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Will Your Marriage Survive Menopause?

Will Your Marriage Survive Menopause?

Created: 09/20/2010
Last Updated: 03/09/2020

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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.

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


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

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.

what can i eat instead of taking medications

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....

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

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.

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.

I've asked my wife plenty of times if she would cuddle with me, and she refused almost every time. The last time I asked, she said no, then changed her mind, but I refused. I don't even bother to ask anymore. I don't bother asking if she wants to make love, either. She doesn't know it yet, but our marriage is over. I've waited so long for her to come around, and simply got tired of being rejected. Now, even if she wanted to make love, I'd probably reject her. I feel now as if we're just friends. For the longest time, I wanted things to change. Now, I've simply lost interest. We're going through a rough patch now with some financial issues. Once that is over, I'll probably leave her. I've invested myself in her for 26 years, and now she treats me like some guy who happens to be there. I'm tired of it. Men need to know that they are loved, too. I know many other men who are having, or have had, the same troubles. The thing is, we're human beings, too, and we have needs. A healthy sex life is important to our health. VERY important. Once that's gone, well, we might also be gone. Sorry about your husband, as he sounds like he's out of touch with you, anyway. However, I wouldn't discount the possibility that he's gone through the same thing I have, and he simply has lost interest in you. Whatever happens to you, happens also to him. Thinking it's all about you doesn't help anything, and unfortunately, my wife, and most women, seem, to be self-centered about these changes. Ignoring your significant other will cause him to do the same, eventually, and it sounds like this may be the case with you. We're not machines. We have needs, as well. I did a test one day, and I refused to give her any hugs. She complained like you wouldn't believe. I tried to explain to her that this is how I feel every time she rejects me. She couldn't connect the dots. Sounds like a lot of the women writing here have the same problem connecting the dots. It's a shame, because a lot of you are going to lose the one person who loves you very much, but whose needs are being ignored. And let's not even talk about "penetration", because I've always been willing to give my wife oral pleasure. I've always been there for her. It's just that she's no longer there for me. Sadly I will have to look for someone who will be there for me. What a waste of 26 years.

Same here, do not waste your time its a lost cause. Get out as fast as you can!

I am having a rough time as well.....14 years.....poof! Everyday I wake up waiting to spend time with my best friend, my "love at first sight" and to this day I love her with all my heart.....even more than when we first met. I am willing to do whatever it takes....It is taking it's toll on my emotions for sure.....After 16 years and 13....going on 14 years (in 2 days) of marriage I was told that she doesn't love to be intimate anymore.....feels repulsed by any touch....that hurts. We still kiss a bit and hug only when I initiate it which also hurts. I am having a real hard time with this but do understand that our whole life has been about building "stuff" together. She has lost her direction in life and her identity....I get it. BUT to tell me that she loves the Father of her kids but just not in that way really confuses a guy. I am willing to fight for my dream gal and focus my whole love to the family instead of wanting to have sex with my beautiful wife every night..... Hope this is the right thing to do....feels right....but MAN I am one lonely guy. Thanks for reading

Stand by her. Don't let go. As a 50yr old menopausal women contemplating what the heck is going on, my husband's commitment to be patient with me means the world to me and this proves his love to me. He understands that my mojo is all but gone and that sex is painful for me now and that certainly doesn't help getting the mojo back. You sound like you care deeply. Remember that it is painful and confusing for both of you, together you'll be stronger.

I cringe at the word together in your comment: "Remember that it is painful and confusing for both of you, together you'll be stronger." There is nothing more that I would want than, more "together". I sit here and recall the twist and turns, hard times and good that my wife and I have had together. In conjunction to that, our resilience and capacity to overcome so many of life's obstacles. But over the coarse of two years... menopause has but ruined my relationship with the only person in this world I could count on. I write this holding back a flood of tears. The girl I married, the wonderful person I once knew is not there anymore. She vanished....without a trace. I've never been a sappy kinda guy....but I can't tell you the countless times I've cried alone in my room not knowing where my wife is. Not sure what you mean by "together". That girl is gone. God, what I would do to bring her back.

Ruben don't give up. Unfortunately the perimenopause symptoms can last for a while but she is still the woman you fell in love with.

Ruben, your wife will not be the same without hormone replacement therapy. Hormones make women what they are and without them they are not the same. Your wife needs to consult with a doctor that deals with menopause who can assess her risk and rebalance her hormones. I am in perimenopause now. I refuse to go through menopause because I know that it will kill my sex life with my husband. I will fight to stay sexually, emotionally and physically functional until my last breath. Don't let your wife go quietly into the good night of menopausal malasise. Gte medical advice and do not accept "good enough" or "different" --fight for good. Menopause may be natural, but so is dying in childbirth. Think about it. Get help.

Hormones don't help. My wife is 55, is using the patch, has ZERO desire or interest, after 33 years together. She was also interested in making love. I really feel like I live with a close family friend at this point. Romance? What romance? This is the worst and I really don't know what to do at this point.

I get that you guys can't control the hormones but seriously....how much are we supposed to take? How much verbal abuse and lack of affection and yelling can we take?! Not really fair especially when the women fire back at us that everything we do is WRONG! Turn the other cheek for how many years?!

Your wife is having a hard time.  She needs to talk to someone but please don't give up on her.  This is a REALLY hard time for us women.  We need to know that even though our bodies are changing, we feel ugly and fat (even when we aren't) that you guys still love us.  And telling us is great but with raging hormones a lot of times we just don't believe it.  Not your fault of course.  Have empathy.  I am reading a good book 'Trading Places' written by spouses Les & Leslie Parrott that is about having empathy for each other. Maybe that would help you and your wife.  I hope you both make it through this.

I read your comment and felt as though I wrote it. It's the exact situation that I am in. It's also been 26 years for me too and my wife also doesn't know it, but I am going to leave her when I am financially stable. It's so sad on so many levels. I have had more than 200 conversations about intimacy with my wife and she just doesn't get it - she never will. Sadly, I have reasoned that she is dumb, despite being a very intelligent women. I've asked for date nights - not one in about 10 years with exception to yearly anniversary dinner, I've offered massages - warmed up the bed - warmed up coconut oil - put candles in the room - she just crawls into bed and says she's too tired. I've asked to take warm baths together - she's not interested. I could list dozens of things that I have done - she just doesn't get it. I'm sure she'll be totally shocked when I leave too. Many of you will say, oh she's not happy with your looks or her looks - she's a model and a slim one at that - she's a confident person, proud and happy with her looks. I'm also very fit, tall and have lots of women express interest in me. My wife also says often that she is very attracted to me. Therefore, it's not a looks thing. I love it when people say you need to communicate with her - OMG, I've tried in many different ways - calm tone, soothing tone, sad tone, you name it, I've tried it. Nothing gets through to her. She loves it when we talk and says she needs to feel a connection to be intimate (intimacy in her mind is having sex) - I'll spend days chatting her ears off and I get nothing. So I then limit talking to her and she gets really upset saying why don't you talk to me. I say I am not interested in being around her if I'm not receiving intimacy on some level - She says that I am punishing her. Nope, I just don't feel connected to her. It's just a waste of time trying to get this through to her. I've asked her to try new things - that's out of the question. I try to drop the odd sexual joke here and there and she tisks at me now. It's like she's becoming nun. She never masturbates and has only ever masturbated less than a dozen time in her entire life - she's mid 40's now. People say "BS, she just doesn't tell you that she does", nope they are dead wrong. Oh, she loves sex when we have it and she orgasms just fine - no faking it. Oh, I saw a book on runaway husbands - the number one reason is affairs - the author doesn't seem to tell these women that if they want their husbands to stick around, the wives better start getting create with intimacy - once again an "Expert" can't even connect the dots - I shake my head and laugh. It's so sad on so many levels. Women, if you don't want your husbands to leave you, you must be intimate with them often enough that they don't stray for it. Note that I said intimate with them and not have sex with them - I have sex with my wife 1 to 2 times a month and it's the same damn thing every time - try eating the same thing for every meal - see how long that lasts. Intimacy is: massages, baths together, cuddling, making out, going to a movie and holding hands, spontaneous sex, quickies, sexting (my god, my wife won't even sext with me - even on a PG level - it's so pathetic), etc... Good luck with your divorce mate. And best wishes to you with finding a new catch.

Do you and your wife a favor run don't walk to the nearest divorce attorney.

I have been looking for someone going threw the same exact feelings I am going threw in my 23 year marriage , I always have to be the one to do anything in my relationship sexually , physically , intimacy , or even suggusting to go out to dinner together, iam so frustrated with my wives rejections , I don't think I can survive these changes she is going threw, don't know if iam going or worth it to keep up this rejecting emotions from her. P.S. I don't know when you wrote this post but I have left my email , please reach out to me cause your the first guy I read with the same feelings as me and you talked about it and posted it not done by many. Thank you.

I understand what your gong though it is tough to be understanding when you feel as if your walking on eggshells in your own house.

Wow. To: Some Guy. Your post is astonishingly very similar to my experience the last 5 years with my wife. There are subtle differences but for the most part, exactly how I feel and see the situation. I love my wife more than anything in the world, and to see her change the way she has is beyond frustrating. It's not just the sex, it is the intimacy, the mood swings, and any time there is conflict or a pressure situation it becomes a stressful situation instead of a simple problem to deal with. Where once she had this incredible sense of humor, and gift for communication, now is shrouded by the symptons of menopause. Literally my wife could gain 50 lbs, and almost has, and I really don't care. She is the most beautiful thing to me from Head to Toe, I just love everything about her, but I cant keep up with the changes, it is an emotional roller coaster and causes me way to much stress. I think I am having pre stroke symptons, and I am a former athlete, and in decent shape now. I could shed 10 lbs I am sure, but I don't smoke, or drink( beer with my steak is about it). I am 50 and compared to most people my age I went to school with I look a lot younger. I don't take any medications, and my wife is on a couple. I know I don't deserve this and she has told me this repeatedly but I am so afraid our relationship is not going to make it. Especially after reading the posts from the women. I cant pretend to understand their mind or relationships, but they seem to have this outlook that this is some penalty on them and their specific life, or like a punishment, and therefore its fight or flight. Whichever is best for them. This does not sit well with me. I am of the belief that your health and physiology is ever changing, but that should not effect your love for one another. One thing that did change me and put me on a better thought path, was I never planned it, but I happen to watch the movie , The Notebook. A very powerful message, and allowed me to really see my outlook and how I value my wife and the love I have for her. Its not a fix by no means but it made me see that my investment in her is worth it.....I just want my girl back.

Sorry to hear that because I feel the same way.

I sure hope that you worked on making your relationship better instead of leaving your wife.  I'm starting to go through perimenopause symptoms at 51. Trust me, it sucks to be you and have to put up with that type of stuff but it sucks more to be us going through it. We can NEVER get away.  We hate feeling this way and hate some of the things we say and do.  I have what I think is a great analogy of what it is like to be us.  If you don't watch Marvel movies you should but most especially you should watch Venom.  We are Eddie Brock and our hormones are Venom.  I've been with my husband for 30 years AND he cheated on me 4 years ago (not due to my hormones but instead his mid-life crisis). You  married her for a reason and I would have to guess you said the marriage vows most everyone else has said and that means good times and bad.  Make sure you have a good support group around you, see a counselor and love your wife unconditionally.  

It's just like I wrote this. Same thing happens to me. I try to hug her while she makes dinner, little nice hug, and I got, CAN'T YOU SEE I'M BUSY? I try giving her a kiss when I leave for work while she is sleeping, barely kissing her....it wakes her and I get yelled at for waking her. Sex doesn't happen much at all, like once every few weeks and it has to be planned. She refuses to believe there is anything wrong with her and she accuses me for everything. She has turned to saying I'm going through a midlife crisis which is why I tried to lose weight and I bought a different car because the last one crapped out. Now I'm cheating on her with someone who doesn't exist. It's a chaotic ride of BS. I can never win. I'm always home or always working. So bottom line is, she attacked me again and was arrested. Looking at divorce. She has threatened divorce for months over the 18 years we were together. What a shame. What a waste. I'm so upset for being accused of doing things I'm not. Can't make sense out of much. Good luck to you all.

I am going through exactly what you describe.  I always compliment her as I do really love her but to cuddle??  No way she won't have it.  I have not been kissed on the lips for 3 years now.  We used to kiss and kiss passionately, we used to hold hands, no more, we used to give back rubs, no more as that would require touching.  There is absolutly zero affection to put it simply, she has Amnesia as to how we were the previous 6 years of our life prior to marriage.  My first wife, never kissed me, never hugged me, and realistically we only had sex 6 times a year.  She was an extremely beautiful girl and when we dated she was the aggressor not so in marriage so when we divorced 15 years later (she cheated on me!) and a few years later I dated this woman who is now my wife, I was thirlled with the affection the kissing and the emotion.  We are both Christians hence we did not sleep together nor live together.  Messed around often but stayed celibate choice.  When we got married we finally were intimate and it was wonderful.  One month later..... menopause hit.  That was 3 years ago.  I have been a house mate ever since.  I took my vows to heart and will not break them I will not cheat.  My wife refuses to seek help from the Doctors and refuses to speak about it.  I am committed to her as long as she is committed to me though I have to admit, it really doesn't seem like she remembers "us," I sure do and I miss US, not the sex, but the cuddling, the holding hands, the genuine affection she had brought to my life.  It is lonely to live with the one you love and know you cannot touch, hug or kiss them..

I am going through exactly what you describe.  I always compliment her as I do really love her but to cuddle??  No way she won't have it.  I have not been kissed on the lips for 3 years now.  We used to kiss and kiss passionately, we used to hold hands, no more, we used to give back rubs, no more as that would require touching.  There is absolutly zero affection to put it simply, she has Amensia as to how we were the previous 6 years of our life prior to marriage.  My first wife, never kissed me, never hugged me, and realistically we only had sex 6 times a year.  She was an extremely beautiful girl and when we dated she was the aggressor not so in marriage so when we divorced 15 years later (she cheated on me!) and a few years later I dated this woman who is now my wife, I was thirlled with the affection the kissing and the emotion.  We are both Christians hence we did not sleep together nor live together.  Messed around often but stayed celabit by choice.  When we got married we finally were intimate and it was wonderful.  One month later..... menopause hit.  That was 3 years ago.  I have been a housemate ever since.  I took my vows to heart and will not break them.  My wife refuses to seek help from the Doctors and refuses to speak about it.  I am committed to her as long as she is committed to me though I have to admit, it really doesn't seem like she remembers "us," I sure do and I miss US, not the sex, but the cuddling, the holding hands, the genuine affection she had brought to my life.  

I am 46 my Wife is 53. She hit menopause at about 42 and lingered..... and lingered.. it was a steady decline. The most notable change was lack of interest in sex..  which was very different from earlier days. Her vagina dried up completely. Her attitude went in the shitter. I mean she got NASTY. Totally opposite her original personality. I told her.. either go see a psychiatrist or I walk. After YEARS of verbal abuse and foolishness on her part. Eventually, I went on HRT and my quality of life went through the roof (men's HRT does work amazing) and you'd think I was 21 again. Once she saw the change she inquired about women's HRT and went on it.. the full regime.. estrogen, progesterone, pregnelone and testosterone... amazing... after about 1 month her attitude went 360 degrees back to normal. I am starting to feel in love with her again. Scary what hormones can do. And she is a sexual tigress again... however, she denies that the HRT had anything to do with it... of course...

She has no idea how close she came to me walking out the door. I had already had the papers drafted. I was done. It may sound cold.. but when you are dogged, nagged and croned at 24 / 7 even on your cell phone and with voicemails for stupid things for YEARS... that was not the woman I married. I finally got her back it looks like.

I think the declining horomones seriously damage each of us psychologically in really bad ways. I don't look at her as "motherly" I look at her as the woman I fell in love with is not the same person a month ago.. now she is back to "normal." What is normal??? What I remember marrying and loving. She had totally pushed me away. I didn't even want to talk to her. I'd get up in the morning, make coffee, and an hour later she was complaining about something trivial for the sake of complaining... then the nagging.. over STUPID things....

Now thats all gone.

Best of luck to you all.

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???

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!

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...

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.

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.

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.

Michael your wife sounds a lot like me.  I am not able to be a complete shut in because I work full time but when I am not working or at work events (I work in sports & entertainment) I do a whole lot of nothing and feel awful about it. It's not you or her, it's the hormones.  I've commented on another post but it's like we are Eddie Brock and our alter ego (hormones) are Venom.  It's awful. Continue to be actively loving her and letting her know about it.  Sounds like you both are trying which is really good, but when one might not be, the other should pick up the slack.  Not sure if you are a praying guy but if you are pray like your life depends on it (because it does!!!).  

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.

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.

Just want to let you know that your not alone,I also have horrible mood swings, I adore this man,my husband,but in the heat of the mood swings I fucking hate him and it's fault for everything,I won't listen,and now with my adult children, I hope my family survives this horrible shit, whistle I was the girl I used to be. 

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?

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.

Go to counseling by yourself.

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?

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.

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!!!!

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

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.

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.

I am having such a difficult time right now. Yesterday I found out that I was going through menopause(full blown according to my blood tests) I am 46 and having a REALLY hard time with this. I told my now husband, that not having a child was a deal-breaker for me before we were even married. We haven't been intimate for 18 months now! I understand when he was 5,6,or 7 years, a man grabbed his "area." I was raped and not by the rapist had to deal with a choice as to bring a child into this world , but i truly feel I am being punished when I know I would have been an exceptional mom!

How do I deal with a woman who claims I'm wrong when I casually point in the direction of the movie theater we're going to and she says I'm wrong. I say, I'm pretty sure it's that's way and she says, "No, you're wrong." I say, it doesn't matter. Let it go." and she says, "No. You're wrong!" I say, "Ok, fine" I open my phone and open the compass app and show her which direction North is. She says, "That's wrong." Ok, I say, "How about a map?" I open Google maps which orients itself to North and show her that the theater is in the direction I pointed. She says, "That's backwards!" Then she got up and walked home from the restaurant. I tried my best to avoid an argument but I couldn't. As many times that I said, let it go, she told me I was wrong. I finally tried to end the argument by showing I was wrong or right with my phone but it showed I was right and that made it worse. It's several days later and this argument is still going on. I'm aware she's going through the change but any time I bring that up she gets more angry. I'm aware that it's all very real to her but I'm also aware that it's not real - that it's just something that she believes. No matter what, I can't convince her to let it go. Every attempt I make, just makes it worse. When she was rational we've spoken about this and we are well aware that this could happen but now that is happening I cannot convince her that it's not a real argument. Truly, I have done nothing other than proving to her, after she insisted so many times that I was wrong, that I was right - not that I wanted to but after being told so many times that I was wrong, I said, Ok, lets let the map tell us ... I'm trying so hard not be accusatory but I have to defend myself to common sense. I just can't agree that something is black when it's clearly white. I try to say, "who cares," but I get berated that I'm wrong. I'm going crazy. This isn't fair. If I did this type of thing to her she's call the police. Somehow, just defending myself makes me a horrible person. I can definitely understand how many marriages don't make it through this stage of life. If this goes on much longer, I don't know if I can take it.

Thank you so much for posting. I am going through the exact same thing... constant criticism of every little thing. I have learnt not to defend myself because then all I get is "Stop arguing! You are so argumentative!" Heaven help me if I try to say I am not arguing, just expressing my viewpoint. It's like I am not allowed to have my own thoughts on an issue anymore. And if I don't do as she asks immediately because I am thinking about what she has asked, I cop abuse. My 27 yr old son told me it's my problem because I won't leave her. He says that is the only thing that will wake her up to herself. I can't leave, I promised her I would never do that, no matter what. She has no idea how patient I have been, especially in taking all the insults, "you're an idiot, you're a dickhead, you're this, your and on and on. I have tried every approach I can think of and have resolved many an argument by agreeing with her and admitting it was all my fault, even though any sane spectator would say it was not. Now I am worried I have enabled her to keep it up and if anything get worse by always giving in, swallowing my pride (and it feels, my manhood), anything to stop her virtriol and hatred of me. Now she says "you told me you were going to change, your word means nothing!" I am at a total loss as to what to do now. So depressed I feel like killing myself, but I can't for that would leave her alone and as I said I promised her I would never do that. She is my angel, my soul mate and I Ma so depressed over this. It has been going on for over 12 months now and I can't take the rage in her eyes anymore.


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