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The human life cycle development causes continual change and new personalities start to awaken over time. A person in their twenties is very task-oriented, but as they cross forty they may become more person-oriented; and they start to think about the good old days, look up college friends, and want to recapture their youth. In their fifties and sixties, they tend to become more reflective, asking questions about the purpose of life, and really begin to see the importance of connecting with people on an emotional level. The years have made them more sensitive, even though they are still under career pressure and don’t have much free time.

When a spouse doesn’t understand the changes going on in their mate, and adjust accordingly, the mate concludes that they don’t meet their needs. Obviously, the reverse holds true as well! If a changing mate isn’t meeting their spouse’s needs, the spouse feels misunderstood and unloved.

People look at life differently at different ages. Teenagers and young adults are future-oriented, while midlifers are now- oriented, and LateLifers want to leave a legacy.

Young adults console themselves with imperfections of people and life in general by saying, "When I get older, life will be different." But as people move across each of the five-year time lines, an automatic sense of calculation takes place as they ask, "How am I doing? Am I content with what’s happening in my life?" Often, things don’t seem to be any better. By their late fifties, many people feel it’s time for a change.

As one spouse may be doing things exactly as they did during the first thirty years of their marriage, they may not realize that their mate is in a panic because they’re crossing one of those five-year markers. They are quietly taking a personal assessment of their life and it may not be what they planned it to be. In particular, their marital relationship is not as fulfilling as they imagined — and they wonder if they will ever understand the developing person they are becoming.

So you’re probably wondering what you can do about it? Here are a few suggestions for you. Plan a date to go out and talk about the dreams you each have as individuals, and as a couple. Take interest in their hobbies and show them extra attention and support, honest affirmation can really boost a mate’s self-esteem, and let them know you appreciate, respect, and love them. Join, or start, a home Bible study group with other couples your age; enjoy weekly fellowship together and you’ll all be there to support each other in the coming years. There are some great books you can get to encourage you both to continue to grow closer as a couple. I suggest, “Red Hot Monogamy — Making Your Marriage Sizzle” by Bill and Pam Farrel. One more thing; let your mate see you growing as a person; get out and take a class to learn something new, connect with friends yourself, enjoy some alone time just as much as spending time with your mate.

I would also challenge you both to read “The Finisher — A New Path For Your Second Half” by Jan Kinney-Conway. Jan shares how she and her late-husband, Doug, both quit their successful medical careers to start a new life in the Missionary Field, and in teaching others how to be Missionaries. Make a drastic change in life can sometimes refresh you both for another 40 years. I want to close with a quote for you to ponder”:

"The first half of my life I made a living.

The second half, I made a difference."

Doug Kinne, M.D. 1941 - 2000



by Jim Conway, Ph.D.  ©2012


  • Conway / LateLife Hope Articles ~ Reprint by permission only
  • Jim and Jan Conway are co-founders of LateLife Hope; they are international speakers and popular authors.
  • LateLife Hope Ministries
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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