Are you feeling like you are one of the many husbands surviving perimenopause? It is something that every woman goes through typically around the age of 45 to 55. Though for some women, it may occur as early as their 30s or 40s, called perimenopause. For the many husbands surviving (peri)menopause, you’re not alone, from the google searches of ‘menopause divorce rate’ to ‘menopause, wife hates me’. But it’s not all woe, here is the best perimenopause advice for husbands.
The best perimenopause advice for husbands? Learn the whys as to how she can go from wanting to strangle you with the vacuum cleaner cord one second, to crying on your shoulder the next. From the hot flushes, (no this time around they’re not brought on by you) to the personality changes. Finding out as much as you can about menopause will help you stay ahead of the game. You’ll quickly realise that symptoms such as mood swings and hot flushes are not born out of cold air and there is far more going on.
You’re on her side, right? Even when she might be treating you like the enemy. Between dodging flying frying pans and offering tissues, try talking to her, no matter how awkward you feel broaching the subject. She’ll appreciate it, and letting her know that you’re trying to make it easier for her will take you out of the line of fire, at least temporarily. Don’t underestimate the difficulty of menopause.
It’s a trying time for you, so just imagine how difficult it is for her. The main thing here is to be patient. Give her plenty of leeway when she is upset or overcome with menopause anger and try to remember she’s not out to get you.
Sometimes it can be difficult for women to recognise themselves in the ways they feel and react to menopause. Imagine how tough it is to feel like a stranger to yourself. Don’t wait for her to call for the cavalry. Be there first to offer hugs, tissues, and ice cream. Suck it up and offer help. Cook the dinner, do some housekeeping; whatever it takes to stop her from feeling unsupported.
We get it, you can’t really understand what menopause is like because you’ve never had a visit from Aunt Flo, but that doesn’t mean you get to make light of how your partner feels. You will need to keep your sense of humour, but cracking jokes or making remarks about being menopausal is only going to make it harder for her and even if she doesn’t kill you, it could destroy your relationship, particularly if you’re doing it in front of others.
It’s perfectly fine to share the odd joke in private about some of your experiences of menopause but leave it long enough after the incident has passed so that she doesn’t have a meltdown. Remember to validate her feelings, don’t dismiss them by being insensitive. Offer to read a book on menopause to show her that you’re really trying to understand what she’s going through. Oh, and really do read it.
Is your partner’s mood going from zero to sixty in two seconds? Mood swings arise because of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone fluctuations during menopause. Her crabbiness one minute and her neediness the next is just as confusing for her as it is you. Consider the fact that she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in months because she keeps waking up in the middle of the night feeling like she’s in a Finnish sauna lodge.
For husbands surviving perimenopause, consider what is easier, biting your tongue or eventually eating your words? Take a dash of the Dalai Lamas mental resilience, her therapist’s ability to listen and bite your tongue. In the long run, it’s worth it. Unbeknown to her also, the slightest little thing can trigger an emotional outburst, from the mail running late to the 100th running of the charitable overworked donkey commercial. Despite your wife flicking from the personalities of Medusa to a helpless golden Labrador puppy the next, give her a hug, a shoulder to cry on and a reminder that everything is going to be alright.
60% of women report feeling less feminine and less attractive because of all the fluctuating hormones that menopause brings. Some women feel that menopause is ruining their figure, for others it’s a passion killer. Don’t panic if your sex life is in a slump. Give her time and make an effort to boost your partner’s self-esteem. Remind her on a regular basis how great she looks. Take her out on a date night and wine and dine her or have a romantic movie night on the sofa in front of the TV.
Although she may be getting bored with some of her old hobbies and routines. This may be a time when she develops some new interests. So if she suddenly wants to ditch scrapbooking and try her hand at hang gliding, support her new enthusiasm even if they are only temporary. Talk to her about them and find out what she enjoys doing these days. She’ll love being asked about her interests and will appreciate your endorsement.
Husbands surviving menopause don’t need to fear the M-word. There’s no need for it to be a mystery or a relationship breaker.
Knowing what to expect, you’re halfway there to being able to help your partner through this natural change of life. Add to that a little compassion and understanding, be prepared to talk it out, and let her know how much you care, and you can get through this together without menopause becoming the reason your relationship ends. So, keep smiling, don’t sweat the small stuff, and above all, remind her, and yourself, that this is not going to last forever. Things will eventually return to how they were before. And when they do, she will appreciate you more than ever.