As a husband to a menopausal woman, it’s somewhat understandable that you might be completely out of your depth with a partner undergoing menopause. Menopause may seem to you as an undesirable development that cannot be influenced and might even trigger your withdrawal from your partner.
However, husbands must remember that women undergoing menopausal transitions need special care and attention. It’s equally up to them to educate themselves about the quirks of menopause and the range of symptoms associated with a declining hormonal level to prep up adequately for such in their partners.
Spouses undergoing menopausal transitions often feel as though they’re no longer attractive and are usually candidates for bouts of depression. By wrapping your head around the causes and symptoms of menopause, you can help your partner navigate this new phase of their life without much fuss.
Know What to Expect
Knowing what to expect from your menopausal partner is critical to dealing with them as a husband. Some women experience symptoms as disturbing as alopecia to the relatively more benign symptom of occasional night sweats. Whichever your partner would experience particularly depends on how far gone they are in their transitions and individual perks they might’ve.
Educating yourself in this regard goes beyond knowing which symptoms to look out for and extends to salient details about your partner. How far gone are they in their transitions? How discomfiting are their symptoms? Would they need medications and supplements? Some symptoms to look out for include:
- Reduced skin moisture and scaliness
- Night Sweats
- Reduced Libido
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Increased weight
Awareness of all these keeps you from asking potentially discomfiting questions such as, “Are you getting bald?” or “Why can’t you just sleep?” Such questions will only upset your partner and make them feel they’re at fault for these things.
Fine-Tuning Relationship Skills
Have a sit-down with your spouse and discuss how you could weather this next stage of your relationship nicely. Remember, the kids would be more likely than not be living somewhere else at this period of your lives, and you’d be all alone with each other. You must give the relationship a complete workover and hash out plans you could both embark on to protect your relationship.
Talk about the facts of your spouse’s menopause and prepare to face any changes the symptoms might introduce to your living patterns. Considerations to remember typically include supporting your spouse when things get tough, knowing enough about the hormonal withdrawal symptoms to not make a mountain of it, and the like.
It’s important not to overlook this tip, as talking over the facts of this new phase in their life would only reassure your partner that you are in this together.
One of the common symptoms of hormone withdrawal is mood swings. However, not everybody going through menopause would experience this symptom. If your spouse experiences this, it will help to recognize that they’re nothing more than withdrawal symptoms. You mustn’t develop any adverse reaction to their occurrences.
In addition, mood swings – even in women going through menopause – are not always in response to changes in hormonal levels. Getting to the root of such occurrences and responding is an important relationship skill to develop and master.
Enhance Your Communication Skills
Constant communication is key to suppressing any emotional turmoil your partner may be experiencing. Even if you’re not much of a talker, consider asking your spouse occasional supportive questions to make them feel better.
Other tips to keep in mind in dealing with a menopausal partner include:
In the scenario where your spouse keeps experiencing the effects of a menopausal symptom, for example, perhaps they find it difficult to fall asleep, be supportive and consider even making research together to find out the best medications for them to take to get over their insomnia.
Regard menopause as nothing more than a new life stage in your relationship. A healthy sense of humor would come in handy at this point. Your relationship can still tow the path you both set in your youth. Try to inject some of that warmth, especially as you need those now.
Remain natural; don’t overdo things.
Should your partner experience a particularly nasty mood swing, leave them to rant or get frustrated in peace. Attempting to overdo things and get more personal than necessary may only cause undue anxiety and possibly complicate issues further for your spouse.
Simply nodding your head when they speak and allowing them to express all their pent-up issues is vital to turning the issue around and hitting things off. In cases where things may get more heated than necessary, playfully brush it up and bring up(possibly) other activities you both may enjoy.
It’s more important now than ever to compliment your partner occasionally, even on seemingly insignificant things. Start learning if you’re not a talker and prefer having things implied.
Rekindle the flames of your relationship. Treat your partner to a surprise dinner in their favorite restaurant when least expected. Extol her virtues and drive in the facts of her worth to you.
If you’re chronically silent and feel a bit off in showering praises on your partner, show it in your gestures instead. You’d be amazed at how nicely she’d take to such little things as buying her a bracelet she made mention of once or throwing her a surprise party, not necessarily for any occasion but perhaps just for the thrills of it.
Apart from providing help for your partner, please educate yourself about their condition and become a better communicator. Other worthwhile guides to keep at heart include:
Help out with daily routine tasks
It’s not uncommon for menopausal women to experience hot flashes or dizziness during the day. Helping out with everyday tasks like washing the clothes or gardening would help greatly relieve pent-up stresses and reduce the risks of possible fatalities that may spring up at any point.
Events that disturb her everyday routine could induce unaccepted stress levels in menopausal women. The duo of you must make arrangements beforehand and keep contingencies in place to take care of possible unanticipated events that would do nothing but raise stress levels in your partner.
Manage sleep problems
Several women undergoing menopause typically have difficulties falling asleep at night. If your partner falls within that set, discuss how best to confront such. Ask her: would she prefer to opt for CPAP therapy? Or would she merely stick with medications and supplements instead? Encourage her to consult with her doctor or consult trusted resources on the web to help out.
Her new life stage is not the period to leave her to do her things alone. It’s even more important to tag alongside her not only in her daily tasks but equally with extras like exercises and even special diets she may be on.
Consider turning the weekend neighborhood biking into a mutual affair. If your partner is on calorie-bound diets, consider getting on such also. You could always chug up on your preferred meal at any other time. Whatever you do, never make her feel alone. o
Tips about Sex
Sex is a common struggle during the menopausal years when the libido can wane, and one partner may want sex more than the other.4
The trick is to find the right balance of intimacy and sexuality. Focus for a while on staying physically close rather than making sexual intercourse the hard and fast rule. Ask what makes your partner feel good and offer to do it. Sometimes, a simple foot rub or shoulder massage may keep you both connected.
Vaginal changes during menopause can sometimes make sex uncomfortable or even painful. If there is pain with intercourse, encourage a discussion with your partner’s gynecologist. There are certain treatments, like estrogen cream, that can help.
If your sexual appetites are different and there doesn’t seem to be a way to reconcile them, it may be time to consult a sex therapist. These professionals can help you find the middle ground and improve your sexual communication skills.
Menopause and Anger toward Husbands
Several husbands would swear that their partners got more predisposed to experiencing sudden fits of anger in their 40s and 50s. It usually is way more frequent compared with their temperament in their youth.
All women don’t undergo menopause throw fits. However, those that do are often experiencing the harsher sides of the new stage of life menopause brings on. While the circumstances leading up to such changes in temperament can hardly ever be influenced, there are some steps you could consider setting on to ease off life for the duo of you nonetheless. We’ve covered the probable causes for the occurrences and remedial actions to consider.
Why is she so angry at her husband?
You both have hardly ever had an altercation throughout your years of marriage. Yet, it may seem all your wife is ever ready to indulge in her 50s is to be all ragey and pick up fights at the slightest of things.
Nowadays, the intended dinner party you’ve both always held annually for friends and family may suddenly seem to irritate her. Or the facts of your snoring – which she’s probably teased you countlessly over – may disturb her in no small measure. While you may find her seemingly inexplicable bouts of rage unbecoming and unfair, it may interest you to know that her fits of anger are within the limits of reasonableness, and you hardly ever are the cause of any.
Why does she go all hulky at times? Well, there are quite a few reasons. Some of which we’ve covered below.
Few understand her plight during menopause.
Unlike some years ago when it was practically taboo to mention the word, people talk without inhibition about menopause these days. However, people hardly ever understand what it feels like to go through such a notable stage in life unless they’ve experienced it themselves. And when, as the husband, you keep going on and on about the facts of their hair thinning out or how much weight they suddenly seem to keep gaining, it’s merely a question of time before they end up frustrated and depressed.
Merely reading up on the symptoms and ascribing just about every new quirk about her (even empathetically) to the transitions may sadden or irritate her. You probably wouldn’t know this, but casting the shadows of menopause over every new physiological development in her life may make her feel like she’s no more than a superficial object. It’s not uncommon for such women to feel uncomfortable discussing new developments with their husbands.
During menopause, her periods are unpredictable.
The first indication several women get that menopause has set is the fact of the new irregularities in their periods. They typically find this discomfiting and irritating. At times, they pass on their aggression to others.
Usually, she doesn’t know whether the periods are gone for good. Or whether or not they’d be back in some three months – as she probably experienced last time, possibly putting her in a difficult position at work. The new random nature of her monthly discharge may make her anxious at being caught unawares and irritated at the seeming loss of influence over her bodily processes. The frustrations often manifest as fits of rage directed at all and sundry.
She’s uncomfortable and angry.
Mid-day dizziness and the accompanying hot flashes are only some uncomfortable symptoms alongside hormone withdrawal. Insomnia and night chills are equally some of the more nasty ones to contend with. While a fair portion of these is mitigated with medications and supplements, there are still ‘remnants’ to a degree, which could cause a great deal of discomfort for your spouse.
Discomfort often breeds unintended rage directed at no one in particular.
Her body is changing in unpredictable ways.
One other notable physical effect of hormone withdrawal is women’s losses or gains in body weight. It might seem that no matter what she does, whether or not she sticks to a strict diet, she might be putting on more weight ( or losing) than her diet would normally allow.
Asides from the possibly discomfiting feeling of being overweight – or underweight as the case may be, there’s also that underlying feeling of frustration and helplessness at lacking control and not being able to dictate and meet her preferred standards. Such occurrences may cause her to lash out unfairly at you, her husband, or other folks with whom she would normally be on friendly terms.