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NOTE:  There is a separate updated article here on that discusses how to DEAL WITH being on the receiving end of a spouse’s midlife crisis affair.  If that’s you, then please see the article, entitled How to Deal with a Midlife Crisis Affair and Divorce

DEAR MIDLIFEBACHELOR: I’m a 44 yr old woman who has been reconciled with my ex-husband for the last 7 years and living together with our 15 yr old son. We had originally reconciled the week of our divorce 10 years ago, but decided to go ahead and get divorced. Other than about a yr since our divorce, we’ve been together on an intimate basis. Seems after a few months apart, we always ended up back together. Well, 4 weeks ago, my ex-husband (live-in) came home and asked me to move out of his house as he was seeing another woman. He told my son this and less than 1 hr later he was gone to her house and has not returned. This “girl’’ is a married coworker who recently threw her husband out of the house, maybe to allow my man to move in and he did so. The facts are that he is 48 yrs old and she is 26 years old, still married, and has a 3 and 6 yr old. He has told my son, that his new girlfriend doesn’t make very much money so he is going to pay ½ her bills for her. A few weeks later, he informed me that he will allow me to rent his house and of course, pay all utilities which are in his name. He’s taken only about 9 days of clothes and his razor and moved in with her and her two kids. I love this man very much and I can’t even remember the last time we had an argument. He’s not a flirt or woman chaser and he and his coworkers both admitted that this young girl has pursued him and he’s enjoying the attention. I want my man back!!!! I don’t want this young, married, home-wrecker to get my man. I’ve not shown any anger towards him but I am very jealous and never experienced jealousy before. I don’t even want to see this girl face to face as I am pissed at her for taking my man. He’s never done anything like this in our 22 yrs together (off and on), but he felt guilty and had to choose between us. He’s always been faithful and honest with me until this event. What can I do to get him back? He gives me answers which makes me think that he is very confused. He’s been charging all kinds of items on his charge cards to impress this young girl which he cannot afford to do. My son is as devastated as I am. He won’t tell me that he doesn’t love me anymore. He decided to take trip alone out west to see his sisters for a week. I was so happy that she wasn’t going also. He’s been introducing to our friends and family like she’s a new puppy. He’s acting like a high school at his 1st prom with her in public, it has been terrible for me to see how he is acting. I’ve already 2 different people who’ve met this girl tell me that she reminds them of me. We’re both very tall, chubby and wear glasses. It’s been a month and I want him back, what do I do? June W, 44, Coolville, OH

MLB ANSWER: My condolences to you about your current situation. This sort of thing happens out in the world more than you’d probably guess – and there is certainly nothing nice about any of it. I discussed the concept of “cheating” recently in the short article here entitled, Is Cheating on your Wife or Girlfriend Really Worth It?– so you might check that out for a look at the different angles or interpretations of this particular behavior. Several key points within that article are that the cheater is hurting not only the person he is cheating on, but also hurting others in the family … which I refer to as collateral damage. If he really wants out of his marriage to you, there are certainly more honorable ways of accomplishing that than suddenly announcing this new relationship with a much younger woman, moving out, and then charging you and your teenage son rent.

It appears that your 48-year old husband is going through a classis midlife crisis. The manifestation of his crisis is his pursuit of this 26-year old woman, and the sudden abandonment of you and your son. It does not sound like he has thought through all of the various implications of the collateral damage he is causing. Now sometimes a midlife crisis can be a positive agent of change (as I discuss in the section of this site entitled Enjoy Your Midlife Crisis) – but in the case of cheating and the abandonment of you and your family, it sounds like it is more like a temporary phase he is going through. He fails to recognize that as a single man – one often winds up dating women who on are their best behavior for some period of time … and then (months later) finds out what that person is really like. Their relationship may or may not ultimately work out – but right now, they are in the “brand-new phase” where everything is rosy and perfect. [See the sections of this site on False Starts and Energy Conservation and Great Sex Hides the Truth for more details on how the new-ness of relationships can somewhat mask reality.] I do not believe I have ever known of a relationship that began under cheating circumstances to ever work out permanently – or at least that is what I’ve learned during my years as a (you guessed it) midlife bachelor. My bet is that what he will ultimately find out is – that his new girlfriend has at least one major problem or flaw, and that his new relationship with her will end. He’ll then come crawling back to you … and you may or may not take him back at that time.

To answer your key question about how you can get him back – my guess is that you can do nothing except wait the situation out. If and when he wants to come back to you, you have to then decide if you really do want him back … as he could do this sort of thing again, you know. Good luck to you, June – please let us know how this develops. The midlife bachelors of America are interested because we are also cheated on by our girlfriends (or wives) – so there are lessons here for everyone.

UPDATE – due in part to the volume of email I receive from women whose husbands have cheated on them, and are divorcing them (due to a “midlife crisis affair”), and who seek advice from me, I have added a new article here that gives some good basic advice for situations like this:

How to Deal with a Midlife Crisis Affair and Divorce

There is a follow-up exchange here on ASK MLB with June: Cheating Midlife Husband Update

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About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.