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Advice for my DP as I go through the menopause

(29 Posts)
MuchTooHotToHandle Fri 04-Dec-15 15:00:40

Hi all. I really want to pass on a source of good advice to my DP on how to cope / help with all the stuff my menopause is throwing up. This is not something we've been able to have an honest conversation about yet as communication between us is not very good at the moment. If anyone can share a really good link to a website that offers non-patronising, practical guidance to men (I've looked but had no success) I would be eternally grateful! I'm hoping it will be a starting point for us to start talking about all the emotional crap we've been avoiding for so long... sad

PollyPerky Fri 04-Dec-15 18:29:14

Is the 'emotional crap' you've been avoiding linked directly to your menopausal symptoms or is it your relationship that's hit the buffers in mid life? in other words, all I'm asking is are the two connected or just coincidence?
Afraid I don't know of any books for men.
What does he need to know? Mood swings, hot flushes, irritability, other physical symptoms? Is this something you could talk to him about or even write down as a letter for him to read?

superking Fri 04-Dec-15 18:37:22

I only caught the end of it, but there was a discussion about this on Radio 4 Women's Hour this morning with men sharing their experiences and I think an expert as well. Might be worth looking for the podcast?

MuchTooHotToHandle Sat 05-Dec-15 14:59:13

Hi PollyPerky, thanks for your reply. I think the honest answer is that both are true. We've never done very well at communicating on an emotional level. Things often go unsaid, then come to a head in which I talk a lot and am met with a wall of silence. The menopause symptoms have made it more difficult and I guess I just don't feel strong enough to broach the subject when I just anticipate more silence. I want him to have more understanding of how I'm being affected by all this so he (might) have more compassion and patience. I have thought about writing a letter but then though maybe there was a good article somewhere that I could send his way... bit of a cowards way out I suppose!

MuchTooHotToHandle Sat 05-Dec-15 15:01:11

superking - it was the Woman's Hour thing that got me searching the internet and, failing to find what I was looking for, asking on here! It was a good discussion but I felt it wasn't really in depth enough...

PollyPerky Sat 05-Dec-15 15:40:41

Hmmm...sorry you are met with a wall of silence. Men, eh???

Would it help you to write down here the kind of things you want to say to him? It sounds as if you find it hard to be open with each other.

TBH I doubt if him reading a book -or online- would be effective. He would have been living under a rock all his life NOT to be aware of the menopause! (in very general terms.)

It's more about what's going on between you both in terms of lack of communication that's the issue- the meno is maybe not the central issue.

I guess he doesn't know what to say when you have tried to talk! Men tend to want to 'fix' things, so psychologists say, so when women moan or complain men want to find a practical solution- and of course he can't find one to this!

Would it help to tell him what it is you want him to do or be at this time of your life?

What is it you want? More tolerance? Some understanding? A listening ear? Is he pestering you for sex and your libido's disappeared?

I guess the problem with a book is that is generic- this is about you but it's more about you & him.

Have you thought about seeking counselling either for you alone so you learn to be assertive and express your needs in a relationship - or, together so you learn to be open with each other?

I can't help feeling the relationship is on dodgy ground if there is poor communication between you. Sorry if this is not what you want to hear and I don't want to assume things if everything is really okay!

newname99 Sat 05-Dec-15 16:47:44

I could have wrote a similar post.My dh is aware of menopause but like me assumed it was hot flushes and irregular periods.The reality for some women is mood swings, insomnia, pregnancy like faigue, loss of libido, memory lapses - to name a few symptoms! He & I were not aware of this and I just want it fixed as I hate how I feel.Our lives are changing whilst I have these symptoms and I guess I need him to help us through this but not sure what he can actually do.
Op have you considered hrt?

Bellaciao Sun 06-Dec-15 09:05:20

There is some advice for husbands on the Menopause Matters website here at the Manshed and also on the forum What's the best thing your partner has done to help you through menopause and Advice for Husbands. You don't have to be a member to read the threads but you do to post.

justgoandgetalife Tue 15-Dec-15 18:04:39

I'm going to check out those links Bellaciao. I've been so exhausted at the end of the days recently - I have to go to bed at 10:45-ish as I'm no good to anyone by then. I am fit and healthy otherwise - I just run out of steam. Added to the fact that i literally do everything at home and DH does f all, I'm exhausted.

DH and I are so out of sync - he goes to bed at 1am; I go at 10:45pm and spend most of the night drenched in sweat - very sexy - he gets up whenever he feels like it [usually 11am at weekends!]; I get up 6:55 to get YS to school, walk dog, then go to work. At weekends I'm up by 9 at the latest.

Weekends - he sleeps late, then dozes in front of the TV all day long, making excuses for not doing anything I ask him to, while I catch up on any chores that I haven't done during the week, do laundry, etc.

We hardly ever have sex as he and I are never anywhere near the bed at the same time. During the day, the kids are in and out so we can't always take advantage of quiet times as there aren't any!

Last weekend I burst into tears having burnt the veg and all I get is "it's just the veg - what's wrong with you?". He seems totally oblivious to my being tired all the time. Two weekends ago, and at the end of my tether, I decided to do absolutely nothing all day except rest and watch old movies. Guess what - so did he! As a result, the kids went hungry, his expenses didn't get done, no one had clean clothes, etc.

Do I really have to s-p-e-l-l it out to him?!

justgoandgetalife Tue 15-Dec-15 20:54:45

Having read the link - I can't take HRT due to breast cancer history; I have only one breast so feel a little freaky; DH is a lazy arse so me feeling so down just seems to exaggerate the frustration I feel towards his laziness; he is totally oblivious to my feeling tired [not helped as I run 3 or 4 times pw so he doesn't get why I'm tired at the end of the day - hell even Paula Radcliffe needed to sleep for a couple of hours every afternoon!]; sex is totally off the agenda and all he can think of is his need to "be de-stressed at regular intervals" [he uses this phrase a lot and always has done!]. My irritability and exhaustion seems merely to serve to emphasise all the faults in our relationship.

PollyPerky Tue 15-Dec-15 21:16:40

You're not the Op are you just? (just checking!)

Wondering why you think 10.45 pm is early? That's pretty normal for most working people I think. There was a MN thread on here (another section) a while ago and many younger MNers were in bed by 9.30 or 10pm!

Sounds like you need to address not the menopause but the selfish DH you have! Can you start by dividing chores more equally?

justgoandgetalife Tue 15-Dec-15 22:57:30

pollyPerky - sadly, no - it seems that I really am not the only one, so i suppose that ought to make me feel better in that I'm not alone feeling this way?!

i don't think 10:45 is early either - but DH looks daggers at me when I say I'm going up to bed!

There's a whole load of other threads [not all mine!] about lazy husbands so I'm not the only one there either! I think now that I'm menopausal it's just exaggerating the irritation I feel with him?

HerOtherHalf Wed 16-Dec-15 12:07:40

Speaking as a man I'm not sure there is much you can do. We may not get taught about the menopause in school but it's not hard to see what is going on when it hits. At the end of the day, he is either empathetic and caring or he is naturally selfish and I don't think there is very much you can do about a person's inherent nature.

This is about you, not him. You are going through all the sh!t and he should be supporting you. Not much help I guess but don't take the blame on yourself, you are meant to be a partnership and it sounds like he is not playing his role the way he should.

HelpfulChap Wed 16-Dec-15 12:18:51

As a fella whose wife has been through the menopause I'm not really sure that advice to give.
It didn't seem to be a problem for us although compromises have had to be made in the aftermath but as far as I am concerned that's just a price to pay as you get older.

justgoandgetalife Wed 16-Dec-15 14:09:11

MuchTooHotToHandle: how are you? Don't want to hijack your thread but what you OPd rang so many bells! Maybe we can share experiences & help each other through?

Think mine sadly boils down to a selfish lazy DH (there, I said it) & the fact that I can't take HRT doesn't help. He will have to step up & support me as it's very scary being me - I don't like myself right now. If I lose my temper his response is to yell at me & tell me I need to go on an anger management course!

I don't enjoy night sweats, feelings of panic & severe mood swings but a weeny bit of sympathy would help!

justgoandgetalife Wed 16-Dec-15 14:25:45

HerOtherHalf & HelpfulChap: thanks for your support & useful comments. I think in OP & my cases menopause merely serves to bring our relationship problems to the fore. DH knows it's happening - I have even had a blood test in April that confirmed 'peri menopause' so "I ain't makin' it up!"

Any advice on how to make an unsympathetic, objective partner actually believe in menopause (he treats it much like 'believing in Santa').

PollyPerky Wed 16-Dec-15 14:27:12

There are complementary treatments that can help other than using HRT. There are a few specialist meno gynaes around who can help you with this if you could afford to go outside of the NHS.

It's a shame that your physical and emotional symptoms of the meno seem to be exacerbated and exacerbating the worst parts of your marriage.

Is this really a relationship issue that's been bubbling away and is now all the more obvious? Do you need to address that and not just the meno?

PollyPerky Wed 16-Dec-15 14:28:28

Any advice on how to make an unsympathetic, objective partner actually believe in menopause (he treats it much like 'believing in Santa')

LTB smile???

It wouldn't matter if it were menopause or the plague- he doesn't appear loving or kind. Do you really want to be in that sort of marriage?
I'd leave.

justgoandgetalife Wed 16-Dec-15 15:30:39

Pollyperky: alternative medicine had been discussed with GP (she is also a menopausal post-breast cancer lady) but as it replicates hormone related medicine she didn't recommend it, but we didn't cover therapies so may be worth another gp appt. can't pay for it sadly - I'm currently paying for Physio, boys music lessons, etc so no spare dosh for regular therapy.

PollyPerky Wed 16-Dec-15 15:37:45

I wasn't thinking of herbs etc if that's what you mean. More stuff like acupuncture, diet, yoga, massage- but they all cost money.
Would your partner not consider couples counselling to try to improve things?

justgoandgetalife Wed 16-Dec-15 17:07:58

Now that's an interesting one! Having been close to LTB at the start of the year, I did suggest that couples counselling would help, but a. costs money; b. he said it would be 'airing our troubles in public' [hmm, that's a toughie that's an excuse to avoid talking about it, given that they are meant to be confidential?]. We did talk it through a bit and I thought things had improved, but then the big M suddenly hit and we are back where we started from!

In terms of therapies - my physio has started acupuncture alongside to help with meno symptoms - that's currently being covered by DHs company health insurance, [but only strictly speaking for my knee problems] but how long that would last I'm not sure.

PollyPerky Wed 16-Dec-15 18:11:24

Any chance he's avoiding counselling because he knows he's being an arse and doesn't want to aired with a 3rd party? And he'd hear things from you that he didn't want other people to know about him?
It IS confidential, yes.
Maybe instead of buying each other Christmas presents you could book 6 sessions of counselling- cheaper than splitting up!

justgoandgetalife Thu 17-Dec-15 14:39:08

Printed off the article BellaCiao posted. Highlighted my symptoms in red & left it for him to read. He's been to fetch me from work today and was straight in with 'when are we going to get together as I do need destressing you know. It's been two weeks now so is it permanent?'.

Like that's going to make me feel all horny for him? I don't actually know if he's even read the article! F knows why I even try.

PollyPerky Thu 17-Dec-15 18:52:50

Tell him it's permanent.

He sounds like an adolescent; 'needs destressing' FGS.

Tell him to have a wank.

justgoandgetalife Sat 19-Dec-15 16:40:04

Says he's read the article so doesn't need to discuss it. If he does some thing stupid I can now always say "read the article I gave you" (if you watch the Big Bang Theory you'll understand the significance of that!).

I can also offer for him to discuss it with my Mum if he needs confirmation as she's been through it already. That should shut him up!

It's at these times I'm sad we didn't have a DD as he would have some experience of what girls/women go through (as if he didn't pay attention during sex-ed?)

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