. The sooner you can do this, the better off you'll be - and the happier person you will become. Believe it or not, you are square in the middle of the best personal growth phase of your entire life - it is pretty much all up to you in terms of how you recover, and how quickly it happens.  Better times await you - I promise.

Now sooner or later, you will eventually want to date again - and when you do, please come back to this website - and read the entire Midlife Dating Advice section ... which is written for a man, but whose principles can be adapted for women. With respect to everything you read both in this article, and on this website (and everywhere else, for that matter) - it is always best to adapt, not adopt ... which means take it all as input, and use what you can.

Here are some other midlifebachelor.com resources (Questions/Answers, Forum discussion threads, etc.) for you to check out - all concerning people dealing with the consequences of a midlife crisis affair and pending divorce. Some may be similar to your situation. Note that there is a USER COMMENT section at the very bottom of this page where anyone can add their thoughts. Good luck to all!

     Midlife Crisis Affair Gone Awry (Jesse James Affair on Sandra Bullock with Tattoo model)
     Christian Wife Waits Out Husband's Affair
     After 14 Years - Now He Hates Me?
     Blatant Affair with 23 Year Old Married Woman
     Physician Husband Cheats on PhD Wife
     Stages of Midlife Crisis
     Take Control of Your Own Happiness
     Midlife Crisis of Confidence
     The 30's Life Crisis
     Cheating Midlife Husband Update
     How to Get Cheating Husband Back from Midlife Crisis Affair?
     Help Me Understand Him!!!
     A New Low Has Been Achieved (midlife crisis affair)
     Is He on Midlife Crisis?

Use our commenting feature below to share your opinion on this question or answer, or to offer your own answer, or you can always choose to discuss this in the Midlife Forum ...


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