Relationship Issues at Midlife

by: Kris Kirilova

Kris is a counselor & owner of Career Life Choices – a counseling practice in Arlington Heights, IL.

Relationships are so important for our well-being and joy in life.  At midlife, you may question if the two of you are a good fit, and if you made the right choices in the past. You may desire more fulfillment and deeper connection with your partner. You may feel something is missing. As time goes on, you realize both of you have changed, and the relationship is not the same. You begin to assess if you can continue together given the changes.

This dissatisfaction leads some people to engage in affairs – seeking validation from someone else who understands them better. The affair is allowing them to be a different person or feeling important but it jeopardizes their marriage. This leads to more confusion, struggle and uncertainty around your relationships.

Even if partners have been loyal, the issue becomes if you could re-kindle your relationship or leave. Every couple has issues so it is never a perfect story. Do you want to start of new chapter of your story or end it?

Many people worry if they are still attractive, and if they still have time to find someone new. Fear shows up, and you question if it is too late to fulfill your dreams and desires. You wonder if you still have options or have missed out.

Consider the following tips to gain some clarity:

1.  Know yourself and what you are looking for in a relationship. Your goal is to discover who you are and what you truly want. We certainly change through the years and our interests evolve. Do you share those changes with your partner? Does he/she know about your new interests? You want a partner that understands how you’re evolving, so you’re able to satisfy each other’s needs.

2. Are you able to have an open communication about your desires and pains? If you’re feeling resentful, are you able to listen to each other? What can you bring to your relationship so it feels more alive? Interpersonal connections are so important for our well-being and happiness. If you’re feeling uncertain, I suggest you consult with a trusted friend or a counselor that can provide an objective view.

3. Pay attention to any unhealthy relationship patterns. We are inclined to choose a partner that is familiar to us based on childhood experiences – someone who is similar to mother or father. If you don’t bring more awareness and reflection, you could be changing partners but dealing with the similar issues again.

In today’s busy world, people attend to businesses and careers but sometimes forget about their partner. Relationships take work and commitment once the honey moon phase is over. Consider relationship counseling to help you improve your bond. Are you willing to do the work and explore new things together?

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