0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter, find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:34 – Speaker 2
Today we’re continuing our mini marriage series about midlife crisis, and this is Mandy. I’m in the studio today with my husband, matt.
0:00:43 – Speaker 3
0:00:44 – Speaker 2
Yes, kim and Charles kicked this off for us last weekend and they’re on vacation this week, so we are kind of hopping in here and giving our take on the midlife crisis. I feel like we can speak into this a little bit.
0:00:54 – Speaker 3
We may have a few things that we could share.
0:00:56 – Speaker 2
You know, I feel like I hit 40 and I feel like I need a two year nap. Like seriously I’m so exhausted. There’s so much coming at us that we have to deal with.
0:01:06 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I’ll probably once I pass 30, I’ll probably have some idea what you’re talking about You’re lying.
0:01:13 – Speaker 1
You’re lying, maybe a little bit.
0:01:14 – Speaker 3
No, I know what you mean. Yeah, after four there’s something until I hit 40, I didn’t think much about it. And then after 40, it’s everything kind of was weird. Maybe it was psychological, I don’t know.
0:01:26 – Speaker 2
Well, and I think that you start to question like what am I doing? Have I achieved the things I want to achieve in life? I only have this many years left. I mean you really do start thinking about that kind of stuff. And then you add on top of that, you know, the demands of your career and parenting and money and financial stuff. I mean it’s a lot.
0:01:47 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it is, even though God makes it clear in his word that we’re not supposed to worry, don’t worry, makes it very clear we take those worries away from him. He’s. He wants us to give him all of those worries. For some reason, we just want to take him back constantly.
0:02:03 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, and I think too, you know we always talked about the shift in parenting at nextTalk but there’s a shift too in getting away from all that it’s harder to get away from all the stresses of normal life today because of technology. I mean, there’s no way to deny it and I’ve seen it with you and your job. You know it is. You are constantly on call, basically, and you don’t really have a job where you’re on call, but you are now because of technology.
0:02:30 – Speaker 3
Yeah, always on, always on.
0:02:32 – Speaker 2
You can be reached at any time with demands and that sort of thing, so we always have to take that into account. It’s really hard to escape.
0:02:40 – Speaker 3
Right, yep, and it’s. You know, we’re, we’re used to, we live in. Obviously the United States, but also many developed countries, are like this. But even the underdeveloped countries that are quickly getting access to internet and there’s new forms of communication that they’re not used to, they’ll be accelerated into this, always on type of life as well.
0:03:04 – Speaker 2
Well, I know we joke sometimes and say we just want to go to an island where there’s no Wi-Fi and where nobody can contact us. I mean, when you know, when you’re, when it’s all spiraling and you’re feeling so out of control, like you don’t have control of anything, you kind of just want to turn it all off. And I think sometimes that’s what happens with midlife crisis. And you know, when I think of midlife crisis, I think of somebody doing something crazy, you know, like leaving their family and you know having affairs, and everything’s changed Right.
0:03:38 – Speaker 3
I think of midlife crisis a little different.
0:03:40 – Speaker 2
Okay, what do you think of it?
0:03:42 – Speaker 3
I think of midlife crisis as really the second mortgage on the house to buy that Ferrari. You know the Ferrari I’m talking about.
0:03:54 – Speaker 2
I thought that was a dream. That’s a midlife crisis.
0:03:55 – Speaker 3
Well, I mean, that’s how I view it. I mean it’s yeah.
0:03:59 – Speaker 2
I think, though, you know, we really need to be thinking about midlife crisis in a lot of different ways, because I feel like there are things and signs leading up to that midlife crisis, where everything is really out of control and you have made some really bad decisions that we can identify that to help us before we get to the breaking point.
You know and I mean I’m thinking like things like I know you’ve said to me before like I feel numb to life right now, like I’m just numb Right. Or, you know, I have said to you many times I am in a funk, like I’m trying to figure out who I am, and lots of things have changed, and you know, it’s just that whole identity thing. So I think I want to be clear. You know, midlife crisis has different degrees for everyone, and it doesn’t mean that you’re just being irrational and doing all these crazy things. It could mean you’re. You’re just struggling and you’re trying to figure this out, and you want to get a hold of it before it turns into something that is irreversible where you’ve damaged the people around you.
0:04:59 – Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah, I think. I think this midlife crisis what we’ve coined as midlife crisis really starts in the mind and it starts with ideas and thoughts and then it really it can get very dangerous there, because it’s just a very fine line between the thoughts and then the actions you take.
0:05:20 – Speaker 2
So I think that you know, just like and just like addiction, you know there can be, you can have a stronghold, but not a full-fledged addiction. You know where you need to have your guard up and watch. And I think this is kind of what I think about men life crisis. You know you may not be in a complete men life crisis, but you may be moving towards one and you need to recognize kind of the signs and be like, okay, something’s not right here. I’m feeling not like myself and I need to figure out how to communicate with my spouse to work through this kind of thing.
And so that’s kind of what we want to talk about today. You know, I we say this verse a lot, but it applies here. You know, john 10, 10,. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, and so many times he uses things coming at us to get us going into a tailspin, and then we cannot really figure out what’s going on. And then we’re in this situation where some coin of midlife crisis, where we’re making really bad decisions.
0:06:16 – Speaker 3
0:06:17 – Speaker 2
We need to have our guard up.
You know, I talked to a doctor one time and he was a local doctor here in San Antonio and he presented at one of our events and he said something that has stuck with me and, as we have been in the forties, I have seen this play out in our own marriage.
And he said I see a lot of divorces in with people in their forties. And I was like well, tell me, tell me why you’re seeing that, tell me why you’re thinking you’re seeing that. And he said to me you’ve got women who are going through pre menopausal hormonal changes in their body, right, and at the same time, typically you have teenagers going through menstrual cycles and hormonal changes as well. And at the same time, you’ve got dad over here and husband normally at one of the highest stress times of his career, right, he’s. He’s moved up the ladder a little bit, he’s got more responsibility, but there’s still. He still has aspirations to go farther, kind of thing. And you have all this perfect storm brewing and if you don’t have your guard up, it can mean a lot of different things for your family and I think this can help start some of this midlife crisis stuff.
0:07:34 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so that that that was really well put and professional. I’ll just dumb it down a little bit, Okay. Tell me what you’re gonna say. So I one of my favorite movies, although I’m not endorsing it. Here is the national lampoon’s vacation with Chevy Chase for 1983.
0:07:50 – Speaker 2
Here we go Because listen, let me just put a disclaimer on here If don’t watch this with your kids because there are some inappropriate things in there that we didn’t realize.
0:07:59 – Speaker 3
Release date 1983, national lampoon’s vacation with Chevy Chase really a classic. But that to me is midlife crisis, unfolding in an hour and a half in front of you on TV. So obviously the middle middle-aged man and wife take their daughter and son across country from Chicago to at least California, to Wally World, so that they could ride them. You know the music park, you gotta go to Wally World and so they.
It’s part of the adventure, the road trip, and throughout the whole, the whole time, you see that this, the entire, the entire family unit, just slowly deteriorating and dissolving. And there’s all these different things that happen that are attacking the family, whether it’s the Christie Brinkley, the hot blonde in the red Ferrari that pull up and Chevy Chase’s flirting with her, you know, while his wife sleeps, or whether it’s Aunt Edna that dies in the backseat with the kids in the middle of the trip, or I mean there’s a variety of it’s. I mean it’s funny but it’s really not far off from real life. It just is more of a condensed version and from a guy’s perspective there are some very relatable points in that movie.
0:09:21 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, maybe that’s why you like it so much, because it could be this is hilarious, but it’s a little bit of truth there. There’s a little bit doesn’t he end up like they finally get there and doesn’t he end up getting a gun and like holding security hostage and making like literally breaking into the place? Yeah and yeah um Wally world was closed because Remodeling when really losing his mind when they got there to Wally world, yeah, yeah, and so then he with a BB gun.
0:09:50 – Speaker 3
He held up security and forced them to go on rides, until the owner, mr Wally, showed up and pardoned them, and then they all enjoyed Wally world together.
0:10:01 – Speaker 2
It wasn’t this there, this moment at the end, if I remember correctly because I haven’t watched this in a little while, but I think I’ve seen bits and pieces because you’ve watched it Didn’t? Wasn’t there a moment where the dad, like, had a talk with mr Wally and he’s?
0:10:16 – Speaker 3
0:10:17 – Speaker 2
It was almost like a dad-to-dad. Like what would you have done it? Was absolutely kind of like that relatable. I know you’ve been here before where you feel like you are losing your mind, but you’re doing this for your family, no matter what the cost.
0:10:27 – Speaker 3
That’s right, it’s. It’s the true heart-to-heart Commitment of life. Yes, which way are you gonna go?
0:10:34 – Speaker 2
Yeah, so that’s a really good analogy actually. I really am glad that you brought that up. I think that paints a good picture.
0:10:42 – Speaker 3
Well, I didn’t.
0:10:42 – Speaker 2
I didn’t want to overshadow your your conversation with your doctor, or whatever, but I think that’s a very relatable story and I feel like it’s spot-on. I mean, I can see where the spiral is happening and he’s he’s having a midlife crisis.
0:10:58 – Speaker 3
You know, most guys can can relate right. They love their wife, they love their kids, they love being on the road trip. The reality is they are in a station wagon and they have minivan.
0:11:09 – Speaker 2
Um, you struggled with that when we got our minivan.
0:11:11 – Speaker 3
We got the minivan. Yeah, they’re on the state, they’re in the station wagon. They look to the right and they love their kids, they love their family. It’s, it’s their life. And they look to the left and there’s the hot blonde in the red Ferrari pulling right up next to him, wanting to race, and playful and flirtatious, and there’s that moment of of like excitement and and then it’s the. Look to your left, the hot blonde and the Ferrari. Look to your right, your family. Do you have to make a choice?
0:11:39 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and I think that’s where you know. You said earlier in the show we’re the mind. You have to get the thoughts captive in the mind Because you can think the choice. Like there there is a choice, Everything there’s a choice always and.
But then that’s when you have to take your thoughts captive and really Be centered and know where, who you are as a person and and your faith and what God would want you to do in that moment. Absolutely, um, you know, I, I, I we playfully have kind of set this thing up with the men life crisis thing, but I want to spend the bulk of our time today because Working through this is not going to be. There’s not a simple pill that you can take. I mean, you know, yes, if there’s depression involved with it and sometimes there is Go see a doctor. Medicine can definitely help. But what I mean is there’s no simple fix.
As far as you’re going to take a pill, in the next day, everything’s going to be fine and perfect. I mean, even with depression, you take the medicine and it’s a process to overcome that depression. Um, and you know we’re not experts here, we definitely. Our first disclaimer is see a doctor. If you are struggling, see your, your primary doctor, go see a counselor. Those are all great tools, but I think what we want to do is kind of spend the bulk of the time today talking about, um, how we help each other in our marriage, and so just throw out some ideas like this has worked with us and maybe this will help with you, because we have both. Really, I don’t think we’ve had a full fledged midlife crisis, but we’ve done.
0:13:10 – Speaker 3
I’m shaming the middle of one right now. I feel like we’ve done the Harley that I pulled up in the other day you, which he smiles Um, but we are definitely seeing signs of it.
0:13:25 – Speaker 2
Oh yeah, in our marriage and and in with each other Individually, like feeling the numbness of life. You know what? What is it Like? What are we here for? Like, what are we doing? It is what we’re doing really matters, you know, asking those really profound questions Like I only have a little bit of life left here. We need to get Figure this out, yeah, kind of thing.
0:13:45 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I, I, I love Rick Warren and he talks. Obviously, many of you know Rick Warren and his focus on purpose driven life and you know what is your purpose? Right, and so if your purpose is a work, so for me, uh, I get really pulled into work a lot and, um, but that’s not my purpose. And so I have to remind myself and I think this, this really helps me in our marriage, whenever you help me, like, or when you remind me, without nagging Um that, what my purpose is, because, honestly, I’m very, um, I’m very, very single focused.
Yeah and um I. The first challenge for me is to lose balance. So when you help me um, in a, in a way that I can hear, not, you know, not you know the dripping faucet or the chinese water, torture kind of way, yeah, but the way that I actually hear and you just help me remember, okay, get balanced, get centered, that helps me.
0:14:51 – Speaker 2
Well, to that point too, I feel like when, when there are times when I see you making a big impact on our kids and to you it’s no big deal, like you’ve taken them to dinner or you’ve had a conversation with them you know, a five minute conversation you don’t think it’s a big deal, you think it’s just you being dad. But if I see the impacts of something and sometimes I’ll tell you, man, this conversation that you had with them really sparked amazing thoughts and now we’re talking about it. I think that helps you realize too. Okay, I have a bigger purpose than just you know providing for my family financially and my distress of my job.
0:15:28 – Speaker 3
Yeah, that’s a great example. For example, just being able to to do that consistently is really valuable. You’re closing the loop that for many things I have no idea that you know I have any kind of input or feedback into.
0:15:46 – Speaker 2
If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio at 2 pm on AM 6 30,. The word nextTalk Radio is listener supported. Everything we do at our non-profit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk.org and click on give More. In the studio today I have my husband, matt this is Mandy, kim and Charles are off this week. They did a show last week on Midlife Crisis and we are continuing that. Wanted to kind of talk a little bit more about that and what it looks like in our family. As we talked about, there are varying degrees of Midlife Crisis. You know you may not be in a full-fledged out-of-control spiral.
0:16:28 – Speaker 3
You may not be far from it, though.
0:16:30 – Speaker 2
But you may also. You know I love Ken Freeman. He says you’re always one decision away from ruining your life.
0:16:38 – Speaker 1
That’s a great point.
0:16:39 – Speaker 2
That’s so true, even with the Midlife Crisis thing, because when you’re in a fog, you’re not thinking clearly and so your choices are going to be. You know, you may not be thinking like you normally would, and it may be because of a chemical imbalance and again go see a doctor, but this kind of shows since Matt and I we’re just kind of talking about things that have helped us help each other through this, like what we’ve done and what hasn’t worked- kind of thing I loved what you said about helping you maintain balance.
I see that a lot with you. You really dive into something and you know work normally happens to be it and you just laser-focused and you are committed to it and you are loyal to it. And I do have to remind you that you know you’re home with us a couple hours a day and you’re really pouring into the kids at that time and it’s making a difference, like what you’re doing is making a difference.
0:17:28 – Speaker 3
Yeah, that’s huge for me to know that.
0:17:32 – Speaker 2
Another thing that I wanted to talk about is and this is something that I have learned is be able to create space for your spouse to tell you how they’re really feeling, and this is hard. You’re smiling at me.
0:17:47 – Speaker 3
Why is it hard, mandy?
0:17:48 – Speaker 2
Well, it’s hard because sometimes you’re going to hear things like I hate my life.
0:17:53 – Speaker 3
I did. I said that, You’ve said that.
0:17:56 – Speaker 2
There are going to be times when you say I give and give and give and there’s no time for me. And it’s really hard to not take it personally, like because I’m a fixer. You know that about me. I love to fix things and I have to be really careful with the kids to let them fail, and but I also have to let you have your own journey. I can’t just rush in and fix everything for you. But I would say to the spouse that is saying it, because I’ve heard it a lot. I would say to the spouse saying it be soft in how you say it. I love what you say to me. You’ll say, honey, I love you and I don’t need to do anything differently. But I’m struggling right now, like I hate my life and I hate it because I have a long commute. You know I’m super stressed at work. I never get downtime, you know. But when you preface it like that, I don’t get as defensive. It helps me hear you better.
0:18:51 – Speaker 3
0:18:52 – Speaker 2
If that makes sense.
0:18:53 – Speaker 3
Yeah, well, I mean, yeah, I don’t, maybe I was being a little dramatic about the I hate my life stuff, but you know.
0:19:00 – Speaker 2
That’s been a while since you’ve said it.
0:19:02 – Speaker 3
Yeah, there are moments where um, as a, from a guy’s perspective, I don’t really know that I was made to um, basically be, sit behind a desk and, you know, I look at myself in the mirror and I see me losing hair and gaining weight, and these are not like encouraging things. And so, um and I, I’m really kind of trapped. Yeah, Um, there’s, I mean, I’m cognizant enough to recognize that, um, I’m not going to be a Major League Baseball player, I’m not going to be. Um, you know, I’m not going to be, I’m not going to play basketball. I mean, those things are gone, they’re done. Those.
0:19:46 – Speaker 2
So the dreams that people, that many men, particularly Little boys, have those dreams yeah.
0:19:52 – Speaker 3
They start with those dreams and then, as you get older, you start recognizing even the like, the normal everyday things that you really hoped to, aspire to achieve not necessarily being an NBA pro, but, um, just like the things that are really within reasonable reach Are gone but you’re not going to be able to do them, and so that’s just not real encouraging, it’s not real uplifting, and so there’s a way for me.
0:20:22 – Speaker 2
I just have to process that yeah and ladies, one of the things that I think I’ve learned through this process more than anything Is I’ve always looked at Matt and he’s always been the protector, the knight in shining armor, the rescuer.
0:20:34 – Speaker 3
I can’t fit in that armor anymore, by the way.
0:20:37 – Speaker 2
He’s always been the rock in our family, you know, and I have really had to be careful with my words because sometimes I don’t soften my words with him because I think he can just take it. He’s the strong one, he’s the rock, and I’ve had to really Realize, you know, he has feelings and he has he’s, and there’s layers to him and I have to realize I need to speak to him like I would want to be spoken to well, when you and I talk, I drop all of my defenses.
0:21:05 – Speaker 3
Yeah, all of my walls come down. Whereas with what a marriage should be should be with everyone else employer, who you know, some most friends. You know you, just you that you kind of put up some defense, some you know, some defense mechanisms and some shielding, but with you it’s I drop it all. So I’m extremely vulnerable.
0:21:27 – Speaker 2
Right, and I think women need to take hold of that, because I don’t think I realize that and I don’t think I realize the power my words have on you in that vulnerable space, and I think it’s a very important thing that wives need to know. You know, the other thing that we’ve learned to do is communicate what we need in a nice way. You know, and I have. You want to say something?
No, go ahead, I have been talking to you about this recently. You know it is new to me and maybe I’m just changing as a person. I believe it’s because we’ve been so busy and haven’t spent as much time together lately. You know we’ve both been traveling in different directions and and so I kind of miss you. But my thing is I’m feeling really needy about wanting to date more and flirting more.
0:22:13 – Speaker 3
It was a date me more.
0:22:15 – Speaker 2
And flirting more and just being spontaneous. You know, I’m I’m feeling like I want that in my life and I’m tired.
0:22:24 – Speaker 3
I don’t want to do that, I’m tired.
0:22:25 – Speaker 2
This is a new feeling for me, because normally I’m not like that right. I’m very planned and organized and controlled and let’s plan it out. If we’re gonna have a date night and I’m changing and I have, it’s been weird to communicate that to Matt because he’s like what’s like it’s not my personality.
0:22:41 – Speaker 3
Well, yeah, and I’m tired, so wait, so I’m not used to it. Yes, and, and I’m really tired. So If I really don’t Understand what you’re trying to tell me and if I’m not receptive, and you’ve got some changes going on and I’m kind of being Lazy about listening. Yeah then that’s where we could get in trouble.
0:23:03 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, and I think also the timing is important. I cover that in my marriage chapter in my book. But the timing is important. Like you’ve got to be receptive and be ready to hear what I’m saying and I loved what you said when I was trying to communicate it to you. You said I don’t think you really know and I said no, I’m still figuring it out. All I know is I need you to know I’m changing a little, like these are my needs, like I want this and I never wanted it as much as I want it now and I don’t know where it’s coming from. But just being able to communicate that, so your spouse is aware Like this is gonna help me. She’s changing a little and this is what she wants at our marriage and we need to talk through that Right, or or him as well. You know self-care is so important to Supporting each other. I know you’re kind of like well, we don’t have time for that.
Well, you kind of looked at me like that.
0:23:53 – Speaker 3
You gave me that look well, no, we do it is important. It’s just this I’m really guilty of not yeah taking care of myself.
0:24:00 – Speaker 2
Well, and I would say you know wives, I have told Matt many times hey, if you want to take a hike by yourself and be gone for four days in Colorado, or you want to go fishing for four days, like I, support that, yeah, that’s ideal.
0:24:12 – Speaker 3
Unfortunately, when you say that, I think that’s great, I appreciate that, but it’s gonna cost me $1000 to do that and I have to take time off away from work and by when I come back it’s gonna be twice as bad at work to try to get caught up. I mean, there are other elements to that, so that’s.
0:24:29 – Speaker 2
Once again, it’s got arrows coming from every direction and that’s where you got to figure out the balance. You got to figure out what you need and maybe it’s just a day, you know, maybe the compromises you take this day and you drive somewhere local and you don’t fly out of town, and it’s just, you know, work it out and I might just take the day off and watch National Ampuns vacation like seven or eight.
Times. There have been times where you’re like I just need a minute to set here and you got to give your spouse a minute yeah. The other thing is, you know, try different schedule changes. I think that’s a really important thing, one that has worked well for us. You know, like we try different things, with working out like a different schedule or Diet change is always good, and getting together on that, being a team, trying to figure out like what helps you have more energy Through the day.
0:25:19 – Speaker 3
I think the key to all this in my mind is receptivity. We have to be receptive To what’s going on in each other’s life, not just dull, not not just Really in a fog. We have to fight to be receptive.
0:25:35 – Speaker 2
We can’t be living on autopilot Right. Be receptive to each other, continue to talk and again, these are just a few things that have helped us in our marriage, but we hope it gets you talking in your marriage. You.
Transcribed by https://podium.page