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How To Deal With Menopausal Wife

The Effects On Relationships

How to deal with your menopausal wife

While menopause is natural and normal, husbands and wives are often caught off guard by changes in their marriage relationship. Many husbands become confused by the behavior of their wife during menopause. The first thing men often notice is a decrease in sexual desire by their spouse.

As both partners age, a decrease in the frequency of sexual intimacy is normal, but during menopause some women have a significant loss of desire or begin to experience so much discomfort with intercourse that they choose to avoid contact. The husband may not understand whats going on and feel rejected or even suspicious that his wife is interested in someone else.

If a couple is already experiencing marital problems, then moodiness, irritability, confusion and sudden outbursts of anger may add another level of difficulty. Counseling may be necessary for both spouses during this crucial time of hormonal change.

Guys’ Guide To Menopause

Learn what goes on during a woman’s menopause — and how to help your partner.

Menopause isn’t just a rough time for women — it’s also hard for the men who love them. If your spouse or partner is in the throes of “the change,” unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings will probably affect you and your relationship.

In a recent survey, 38% of men said their wife’s night sweats and insomnia related to menopause affected intimacy, and they cited their partner’s lack of sleep or poor sleep as the main reason.

You may not be able to prevent hot flashes, but you can help the woman in your life get through this trying time — and preserve and strengthen your relationship.

Know what to expect. The average age of menopause in the U.S. is 51, but many women start to get symptoms in their early 40s. They can begin as early as 7 years before a woman’s final period and last 5 years or more afterward — that’s some 12 years of disruptive symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia.

What causes them? “Changes in hormone levels during menopause can affect the body’s ability to regulate its core temperature,” says Rebecca Brightman, MD, OB/GYN, assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital. Some women may also have vaginal bleeding at unexpected times, vaginal dryness, and pain during sex.

Important Things My Husband Needs To Know About Me Right Now

You need to speak up if you feel like Im over the line!

You are most likely wishing that there was a list of things you could gift your husband with some talking points that will help him to understand what you are going through. Rest assured show him this article, and hell not only appreciate your strength and tenacity, hell likely have a deeper understanding of what you are going through. Here are some things well tell your husband together about this time of life:

1. I may have lost interest in sex right now, but its not about you.

I have fluctuating hormones, and this decreased estrogen production makes me less responsive to your advances. Right now, sex for me can be downright painful, which is another turnoff. Dont worry, there are some things we can do together to spice up our love life and create intimacy in other ways that dont make me so uncomfortable.

2. I can be an emotional mess right now, plagued with feelings of self pity and doubt, and although I dont expect you to join me there, I do expect that you understand that I must ride this wave and acknowledge that these feelings are biochemically valid and that they, too, will pass..just like the days of my youth and beauty .

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You Need A Sense Of Control And Volition

You need to know and feel that you matter, that you have an impact on your surroundings and your relationships.

Since theres so much in life we have no control over, be on the lookout for things where your positive input can make a difference. And, of course, your attitude and actions regarding the well-being of your relationship, can make a huge difference!

Now your partner or spouse is going through the menopause, you could, for example, aim to be extra generous with your love and attention, understanding and forgiving.

In addition, talking about and setting and honouring each others boundaries does a lot to cultivate respect. Chances are that over the years youve piled on the assumptions without having a meaningful conversation about each others needs and wants.

Husbands And Menopause: Top Things You Need Your Partner To Know

How to Cope with a Menopausal Wife

Oh ladies, those of us who are going through the change of life.its tough at times isnt it? None of us knew what we were in for when we heard our mothers talking about hot flashes, mood swings, chocolate cravings, and weight gain.

While we may know what to expect when it comes to symptoms and life experience, they will not know what hit them when we suddenly turn on them for not taking out the trash.

We were foolish enough to think that it might not happen to us, that we would be able to escape these uncomfortable symptoms and weepy moments that we saw our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts experience as we wallowed in the foolishness of youth.

Lets face it, menopause affects all of us in some way, and if we are in a relationship, it can affect our partners as well. While we may know what to expect when it comes to symptoms and life experience, they will not know what hit them when we suddenly turn on them for not taking out the trash.

Lets do our partners a favor lets construct a navigating menopause cheat sheet for our husbands so that they can weather the storm with us and hopefully help us to strengthen our relationship through this time of change.

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Understanding The Menopausal Transition

Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause.

The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about 7 years but can last as long as 14 years. During the menopausal transition, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly. Bones become less dense, making women more vulnerable to fractures. During this period, too, the body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily.

Menopause may be triggered by a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries, which produce hormones. If you have surgery to remove your ovaries or uterus and are not taking hormones, you will experience the symptoms of menopause immediately.

This time in a woman’s life is often full of other transitionsnot just physical ones. Women may be caring for aging parents or relatives, supporting their children as they move into adulthood, or taking on new responsibilities at work.

How To Deal With Menopause As A Couple

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure for more info.

Menopause comes uninvited but needs a warm welcome. It is something that couples need to take on as a team and not individually. Indeed, your spouse plays a significant role in the whole process. Knowing that your spouse is there to back you up, to support and understand you in the life changing stage you are entering into, makes difficult changes bearable. One question may pop up in your mind right now and that is how to deal with menopause as a couple.

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Other Physical And Mental Changes At Midlife

Some common midlife changes that are often attributed to menopause are not necessarily related to the fluctuating or decreasing hormone levels of menopause. The four most commonly reported changes include mood changes and depression insomnia or other sleep problems cognitive or memory problems and decline in sexual desire, function, or both. Other physical changes that crop up in the middle years include weight gain, urinary incontinence, heart palpitations, dry skin and hair, and headaches. For these, a hormonal link is possible, but has not been proved. Consider the fact that men, who don’t experience a dramatic drop in hormone levels in their early 50s, often notice many of these same symptoms!

Dealing With The Symptoms Of Menopause

Menopause Survival Tips: What Every Man (and Woman) Needs to Know About Managing Menopausal Madness!

You could argue that the physical and mental changes that occur during menopause aren’t really “symptoms.” The term is usually associated with a disease, which menopause is not. Also, it is often hard to say which changes are a direct result of a drop in hormone levels and which are natural consequences of aging. Some of the symptoms overlap or have a cascade effect. For example, vaginal dryness may contribute to a lower sex drive, and frequent nighttime hot flashes may be a factor in insomnia.

Hot flashes and vaginal dryness are the two symptoms most frequently linked with menopause. Other symptoms associated with menopause include sleep disturbances, urinary complaints, sexual dysfunction, mood changes, and quality of life. However, these symptoms don’t consistently correlate with the hormone changes seen with menopause transition.

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How Might Menopause Lead To Mood Swings

During the transition to menopause, levels of the hormone estrogen drop, causing wide-ranging changes throughout the body. Many of these changes have direct connections to menopausal mood swings.

For example, the drop in estrogen is thought to affect the way the body manages serotonin and norepinephrine, two substances that have been linked to depression. Lower levels of estrogen have been linked to irritability, fatigue, stress, forgetfulness, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.

The impact of these changing hormone levels may not be limited to a direct cause-and-effect relationship with depression, anger, and anxiety. Hormone shifts may also intensify these feelings.

Also, researchers have found higher levels of a brain protein known as monoamine oxidase A , which is linked to depression, in women entering perimenopause.

Sometimes, reactions build on each other, such as with night sweats. These are hot flashes that take place when someone is asleep.

Night sweats can be so intense that a woman is woken and sleep is disrupted. Several nights of disrupted sleep can result in foggy thinking, irritability, and other characteristics associated with menopausal mood swings.

Help Her To Treat Mood Swings

Hormones are the silent culprit behind your wife’s mood swings. As such, it is important to discuss treatments for hormonal imbalances with your wife. Most doctors recommend making simple lifestyle changes such as drinking less caffeine, eating more protein, and exercising regularly.

If these are not effective, talk to a doctor about alternative methods or pharmaceutical treatments. Herbal remedies such as black cohosh, ginkgo biloba, and Macafem may provide relief for your wife without the risks or high cost. A doctor can also identify whether or not her mood swings are a sign of a more serious condition like bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety.

Understanding the symptoms of menopause and how they affect your wife’s everyday life is important for your marriage – and for your wife’s health. Click here to read more about different ways to deal with mood swings.

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What Husbands Need To Know About Menopause

    While menopause is natural and normal, husbands and wives are often caught off guard by changes in their marriage relationship. Many husbands become confused by the behavior of their wife in menopause.

    I recently saw a couple in my office for a medical visit. The husband insisted on accompanying his wife, who was in her mid-50s, into the exam room because he wanted to make sure she relayed all of her symptoms and all the things that were going on in her life. He immediately commandeered the examination: First of all, she just isnt interested in having sex with me anymore, and she does everything that she can to avoid being intimate with me. The wife put her head down in embarrassment.

    I shifted the conversation to the patient and asked, Have you noticed any significant changes in your behavior or the way you feel lately? She launched into a lengthy list of symptoms: depression, severe hot flashes and night sweats, forgetfulness. She also reported waking up three to four times each night and lacking energy. Without a doubt I knew what she was dealing with menopause.

    She finished by saying, I dont want to have sex because I feel so ugly and unattractive, and also because it hurts so much now. The husband sat there, his mouth open in disbelief. Wow, he said when he regained his speech. Thats the first time that Ive heard any of that.

    His wife said, I thought there was something wrong with me, and I was embarrassed to tell you.

    Don’t Be Afraid To Bring It Up

    5 Easy Steps to Deal with Your Wife

    More than 50% of womenexperience mood swings during menopause. Although they are a common symptom, they can be frustrating and embarrassing and she may not want to discuss what she is experiencing. Or, she may not even be aware of her mood swings and the impact they have on you. Communicate your interest and support as her partner. Make sure you raise concerns both about the ways her mood swings are affecting your relationship and the larger picture – her health.

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    Dear Husbands Of A Perimenopausal Wife

    January 25, 2016 by Magnolia

    Update: This post was originally written in 2009. It has been edited and updated to be republished

    Well, as you can tell from the title of this post, Im sending out a lifeboat of sorts, to husbands whose wives are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause. The search data on my blog tells me that more than a few men are out there searching for information on perimenopause, and how it affects women. Im also assuming that these men are trying to understand what is happening to their wives, so they can cope with it, and maybe even learn how to help their wives as well.

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    And she warns that for these women, it’s something to take seriously. “If you’re having serious depression, and your functioning is affected, if you’re having suicidal thoughts, or you feel completely hopeless, that is a major depressive episode that absolutely needs treatment,” she says.

    A vulnerable time

    Perimenopausal mood swings often resemble symptoms of premenstrual syndrome women might feel sad, or sluggish, or irritable.

    “I’ve had people say that they feel like they have PMS all the time,” says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, who leads the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “They just don’t feel like they’re in control of their mood and they feel edgy.”

    Generally though, these mood swings are manageable, she adds. “The good news is that most women will navigate their perimenopause without serious mental health issues.”

    But a significant number of women about 18% among women in early perimenopause and 38% of those in late perimenopause experience symptoms of depression. And symptoms of anxiety appear to be more common during this time leading up to menopause, including panic attacks.

    Those most at risk are women with a history of mental illness, as well as women whose moods are particularly sensitive to hormonal fluctuations.

    “Women who had postpartum depression or have always had significant mood changes premenstrually are going to be at risk of having more symptoms,” says Payne.

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    How Does Menopause Affect My Sleep

    Our moms and grandmothers called it the change of life that dreaded ageof hot flashes and mood swings, and the unofficial start of middle age.Many women expect those unwelcome symptoms duringmenopause. But along with sweating and weight gain comes something many women dontanticipate: disturbed sleep.

    Poor sleep quality and sleep disturbance are lesser-known changes duringthis phase of life, saysGrace Pien, M.D., M.S.C.E., an assistant professor of medicine at theJohns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, but theyre very common.

    You might think that a good nights sleep is nothing but a dream once youreach a certain age. Many women experience sleep problems duringperimenopause, the period of time before menopause when hormone levels and menstrualperiods become irregular. Often, poor sleep sticks around throughout themenopausal transition and after menopause. Fortunately, says Pien, thereshelp.

    Whats good sleep? Women should aim for between seven and eight hours ofquality, uninterrupted sleep per night, Pien says. The rule isnt hard andfast, though some people need less sleep and others need more. Ingeneral, if you’re waking up regularly during the night and feel that yoursleep isn’t restful, those are signs that maybe you’re not getting goodsleep, she says.

    Women May Want Sex More/less Often

    Three Thing Women MUST Tell Men About Menopause

    For some women, the menopause brings with it a sense of sexual liberation, not having to concern themselves with unwanted pregnancy, or worries about when they can have sex .

    More than 50% of menopausal women report no decrease in desire at all in sexual desire, and fewer than 20% report a significant decrease.

    For other women, the declining levels of oestrogen result in less vaginal lubrication which can result in intercourse becoming painful and in anticipation of pain some women may also cause women to develop vaginismus, .

    Dyspareunia is relatively easy to treat but vaginismus is more difficult to correct and often a sex therapist must be consulted. These conditions could cause a woman to want sex less, coupled with a low appreciation of her body image, or the perception that her partner is less interested. Partners can feel rejected and this can cause them to give up initiating sex, thus creating a physical distance between them. Its also possible that situations can be equalised in terms of libido: if one partner has had a higher need for sex than the other, they may also be feeling the effects of age, beginning to suffer performance, age-related problems.

    Ive always had a higher sex drive than my partner, but as Ive aged I have found my need for sex to be less, I dont fancy my partner any less, but now it feels as if we are at the same place regarding desire and frequency of sex.

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