womenTALK: Blog

Monday, Sep 20th 2010

Will Your Marriage Survive Menopause?

by guest blogger Staness Jonekos

Over 60 percent of divorces are initiated by women in their 40s, 50s or 60s — the menopause years — according to a recent survey conducted by AARP Magazine. Why are women running away from marriage?

I wasn’t even married when I slammed into menopause months before my wedding day at the age of 47. Despite being completely in love, I almost ran away and my fiance almost married bridezella!

Experts say the number one reason for divorce is lack of communication. My response from the ladies corner, “When everything you know to be normal is being kidnapped by changing hormones, communication may be last on the list. Throw in lifestyle changes, health and aging issues, and you are left in a small evaporating puddle of low self-esteem feeling hopeless.”

Many men blame lack of sex as the leading reason for midlife divorce. But is it? AARP poled 1,682 adults ages 45 and older on the importance of sex. Two-thirds of men (66 percent) and about half of women (48 percent) agreed that a satisfying sex life was important to their quality of life. That is only an 18 percent difference. So is it lack of sex, or a breakdown in communication chasing the women away?

Navigating a course in uncharted territory can test any relationship emotionally and sexually. It can also bring a couple closer — it did for me.

Purchasing midlife marriage insurance can help combat the unforeseen hazards during the menopause transition. How do you qualify for this love insurance? The first step is to understand how menopause can affect your love life.

Ladies first.

Menopause is a life transition that can affect you physically and emotionally. Your body is experiencing fluctuating hormones that can cause hot flashes, night sweats, itchy skin, migraine headaches, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness and irregular periods. Eighty percent of women will experience uncomfortable symptoms, and the majority struggle with midlife weight gain.

Many women feel unattractive going through so many uninvited changes. Some suffer from exhaustion, depression and moodiness leaving them feeling isolated and confused.

During menopause a woman’s brain also goes through changes. Dr. Louann Brizendine (author of The Female Brain) says, “The mommy brain unplugs. Menopause means the end of the hormones that have boosted communication circuits, emotion circuits, the drive to tend and care, and the urge to avoid conflict at all costs.”
There are additional factors on top of fluctuating hormones that may contribute to a lack of communication and interest in sex.

Dr. Wendy Klein, co-author of The Menopause Makeover and leading menopause expert, informed me, “If a woman is taking medications, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, contraceptive drugs, antihistamines, sedatives, antihypertensives and/or medications for blood pressure, this can also decrease sexual desire.”

Midlife stresses brought on by career change, the loss of a loved one, empty nest syndrome or caring for elderly parents can contribute to a declining libido.

Throw in aging issues and the last thing on a menopausal woman’s mind is communicating. This woman is in self-survival mode, and may be in no mood to connect or make whoopi.

If she is in an unsupported relationship while managing this collection of changes, leaving the marriage may appear like her only salvation.

Gentlemen — your turn.

How many factors listed above is your partner experiencing? It is no surprise why men are afraid of menopause. His woman is changing in front of his eyes.

Women are not alone suffering from changes. Men also have midlife challenges, both physically and emotionally. Declining testosterone can affect libido, moods and sexual performance. Generally a man’s hormones change gradually compared to the woman’s experience during menopause, so it may not be obvious to the man that he too is changing. Some of these unwelcomed changes may include midlife stress, as well as health and aging issues. If both partners are experiencing change, the relationship may be on an emotional roller coaster.

Approximately 47 percent of women experience sexual difficulties with a decrease of sexual desire being the most common, according to the National Health and Social Survey and the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors.

It is no surprise that most men associate menopause with having less sex. But, it does not have to be this way. The man can actually help save a shaky midlife marriage with some handy tools to power charge the relationship. Women who have a supportive partner often have a smoother transition through menopause. When she is happy, he is happy.

Acquiring midlife marriage insurance takes action to make a difference.

Midlife Marriage Insurance For Him
1. Listen to her; don’t criticize or try to fix her.
2. Go with the flow; be prepared for mood swings.
3. Be compassionate, and validate her experience (that means agree with her, don’t try to fix her).
4. Be romantic. Bring her flowers for no reason. Make her dinner. Give her a massage. Make it about HER.
5. Cuddle more. Tell her you love her and that she is beautiful. You may just get lucky. If not, do not take it personally.
6. If YOU are not in the mood, keep her company shopping, she will love the company ;)
7. Support healthy eating and exercise choices. Join her for a walk or go on a hunting expedition at the grocery store to find new healthy foods.
8. Don’t ignore her menopause symptoms. Talk about it. Ask her what she needs to feel better.
9. Offer support if she needs to visit her healthcare provider to discuss menopause symptoms, a low libido or depression.
10. If numbers one through nine fail – disappear for a while. She may be seriously cranky and need space to focus on herself.

Success depends on going through this transition as a team! Both partners must contribute to have a successful marriage.

Midlife Marriage Insurance For Her
1. Track menopause symptoms and discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.
2. Make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise most days of the week. Eat nutritious meals. Watch portions.
3. Update your beauty regimen.
4. Build a support group.
5. Communicate with your partner. Don’t shut him out – let him know what you need. Understand he may be confused by your changes.
6. If you are not happy in your current relationship, discuss counseling.
7. Be receptive to creative adjustments in lovemaking activities.
8. If your libido is low and/or you are suffering from vaginal dryness, discuss your treatment options with your healthcare practitioner. There are hormone and non-hormone options available.
9. Pamper yourself.
10. Try to stay positive.

Communicate, support each other’s needs, get counseling if needed, add romance, adjust lovemaking activities, and your odds increase that your marriage will survive menopause. Being on the same team will nourish a healthy, loving relationship that can last a lifetime.

Life is constantly changing, and marriage is no different. Have real expectations, and acknowledge that your relationship goes through transitions. This will help you weather difficult times.

Midlife is an opportunity for both men and women. If you are prepared, informed and willing, your marriage can survive menopause. A loving relationship supported with good communication can strengthen your love life at any age.

This menopausal bride made it down the aisle of love. Both my partner and I said “I do” to communication and romance during menopause. We are still happily married five years later and ready to leap over the seven-year itch together.

References
Montenegro, X. The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond. AARP, May 2004.
Brizendine, L. The Female Brain. New York: Broadway Books; 2006.
Jonekos, S. and W. Klein. The Menopause Makeover. Ontario, Canada: Harlequin Enterprises; 2009.

Staness Jonekos is an advocate for women's health, wellness and empowerment. An award-winning television writer, producer and director, she was one of the original executive producers who launched the television network Oxygen Media, cofounded by Oprah Winfrey.

Following her commitment to health, Staness co-executive produced the premiere season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, and post produced Lifetime's Speaking of Women's Health.

Recently, Staness launched into the publishing world sharing her 8-step 12-week Menopause Makeover program in her first book The Menopause Makeover, co-authored with menopause expert Dr. Wendy Klein.

Menopause Makeover

Comments

Aug 24, 2016 04:Aug 4 | Ryan said

Be prepared to dig in

You'll read claim that the menopause and its symptoms last 1 to 5 years. Well, unfortunately that's baloney: research suggests a median figure closer to a decade - way longer than most physicians think (and "median" means half of women will have symptoms for even longer)

Study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085137/

Jun 29, 2016 05:Jun 5 | Jeff said

feeling pushed away

My lady had a complete hysterectomy Dec. of last year and is in full blown menopause it would seem. She tells me she can't stand to cuddle let alone have sex. I understand the lack of sex desire,but the no cuddeling is driving me out of my mind. Her desire to help less fortunate people seems to override all else. Of course if I say anything I'm all wrong. She retreats to her room for hours to be alone away from me it seems. However if one of the unfortunate ones needs or wants anything she seems to be able to handle that. This has caused me to become enraged with them on several occasions. If I try to make suggestions it becomes you're trying to take over or let me figure this out myself. She has gone on trips to help them out on occasion and won't tell me till she's back because " you'll just be mad" how do I deal with this?

Jul 27, 2016 09:Jul 9 | Ben said

A case of perspective

Sometimes they need to be reminded of their priorities in life, especially when they are going through changes they can't really control. I found that removing myself from the equation for a period of time allowed her the opportunity to regain perspective on what was truly important to her. It also allowed me to detach from the imbalance. She doesn't need your help, and she doesn't want your support. But when those two things are removed from her life, she will eventually realize what is important to her. Be prepared, she may decide you are no longer important in her life anyways, with or without menopause as an excuse. People change for all sorts of reasons, and you need to be secure enough about yourself to accept that your relationship may, in fact, be over. Let her have her space, and the time to deal with whatever she needs to deal with. If she loves you, she will come to you. If it's over, you will at least know it was a choice she made, and not hormones talking.

Jun 16, 2016 18:Jun 6 | said

menopause and us

I met my husband when we were seniors in high school. I was 17, he was 18. We married at 23. Life was everything, all the time. I've 2 master's degrees a career, he is retired. We recently adopted 2 little boys (at 48 and 49 years old), they are 6 and 9. At 35 I was diagnosed with stage 2 aggressive breast cancer, estrogen positive, so we couldn't have our own babies.... but as a teacher, I was available to a little boy in my Kindergarten class who lost his mother and needed a home, we took in my student and his little brother. Now, in June of 2016, menopause is chasing me. I am still a teacher, (2nd grade), and I can't take hormone supplements b/c of my cancer.... Yes, Hot flashes are disgusting, YES, I'm exhausted, Yes, we aren't as active in the bedroom, and Yes, I have mood swings.....but- maybe because of cancer, I am so blessed. My high school sweetheart is still my guy. Yes, I've gained weight, but I'll figure it out. Yes, sometimes, I feel like screaming, "
DO NOT EVEN BREATHE MY AIR!!!!" But, I don't. I just don't. I am not stronger or smarter, or prettier, or better than any other female suffering menopause, I just know what it feels like to be 35 and watch him watch me dealing with cancer, bald, bloated, fat because of the steroids, ugly in my opinion, and thinking I would die. I remember him petting my bald head in the night, crying to himself, thinking I was unaware, and me respecting his manliness and pain, and keeping my eyes closed. Menopause, whatever. Yes, it gets so hot in my body that I absolutely HATE it. AND I've got to be kind to 20 precious 2nd grade children, my own dear little boys who lost a mother already, and the guy who petted my bald head and told me I was pretty when I went through 16 weeks of dose dense chemo.....So---- yeah, I don't feel sexy, but he is, I don't feel skinny, hot and like prancing around in his tee shirt, but, I do feel like loving my little boys, I do feel like telling him he's amazing, holding him, and sometimes, I feel like being with him, in an adult sense. Menopause sucks, it does overwhelm, but try thinking you'll die before 40, try thinking that your beautiful husband will be left alone....then, all of the push away feelings that crop up,....just look ridiculous in the big picture. I know it is different for everyone. I do get down, but I don't get down feeling sorry for myself. I am 48 years old, not as hot as I once was, but I can hold my own and dress to flatter my figure. Mostly, though, I know who I am. I know my losses, (father and brother who died, not being able to know my own child,....) but, I know that every day past the last day of chemo, every year that passes, I AM ALIVE. I love being a teacher, because the children matter so much,....and b/c if I wasn't I wouldn't have my 2 little boys. My body is changing, I'm fatter than I've ever been, but, but, BUT...I know that I have the power, health and freedom to change that too. I can and will be the best me I can be every day. Positive thinking and the will to succeed is my gift. My little boys laugh with me everyday, and say, "Turn on the air, Mommy's having a flash!" when they see me melting. They warm my heart. My husband still kisses me- fatter than ever me....I'm 5'8" and nearly 200lbs right now, (Most of my life I've been 140), We both love and respect life, not just his or mine or theirs,....but life. Sometimes life is fatter or thinner, happier or going sad, sometimes its funny, silly, stupid, a drag....But, People, life is life, shit happens, just love, accept, feel it- even if it sucks- YOU ARE ALIVE!!!! Don't define yourself as menopausal, fat, not sexy, not loved, not loving,.....don't define yourself at all. Life isn't a moment, it is a gathering of moments that are remembered, cherished and shared,........or discarded, criticized, and shamed. YOU recognize yourself even in the hottest flash, the meanest moment, and YOU OWN yourself. and If you are the man who is considering leaving a woman b/c she is in the throws of menopause, both of you need to sit down and take stock of what is REALLY happening. Don't use menopause as an excuse to make changes. Menopause is real, but....sincerely- when my little guys run to the ac to turn it to high-cool, I know that I am still me, right where I need to be, yeah, a bunch fatter, but I'll redo that when I've more energy, and I know that my guys, little boys and husband included, are right here with me, cheering for me and helping me see them, see their jokes, smiles, wise guy ness, naughty, the same as my 2nd graders. Life is life, live it while you're alive. It is just what it is, breathe in, look around, smile, kiss, tell secrets, cuddle, and when you feel like saying the f word, take a drive, alone in your car, and scream! Let it out! Then, go home, look at all you've collected in life, family pictures, remember who you were, who you are and who you will be, and SMILE! Don't let this "stage" define you or be an excuse to make the changes that you are making, maybe they were changes you should have made at 20 or 30, maybe you wanted to be free and just couldn't justify that at the time, but seriously- let's not just blame the wavy crazy flame of menopause, I mean, it sucks, but not as much as cancer. Not like, perhaps next year my beautiful husband will be sitting by our beautiful fake Christmas tree alone. I'm not saying that it isn't uncomfortable, but it certainly hasn't been an excuse for me to abandon the life I've built....I just don't want my fellow ladies to give into the hype. If I listened, cancer would have eaten me alive, double mastectomy- my guy thought I looked hot and exotic, reconstructive surgery, my dear boy thought it was amazing to see the transformation, teased me that I had Barbie boobies now, I mean, so what, we don't have a period any more, our bodies get hot, as hot as a sauna on the inside, sometimes we feel snotty, but, WE also have the power to edit and leash our mean... life is life, and we are ALIVE.
And Husbands, hold her closer in your heart, talk, like she's the same girl who stole your heart and class ring, thank goodness for no feathered hair. When you don't have sex, tell her you miss her and she is who you think of when you..... I mean, come on..... if your love and life are real, it is still real, you are both still alive and together, so stop acting like her changing body is a reason to hook up with someone in their 20s or 30s. When a couple is crazy in love, it doesn't go away b/c she has a lower sex drive.....it simply must get more creative. You can still make her smile, my guy still gets to me, a giggle at dinner, a look at tv time with the little boys, a touch on the stairs at tuck the little boys in time,.....a lingering kiss, yeah, I may not be as good as I once was, this moment, but, I'm as good once,....as I ever was.
There is still so much life, guys, menopause is a moment, don't define your life by if. Please. Don't. Just ...Don't. Sincerely-Mia

Mar 11, 2016 18:Mar 6 | Sheila said

Excessive heat in warmer weather?

Also, the past 2 summers here in California have been tortuously HOT, but I've always managed to tolerate hot weather. These 2 summers past, I've experienced HORRIFIC heat intolerance, sweating so much from my head that 2 minutes out of the shower my head is soaked from sweat. I put makeup on with a fan blowing onto my face, but my makeup melts off. I've taken about 4 cold water showers a day, even with the CA drought going on and I'm trying to conserve water. I wonder if anyone here has encountered this? It's EXTREME...to the point where I've actually looked at websites explaining how you can have your sweat glands surgically removed...it's THAT BAD.

Mar 11, 2016 18:Mar 6 | Sheila said

63 and postmenopausal misery is worse than ever!

I married the love of my life in 2007, when I was starting perimenopause. I still had a strong libido, but eventually was unable to achieve that release; haven't had that for several years. I've just given up on it after so many attempts to get there. But losing this pleasure is nothing compared to what's happening to me recently. I have turned into a woman I don't recognize -- bitter, angry, irritated at every nuance or comment my husband makes, very sad with lots of crying, and every previously somewhat manageable issue has turned into a series of huge landmines that can explode for hardly any reason at all. It's good to read that a high-protein diet with low carb intake and working out at the gym (my husband CRAVES that I do this, as he's super into it) may help. I would LOVE to lose the weight that's piled on since about 2010. I do crave carbs all the time. I've been a lifelong sufferer of severe insomnia and am hypothyroid as well. I try to spend time at the start of every day in my Bible and prayer. This seemed to be really giving me hope until my hormones went wild and I spent those precious morning times sobbing uncontrollably. I know I'm killing my husband's affection and love for me and I feel like I can't stop myself from being this irritable hag! I've been on Prempro (lowest dose) since about 2004; when I try to get down to 2 a week or so, I morph into this monster. I ramped Prempro up to 7 nights a week again and am having some light bleeding and major skin breakouts. I KNOW this is mostly hormonal, and I have a new doctor who prescribes bioidenticals, but I was on testosterone and estradiol in 2011 - the testosterone was literally causing my chest to grow hair follicles, and I was experiencing crazy prickly heat-type rashes that were frightening. When I stopped the testosterone, these symptoms eventually went away. Anyway, thanks for being here and sharing...both men and women going through this season in a woman's life that is SUCH a disappointing way to get older. It's hard facing the fact that your beauty has faded, you've gotten "chubby", your head and eyebrow hair is vastly diminished...I guess I need to be very proactive and fight this with workouts in the gym (LAST thing I feel like doing, BTW) and eating SMALL portions of nutritious, low-carb foods. I'm seeing a MFT counselor, just started yesterday -- and I hope she can help me get myself back. God is in control, I know He is. But I am feeling very out of control of my life, which has always been too dramatic and painful anyway. I was hoping to head into these older years with a good attitude. I'm sure TRYING! I do feel for the guys who don't know how to deal with the women in their lives who are undergoing this stage. Thanks for being here.

Feb 23, 2016 16:Feb 4 | said

Hi I'm only 34 yrs old have

Hi I'm only 34 yrs old have been married for almost 6 yrs and just recently found out that my hormone levels are low and I'm starting the stages of premenopausal I'm still confused on it all and can't talk to my husband cause he thinks that I have control over the way I'm feeling and our sex life is not great and he keeps telling me he is mad at me and it's all my fault that I can't give him what he needs I love him but I need to feel loved in this crazy time of my life un sure what to do I need him to understand or I think our marriage will die

Aug 27, 2016 16:Aug 4 | Hebekiah said

Let him go. Meaning that you

Let him go.
Meaning that you are becoming a different person, not who he married, and it's up to both of you to forge a new relationship if you wish to.
And it depends on both your levels of emotional maturity, which may need some work through reading, support groups, and/or counselors.
See, he's going to need to be emotionally fit enough to not take things personally and when at times he can't he will have decent boundaries to tell you to back off, back up, when you do and say the crazy mean things that is going to happen and seem entirely reasonable to you at the time.
So, provided he has that maturity, you've got to keep the mantra going to trust him, believe what he says. He can be a lifeline to limiting the damage you do to yourself, selfworth, family, friends, work. It will be hard; paranoia is often part of menopause and you'll be sure he's plotting with everyone to destroy you. Does this sound silly? Just wait! It won't.
Give up the idea that it's just a temporary phase and don't mislead him into thinking so. This is really difficult but without being realistic now a lot of anger and hurt will accumulate.
Say good-bye to the old relationship and invite him (and yourself) on a new one. Where will it lead? Nobody knows, just as no one ever knows outcomes of any relationships.
By being honest and each making your own decision you may find more depth in each of you than the tactic of "trying to keep him" hostage taking. If you can trust him even in your wild moments (not 'wildest' because nothing will help then) you can build a partnership beyond what you've thought possible.

Feb 13, 2016 12:Feb 12 | said

menopause

My menopause has ruined my entire life. I am so depressed and ashamed of what I have morphed into that killing myself is a joke. I say to friends and family who are shocked as to what it has debilitated me into" Don't worry about me killing myself cause i won't be happy with doing that just once. I tell them I need to kill myself 100's of times to happy, so they are all just stuck with this mass of pure junk!!!! I have lost my husband to another woman 10 plus years younger, lost all his children as they have checked out, his friends and family think I'm just a mooch and are elated that he is out with another younger woman to match their younger wives.
I have been fired from my job, have a mortgage, and am selling everything but the kitchen sink to survive. Plus, I'm trying to get another job in this sickened state. I even have men after me and I try to make it work but I literally begin to hate them for needing me when I need them and mostly I need my old life back. I cry each day, and wish I could sleep till it's all over. I am going to seek a doctor of vitamins, pray she has some estrogen to help me be myself, and hope to make it thru an exercise class as my body hurts everywhere. I never thought I could hate myself more than everyone else but I do!!!! I H..A..T..E.. this, it will be the end of a really once good, loyal, and loving person. It just saddens me, I am totally and completely L..O..S..T.. Doctors need to really help women this way, we are dying off like this and many haven't the financial resources I have to make my life better. I will be using all !!!! every bit of money I have to fix this so called shell of a woman. If I don't get fixed, I'm checking into a roach motel and not checking out!!!!

Oct 12, 2015 10:Oct 10 | said

Post menopause

My wife of 32 years had breast cancer and a double mastectomy.
She had a complete hysterectomy because the breast cancer she had was estrogen fed. In addition to that she is taking a estrogen blocker medication.
So she has no hormones. Since this she has changed into a bitter spouse became historical about all the spats we have had over the 32 year marriage. She took no responsibility for past marriage issues and takes no responsibility treating me like a piece of furniture. It's been several years since we had sex. We have 3 kids that have all gotten their college degree and a 10 year old. I still love her and would like to fix this, but she blocks me out of her life. She even sleeps in a separate bedroom.
A doctor friend of mine told me that she probably needs to be on Prozac or something similar but she doesn't think she has a problem so she would never consider a medication.
In her mind all our marriage problems were my fault!
I'm lost and confused wondering if I should file for legal separation or hang around and hope for the best.
We both are going to the same counselor and we both like him, but she blames me for all our problems. Our marriage was not great prior to cancer and hysterectomy but now it's terrible.
Any insight any of you may have, I would appreciate.

Sep 10, 2015 09:Sep 9 | kras said

We've been married almost 18

We've been married almost 18 years. Im 47 and my wife is 49 and will be 50 in March of 2016. We have a 16 year old son. My wife over the last few weeks has shown symptoms similar to what is described here but when I attempted to talk to her about it she insisted it's not due to menopause. I know she/we have been through some difficult times over the past 6 years. We have struggled financially (mainly because of me), she lost her mom suddenly to cancer in 2009, her dad in 2013 a family dog unexpectedly in 2013 and another family dog expectedly in April of this year. I have always been there for her and have always thought everything is solid between us even during these times. She says she has been feeling this way for a while: tired of being the caregiver as wife and mother, tired of being the one to make sure everything and everyone is happy, tired of letting things go and not speaking her mind and tired of having sex because my drive is greater than hers. All the things that I love about her. As a husband and father, is there any way to know for sure this is not something deeper than menopause? She is seeking counseling without me (her decision) because she says she needs to talk to someone professionally and who is non biased to help her through what she is experiencing. I feel left out and pushed away. I try to be supportive and understanding but fear this is truly deeper than just menopause. Is it "normal" for me to feel this way?

Aug 23, 2016 00:Aug 12 | said

Response to 'kras said'

First, to answer your question. It is perfectly normal to feel this way, because you have been forced into this corner. What is abnormal, is that you were forced into this corner.

What caught my attention with your story, is that I have been married for 18 years, I'll be 47 in early 2016, my wife is turning 50 in March 2016, she's had a couple of tragedies, as well as I, and we constantly struggle with finances because of the business that we own.

I have no advice to offer, except the reassurance that I don't think WE are doing anything wrong & it is the other party that is unwilling to make things better either by themselves (if they are mentally strong enough), or seek help with others. I'm glad YOUR spouse is at least in counselling. That is an indication that she is reaching out for help. My spouse does NOT like or believe in counselling, and wants to 'work it out herself'.

After years of this roller-coaster ride, I have come to embrace my self-respect, and am starting to blame myself less as a contributor to this mess. When you (usually the husband) has bent over backwards, done pretty much everything advice experts have suggested, and STILL hit the brick wall of non-communication, it forces you to reassess your role in all of this.

So, either hang in there or remove yourself from the situation. At present, I have decided to hang in there & give it a realistic amount of time for her to 'come around'. But once the deadlines start looming, I will likely be singing a different tune.

Good luck & stop beating yourself up.

Jul 22, 2015 19:Jul 7 | jojo said

My wife of 28 years just

My wife of 28 years just served me with divorce papers,she is just turning 50 for about the last 3 years since she started with the symptoms of menopause things have changed sexually she battled thru depression,her father passed her dog got killed six months later.I didnt know the right words to say to her I couldnt help her like I should have but during that time things were busy we have 3 sons 26,24,20 the youngest is the only one left in school.I started going to counseling about a year ago but never thought to bring these things up.
Now im devastated she is my soulmate,I want to go to marriage counsel with her but I cant get her to go I want to save my marriage get thru menopause what can I do?

Mar 03, 2016 11:Mar 11 | crt said

I'm so sorry. It's been a

I'm so sorry. It's been a long time since your post, but if you still love her, just keep loving her. There is evidence that once women get to the other side of menopause, they regret divorcing during their crazy days/years. I nearly screamed, "I want a divorce," to my husband last night for basically standing too close to me. I managed to keep quiet, but spent the evening in a rage.
Have you ever seen the Love Dare? Corny movie, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work. Gavin MacLeod's story is also inspiring to me. Even though he left his wife, she kept loving him and when he decided to come back, they remarried and are still together.

Apr 16, 2015 21:Apr 9 | said

menopause mess

Turning 50 in June of 2014 was one of the worst days of my life. It hit me like a rock. I knew it was coming and dreaded the day that more than half of my life would be over with. My body has been changing, my brain and my mind are a mess. I have crazy mood swings that manage to turn into devilish meltdowns! So bad that if a stranger saw me, they would call the men in white coats!! To top it off, I have the sweetest husband but he's an awful communicator. His communication skills have only gotten worse as he himself has experienced many stressful changes in his own life in the past year and a half. He was never a real big talker about feelings but noW it's pretty much non- existent. For me at this point in my life that is THE WORST thing that could happen. I want to talk and get some team support going and he is a clam trying to hide from the net! Being high school sweethearts and married 32 years (together 35) you would think we got this goin' on right? UGH! Then in comes Mary Menopause! I am moody. I fell like a loser, I feel ugly, I see other younger women as little witches that want all of my husbands attention. (no reason for this except that he is a normal man!) Of course he likes to look at a beautiful woman! What man doesn't? But what enters my mind is, who else, of course? ME! Oh look at her, he likes that, I don't look like that any more, he wants that and not me! Has he said that?? NO! That's just what this 50 year old brain thinks! Ridiculous!
This is the root of so many of the difficulties we are facing at this very moment. My insecurities about myself have grown into this monster who is taking huge bites out of my marriage and soon there will be nothing left! Literally! What makes it worse is there is NO reason for my insecurities! He never makes comments or puts me down when he looks at another woman. WTH is wrong with me? Why do I feel so awful? Why do I see my body, (that certainly has so many minor flaws but none worse than so many people with disabilities or scars) as a big ugly wrinkly, stretch- markey, varicose veiny, too skinny mess? I can't seem to accept this whole 50 thing! Bless my husband for putting up with my craziness. The threat of divorce has come into play and as I sit here tonight, alone, once again after another argument with my husband, I wonder how much more either of us can take. I know we are on the edge.
Is there ANYONE out there that is feeling any of this or am I really just a psycho who needs help?( Which by the way, it's back to the Dr. again Monday) ANYONE???

May 16, 2016 23:May 11 | said

Long Time Married-Why should it end?

I hit 50 three years before my wife. Yes men get confused too. I saw a good friend of mine go through a divorce with his wife of 24 years. His experienced scared me and I went to a divorce lawyer. Thankfully I came to my senses but that thought never leaves my wife mind. Now she is going through menapause and I am the enemy. She got separate bank accounts, separate credit cards and works for a wealthy man that is supplementing her income. I can't talk to her about finances and she has alerts on our shared account to make sure I don't take any money. Our last of three children is about to leave for college. Her mood swings are fast and sting. She wants a separation but I said no. She holds that against me too. Alcohol is her self medication of choice and I have joined her in the daily drinking. She hates religion and thinks my devotion to the church is all about me seeking attention. Could it get worse? Sure it can but I am holding steady and try to stay out of her way. I don't know the answer but I do know that I love my wife dearly. We have been married for 26 years and I refuse to throw that away. Suicide comes to everybody's mind when things are bad. But that would only make things worse for the ones that we love. Pray everyday. Go to counseling together or individually. We have to fight for love. That is why we are on this planet. If not for love, compassion and loyalty what do we have? We came into the world with nothing and we will leave the same way. Money is meaningless. Love is the only thing that is worth living. If you find an answer please share it. it's not about us, its about others. Give and expect nothing in return.

Apr 16, 2016 22:Apr 10 | said

I hear you!

Wow, I could have written all of this myself. My insecurities have rocketed beyond all control and I just cannot shed the anxiety that he is going to go. I feel like two people, the rational and normal one who knows he is just doing what men do, and what I do when I want to, which is notice younger good looking members of the opposite sex. But if he does it I hit the wall, and the evil alter ego hits out and lashes out and brings up every wrong doing from our 30 years together. I'm not sure our marriage is going to last, I'm really not.

Nov 11, 2015 19:Nov 7 | Julie Koszelak said

Menopause

I'm so sorry you're having this much trouble. I am 55 and just began menopausal symptoms in Dec 2013. I began to dislike my husband very much because of his anger, which has been an issue for us. We can't drive anywhere together because of his anger. Strangely enough, because of a visit to a wellness doctor, I began using progesterone cream which didn't work out too well for me, but is working out very well for him. He has a high PSA and is concerned about cancer. We were told that progesterone can protect against certain cancers including prostate. My husband is using it daily and what a change in him!!! He is so much more compassionate and attentive to me. I wonder what he did with my husband. This has been a saving grace for our marriage. Just wanted to share. You are not crazy. I noticed that my self-esteem has plummeted as well. I feel so insecure about everything since menopause. His change has really helped me in this way. You can buy progesterone cream in a 5% strength without a prescription. You should read about it. Michael Platt, MD wrote a book called "The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones" that didn't really help me, but helped my husband's personality. Who knew? I hope you can get to a better place in your marriage and feel pretty again. It's so important for us women. I wish you the very best in health and wellness.

Jun 23, 2015 21:Jun 9 | Michael said

Menopause and in your 50's

So glad I got on this site ---- was therapeutic and cathartic to read that my wife of 23 years is not the only one that is going thru this. I'll set the stage: married since '92, 4 daughters (20,17,15,12), she a stay at home mom, I have a career. I am 55, she is 51. I feel so fortunate, I have great health, am reasonably successful ( however, with 4 girls, you can NEVER make enough), feel good about myself, have balance, and hope it all continues. My wife has been suffering BADLY with menopause. NO energy, has gained weight, depressed, constantly tired, has had trouble sleeping , has shut off from all her friends, has no social outlets , doesn't want to see people --anyone ever lived with a 51 year old shut in ? -- doesn't really like being a mom (although she does a reasonably good job in my opinion), and just basically does not like her life.
Over these last 3 years I have wondered if I have just enabled all this, not forced her hand, made her take constructive steps, and so on. However, in understanding that menopause can truly be a game changer, I have stayed true to her, and we continue. I will say things have started to get better; I took her to a biomedical hormone doctor over a year ago, and that has helped. We have gotten on a healthy diet ---wasn't that bad to begin with, but knocked out most carbs and sugar ---, and that also has helped. She has actually started to work out again -PRAISE GOD!! --- and although she really has not lost much weight, it is helping. However, all is is SLOW GOING. As you would suspect, there is no sex life, no romance. Because her self esteem is so low, she's hard pressed to want to go to a movie, out to eat, anything. One side comment ladies --- as a healthy, athletic, red blooded all american male, NOTHING is more sexy than a 50 something woman who has a libido --- NOTHING. You don't have to be the hottest chick in the stadium, just have a good twinkle in your eye now and again, and I am all over it. Being older is in your mind much more than ours ......I can tell you that I am NOT interested in being with someone 15 - 20 years my junior . I've been raising 4 girls already, I don't need a 5th -----

At any rate, reading about what some of you are going thru lines up so much with what we have here. If you have any additional thoughts or comments on things to consider and/or think about, I would love to know. At the moment, what I know to do is give her huge amounts of space, play a hell of a lot of tennis, enjoy my work (which I do 90% of the time), enjoy my friends, and basically wait this out.

Feb 29, 2016 01:Feb 1 | GEORGE said

GOING THROUGH IT

I am 51.my wife just turned 50.been married 30 yrs last oct.together 32.the past 7 months have been scary and difficult to say the least.i feel the same way you do about a 50 yr old woman.my wife was and still is the most thoughtful,sweet,caring person I have known.things were great.i always felt truly blessed.then,menopause.now,she thinks its best if she leaves and does for herself.says to stay would not be fair to me.our youngest is a junior away at school. menopause has been hard for her.a very bad case.she will not seek help and cannot take hrt.i am doing all I can to stay positive as the last thing I would ever want is to lose her.i wish you and I and all the rest of the guys like us the very best.i am looking for answers and help,but, am finding none.

Jun 30, 2015 11:Jun 11 | said

Michael, what you need to do

Michael, what you need to do is give her big hugs EVERYDAY and tell her that you love her EVERYDAY! Flowers can't hurt. Make her feel special and loved and this will cheer her up.

Jun 09, 2015 00:Jun 12 | said

You are not crazy...I could

You are not crazy...I could have written exactly what you wrote...I have experienced almost the exact things you described and 90% of the day I feel psychotic! This is by far the most challenging part of my life and wonder when all this will end? So many have told me menopause can last ten years! On top of all that I also am experiencing empty nest syndrome since my only child graduated college and moved 3000 miles away... The only thing that has saved me is my obsessive working out/bodybuilding I started right before my son left home. Exercise has saved the small slice of sanity I have left...

Apr 23, 2015 12:Apr 12 | said

I sense your pain and hurt

I sense your pain and hurt and just want to encourage you. Focusing on our circumstances (i.e. life changes, etc) can lead us to anger, bitterness, and fights with our beloved but love and forgiveness have power over all of these things that tear apart marriages. Dr. Bruce Hebel from Forgiving Forward has helped my wife and I as we traverse through circumstances not unlike the ones you describe. I was hopeless and ready to give up until I was able to see my own faults, flaws, and imperfections instead of focusing on my wife's imperfections. I can now focus on bettering myself and loving her where she is with no expectations of her. We still have ground to cover but there is now hope. Be encouraged and don't give up. Marriage is sacred and it is worth fighting for no matter what changes we experience or go through. Forgive yourself, forgive your husband, and forgive God. Don't give up; don't quit!

Feb 09, 2015 18:Feb 6 | Darlene said

lack of libido

I am post-menopausal and have NO libido whatsoever, and find sexual intercourse extremely painful, not just during the event but for several days following. This is extremely stressful on my marriage...altho my husband is 9 years my senior he still has a very healthy libido. I have tried hormones, it was a disaster, and I any many would want to make love to a pimply faced, bearded gal. I have an appointment to see my family doc tomorrow. I have to do something more or my marriage is on the skids.

Jan 10, 2016 14:Jan 2 | Rootsgal said

Even in HRT I no longer want to

I cannot wait until it is over!
My husband is 13 years older than me, and you would think he was 18.
I was never like this before menopause either.
It came on like a light switch and talk about pain.
Even the estrace cream helps, but it does not make it enjoyable.
If my husbands tennis racket had a vagina attached to it, he would be in heaven.
Explaining this to him makes no difference.
He never takes me anywhere, not even to a $5.00 movie.
That does not help either.
I have gotten so use to doing things alone, I am frankly getting used to it.
No kiss goodbye nor will he sit next to me in the living room. We use to cuddle all the time, and I reminded him of this.
He then sat next to me for an hour, while watching tennis.
He never really hears me so I say outrageous things, to prove he is tuned out.
Mother Nature sure kicks women in the butt.
Nobody said, life was fair.

Feb 02, 2015 22:Feb 10 | said

My girlfriend and i were

My girlfriend and i were madly in love and talkin about marriage this year...she started having perimenopausal symptoms about two months ago ....now she says she is confused and recently broke off our relationship.....i love her immensely and need some suggestions on how i can help her and get her back....

Jun 30, 2015 11:Jun 11 | said

Fight for her and show her

Fight for her and show her how much you love her. She needs a self esteem boost and needs to know you love her.

Nov 03, 2010 16:Nov 4 | Theresa Tolth said

hot flash

what can i eat instead of taking medications

Nov 03, 2010 16:Nov 4 | Theresa Tolth said

hot flash

i get hot flash during the day, what kind of food can i eat instead of taking medications for it

Feb 09, 2015 18:Feb 6 | Darlene said

what to eat for hot flashes.

I had hot flashes you could fry an egg on, for many years. I did a lot of reading on this, and have found that it's not so much what you don't eat, it's what you DO eat. I noticed that high carb foods (enriched bread, white rice, popcorn, candy and anything sugary, potatoes, etc) would throw me into hot flashes. If I chose an Atkins type diet my hot flashes were nearly extinct. I have also found a lot of research the supports my finding that simple carbs can cause hot flashes, and another benefit of following a low carb diet...I lost a LOT of weight.

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