Mid-life crisis in Men – Growth or Destruction?

3 years ago

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Tyler Perry’s life is the epitome of a great success story.  He is a billionaire whose rise to fame has been a story of hope and inspiration to many. The 51year old comedian recently announced that he was going through mid-life crisis. This came as a surprise to many and some persons took to social media to offer words or encouragement and advice. Many would regard Perry’s life as the dream life however his social media post, “wondering what the next chapter of my life will look like…” is the concern of many men and women as they enter a stage of mid-life crisis. Psychologists caution that mid-life crisis can either cause growth or destruction and its manifestation does not only affect those experiencing it but those in their immediate circle as well.

According to Dr Lyn Margolies although both men and women experience midlife crisis in men it takes a particular form.  “Men often face identity crises, often spilling into family life. Men in midlife crises feel hopelessly trapped in an identity or lifestyle they experience as constraining, fueled by an acute awareness of time passing. Finding themselves in a life that feels empty and inauthentic, they feel pressure to break out, and may desperately grasp at a chance for vitality and pleasure.” (Margolies, 2016). Such feelings may cause men to either grow or become destructive. Sometime men may feel that they need to make serious life changes in a hurry. They may feel the urgent need to change jobs, end a relationship, make lifestyle changes – and they often do sometimes without much consideration for the other parties involved. Mid-life crisis is common and is a natural occurrence. It is good to recognize it and acknowledge that this is what is happening in that way it is less likely to cause destruction. Tyler Perry has not only acknowledged it but has resolved that, “whatever it looks like, I’m going to walk with God, be the best father and man I can be, hold my head up high, and try to look my best doing it…”  

Not many men will be brave enough to like Perry, admit to such a problem, especially since men are supposed to be strong hence should not reveal ‘signs of weakness.’ Sometimes the drastic changes in appearance – changes in dress, hairstyle etc., involvement with younger sexual partners, new spending habits and new pastimes are projected as finding or reclaiming ones’ youth. The converse is that there may be loss of interest in sex, things that use to give pleasure no longer do, they become reclusive etc. Whatever the shift, any extreme swing in the pendulum may do more harm than good. We all need to recognize the symptoms and give support to our men who are experiencing mid-life crisis.

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