How to Explain Menopause to Your Significant Other!

“When I asked for a smoking hot body, menopause was not what I had in mind!”
~Unknown
Menopause can send a woman from happy to “hot flashy” in 60 seconds! Stealing the covers at night, then immediately kicking them off. Not craving anything in your pantry to devouring everything in your fridge in the middle of the night. Going from feeling beautiful to instantly appearing like a sweaty swamp monster’s twin in your mind! Oh, the joys of menopause!
Clearly, menopause is a tricky time for most women, but what we often forget is that it’s also a tricky time for our men as well. It is a proven fact that men who know more about menopause are more likely to navigate with the ebbs and flows of the situation with a little more success than their counterparts who don’t – and who are more likely to get divorced.
Did you know that an astounding number of divorces happen when a woman enters menopause?
It’s true – and not so surprising when you actually think about it. So, what do men need to know about menopause? There are actually a few different things that can truly come in handy in a man’s “menopausal arsenal,” so he doesn’t completely misread what’s going on, say the wrong things, and make the situation 1000 times worse!
While a man’s perspective on menopause is much different than a woman’s take on it, there are actually a few ways to explain what you and your body are going through, so you don’t end up calling it quits with the one you love.
Let’s explore a few options that can literally serve as argument eliminators and marriage lifesavers during your menopausal experience!
Men: You Have No Idea What’s Happening
To most men, menopause is something mythological that may not even happen. It’s akin to getting a Hogwarts letter or winning the lottery. They see it happening right before their eyes, but somehow, they simply don’t really believe it’s really happening.
Oh boy! Ok, so men need to know that menopause is a process where women will slowly get into the thick of it and quickly become overwhelmed. It actually starts around the age of 40, when a woman’s cycle shortens in perimenopause. This acts as a beautiful little crash course in what the next few years may feel like. So, get ready!
This Is A Long Game, Men, Strap In
Men often think that menopause is something you hit for a few days, like a cold, and it goes away. But let’s be clear, that is completely NOT the case! This blessed event is something that can take months or even years. Some women will experience more extreme symptoms right away, and then, they may fade, whereas some unlucky women will have extreme symptoms for years. Every woman and her menopausal experience is unique and different.
So, how can your man heave a sigh of relief that he’s out of the woods? Women need to be period-free for over a year before they can honestly say that they are out of menopause. While women won’t always be crying messes the entire time, it can be a roller coaster, as you may not even exhibit any symptoms of menopause at all for some time, and then BAM! All the joys of menopause will come flooding back at once! So, hang on for the wild ride!
Consider Being Physical Together – No, Not That Way
You were thinking sex, now weren’t you? That’s ok. But one of the best things you can do to lessen the symptoms of menopause is exercise. Now, it’s important to note that men don’t really lose their physical drive as they age like women do, so instead of taking a long walk, they often want to get physical in other ways. But don’t force yourself to be sexual if it just isn’t working for you There are other ways to spend time together and be physical that will also bring you closer together. Try to find couples exercise classes or activities that you can do together.
If you do choose to get intimate (and most women can mentally do it, but the physical part can be a bit more challenging), you may need to approach it a different way than you have in the past. Gone are the days when it can happen as soon as you get a minute alone. While in menopause, you may need to ramp up your warmup game and slowly ease into it. There’s no rush!
Every Woman’s Experience with Menopause is Like a Snowflake: Unique
We’ve all been here! If your husband looks at you like you have three heads even though he seems to be educated on menopause, it’s because he’s most likely gotten some very well-intended, but bad information. Unfortunately, men do talk to each other, and sometimes they share bad information (shocker, I know).
So, what do they really need to know? Most men need to know that just because their golf buddy’s wife didn’t cry at the sad puppy commercials or that episode of Friends, it doesn’t mean that theirs won’t. Again, every woman is different! Make sure to try to explain to your husband or partner what is happening to you, from the symptoms of menopause that you are experiencing to the ways it is impacting you mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’s ok to be completely honest and vulnerable, and let your man really see what’s going on.
Menopause is a really difficult time for everyone – including your husband. So, don’t forget the famous Fannie Flagg line from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: “Oh no, honey. lots of women go through it early. Why, there was this woman over in Georgia who was only thirty-six-years-old and one day she got in her car and drove right up the stairs to the county courthouse, rolled down her window, and tossed her mother’s head that she had just chopped off in her kitchen at a State policeman and hollered, “Here! This is what you wanted,” and drove right back down the courthouse stairs. Now that’s what an early menopause will do for you if you’re not careful.”
Well, hopefully, it won’t be that extreme for you (or anyone for that matter – haha), but while you’re in the midst of your unique, sweaty, once-in-a-lifetime menopausal magic, remember to communicate with your husband…because he most likely is really trying the best he can, but he’s braving this whole new world with you!