larry bilotta

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. If you want to shorten your spouse's midlife crisis, click here.

Female midlife crisis stages
There are 6 female midlife crisis stages women go through once her midlife crisis begins.

For over 36 years, I've worked with men whose wives have suddenly collapsed into a midlife crisis or eventually melted down into a woman these husbands no longer recognized.  

They're completely caught off guard and have no idea how to deal with a wife in midlife crisis. Men want to know when it’s over. 

They want to know that because they can’t stand living with this other woman who resents them or even hates them. 
the end
These husbands want to get back to their normal life with their normal wife. And who could blame them? 

They had no idea this was going to happen but if they knew what I know, they could’ve predicted this long before their wedding. 

Women who melt down into a midlife crisis all have one thing in common: they come from painful childhoods and they are what I call a "Chaos Kid".

A painful childhood is one where the girl endures abuse, neglect or abandonment.

If one, two or even three of these things have happened to her in her first 10 years, she will endure a midlife crisis in her adult intimate relationship and her marriage, sometime between two and 26 years into the marriage.

Typically, a woman’s midlife crisis launches between ages 35 and 45 but in some cases of really severe childhoods, it can even begin in their early 30s. 

Through my own research where I interviewed hundreds of people about their childhoods, this has proven to be true over and over again. 

Girls, who grow up in happy homes where mom and dad enjoy each other and mom and dad make her feel important and valuable, never endure a midlife crisis. The reason your wife is going through a midlife crisis is because her childhood has some combination of abuse, neglect or abandonment. 

If I would’ve warned you about this 60 days before your wedding, you would have thrown me out of your house.

At that time, you were not ready to hear it because you had to fulfill your destiny and this is the girl who could do that. That’s because something in YOUR childhood, attracted you to THIS particular girl because of what happened in hers.
5 rules of a chaos kid wife
Before I explain the 6 stages of a female midlife crisis, I want you to realize that your wife WILL go through them. If you are not what I call an Environment Changer, you will not be able to shorten this process. 

That means you must get through it and that will take 2 to 5 years. Also remember that these stages are not completely distinct. They can blend together and sometimes completely overlap. You will see stage two happening in one week and stage 3 happening in the next.

Throughout these stages, you might see some of the following symptoms of your wife's midlife crisis.

Signs of Female Midlife Crisis

  • She's ending the marriage to establish independence.
  • She shows no incentive to work on her marriage.
  • She is convinced her new life will be fantastic compared to the one with you.
  • She is freeing herself, running away, and wants her time and space.
  • She is tired of being the care taker.
  • She does not care what others think.
  • She stays out late without explanation.
  • She is hiding everything from you.
  • Her emotions control her every move.
  • She acts like a 17 year old rebelling against her parents.
  • She plans trips without you.
  • She will risk marriage, children's well being or career to feel happy with some other man.
  • She cares only about herself.
  • She blames everyone for her actions.
  • She has no logic and no consequences.
  • It seems like an alien has taken over your wife's body.
  • Her every feeling is a fact that cannot be argued.
  • She is never wrong, while you are always wrong.
  • She is determined to get everything she wants.
  • She has lost every ounce of compassion for immediate family.

6 Stages of Female Midlife Crisis

Stage 1: The Emotional Collapse

The beginning of her crisis begins with a crisis. Don’t be too concerned about what kind of crisis it is but I will give you an idea of what this might be based on my hundreds of interviews.
  • Her mother could move in with you while you are losing your job
  • Her mother, father, or important family member passes away
  • She or someone she loves experiences a major accident
  • She experiences a big change in career
  • The two of you experience a long distance move
  • One or both children move out of your home
  • She is diagnosed with an illness
  • And the list goes on.
Any of these are typical situations that could launch your wife into a midlife crisis.   The beginning of the midlife crisis is usually one or two dramatic issues that cause her to collapse emotionally.

Stage 2: Enlarging the Gap

The purpose here is to increase the number of reasons why she should divorce you. That means that out of her mouth will come many judgments, unfair comparisons, exaggerations of past behaviors and anything else that will help generate “against energy” in you.

Since you know that stage 2 is meant to push you away, you must learn to stay very calm and accept that some entity has taken over her body in order to destroy your family. Staying very calm and accepting everything is the job you must do, but you might discover that there is also a monster in you as well.

The monster within you is determined to connect with that monster in her. If you don’t kill off this dark thing within you, it will be very tough to get your wife back to her true self.

Stage 3: I Want My Freedom!

This is the stage where she is determined to get free of you and this stage can take on many variations depending on how she was raised. 

If her childhood has a great deal of chaos, her mother divorced before she was 10, and her biological father abandoned her, then she will be getting out of town starting with moving out of your house.

She will be insistent that she cannot go anywhere near you. Again, depending on the chaos in her childhood, a high chaos girl will disappear on you in this stage. She won’t return your calls or texts.

If you are angry at this behavior, you will be generating against energy. That will not serve you well at all.  If you still want the girl at this stage, it’s because you see a difference between the girl you love and the entity that is now controlling her body much like a possession in a horror movie.

Stage 4: You Owe Me!

This is the stage where your wife takes on various vindictive behaviors. Most of these will be to get you to pay financially for the things she believes you owe her. 

Depending on the girl, she could make many financial demands through her attorney such as requiring that you pay both lawyers.

It also could be that you emotionally owe her for past hurts and she wants revenge. That could take many forms depending on how she was raised. No matter what twists this stage takes, watch for a focus on getting back at you financially.

Stage 5: I'm Happier Now

In Stage 5, she will be seeking out ways to let you know that she is much happier now because she has a new boyfriend, a new apartment, a new career, a new engagement, a new something. 

This is the “show off” stage where she finds ways to communicate through friends, through family members or even directly that you suppressed her entire life and now that you are out of it, she is much happier than ever before because you are gone.

Stage 6: Somebody I Used to Know

Like the song, “Somebody I Used to Know”, she has done what she promised and moved on with her life. 

She has turned you into a distant memory of someone she used to know. She does not bring you up to anyone and if you have children together, she will never admit you meant anything to her.  

I can’t say this next point enough because men don’t hear me very well when I make the point. The point is this: the entity that is driving this supremely self-centered behavior has taken all of her childhood pain and blamed it all on you.

Your wife actually believes it's all your fault because she has no clue what else could have led to her bottomless pit of unhappiness and despair. That’s why a midlife crisis in a woman is completely unfair to her husband (unless he’s abusive, etc. and an extreme chaos kid himself). I’m assuming you are not that man. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.

You are probably a real nice guy who treated her exactly the way your father treated your mother in your first ten years. Your mother could handle it from your dad, but your wife could not accept you being like him.

How to Shorten Her Midlife Crisis

If you are looking for a way to shorten your wife's midlife crisis, I suggest you watch my on-demand class for men that covers many of the concepts I teach, bringing it all together into a message on why this is happening and what you can do to “save the girl”.

In this hostile environment, you must become you at your best to avoid pushing her further away. Gifts, cards, kind words, notes and affection will only push her  further away from you and add fuel to the fire.

Now that we’ve confirmed your wife is a Chaos Kid, one of the most difficult things you’ll be faced with is understanding the fact that you can’t treat her like a normal woman. You’ll try to rationalize, make sense of the situation, buy cards for birthdays and holidays, apologize often, tell her you love her like you would in a normal marriage.


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  1. Hi, so my wife based on on your scale at the beginning of the stage 5, looking for boyfriend right now. She still doesn't file for divorce but brings it up every month. I guess once she will find the one,
    she will file and move to stage 6.
    What should I do or it is what it is and I should move on at this point?

    1. Joe,

      Midlife crisis stages are often observed by people I call “pinballs” who react to their environment. They are more interested in reacting to what they see, than changing their internal energy driven by the love they have for their spouse originally. My message to you is to ask “Do I love this woman?”

      Chances are good your wife is a Chaos Kid. Chaos kids play by very different rules and even though they wish they could be themselves, in their intimate relationships they cannot. They must be what they were programmed to be in their first 10 years. That means that even though you have high morals, high standards, long for your wife to love you and want to be a happy family, your wife is playing by very different rules than you. She is obeying the programs of her childhood.

      The question you need to ask yourself first, is if you are willing to forgive your wife and save the marriage no matter what it takes.

      There are three questions that may help you decide what you want to do:

      1) Do I want my troubled wife in my life no matter what it costs me personally?
      2) Am I willing to stay loyal to her in order to show a good example to our children, even as she goes through a midlife crisis?
      3) Am I willing to push away any woman who would appeal to me as a lonely man in need of loving?

      If your response is three strong and confident “YES” answers to all three questions, then you have made your decision. If you answered with maybes or I hope so then you’ve also made your decision and you might not have the staying power to go the distance with this troubled woman. In that case, a divorce will be coming soon.

      If you answer yes to all three questions then you will need the skills to survive the trip. I teaches these skills to students through my Environment Changer course, but not everyone is willing and ready to learn what I teach.
      The first step is deciding where you want to go from here.

      I encourage you to watch this video with an expanded answer to this question. It will help you determine whether my approach will help you weather this storm:


  2. So almost everything you described my wife has done. She just won't do whatever final filings there are to complete the divorce. I have called to county twice in the last 2-3 months and they have given me the same answer. When I tell her this, she tells me that the divorce is complete except going through the court process. She says she has called multiple times. She must be lying to me.

    My question is- she is gone. No contact. For whatever reason I am almost certain she will be back someday. (This is not a hope- and I am seeing a therapist).

    If at that point she reaches out and I should be interested in trying to rebuild our relationship, what steps should I be assured she take to best assure I would be safe should I decide to work things out?

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