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.
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 Bibleâ€”David, Solomon, Samsonâ€”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? â€” Midlife Crisis.
"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."
Young 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 loveâ€”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."’