The menopause is known to cause physical, emotional and mental symptoms which can affect everyday life during the transition. As a result of these changes many women feel that the relationships around them are also changing which can be hard to handle on top of everything else.
This month we look at some of the things that women wished men knew about the menopause.
1) It isn’t the easiest topic to discuss
Even though your partner is the one who probably knows you the best, it doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly feel comfortable discussing all these changes with them. Some women say they feel embarrassed in discussing the different symptoms they are experiencing and when we’re trying to get our head around it ourselves, how do we begin to explain it to our partner?
Hopefully if he is recognising the signs, rather than tiptoeing around you he will be able to sit down with you and work out the best way to support you – when you’re ready.
2) There are many symptoms
Everyone seems to associate the menopause with hot flushes – imagine if there was only one symptom! In fact, we recently published a feature on 34 symptoms of menopause which include mood swings, vaginal dryness, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.
It’s important for partners to recognise that we could be experiencing an array of emotions and physical changes and this could impact the relationship, but it doesn’t mean it’s all bad! This is a natural transformation for women and with any changes in a relationship, we can work out together how to embrace a new normal.
3) It’s exhausting!
We mentioned hot flushes above and unfortunately, they often appear as night sweats just when we’re ready to leave the day behind and get some shut-eye. The interrupted sleep can be difficult to cope with especially when we’re trying to get on with day-to-day life.
It’s important that your partner knows that this may also affect his sleeping patterns but not only that, we may need some extra support at home when we’re totally exhausted.
4) Boost our confidence
Hormonal changes and the metabolism slowing down can result in weight gain that is harder to shift. This can affect how we feel about ourselves and let’s face it, if ever there was time for a confidence boost, this is it!
With all the changes to our body, we just want to feel comfortable and confident with ourselves, so the occasional compliment and reminder that we are still loved are a great way to show support.
No, we aren’t the only ones to go through the menopause, we aren’t the first and we won’t be the last, but have you ever really heard of two women who have had the same experience?
As a male you might have been around a relative or colleague going through the menopause but that doesn’t mean we all experience it in the same way. Chances are there will be occasions where we are feeling a little isolated so the best thing to do is to be patient with us and let us tell you exactly how we are coping with it.
Menopause doesn’t have to be a downward spiral for our relationships, as women we need to remember to be open and honest with the men in our lives so they can support us the best way possible. Communication is key and as much as we would love them to be, men are not mind readers so make time to talk about your menopause!