What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Menopause

menopause word in letterpress type“Five thousand American women enter it every day. No, it’s not a day spa. Nor is it an outpatient clinic for plastic surgery. And it’s certainly not optional —although many options exist for dealing with it. It’s menopause —often referred to as The Big M. Over the generations it’s been called The Change of Life —for more reasons than one.

“For many women, menopause comes abruptly, far sooner than 51, the average age of the body’s natural cessation of menses—due to the six thousand hysterectomies performed in the U.S. each year. For the rest, this unavoidable rite of passage often sneaks up after a six-month to ten-year hormonal time warp called peri-menopause” (Ronna Synder, from Todayschristianwoman.com article “Managing Menopause”).

If you’re a husband reading what Ronna wrote, it can be a real slap of reality. One year, one month, one week, one day seems too long to go through this, and yet, many of you know, this is just the beginning of a long season… a very long, long season of difficulties, for your wife and for you!

Sometimes we wish that every marriage could come with a manual on “what to do if…” but unfortunately it doesn’t.

However, we live in a time where we aren’t left entirely alone as far as not having any information available to help us! We are blessed to live in a world where some people have lived through a few things and have learned through a few things, and are willing to pass on to others (such as ourselves) what they have learned.

And that applies to the subject of Menopause. How do you survive this transition of life and help your wife the best way you can? There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer to that, but author Lois Mowday Rabey wrote an article that might help you in some way with that dilemma.

Below you will find a link to the helpful web site of Family Life Today where they have posted this article for your reading pleasure … or maybe we should say for your “survival.”

As you read through this linked article ask God to show you what information you can apply to your marriage that will best help you and your wife:

WHAT WIVES WISH THEIR HUSBANDS KNEW ABOUT MENOPAUSE

The next article we recommend you read is written by a woman named Magnolia, who had a conversation with a man named Andy on the subject of Peri-menopause (which is a type of pre-menopause). Having gone through this herself, Magnolia explains to Andy a lot of things that you may find helpful to know as well.

While this article isn’t approached from a Christian perspective, it’s still very enlightening and worth gleaning through.

To do so, please click onto this Peri-Menopause blog to read:

• How Can I Help My Wife in Perimenopause? A Conversation with a Reader

Plus, below is another link to an article that gives instructions how to give support to your wife during this tim in your lives together. Please click onto the ehow.com link to read:

HOW TO HELP A WIFE WITH MENOPAUSE

Also, below is a link to a blog where a husband asks the following question:

Question: My wife is going through menopause and I am feeling kicked out of a relationship that I really want. She doesn’t want physical contact, most of the time. The sex drive is less than off. She thinks that is all I think about. But it has been nearly year and a half. I am 11 years younger and need some advice.

Please click onto the Dailystrength.org link provided below to read more:

WOMEN: I Need Your Help and Advice

And then, below you’ll find something written by Paul Byerly, posted on The-generous-Husband.com web site. I’m thinking that the insights Paul gives will be helpful:

HORMONES OF HORROR

Now, for those of you who truly want to help your wife, the following advice comes from the following Todays Christian Woman article titled, “Managing Menopause,” written by Ronna Snyder. I sure wish I would have had this info when I was going through Menopause. It’s difficult to find info that addresses spiritual issues, as well as physical and emotional ones —and that, which can be inspiring, as well.

Here’s one piece of advice given in this article (just for a sneak preview):

“Get a Meno MAKEOVER: Since I saw a number of my peers wilting at this stage of life, I decided to head full-tilt into it—literally. I followed an older meno-mentor’s example and bought a Harley-Davidson. I got a treadmill and began actually using it. I revamped my wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyle, peeling off a few extra years and infusing myself with confidence. And I wasn’t shy about telling my husband and family what I was going through—which helped them become more supportive.

“I purposely deleted energy-robbing (including some church and Bible study) responsibilities from my calendar. I added naps to my to-do list, and bulked up on complex carbs and low-fat proteins, dropping ten pounds in the process. But most importantly, I sought out friends —both old and new —who had youthful, positive attitudes, yet wise spiritual values that helped me remember I still could make an eternal impact for God’s Kingdom —whether or not I was peri-menopausal!”

That’s great advice —something your wife may find inspiring.

Above all, I hope and pray that you and your wife can both hold on and partner with each other to get yourselves through this season of marriage… and it is a season. It won’t last forever.

Being on the other side of this, I look back and wonder, “What WAS that?” Thank God it didn’t last forever. It seemed like it would (for both of us), but it didn’t.

And thank God that we were able to hold onto each other through some really tough times during that season. Every marriage goes through storms. And this definitely was a stormy time… a long one. But it’s one of those seasons that is important to persevere through, as God can lead you. The Bible talks about the importance of persevering. It’s best for us all to remember that.

I also thank God for the grace that my husband gave me during this time. As I wrote before, we are on the other side of this season, and I appreciate it more than I could ever express that my husband extended grace when I’m sure he wanted to do just the opposite. He hugged me when I wasn’t very huggable, sympathized with me when I needed it, found ways to make me laugh when it was needed, and gave me grace —extending unmerited favor over and over again. Oh how I love that man for doing that for me.

And oh how much more wonderful our marriage is than it ever has been before. We weathered this together (as we’ve weathered other tough issues), and we’re all the more rich for it.

I pray you will get to this place too.

May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

This blog is written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Comments

185 responses to “What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Menopause

  1. (USA) I had a total hysterectomy and have gone without hormones for over a year and half and really need them so I did natural. I do estrogen and a progesterone cream and a prenatal vitamins with dha and 5-htp. Within 3 days I was a happy woman, and felt like me. Oh, I take the 5-htp at night and a little extra progesterone at night for a good night sleep you can get this at Gnc and the vitimins are one a day; you get them at any store.

    This has helped me so much and my dear husband has seen a good change. He said he got his wife back. He said he missed her so much. Oh, and at least give one another back rubs 2 times a week. Ladies, if we take care of ourself we will be a blessing to everyone and be living the way our Lord meant for us to.

    1. Lisa, please, please, PLEASE tell me what you are taking for progesterone? I was so so excited to start something called Phyto-B in the summer of 2013. It did for me in just a few weeks what my prescription hormone therapy wasn’t able to accomplish in over two years of taking it! Long story short, I went back to buy a second bottle and the company “made a business decision” to stop making it!!! I have been devastated ever since, because I keep looking for a comparable supplement.

      I do take multi, dhea and 5htp –as well as magnesium that helps tremendously, BUT I am NOT myself. My heart is breaking because of all the loss I am seeing in my 29 year marriage mostly because of my need to be alone, not wanting the physical relationship is really, really difficult. My poor husband is suffering and I don’t know how to change it.

      A friend suggested taking Testosterone, but it is by prescription and I am uninsured… and not able to see a doctor that would even consider giving a woman testosterone. The Phyto-B was truly God-sent, and I’m not the “me” I know myself to be. Nor am I the one that my husband needs me to be :'(

  2. (ENGLAND) Thank you for a couple more responses on this forum page. I have been very quiet recently as I have sat back and watched. I agree that there is nothing we can do except to be supportive. I can honestly say that if any Husband sees an uncharacteristic change in their loved one, that hits out of the blue, with a gradual build up to “I do not know what I see in the future of us two”. They are either midlife Crisising or Peri-menopausal or menopausal. So what can you do???

    (1) Read back through the posts. There is plently of evidence on here.
    (2) Pray NOT that God can change her. Pray for your understanding in an uncertain future.
    (3) Talk to your friends –privately. Try to talk to someone a lot older than you. Especially men You will you will be suprised at how many will say something about their married life and open up with this part somewhere.
    (4) If your Best friend is younger, Watch Out he will not understand. He will probably turn his back on you as he will not be able to cope with the pressure of how you feel. First hand experience of this.
    (5) Be prepared for other events to happen along side and COPE with them as they will seam BIGGER than they would have been if you were not dealing with both.
    (6) Talk to each other BUT don’t argue; conversations with arguments will not get you anywhere. This is fact.

    Above all keep praying, God is listening, He knows the bigger picture. This is very hard waiting in vain, BUT pray for understanding. Your wife was probably your best friend, OR you wouldn’t be on this page searching for answers, so above all hold that.

    When praying (and I have been guilty of this) go with an open heart, remember that you are talking to the Creator, Your Lord, Your Saviour THE ALMIGHTY GOD and He deserves respect. If you could… would you answer a Prayer of someone who is constantly moaning about the person they are praying for.

    We have all learnt so much on this forum. Thank you all for your Input. God’s Blessing be with You and your families.

  3. (USA) Just something for the men and women to keep in mind: Although females have been going through menopause since the creation, it’s new to each and every woman. She may have heard about “the change” all of her life, but the shock to her system when it happens to her it is brand new, frightening and very unfamiliar.

    Husbands – I can guarantee that your wife is ashamed of her outbursts. I know I am. I have never been angry or a crier by any stretch of the imagination. But now, I have a daily “rage” hour from five to six o’clock, followed by tears. Who is this person? I hate it with a vengeance. I continue to gain weight, although I’ve been working out for five months, five days a week and eat very little. Just the sensation of my own body makes me freak out! This is not me!

    I have never, however, taken any of these “rages” out on my husband. I go by myself so I don’t take it out on anyone. I share what is happening in my body with my husband -(most of it – I don’t want to over burden him) and he takes it right to God and prays for me. This is new to both of us. He also reassures me of my beauty and desirability and tells me that even when I’m 85, I’ll still be the most beautiful woman to him. He is awesome.

    Although I’m more uncomfortable with my body than just last year, I keep reminding myself that he loves it. Ladies, remember this. When he grabs my chubbier parts, I cringe inwardly, because of the hate with which I have grabbed them in the past -and still do. But he grabs and pinches with affection. Let him touch and pinch you (YOUR husband, that is, not mine! :) ). This is a sacrifice for him on your part. I know it’s not easy. Believe me -I know!! Husbands, realize how difficult this is -that her body (in which our society finds a woman’s value) has betrayed her, and she feels that you will find her undesirable. Continue to encourage with love and patience.

    Above all, pray. Realize that this is new for you both. Men AND women -ask your partner what you can do for him/her. Ask how you can help your spouse. Yes, women, ask what you can do to help your husband. He might just ask that you let him in on what’s going on with you. Or maybe to see you au naturel once in a while. Keep communication open, between the two of you, and between yourselves and God.

    1. There are VERY effective treatments, HRT, for menopause. To NOT seek out this treatment is cruel to your partner, for sure!!

      1. Not all women are helped with those HRT’s, sadly. I was on one for two full years and never got the balance. I am STILL on the plight to find the right thing to “fix” my imbalance. I want it as badly as my husband does. I’m sorry you have to watch from the sideline. Goodness, I wish there was some way to describe what we deal with for the men that we love, in a way that they could really understand.

  4. Please pray for my family!!! I am a husband and daddy and my wife is going through menopause or demonic possession or something…She just took my daughters and moved back to her parents house. She used to be so sweet, kind, loving, had the prettiest eyes I have ever seen, and now not even remotely the same person. She has been a stay at home mom and homeschooled our two daughters 10 and 12 for two years and I am a pastor. She moved to her parents, put the girls in public school, went back to work, and I am left gasping at the coldness of a most beloved wife.

    I am crying out to God for His grace/mercy/strength/love/protection(for wife and daughters) and am beside myself. I keep praising God for what He can and will do; have 500 people praying for her, but would like to have even more. Help Me Please! I have now been without my loving wife and daughters for 20 days, and feel like without God’s help, my world has ended. Don’t know what else to do, she wont even go see a doctor. I have tried for six months and have not been successful. Broken hearted in Missouri.

  5. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog site is
    in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thank you!

    1. Absolutely, Collin. We count it a privilege when people do so. As you can see as you look around the web site we link to many other web sites and promote the material of many authors and bloggers and “marriage experts.” The point is to get the best stuff out there to help those who reach out to us. May the Lord bless you as you minister to others.

  6. What if man met a female who has been raped at age of 12, and then raped again later on in life. If I marry in her mid twenties and then she met this amazing man and went from having a partial to a total hysterectomy and now that she feels like a stranger old body what does a man do to get the woman to open up so he can be there for her to marry her and make her the happiest woman in the world, especially when this is all he thinks about. He’s got a wedding ring and everything and he loves her more than life itself. What does he do to get her to come back? And to top it off she was gonna marry him but her boys won’t open up to him even though he’s been so good to them. My back is against the wall. Please.

  7. Hello, I must say after reading your posts it’s quite interesting to hear other perspectives and stories. I feel for the men and women that have had to go through this very real, rough, tragic, transition in their lives. I myself am in in the same predicament. My once loving, tender, kind and compassionate wife went through a total hysterectomy due to a health issue last year. She is my second wife as I was widowed 7 years ago. So this is my perspective on this ongoing heart ache.

    After losing my first wife & best friend of 12 years to an accident, I was blessed to have met and fallen in love with my current wife. She was wonderful and I fell hard for her. The first 3.5 years of our marriage were fantastic and I loved her more with each passing day. Then a major health concern arose last year and she was forced to undergo a complete hysterectomy. Basically I can relate to you gentlemen who have lost a once dear and loving spouse who you grew to depend on and was your life.

    Change is unfortunately a very constant thing in our lives. No one ever likes change especially with someone we love and depend on in our lives. I think this is the real issue for all of us men… is seeing someone who meant everything to us change before our eyes. That relationship is something when we realize is gone becomes something that pains us men deeply.

    I think the first step in beginning to get an understanding of how things have changed in our relationships with our spouse is to understand. That our life, our marriage, our intimacy with our spouse is gone.. that person we once married is now gone.. The issues of menopause have severed that former connection. Now comes the hard facts that our marriages have changed and will not be the same after that fact. It’s now about surviving and coping with a ghost.

    The person we still love just as dearly as we did yesterday… is gone. They are a mere shadow of their former selves. The changes of the physical, mental, and emotional to our spouse are all encompassing. Hormone replacement therapy is a Band-Aid solution. Natural solutions might as well be snake oil. Women are suffering long term effects and it has radically changed them.

    The bottom line is as men we get stuck in trying to want to fix the situation. You can’t fix the unfixable!! It’s now all about acceptance of your new life with your spouse… learning to cope with the mood swings, the personality changes, the lack of emotional intimacy, ETC. It’s about now surviving and understanding you now have a person who you still love and care for very much in your life path, that is dramatically changed and you’re no longer a common denominator in the equation as you once were.

    I looked into the stats on divorce and infidelity. You would be surprised at how many divorces actually happen as couples go through this traumatic time in their lives together and out of frustration marriages implode.

    I think as men we have to stop wondering why this happened and start thinking in the forward moving concept of how am “I going to cope and survive now” acceptance of your given situation as it’s and not how it was is your first step in helping yourself.

    1. I am a woman and sympathize with all the men out there. This must be extremely hard on them. Menopause is a confusing de-masculating experience because most men are left confused. One day or one hour your wife is happy, within a blink she turns into a demon. She flares at a single comment; one moment she wants your love the next moment you’re reduced to a piece of sand with a bag on your hand to get out.

      I want to appeal to you poor men who endure this. Menopause or Peri Menopause can last 3 months to 10 years. In my case I had extreme fibroids and played with taking medications until my health started failing. UI had a compete hysterectomy. So I have no hormones at all. But I’m still going through Menopause, which in some ways makes it worse. For the last 7 years I’ve been battling this and I’m a successful attorney, strong and competent woman. For me, seeing me go crazy during this time at peaks at night is insane and to see my body and my emotions swing like this makes me more insane.

      If you have a strong woman with severe menopausal symptoms, you have a nightmare not only for you but the woman you love because if she’s strong and smart she can’t figure it out either but it controls her and that alone makes her more crazy. Expect to be ridiculed, chastised, be Satan, you will become worthless, she will want to make love and then tell you to get the heck out of her life.

      As a woman 7 years into this I see my mood swings and how I hurt my husband Ed who cowers between 7-10 pm. Guys want to figure things out and help. He realizes he can’t and that I can’t either and I’m the ‘smart’ one. Guys = listen to your wife; she’s going crazy with this and can’t herself figure out how to stop it, neither can you but it too shall pass.

      Prayers for all the lovely woman dealing with this and all the men who have to endure it. God made childbirth hard on women, the man’s reward from God is dealing with ‘she can’t bear children any longer’ :-) Just kidding.

  8. For all the men who’ve commented here, my heart goes out to you. As a woman, I would like you to know some things from the woman’s perspective and see if it helps any of you, or me for that matter.

    Before menopause, my husband and I had a very enjoyable intimate relationship. We had intimate time every day or night, sometimes twice a day for well over 10 years -we married later in life, had both been married before. We were very happy, very satisfied with each other, and had that beautiful synchronicity that you hear about but don’t think possible. Around 2008, my father passed away, I was away from home to care for him, and during that time, my doctor took me off the oral contraceptive given to me to relieve dysmenorrhea -painful, horrid menstruation. He said there was a slight chance I would have those symptoms again, but we’d wait it out. I’d been taking the medication without taking the week off for my period for a year. Once off the medication, my period never returned. The doctor checked me out and said I was in menopause, but we’d see how far over the next few months. I was a little over 50 at that time.

    Although my period never came back, I noticed a tendency to get hot flashes in the evenings. I was irritable at times but mostly I had an aversion to being touched unless I initiated it. I still loved my husband very much but knew my appetite for sex was nowhere near his anymore. Every day was out of the question. It became a few times a week, then twice a week. I was noticing an increasing inability to acheive orgasm, something that upset me intensely. It wasn’t for lack of attention or love. It just seemed to fade and if I did manage to have one, the intensity was diminished. I had to really work at it during sex, so did my husband, and it got to be a source of shame to me. I wasn’t a woman …I wasn’t enough. I look younger than my age, am fit, my husband says he’s very much attracted to me. I’ve even been approached by other men hoping I might want something to do with them…something I wouldn’t do. My husband was all I wanted.

    This situation didn’t improve as time went by and then physical changes began -less lubrication, atrophy, increased UTI’s, painful intercourse, and low desire. When I was not able to have an orgasm 90% of the time, I had very little desire to have sex with my husband. It hurt, I couldn’t enjoy it, and sometimes it made me sick with a UTI. All other areas of our lives were great but intimacy until he sought comfort from another woman. It took a long time to get over that and there was a period over a year we didn’t have any sex as our relationship healed. I forgave him and we finally reunited intimately only to find that my ability to have an orgasm was gone.

    I tried various creams from the doctor, various kinds of stimulation, my husband was very attentive, but also very sure to tell me he wanted to be sexually satisfied no matter what was going on with me…surely I could find a way to help him feel loved and sexually gratified. We did all we could to prevent the UTI’s, something that was quite a problem. We used condoms for a while to reduce friction, extra lubrication, but sometimes even all that wasn’t enough to make things comfortable. The worst part was the mental suffering I endure to this day when we try to have intimate relations.

    Each time, I’m reminded my physical response is gone. He is fine and expects relations to continue 3-5 times a week. If we don’t, he becomes moody, sullen, withdrawn, our relationship suffers, and I tend to stay away from him more. This doesn’t help matters. I feel like my body has betrayed me when it looks like it should be functioning like a much younger woman. My doctor suggested I’d be a candidate for a university study in this area but right now, there don’t seem to be any going on. As it is now, we’re intimate at the most once a week, but because he is sometimes moody, I respond by withdrawing into myself, getting depressed over the lack of my body responses, the discomfort, the feeling that a chapter of my life is over, never to be opened again. I have to be content with a backrub, or sadly enough, crying myself to sleep because each time we do have sex, I’m strongly reminded I’m not enjoying it, can’t enjoy it, won’t enjoy it, and there is no joy of sex for me.

    My husband is very unhappy with this and lately, he’s asking for more participation in our relations, something I’m so not into that I almost dread it because of discomfort, the sadness, and the grief for the wonderful sex life I once knew. I’d give anything for it to return to what it used to be. I love my husband very very much, but if I’m not in bed with him twice a week or more -I’m about 60 now- he says it’s not enough and it starts making him irritable, less willing to be affectionate, and of course what wife wouldn’t wonder if he will seek happiness elsewhere under these circumstances.

    Medications offer no relief and there is no female ‘Viagra’. I’d like a lot less pressure, more affection, more assurance that I’m loved for who I am and not just the physical aspect of our relationship, or what I can do to satisfy him. It’s a very strange feeling to feel like it’s all for him now. Never used to be that way. He says if I love him, I should look forward to satisfying him sexually in any way he’d like… that he would do it for me if the tables were turned. He’s never had a problem like mine so he really doesn’t know what I’m experiencing.

    I’ve prayed about this many times. I’ve forgiven my husband for what happened a few years ago, and I sure wish I could enjoy intimacy with him again. If I could, I’m sure things would be better between us. I’ve never stopped loving him but feel like he’s on the verge of perhaps straying or just leaving me altogether. He will not go to a counselor because he says we know what the problems are, that there are no ‘magic bullets’ out there, that we have researched it, consulted doctors, tried everything physically possible, and what would talking to another person help?

    Anyway, this is the experience for me from the other side. I just want things to be whole again, something that is probably not going to happen. I would be alright with this if my husband was, but he isn’t. I think it’s very sad. I shouldn’t have to go to bed with my husband feeling like I’m just going through the motions for him. He should have a responsive happy wife. Our children are grown and this was supposed to be our time. This wasn’t supposed to happen … not like this. Menopause was ‘The Change’ alright… and not a good one.

    1. You said: “my husband and I had a very enjoyable intimate relationship. We had intimate time every day or night, sometimes twice a day for well over 10 years -we married later in life, had both been married before.” …You must not have any children at home!! He expects relations to continue 3-5 times a week. Wow, he needs to realize that you guys are not in your 30’s any more. 1 time a week is what I get. You say he is unhappy. He needs to calm his hormones down some & accept the fact you guys are 60+. You said “I feel like my body has betrayed me when it looks like it should be functioning like a much younger woman.” Sorry sweetie, you are 60, welcome to the 60+ year old group. All you can do is accept it.

      UTI’s??? Have you tried the home remedies? What is he using for lubricant? Make sure it is sterile, drink cranberry juice, drink a lot of water before sex then immediately urinate afterward. You both need to bathe that ‘area’ just before sex every time. Bacteria from exercise, sweat, etc must be removed from the area, not from just his ‘parts’. A UTI can also be transmitted. Have you tried a ‘female condom’?