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My husband left intending to marry another woman. That didn't happen. We reconciled, became foster parents and adopted three children. I can't make reconciliation guarantees, but I will throw you a lifeline.

If you've been wondering:
  • How can I Stand for my marriage when my spouse won't even talk to me?
  • How do I stop crying, begging, panicking...?
  • How do I forgive and can I trust again?
  • What is going on inside my spouse's head?
  • What is midlife crisis?
Help is here!

Welcome to The Hero's Spouse

Is your spouse having a Midlife Crisis (MLC)? Is he or she depressed, cheating, talking about divorce, acting moody or angry? Do you want to learn how to deal with someone experiencing MLC?

This website is for the spouses of those experiencing a crisis of identity wherein the person often sees no alternative but to abandon his marriage. Though the identity crisis I focus on is the Midlife Crisis, crises of other life transitions may also apply.

Thank you for visiting The Hero's Spouse. I'm Kenda-Ruth—known as Rollercoasterider in our community forum. Though I recognize exceptions, I do not advocate divorce. I was a Stander. My husband and I have been reconciled and rebuilding since 2008. You can read my story here.

The Hero's Spouse Forum offers an understanding and supportive community along with a peer mentor program to guide you through the trauma of your spouse's midlife crisis and infidelity. Join us and meet friends who understand what you are going through.

I know what it is to be a Stander. I know what it is to live with a Monstering and confused MLCer and deal with an active affair and an alienator set on destroying my marriage. I know what it is to live in a reconciled marriage. I can help you because I was you.

The Hero's Spouse

Dealing with Your Spouse's Midlife Crisis and Infidelity When You Don't Want A Divorce

The Hero's Spouse main website is an online book in three parts with an Introduction to Standing. You can navigate to each section below or view a list of the entire book in chapters which are further divided into sections.

Part I
Midlife Crisis

Learn about the psychology and Key Components of Midlife Crisis.

Part II
Paving the Way and Mirror-Work

Learn to treat others with Grace and focus on your Self with love, love who you are and embrace life with joy.

Part III
Standing Actions

Put your heart into communication. Apply what you've learned in Parts I and II to dealing directly with your MLCer.


  • Kenda-Ruth Stumpf throws a life-line to LBS swimming in the potentially drowning seas of MLC! She unravels some of the complexities of the Mid Life Crisis Journey, whilst simultaneously offering the LBS her own personal wisdom and encouragement that the LBS could find herself out swimming her MLCer to Victory, and thus removing her LBS label!
    Kenda-Ruth's brilliant articles carry such strength; there isn't anything quite like her revelationary information anywhere on the net.
    From the bottom of my heart, KRS , I thank you for your benevolence.


  • I have been trying to understand my wife's separating from me - the contradictions, the emotional rollercoaster. The MLC insights you have written about have truly been on target with understanding my wife and the mistakes I have made in my attempts to get her to see the light. I wish I read your blog a year ago. My past attempts only resulted in my wife feeling judged and caused more resentment. If you are new to dealing with a MLC spouse you should trust that your strength and letting-go—as difficult as it is—is crucial if you want your spouse back.


  • This online resource by K-R.S. is the most informative, comprehensive, understandable and helpful array of insightful articles I could hope to find on MLC. Each individual experience of the MLCer is unique to another, yet the common denominators of thinking, feelings and resulting actions seem to merge. ...The advice, recommendations, assistance and sound practical wisdom presented in all areas are priceless! Thank you so much for your gift of knowledge to others who now walk in your shoes. You are serving a valuable purpose helping mankind work through another challenge of human strife! Kind regards with every good wish to you and yours.


  • I would like to thank you for your excellent site. I spent many lonely days and nights feeling hopeless and your coaching and your site gave me comfort and insight and I felt I had a friend out there who understood me and just got it when it came to how he was behaving and how I was feeling. It's been 15 months since he left but he is still coming and going from our home and I regularly return to your site and reread all your articles. I am much stronger emotionally and I now understand what it means when you talk about detachment and getting a life. It happens slowly with time.


Brief Answers to the Most Common Newbie Questions

What stage is my MLCer in?
If your Bomb Drop was yesterday your MLCer is in Escape & Avoid.
If your Bomb Drop was 6 months ago, your MLCer is in Escape & Avoid.
If your Bomb Drop was a year ago, your MLCer is in Escape & Avoid.
If your Bomb Drop was 18 months ago, your MLCer is in Escape & Avoid.
If your Bomb Drop was 2 years ago your MLCer is probably in Escape & Avoid.

Escape & Avoid has two energy types, High-Energy Replay or Low-Energy Wallower; most MLCers are High-Energy. Regardless of energy type, they are in this early stage from Bomb Drop through the first few years and this stage may or may not last many more years, but for up to the first two years after Bomb Drop I can guess they are in Escape & Avoid without knowing the specifics of your situation.

Does anyone every return—do marriages reconcile?
Yes, mine did. Here is My Story. We also have a Reconciliation Thread at the forum and you can find stories in the process of reconciliation by reading the threads with purple story book icons. There are not a lot of purple threads, as many leave the forum and focus on their marriage at home instead of posting, so there is no way to know the statistical odds of reconciliation and there is no guarantee that your marriage will or will not survive.

What do I do about contact? Should I kick out my MLCer or tell them to stop coming to the house...? Should I go No Contact?
NO! Please understand, I am answering this for Standers who are in the beginning years of their spouses midlife crisis. If you are Standing for your marriage, beware of No Contact!, contact is vitally important. Do not kick your MLCer out if you are able to handle the situation. The first days weeks and months after Bomb Drop are important for Paving the Way. No Contact is an advanced tool, for now learn about Dim and Dark.
Do not initiate contact with your MLCer, but do not cut them off either. Follow their lead.

How long does MLC last?
MLC ranges from 3 to upwards of 7 years, but that is not an average, rather it seems weighted toward the longer-term of 5 – 7 years and it may last more than 7 years. Reconnecting may begin as early as two years in rare cases, but Reconnection is not the end of MLC, rather it may be the beginning of the end.

Should I tell my spouse about MLC or this website? I think the information could help them understand and change.
NO! MLCers do not want to hear about MLC and will deny it—even those who initially use it as an excuse for their actions.

Can I still Stand if I am already divorced or get divorced?
Yes. Standing is your choice. It's about what you want and not about what anyone else wants or thinks is possible.

More in depth answers to these questions can be found in the chapter articles here at the main site and in the articles at the blog—Love AnyWay. Be sure to sign up to the blog's email update system and receive notice of new posts in your email.

What is a Hero?

The term hero has a connotation of someone who offers themself for a righteous cause, a person who rescues and saves people from dangerous and life threatening situations or someone people respect and seek to emulate. But a hero is also the main character of s story. We are each the Hero of our story. The Hero's Spouse is you or it is your MLCer—you are each the Hero of your own journeys.

The store offers select revised chapters for individual sale, chapters removed from the completed book for sale and Coaching Archives.


A person who seeks to remain married while his or her spouse is seeking to escape the marriage; legal actions may or may not have been initiated or finalized. Some are Standers by action, while others are strict Standers in philosophy, believing divorce is an immoral action.
You may be a strict Stander, or you may choose to Stand without a strict aversion to divorce, or you may simply be uncertain whether your relationship is worth a Stand. It is for each individual to choose whether to Stand, or whether to step down. Some Standers are for Life, continuing to Stand knowing restoration of their marriages is unlikely. They are the Covenant Keepers, honouring their vows even as their spouse may marry another. Regardless of your beliefs and goals, you are welcome.

Ask a Question

Tell me what you are struggling with and maybe you will see your question answered as a future blog post.
Empirical Midlife Studies and the Backlash Against Midlife Crisis
A review of major midlife studies highlighting the discrepancy between interpretations about midlife crisis and the data.