We all know the stereotype.
Man hits middle age, buys a sports car, has an affair with a twenty-something bimbo.
It’s a male privilege. Men hit a certain age, and they’re expected to go a little wild. You’d be surprised if they didn’t.
But what about the women mopping up the mess?
Long-suffering wives who turn a blind eye to the hours their husbands are putting in at the gym, the new wardrobe, the expensive cologne.
They can’t make too much of a fuss because they’re too busy taking the kids to soccer practice, making sure dinner’s on the table, putting in their own 9-5, and trying to take care of their own health.
Who has the time to worry about a grown man when there’s so much else going on?
Definition of a Midlife Crisis
The term “midlife crisis” was originally coined in 1965 to depict the sudden awareness of our own mortality and limitations as we hit midlife. It wasn’t meant to be gender specific.
Popular culture transformed the midlife crisis into something juicier, all about sex and reclaiming lost youth.
But it’s actually something much more profound.
It’s a questioning of everything we once held true.
Who we are. Why we’re here. What everything means. What we’re doing with our days. Whether we’re living the lives we’d intended to live.
From that perspective, women do go through midlife crises. They’re simply more internal.
Dr. Marcia Reynolds believes that:
For smart, goal-driven women, a mid-life crisis isn’t about recovering lost youth. It’s about discovering the application of their greatness.”
The Story of a Female Midlife Crisis
Perhaps you grew up believing you were special.
Not in a “better than everyone else kind of way,” but rather in an “I’m here on this planet for a reason” way.
You knew you had gifts you were meant to share with the world.
And so, in the first stage of your life, you set about finding what you were good at. You used your skills to build a life you could be proud of.
But then you hit a wall.
Maybe you found that you weren’t getting anywhere, no matter how hard you worked. Maybe you saw men progress to leadership positions while you remained in a supporting role. Maybe the love of your life, whom you worked so hard to find, treated you like his maid, mother and personal assistant rolled into one.
Or maybe it was something simpler.
Maybe it was watching your children grow up and flourish while you were going in the opposite direction, ever more tired and worn out.
Maybe it was realizing that you’d spent your life doing what other people expected of you, rather than what you really wanted to do.
What happened to that sense of being special?
Have you contributed to the world like you thought you would? What if your life ends and you’ve never really shared that special gift that only you can share?
You can’t go on like this.
Something has to change.
Your Midlife Crisis is a Gift
A midlife crisis is one of the best things that could happen to a woman.
It forces her to rethink her assumptions. Challenge outmoded beliefs and habits. Cast off the social masks she’s worn for so long.
She’s not trying to be young again. She’s trying to find herself.
She’s trying to dig beneath all the layers of expectations, demands, and roles to find out where she lost her way.
A woman’s midlife crisis can be just as challenging as a man’s.
The people in her life, who’ve enjoyed her dependable, generous, unquestioning support for so long, may resist her attempts to change. They don’t want her to say no. They don’t want her to start disagreeing. They want the “old you” back.
On the other hand, she knows they have nothing to complain about. She’s not throwing away her marriage. She’s not splashing out money on cosmetic procedures. She’s still fulfilling all her responsibilities.
All she’s doing is asking some difficult questions. What harm could that do?
Especially when those questions hold the secret to her future happiness.
The reward of asking yourself what it all means in midlife is a more rewarding future.
Studies have shown that happiness dips to its lowest trough in the mid-40s. Then it starts picking up again in your mid-50s. Barring health problems, you can reasonably expect to keep getting happier and happier. 
Maybe because you’ve taken advantage of the opportunities of midlife. You’ve rethought what you want from life. You’ve simplified. You’ve given yourself permission to live life for you.
That’s not a crisis. That’s blooming.