All relationships have their ups and downs, but when you add menopause into the mix it can put an extra strain on things. According to the GenM Invisibility Report 93% of women say they would benefit from their partner better understanding what menopausal women experience, so what can you do to help? We’ve put together a few tips for those who want to help their partners, as well as those going through menopause who may find it difficult to communicate what support they need.
Give it a Google
Yes, menopause awareness is on the up and we’re hearing more and more about it in the news, but how much do you really know about what to expect? There are plenty of online blogs (including our own) which highlight key facts and figures. For most women, menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 55 years and in the UK the average age is 51 years. Some of the well-known symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, mood swings, depression and anxiety, but there are in fact 48 symptoms associated with menopause. Everyone’s journey is different, and there’s so much that can be learnt from each individual story.
Talk about it
One thing we can all be guilty of is not addressing the elephant in the room. The menopause has commonly been thought of as a ‘taboo’ subject – not to be talked about and instead ignored. Many women experience severe and debilitating physical and mental health symptoms linked to the menopause and feeling unable to talk about these only exacerbates the situation. Try to make your partner feel you are in it together and you are there to help when things get tough. Understanding what they’re feeling and going through is crucial. Listen. Ask questions. Be open. Communication is key.
When you’re not going through it yourself it can be hard to adjust to changes in your partner’s mood and wellbeing. You may not fully understand – and that’s ok. Reminding your partner you are there for them and you want to help will go a long way. Equally, if you are going through the menopause yourself it’s important to be patient with your partner and help them recognise what they can do to support you. It may be a frustrating time on both sides, but you’ll get through it together the more open and honest you are with each other.