What does your partner think of perimenopause and menopause? Does he/she understand menopause? I mean, really understand menopause.
The onset of perimenopause may begin to occur between ages 35-45. You have graduated to menopause when you have not menstruated for 12 consecutive months. (If you have some break-thru bleeding – you must start the clock over.) The average age of menopause is 51. Next, you progress to post-menopause. Women remain in post-menopause for the remainder of their lives. With this in mind, isn’t it time to add menopause education for ALL students in grades 7-12 in health/sex education classes? In addition, all menopause education should be accessible for people of all genders and sexualities being mindful of inclusive language.
Sir Rod Stewart had another great idea. He said that we should have educational classes for men on menopause to help husbands and partners understand what women go through. His wife, Penny, had severe menopausal symptoms.
Like Rod Stewart, my husband David was completely in the dark about what to expect when I hit perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. My symptoms of perimenopause began in my 40’s. Boy, talk about being “blindsided!” When our relationship was hit with a torrent of hot flashes, tremendous mood swings, and sleepless/sex-less nights, he was more than flummoxed.
Why was I so moody? Why did everything he do upset me so? Why didn’t I want to be intimate with him anymore? These changes can be so confusing. David wasn’t sure if my feelings for him had changed or if he had done something to incite my bitchy demeanor. Either way, he feared it would never go away. He wanted our relationship back but had no idea as to what the cause or cure was.
My husband and I sought out a perimenopause and menopause specialist, and together we both found hormone happiness. We learned that the symptoms our relationship was suffering from were actually symptoms of perimenopause. And with proper medical care, the symptoms faded away. Together and as co-participants, we educated ourselves on the myriad of menopausal symptoms, de-mystifying this time in our lives. Information is power!
Menopausal women aren’t the only ones who need to understand menopause. You are one-half of the relationship (and let’s be honest: sometimes even more than that!), and when that half changes, it changes the relationship right along with it. For my husband and me, going together to see a menopause specialist was a game-changer in how we approached this time in our lives together. Now, our relationship is even stronger than it was before.
Open the conversation with the love of your life with these top three things every woman should tell her partner about menopause:
- This Is Hard for Me: As women, we try to take everything that life throws at us in giant, superhuman strides. But menopause isn’t a road best-traveled solo. So don’t try to do it that way! Be honest about how you feel both physically and emotionally. Even once you conquer hot flashes, mood swings, and the various other symptoms of menopause, coping with the loss of fertility can be difficult for many women. You deserve every feeling. Don’t discount them.
- It’s Not You, It’s My Hormones: Let’s face it when riding the hormonal highs and lows of menopause, we can say and do some hurtful things. Sometimes they shock even us. So, imagine how our partners feel when they become the target of our fury! Before my husband and I realized menopause’s full effects, he felt like he had done something wrong. That couldn’t have been further from the truth!
- I’m Still Attracted to You: It is important that your lover understands that when your estrogen levels begin to plummet, your vagina might go from frolicking on a tropical island to being spiteful and stranded in the Mojave Desert. When this happens, sex can hurt! This can be quite disturbing to a couple that is normally very sexually active and satisfied. But do not fret, lovers, there is help for this! With a little lube and/or LET, you can be back frolicking on the beach in no time.
You can learn more about how to deal with hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, painful sex, and the other myriad of menopausal symptoms in my FREE eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.
It’s no secret that communication is the key to happy, healthy relationships. So start talking! Trust me; you’ll both be so glad you did!
Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
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*EllenDolgen.com does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.