It’s a slow day. So, while this has little to do specifically with Arkansas, I’m sure it has thousands of individual applications. The NY Times is showcasing an article by a professor of psychiatry debunking the myth of the midlife crisis. His point: the phrase is just an excuse for bad behavior. And doesn’t it seem like it’s an excuse mostly for men? (This is another occasion that reminds me of the modest proposal to take the vote away from men for a decade or so to see if the country might fare any better. I’m thinking it would.)
I recently heard about a severe case from a patient whose husband of nearly 30 years abruptly told her that he “felt stalled and not self-actualized” and began his search for self-knowledge in the arms of another woman.
It was not that her husband no longer loved her, she said he told her; he just did not find the relationship exciting anymore.
“Maybe it’s a midlife crisis,” she said, then added derisively, “Whatever that is.” …
In fact, the more I learned about her husband [who had taken up with a younger woman], it became clear that he had always been a self-centered guy who fretted about his lost vigor and was acutely sensitive to disappointment. This was a garden-variety case of a middle-aged narcissist grappling with the biggest insult he had ever faced: getting older.
But you have to admit that “I’m having a midlife crisis” sounds a lot better than “I’m a narcissistic jerk having a meltdown.”
Sound like anybody you know? There are a million stories in the Naked City.