Welcome back to another enlightening edition of Menopause Mondays®. Today, we’re navigating some tricky waters, addressing a topic that often goes unnoticed amidst the myriad of changes that accompany menopause: intimacy and relationships. To our male readers, particularly husbands and partners, this one’s for you.
Intimacy and Menopause: Making Sense of the Shifts
Has your wife or partner suddenly shown less interest in intimacy? Before jumping to conclusions or internalizing the issue, it’s essential to recognize that this sometimes has less to do with you and more with the physiological changes she’s experiencing.
Menopause brings with it a decline in estrogen levels. This isn’t just a number on a chart or a detail in a biology book; it profoundly affects a woman’s body and emotions.
How does this Affect Intimacy?
- Vaginal Dryness & Discomfort: A significant drop in estrogen can lead to vaginal dryness. This makes intimacy less appealing and, in many cases, painful. It’s akin to wanting to run with a sprained ankle—it’s not that she doesn’t want to – it just hurts.
- Emotional Changes: Mood swings, anxiety, and depression are some emotional roller-coasters associated with menopause. When one’s emotional world is in turmoil, physical intimacy might not seem all that inviting.
- Decreased Libido: Hormonal shifts can result in a reduced sex drive. It’s not about a lack of love or attraction but a biochemical change she has no control over.
- Self-consciousness: Body changes, hot flashes, and weight gain might make her feel less confident in her skin.
Navigating this New Landscape Together
- Open Communication: This is a golden rule. Encourage open dialogue. Let her know you’re there to support and understand, not judge or make her feel guilty.
- Find a Menopause Specialist: There are treatments and therapies, such as hormone therapy or lubricants, that can alleviate some of the physical discomforts of menopause. Here are some tips on how to find a menopause specialist.
- Counseling & Therapy: Consider couples’ therapy or counseling to navigate this new phase in your relationship. Having an unbiased third party is beneficial to help steer the conversation in a constructive direction.
- Rediscover Intimacy: Intimacy isn’t just about sex. Rediscover each other through non-sexual touch, deep conversations, shared activities, and date nights.
Your wife doesn’t hate you. The distance you feel might be because of her internal battles with menopause. Now, more than ever, she needs your patience, understanding, and love. By recognizing the challenges and being proactive, you both can navigate this phase with grace, love, and deepened connection.
My Motto: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
If you want to educate your employees, colleagues, or friends about menopause, look no further! Book Ellen for your next event.
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.