Menopause is a difficult time for many women, and dealing with the symptoms that come along with it can be challenging. It can be helpful to reach out to your loved ones for support.
But talking to your romantic partner about menopause might not always be easy. Sometimes, it can feel uncomfortable to open up about the changes going on in your body and how menopause is making you feel. But, allowing your partner to support you during this transitional time can help you and them feel more connected and understood.
So, in this post, we’ll share 7 tips to help you communicate with your partner about menopause.
7 Tips to Talk to Your Partner About Menopasue
Menopause can be a difficult time for women. And sharing this with the right person can help you in great ways. Here are some tips you can follow:
1. Time it Right
When you first open up to your partner about your experiences with menopause, timing is crucial.
If either of you are tired, grumpy, hungry, or distracted, communication won’t be able to flow freely.
Likewise, if you’re in the midst of a mood swing or experiencing menopause-related rage, it’s best to avoid ‘the talk’ until you feel calm again. When you’re both already in conflict, the channels of understanding between you will be blocked, and having a productive conversation will be impossible.
So, try to schedule a time when you’re both fully available, in a good mood, and free from distractions. This way, you can both express your feelings in the best way possible.
2. Don’t Leave it too Long
Finding a good time to talk is essential, but don’t let a busy work schedule or a sense of embarrassment delay you from sharing your experiences with menopause for long.
It’s perfectly natural to feel vulnerable when talking about subjects such as vaginal atrophy, loss of libido, weight gain, and hot flashes. But the longer you suffer in silence, the harder it will be to open up. That’s why prioritizing open communication is key to understanding each other fully.
Remember that every woman goes through menopause and this is a completely natural phase in life. So, while it may feel embarrassing to share your symptoms and feelings, you have no reason to be shy. Your body is doing exactly what it was always supposed to do.
3. Share Your Symptoms
Unfortunately, menopause is still often seen as a taboo subject, even in the Western world. And so, many men are completely in the dark about what happens to a woman’s body during this time.
So, if your partner is a man, it may fall to you to educate him about the symptoms of menopause. But once you do, he’ll be able to better understand what you’re going through and what to expect moving forward.
If you’re suffering from vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido, your partner may have mistaken your lack of advances in the bedroom as a sign that you’re not attracted to him anymore. Or he may be completely dumbfounded by your sudden mood swings and have no idea why you’re so irritable all the time.
This is why it’s so important to open up about your symptoms and explain the changes occurring in your body.
Neither of you has done anything wrong, and together, with open and honest communication, you can ride the wave of menopause and come out stronger on the other side.
4. Be Honest
Don’t downplay the severity of your symptoms just to protect your pride or make your partner feel better. If issues such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and menopausal rage are bothering you, explain how it’s affecting your life.
Of course, opening up about such intimate details isn’t easy for everyone, and there may be certain things you’d rather not share. But be sure to help your partner understand any challenges you are facing in a way that you feel comfortable with. Then, they can help you get through this transitional time with love, compassion, and understanding.
Remember, certain symptoms, such as mood swings, irritability, and rage, may be causing you to act differently. But despite your changing hormones, you’re still the same person you always were. And these issues won’t be around forever.
Reassure your partner that in time, as your hormones begin to settle, you’ll be feeling and acting like your old self once again.
5. Ask for Support
Not all partners are sensitive and understanding enough to anticipate your needs. This is especially true during menopause when many men feel in the dark about what’s happening to their wives or girlfriends. So, you may need to explain to your partner how they can best support you.
Maybe it’s as simple as reminding you you’re beautiful from time to time. Or perhaps you need some extra help managing the housework, chores, and kids while you deal with menopause-related fatigue.
Whatever your needs are, be sure to articulate them clearly so that your loved one can be there for you in the best way possible.
6. Redefine Expectations
If the side effects of menopause have caused your once voracious sex life to dwindle, it’s time to come to a new agreement about what each of you can expect going forward.
Vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy can make sex unpleasant and downright painful at times. So, you may need to change the way you rendezvous in the bedroom. This takes open and honest discussion from both of you. But once you’ve had ‘the talk,’ you’ll likely be glad you did.
There’s no reason that sexual intimacy has to stop during and after menopause. In fact, many women go on to have the best sex of their lives once they pass this important milestone. But it may look different from how it did before.
Remember, the key to a thriving love life is open communication on both sides. When both parties know what to expect, there’s less room for disappointment and more room for understanding.
7. Share Valuable Information
The internet has a wealth of information for people who want to support their partners during menopause. Here at SimplyMenopause, we have a whole host of in-depth guides about the symptoms of menopause. There’s a lot of learning to be done, so why not encourage your partner to browse through our collection of blog posts? This can help them to understand what you’re going through and how to support you.
In the meantime, here’s a short checklist that you can share with your partner right now.
The Best ways to Support a Partner During Menopause
There are some ways to support your partner while she is going through the phase of menopause:
Understand What Menopause Is
It sounds simple, but menopause is more than just an end to your partner’s monthly cycle. It’s a long, multi-year period of hormonal fluctuations that can change the way a woman thinks, feels, looks, and behaves.
So, it’s a good idea to brush up on your female biology and learn what’s going on in your partner’s body.
Recognize the Symptoms
Menopause has multiple potential symptoms, and many of them are underreported. So, what you may think is an unrelated issue in your spouse’s life could be a side effect of menopause.
Not every woman experiences the same symptoms, and the severity can vary from person to person. That being said, here are some of the most common symptoms of menopause that you should be aware of.
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Menopausal rage
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal atrophy
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Dry skin
- Thinning hair
Once you’re familiar with the symptoms of menopause, you’re more likely to recognize them when they arise. This allows you to support your wife or girlfriend with these changes in a caring and compassionate way.
Ask her how you can help her. It may be simple things, like increasing your share of the housework or letting her dial down the thermostat when a hot flash strikes. Or, you may need to change the way you interact in the bedroom.
Listen to her needs, and try to do what you can to adapt in a way that works for you both.
Don’t Take it Personally
There may be days when your partner’s menopausal mood swings make it difficult to avoid an argument. But try to remember that increased irritability and even bouts of rage are common symptoms of menopause. So, give her a little extra leeway and recognize that hormones, not your partner, are to blame.
If confrontation occurs, try not to rise to the bait. Instead, take time to protect yourself and her from saying anything you might regret.
Bodily changes during menopause can cause a serious blow to a woman’s self-esteem. So, during this phase, it’s more important than ever to make your partner feel beautiful and loved.
Compliment her when she looks nice, tell her that you love her every day, and practice romantic gestures that will remind her how much you care.
If both you and your partner are going through menopause at the same time, it’s even more crucial to share your feelings. In many ways, your relationship with one another puts you both at an advantage, as your shared experiences will help you both to understand and support each other.
However, if your relationship is under strain, it’s best to seek professional guidance. A relationship therapist can help you both navigate this transitional time in a way that brings you closer together.
Unfortunately, not all partners are immediately supportive when we first open up. But remember, you have every right to feel loved and understood in your relationship.
If your spouse dismisses your concerns or ignores your pleas for help, show them this post. If they still aren’t on board, you may want to consider seeking advice from a relationship therapist.
Yes! Thankfully, there are plenty of great online resources that can help partners better understand the needs of their menopausal loved ones. This blog is a great place to start. You’ll find all kinds of detailed guides to the various symptoms of menopause.
The Endocrine Society also has a list of some of the best support groups and educational tools available to both menopausal women and their partners.
Menopause can feel like an emotional rollercoaster at times. But having the support of your partner can make it all the more bearable.
Research shows that getting your partner on board can help to strengthen your relationship and make both parties in a marriage feel more satisfied.
With open and honest communication, couples can get through the hard times that menopause may bring and come out stronger and more resilient on the other side.
So, if you’re a woman going through menopause, talk to your partner about your symptoms and let them know how they can support you. And if you’re a man who wants to help his wife or girlfriend through this transitional phase, be prepared to listen to her needs and practice empathy and patience.
Remember that menopause is a natural phase in any woman’s life. Together, you can navigate this experience with understanding and cultivate an even stronger and more resilient connection.