Rather than without a cause, the Antihero is a rebel without a face and thus he is on an active search for his identity; he is a quester in turmoil. They are self-reflective, acknowledging their imperfections without blaming outside sources for their problems. Antiheroes recognize that midlife transition is a journey and need not be a crisis; even so it is not easy and a transition can become a midlife crisis. Antiheroes feel alone and as though no one understands their pain. They isolate themselves and wallow in overt and brooding depression. This self-absorption prevents involvement with their children and thus these men are often blind to their family’s interiorities and interests. Though they may recognize their wife and children visually, they have no intimate knowledge of each individual’s core being. Because they are openly aware of their own turmoil, they display high levels of anxiety along with other psychosomatic health issues. They abhor fakery—to thine own self be true; an Antihero’s public face is a realistic self-portrait—van Gogh displaying his bandaged head after severing his ear.
The Antihero is a quester; he acknowledges that he is lost and is thus actively striving for wholeness. This liminal mood is a more natural tendency for Antiheroes. He is in many ways the opposite of the Accommodater who follows the status quo, building a facade of success and stability. The Antihero rebels against such falsehood, refusing to sell out.
The Antihero may enter midlife crisis by attempting to claw out of a seemingly chronic depressive funk, but rather than climbing out of a Liminal Depression and into the Rebirth needed to transit into functionality, this person is falling apart and is clawing his way into dysfunctionality. He is becoming fed-up since he has felt no improvements in his life, rather than noticing positive progress, his pessimistic view only sees that things have become worse and that they will continue to deteriorate.
Since the Antihero turns his anger inward, he implodes, punishing and blaming himself; he may have a guilt complex in addition to a martyr complex. When he is unable to prevent his anger from exploding overtly, he becomes frightened and may panic. To him, exploding anger is indicative of a loss of control which Antihero’s handle by withdrawing. He must get away from his wife and family before he explodes again or before his explosions become worse. Such a person may or may not be a High-Energy Replayer, but monstrous anger is abnormal and frightening for him. Exploding anger may cause him to withdraw inward even more, or it may self-replicate and escalate as he loses control. He believes his wife will be safer and better off without him, or if he regresses into projection and denial, he will believe his wife is the cause of his explosions and though he believes she will be safer when he is gone, he also believes it is entirely her fault. She made him angry or failed to make him happy and thus they are incompatible. It simply was not meant to be; he will try to make it work with someone else.
Low-Energy Wallower’s may be more likely to be Antihero’s than Accommodaters. In MLC, his poor-me victim habit of dealing with conflict is no longer working. Since his patterned reaction to stress is inward, his quality of Separation may be more depressive than that of other MLCers, which may cause his spouse to wonder if it is a midlife crisis since he may be nicer than so many other MLC stories she reads about, or in trying to place her MLCer within an MLC map and timeline, she becomes confused since he seems so depressed. Replay behavior may be recognizable, but depression is also prominent and she may wonder if he is in or approaching Liminality. No, his comfort zone for relating to the world and dealing with conflict is inwardly depressive—whether he is stoic or emotional.