Guide To Menopause
Ok boys, let's cut to the chase.... menopause can be a roller coaster of extreme highs and gut-wrenching lows. Your better half can’t figure out what is happening with her body. Plus her mood swings could easily turn into the stuff of legends. Does she want to sleep? Eat? Take a bath? Is she feeling hot? Cold? Thin? Fat? In a good mood? Bad mood? All of the above? None of the above? Menopause symptoms are capable of giving the missus some form of whiplash at least twice per minute.
It's a landmine for you. One wrong foot, word, arch of an eyebrow or joke that would normally be funny and she will fucking end you. God forbid you utter a passing comment that she's crazy as she weeps into her pillow because the cat meowed at her funny. All that remains is a t-shirt with a tag of insanity on it.
Going through menopause is not easy. She has to deal with mental, physical and emotional symptoms hampering the previously smooth running machine that was her life. Although her supreme discomfort might be obvious to her and her gal pals (who could be going through something similar) you have probably been left hanging in the dark.
So as a service to all our homies out there, we have written this comprehensive menopause survival guide for all us clueless boys. She will never be able to understand the suffering of Man Flu but maybe we can take the high road and learn to not be a pain in her arse.
Guess what? A recent survey conducted by AARP Magazine found that ‘60% of women in their 40s, 50s and 60s opt for divorce’.........
Seriously dude, breathe.
You’re turning an unflattering shade of puce.
Stop giving your wife that suspicious look. STOP IT!.
Ok, that's better.
Now that you're back from the ledge, let's talk.
We are not saying that it’s the reality of your life. But prevention has always been better than a cure. So let's find out the reason for these statistics.
The main causes of divorce during this phase could be a lack of communication and a decrease in sexual appetite. If your wife is in this age group, you might have sensed some changes in her, mentally, emotionally and physically. The person whom you knew like the back of your hand is now an enigma. What you're sensing could be a possession. The demons have taken over your wife’s body and are holding her captive. Maybe call an exorcist......
Or it could just be menopause!
In which case you still might need that exorcist on speed dial. Cause let's face it, that shits’ cool. Plus you never know when you might need one.
Soooooo, menopause huh
A demon sounds really good right now, doesn't it? At least we have a number of movies teaching us how to deal with demons. Sprinkle them with holy water, start chanting anything that comes to mind in a deep voice or just yell and start running at the sight of it.
You could do the same with with your wife too if you want... Thank. When it comes to menopause, most guys are in the dark or trying to evade flying objects thrown with surprising speed and accuracy.
Menopause isn't all that bad though. Or is it? Let's investigate.
What Does Menopause Mean?
Menopause is universal. It marks the end of fertility in women. It walks into her life in her late 40s or early 50s, if not sooner. While women are forewarned of its arrival, men are not. So it ends up sneaking into your life with a sledgehammer.
Removal of ovaries might also trigger sudden menopause.
Menopause, or “the change,” is defined by medical textbooks as the end of a woman’s menstrual periods.
Most women have had to deal with years of agonising periods, monthly cramps and encounters with condescending arseholes.
‘You will never understand period cramps’, she says.
‘Couldn’t be any worse than being kicked in the balls’, replies the guy.
We've all had this exchange of views.
However, if we consider the pain equivalent to being kicked in the balls, keep in mind that it happens every month of every year!
Now Let’s Get Back To Menopause.
Most men associate menopause with a decline in their sex life. Add that to the lack of communication and understanding of what is happening in their wife's life, you might end up feeling slightly bewildered at the sudden turn your partner has taken.
But hang on. There's still hope though.
The veil of menopause that falls between you and your wife can be lifted with a glimpse inside her body.
Chill! we did not mean literally, you weirdo.
How Do You Know If Your Partner Has Reached Menopause?
Well, you might be acquainted with some of the symptoms of menopause without actually recognising them. If you aren't, here's what you might have to look forward to.
The fluctuating hormones can cause symptoms such as hot flushes (turns your girl into an instant oven, so you might as well relinquish control of the thermostat), night sweats (hot bath in between your sheets), itchy skin (you might find her scratching her skin off), migraine headaches (ouch!), breast tenderness (do not touch), vaginal dryness (desert in the pants) and irregular periods (will they, won't they, a guessing game for the ages).
If all of this wasn't enough, she might gain a few pounds as the cherry on the already enraged, ready-to-burst-into-flames cake.
How Might These Changes Affect Your Partner During Menopause?
Due to the array of changes your partner goes through that are so out of her control, she could suffer from exhaustion, depression, anxiety and moodiness, leaving her feeling confused and isolated. Psychologically, her mommy brain unplugs.
Hormones that boost communication and emotional circuits, enhance the drive to tend and care, and the urge to avoid conflicts at all costs, come to a screeching halt after menopause. So a lot of her behaviour that seems familiar to you might go out of the window.
There are additional factors on top of fluctuating hormones that may contribute to a lack of communication and interest in sex. Various medications like antidepressants, blood pressure medications, etc. can also lower sexual appetite.
Stress caused by your children moving out, caring for elderly parents and a loss of loved ones can also contribute to the aversion of sex. Ageing adds to the chaos too.
Communication and being intimate might be the last thing on her mind. During this roller coaster ride, if she does not receive support from you, the transition could be doubly painful for both of you.
What Can A Man Do To Help The Relationship During Menopause?
A man could actually save the sinking ship and raise the relationship to new heights. Having a supportive partner is of paramount importance to having a smooth transition through menopause.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your relationship and steer your boat into clearer waters:
- Listen to understand, not to reply. There is no solution to menopause. The hormonal changes might result in actions and words that might defy the rules of logic. Try not to criticise or attempt to fix her.
- Bring back the romance. Flowers, candlelight dinners, massages, sound good, don’t they? Or maybe a night in with pizza and Netflix. Indulge. Bring back the spark.
- Flirt with her & tell her you love her. Call her beautiful. As her body goes through so many changes inside & out, a little validation never hurts.
- Ask her what she wants to do. Get a babysitter if you have kids, and indulge in some adult time. Let her be the boss and dictate what she wants. Feeling in control, even in a small part of her life might do wonders.
- If these solutions fail to get the noose off your neck, give her some space and time to figure her own stuff out. You never know, all she might need is some ‘me time’.
Want To Help Ease Her Journey Through Menopause? Give These A Try.
- Violent mood swings might make you motion sick. Just go with the flow. Do not try to reason out her feelings. Not only will you fail, but you will also end up alienating her.
- Exercise and healthy eating. Join a yoga class together or go for a walk. Find a good grocery store and go food hunting.
- Visit your GP or a counsellor if needed. Abolish the stigma. Get help when you need it, individually or as a couple.
- Validate her experiences. Don’t call her crazy or illogical. Everything that is happening has a cause and effect even if it might not make much sense to you. Be compassionate.
- Start a conversation about the changes she is going through. Offer support. Find a middle line to walk that suits both of your needs.
- Or even buy her some menopause supplements ;)
We genuinely hope these pointers help smoothen your ride through menopause and help bring you even closer than before.
Just offer support. She’ll notice, and appreciate it. Women in menopause need patience, friendship and lots of laughter. She needs to know that you love her and that once you are through the worst of these changes, you will still be a couple in love.