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Operation mid-life crisis

Photo by:  Marc_Smith
Photo by: Marc_Smith

It's amusing that anytime someone over the age of 40 does something drastic to change their life, it's regarded as a "mid-life crisis."

It seems that San Francisco Bay Areans work very hard at aging slowly. When one visits the Midwest, for example, extra pounds are more visible and more obvious, and grandmothers may look more like, well, grandmothers! In California, youth is everything and we go kicking and screaming into “mid-life.”

When it comes to relationships, the mid-life crisis has always been a relationship-breaker. So, for those living in the Bay Area, if 55 is the new 40, does that mean that we might expect our mid-life crisis to arrive late on the scene at 55? Not unless you plan to live beyond 110 years can you call 55 “mid-life,” my friend!

Men have traditionally been the ones to dive headlong into the crisis years. When a man starts dressing more spiffy than normal, styling his hair more carefully, trimming down his beer belly or axing the tidy-whitties in favor of bikini underwear, wife beware! Although a new Porsche in the driveway might be a dead giveaway that your man is in crisis, there are more subtle signs, as well.

Whatever we call the crisis years, you might as well join your partner on his journey or be left out of the fun! Some updated apparel is not a bad idea as long as you don’t look like granny in spandex; never attractive.

You might help him out in his wardrobe choices, as well. It’s fine to go cycling, for example; biking is fun and great exercise. When he arrives home with two new, his and her 15-speed bicycles, hop on and go for the ride, but draw the line at his stretchy cycling-shorts. They are so not attractive.

Ballroom dance classes are a great idea. Dancing will kick you straight out of any depression, but go with him to classes. You may not be Cyd Charisse, but ballroom is fun and great for improving balance, coordination, memory and agility; all things that dissipate in later life.

Golf. Golf solves lots of problems. If your partner takes up golf, he’ll be out playing with the guys. Guy bonding is a good thing. Ever notice how men don’t have a close circle of guy friends like women do? Men need buddies too, and golf is a great way for him to meet quality friends.

You can either go along and golf with the ladies, or you can use the golf days, (very long days) to have your “me” time. If your husband is retired and under your feet in a way that is unfamiliar to you, golf will give him some well-needed exercise and fresh air while you get back to your normal routine.

Whatever you choose to call those years when we struggle to hold on to our youth and we reexamine our lives, it can be a good time and not a relationship death sentence. It’s all in the way you handle it with your partner. By the way, if he gives up his day job, opting for a career as a Hollywood extra, there is an extensive list of mental health specialists in your local phone book. Call one.

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  • Richard C. Ryder Columbia True Crime Examiner 5 years ago

    I love this! wow. Reminds me of an old Prince song called "4-ever in my Life" where he sings " I'm at that road,and I'd rather walk it with U than walk it alone". Good job!
    I've started a new topic, Columbia True Crime Examiner. Check it out and subscribe if you like. I'll try to have some interesting articles, past and present events. :)

  • Shay Davidson/SF Womens' Relationships 5 years ago

    Thanks, Richard. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'll check out your new gig! Sounds very interesting.

  • Shay Davidson/SF Womens' Relationships 5 years ago

    Thanks, Richard. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'll check out your new gig! Sounds very interesting.

  • Judith 5 years ago

    Really like this one - good practical way of looking at our ever changing relationship to getting older especially in California. I'm curious how the "study" you did in a former column turned out about the power shifting in a long term relationship?

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