It comes to us all, in time.
The crisis for a woman has long been recognised and named the menopause. But recently, a male version, less severe but also far reaching in its consequences, has been named the andropause. In both cases there is a hormonal component. But it is usually accompanied by other social changes, which make the term ‘crisis’ the appropriate one to use.
Children leave home.; maybe not permanently, but for long enough to show a life stage has been passed. Our job may appear as ‘same old, same old’. We look at our partner and may also ask, “is this it, now”?
We do not need to watch The Good Wife, to know that powerful men, given the chance, often philander. The papers are full of sexting scandals involving married men. The challenge for many men is coping with their feeling life and emotions and need for intimacy.
For women, according to the psychotherapist John Franklin, the challenge is more often how to use power. After the children grow up and the job can take more centre stage, a women in her middle years may be confronted with how to be powerful in work organisations.
In each case the challenge is also a creative possibility. Although the crisis has real roots in physiological changes, it can also change our perspective about who we are and what we want to achieve.
We may respond to “Is this it?” by saying “no, I want something different and something more”.