Understand your Mid-Life Woman

Are you feeling put out in your relationship with a Mid-Life Woman? What is going on? Understanding the dynamics of a Mid-Life Transition may help you manage your relationship.

A woman transitioning the liminal phase of mid-life is lost. She lacks the identity of her young adulthood, and for awhile is held in an ambiguous period, not really sure of her identity.

Many women change careers, have affairs, or go back to school. This may be brought on by the death of a parent or a child leaving home. This change in family structure many times, will begin a women’s search for meaning and purpose in her life. This seach can lead to positive or negative change. The changes made at this time will redefines who they are.

A woman transitioning this phase of life, encounters three phases:

1. Pre-liminal phase – Experienced as a loss of her previous identity, only it’s unconscious at the beginning, she is unaware. Instead she may complain of forgetfulnes, depression, and a general feeling that her perceptions are lacking clarity, so she doen’t trust her decisons. She may lose interest in her marriage and her job, or anything that has been the central focus of her life up until this time.

2. Liminal phase – Awareness begins when a woman realizes she no longer has the identity of her younger adulthood. She is temporarily held in an ambiguous place, not really sure of here identy. “The structural ‘invisibility’ of the liminal personae has a twofold character. They are at once no longer classified and not yet classified” (Mahdi, 1987, p 5). This liminal phase of transition holds the potential for new discoveries as mid-life women seek their destiny.

3. Post-liminal phase – Reincorporation of a woman’s NEW identity occurs in this third phase. This is when the confused and lost woman has transitioned into her new identity. She will have integrated her past, mourned her youth, and she accepts moving ahead with new challenges. Her perceptions have focus, and once fully reincorporated she may actually thrive in her new Mid-life identity.

Dr. Marie Kerns, PsyD is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in California. She completed her Doctorate Dissertation during her Mid-Life Transition. For help with your relationship you may call her at 949-285-5199, or visit her website at Dr. Kerns

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