I sat down to write today’s MENOPAUSE MONDAYS® Blog. Several “hot” topics came to mind: loss of libido, how to solve the case of the missing orgasm, or how to cancel your unwanted membership to the sisterhood of the shrinking pants!
Instead, as I approach David and my 46th anniversary, I realize that as we manage perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause many of us find that we have marriages and or relationships in the high double digits. It is surprising how 46 years have whipped by so quickly.
David and I were so young when we went on that dreaded blind date. Yes, we met on a blind date. We didn’t have iPhones or dating sites or even Uber back in the day. Imagine that!
We both said, “No” to the blind date for one solid year. Our mutual friend, Liz, never gave up until we both finally caved in (anything to stop her from bugging us) and agreed to meet for lunch. Apparently, we both had the same caveat – Liz was supposed to come to the lunch, too. Of course, we both arrived on time – Liz never showed. That lunch was 47 years ago.
I decided to do some research on marriage and divorce among baby boomers. As it turns out, there is a term for couples in the 50+ age bracket who end up getting a divorce called, Grey Divorce. Since I have chosen to never go grey, I am confident our marriage will last. According to the ABA Journal, “The term was coined as research showed the phenomenon of the overall divorce rate going down while the “grey-haired” demographic’s rate of late-in-life divorce was on the rise. The 50+ crowd currently makes up a quarter of all divorces and 1 in 10 is 65+.”
David and I are both such different people now than we were 47 years ago when we first met. A wise woman inspired me to look at this phase with fresh hopes, dreams, and ideas for the future. I loved that idea. Sorta like a reboot or “new marriage.”
I approached David with this idea. He was all IN! In the new marriage, we let go of any reputation or annoying habits that we have accumulated from the old marriage. With that in mind, I searched the internet & my current marriage (ha!) for some of the couples’ most common annoying habits. LMK if any of these resonate with you:
- Leaving dishes in the sink as opposed to putting them in the dishwasher.
- Leaving wet laundry in the washing machine instead of tossing it into the dryer.
- Watching the news all day over and over again waiting for a new kernel of information.
- Seeing food on the floor, but not cleaning it up.
- Saying “no” first, without being open to saying “yes.”
- Leaving the toilet sit up.
- Not accepting a compliment.
- Taking a long time to get ready.
- Saying things are “ok” when they are not.
- Refusing to compromise.
- Pretending to be listening.
- Not hanging up your clothes.
- Asking where something is without bothering to look for it.
- Not wiping out the bathroom sink.
- Over dramatizing being sick.
- Not taking proper medical care of yourself.
- Not carving quality time out for romance.
- Overuse of the iPhone.
- Not being present.
In the new marriage, we let go of all of these things and we begin anew. Sorta like a spring cleaning – out with the old -in with the new. Be sure to get those items that you have swept under the rug. In the new marriage, we ask very clearly for what we need – at all times! If you need help with the laundry, ask for it. If you want help with the housecleaning, split up the chores and create a calendar invitation with reminders of whose day it is for each chore.
I found it interesting when I read some of the research done by relationship experts Drs. John and Julie Gottman on what makes marriages thrive, they’ve found that the most significant factor that determines whether couples stay together is the quality of the couple’s friendship. So in your new marriage, practice caring habits. Be kind, patient, considerate, and most of all communicative with one another.
Whatever, you need for more joy, fun, and happiness in the spirit of the new marriage – go for it!
Try it out! LMK what you think.
My motto: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN.
Sign up for MENOPAUSE MONDAYS® Blogs
Be sure to follow me on Instagram @menopause_mondays.
Follow me on TikTok @menopausemondays
*EllenDolgen.com does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.