How to Help Your Husband Understand Menopause

By on May 28, 2013

By Ellen Dolgen –

What do men think of perimenopause and menopause?

Does your husband understand menopause? I mean, really understand menopause? Chances are that he just thinks it’s that time of YOUR life when you get to say goodbye periods and PMS. Hello, sex all month long!

My husband, David, and most of the men who responded to my recent questionnaire were completely in the dark about what to expect when the loves of their lives hit perimenopause and menopause. Boy, talk about being “blindsided!”

When our relationship was hit with a torrent of hot flashes, tremendous mood swings and sleepless and 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 to the men in our lives. My husband wasn’t sure if my feelings for him had changed or if he had done something to incite my bad 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.

For him and for most of the men I interviewed, dealing with and trying to understand perimenopause and menopause is more challenging than PMS. “It doesn’t come and go every 28 days or so… once you’re in, there’s no turning back, so you can’t rationalize away the symptoms,” David says. “You can’t just dismiss the symptoms of menopause as ‘it’s just that time of month’ and wait for day eight to roll around.”

Finally, though, 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. But most importantly, we grew to better understand this chapter of my life—and our relationship. Together and as co-participants, we educated ourselves on the myriad of more than 30 menopausal symptoms, de-mystifying this time in our lives. Information is power!

Women aren’t the only ones who need to understand menopause. As a woman, you are one-half of your marriage (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 up the conversation with the love of your life with these top three things every woman should tell her partner about menopause:

1. 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.

2. 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 pretty hurtful things. Sometimes they shock even us. So imagine how the men in our life 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!

3. I’m Still Attracted To You: It is important that your spouse understands that when your estrogen levels begin to plummet.

It’s no secret that communication is the key to happy, healthy relationships. But when it comes to dealing with perimenopause and menopause, communication might as well be smack dab in the middle of your vows. So start talking! Trust me; you’ll both be so glad you did!

Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT! 

Is it hot in here or is it just you? Get discounts on sisterhood-recommended menopause products, courtesy of EllenDolgen.com. Enter promo code “ellend” to save serious cash!

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More important women’s health information on EllenDolgen.com:

Menopause Mondays: How to Age Gracefully Through Menopause

Menopause Mondays: Fight Menopausal Weight Gain

Menopause Mondays: Women’s Fertility and the Biological Clock

Ellen Dolgen

About Ellen Dolgen

For Ellen Dolgen, menopause education is a mission. Spurred by her own experience struggling with the symptoms of menopause, Dolgen has devoted the last ten years of her life to helping other women during this often difficult time. While she’s not a doctor or scientist, she’s “talked the talk” with countless menopause experts, so that she can “walk the menopause walk” and share the keys to this menopause kingdom.

One Comment

  1. Vanessa Sheets

    February 24, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Great insight as to what men experience when their partners enter perimenopause. Reminds me of the hormonal changes women go through postpartum. Both can really effect a marriage- great suggestions for keeping an open dialogue with your spouse.

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How to Help Your Husband Understand Menopause