You have been married for 15 or 20 years, you have several children, you are successful, and conflict gradually insinuates itself into your relationship with your spouse. The power of attraction is waning and the defects (in your eyes) are becoming more apparent. All animals are biologically and hormonally driven to procreate in order to continue the species. When we hit our mid-forties those hormones start to diminish, and the differences between married couples loom ever larger. Those character and personality traits that you were able to overlook in the early years, become more and more dislikable. The sense of togetherness is replaced by alienation and miscommunication. You do not know how to talk to each other anymore. Knowing what you want and need, asking for what you want and need, communicating effectively what you want and need becomes difficult if not impossible. Conflict ensues, and maybe separation and divorce.
I have observed this scenario more and more over the last decade. What do you do about it? The problems that have been lurking below the surface but are now unavoidable must be carefully worked through and resolved. Conflict resolution skills must be developed. Communication techniques must be improved. The reasons why you liked your spouse, loved your spouse, and the intimacies that you shared, must be rediscovered and renewed. Options must be restored: do I freely and consciously chose to make love and not war rather than being driven unawares into more and more conflict. A new value must enter into your life: the value of relationship, particularly with your spouse. You can chose to orient your thoughts, your words and your behaviour so that they are life enhancing. Taking responsibility within yourself to value and improve your relationship can transform the Mid-life Relationship Crisis into a whole new level of self-awareness.