Anniversaries happen every year. We love celebrating in special ways, and I love keeping track of all the things we’ve done. But I’ve noticed something—time never goes back. Once an anniversary passes we’ll never celebrate that year again. It makes me pause even more each year to thank God for all that He has done and have faith for all the good He will do in the future. But menopause sure has given us challenges we didn’t expect.
Tom and I celebrated our 36th anniversary last month, and it’s still hard for us to believe so much time has passed. It’s hard to believe that is three dozen years of memories made! At this point in our marriage we probably have more years behind us than we have in front of us. We know each other well. We’ve talked about every subject under the sun. And I could probably answer any question you would have for Tom for him and say exactly what he would say. And I imagine he could do the same for me.
But we have recently experienced a season that we didn’t see coming.
A Different Season: Menopause
It took us both by surprise in many ways, and caused us to make many adjustments for the good of our relationship. It was hard. And it was an unexpected struggle. But it was good because it taught us that there is still much to learn about each other. It shows us that we mustn’t let our guard down nor quit being intentional.
The season I’m speaking of is menopause.It’s that murky, dark, mysterious season of life that many people don’t want to talk about, especially those from my parent’s generation. It made me see things pessimistically, instead of optimistically. I felt like a dark cloud was raining on me all the time, no matter the weather. And the one who could trigger my moods more than anyone else was Tom.
I had never been one to pick a fight. But once menopause hit, bickering happened on a regular basis, I’m sorry to say. I knew I wasn’t pleasant to be with. Added to that, I knew I was being unreasonable. I knew I had to stop, but honestly there were days when I just couldn’t. I had no power to resist.
Turning to God, All the More
So, I cried out to God—my only hope for help and change. Tom prayed with me. And through this, we found that God is an ever-present help even when walking through the valley of the shadow of menopause. God helped Tom and I understand the physiological changes that were taking place in my body. He didn’t react to my outbursts of anger. He was patient and kind—amazing! And I am doing 100% better as I write. Thank God!
I now have a burden to help other marriages prepare for this season. So, I’ve been gathering information from others who have already gone through menopause. This is to help me gather information so I can write about it, to encourage them.
My prayer is that menopause won’t be a crippling event. I pray it is nothing more than a stumble on the road to a lasting marriage. And nothing cripples more than silence. Let the conversation begin…
After writing this blog for this ministry, marriage blogger, Debi Walter, posted a survey and gathered the results of nearly 200 respondents. This is a link to a blog that Debi wrote afterward. It is posted on the Intimacy in Marriage web site, which we encourage you to read:
Debi Walter wrote this blog. She is a wonderful friend of ours, and a wonderful friend of this ministry. She and her husband Tom have a great web site at Theromanticvineyard.com that we hope you will visit often.
ADDITIONALLY, CONCERNING MENOPAUSE AND PERI MENOPAUSE:
The Peaceful Wife web site posted the following two articles, which we recommend you read:
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Filed under: Mental and Physical Health