now what? The largest demographic that comes to my therapy office is successful men in their 40s.
They have great jobs, their own home, nice cars. Some have families or girlfriends. So why are they
coming to see me? It’s what I call the midlife triad: Stress; Anxiety; and Relationship issues.
The group currently coming into and traversing their 40s isn’t dealing with our father’s midlife crisis.
They aren’t running out to buy cars they can’t afford or leaving their wives for 22 year old exotic
dancers. People today often see 40 as only the beginning of their careers, and the middle if they are
lucky. But with this career focus comes a new problem: extreme stress and anxiety as a result of the
pressure to be successful at work. The 40 hour work week seems a distant memory as people work 50+
hours to secure a significant paycheck, and their social lives and emotional stability suffer for it.
When we stress at work, it invariably comes home with us. Relationships with significant others and
children begin to deteriorate as we bring home the stress of our jobs. People become more irritable,
spend less quality time with their families, and their sex lives suffer as a result. With little time for
cuddling, let alone intimacy, it can be very hard to be successful, happy, and 40. So how do you balance
the demands of the job with the demands of friends and family? Try turning off your email notifications
after a certain time; for most jobs, emails coming in after 9 pm can wait until tomorrow. Stop texting
when you’re with your significant other; if they aren’t significant enough to be with in person, their text
can probably wait. Most importantly: engage with your partner, listen, and share more with them than
just your stress at work. Changing the topic to something non-work related is not only good for your
relationship, but good for your mental health!
You’ve worked hard. Make time to ENJOY the benefits!