Managing Menopause


#1

I’m going through menopause and I’m fairly happy with the idea that this is now the season on my life. Life is running its course, and this is the next stage.

Still, it’s bewildering to no longer have the body I’ve had for nearly 40 years as a “woman in her child-bearing years.” There are many physical changes and I’m having to deal with them and also deal with the demands of a full-time-plus job.

My issue is this: Whenever I discuss my concerns or questions either about the physical changes to my body or about what’s next for me in this stage of my life, my husband deals with it by making wisecracks about what I’m going through. I assume it’s because he’s uncomfortable with the whole topic (which he denies being), but it still can hurt (he claims not to understand why I’m hurt at his remarks, says I’m overreacting.) I think I need to just stop discussing menopause with him, but that doesn’t feel right, either. We’re very close and I was hoping we’d go through this together.

To you ladies who are going through or have gone through menopause, How did your husbands’ react? How did you handle your husbands’ reactions?

To you gentlemen, How did you handle your wife’s menopause?

:confused:


#2

I’m on your husbands side. No one wants to hear about the normal changes to your body except maybe your doctor. You and I are very different, I didn’t discuss menopause with anyone but then I didn’t discuss my period with anyone, either. I always thought these kind of life moments were private and not a big deal. My advice: stop reading stupid menopause articles and start living your life. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but people, including your husband, are not interested in hearing about your night sweats etc. :slight_smile: Life is too short.


#3

I remember my dad sitting the older kids down and telling us we had to be very patient with mom because she was going through a difficult stage of her life, and how we should not worry if she got emotional or angry or tired, but we should do our best not to aggravate her and to help her out while she wa going through this trial, then he raised his voice and said, “An I’m giving her six months to get over it!”

Fortunately DH is used to my moods so the transition from PMS to hot flashes has been rather seamless and I am no nuttier than usual. He knows to put on a sweater or extra blanket when I have the A/C cranked up. If anybody older than I can let me know if hot flashes ever abate I could use an encouraging word.


#4

[quote="Susan_Mary, post:2, topic:202463"]
I'm on your husbands side. No one wants to hear about the normal changes to your body except maybe your doctor. You and I are very different, I didn't discuss menopause with anyone but then I didn't discuss my period with anyone, either. I always thought these kind of life moments were private and not a big deal. My advice: stop reading stupid menopause articles and start living your life. I don't mean to sound harsh, but people, including your husband, are not interested in hearing about your night sweats etc. :) Life is too short.

[/quote]

Susan Mary, I haven't read a single article on menopause and I already live a very full life. Thank you for your post.


#5

I wish I had reassurance to give you other than they continue for some women and not for others!


#6

[quote="puzzleannie, post:3, topic:202463"]
I remember my dad sitting the older kids down and telling us we had to be very patient with mom because she was going through a difficult stage of her life, and how we should not worry if she got emotional or angry or tired, but we should do our best not to aggravate her and to help her out while she wa going through this trial, then he raised his voice and said, "An I'm giving her six months to get over it!"

Fortunately DH is used to my moods so the transition from PMS to hot flashes has been rather seamless and I am no nuttier than usual. He knows to put on a sweater or extra blanket when I have the A/C cranked up. If anybody older than I can let me know if hot flashes ever abate I could use an encouraging word.

[/quote]

Annie,

I don't know if I'm older than you (57) but I was totally through menopause by 43 and no longer remember much about hot flashes, it's been so long since I had them! There is hope! ;)


#7

But you’re obviously preoccupied with it, why else this thread? Time to move on and give hubby a break. :wink:


#8

I'd discuss it w/ a female friend who might be going through the same thing.

I'm not at that point, but I have one husband and 4 brothers. I can't imagine any of them wanting to discuss female issues.


#9

Am the only odd one out to think that it shouldn't be a "female issue" verus "male issue"? I mean, what is there to be embarrassed about? It's life. Just like I get annoyed when guys are grossed out about periods. Well, it's just a fact of life, get over it. Kind of like other bodily functions.

I guess I just think that if she is having problems or struggling with something, her husband should be there, not making wisecracks at her.

Of course we only know one side of the story, but I still don't think it should be that big of a deal. :shrug:


#10

It sounds to me like your husband is using wisecracks to mask the fact that he doesn’t know what to say. Maybe you could just tell him you need him to listen? Menopause is a big deal in my opinion and changes a lot about you personally and your dynamic as a couple. It is necessary to talk about because it isn’t just about you, it’s about you both as everything is in marriage. I would feel the same if I couldn’t talk about it with my husband, if you can’t talk to him then who? Maybe just reassure him that it’s ok not to know exactly how to react and that you had hoped it was something you could navigate together.


#11

[quote="Susan_Mary, post:2, topic:202463"]
I'm on your husbands side. No one wants to hear about the normal changes to your body except maybe your doctor. You and I are very different, I didn't discuss menopause with anyone but then I didn't discuss my period with anyone, either. I always thought these kind of life moments were private and not a big deal. My advice: stop reading stupid menopause articles and start living your life. I don't mean to sound harsh, but people, including your husband, are not interested in hearing about your night sweats etc. :) Life is too short.

[/quote]

You're certainly welcome to live your life the way you choose. I personally don't think you have a right to make assumptions about other people ("stop reading stupid menopause articles") and condemning them for not living their life the way you choose to live.

The OP mentioned that she and her husband are very close. She implies that they usually discuss things and "go through things" together.

That's they way it is in my life. My husband and I talk about everything, including periods and other "private" things. We are interested in each other's health and well-being. And why not? After all, we're "one flesh." My body is not my own, but his, and his body doesn't belong to him, but to me, too. (I Corinthians 7:4) I'm very interested in "my" body!

Several years ago, I was concerned that my husband seemed to have lost interest in sex and wasn't having any success building up muscles in spite of his regular workouts at the gym. I suggested that he ask the doctor to do testing for testosterone levels. He accepted my suggestion and sure enough, his testosterone was lower than most little girls' testosterone! Turns out he had a small tumor on his pituitary gland. The doctor treated it with chemo, and he's wonderful now, with a nice healthy level of testosterone and some nice hard muscles. Golly, I'm glad I talked about "private" things--it's just possible that I might have saved his life.

To the OP--I'm where you are. 53 and going through menopause. Here are my thoughts, for what they're worth. Perhaps this time might bother your husband because he is realizing that you are no longer fertile. Even if you were finished having children, it's still a hard thing for a man (and woman) to accept that they can no longer make babies. ANYTHING that effects a man's sex life (including fertility of his wife) will make him feel uncomfortable and nervous about his own potency.

I cried over that--when I stopped having periods, I was extremely upset over my loss of fertility. And yes, it IS a loss--a woman who is fertile has "power", but a woman who is infertile--well, she probably has power, too, but it's a different kind of power and it takes some getting used to.

This loss of fertility makes your husband realize that both of you are getting older and nearer to death. It's especially bad when every other day, you receive in the mail either an AARP circular or a pamphlet about purchasing a burial site.

If your/his parents are both alive, it reminds him that they probably won't live much longer, and that's very upsetting.

It's a very sobering thing to be faced with your "second" half of life, or "the autumn years." I find myself somewhat depressed about it. I am allowing myself time to "grieve" the loss of my youth and time to learn what it means to be "old," but if I don't get over being depressed at the end of a year or so, I will definitely get some counselling to help me come to terms with the onset of old age.

In the U.S., "old" is not valued. Old and "disabled" are even less-valued. I have osteo in my knees and I've had two surgeries to repair broken tendons in my feet. I have trouble walking even a few blocks. This is heartbreaking to me, as I looked forward to spending my elderly years travelling and touring historic homes, visiting museums, and shopping in quaint little towns. I am working very hard to try to lose some weight, work out to get stronger, and I faithfully take my Celebrex to try to stop inflammation and pain. I'm doing better! I've lost 30 pounds and I have less pain. I really hope that I will be able to do that walking thing.

Anyway, it hurts my husband to see me struggling to walk, because he can remember when I danced through life and pranced down the block during daily long walks.

I would suggest that you talk to your husband at a time when you are not experiencing a "mood" brought on by hormones. Share with him honestly how you feel about what's happening to you, and ask him if the two of you can do some brainstorming on how to get through this time together. Tell him that you love him so much, and you need him to be there for you now, just as he has always been there for you.

And keep in mind that there are a lot of couples who divorce during this time of a woman's life. It's very sad. I think that perhaps some couples think that if they divorce and start over, they can feel "young" again. And for men, they do get weary of the constant "hot flashes" and "moods" and "crying jags" and "you don't care about me anymore" and also the dry vagina and urinary incontinence and other challenges to sex (e.g., my osteo knees!). Then when a sweet young woman comes along who makes the man feel good about himself again, he thinks he's "in love" and wants that good feeling to continue, so he walks away from a long-time marriage. Please be on guard about this. It's happened to some very well-respected and well-known Christian couples in the last few years, so no one is immune.

Good luck!


#12

I agree that there is a possibility your husband is hurt because he is seeing the signs of old age in his marriage and there is nothing he can do about it. And worse, he probably is thinking ‘How can I tell her how upset I am that she is going through menopause when deep down, there is absolutely nothing she can do about it. If I tell her it hurt me she will accuse me of being selfish for not being there for her’. He CAN’'T express his feelings because society is telling him ‘This is about your wife and you need to take care of her’

My prayers are with you

CM


#13

Since we are on the topic, I am wondering if anyone can answer this question ‘Exactly what are night sweats’?

The reason I ask is because for over a year I have gone through times where I have been waking up drenched in sweat. I attributed it to using to many blankets or having the heat up too high in my room. I am just wondering if this is perhaps the start of my menopause?

Thanks

CM


#14

[quote="Cat, post:11, topic:202463"]
You're certainly welcome to live your life the way you choose. I personally don't think you have a right to make assumptions about other people ("stop reading stupid menopause articles") and condemning them for not living their life the way you choose to live.

[/quote]

Ever hear of hyperbole?

And "condemning them..." more than a little exaggerated, don't you think? If people don't want an opposing point of view they shouldn't ask the question.

Clearly her husband prefers not to discuss the matter. She obviously has broached the subject with him numerously to bring the matter to us. Like other bodily functions, menopause may be natural but that doesn't mean everyone wants to talk about it. She shouldn't read anything into it but take his hint before he thinks she's being whiny.

And speaking of being whiny....:whistle:


#15

[quote="cmscms, post:12, topic:202463"]
I agree that there is a possibility your husband is hurt because he is seeing the signs of old age in his marriage and there is nothing he can do about it. And worse, he probably is thinking 'How can I tell her how upset I am that she is going through menopause when deep down, there is absolutely nothing she can do about it. If I tell her it hurt me she will accuse me of being selfish for not being there for her'. He CAN''T express his feelings because society is telling him 'This is about your wife and you need to take care of her'

My prayers are with you

CM

[/quote]

I know you mean well but I don't think guys think like that.


#16

I really don't want to fight but I think I need to stand up for myself and the OP. She is obviously going through a hard time and her husband is not there for her. The way you respond to her is rather harsh. It is OK to express a different opinion but there is a way to do it politely. Your responses are coming off as cold and of course it will make others react negatively to you

[quote="Susan_Mary, post:15, topic:202463"]
I know you mean well but I don't think guys think like that.

[/quote]

You obviously never met my father. He loves my mother to pieces. The though of loosing her tears him apart. Every little thing that goes wrong with her concerns him. And this is the same man who calls her names (which you do not post on a Catholic website). He never learned to express his feelings so they come out as sarcasm. But believe me, all my mom has to do is blow her nose and he becomes frantic wondering if this is a sign her health is going.

CM


#17

It’s called hyperbole, the point is you’re getting overly upset about your husband not wanting to talk about menopause. Many men don’t like talking about woman problems. For some it’s because they can’t relate and for others it’s because they find it embarressing. Whatever his reason you should repect his preference and stop pushing the subject on him. Maybe he’ll change his mind and want to talk about it later. If he doesn’t, talk to your girlfriends instead.


#18

[quote="cmscms, post:16, topic:202463"]
I really don't want to fight but I think I need to stand up for myself and the OP. She is obviously going through a hard time and her husband is not there for her. The way you respond to her is rather harsh. It is OK to express a different opinion but there is a way to do it politely. Your responses are coming off as cold and of course it will make others react negatively to you

[/quote]

One of the first things I told her was I didn't intend to sound harsh. She asked for opinions and I gave her mine. I'm on her husband side. If he wanted to talk to her about menopause he would. By the sound of her post she has tried to talk to him many, many times and he responds only with "wisecracks." Is she trying to make him angry. Maybe he just doesn't care because he loves her no matter what. I don't think she wants to nag him. That's not cool.

I think of it this way, would I like it if my husband went on and on and on about some normal but personal body function of his? No, I wouldn't. It's not like she has a health problem of something like that, she doesn't. She should give him a hug and shrug it off.


#19

[quote="Susan_Mary, post:14, topic:202463"]
Ever hear of hyperbole?

And "condemning them..." more than a little exaggerated, don't you think? If people don't want an opposing point of view they shouldn't ask the question.

Clearly her husband prefers not to discuss the matter. She obviously has broached the subject with him numerously to bring the matter to us. Like other bodily functions, menopause may be natural but that doesn't mean everyone wants to talk about it. She shouldn't read anything into it but take his hint before he thinks she's being whiny.

And speaking of being whiny....:whistle:

[/quote]

If your last sentence refers to my description of my problems with my knees and ankles, then I would say that your comment is rude and uncharitable. At the end of my description, I made it clear that I am losing weight, working out, taking meds, and hopeful about continuing to walk. That is hardly "whiny." I consider myself courageous for continuing to fight to walk.

If this is not what you meant by your last sentence, then I apologize and admit I have no idea what you are referring to. I guess you and I do not communicate well. Hyperbole escapes me.

You have offered your opinion about the OP's subject. Yes, you are correct, when someone asks for advice, they need to be prepared to hear points of view that are different than everyone else's. But there is no need to continue to argue that you are right and the rest of us are wrong.

Many, many women, including me, will disagree strongly with you on many points. I think many many men would also disagree strongly with you.

Personally, I think you're way out in left field on this issue. As I mentioned in my other post, the OP stated that she and her husband have a history of discussing things. It does seem strange that he has suddenly clamped down and is shutting her out when it comes to discussion of menopause. I think the OP is on the right track to ask for advice from those of us who have been through it or are currently going through it. Hopefully she will receive some reassurance and some helpful suggestions.

You are blessed to be with a man who agrees with your approach.


#20

the point is you’re getting overly upset about your husband not wanting to talk about menopause.

Who are you to tell someone how they should or shouldn’t feel? Did I miss a memo where you were made boss of how people feel? Maybe her husband shouldn’t feel the way he does either, since were telling people how to feel. :shrug:

Have you thought about how people feel when reading your posts?

I’ve honestly never seen such a glib and rude response to a perfectly honest question on CAF, and that’s saying a lot. You can give your opinion in a nicer way.

You need to check your charity meter. The woman is going through a major life change. Yes, it a normal bodily change, but it has far deeper ramifications than say, going to the bathroom.


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