There are some things men just don’t get. One of those things is menopause. It’s not that your male partner doesn’t care or doesn’t want to help; it’s just likely he has no clue what you’re dealing with. The menopausal transition changes your whole life, from the way your body feels to how you handle your relationship. That doesn’t mean your relationship with your male partner has to suffer, though.
Talking about menopause with your spouse can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms like moodiness, hot flashes, and intimacy issues. Having an open, honest conversation, however, can help your man better understand what you’re going through so he can provide the support you need.
Menopause, For Men
For your partner, understanding what you’re going through means understanding menopause itself. The menopausal transition is a time in every woman’s life when she stops having a monthly menstrual cycle. It’s a natural process, but menopause often causes unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, moodiness, and sleeping problems.
For some women, going through menopause means big changes to their intimate relationships. For some, menopause causes an increase in irritability and depression-related symptoms. Frequent mood swings can make it difficult for your partner to know what to expect. Other uncomfortable symptoms may mean your love life gets put on hold.
Communication Is Key
Your man may be confused by menopause and wonder what he can do to help. Fortunately, there’s one easy way to let him know exactly what you need—clear communication. Talking about menopause can be tricky at first, especially if you’re not used to sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings. To ease your nerves, remember telling your partner about your needs, emotions, and preferences are is the best way to make sure he understands how you’re thinking.
Good communication techniques help you and your partner identify and address relationship issues before they become major problems. You may find it helpful to explain your thoughts to your partner, and then have him repeat what he heard, in his own words, back to you. Doing so can confirm you’ve communicated your thoughts in a way he understands so your message actually gets across. Also, focus on the positive: you no longer need to think about birth control, for example.
Supporting a Menopausal Spouse
Most men want to do something to help support their menopausal spouses. Many men are fixers, and it’s natural for them to want to do something to help. Fortunately, there’s a lot your partner can do to help you through this difficult transition.
If you’ve identified menopause symptom triggers, tell your partner about them. That way, he can help you avoid triggers like spicy foods or alcohol, which can cause unwanted symptoms. His support of your healthy eating habits can turn a difficult time into a transition into better health for both of you. Your partner can also help by validating your experiences and listening to what you have to say without offering suggestions for fixing the problem. Some men up the romance during this time. Bringing you flowers, giving you a massage, or taking you to a nice dinner can all help to keep you connected and engaged with your partner.
And if certain menopausal symptoms cause intimacy issues, you may choose to visit your doctor together to discuss treatment options. Your spouse can best support you by going to these sessions with you and learning more about which treatments, such as MonaLisa Touch®, could be right for you. Many women experience a renewed passion and boost in self-esteem after treatment.
Talking about menopause can be difficult at first, but exploring the topic together with your partner makes a huge difference in how you get through this transition. Even though menopause may cause symptoms, your partner can support you. Just be clear about what you need!