Marriage and Menopause

Menopause…The word itself sends shudders up and down the spines of women and men alike. Women because of the rumors and men because of the -well-rumors. Menopause is defined as the period in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing estrogen. As a woman’s body adapts to these changes, she finds herself facing potentially frightening symptoms such as heart palpitations and lack
of concentration. Stereotypically characterized by hot flashes, irritability, and mood swings, menopause can be a trying time for a woman and her husband.
The menopausal woman may experience a decreasing sex drive, emotional turmoil, and low self-esteem. She may find herself inexplicably angry, depressed, and extremely edgy. She may lash out uncharacteristically at her friends and family. It is important in this period of your spouse’s life that you show her compassion and support.
Try to be objectively understand what your wife is going through. Don’t tease her about her symptoms or ignore them. In this potentially trying period of your wife’s life, she may require a lot of reassurance from you. Remind her that you love her and that she is still attractive. Try not to be offended if she occasionally lashes out, and give her some room to be alone. Many menopausal women feel guilty about their desire for solitude. Remind her that you are there for support if she needs it.
Encourage your wife to take estrogen supplements. This can be a wonderful way to minimize the negative effects of menopause. As her estrogen levels fall, your wife may experience a lack of sexual desire, changes in weight and appearance, and a drop in self esteem, along with the other physiological consequences of menopause. Hormone replacement will put an end to mood swings and hot flashes, as well as re-firm tissue and protect against osteoporosis and heart disease.
Many men find themselves on the verge of crisis when they hear the word “menopause” and their wife’s name in the same sentence. In the United States, growing old is almost always seen as a
negative or undesirable thing, and is often associated with fading beauty, less excitement, and the approach of death. Rid yourself of this type of thinking. Remind yourself how much you love your wife, and how beautiful you still think she is. Instead of worrying about “getting old,” focus on new ways in which you and your wife can enjoy yourself. The love and joy in your relationship doesn’t have to end with maturation. As a matter of fact, growing older rids you of many responsibilities and concerns that used to control your life. Embrace your maturity, and give thanks for being given a spouse to share your life with.
Don’t let menopause come between you and your wife. Instead, work together to understand the condition, and work through the more difficult days. Although your wife may feel like it on some days, menopause is not the end of life. In fact, many post-menopausal women report a marvelous sense of well-being and renewal after the symptoms subside.