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Seeking an Escape, Star Beacon Newspaper

Interview with Jim Conway Ph.D., by Carl E. Feather, Star Beacon Newspaper

It was the spring of the year, when the kings go off to war. But David, the king of Israel, remained behind.

He strolled on his rooftop as the sun set over Jerusalem. Now in his middle years, David was firmly enthroned in Israel, He was the victorious leader; in today's jargon, David had it all.The Tower of David

But there was a midlife restlessness in his heart and eyes that lured him to gaze in the direction of the naked, beautiful Bathsheba. The gaze turned to lust, the lust to adultery, the adultery to death in what has become a classic story of the midlife affair.

"If you look at the big guys of the Bible—David, Solomon, Samson—they were all in midlife when they fell sexually," said Bill Perkins, author of "When Good Men are Tempted." "These guys we look to as such moral heroes, the pattern of their lives was that in midlife they violated the moral values that they held to."

What is this powerful force that causes kings and Presidents, sanitation workers and scientists, pastors and farmers, to forsake the palace hearth for a little campfire along the highway of life? — Midlife Crisis.


Older men are naturally attracted to younger women because they possess the youth and sexual appeal that their wives have lost to time. As the man looks at his own aging body in the mirror, he realizes that if he's going to upgrade his spouse, he'd better do it now.

Although it is far from being a universal experience, the intangible feelings of depression, frustration and entrapment that come with midlife crisis occasionally take form as an extramarital affair. In the middle ground between myth and stereo type, midlife extramarital affairs with the younger female do occur. Virtually everyone who has made it to midlife knows of a graying ram who made the leap into forbidden pasture with a young ewe.

"If you really feel bad, you're going to look for some way to stop it," said Kent A. Young, a clinical psychologist with an office at Madison's Lake Ambulatory Care Center of Lake Hospital System. "They feel bad and they try to offset it with adding a feel good. And if they are really desperate, they look for the big buzz."

Men GamblingYoung said that the "big buzz" doesn't necessarily have to be an extramarital affair. In fact, many midlife men are so crippled by feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem that they are intimidated by the thought of approaching a younger woman. Alcohol, drugs or gambling is more likely to be their buzz of choice.

But solace also comes in 110-pound packages who smell good, listen well, have girlish mannerisms and remind the midlife man of the ecstasy he felt when he first fell in love—so many years ago.

Perkins said older men are naturally attracted to younger women because they possess the youth and sexual appeal that their wives have lost to time. As the man looks at his own aging body in the mirror, he realizes that if he's going to upgrade his spouse, he'd better do it now.

"He thinks 'If I wait another 10 years to have a relationship with a younger woman, it will be too late, I need to make a move now."’


"We've seen each other naked so many times, so how can we seem new to each other?"


The man in midlife crisis often finds little reason at home for him to honor his commitment. Those darling kids that held the marriage together in the couple's first 10 or 15 years have turned into obnoxious teenagers who demand everything and give back nothing. Jim Conway, author of numerous books on midlife issues and president of the California ministry Midlife Dimensions, said marriage satisfaction reaches a low point between the ages of 35 and 50. Relationships become stale, sex routine and appearances all too familiar

"We've seen each other naked so many times, so how can we seem new to each other?" asks Dr. Paul Book The Marriage SpiritMoschetta, a Manhattan marriage counselor and author of "The Marriage Spirit," with his wife Dr. Evelyn Moschetta.

"We see a lot of midlife couples come in," Moschetta said. "They don't identify it as a midlife crisis. They describe it as not feeling happy, disappointed in the relationship, wondering what is going to bring them a sense of fullness and completion."

Moschetta said an empty nest suddenly brings together two people who have shared their home and lives with children for more than 18 years. Each mate has evolved during that time, and the partners suddenly find themselves facing a person different from the one they married.

"It feels awkward," Moschetta said.