Fifty, when you hold us

Fifty is the time to take stock. It’s a looming existential anxiety, but it’s also synonymous with freedom. We allow ourselves to finally be ourselves and lead the life we ​​want. Testimonies and analyzes on this passage, which is anything but banal.

“At 50, I got married and wrote my first book, because I had dreamed of writing since I was 5! », says Dominique Bertrand.

“It’s a fantastic age. You’re still in good shape, still cute, and there’s wisdom acquired over the years, but it’s obvious that you’re starting to look at life through a different lens, because you no longer have your whole life ahead of you like before. ! You have choices to make. It’s a difficult time, you’re cleaning up your life, in your friendships, you’re wondering if you’re well cared for and it’s time to leave your husband if things aren’t going well in your relationship! You should do it in your fifties, after that it will be more difficult! », thinks the 65-year-old host and former model.

For family therapist and philosopher Nicole Prieur, fifty is the age of assessments and at the same time, the age of shedding, because we can allow ourselves to change our skin. “You have to dare to change your life if that’s what you’ve wanted for a long time. We are going to free ourselves, free ourselves from what we have done for others, from being the good son or daughter of our parents. It’s an important turning point, fifty, we see the deadline coming, there is the anxiety of death, we have doubts, we can have regrets, and we ask ourselves questions about the meaning that we will give to the rest of his life,” she explains.


Dominique Bertrand

Social worker Judith Petitpas, author of Getting through the midlife crisis wellbelieves that many people go through a process of questioning themselves, whether in their forties or fifties.

One or more events can trigger this crisis. It could be the death of a parent, an uncle, an aunt, a friend or a health problem that you have yourself and which will cause you to question yourself. We may be surprised at the extent of the reflection, because it can be painful, and very deep.

Judith Petitpas, social worker

“It’s an age linked to menopause, for us women. There are depressions, which was the case for me, because of the drop in hormones. There is also empty nest syndrome, I cried for two years when my daughter left home, I would walk past her empty room and cry! », remembers Dominique Bertrand. “It’s a pivotal moment in life. You’re in front of a Y, you’re turning right or left, but you have to know where you’re going if you want the rest of your life to be satisfying. It’s destabilizing, but positive too, there is a newfound freedom, you can return to university at 50 to obtain a diploma, to do volunteer work. This is an opportunity to think about what you want to leave behind. »


André Robitaille

On André’s side

André Robitaille, who will celebrate his 60th birthday on October 3, will become a grandfather in December and will now live alone, because his 20-year-old daughter is leaving home. “A whole year!” », he exclaims. “In my fifties, I realized that I was going to the funeral home more often. I have close friends who have passed away and it really shook me up. When a very good friend your age dies, he was in good health and he falls to the ground overnight, it changes the urgency of living. I tell myself that life is very precious and that you have to take care of the people you love. »

Another change for the host and actor; worry about your health. “I’m in good shape, everything is fine, I’m lucky. I’ve never worried about my health, but I go to see the doctor more often, even though I didn’t ask myself the question before I was 50! », he observes.

What if it was a delayed adolescent crisis? “Anxieties, worries, questions, for a man in his fifties, it can be a time when we behave like a teenager, we need to attract attention, to extravagance, to feel that we can to still be attractive and to be reassured about your identity. For women, the questions will relate more to the couple and to work, with the desire to take time for oneself,” believes Nicole Prieur, author of These betrayals that free us.

This period can be a difficult time for couples.

We had the same ambitions, the same projects, the children, the house and there, everyone’s needs can be very different.

Nicole Prieur, family therapist and philosopher

“I separated from my partner [mère de leurs deux enfants] a few years ago, it was part of my journey,” confides André Robitaille. The desire to pass on and bequeath is also part of his thinking. “I have been teaching at the comedy school for three or four years, is it because of my age? Maybe, but I have this desire to transmit and this desire to share with young people, to guide them in all humility,” he says.

Dominique Bertrand draws lessons from his fifties. She learned to accept herself as she is, with her qualities and her faults. “I understood that I had the character of a dog, that will not change, I accepted it, but at the same time, I have a good heart, I am generous. Our faults are our traveling companions, we must live with them, if we spend our life being dissatisfied with who we are, we miss out on many things, so at 50, it’s time to say to ourselves here is who I am ! I know that I am more fragile and I have had to learn to recognize my limits. You have to know how to love yourself, and middle age gives you the opportunity to accept yourself as you are! »

Learn more

  • 5,058,752 people
    Number of people aged 50 to 59 in Canada (13% of the population)

    Spurce: Statistics Canada, December 2022

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