I read an article about men having a mid-life crisis at 40 because society has rendered them useless. They didn’t develop male friends or outside interests because everything centered on their wife. If they got a divorce, they lost everything, their house, their children, their wife, their friends, etc.
Theoretically, it sounds possible. In actuality, it sounds like a lot of rubbish.
There are couples who don’t socialize with anyone but each other and I keep telling my clients to force themselves to socialize with other couples in case anything happens to their spouse. I’m careful to stay away from the subject of divorce because if they are so involved with their partner, they can’t even envision the possibility of a divorce.
But death, illness, dementia, these things are very real and, while they still have moderately good health, there is more of a possibility that I can get them interested in trying to form relationships with other couples. They don’t need to form tight relationships with them, just enough that if something happens to their partner, they have someone to turn to, someone they can call to help them through their crisis.
As for men having this mid-life crisis at 40 because they’ve been rendered useless, women have been going through the same thing for centuries. It’s called the empty nest syndrome. Her childbearing years are over, her children now have left home and have lives of their own, she’s lost her youth and may feel unattractive, and she often feels threatened that her marriage may be falling apart because the focus of their life is no longer there.
To make matters worse, many of these mid-life women never trained for a career and never had time to develop outside interests, so if she gets a divorce or loses her source of companionship and income, she’s rendered just as useless as the 40-year-old man who is experiencing these feelings of uselessness.
Society doesn’t render a person useless after a certain age. More to the point is whether a person has done anything worthwhile with his or her life and has felt a sense of accomplishment. It’s that empty feeling of why am I here? Why am I taking up space on this planet? I have nothing of importance to show for my years on earth.
These are the kinds of things that people of any age might feel and these are the kinds of feelings that have more to do with whether he or she feels useless. And it’s on both sides of the gender line; it’s not restricted to men after they reach 40, and after they get a divorce. It can happen at any age, to either gender, but it usually happens when there is a lull in the person’s life and he has time to reflect on his life.
When you have a very active life, you don’t have the luxury of sitting around and reflecting on your accomplishments or lack of a meaningful life. It’s when everything slows down and you’re left with your own thoughts that you have time to assess your life and what you’ve achieved or what you haven’t achieved. And, it’s in those moments, that you’re more vulnerable to feeling useless.