“A guy who’s maybe lost a little hair on top, driving around in a little red sports car,” this is the classic image most of us conjure when we hear of a man having a midlife crisis. Yet, on this solo “Jimtimacy” episode of the Expansive Intimacy podcast, your host Jim Young tells the story that he and so many men, have and continue to suffer from the type of midlife crisis that looks nothing like the stereotype. Instead, it looks a lot like burnout and shares many of the contributing factors.
While suffering in silence, as so many men do, Jim felt pressure to continue to achieve and perform according to societal expectations, without letting any out of his emotions for fear of looking “unmanly.” The chronic stress of this was taking a physical toll on him and he admits he was on his way to becoming another grim middle-aged male statistic. Luckily—he notes with only a hint of irony—his whole life unraveled. His wife asked for divorce, he lost many of his friends, and he quit his job.
Now, Jim is living an authentic, intimate life on the other side of his midlife crisis, and he explains what it takes to come through it better than you were before. By continuing to share his story, he hopes other men will recognize their own stories and feel seen and supported. Otherwise, what’s the point?
“I swallowed so many tons of stress for so many years, and it caught up to me.”
“I had to hide the emotional turmoil that I was going through. I had to hide any of that because it would be deemed weak, it would be a sign that I wasn't up to the task.”
“I had to start to risk opening myself up, being honest, and allowing myself to be seen for who I actually was, instead of who I was trying to be based on what the expectations were for a guy like me in this culture.”
“We have this fear that if we reveal who we really are we will become untouchable, be deemed weak, soft, we’ll be ridiculed. And you know what may be right?...The people that I was afraid of saying things about me, that would insult my manhood. Well, that was stupid.”
Connect with Jim Young:
The Men's Expansive Success Brotherhood: www.thecenteredcoach.com/esb
Expansive Intimacy, the book: https://www.amazon.com/Expansive-Intimacy-Tough-Defeat-Burnout/dp/B0BFTSZ4ZG/
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Intro Music: Catch It by Coma- Media
Outro Music: Upbeat Funky Retro by QubeSounds