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The ground gives off a lot of clues before an earthquake — and so do people.

We often hear that someone is “going through a midlife crisis.” It can happen in a way where the person is happy, sad, or in between. A red sports car may be involved, or it may be a new model train hobby. When the person is married, the crisis ends up spreading out to affect the people around them.

In most cases, however, there has usually been some sort of shift taking place within that person that set the stage for a midlife crisis. From society’s changing attitudes to cell biology, here are three factors that I frequently see:

•Menopause: A classic example is a woman going through menopause. Many women will tell you that they felt absolutely crazy for five years. Their body stops being able to regulate itself, and then, all of a sudden, they start thinking differently and feeling differently about themselves and their whole life. Menopause “survivors” say that they had become a different person through those years.

•Mental Illness & Substance Abuse: It is not uncommon for very high-functioning people to struggle with a chronic mental illness or substance abuse problems. As they approach midlife, something happens that throws them off balance where they are no longer able to control their illness, even within the parameters that have always kept them high functioning. Of course, Covid has been working non-stop to add stress to people’s lives, which may result in relapses when there otherwise might not have been.

“Cougars” & “Hot Dads”: As society has suddenly begun to admire women and men past the age of 40, the denizens of that age group are taking notice. Men, especially, seem eager to test out the extent of their attractiveness on younger associates at work. Things like personal trainers, plastic surgery, and body contouring become a priority. This effect may also be partially responsible for the rise in divorce among people in their 40s and 50s.

Eventually, for these people, something happens where they are no longer even within the sphere of normalcy. The checks and balances they had made in their lives are no longer working, and they begin to act in ways they never had before. Either they will ask for a divorce, or their spouse will. If you ask their spouses what happened, they will often say that the person who had the midlife crisis was a workaholic with a successful career — and a substance abuse problem.

Thankfully, the 1950s are dead and buried, much like the notion of staying in an unhappy marriage. That said, divorce can still be a long and painful shift, and escaping an abusive home is still fraught with dangerous obstacles.

Contact us for more information.

Cheryl Stein, Esq.
The Law and Mediation Offices of Cheryl Stein
745 Fifth Avenue, Suite 500
New York, NY 10151
Phone: (646) 884-2324
E-mail: cheryl@cherylsteinesq.com