Female Mid-Life Crisis Is A Myth

I talked yesterday about the male version “mid-life crisis” actually being a “partner not so fertile crisis”, today we’ll hit on the female version. Naturally because men can continue to impregnate a woman for their entire lifespan barring medical difficulties, the female “mid-life crisis” is actually a crisis related to theĀ end of her own fertility, but his age does play a role.
Both the husband and the wife can have these events happen in a perfect storm of both happening together, but I think for the most part one side of the relationship happens stronger than the other. I suspect it’s usually the partner with the higher Sex Rank that gets the pleasure of struggling through this and inflicting it on the other partner. Once the partner with the higher Sex Rank starts having their little psychodrama the lower ranked partner usually focuses on maintaining themselves in the relationship.
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  1. bigskymind says:

    Interesting post – this perfectly describes to the situation I faced about 10 months ago with my 41 year old wife.

    It was a shitstorm of epic proportions that basically got me thinking about male-female dynamics and LTR's and how as a betafied male I need to literally lift my game.

    I couldn't quite believe what was happening – the hostility from my wife was, at the time, bewildering to me.

    She detested everything about me it seemed – we slept in separate rooms for a couple of months. She exercised compulsively, virtually stopped eating, hardly slept. No, she wasn't having an affair although I suspect if the opportunity presented, she would have.

    At the time I thought this was pre-menopausal hormonal swings. But I think your explanation makes a lot more sense, given her age.

    Things eventually settled down somewhat, although residual tensions remain, and our sex life is unsatisfactory and I'm avidly reading your blog and other online resources in this regard.

    I've certainly taken steps to lift my sex rank and have considered what it would mean for me for the relationship to end. I'm at a stage where I am deeply questioning the relationship and whether this is really how I want to live whilst at the same time, endeavouring to live an integrated masculine life.

    At this stage, her lack of sexual interest in me continues to a large degree. Things have improved on this front and I'll continue to do what I can to rekindle and inprove the sexual aspect.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    " I'm at a stage where I am deeply questioning the relationship and whether this is really how I want to live whilst at the same time, endeavouring to live an integrated masculine life."

    I think you will find if you manage to get hold of some more alpha traits that a lot of this will resolve happily in your favor. Also this is a phase she is going through to a degree as well.

    What else do you have to lose anyway?

  3. I think many men tend to peak in attractiveness to women at around 35 if they stay in shape, and have a gentle down slope from there there if they remain in shape and are successful. Gentle at least until about 50. After that it really depends on the guy.

    Girls I think peak in attractivness no later than 25 and often earlier, depending on the girl.

    This and many other things would suggest that about a 10 year age gape in an LTR/marriage makes sense, it seems to me.

    I wonder what your views on this are? I suppose being married and given that your wife reads this blog, that will rather color your answer though.

  4. Also this is somewhat off topic, but I wonder what your reaction is to the view of some in evo psych that the natural span of a human pair bonded relationship is only about 4 years, the time it took for children in paleolithic hunger gather societies to grow out of infancy and breast feeding and to be reasonably able get about independently, with the care and help of the rest of the small bands HG peoples typically lived amongst.

    While these evo psych types have this as a possible explanation their evidence is more how long feelings of strong sexual bondedness typically last, except in a minority of unions. After that it's momentum and social expectation and also a sense of still being close, close friends and partners, close emotional intimates.

    Other research has shown that only about 10% of people who remain for a very long time in a marriage, like 25 or 30 years iirc, continue to feel truly "in love" with their marital partner and continue to have active and good sex lives together. Instead of just "loving him, I guess, on balance" or worse "stayed together for the kids and then we just both felt too tired to start all over again".

    I realize your blog has as it's mission teaching men mostly how to be more alpha (but not too much, retaining good husband qualities) to their wives so that their wive's sexual attraction will remain high. And I realize some guys can below it by the second year of marriage or even earlier. But I wonder if there isn't a natural 4 or at most 6 year cycle to relationships even when they're real good, that's hard to fight against. Or anyway that that way isn't the way of the hottest sex life.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a good and insightful post, but I do think you've overstated your case about life expectancy. I suspect you've read or heard that the average life expectancy for most civilizations throughout human history was 35 to 40 but you haven't heard the caveat: the average age was so low because because of maternal mortality and deaths during childhood. Basically, in most societies of the past if you could get to 20 you'd have a good chance of making it to 60 if you were a man provided you didn't get killed in a war. For a woman, it depended on how many children. If you could pop out 1 to 5 children without dying of complications you were probably good.


  6. After it was obvious that my marriage had switched tracks and was getting worse, I stepped back and sought the source of the change. I looked very hard and strove to be as honest with myself as possible, and I believe the fulcrum to be the moment when, in our late 30s, she introduced the idea of having another child. Having two beautiful children already, I said no, I was adamant and I said there was nothing to discuss.

    Like you said in this post, her backlash wasn't immediate and it was probably unconscious, but it came and things haven't been the same since. When a princess is used to getting her way and someone tells her no, princess gets her revenge.

  7. Athol Kay says:

    Doug1 – I think the length of time to raise children is much greater than four years, so I'm not sure why evo psych folks would think the men that don't abandon their young at birth would do it at age 4.

    I think that a ten year age gap is a little long. The average age difference of about 3-4 years must be somehow ideal to everyones Body Agenda.

    I don't really see anything that indicates that a relationship cycle is going to be 4 or 6 or 7 years long. There should be some sort of hormonal markers that would create that effect. I think some people get into a cycle of short term relationships because they want to constantly experience "having a crush" with their partner and quit after the crush is done. There's plenty of evidence that pair bonding hormones is meant to last for a very long time.

  8. Athol Kay says:

    Flahute – I don't think that her mood was done out of spite or revenge. Biology is a huge influence on how we feel and react to things.

  9. Gorbachev says:

    @Athol Kay,

    Remember – in the past, parasites, disease, weather, accidents, predators and violence would end most males' lives; childbirth would eventually kill most females (one of the many kids she has to birth will likely kill her). Don't discount parasites and disease. Disease has been a major force in history; in pre-history, it would have ruled. Parasites drag down and destroy biological systems, too.

    Assuming there's a larger group, a proto-human or hominid would have to get these infants up and walking ASAP. Once this is done, … really, the peers raise the child. The parents just keep it alive and warm long enough to breed.

    The only really important decision a parent makes beyond feeding/clothing/supporting the child is what peers the child will have. So real-estate becomes crucial.

    Anyway, back to the point: the classic 7-year-itch is no illusion. The whole infatuation-lust-love-respect-drift away cycle isn't an illusion, either.

    And think – we're not designed to live much more than 35 years, anyway. As soon as menopause hits, biologically, women are negatives (unless you count their rank and experience – they can protect their offspring and provide them with social proof and support). And men – well, they're disposable.

    You'd have to guess that our mating cycle would have to be highly adaptable. So a shorter cycle might be part of out evolutionary history. A longer cycle might also be there, too; in larger groups, this would be useful.

    So likely, both strategies exist.

  10. Athol Kay says:

    Gorbachev you're making the case that mates could easily die in the Time Before Writing and claiming that the 7 year itch is real as well. Why have a 7 year itch if there's a good chance that one or the other partner would be dead within 7 years anyway?

    I think we're designed to bond to replacement partners, though the purpose is to bond after the loss of the current partner rather than simple boredom. The Time Before Writing being dangerous rather than boring. The boring thing being a modern problem.

  11. I think 10 years is too much of a difference in a marriage, having been in one myself. Same age is good but up to 4 is not much difference. Maybe 7 is where the cut off starts on generation.

    The same age is so great, it's not just having more stuff in common (and I don't just mean being able to put conversations into star wars terms..although that helps :-)) but the dynamic is different, you feel and act like a team.

    With older men, there is always the tendency for the woman to slip into girl mode. You feel you can get away with more, whilst in a same age relationship if anything you're probably the more mature one.

    And from a practical perspective, 10 years is not a very good for a move for a woman, long widowhood.

    But the difficulty of course is that not many 25 year old guys are ready to get married. Though I'm not sure on 35 year as a peak, I think closer to 30, so maybe guy 29/30 woman 24/25 would not be a bad mix.

  12. This phenomenon is growing as women's financial independence continues to grow. Once you swallow the red pill you see it everywhere with comments like: "whatever you want dear", "I only have eyes for you dear", "I'll try to drink my coffee more quietly dear", "Where do you want to eat tonight dear", "I'll try not to breath anymore dear".
    You've outline the solution here, but most guys are clueless about what's going on – until it all blows up.
    BTW, Woe to the man who acts like the guys in the eharmony.com adds

  13. Valuable insight: much obnoxious and seemingly-irrational behavior is driven by subconscious factors rather than whatever she or he says is the problem. Men do this too to some extent: I observed a mild-mannered co-worker, who I knew was powerfully attracted to a woman at work, snapping and snarling at his wife for no apparent reason.

    Women do it more, though, since a man is usually more likely to be able to admit his attraction to another woman without feeling the need to demonize his wife first, whereas a woman is more likely to have to cast her husband in a very negative light before giving herself permission to be consciously seriously interested in somebody else.

  14. Lily–

    Though I'm not sure on 35 year as a peak

    Male Hollywood, or for that matter Pinehurst, actors are rarely seen as at their peak of attractiveness. More like from 35 to 45. Your taste seems to run rather more to pretty boys than more girls esp. those your age.

    I consider five years age gap the absolute minimum. But 35 is better. Thinking about widowhood when you're in your early thirties is also plain weird.

    You're far more liable to attract and attractive (divorced) man in his early forties to be committed to you at your age than one close to your age. Despite the ever present feminist propaganda in the Anglosphere mass media which does work in your favor, trying to convince / shame men to go for girls at least very close to their own age. Unnaturally I'll add. That's not how it was done in the vast majority of human society in history or prehistory.

  15. Athol Kay says:

    Nah thinking about widowhood early is a great sign of wife potential. Look how long her viewpoint is on the relationship. It's also pretty clear that it's an issue to thnk about when you see your nana alone for the last 13 years of her life.

    I think the ~3-4 year average difference is here to stay.

    As an aside, I was 24 and Jennifer 22. Met when we were 21 and 18.

  16. I don't think it's weird to think about widowhood when you're in your 30s. Some of the guys on Roissysphere criticise women for being short term in their thinking and now I'm being criticised for thinking long term?! And yes my grandmother did indeed have a long widowhood as Athol thought (in fact she just died today) but in her case it was more like 35 years. As you know, I'm not in a hurry to get married again but if I do, I want it to last.

    You're probably right that my best bet is a divorced man in his 40s. Only because they are more mature in that a lot of guys my age who haven't been married (who really do act like boys, a lot of them there isn't much difference between my teenage nephews, they just have more money and more computer games) and the other guys have just got married in the last few years. So in terms of dating market pool, 40 something divorced is just simply a lot bigger, especially because they are type to commit in the 1st place. OTOH, there's a fair few of them who don't want to have more children and a lot of twenty and thirty something women do want to have a child. It's simply not that there are all these men who want to have relationships with younger women and the only thing that stops them is the media 'shaming' them. And seriously, if they were, that would not be alpha or beta. Also, I've had plenty of single guys my age who've come out of the woodwork since they found out I was single (I kept it quiet for a year whilst the paperwork was going through). These aren't the sort of guys who live their lives according to what the media says. If they wanted to get together with a young twenty something they wouldn't be stopped by the media.

    In any case, all this is probably all moot from a personal perspective, as the boy and I are thinking of giving things a go.

    By the way I've got nothing against older men/younger women relationships per se and I don't have any friends who do. In fact one of our player friends who is about 38 has just engaged to a young 20 something and not once has anyone mentioned her age.

    I'm interested in examples of male actors who are/were better looking at 35 than 30?

  17. Athol Kay says:

    Lily – sad to hear about your grandmothers passing. 35 years is forever to be without someone, wow.

    Look luck with your current man. I wish you a long and happy relationship.

  18. Thanks, i really appreciate it. She did have a good and long life though. But you're right, 35 years is a long time to be without your 'life partner', longer than I've been alive.

    Thanks I think on the wishes, it's early days at the moment. It feels like he's my twin, but you know how us girls can be a bit hindbrain driven rather than rational.

  19. Quarter-life crisis says:

    Hey, Athol. I think what you've described as "mid-life" crisis can also happen even younger when a husband (like mine) isn't on his best game.

    His sex rank has plummeted the past couple years, and he's the most beta beta guy you ever saw. Neither of us has a problem with fertility–we're both 10+ years from 40 and have kids; expecting another one.

    Still, I am picking on him all the time, like your post mentions. It's the small stuff (including the dishwasher and toilet seat), but what I really want to say is "don't you care to be a good mate for me? I can't believe I'm stuck with this disappointment!" Not thinking about widowhood, but what "life with the next partner" might be like, for sure.

    I'm definitely frustrated with his lack of alpha behavior/fitness, so maybe there's much to be said for the onset of the mid-life crisis earlier in a marriage/life?

  20. Athol Kay says:

    Quarter-Life Crisis – The stuff I've talked about on this post is just all the routine dynamics becoming more intense as fertilty comes towards an end. What you're experiencing is just the routine stuff of a lower Sex Rank husband pissing you off. It's not really a special crisis, just you feeling much sexier than he is.

    Get him reading the blog?

  21. It's Deeper Than That says:

    Mid-life crises is a spiritual crises. I wrote more about this in your blog about male mid-life crises.

    I think it's time we stop being so shallow and look for the real answers – beyond this mortal shell and it's pretty accrouements like cars and women or shoes and men, or even children (and no, I'm not a Christian, and yes, this holds for Atheists as well.)

  22. Deeper:

    THANK YOU! (I'm not a Christian either)

    We need to stop attributing EVERYTHING to our glands and our biology.
    We can be more than meat sacks.

  23. Athol Kay says:

    If you're having a spiritual crisis, it's outside the scope of this blog to solve. I'm pretty much limiting myself to trying to solve the problems that men are having in the sexual relationship with their wives.

    I get many emails and comments that I have been helpful in this regard.

  24. Anonymous says:

    QLC, it seems like the best thing you can do is be as specific as possible with him about what's wrong. Doesn't do any good to show generalized anger about the dishwasher,etc, also doesn't do any good to generically accuse him of not being a good mate. Tell him SPECICALLY what the problems are: has he gotten too overweight? does he tune you out when you're talking with him? does he not screw you often enough or vigorously enough? Generalized unhappiness is hard to address and solve.

  25. Lily–

    I'm interested in examples of male actors who are/were better looking at 35 than 30?

    I didn't say "better looking". I said more attractive. Meaning more sexually attractive at 35 than 30.

    DiCaprio. Johnny Depp. Sean Connery. Mathew McConaughy. Etc., etc.

    I'd turn that around and ask you to name me any substantial number of male screen actors who weren't more attractive to women at 35 than 30. It seems to me my claim is a truism. And obvious one. They're often most attractive at 40 in fact. Or at least that's arguable. Not much fall off.

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