Mid Life Crisis…It’s just a Cosmo thing

Mid life crisis in men does not exist. That’s right, and I am not afraid to shout it out. The so called “mid life crisis” was made up by some pissed off woman who probably worked or wrote for Cosmopolitan magazine. So for those of you Regular guys who don’t know what the term pertains to here is a quick synopsis.

As we age, probably somewhere between 40 and 55, (hence the “mid life”),we “supposedly” go through a depressed state in our lives where we begin to search our selves in hopes of regaining a portion of our youth (remember this part because it will come up again later). In that search we almost always find a younger woman, a sports car or motorcycle, and some times one or more tattoos . Yes, we all know someone like this. The “crisis” part of this happens when we find the younger woman. The “crisis”, as I see it, is a result of an affair with this younger woman or an ensuing divorce that is the result of the affair with this younger woman. Okay, so that’s the short and to the point, quick overview.

My take on this is very different. Yes I do agree that we begin to search ourselves somewhere at this age level, but that is where my agreeing ends. It is my belief, that most men have basically the same wants, urges, desires, and needs that we somehow all acquire at a very young age. This “thing” that we are born with is why women tend to think of us as boys, dirty old men, pigs, immature, and maybe even a little selfish. This isn’t something we ask for but is inherently passed along from generation to generation.

This unexplainable gene that none of us know how or why it’s there, keeps us searching from our youth, for the same things in life. It is the thing that makes us want or desire things like women, big screen televisions, fast cars, sports,etc. It’s partly those desires that we are taught to control from our earliest days and all through life, because as we are told, we will never get a good woman to marry us if we don’t. In our childhood we fight the good fight to be who we are but usually in the end we give in and conform to what women think we should be. We give up the things that make us who we are to marry, support a wife, help raise the children, put them through college, and see them off into their own lives. But all along as we do what we are supposed to do, we continue to fight the urges to be who we are.

Thinking back, we all wanted or for some of us, owned, a car that defined who we thought we were. Maybe it was a 1970 Chevelle Super Sport or one of those “screaming chicken on the hood” Trans Ams from the seventies, but now we have to drive a mini van or if we get lucky we get an SUV. But down deep we all look at those two door BMW’s or that new Corvette and dream about what we would feel like if we were driving that car instead. We remember how those cars made us feel when we were young and miss those days past. Or the better example I like to give is the one I like to call my “convertible wife”. Think back to when you would pick up your girl friend for a date and have the top down or the t-tops off, windows open and cassette tape blasting and she would jump into the car singing and laughing and ready for the night of her life. Now lets take a ride in our time machine and fast forward to today. You and your wife have a Saturday afternoon to yourself and you just finished washing and waxing that new convertible that you finally, after all these years, found a way to make your own.You make plans with her to go to a friends house for a beer and some laughs. You hop in the car and turn up the tunes and anxiously await her arrival. She approaches the car and screams for you to “lower the damn radio will ya’ ” and proceeds to get in. Upon take off, she reminds you to put the top up because she “just did her hair” and the “wind will be too much”.  POP!!! HISSSSSS!!! That is the sound of a feel good moment being sucked away from a middle aged  Regular guy. The excitement that once was is now gone because we can not be who we really are.

The thing is, middle age shouldn’t be a “crisis” for men, but should be a celebration. Middle age is an opportunity for us to get back the things in our past life that made us who we are today. By middle age hopefully our kids have grown and so has our disposable income. It is our chance to return to our youth and celebrate what was so good in our lives when it was just that, OUR life. This does not imply that we do not appreciate all the good that has come from our marriage and family but that at this point in our life we can have a little of our own space back. This is one reason why classic cars from the sixties and seventies are so popular today. It is guys like you and me, in mid life, who are trying to get back a piece of our youth that we cherished so much. It reminds us of how simple things were then. When we didn’t have so much responsibility and everything was about what made US happy.

Hooking up with that younger woman isn’t really so much about her age as it is about her attitude. Go back to the story about the “convertible wife” That same woman was probably  that young girl at one time in her life, carefree then, but since changed. Women will argue with me about this all the time. They try to use the excuse that they “grew up” and so should we.

I say is that  “grow up” or “grow old”? There is an old saying that I once heard that makes me understand more and more why relationships sometimes don’t work out. It goes like this. “Men marry women hoping they won’t change, and women marry men hoping they will”. This is probably truer than any other single thing in a marriage between a man and a woman. This is especially true when a child is brought into the fold. Something about a woman changes almost overnight when she gives birth and becomes a mom. It is almost like a woman has two different personalities during her life. Somehow motherhood robs them of the carefree approach to life that they had before giving birth.

I ride a motorcycle with a great group of guys I call my friends. There are five of us that ride once a week, every week.  We spend one night a week together and sometimes the subject of  relationships come up.  The one thing that remains constant through all the talk, jokes and sarcasm, is that we love our wives. The other common thread we share is that our wives don’t understand or appreciate who we are. Especially when it pertains to sex but mostly when it comes to just listening to what we want from our relationships and our life. The story of the “convertible wife” always rings true to the group of men I am part of. They all agree that women change more than men do. They all feel that one of the main reasons a man would cheat is because his wife stopped being who she was when they met. That “younger girl” who they are looking for, should really be their wife. They still want to experience that carefree attitude they shared when they first met and they want to share it with the person they love. Married life has become too complicated and we all just want to make it simple again. You know,  just get up and go!

To say that men are experience a “mid life crisis” is totally absurd. We are just looking to get back a part of our life that we gave up to be the responsible husbands and /or fathers that we are today. It’s just men trying to be who we really are. Trying to express ourselves in a way that seems stupid or irresponsible to women but just ordinary to us. This isn’t a “crisis” that we are experiencing just a rebirth of a part of the person we used to be. There isn’t anything wrong with this other than some women not accepting that we are who we are and we will never change. This should be embraced by women because those of you who married us, fell in love with us back when we were who we were. Maybe it’s time to try to understand why we are this way, rather than try to change us into something that we don’t want to be. We are different and there is nothing wrong with that. We can not be like women and it’s really not a bad thing. After all, you have enough girlfriends already…..

Just one mans opinion..

The Regular Guy

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