Note: This is the first of a two-part series.

Dear Neil:  How can I determine if my boyfriend is going through a midlife crisis?

Disturbed in Longmont, Colorado

Dear Disturbed:  Take this quiz, courtesy of Gay Courter and Pat Gaudette in the book How To Survive Your Husband’s Midlife Crisis (Perigee).  How many of the following fits your man?

  • He is between 40 and 60 years old
  • He is on either side of his 40th or 50th birthday
  • He is showing concerns about getting old
  • He has bought a more youthful wardrobe
  • He is coloring his hair or trying a trendier cut
  • He reminisces about his teen years or “when he was younger”
  • He listens to romantic songs from his dating years
  • He talks about his “first love” and wonders “what if”
  • He yearns for a sportier vehicle (or has bought one)
  • He doesn’t find enjoyment in the usual leisure-time activities
  • He wants to do something adventurously out of character like hang gliding or auto racing
  • He’s bored with his life
  • He questions the meaning of his life
  • He is dissatisfied with his job or career
  • He feels trapped by responsibilities or obligations to others
  • He has financial problems
  • He worries about the future
  • He suddenly wants another child
  • He is unhappy that the children are grown and on their own
  • He has some major health problems
  • He has experienced the recent death of a parent, close friend or other family member
  • He is frequently nervous and/or irritable
  • Uncharacteristically, he is frequently criticizing you or your relationship
  • He is not interested in sex
  • He feels inadequate
  • He says he loves you but isn’t “in love with you”
  • He is uncharacteristically abusive
  • He is recently divorced
  • He worries about everything to excess
  • His sleeping habits have changed
  • He drinks more or is doing more mood altering drugs
  • He feels that life no longer has any purpose
  • He is concerned about death and dying
  • He rewrites what you considered a good relationship by stating “We were never happy”
  • He wants what he can’t have and doesn’t want whatever he knows he can have
  • He finds himself thinking “responsibility bad, spontaneity good”

Scoring:  0-7 indicates normal midlife emotions.

8-15 suggests more serious midlife issues.

16 or more indicates that a crisis is on the immediate horizon.

I will continue this discussion in next week’s column.

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