How can I help my wife and marriage?

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Dear Ellen,

My wife is miserable.  I think she might be going through menopause, but if I bring up the word she get angry and doesn’t want to talk about it!  We barely speak anymore. How can I help her and our marriage? We are both suffering.

                                                                                                                                                        Ken

Dear Ken,

Your wife is lucky that you care so much and have reached out for help! My husband, David, was completely in the dark about what to expect when I hit perimenopause and menopause. Boy, talk about being “blindsided”! 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 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.

For him and for most of the men I have talked to, dealing with and trying to understand perimenopause and menopause is more challenging than PMS because it does not come and go every 28 days.

Most importantly encourage your wife to find a menopause specialist.  A good place to start is my Menopause Specialist Directory.  If you can’t find a specialist on my directory, read some helpful tips here. My husband went with me to interview a few specialists.  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  menopausal symptoms, de-mystifying this time in our lives. Information is power!

Women aren’t the only ones who need to understand menopause. We are one-half of the relationship, 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.

When you open up the conversation with the love of your life, here are some things for you to remember:

  1. Hormonal Changes Can Be Challenging for a Woman
  2. Do Not Personalize Her Emotional And Physical Changes – It’s Not You – It’s Probably Her Hormones
  3. Be Loving And Patient

It’s no secret that communication is the key to happy, healthy relationships. But when it comes to dealing with perimenopause and menopause, communication, love and patience are key. So start talking! Trust me; you’ll both be so glad you did!

Do not give up!  Good Luck!

Hugs,

Ellen

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • What wonderful advice. I’m going to repost this on Facebook so hubby can read it, and know HE is not alone. Just one more thing… to make for a fun couple night, I really recommend “Menopause, The Musical”. 😉

    • Ellen Dolgen

      I agree….what a fun show!

  • Excellent advice not to personalize. We do that so much in relationships (not just menopause)and often there’s not a thing wrong with the relationship. Took me years to learn this!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Such a good point, Barbara! Believe me, I still work on this in all walks of my life!

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