Middle age is a peak period for divorce. Mid-life crises may affect both men and women causing relationship problems resulting in relationship breakdown. Women experience the menopause - a huge physiological change which can alter their appearance, libido and emotional state. The existence of male mid-life crisis has long been debated and although there are few physiological changes, this is clearly a time of change and reflection for both sexes.
Many people experience a feeling of general dissatisfaction at this stage in their life and often face similar issues.
Child bearing ends. This can be difficult for some women who have a strongly defined role as a mother and nurturer. In addition, their children may have left home leaving them with a sense of redundancy as a parent.
Disappearing youth and libido. Some try to re-kindle it through fast cars or younger partners.
Insecurity at work. In your 40's to mid 50's you may be in a secure position at work but with few promotion prospects, meaning you could be facing the same routine for the next 10 or 20 years. For others this may be a time when job security becomes more uncertain as companies sometimes choose to dispense with their higher paid, older staff.
Feeling old. You start to feel the effects of ageing and begin to consider retirement and even your own mortality. You can no longer relate to younger people in the way you did a few years ago and your outward appearance, as well as people's perception of you, changes. Unfortunately, we live in a society which values youthful appearance over experience and as you reach middle age you can begin to feel sidelined.
Jaded relationships. Some may feel that part of their unhappiness stems from a tired relationship. Others have stayed in an unhappy relationship for the sake of the children or financial reasons which are no longer relevant and decide that now is a good time to part.
Changes in mid-life can take both parties by surprise - some people have walked out of marriages after 20 or 30 years together. Surviving this phase is about your personal ability to cope with change and the way that you and your partner face the changes together. Mid-life doesn't have to signal the end of fun and excitement or the end of your relationship. It is a time when you have more financial and emotional freedom than ever before so this is a time to embrace the change and all the better if you have someone to share it with.
If you do find yourself alone, there is support to help you through - follow this link to Armchair Advice Dating.