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Carl Jung said middle age may be the ideal time to begin psychotherapy because mortality tends to grab our attention and focus us on what’s existentially or spiritually important.
Now, one could write volumes about what this eroticized “it” is and why a desire to feel desirable skyrockets.
As with most things human, there is much more to “it” than meets the eye.
We might also note there is an unfortunate tendency to marginalize or minimize the benefits of old age, along with the inevitable difficulties and anxieties.
But I didn’t stop, and I have been having an affair for almost a year now. I concede she could easily be my daughter, but she’s very mature for her age and is established in her medical career. We are talking about potentially working together in the near future.
I have no misgivings about the notion that this all came about due to a midlife crisis.
Your question about how these relationships play out indicates concern or anxiety about the future. Your hope for something to count on shows in your keenly hoping the new relationship works out so you can experience continued excitement and the “time of your life” rather than (I am guessing) the dreaded loss of sexual vitality, desirability, and “performance” essential to feeling so alive.
Even though my wife and I have always had a good sex life, I caught myself thinking more and more about what I didn’t have, and I became desperate to prove to myself that I wasn’t simply fading away into oblivion.
You sound conflicted in the sense that, on the one hand, you feel ashamed and remorseful about leaving your wife, while on the other, it’s full speed ahead and damn the (graying) torpedoes!
That is quite a contrast of simultaneous attitudes, and I am curious about how you experience or navigate them.
Not long after my 48th birthday, I started having persistent thoughts about time slipping away, getting old, and letting go of my dreams.
The specter of turning 50 scared the hell out of me.