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Midlife Crisis?????
Old 03-16-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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Midlife Crisis?????

Do any of you feel you went thru a midlife crisis where you didn’t know what you wanted to do, but you just wanted to do something different?

My work life has been slow which has given me some time to think about life. Unfortunately that thinking time has led me to the conclusion that I’m unhappy with my life, work and marriage.

I’ve already made one big change in my life in that I had weight loss surgery last fall. In the last 8 months, I’ve lost about 150 lbs. Seems like I should be happier, but I’m not sure that I really feel any different or that my life has become any better. The reduced calorie intake has probably added to my crankiness. I’m having some blood work done later this week to make sure there isn’t some kind of chemical/vitamin imbalance.

As for work, I went from loving my work and seeing all sorts of opportunities to feeling my current project’s poor financial performance has essentially plateaued my 25 year career with my current employer. I’m not worried about being fired, but I’m not getting the types of assignments I was previously getting. I’m reasonable confident that we have reached financial independence and therefore working is not a “requirement”. But I am a little concern that my judgment is suspect, so I’m not ready to pull the plug just yet at 49. I did include retirement in my 5 year plan with my short term plan going to telecommuting or reduced time. I just sent out a resume last week for an expat type contract position in Iraq. I’ve done this type of work before and it’s was extremely financially lucrative (3 to 4 times current pay). But if I’m FI, I’m not sure if I’ll be properly motivated to stick this type of assignment out for more than 1 year. I do feel better just taking action to provide work options. My thought is I can always turn down a job offer because I “chose” to keep the job I have.

I have talked to my wife being unhappy with work and our marriage/sex life. Our marriage/sex life gets better for a while, but tends to go back to the way they were after a couple of weeks until I bring it up again. My wife just doesn’t seem to have any interest in intimacy/sex life. I use to blame it on my weight which is not an excuse any more with my weight loss success.

I’m just trying to make sure I’m moving toward what I want to do vs. moving away from what I’m doing just to be doing something different. At this point, I just don’t trust myself to make any major life changing decisions.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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Brian,

First of all, congratulations on the serious weight loss - that is fantastic!

I think a mid life crisis is somewhat of a rite of passage for all of us as we get a bit restless and wonder what's next. You may have had a goal during your career of reaching FI, and now that you're there, you're wondering what the next goal is. We tend to be goal oriented in our younger years, and then at some point in our lives, we achieve all of our goals and lose a sense of purpose. Part of the challenge of an early retirement is to repurpose ourselves and come up with new things to do that we enjoy.

I'll leave the area of your marriage to others who are more qualified than me to comment. But sometimes I think the best thing to do with a midlife crisis is nothing at all. It seems like they pass at some point without much need for intervention, and taking drastic steps during a crisis is never a good idea, as you mentioned.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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YOu do need to see a doc about possible mood changes as a result of your weight surgery. We know an individual that had chemical imbalances as a result of surgery and has been in and out of mental theraphy, taking vitamins and many other drugs as a result.

I'd be careful on advising anything on your marriage. ...my suggestion is to work to make your wife your best friend and ask her to help you through your mental issues which may be the result of your surgery. I don't know if I would call this a mid life crisis, this friend issue was the result of chemical imbalance as a result of weight surgery.

Let me add that I'm not a Doctor and this is not medical advise I'm giving you. It is just the story of another individual that had weight loss surgery. The probabilities are that you have had a successful career and successful marriage the majority of the past 10 to 20 years. And, the overwhelming probabilities are that you'll return to a comfortable good life as you get through the next couple of years. Compared to so many lacking health, financial security you are very lucky........remember that each day when you feel depressed........the very best to you.....your life will be as good as you make it.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:33 PM   #4
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YOu do need to see a doc about possible mood changes as a result of your weight surgery. We know an individual that had chemical imbalances as a result of surgery and has been in and out of mental theraphy, taking vitamins and many other drugs as a result.
+1
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:47 PM   #5
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I recently read a medical journal abstract that said many couples break up after one loses a life changing amount of weight. I believe it is more often when a woman loses weight that this happens, but not sure.

Clearly it would be destabilizing. In our culture fat people are not usually thought to be sexually attractive, and this affects the partner and the whole structure of the relationship. So when that abruptly changes, the relationship also changes, sometimes in directions that is not welcome to one of the partners.

If you have enough money to get out of the marriage and still be OK, don't write that off. Other things may be better, and short term certainly easier, but not the only possibilities.

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Old 03-16-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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You might find the following book useful - good insights about the midlife crises as a normal time of re-ordering priorities most of us go through.

Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes
by William Bridges

Spoiler Alert: What you are feeling isn't uncommon, and it probably isn't about your job or spouse.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feed back.

I assume I'll know if it's medical related by the end of the week. I do know I need to take a more diligent approach to taking vitamins due to weight loss surgery aspects.

Based on weight loss forums and support groups, it seems like there are significantly more women than men who have weight loss surgery. The aspects of divorce (and alcoholism) are discussed. Seems like there is a connection with being overweight and addictions. When you give up eating addiction, you have a good chance of picking up another addiction.

Most likely I'll just keep floating along without any major changes until I trust my judgment. Unfortunately that also means not retiring to see what my phase of life will be. I always assumed I'd just retire and see what interested me while trying several new things.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:03 AM   #8
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I feel bad for you and hope things brighten up for you. I notice your post discusses the things that make you unhappy. Can you identify what makes you happy (whether or not you actually have those things/experiences/feelings in your life right now) or has made you happy in the past and work toward those? Sometimes we don't even know what would make us happy--sometimes we think that if only "a" (here, maybe your weight loss) would happen, happiness would ensue, and it is very disappointing when it does not or when it is shortlived.

One of our politicians now in jail claimed weight loss surgery contributed to his becoming bipolar and exercising poor judgment as a result. I had not heard that type of surgery could affect one's chemical balances but his claim was taken seriously, so I agree with others re getting checked out in that regard.

Thanks for sharing this--threads like this and the responses are often more helpful to others than the OP realizes.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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Weight loss surgery is good for losing weight but that is only a part of being fit and healthy. A fairly large percentage of people who have weight reduction surgery eventually regain the weight. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856611/ I had quite a few patients who had had the surgery and initially lost a lot of weight but eventually gained much of it back. To achieve good longterm results you must continue to watch your diet and also include regular exercise in your life. When you were heavy it may have been impossible to do much exercise. Now that you have lost the weight you might try an exercise program to get fitter and stronger. Exercise induced endorphins might even make you feel better.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:37 PM   #10
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Weight loss surgery is good for losing weight but that is only a part of being fit and healthy. A fairly large percentage of people who have weight reduction surgery eventually regain the weight. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856611/ I had quite a few patients who had had the surgery and initially lost a lot of weight but eventually gained much of it back. To achieve good longterm results you must continue to watch your diet and also include regular exercise in your life. When you were heavy it may have been impossible to do much exercise. Now that you have lost the weight you might try an exercise program to get fitter and stronger. Exercise induced endorphins might even make you feel better.

+2
I agree. Mild to moderate consistent exercise can help great deal emotionally as well as physically. Will your wife take walks or bike rides with you? You need your individual workouts but some couple time like this could really be helpful.
Good luck to you.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:28 AM   #11
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Get a Corvette. Worked for me.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #12
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Get a Corvette. Worked for me.

:-)

That's pretty much what I did. I bought a small convertible some 14 years ago as the "midlife crisis mobile". That it turned out to be both fun, and one of the most reliable little cars I've ever owned is just gravy...

Yes, I still have it and drive it. So it is also one of the cheapest cars in annualized costs of any car I've had the past few decades, too.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:48 PM   #13
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:-)

That's pretty much what I did. I bought a small convertible some 14 years ago as the "midlife crisis mobile". That it turned out to be both fun, and one of the most reliable little cars I've ever owned is just gravy...

Yes, I still have it and drive it. So it is also one of the cheapest cars in annualized costs of any car I've had the past few decades, too.
Hey! I did that too. Bought a low mileage Audi TT a few months after LW died. It was the first thing that cheered me up after her death. I literally tore up a set of Goodyear F1 Eagles. Still have it and still enjoy it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:06 PM   #14
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Do any of you feel you went thru a midlife crisis where you didn’t know what you wanted to do, but you just wanted to do something different?
Every day or so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboslacker View Post
Get a Corvette. Worked for me.
And cheaper than a trophy wife!

On a serious note, I'm no physician, but in our zeal to lose weight and avoid dietary fat, it's worth noting that fat is a needed component in many hormonal processes, so stick to a balanced diet of all macros.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:08 PM   #15
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Get a Corvette. Worked for me.
Yeah, I have done that in the last two midlife crisis's (@40 and 50 years old) and maybe doing it again in this third one at 70 years old. They sure can be a lot of fun! (but what to buy? had a Corvette and Mustang Shelby GT covert's, maybe a Porsche?) (suggestions welcomed)
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:09 PM   #16
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I didn't have a midlife crisis - it wasn't in the budget.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #17
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Yeah, I have done that in the last two midlife crisis's (@40 and 50 years old) and maybe doing it again in this third one at 70 years old. They sure can be a lot of fun! (but what to buy? had a Corvette and Mustang Shelby GT covert's, maybe a Porsche?) (suggestions welcomed)
I've got a little rag-top Beemer. It is a little long in tooth, but fun to drive. There is a lot to be said for putting the top down and chugging up the Pacific Coast Highway. It must be the vitamin D from the sun exposure.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:46 PM   #18
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I've got a little rag-top Beemer. It is a little long in tooth, but fun to drive. There is a lot to be said for putting the top down and chugging up the Pacific Coast Highway. It must be the vitamin D from the sun exposure.
Ahhh, PCH....I have fond memories of the Mustang and ex-DW#2 and I riding up the coast.....Now BMW convert is sounding like a candidate.

(The OP needs to get his arms around this crisis issue and think outside the box, so to say.)
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:48 PM   #19
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Yeah, I have done that in the last two midlife crisis's (@40 and 50 years old) and maybe doing it again in this third one at 70 years old. They sure can be a lot of fun! (but what to buy? had a Corvette and Mustang Shelby GT covert's, maybe a Porsche?) (suggestions welcomed)
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:05 PM   #20
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Saw this on NPR today, the second two are on my reading list, the first, meh.

Three Books To Help You Through A Midlife Crisis

3 Books: 'The Middle Passage,' 'My Life In The Middle Ages,' 'The Baby Boom' : NPR
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