Menopause Tips for Husbands: Supporting Your Partner Through the Transition

Last updated 11.30.2023 | by Sabrina Johnson | 10 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Ask any woman how their equation had been with their partner as they neared menopausal age, and you will get similar replies. Some will tell you of their initial hiccups, which eventually got sorted with time. A few will even explain how topsy-turvy it was in the beginning. There was a communication gap, but it got better with talking it out. 

I was going through an online survey the other day, which had male participants in the 50-69-year age group. Of them, around 80% were married, and 97% lived full-time with their partner. Most males mentioned being affected because of the several symptoms their partners showed. 

More than hot flashes and night sweats, the moodiness and crankiness of their respective partners affected males the most. Some opined that they were trying to deal with the entire situation with compassion and patience. Meanwhile, a few mentioned that they attempted to avoid the entire thing.

Another UK survey mentioned how 7 of 10 women held menopause responsible for their faulty marriage. Have you faced the same in your marriage? Or, did you come across someone who has been struggling with his marriage as he finds it troublesome to understand his partner’s changing menopausal mood swings?

If you are a male reading my article, it will help you better understand what your partner is going through as she transitions into menopause. I know and understand it is difficult for you as well. But you both will sail through the phase with patience and understanding. I have highlighted some ways you can help your partner with menopause. Hope this will be of help.

How to Help Your Partner During Menopause?

How to Help Your Partner During Menopause?

A friend of mine was on the verge of ending her 20 years of marriage just because of the incompatibility and misunderstanding that developed in her relationship because of her erratic mood swings, all triggered by menopause. Her husband once told me, “She isn’t the person I have known all these years”. Fortunately, with proper communication and the help of a marriage counsellor, things finally fell into place. The tips I am to mention here are mainly dedicated to the males whose wives or partners are going through menopause. Here is how you could help her and even yourself by being understanding and cooperative.

1. Research Thoroughly

Women might struggle to convey their needs and emotions to their partners as they go through menopause. This is why it’s very important for men to research as much as possible about menopause and everything that accompanies it.

Unless you conduct proper research, you won’t be able to determine why your partner is behaving in a certain manner, or you could end up leaving them all alone when they need your support the most in a given moment.

Being aware of the symptoms tops the list when it comes to understanding what your partner is going through in menopause. As a supportive partner, you should know about the following symptoms that women face during this period:

  • Mood swings
  • Dry skin
  • Sleep issues
  • Hot flashes
  • Thinning of hair
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness

Whenever I couldn’t sleep well at night after a hot flash episode, my husband would try his best to make me feel as comfortable as possible the following morning to boost my mood. He would even do things that would make me happy, like making my favorite herbal tea. Sometimes, I would want to be left alone for some time, and my husband would give me that space.

2. Remain Patient

Menopause is not something that happens overnight and goes away in a day. There’s a buildup to it, which is known as perimenopause. While for some women, perimenopause can last for a couple of months, for others, it can last for a few years.

The period of perimenopause and menopause brings about fluctuating hormonal levels for women, triggering a wide range of emotions and symptoms. Therefore, being patient with your partner is crucial as they face this transition.

Don’t lose your cool or get agitated while they’re attempting to figure out what’s happening within their body. The least you can do as a partner during this phase is stay calm and patient.

3. Communicate Well

Keeping all the communication channels open is vital as your partner experiences menopause. This doesn’t just mean talking to them, but also being a good listener.

Even though you can never truly understand just what they’re facing, you can at least empathize and hear about the hurdles that crowd their days. Also, remember to never push them to share.

The subject can be too sensitive for some women to talk about, and not everyone would want to open up deeply about it. Therefore, take in whatever they share with you and see how you can handle that information positively.

4. Be a Team

Women deserve to know that they aren’t all alone as they go through menopause, which is why men should always strive to be a team as they unite with their partners. This could mean simple things such as asking her how her day was, helping her with the household chores, or looking after the kids. Whenever my sister would have her bouts of hot flashes, followed by less sleep, her husband offered to get the kids ready and drive them to school. These small gestures do help big time.

You should handle your partner with care and understand what he wants. Sometimes, she would need your company, while at times, she may want to be given that space to gather herself. So, ask her what she needs, be it a massage, a movie night, or simply to be left alone.

Make her laugh and ensure the sense of humor stays alive while also being mindful of not making offensive jokes.

5. Handle Her Moods Sensitively

Chances are that a woman is already feeling guilty for snapping at her colleagues or not being able to give her best to her household while her body changes during menopause. On such days, she shouldn’t be made to feel more guilty by her partner.

Never tell a woman that the symptoms are all in her head. After all, the signs are very real and can be extremely comfortable to sit through while accomplishing daily tasks.

Don’t transfer their moods into your moods. If they’re feeling upset, angry, or frustrated, listen to them without any judgment.

6. Embrace Their Will to Change

Menopause signifies a major life-changing event in the lives of women. It’s often accompanied by other changes that a woman may want to implement. This could be regarding minute things such as the physical activities she indulges in to stay fit or something major like changing her career.

Although your partner’s decisions may not make sense, it’s important to support them as they decide what to modify about their life.

7. Provide Them with Reassurance

Reassuring your partner that you still find them attractive and that they are doing a brilliant job of handling things is essential while they deal with menopause.

Many women suffer from self-esteem issues during this period, so their partners should put in extra effort and remind them of all the things they find endearing and alluring about them.

Silent appreciation doesn’t work at this stage. You need to voice out your admiration and give her all the compliments she deserves to build her self-confidence again.

8. Be Understanding about Intimacy

A woman’s sex drive is affected when she’s in the menopausal phase. This could be due to the decline in estrogen levels, the vaginal dryness they experience, or other reasons. Either way, it affects their will to have sex.

Remember that it isn’t about you. So, don’t take it personally; instead, develop new ways of being intimate and showing affection. For most women, their sex drive comes back in full swing once menopause is over.

9. Encourage Her to Focus on Her Health

Women go through both internal and external changes during menopause. Their health gets affected in a major way, with the risk of certain health conditions amplifying, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Staying fit, therefore, is vital to deal with all the bodily changes that take place during menopause. Encourage your partner to look after herself by getting proper sleep, managing her stress levels, and helping her prepare healthy meals. Couples can also exercise for better interaction. One thing you should consciously avoid doing is making her conscious about her weight gain or changing body. Don’t make comments that could offend or hurt your partner, adding to her woes even more.

FAQs

What can be done if a couple struggles during the transition phase of menopause?

If a couple struggles during the transition phase of menopause, they can go for couples counseling to deal with the challenges.

What is one of the most important things a man can do when their partner is going through menopause?

One of the most important things a man can do when their partner is going through menopause is listen to the other person and try to understand the emotions they’re experiencing.

What are some ways to help your spouse or partner during the period of menopause?

Some ways you can help your spouse or partner during menopause are researching the subject, being patient, providing much-needed reassurance, and embracing the changes they’re going through.

Does exercising with your partner help them as they go through menopause?

Yes, exercising with your partner is a great way to help them as they go through menopause; as such shared experiences work great for couples. How about joining and aerobic class or going swimming together? Besides keeping you healthy, it will also give you the opportunity to spend quality time with each other.

Is communication important between partners as one of them goes through menopause?

Yes, communication is key between partners when the woman is going through menopause, as it helps you listen, understand, and be compassionate towards your partner..

Conclusion

Every woman has a different experience with menopause. Not every couple will have the same journey when it comes to navigating through menopause together.

However, the crucial thing is to support your partner, listen intently, ask about the things you’re unclear about, and assure them that the challenges are something you will both get through as a unit.

In case you feel like the whole transition is proving to be stressful for you both, there is also the option of couples counselling. Reaching out to a therapist can help you explore tools that could improve your bond with your partner and aid you in overcoming certain challenges.

Reference:

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.