What is a midlife crisis? Can they become a positive thing?

Personally I “planned” my mid-life crisis. I’d worked for the same company for 25 years, raised 2 kids as a single-mother, and had been single for 11 years. I was just waiting for both of my kids to be in college before I “allowed” my life to change. I’d been so responsible for so long, that I just wanted to go a little crazy when I became an empty-nester.

Four months after my youngest was at a University in a different state – I was in MN, my kids were both in Chicago, IL – I decided to take a trip to Mexico with a girlfriend. I met an Englishman, who was living there and I fell head-over-heels in love with him the moment we made eye contact. I would later learn a term for the type of connection we had… Twin-Flames.

The difference between that type of connection and soul mates, is you can only have one twin-flame, but you can have an instant soul-connection with a lot of people throughout your life (times). When I was reading about it, several sources said that it’s very rare to meet your twin-flame – and it doesn’t happen with every incarnation. You usually only meet them when you both need to make dramatic changes in your life; because you’ve been on the wrong path for a long time.

I certainly had been – not with my kids, just the rest of my life – and we were about to change the courses of each other’s lives, in a profound – but not prolonged – way. In fact, “they” say romantic relationships with Twin-Flames don’t usually work out well.

We had a whirlwind romance, and several break ups (he has Borderline Personality Disorder, which made him incredibly charming, but explosive, unpredictable, and sometimes scary), but I could . not . resist. him! So against my better judgement (remember… I needed to go a little crazy and be irresponsible) I married him. Honestly… I didn’t want to, but he was terrified that I would leave him if we didn’t get hitched. I know… stupid reason to get married, but I tend to cater to other people’s needs more than my own; hence living a life for my children and my company for 25 years. I also tended to pick romantic relationships with people that need “saving.”

As my daughter says, “You need to be needed.” But, that’s something I’m working on and I only mention it so that you understand my motivation for giving into him.

Besides, he was everything I’m not: brave, extroverted, talkative, spontaneous, a risk-taker, etc.

Before we got married, we’d broken up for a few months. He moved back to England (his mother was thrilled and even thanked me for breaking up with him – she’s a story for another time), I was in MN getting a LOT of counselling, and one day my (AWESOME) therapist asked me a question that literally changed my life, what would the rebellious teenager in you do? (I must have been talking about being responsible/cautious) And, I said, quit my job, fly to England, and take back the love of my life.

The answer surprised even me. So I spent two (mostly heavenly) weeks in England, and decided to make it work. After dating long distance (and then getting married), we had a choice to make: live in MN (which I hated – ONLY because of the weather), or I could move to England. I chose to throw caution to the wind and head out for the adventure of a lifetime. I quit my job, sold my car, gave away about 3/4 of my belongings, and packed the rest of it into a crate bound for England.

Remember, Twin-Flames are supposed to change our lives completely.

Once there, we lived above a pub that he and his brother ran. We got along, but mainly because he worked long hours. While he worked, I finished writing a novel that I’d started 3 years prior. Everything was interesting to me over there, but then… the UK said that I could only live there 6 months out of a year, despite the fact that I was married to an Englishman.

We decided the best solution would be to buy a camper, and travel throughout Europe for at least six months. I should have seen the red flags. He didn’t have any money, so I had to buy the camper, pay for gas, food, campsites – everything. Later, I realized how selfish he was; not only living off of me, but leaving the pub without a thought of how it would affect his brother (the pub closed within a few months after we left).

And oh boy did we fight. Well mostly it was him either yelling at me, or giving me the silent treatment. And once he was loving again, he didn’t even remember what he was mad about. But there was also magic too, I just never knew which one to expect.

Anyway, we trekked our way all over Europe (Germany, Italy, France, and countless others), and I LOVED it; despite walking on eggshells with him most days. I was living a life that I never dreamed of. I mean, I thought my first 2 week trip to Europe (many years earlier) was the highlight of my life. But to be living and travelling there, for as long as we liked? Inconceivable.

So, after a LOT of travel, and living in Greece for 3 months, we decided England held no appeal for us anymore. We looked back at everywhere we’d been and decided to return to our favorite place, Southern Spain.

As I mentioned, he was (to say the very least) unpredictable, moody, dark, and childish but he was also fun, adventurous, SUPER capable, and sexy as hell. It also didn’t hurt that he spoke Spanish (from his time in Mexico). But something changed once we got to Spain. He worked for 4 hours 5 days a week at the campground where we stayed. In return, we got free rent, water and electricity.

It was great at first, but then I noticed the way he looked at the campground owner’s young wife, and he was spending hours looking at his phone, he was drinking more and started smoking weed. And he’d go into town without me, with no explanation about where he was.

After about three months there, we decided to get an apartment. But when he signed the lease (I couldn’t be on it because I wasn’t European), it was like he felt trapped by having to stay in the same place for a year.

We were there for about a month before all of his bad habits escalated. It all came to a head when his mother came with her boyfriend for a visit. My husband kept sneaking out while they were there, he said it was to smoke pot. So… I chose to believe him.

But then, one day we went to the beach, he totally ignored them; preferring to look at his phone. Turns out… he was an addict: porn, gambling, cocaine, and anything else he could get his hands on. Guess who was unwittingly paying for it… me.

All of my money was in his bank account, because I couldn’t open one in Europe. When I found out the type of porn he was into, I . LOST . MY . SHIT! He was into teenage girls. I’d threatened to leave SEVERAL times before – and it takes a LOT to get me riled up – but that? They were girls, not women, girls! And who, in the hell looks at porn – of any kind – when their mother is within spitting distance?

So, I told him I was leaving and started frantically packing my things. That’s when I saw the very worst version of him. He smashed my MacBook against the door frame and nearly broke it in half. (Nothing could be recovered, so I lost everything, including the novel I’d worked so hard on) He threatened to have the camper towed, have me deported, and even pulled out a butcher knife.

There are more details about how my leaving unfolded, in a different answer, but lets just say it was terrifying, not just during the breakup, but for months afterward. He would switch from begging me to come back, to threatening suicide, to saying that he was going to have me arrested because I wasn’t allowed to be in Europe – not just England – for more then six months.

The day after I left, I realized he’d block my bank card, disconnected my phone, and told the campground owners to ban me from their site and have the camper (that was still there) impounded. He also changed the locks on the apartment, so I only had the clothes on my back, my legal documents, and couple of things I deemed important before I “escaped.” I never got any of my things back.

Long story short, he was the best thing that ever happened to me.

After we split, I found out how strong I really was. With no money, I was “trapped” in Spain. Some friends took me in for about 4 months, then I (finally) sold the camper for €10,000, which gave me enough money to get my own apartment (for about 6 months).

When the money ran out, I had no place to go, but I knew with all of my being that the universe would have my back (a million tiny miracles happened after I left him). And, it did. Two days before I had to move out, the Aunt of a friend of mine, who lived in town, walked right up to my door and asked me to house/dog sit for 6 months.

That gave me just enough time to figure out how to earn a living. Also, because I was (technically) still married to a European (the UK is in the EU for those of you who may not know), I could apply for residency in Spain (which I got), which also meant I could open a bank account, get a longer lease on an apartment, get a phone and internet in my name, etc. Not that I had any money, but… I knew it would all come in time.

And it did. I realized I could work as a remote creative content provider; doing the things I love: writing, graphic design, and REALLY interesting research.

So, not only did I realize that I was stronger than I thought, I also found complete faith in God, or the universe, or a higher power; whatever you want to call it. You know what I lost? Fear. I realized that nothing and no one can knock me down so far that I can’t get back up. If I could come back from that (and a life-threatening emergency surgery,) I can handle anything. Now, if there’s a setback, I just say… Okay. THAT’s happening. And if I can’t solve it, I give it up to God, and consider it taken care of. Many times it was later than I’d like, but you can’t really have faith, unless it’s tested.

So, where are the two of us now? I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment over looking the Mediterranean Sea and I’ve earned enough money to fly my kids to Spain, visit them in the U.S., buy a paddle board and folding kayak, and finally, purchase the one thing he destroyed… my beloved MacBook Pro – the new 16″, which is even nicer than what I had before. So, I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been. All thanks to a man that I truly loved… but have to leave. That’s okay, we came together to change each others lives; mission accomplished.

Oh… and him? He left Spain two weeks after we broke up, flew to South Africa to bang an old girlfriend. She kicked him out after two months. So, after he burned through my money, he was forced to move back in with his mother and her boyfriend; in a one-bedroom cottage in Northern England.

Sometimes, Karma’s a bitch. And… sometimes… it’s not.

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