When I say “midlife crisis” who doesn´t think of a red sports car?
I can tell you that a midlife crisis for an expat spouse has nothing to do with any type of car. In fact, if you don´t know what you are looking for, you may miss it.
And believe me, you don´t want to miss this.
Pay attention if this sounds like you.
- You’re between the age of 35 to 45 and have lived abroad for years.
- Up until recently, you’ve been happy with expat life and are proud of the challenges you’ve overcome.
- Your children are getting more independent and you’re discovering that you have more time for yourself.
- You had thought this extra flexibility was going to be great, but as time goes on a voice inside of you is whispering, “Something is missing.” It´s not dramatic, nor even close to a crisis, but it bubbles to the surface of your heart and head in a way that it is getting hard to ignore.
You’ve tried to figure out what´s really going on but you just can´t put your finger on it. What you do know is that you’re feeling a little bored even though you have a full and interesting life.
One of the most disappointing parts for you is that you feel like you are losing a sense of adventure and excitement that first led you to living a life abroad.
As time passes, you feel like you are standing at the sidelines of your life.
You feel some guilt admitting it, but you’re craving something meaningful that goes beyond your adorable family and loving partner. You want something of your own. But you’re not even sure you know exactly what that is, or how in the world you would get it if you did.
If you are reading this and nodding your head, thinking “That is me!” Then, darling, your midlife crisis is wearing camouflage. It is time to get focused before it ambushes you.
The Expat Spouse Midlife Crisis Wears Camouflage
A midlife crisis sounds dramatic and potentially a little bit scary. However, I have some good news for you. When it comes to this kind of midlife dilemma for expat partners, this is simply a sign of the beginning of a very natural change process – a transition. (And accompanying partners are experts at transitions!)
Since there is no telltale sign like a red hot sports car to alert our attention in this case, coupled with the reality of the very transitory nature of a global life, it is especially important to pay attention to it.
If you ignore it for too long, it can create resentment in your relationship, bring an expat assignment to an abrupt halt, or cause you to regret how you spent your time and energy.
Why is this happening?
Women*, specifically, who are aged 35 – 45 may find themselves in a phase where they seek out more meaning in their lives, begin an internal and private quest for a clearer identity, and desire a sense of achievement that is outside of their role as wife or mother.
I have a hunch that you have been so focused on the transitions of your partner or your family, that you have not taken enough time to focus on you.
So, no, nothing is wrong with you. You at the beginning of a natural life transition that is asking you to work with it, not against it.
This crisis or transition – if supported well – can be a time of positive transformation.
It is a chance to reevaluate your priorities, get unstuck, and start a fresh and rewarding phase of your life.
You benefit. Your family benefits. And if your focus is extended to something with a humanitarian touch, everyone benefits.
How can you snap out of it?
You don´t just get over it, you move through it. On the other side of this journey is a woman who is stronger, happier, and living with a sense of purpose. (tweet that!)
I´m sharing with you three questions to help you get unstuck (no red sports car required).
Answer these instinctually, without judgement and uncensored.
Take five minutes for you and answer these questions. If you have to, bookmark this page or put it on your calendar to come back to and really do this.
You are worth the time.
- What do I want to do with the rest of my expat adventure?
- What is yet left undone? (This is about you and your sense of purpose, not about your To Do list!)
- Who do I want to become?
Pick one concrete thing you can do right away to create change. Now is the time to take action. What are you waiting for?
No time to answer these questions, or struggling to really come up with answers?
Allow me to invite you to a free live call for expat spouses to help you move through this midlife transition.
You will discover:
- How this camouflaged “mid-life crisis” will make your life better (not worse)
- What to expect during this life transition so that you don´t get stuck.
- Exactly what to do when you have no clue what is going on.
- Why you’re mad at yourself for not taking action on your goals (and what to do about it!).
- The top 3 mistakes you might be making that stop you from living the life you want.
You will learn this and more in my free live session call. Sign up now!
*FOOTNOTE: An increasing percentage of expat spouses are men. In this article, I focus on the female accompanying partner because this is the struggle many women aged 35-45 come to me with in coaching. (This may very well apply men, or vary for women. For now I am focusing on what I have directly observed.)