I’ve Become Very Emotional: Is This Midlife Crisis?

16 September, 2020
Q Salam,

I have been married for 22 years happily, with children. We haven’t had any major issues in our marriage, families or with children. I am the husband and something went wrong with me.

It is my age? For a couple of weeks, I am totally not myself. Sometimes thoughts of suspicions come to my mind, other times jealousy, and occasionally some doubts.

I have become strangely extremely emotional and romantic (to the level I feel this is not for men). The reasons for having doubts and the other points I mentioned are very silly that I should not even think about them, but thoughts are attacking my mind.

I feel I want my wife around and near me most, if not all, of the time. If she's at work or not around, Shaitan keeps attacking my mind. However, when she is with me, I become a Romeo. I thought of consulting a psychologist, but honestly I’m hesitant and afraid.

Please, guide me as my wife doesn't deserve this and I'm worried if this goes on, it may worsen my situation.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

  • I encourage you, brother, to continue finding comfort in your wife by possibly discussing with her the feelings that you are going through.
  • I kindly ask you to reflect upon the past few weeks (and prior to) and make a list of any and all events and conversations which could have triggered your current emotional state.
  • Make an appointment with a counselor in your area to see if you are possibly depressed, have anxiety or a mood disorder, or are suffering from some other induced mental health issue.
  • Also get a complete physical from your doctor to make sure you are in fine health.
  • Most importantly, reach out to Allah (swt). In times of emotional excitability, feelings of suspicion or jealousy, make du’aa’ that Allah (swt) remove these thoughts and feelings.
  • At many chapters of life, we find changes. You are blessed in that you have a long, happy marriage, a loving wife, children, stability, and the comfort of a stable home.

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum brother,

Congratulations on 22 years of a happy marriage. That is truly a blessing and something to thank Allah (swt) for. As it states in the Qur’an,

“..They (your wives) are a clothing (covering) for you and you too are a clothing (covering) for them…” (2:187)

Good marriage

Thus, it appears that you and your wife have been a comfort and a covering for each other for 22 years, in good times and in trying times. This is one of the “trying” times, and I am very sorry to hear of the emotional instability you have been going through, brother. It is not uncommon to experience things such as this at one time or another in our lives.

I can imagine it is somewhat frightening as you do not know why you are feeling and acting this way, but, in sha’ Allah, you will be able to resolve this as you have identified early on that there is a problem, and you wish to address it. That is one of the first steps!


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Talk to her

I encourage you, brother, to continue finding comfort in your wife by possibly discussing with your wife the feelings that you are going through. If you chose to do so, please do not make it seem as if she (or you) are at fault, but rather discuss it in the context that something different is happening to you and you don’t know why.

Additionally, as you both seem very close to each other, she has probably already picked up on the changes in you and may be possibly wondering herself what is wrong. You may find your wife very supportive if you talk to her about this. She may show great understanding and mercy, and she may support you in your endeavor to resolve this. The Qur’an states,

“And one of His signs is that He has created for you, spouses from amongst yourselves so that you might take comfort in them and He has placed between you, love and mercy. In this there is surely evidence (of the truth) for the people who carefully think.” (30:21) 

Triggers

Brother please ask yourself: has anything happened in the past few weeks you could pinpoint which may have triggered emotional responses? An event related to your relationship with you wife, your job, your social life, your health, or anything which could trigger strong emotions?

I kindly ask you to reflect upon the past few weeks (and prior to) and make a list of any and all events and conversations which could have triggered your current emotional state.  Please, review these responses and see if there is any correlation between anything you have notated and your recent emotional changes.

As you did ask about age, have you been worried about getting older lately? Have you been pondering if your wife is still attracted to you? Have you feared that as you are growing older (which is a blessing) that she has or will lose interest?

If so, it is normal and many men go through this. It is known as a midlife crisis, which is characterized by hormonal and mood changes. While there are several stages some men can go through, depression is one.

Moving forward

In sha’ Allah, please, do make an appointment with a counselor in your area to see if you are possibly depressed, have anxiety or a mood disorder, or are suffering from some other induced mental health issue.

I’ve Become Very Emotional: Is This Midlife Crisis? - About Islam

In sha’ Allah, also get a complete physical from your doctor to make sure you are in fine health. Please, tell your doctor about what you have been experiencing emotionally so he will have a complete picture of what is going on and what to possibly look for in terms of any hormonal changes which may exist.

Most importantly, reach out to Allah (swt). In times of emotional excitability, feelings of suspicion or jealousy, make du’aa’ that Allah (swt) remove these thoughts and feelings. To quiet and calm your mind, recite Quran and do dhkir. The Quran discusses the peace and tranquility one finds in the remembrance of Allah (swt):

“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah (dhikr Allah) do hearts find rest!” (13:28)

Conclusion

While what you have been experiencing may not be due to a midlife change, I am mentioning it as you are at the age wherein these changes do occur. This is not a negative thing, brother; it is signs of change but not bad changes. These are changes which our bodies and minds naturally go through as in childhood adolescence, young adulthood, and so on.

At many chapters of life, we find changes. You are blessed in that you have a long, happy marriage, a loving wife, children, stability, and the comfort of a stable home. Many young people and adults go through changes and do not have these blessings and are, thus, left alone in trying to find their way through such a confusing maze.

Additionally, by talking to a counselor on a regular basis, you will be able to sort through your emotions and learn coping techniques to help you gain control over your thoughts and actions.  There is nothing to fear by seeking professional help. In fact, there is much to gain.

As you cherish your wife and your marriage, by taking these steps now, you will, in sha’ Allah, prevent any harm coming to the marriage by your emotions, thoughts, and actions. Allah (swt) is most merciful, brother, and will grant you ease, in sha’ Allah. Please, take the necessary steps to resolve this as soon as possible.

You are in our prayers, brother. We wish you the best.

Salam,

***

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.