Most of the time, they give remarks such as, “She’ll get over it eventually” or “It’s just a phase, let her be.”
The second statement, albeit quite accepted because a female midlife crisis can be caused by aging, thus, making it really a phase, is also wrong because of “letting her be.”
It’s good and well if the woman manifests mild evidence of the crisis, but if she suffers from severe depression because of it, “letting her be” can be quite lethal. Not to mention, a midlife crisis can go on for years.
Knowing all this, let’s discuss the signs of a female midlife crisis.
There’s ultimately nothing wrong with this sign, unless she goes for the extreme measures. In fact, this may make her more conscious about her health, and that’s a good thing. Wearing makeup and buying youthful clothes are acceptable, but undergoing surgeries (plural, because she may not be content with just one) is already going to the extreme side.
This sign is perhaps the most difficult to handle because, really, as long she hurts no one, what’s wrong with her relationship? The problem happens when the affair is far from healthy.
She’ll spend time acting like she’s 22 when she’s really 52, and she’ll go bar hopping with younger friends while disregarding work. Handling this is like skating on thin ice—you have to be careful.
Talking per se about regrets in life is a harmless sign, but when her regrets are transposed to her kids, problems will arise. She really wanted to become a doctor, but she could not afford it in her time; the tendency is to force her child to become one.
More than hurting her children, conflict within the family occurs because of trying to soothe the regrets in an unhealthy manner.
Family members will notice a flow of items whenever she gets home, but the real drama starts when they see the price tags and the credit card bills.
Men also suffer with this, but they spend their money mostly on cars. Women, on the other hand, can spend money on a lot of things: jewellery, bags, clothes, makeup, etc. In this light, it is safe to say that a female midlife crisis can also take the family to the cleaners.
When she sees any of her successful friends, believe it or not, she’ll find nothing good about it. In fact, she may dig deep down to discover bad things about her successful friend.
This can be an exaggeration, but a midlife crisis can make them turn to alcohol during the course of their guilt trip about the things she should have done but didn’t. She may not drink openly.
She may opt to do it alone, in her home, in the evening before retiring to bed. The only sign the substance abuse is happening is when she starts to neglect work and you frequently notice her to be hung over.
This is a whole new facet of a female midlife crisis in the sense that severe forms will require medical interventions. When she becomes isolated and unreachable, alarm bells should ring that perhaps she needs help.
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.