I was corresponding with Debi Pryde (some of you know her as Michelle Brock’s mom) regarding this idea of mid-life crisis. As a seasoned and trusted biblical counselor (she does women’s counseling seminars at Camp Ironwood and Camp Co-Be-Ac, among other places), she allowed me to share her take:
“Mid life crisis” is a generic label for many underlying problems common to men (and women) who have come through their youthful years and are now approaching “middle age.” “Mid life crisis” is most often used to explain a sudden desire for new relationships (usually adulterous). Obviously, this behavior would have some serious sins underlying it.
On the other hand, “mid life crisis” may have no underlying sins motivating the desire for change at all. The term can be used to describe a desire for a change in careers or other major changes which may simply reflect boredom and a need for more challenging work, Furthermore, one thing is fairly certain–we all usually come to a place in our adult life where we recognize how fast time has flown and we sense our mortality in many new ways. This realization can motivate some very good thoughts and desires and lead to changes that have more eternal value.
If, however, a person is prone to self-pity, morbid introspection, anger, or depression, he or she may respond to the growing awareness of mortality with changes that are destructive or irresponsible. Underlying this kind of behavior is a host of problems that may or may not have surfaced outwardly in one’s younger years. In many ways, we become what we are at a heart level as we mature or grow older.
As a counselor, I would want to investigate what a person means when he or she says she is experiencing a “mid-life crisis.” I would want to know what specific behavior leads her to believe she or her husband is “in crisis.” Then I would want to connect the obvious outward behavior with its inward heart problems which would form the agenda for counseling.
Debi’s books on anger and depression can be purchased by clicking here. She also provides many free online resources for women, including a handout on adultery here. And for another post entitled “Responding Correctly to Your Husband’s Sexual Temptations” click here.