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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years
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I am really feeling I am missing out on life. As I just turned

Customer Question

I am really feeling I am missing out on life. As I just turned 40, nobody seems attracted to me any more. My relationship is strained with no sex drive. My two year old agitates me. I am very nervous and think about and being terrified of dying. Not sure what to do about it and why I cant shake this feeling of getting older and this need to be accepted and liked.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 4 years ago.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Give me a moment to carefully read over your question.

Ask Eleanor :

You are having an existential crisis, midlife crisis. You are at the point in your life when you ask the question, "Is this all there is?" You are depressed and trying to drown your feelings in work and sex.

Customer:

Here is better clarity on the question:

Customer:


I am really feeling I am missing out on life. As I just turned 40, nobody seems attracted to me any more. My marital relationship is strained with no sex drive (maybe once in a year). My two year old agitates me even though I love her dearly and I feel guilty for missing out on these years. I am very nervous and think about and being terrified of dying nearly every day. Not sure what to do about it and why I cant shake this feeling of getting older and this need to be accepted and liked. However, I have no friends. I have a very pretty 22 year old assistant, who even though I have never even considered making moves on (which will never happen), it really bothered me when she told me about a guy she is dating. What's wrong with me and what can I do to make myself feel better about who I am and life in general?

Customer:

Yes..you are correct. I believe this is a midlife crisis.

Customer:

I never felt this way before..I am so unhappy and I think that shows with everyone.

Ask Eleanor :

Are you married?

Customer:

yes

Ask Eleanor :

Are you and your wife close emotionally?

Customer:

No, not at all. Nor physically. However, we kiss each other in the morning and kiss each other at night. She is extremely moody all the time. I never know what I am going to wake up too and I am on pins and needles everytime I am around her.

Customer:

she did get some help recently and the doctor put her on prozac. It seems to calm the intensity of her moods.

Customer:

she only takes it during her mentrual period

Ask Eleanor :

How long have you been married? How old is she?

Customer:

married for 15.5 years, she is turning 39 in a month

Ask Eleanor :

And you have the one child?

Customer:

Yes. a two year old girl.

Ask Eleanor :

And were you and your wife once close?

Customer:

It seems we were always strained. we didnt get along well the first year of marriage, but the second year and the years 8-10 seemed closer. The years in between were more like roommates.

Customer:

Her sex drive has always been abnormal too. perhaps 2-5 times a year.

Ask Eleanor :

Oh my, sorry.

Customer:

mine has been high, therefore it lead me to adultry many times.

Customer:

i rarely felt guilty about it as long as I wasnt emotionally attached to the others.

Customer:

sorry to be so blunt

Ask Eleanor :

No problem.

Ask Eleanor :

And you are the primary bread winner?

Customer:

yes, she does have a job. I married her when I lived in hungary back in 1996. We married with the intent of seeing how and if the relationship would work in the US.

Ask Eleanor :

I see.

Customer:

It never really did, but I felt responsible for bringing her out here. So I helped her get a college education and a good job so she could be independant here in the US without me, if that ever happened.

Customer:

Then two years ago, I was either going to have a child or divorce since I didnt see why were together.

Customer:

I know that sounds really silly, but I always knew, she would be a wonderful mother.

Customer:

and i invested so much time and years in the relationship and felt that even if it ended, being a single parent wouldnt be too bad.

Ask Eleanor :

Well, no wonder you having a mid life crisis. Can you live with this the rest of your life?

Customer:

I can. I won't kill myself. I will be unhappy but I don't understand why I keep thinking that I am so responsible for her.

Ask Eleanor :

Do you think she would go to couples therapy with you?

Customer:

I actually do now...I say that because she is finally starting to realize how her behavior is wearing on me. Her asking her doctor for prozac for example. I would say prior to two years ago..she would not consider it at all, thinks nothing is wrong with her.

Customer:

yet I am not sure, worried that I dont love her anymore.

Ask Eleanor :

Well, this is hopeful. Are you open to therapy with her?

Customer:

maybe that's a strong word, I love her for being the mother of my child.

Customer:

Yeah, but I dont know how to ask her.

Customer:

Nor do I know where to even find a good couples therapist.

Ask Eleanor :

If you will give me your city and zip code, I will recommend therapists for you.

Customer:

Ok, I live in Yorba Linda, 92886. We are not a very religious couple, although we both believe in God & Christ. We would be extraordinarily insulted if the therapist told us to "pray about it, give it to the lord...etc".

Customer:

I mean that in no disrespect if you are religious.

Ask Eleanor :

I am so happy to hear you feel this way. In my opinion "Christian Counseling" is an oxymoron!! Give me a few minutes and I will chat back with some names.

Ask Eleanor :

Any of the four would be a good choice. Do you have any further questions?

Customer:

So do you think that's it really? For midlife crisis, I just need couples therapy?

Ask Eleanor :

Well, not just. All of the therapists I recommended are experienced Marriage and Family Therapist which means that they will work with both of you on issues that are effecting your marriage. You may also need individual therapy, particularly if your couples therapy is not helpful. But I believe it is the place to start. If you end up having to leave the marriage and your child, you will know that you did everything you could to save the marriage.

Ask Eleanor :

I think you need a deserve a healthy intimate relationship.

Ask Eleanor :

I believe this is what your midlife crisis is mostly about, don't you?

Customer:

yeah, you are right. I think its a good starting point. are there any good resources on the internet that you would recommend for me to read about midlife crisis?

Customer:

(basically that was my last question)

Ask Eleanor :

I am not familiar with internet resources, but if you google the topic, I am sure you will find abundant information and books. Anything further?

Customer:

No...that's good. Thank you Eleanor.

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