Despite being a well-known period in a woman’s life, menopause often takes her and her spouse by surprise. The symptoms can wreak havoc with her physical and mental health, and with the marriage as well. By knowing the symptoms, how to treat them, and taking a few simple steps to deal with it, you can weather the storm of menopause.
The symptoms of menopause are caused by hormonal changes in a woman’s body that occur around middle age. It affects you both physically and emotionally.
Physical symptoms include:
- hot flashes
- itchy skin
- irregular periods
- night sweats
- breast tenderness
- vaginal dryness
Emotional symptoms include:
The brain also changes, with the “mommy brain” unplugging and the communication and emotion circuits seeming to shut down. This all leads to a drop in both communication and sexual interest.
Most menopause symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter menopause relief supplements like Staying Cool (Amazon) or a regime of essential oils. Stronger relief can be prescribed by a doctor if needed.
If a woman is taking medications such as antidepressants, contraceptives, mood stabilizers, sedatives, antihistamines, or medications for blood pressure, these can contribute to a decreased sex drive. Midlife stresses such as career changes, a suddenly empty nest, caring for elderly parents or the loss of a loved one, can also contribute to a declining libido and a lack of communication.
On top of that, men experience their own midlife changes. These changes are more gradual, less noticeable, and not often talked about. However, declining testosterone can affect his libido, mood, physical condition, and sexual performance. He may also be dealing with midlife stresses. However, because his changes are more gradual and less noticeable, neither of them may realize that part of their problem may be hormonal. Men can also benefit from herbal “male menopause” supplements like TestoTrax (Amazon).
What it all means for your marriage
Lowered libidos can make both spouses feel unattractive, unwanted and unloved. Throw in inhibited communication, and you end up with two people who feel alone and unwanted and can’t talk to each other about it. If this problem continues, both parties may start to consider leaving the marriage.
Communication issues can lead to many things being left unsaid, but it can also contribute to arguments. The sometimes wildly changing emotions of menopause can cause tears or anger seemingly out of the blue.
If you’re willing to take extra measures to ensure open communication with your spouse, you can limit those problems. Working with your doctor and using supplements to treat your symptoms can also help ease the transition from one stage of life to the next.