DEAR DEIDRE: THE lovely man I married is now preoccupied with his looks and desperately trying to hang out with a younger crowd from work.
This horrific midlife crisis has me convinced he’s got a new woman — and most likely much younger.
I don’t have any concrete evidence but I’m not stupid.
He’s 54, I’m 55 and we’ve been together for 20 years.
Recently our relationship has become stagnant.
We used to have such a great time together but it’s been months since we’ve had sex and I can’t remember the last time he even tried to kiss me.
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When he is at home, he’s too busy dyeing his hair or ordering new clothes from AllSaints or Urban Outfitters — shops he had never even heard of before.
He was never very vain before, but now he’s obsessed with working out.
He is in the gym morning and night, and sometimes he doesn’t even come home until after I’ve gone to bed.
His drinking is out of control and he spends most of his weekends in the pub with his younger mates.
Often I don’t even know where he’s gone until he falls through the door in the early hours of the morning.
I’ve tried my best to get through to him but he never wants to listen. He constantly shrugs me off and tells me that I’m overreacting. Last week I smelt a woman’s perfume on him.
Please help. I’m at a loss and I don’t know what to do.
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DEIDRE SAYS: It does sound like your husband could be going through a midlife crisis.
This can be an emotionally uncomfortable period. It is often characterised by a strong desire for change, which would explain his new obsessions and behaviours.
It’s understandable that you are worried, but please be assured many people in their 40s and 50s go through this stage.
Perhaps you should try to take a different approach and ask him how he’s feeling. It could be that he’s struggling and doesn’t know how to open up.
You need to be honest about how you’re feeling and tell him the impact his behaviour is having on you.
You would benefit from couples counselling, via Tavistock Relationships (tavistockrelationships.org, 020 7380 1960).
My support packs Male Midlife Crisis and Looking After Your Relationship may help too.
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