Your Woman is Not a Monster!

Navigating the complexities of menopause is a journey not just for women but for their partners as well. In this insightful article, we delve into the often-unspoken challenges faced by men as they support their wives through this significant life transition.

Supporting Your Woman Through Menopause

Men, take the time to learn the facts about menopause. Avoid misunderstandings by learning how your partner’s changing hormone levels can lead to symptoms like mood swings, brain fog, being more tired, or changes in sexual health. There are also long-term health impacts. Supporting each other during menopause is essential for maintaining a healthy and loving relationship.

For women, menopause is a time of physical and emotional change. It’s a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after she’s gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in her 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51.

But what of the husbands and partners they share their lives with? How does this critical period in a woman’s life affect them?

It’s a subject that touches many but is rarely spoken about. Well, until now.

I had a recent conversation with two men – *Joe and Jim (not their real names) – who are married to women who are going through menopause. These conversations proved to me how a woman’s menopause symptoms can cut right to the heart of a man’s sense of masculinity.

My conversation with *Joe (permission given). He said that he had an affair when his wife was going through menopause 5 years ago. He said that he’s since ended his transgressions, but it was evident by his tone and expressions that there were still raw emotions.

“Sometimes she would turn into a crazy monster. I remember saying: “I don’t know who you are any more. I often wondered if whether I would have behaved like this if my wife and I had been able to talk about what she was going through. I don’t know if she was in denial about what she was experiencing, but it ended up with me shying away from speaking to her about anything to do with intimacy. Only now I can see what a monumental change she went through. She moved from the role of wife, mother, and lover to this matriarchal authority figure. That was a real challenge for me. Being married to a post-menopausal woman makes you face your own ageing process. At the time, I didn’t understand any of this, so I reacted by falling in love with a much younger woman. And then, of course, the damage is done.”

My conversation with Jim (used by permission) who has been married to his second wife for ten years when she went through menopause.

“The most alarming thing was her unpredictability. Life would be going well and then out   of the blue, sometimes from one minute to the next, she’d turn into a crazy monster. Sometimes it got so bad that I thought our marriage was over. I remember saying to her you’re not the same woman I married.”

While Joe and Jim are examples of the havoc that menopausal symptoms can wreak on a relationship, I suspect there are many men who will empathize with those who confessed they suddenly found their menopausal wives to be difficult to live with. Jim said that he found the change so dramatic that he likened it to his wife undergoing a “personality transplant.”

The experience of menopause can vary for each woman, both in terms of frequency and severity of symptoms. During menopause, hormone levels fluctuate significantly, which can impact mood and overall well-being. The decrease in estrogen levels can lead to irritability, mood swings, and heightened emotional responses. So, even a minor issue with you may feel more overwhelming than usual to the woman, leading to frustration and anger.

These are some ways menopause can affect relationships:

  1. Physical Intimacy: Hormonal changes during menopause can lead to vaginal dryness, reduced libido, bruising and therefore discomfort during sex. These physical symptoms can affect a couple’s intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
  2. Understanding What the Woman Is Going Through: Men sometimes struggle to understand these changes and so can’t provide the necessary support.
  3. Arguing: Irritability and mood swings can contribute to more frequent arguments. Minor disagreements may escalate due to heightened emotions.
  4. Communication: Effective communication is crucial during menopause. Women may need to express their feelings and needs more clearly, while partners should actively listen and be empathetic.
  5. Growing Apart or Falling Out of Love: The stress and emotional strain caused by menopause can strain a relationship. Couples may drift apart if they don’t address these challenges together.

Open communication, empathy, and patience are essential to navigate these issues. If couples are unable to solve the issues on their own, then they should seek professional which will provide strategies to cope with the impact of menopause on the relationship. Remember that both partners are affected and supporting each other through this life transition is crucial.

Couples should educate themselves about menopause together so that they will understand the physical and emotional changes that occur during this phase. Knowledge helps reduce misconceptions and fosters empathy.

Couples should have open conversations about menopause. Women should express their feelings, symptoms, and needs. Partners should actively listen without judgment. Honest conversations can strengthen the relationship.

Men, be patient and empathetic to your woman as menopause can be challenging due to mood swings, hot flashes, and fatigue. Patience and empathy are crucial. Partners should acknowledge each other’s struggles and offer emotional support.

Also be understanding when it comes to physical intimacy and the changes in sexual desire and comfort. The woman should communicate openly about any physical discomfort. Both should explore alternative ways to maintain intimacy and closeness.

Assist with symptom management. Keep the bedroom cool , take a cool shower together, and offer a cold drink when she’s having hot flashes. Share household chores when she’s feeling fatigued. Be patient and avoid unnecessary arguments when she seems to be having mood swings. Encourage her to practice self care, such as exercise, alone time, balanced diet. Encourage her to seek professional such as having conversations with he doctor about hormone replacement therapy and other remedies to alleviate symptoms.

Remember that menopause affects both partners and supporting each other through this phase will strengthen your bond. Show your woman you’re with her on her menopause journey. Provide her with a positive environment to help her navigate this transitional phase of her life. The symptoms will not last forever. By doing so, you will strengthen your relationship and demonstrate you care about her overall well-being.

About The Author

Olive is Relationship Consultant and Traditional Matchmaker who has been passionate about psychology and relationships from an early age. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology, and have successfully provided guidance to singles and couples for over 10 years. She is well known for her commitment to clients, and passion for helping persons to find greater fulfilment in their relationships.

Olive is a published Author of the book Start Doing “It”- Making your Relationships Better and more Exciting. She’s conducted a series of workshops on Break Through to Happiness, and previously worked as a Mental Health Case Manager at one of Toronto’s leading mental health institutions.

Olive resides in Toronto Canada with her family.

Contact information: [email protected] or 647-236-1396

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