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relationship advice needed Pre menopausal wife married couple in 40s

Tonyl
Community Member

Hi all

i am chasing some genuine advice from people who have been in a similar situation.

there is not a lot of reading and advice out there about Pre Menopause and how partners can cope with the side effects of this- my partner is in the early stages we have both noticed the changes. massive mood swings, irritability, the infrequent periods- complete loss of sex drive etc- all the tell tail signs. As a husband i am trying to be supportive and loving as much as i can.

However the aggression and snapping becomes too much sometimes, and i am generally struggling.

i read a lot about how the divorce rates are the highest in this bracket. i can really understand the pressures , however i really dont want to end up another statistic.

any advice would be helpful - id also love to hear your story's

6 Replies 6

Dadmeister
Community Member
Hi Tonyl, I am you but a few years on. My wife has gone through a terrible time for the last 5 years since peri menopause started. It has been harder as she refused to talk to her doctor about it and was against taking any prescription drugs due to fears. During this time she has suffered with feelings of hot & cold, low libido/high libido, depression and suicidal ideation. I have done my utmost to step up and do as much as possible at home including cooking, cleaning looking after kids etc. As she started to come out of it things got worse and she basically said she wanted more out of life and to be free and we are now on the brink of separation after a 32 year relationship.
All I can say is talk about it, try your best to get her help and see if her friends or someone who has gone through it can talk to her, if you really love her like I love my wife you won’t give up. Good luck

Tonyl
Community Member
i feel for you, i have noticed my wife being alot more social with her group of friends. she has taken up a new hobby, going out for ladies nights where in the past she would never do so. some days are fantastic then the rest is down right nasty.

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tonyl

As a 50yo gal going through peri menopause, my 53yo sister is also facing this challenge. We are facing it from 2 different perspectives. She's trying to manage from a mind/body perspective, whereas I'm a mind/body/spirit gal. I'll rephrase 'spirit' to 'natural', so as not to scare anyone off.

While the mind/body perspective helps make sense of chemistry/biology and psychology to some degree at this point in a woman's life, in my opinion it omits a lot of what can naturally happen:

  • I've become incredibly sensitive to what is lacking in my life and to what I need more of (adventure and excitement). I imagine it feels similar to that stereotypical mid life crisis for a guy
  • I've become sensitive to any kind of ramp up in energy. When my mind or body go into hyperactivity, I'll feel it. Whether I'm excited about something I'm thinking about or I'm exciting the cells in my body through exercise, cue a 'hot flush'. My new best friend is cold filtered water. Helps a lot
  • I've become sensitive to questioning what I find questionable. Yes, this is a challenge for my husband. Where once I never let myself wonder about certain behaviours of his, now I can't help but wonder out loud, at him. Example: 'I can't help but wonder why you're not more romantic or why you are more interested in being closer to the bar bridge rather than taking me away somewhere exciting'.
  • I've become sensitive to a lack of energy at times. Whether a major hormonal transition is happening for a 50yo woman or a 15yo guy, they need to pack in as much energy as possible. Plenty of sleep, plenty of healthy energy food, plenty of water (our cells thrive on it), plenty of all the other stuff that going to create a highly efficient powerhouse for the kind of biological changes that can be exhausting to some degree
  • Intimacy's an interesting one. If there's plenty of energy this can become a 'go to' for really feeling it course through your body. If there's little energy present, it's of zero interest. Using intimacy as a tool, this can be one way of experimenting with new feelings/energy/sensations

This is just a snippet of my list that I hope helps shed a little light. By the way, peri menopause from a spiritual perspective might be a helpful topic to Google. Basically, from my experience, I believe it's a stage of seriously heightened sensitivity and reformation, in more ways than one.

Wondering if the nastiness involves detachment issues. A whole other story in the process.

🙂

Tonyl
Community Member

Thanks for that response. It’s fantastic to hear it from your perspective.

as a partner you do tend to notice changes in their personality their behaviour etc. it does make you wonder what’s going on and how to help.
i remember when my mum was going through it - my dad copped it bad. I saw my dad in tears a bloke that has done nothing wrong but being supportive.

in my case I have learnt to just be observant and just be supportive. However at times I too have been in tears after she has went to sleep.

Secretly I even had a bag packed just in case things got worse- As bad as that sounds.

Detachment is not a issue at all- I’m use to my wife hanging out with her friends regularly. I’ve learnt that being alone is not a bad thing - she comes home happier.
I’m aiming to start being more social in the future once the kids are more older and our business settles down.

I still have yet to hit my midlife crisis lol

i just want to be a better hubby for my wife I love dearly. You feel useless some times you don’t know what to do, weather it’s you or if it’s stress etc.

mum glad to know I’m not alone out there.

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tonyl

I truly feel sorry for guys, guys like yourself especially, who face this incredible challenge. There's so much focus on women and support regarding the pre menopause stage but hardly any support for partners.

Interesting how in some cultures this stage of life for a woman is actually deemed 'natural' therefor there are a lot of natural ways to approach it and get through it with greater ease, making life for partners easier. In western society it's more so a 'problem' stage of life that's treated by a physician at times. By the way, there can be some serious medical side effects for some women. With the 2nd viewpoint there can be a bit of a helpless victim (of life's biological clock) mentality, something men suffer through. You know, kind of like 'You a-hole, you have no idea what I'm going through!' I'm aware I'd be slammed by some women for saying this 🙂

Besides the hormonal nature that can suddenly lead a woman to tears or the feeling of 'Who the heck turned up the heating in here?!', there can be a mid life reassessment of life

  • Roots or foundations: 'What is my life built on? Am I truly happy?' Any issues from the past can begin to surface. Feelings of instability can play out with the thought 'I don't know who I am anymore'. This can become confusing and depressing
  • A lack of creativity, adventure and excitement can also lead to a reassessment, good or bad. Realising a lack can also become depressing, biologically, mentally and spiritually (little soulful connection to life)
  • 'What the heck happened to my courage or fire?' Amazing how you can one day wake up to realise how life has 'tamed' you, how you've kind of lost your self, your spark
  • Questioning 'Where is the love?' can play out in a whole stack of ways, including love for self
  • Finding your voice in constructive ways when all this is going on can be a challenge. I'm sure you can easily pick when your wife has suddenly found hers. Not so nice at times. My challenge, in this case, has been to find the reasons for my emotions and thoughts. I try my best to be reasonable when communicating. Still trying to master it 🙂
  • Becoming more sensitive and not fully realising it can leave you feeling everything's out of control
  • Suddenly looking for a deeper connection to life, esp if your kids don't need you as much in life at this point, is a massive challenge for some women. A lot of inward reflection at this point

As I say, in certain cultures this is seen as a natural stage of life.

🙂

Dadmeister
Community Member

Tonyl, just listen at first to what she is telling you, I’m a mad researcher so I tried to do all the research on menopause and present it to her.

This did not help, it just infuriated her more. The more I tried to justify her moods and present solutions the angrier she got.

What I should have done is listened to the changes she wanted to make and then determined if I was ok to go along with them. We were childhood sweethearts and never knew another partner and while I was content at that she felt ripped off for not having played the field.

it’s a slippery slope but you have to keep the communication up no matter how hard it gets.
I sincerely wish you the best

Dadmeister