“PMS” Isn’t Just for Women
By John Teng
Okay, before you panic, men do not suffer from PMS. They may have to suffer through it with their wives and daughters, but for now, men are spared this monthly curse of emotional upheaval. That said, men do have hormones, and when these levels go haywire, their life can seem to veer out of control.
Researches have been investigating the role male hormones play in the midlife crisis for years and their efforts are beginning to show results. As men age, the chemicals in their brains can be altered. This is usually caused by fluctuating hormone levels. Depending on which chemicals are changed, men can begin to have some crazy ideas and see things differently than what they are. Here are some examples:
- Some men became seriously co-dependent on their spouse. While men are traditionally more independent emotionally than women, some men in their 40’s and 50’s may begin to experience a stronger need to connect with their spouse on a more emotional level. This can even lead to the man thinking that his happiness depends on how she relates to him. If she fails to give him the support and love he expects (which she most certainly will because his expectations are not realistic), he will feel betrayed and become so angry that he will be willing to walk away from the marriage over nothing serious.
- Some men stop thinking clearly. As the middle aged man fights internally with feelings of negativity, he may begin to interpret what others say in negative ways towards him. For instance, a simple remark made by his boss may be interpreted as his inability to get the job done. This skewed viewpoint can quickly cause problems in his relationships with others.
- Some men become more distant. While the middle age man craves support from his spouse and loved ones, he often distances himself from those who can most readily give it. Feeling distant he begins to seek comfort in others – oftentimes inappropriate others.
- Some men become self absorbed. Men who once thought of others before themselves suddenly become self centered and self absorbed in their middle years. This can make them act like real jerks. Reversing back to an adolescent state of “it’s all about me and how I feel right now,” mode, these men begin to center everything in their life around their own thoughts, wants and needs. This skewed point of view may be one reason why the middle aged man acts out with uncharacteristic behavior.
- An inability to see the past as it really was. Unable to face the facts of his life, the middle aged man will sometimes look at his life through a foggy lens. Feeling disenchanted with his marriage or job, he may begin to see trouble where none exists. Small issues become big problems in his mind. This offers him the chance to walk away without regret since he perceives his marriage as “always having been horrible” or his job as being “a big mess.”
- An inability to control feelings of self pity. Middle aged men in crisis are very good at feeling sorry for themselves. Not liking who he is at the moment or how his life is going, he would rather delve into a state of self pity than do anything productive. The worse he feels about himself, the more is apt to act out in inappropriate ways.
If you have been married for nay length of time, you know how hormone fluctuations can cause a woman to seem irrational. The same is true for you! Yes, hormones can take normal thoughts and feelings and turn them into stronger, more disillusioned ones. Being able to recognize that a physical issue could be causing your feelings to take over your thinking ability can help you seek the help or make the changes necessary to weather this storm of hormonal upheaval.
Every time you have a negative thought take some time to revaluate. You may feel like your marriage is a mess, but is it? And if it is, are there are better ways of fixing the problems than having an affair or simply leaving.
Life can get tough sometimes but that doesn’t mean they are horrible. Hormones can make us think things are worse than they really are. Changing your perception and your attitude is a great start to getting things back on track without making any big mistakes that will haunt you later.
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