What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Menopause

Menopause - AdobeStock_169960164“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”).

MENOPAUSE: Reality Hits Hard

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. It’s a very long, long season of difficulties, for your wife and for you!

We wish that marriages could come with a manual on “what to do if…” but unfortunately they don’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! Many people have lived through a few things and have learned through a few things. Fortunately, they 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.

Survival Reading

Below you will find a link to the helpful web site of Family Life Today. On their web site they have posted the following article for your reading pleasure. Or maybe we should say, it’s for your “survival.”

As you read through this linked article ask God to show you what information you can apply to your marriage:

WHAT WIVES WISH THEIR HUSBANDS KNEW ABOUT MENOPAUSE

The next article we recommend you read is written by a woman named Magnolia. She 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 worth gleaning through.

Please read this Peri-Menopause blog, to gain additional insights:

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

ALSO, CONCERNING MENOPAUSE:

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. It is posted on The-generous-Husband.com web site. I’m thinking that the insights Paul gives will be helpful:

HORMONES OF HORROR

For those of you who truly want to help your wife, the following advice comes from the Todays Christian Woman article titled, “Managing Menopause.” It is 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. It is also inspiring to read.

Here’s 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. Also, 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. This 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. These are friends who had youthful, positive attitudes, yet wise spiritual values that helped me remember I still could make an eternal impact for God’s Kingdom. It didn’t matter 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. Please know that it is a season. It won’t last forever.

Looking Back

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.

I thank God 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. 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, and sympathized with me when I needed it. He found ways to make me laugh when it was needed. Steve also 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 what we’ve found is that we’re all the more rich for it.

We have some dear friends who also have “weathered” the Menopause storm. We encourage husbands and wives to read: MENOPAUSE: A Season We Didn’t See Coming.

I Pray for You

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)

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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

  1. (USA) Magnolia & Marriage Missions, I am 56 years old male and married to my childhood sweetheart for over 35 years… Pre/Meno/Post Meno has been the worst time of my life and my marriage. 3 kids all great and doing wonderful… All understand the trauma of menopause.

    For you guys and wives out there, it NEVER gets back the way it was or even close to what it was, ever!!! What you read and hear as solutions are just advice to the unfortunate wife that is struggling for her very existence to make sense of what she is going through and comfort in knowing “it” will pass. I can tell you with 100% authority it will never pass… What you read is women’s propaganda to keep her functioning and sell books, nothing more.

    But through all the heartaches, pain, verbal abuse and verbal castration, I am a devoted husband and love my wife truly and forever no matter what happens. I have spent the last 5 years researching menopause and its effects on marriage and the wife. I have read through countless forums and experts advise. I have talked with my wife’s OBGYN’s, now on her second, who are clueless and deal strictly with symptoms and not the zero libido, hostility and mood swings. So give it up listening to how you should take a greater interest and listen more and help around the house and take vacations and relieve the stress. It is not the solution… it is just more crap that every male has heard and has tried and tried and tried.

    Guys, this is not our fault and you cannot do anything more than you are already doing, which I personally know from experience if you have lasted as long as I have in a marriage. You would do anything to help your wife no matter what the cost….

    Now I have a solution, which is highly questionable but so far seems to be working. The secret to bringing you wife back to the women you fell in love with, is in her brain and not in YOUR actions. There is a women’s research study, which my wife is on and it is incredible… I have seen improvements in just 2 months of the 12 month program…. check out wmhealthresearch.com

    1. JC… Please realize that everyone’s experience is different. Yes, this may be your reality, but it isn’t everyone’s. My husband and I are all the closer, having survived menopause and other situations that we have gone through together. We were talking about it just the other day. We have found ways to make it through some pretty tough times, with Menopause being one of them. And yes, “listening more, and helping around the house and taking vacations to relieve the stress” DID help with us –all a PART of working solutions, which fit at certain points. It may not help with you and your wife (at least up to this point), but Menopause isn’t a “one size fits all” situation.

      I’m glad you have seen some improvements. I’m sure that gives you hope for a better future. I applaud you for staying true to your wife. Too many “partners” bail. I applaud all the men and women who are holding onto doing the best they can, when presented with tough issues, such as Menopause. May God strengthen you and give you peace that passes understanding, even in the eye of a storm!

      1. (USA) Cindy, Thank you so much for your prayer. It is the first time in a long time that someone prayed for me. It has helped me more then you will ever know.

        This is the very first time in over 8 years that I have expressed my hurt and pain. From what I have read I have another 4 years to go. You have touched me deeply with your understanding and words of wisdom. Unfortunately I cannot communicate these feelings to my wife for all the reason I know you understand completely as do ALL the males in this position. I am keeping this log for my three sons when their marriages are at this stage. This log will be in my WILL for them to read… and hopefully understand.

        So with that said, your comment about each case is different, I am reluctant to believe you… It is all the same… Please I have a log of hundreds of forums and the theme is always the same….. That is from the male perspective. I cannot believe you have not found the same correlation. The variance may be slight but the outcome is always the same.

        You have told me you and your husband “communicate”? I know this is a very sensitive and personal issue. I hate to ask you this but how did you and your husband overcome the “male issues?” How did you deal with the intimacy issues, to be more specific? I will understand if you do not respond. I am fighting so hard to cope with this unimaginable trauma in my life… I am so very tired and the stress is surely not good for me.

        I am mature enough to know my wife has been at my side when I was at my lowest points but still do not have the wisdom to give up yet and as Magnolia states realize I am just “collateral damage”. Please converse with your husband and give me a joint perspective. This I will hope to understand.

        1. JC, Please know that when you say “always” and “never” you strike out much of what you’re trying to communicate because “always” and “never” just doesn’t happen when it comes to interpersonal issues. I don’t want to get caught up in less significant matters, but I want to clarify things here when you give this type of advice –not only here but in other forums. Yes, I’m sure you find a long string of similar cases. I have no doubt of that. But it’s just not true of “everyone” because you’re working with human dynamics –not quantifiable scientific facts.

          I can’t speak for every couple, but I can speak for my husband and me. The things you say “never” work, actually did work often with us (and with others I know… although, I won’t speak for them). My husband extending grace to me and being sensitive DID help at times… not always, but at times (enough times, where they were important for our relationship for him to do, and God knew that –I’m so glad he followed God’s ways at those times, and not the way of those who don’t follow Christ’s leading). I SO appreciate the grace he gave and continues to give in our marriage. He is my hero, no doubt.

          As for your questions, I’m not sure if I can answer them, but I need clarification, if I do. What do you mean when you ask about the “male issues” and questioning how we “communicate?” I’m not sure I understand what you mean. I want to make sure that I’m not assuming I understand when I’m really not sure. And even if you do clarify them and I do answer those questions, I’m not sure if they will help, because again, not everyone will respond in the same way. But I’m willing to prayerfully consider answering them, if you clarify your questions a bit more.

          I also want to say that I’m so sorry that you have not experienced someone praying for you for a long time. I hope that will change in the future. It is so empowering on so many levels when we are being prayed for. I hope others will join me in praying for you and for others that leave comments. That in itself is one of the prayers of my and my husband’s hearts –that people will join in praying for those who need it.

  2. (ENGLAND) JC – I must say too that I was very saddened to read your comments. With women in the late 30’s to the time of their early 50’s there are so many mental and physical changes. I too have been through so many blogs and medical sites that it is definitely not correct that all instances are the same and all outcomes are certainly not the same. I would aggree with you very much on one issue and that was your mention “this is a way to sell books.” I have seen this on plenty of sites.

    I was going to write one of my long comments, but believe me I’m soooo tired of all this in my life that I haven’t the energy today. I too would like to know with Cindy whether everything came back as normal in the end, i.e the libido, the love. Did you admit at the time/or know at the time what was going on with your body, or did you deny it? I think that I am at times going up and down. Some days I am upbeat and others as depressed as anything.

    JC – I will definitely be praying for you too; we all need prayer to be happening and we need this circle of people to do it. God Bless You all, Mark

    1. (USA) Mark, I can tell you that for many women their libido does return. Mine certainly did. If it continues to be a problem though, bioidentical testosterone can be very helpful. It can be inserted as pellets into the hip, or it can be directly applied in a cream or gel form to the body.

      And can I address something that I think might be causing unnecessary concern? It is true that menopause brings changes psychologically, emotionally, and physically. But, it does not change basic temperament or personality. I can attest to that personally, and there is no research that indicates anything like that happens.

      But, everyone changes, Mark. Menopause or not. Life is a journey. It is a process of change that occurs from the moment we take our first breath. When we enter adolescence, we change from childhood –that is true of both men and women alike.

      When we transition from teen years to young adulthood, there is a change during those years. And every decade after that, we all continue to change. You are not the same man you were when you were 21. And I will submit to you that in 10 years, you will be a different man.

      Life is change –for everyone. So that your wife is not the girl you married is not a bad thing. You are not the boy she married either. Hopefully, you have both grown and changed in a lot of ways.

      And finally, men go through their own version of menopause –it is called Andropause. It is why a lot of men start to get thick around the middle, why they too lose interest and desire in sex, and a lot of times why they have issues with ED and even depression.

      So while it is your wife’s turn to transition into a different time of life. It is not something to be sorrowful over. Embrace the change. Perhaps you can even change with her?

      1. (USA) Cindy, Magnolia and Mark, Thank you all for communicating back to me… all with your prayers and experiences… Mark, no need to write a lengthy blog, you and I are on the same page, “TIRED IS TIRED”, trust me I know! unless of course you are younger than me (56) in which case all I can say is “the worst is yet to come”.

        Cindy, I am so surprised you and your husband have reached a mutual level of respect and understanding… My wife and I are not even close. Forgive me for being evasion in my attempts to explain the “male issues” meaning. I am referring to intimacy/ sex/ lost libido. When I could not stand my situation any longer with my wife’s cold heart and lack of intimacy, I did my best at communicating through a very dangerous land mine and coerced my wife to commit to sex at least once a week at a specific time and day…. Now I get pity sex on this exact time and day… I call it pity for an obvious reason and get a warm yet unenthusiastic partner…. But without intimacy it is just a plutonic relationship and I just can not keep going like this.

        It is causing me some very physical and physiological problems of which I had to get medication to resolve… I just want to know how long you and your husband went through this same period, and how you got from a scheduling sex date and back to the romance and spontaneity. From your comments I believe this is not possible. As my wife tells me and I have got to tell you this hurts every time she says it “WE ARE NOT KIDS ANY MORE.” So tell me what I have to look forward to!!!

        Cindy, I would like the same answers to the questions that Mark has asked: I too would like to know Cindy or Magnolia whether everything came back as normal in the end, i.e the libido, the love. Did you admit at the time/or know at the time what was going on with your body, or did you deny it? This is a critical question!!! And please give details.

        As for you advise on Bio. Testosterone, my wife is in DENIAL. Her OBGYN wants to work on her hormone patch levels/ estrogen/ progest… At her most recent visit to the obgyn I went along. I asked about bio tester and her libido. As soon as I opened my mouth, I knew I was a dead man. The obgyn felt the waves of anger in which my wife denied any problems… Now I am sure this has happened to you, so what next? How does she get the help she needs and yet is in complete denial of the issue? I called the obgyn and had a private conversation of which the outcome was “If she won’t ask for help there is nothing she can do…”

        As for my belief that all couple have different experiences. Lets just agree to disagree. All my friends are going through the same experiences and it all seems the same to me. And finally, I am totally in amazement as to your honesty and sincere desire to help… with your own personal and intimate experiences. You are truly an angel “holding out a hand to help me up when I am going through hell”.

        1. JC, Mark and Will and others, because of various circumstances, I couldn’t sleep. Mostly, it was because I’ve been praying and looking back over the last several years (to be able to answer your questions) and I just couldn’t turn off my thoughts. Eventually knew that I was to write answers to your questions and THEN sleep would come. I’m pretty exhausted, but here goes.

          I have to be honest with you; I’m not sure how much you will learn from what I’ll write because our circumstances appear to be quite different. I’m not sure you will be able to relate to the “journey” that my husband Steve and I took during the pre-menopause and menopausal period of our lives together. I can’t really say that I had menopause as much as WE did. Yes, I went through most of the physical parts of it, but in reality, we both went through it. We’re both survivors, so to speak because of the “collateral damage” that Magnolia eloquently pointed out in one of her comments. It’s like with other painful events and illnesses we’ve battled through –we’ve both been affected and both find ways to tread water, so to speak, when we were drowning in the muck of it all.

          As I look back, I can see why God tells us to “give thanks in all things.” I believe that part of the reason we survived it (and still are surviving it because little surges of it come up here and there, even now) is because during the worst of it all, we had other very difficult things going on in our lives that we had to deal with so Menopausal symptoms didn’t have our full attention. We were hanging on for dear life, with those things. So, I guess I can say “Thank you Lord,” for that. I hadn’t really seen it that way before this time of reflection.

          To go into detail would almost fill a book. I just can’t explain most of it. But the crux of it all was that my husband was going through a horrible job upheaval, which lasted for several years. From one day to the next (sometimes one hour to the next), we literally didn’t know if Steve would have a job. It was very, very, very difficult on so many levels (and too complicated to explain). But suffice it to say that we united together, determined with everything in us that we would stand by each other no matter what. We also both had serious physical problems going on –some of it life threatening. And we had other matters (too complicated to explain). But there was a lot going on –with Menopause added on top of it.

          I can now see, however, that even though this was a painful time in our lives, it was also something that took our attention off of what was going on with my Menopause. That became the least of our problems. Yes, it definitely affected us, but we couldn’t give it much attention.

          As I’m contemplating all of this and praying through it, I’m reminded of something my grandmother told me a number of years ago. She gave birth to 12 children. Only 6 of them survived childhood. She lost 6 children (from the ages of a few months old to 5), to different illnesses. Back then, life was more fragile. And she was too poor to go to the doctor’s very much. My grandfather died when my mom was 2, so she had to support the children she had. I remember when I was a young mom asking my grandma how she did it –how did she NOT go crazy after losing so many children. I told her that I couldn’t even imagine losing one child, let alone 6 children. My mind couldn’t comprehend the grief. She told me, “Cincha (my Romanian name), I just did. I couldn’t just lie there are cry. I had other children to take care of and feed. I just survived… that’s all!”

          I was perplexed by her answer, but I realized that she was right. She had to do what she had to do, even though it was mind-boggling. Those kids needed her. She had to pick herself up and do what needed to be done or they’d all be in worse trouble.

          Now, I don’t by any means, equate what Steve and I went through on the same level as what my grandmother went through, but I realize that by the grace of God –by holding onto Him through some pretty tough times, we “just did” … we “survived… that’s all!”

          I also can see God’s hand in so much of this survival, because during that whole time (probably 10+ years or so), Marriage Missions was birthed. We had been helping others with their marriages before this time, but it was during that journey that God gave us the vision for this ministry. That vision united us all the more. The Bible says that, “without vision, the people perish.” I wonder if our marriage may have perished, if God had not given us that mission and we had not said “yes” –to participate with Him in it. I didn’t realize that until now.

          Not only were we in survival mode with all that was going on, but we also started to dream together, work together, become students of marriage together. (The non-profit foundation, which oversees Marriage Missions –doesn’t financially support us, but over-sees this ministry, told us that we had to do our “due-diligence” in studying marriage. And we have, and we are. We could EASILY both have doctorate degrees with all of the research we have done and continue to do.)

          We have studied marriage, and studied each other, and have attended numerous seminars, and have prayed, and prayed and prayed. We’ve gone through book studies, Bible studies, have taught, and mentored and the list goes on. I now can see that all of this has helped us to unite all the more through the bad times and the good. We are “willful” and determined to have the best marriage possible and to try to encourage others to “have the heart to” do the same.

          As for intimate issues that several of you have brought up, we’ve had our share of struggles. Earlier in our marriage we struggled because I had been sexually abused earlier in life. When that rose to the surface, it was horrible… horribly, horribly painful. But thankfully, I have a great husband who hung in there with me –giving me more grace than I deserved, and eventually I opened my eyes and mind to realize that I needed help to get to a better place in my sexuality. He didn’t deserve to be a victim of what happened to me. Through another long journey, plus, realizing that making love is a sacred gift from God, (the books, Sacred Sex and Sacred Marriage helped), we eventually got to a better place in our intimacy as husband and wife. And now I count it a privilege to be close to my husband in that way. So, yes, intimacy CAN return.

          Did Menopause affect our intimate times? I’d say yes, without a doubt. But truly, we had so many other things going on that we were dealing with, it wasn’t as much of an issue for us because our focus was elsewhere. We were hanging on for dear life. Plus, we were learning more and more about marriage, so we were intentional in being intimate. We truly see marriage as a mission field that we sign up for when we marry. We believe with all of our hearts that God teaches us how to love, and that is to be our primary focus –to learn to love each other, to the glory of God. Even if Steve doesn’t do his part, I am to do mine. My vows aren’t erased, if he doesn’t take his seriously.

          See what I mean about your being able to relate to our journey? I don’t know if you can. Through the years, Steve and I have learned an important principle and have lived it… and that is to draw TOGETHER during the hard times –not to allow circumstances to divide us. Not all couples do that, as you point out. But we have made it our mission to do so.

          Even when my hormones were going whacko (I couldn’t take hormone replacement because of my propensity towards breast cancer), somehow we found ways to survive and repair and hang in there with each other –with a whole lot of grace being dispensed throughout it all. We pray together every morning, which has greatly united us, and we continually make big and small choices to “choose each other.” We just refuse to entertain the enemy of our faith by allowing our marriage to go down.

          Do we blow it sometimes? Absolutely! We’re human. And we’re both very strong willed and very different from each other. But we keep centering our hearts in Christ, and He pushes us back together again. I like what Gary Thomas (my favorite author) said in his book,Sacred Marriage. He posed the question, “What if God designed marriage to make us more holy than happy?” I have prayed and pondered this and I agree. I am to do my part. I made a vow to a Holy God, and as a Christ-follower, what I do is all about Christ –to reveal and reflect the heart of Christ within what I do in my marriage. Steve and our marriage, happen to be the beneficiaries of all God shows me to do. And visa versa, with my husband Steve – I benefit from his learning from God.

          I don’t want to sound “holier-than-thou.” I know this can sound that way. That is not my intention and this is not a forum for me to dominate or appear judgmental. I’m not. I KNOW beyond a shadow of doubt that you men are going through a type of hell (and your wives are going through one too —even though they may not acknowledge it). My heart goes out to you. Please know that there’s no judgment here. You asked about our Menopausal experience and I told you. I pray for you for strength, and courage, and hope, and a mind set upon living as God shows you to live. So now I’m going to go to bed now and show this to my husband for his approval, when he wakes up. If you’re reading it, he has approved it. May God work in each of your lives today and tomorrow and continually.

  3. (USA) I am joining this discussion because I need advice from someone sound (Godly, kind, understanding). I am 40 this year and feel on edge in cycles and am not looking forward to menopause. The libido is fine, thank God, but intimacy is very infrequent since my husband is “tired’ most the time. If we are intimate it happens on his watch, not mine. This has been frustrating but I have learned to live with that.

    I have young kids at home and I am not working though I did have a career that I loved, at one time, which I really miss now due to finances being so tight. I am very scared for our family financially and spiritually I feel bankrupt. I read Cindy’s comment of how you and your husband pray every morning and I sobbed and sobbed. When I met my husband he told me her was “on fire” for God, prayed with me at the end of all our phone calls and time together but when we got engaged it all stopped. I have pleaded with him to pray with me everyday. I was told he would “lead” our family spiritually us but it has never happened and it’s been 10 years.

    2 weeks ago he took the 100 question “how to love your wife” personal exam and realized he did only 20 things–and he realized he truly hadn’t been the most incredible husband. He always thought everything I mentioned was just me complaining. I am one of those wives who sit down and actually tell my husband what I need to be happy, what I want from him so he doesn’t have to guess. I tell him number one spiritual leadership, 2 love me with kindness, 3 love our kids and lead them etc. I guess it was an eye opener.

    The problem is that he isn’t a man who ever follows through. He will tell me “I’m sorry, I will pray with you every morning”. It lasts a week, maybe less. I wish he would be a man of his word. His word is SO important to me and he’s made promises our whole marriage he never kept –promises not to swear at me, not to ever physically hurt me (he hit me twice 3 years ago), not to have sex with me before marriage (begged him to please be respectful but the pressure was always on), to quit smoking (he told me he was a non smoker and I found out he was a smoker before we got married and he’s been promising for 10 years now that he’ll quit, promises to read the Bible with me and pray regularly). I am so very sad and sometimes I feel trapped by a man who isn’t what he told me he was.

    When I tell him how sad and hurt I am that he will not keep his word his answer is always, “so divorce me then and find someone who will be what you want.” I am not asking for lots of money afterall we live in a double wide and own one slowly dying vehicle (health insurance would be nice). I am not asking for perfection. But is it wrong to ask for a husband to keep his word, thus keeping his integrity? If you promise me you will pray with me, please keep that promise. If you promise me not to swear at me, please keep that promise. Telling me to divorce him when I have let my career go to raise the kids isn’t fair –where would I go? I have no money. It feel like a cop-out, a way to shuffle the blame to me which has been the case for 10 years. He is not a man who want to admit when he has been wrong and somehow it ends up being my fault. His father was the same way only I didn’t know that until after we were married. Please offer any encouragement. I am so very desperately alone in all of this.

    1. (USA) Dear Tia, I am not a therapist nor am I as knowledgeable as Cindy and Magnolia. But I am 56 years old and have been married for well over 36 years. We have 3 wonderful sons and up until my wife started menopause at age 48 had a loving and respectful relationship. I remember age 40 like it was yesterday. I worked for a large company that challenged me every day. My stress in those years resolved around my sales results. My joy was always my family. Coming home every night was the relief I needed, yet realize today and now that it was all “about ME” at that time of my life. I took for granted my wife and her having to deal with our kids as I travel around the world and I took for granted her value for keeping the family and ME satisfied. My focus was solely on making sure I did not FAIL in my job.

      I was at this time to immature to understand the BALANCE between family and work. To this day I have one very sad memory in which my wife was just expressing her frustration after I have been gone for a weeks times. I in my most insensitive and cruel manure kicked her in the backside…. This was the first time I have actually struck her in anger. 16 years later I regret this more than ever… The vision of her crying and the shock of it all still haunt me for how cruel I was.

      My words of wisdom if you want to know from reading what you’ve written: your husband is fighting every day for you and your children. He acts the way he does because he is in OVERLOAD from the job. He knows is the vital link to taking care of his family. I don’t know where, but I remember reading or hearing GOD’S word, but to paraphrase what I remember and please know that I do not mean any disrespect to women, “the final decision is left to man”. I am not sure of the context of this message but I assure you, that your husband has your best interests at heart. He may not show it now but you’ve been married long enough to know that the man you married will provide for you and your family.

      What you are struggling with, issues that he has somehow lied to and has dismissed as not important at the time. You must understand that he is struggling with his most primary objective: the preservation of your family. His job and the high expectations that this job places on the family. It is great that you can communicate so well with your husband where his shortcomings are but be very sure his prime directive is first and foremost the family survival. Spiritual leadership, love/ kindness/ love of kids your husband knows this and quite frankly you do not even need to remind him yet my wife has done this many times… that is her job and I have comfort in knowing at my age that she did her job very well….. The conflict was only between her and I and SHE was the one the instilled the values in our kids that was necessary….

      After looking back so many years ago I provided the safety net and the infrastructure for three beautiful young men to excel… One married with a PHD in computer science and with a baby on the way and the other two excelling in their own carrier fields with girlfriends that they love and respect.

      So MOM do not be so hard on your husband and give him some room to make mistakes. Give him some space to make mistakes and do not deflate his ego. He is doing the best he can and you are doing exactly what you should be doing… Reminding him when he starts to negligent the family and hopefully the wisdom to understand he can only do so much… If he neglects to pray with you in the morning then you need to pray for him in the morning and LET HIM KNOW you prayed for him… Trust these words will cut deeply into his heart…

      Your other question was he does not love you with kindness… This I do not understand and need more details…. I have always loved my wife and with each child that was born my love and admiration increased… So what you tell me does not make any sense… As a husband and father and seeing all my children being born, you ARE THE CENTER OF HIS UNIVERSE. You may not know it now but IT IS A FACT.

      And finally –love our kids and lead them…. I can tell you there has never been a time in my life since the birth of every one of my children that I have not lost site of the love of my kids and the deep and urgent need to see that they are taken care of… Where I was not available and traveled extensively I had comfort in knowing with out any doubt MY WIFE was there. This is what team work and marriage is all about… You and your husband are a team… Where one fails or is having troubles the other must step in…. The team lives and the children go on to greatness… Let your husband read this…

      1. (USA) JC, Your response to Tia is very poignant and seems to come from a place of enlightenment. Gender differences aside, we are ALL human. Which means we ALL bring a sinful nature to the table.

        The sins of men are many times in a different type of category as the sins of women. And the sins between individuals among the genders are unique as well. But, the over-arching truth is that we are ALL in need of a savior. Period.

        I think if we all held that truth more closely… like the frontlets of the Old Testament perhaps… then maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to point fingers outward when things around us start to fall apart.

        We all have our struggles, pressures, and burdens to bear. I can certainly appreciate what you have said here regarding your love for your family. Women DO want to believe that their men love them, JC, and perhaps more than not are exactly the way you have described. Deeply in love with their wives and family, but caught in the pressures of carrying the load of providing.

        You implore Tia to “know” that her husband loves her. But, here’s where I personally see a problem, and I’m certain almost every woman would too… women don’t KNOW it until it is spoken and demonstrated in ways that are meaningful to US.

        I had a pastor make a point to my husband once when he was attempting to try and help him understand how to love a woman. He said to him… “if someone comes into your business and asks for you to paint their car red, do you paint it blue?” The point being obvious, “NO”. Why? Because the person asked for red, not blue. So when women ask for love to be demonstrated to them by way of “red” and you insist on giving “blue”, well…

        Can I also add that all of the reasons you have provided here as to why men often fail to love their wives as they need are valid reasons. I appreciate what you have said and see that you are being humble and earnest in your explanations.

        In light of that, then perhaps you (and other men, hopefully) can realize that perimenopause should be looked at in the same way. The same grace that you are asking for regarding your own failings, is the same grace that women need when they fail too. If that fact could be clearly understood, my work would be done. :D Magnolia

  4. (USA) Last Sunday was my 24th wedding anniversary and it was one year ago on that day that my wife’s menopause came front and center in our marriage. I was expecting a very bad day especially given the very degrading Father’s day card I received from her the week before. While the day didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would, it sure wasn’t any fun. I realized on that day that I no longer cared what happened to/in my marriage. I wasn’t mad or sad or disappointed. I just didn’t care anymore.

    For over a year (I started noticing changes earlier last year) I have tried to please/appease her. I have taken over most of the daily chores like cooking, cleaning and laundry (I have always helped but stepped it up even more). I prayed and cried and gave thanks to God for the good times and asked for guidance and grace during the bad. I think I have worked hard to help my wife through this time. My day usually starts around 5 am and ends at 11 pm when I crawl into bed. We have had some good times, almost normal and some bad times. But what do you do when you just don’t care anymore? If she came home and asked for a divorce (which she has threatened on many occasions) I would probably drive her to the lawyer’s office myself. I just don’t care anymore.

    Please pray for my family as I surely do not see the path that God has laid out for my family and my marriage.

    1. (CANADA) HI Jay, You and your family are certainly in my prayers, as are others who have posted to this site and are dealing with these issues. The hopelessness that one feels in these situations is one of the most devastating aspects of what we are going through. I too often thought that if my wife asked for a divorce it would be the best thing and would be a relief. But what I can say from my experience so far is that it is not a relief but is in fact even more devastating. Barring a miracle, my wife and I are headed in that direction at my wife’s wishes and I can tell you it is devastating and painful beyond belief, not only for me but also for my kids. My wife has now moved almost all of her things out of the house but continues to come home at night, even though she doesn’t speak to me. No doubt any day now she won’t even bother coming home anymore. I have told her several times that I love her and asked her to stay and her only response is that she is on a journey and doesn’t know where it will end but only knows that I am not invited on the journey. Our marriage is now at an end.

      What I am saying I guess is that please don’t wish that your wife would ask for a divorce because if that happens, it will not be a relief. Unfortunately all we can do is pray for strength and wisdom and guidance and also for our wives. This is not easy and is the most painful experience I have ever been through, worse than losing my job and losing my father when he passed away. But prayer for strength is preferable to wishing for a divorce. God be with you.

  5. (USA) I am new to menopause. I was just wondering if its normal to become extremely dissatisfied with my normal home life. I am feeling like I just want to walk away from it all–kids, husband, everything. I don’t want to leave for another man but just to live my own life. My whole life has been them and I am just wanting to be on my own. It’s not that I don’t love them anymore either. I can’t explain why it is…it just is. Will this pass? Should I just tough it out? I haven’t told my husband how I feel yet. I wanted to see if I could sort it out on my own first but I just can’t seem to figure out anything. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. (USA) Hi Betty, I think what you are going through is very normal for a woman entering menopause. It wouldn’t surprise me if you have been having these feelings for some time. If you haven’t already done so, go on line and find out as much as you can about menopause. You will more than likely find you have been experiencing more symptoms than you realize. Go see you doctor and find out about different treatment options. Finally, and most importantly, talk to your husband! Do the research together. Ask him for help and understanding. Both of you should read through all the posts to get a feeling for what others have been going through. This is a real chance for growth for both of you. It won’t be easy and there will be some hard times and misunderstandings but hang in there! If your family and marriage are important to you, all the hard work will be more than worth it. Pray for wisdom and understanding. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Yours in Christ, Jay

  6. (ENGLAND) Betty, Thank you so much for joining into this discussion. What you seem to be experiencing is exactly what my wife has been experiencing. BUT what is different is that you seem have realized this. I can say from first hand experience that this is a very difficult time for you. But please remember the following things: your husband, has hopefully, been there for you all your married life and possibly before, he has loved supported and been there in the harder times of your life. Please be very careful in the way you tell him how you feel. If he has been a good husband he will not see how it has come to the stage of where you are thinking of leaving. It will devastate him.

    I have studied page after page on this subject, books and everything. What you are experiencing is a change in your lifestyle and the inner workings of your thought pattern.

    Please be careful with the children as mine have been very hurt in all this. They do not understand why their own mother is being the way she is and why their father is trying so hard with bandages and elastiplas trying to hold himself, his wife, and children together.

    Please seek medical advice. A simple blood test is usually all that is needed. If your life, your marriage, your sanity, husband’s sanity and children’s is at stake, then look into it.

    If you were a dedicated car or a family pet that was behaving or thinking strangely you would take it straight to the garage or vets for a service. Please… please please do this… just go to the doctors and go from there.

    If you look at life now it is too easy to just throw in the towel and walk away, this is society’s way of dealing with it. The fact that you are looking into why shows the moral side of your own life, and your life with your husband and children and grand children to be. *** Please let me know your age and your children’s ages as part of my study if that is possible ***

    Remember to be part of the rock with your husband that your children rest and build their lifes on. God Bless you and your faily …Mark

  7. (USA) My husband uses menopause to avoid accepting responsibility for his actions. Just prior to turning 50, I found out that my husband was having an emotional affair w/a woman. As information unfolded, I was devastated. Over that past couple of years it has been a difficult journey, as I learned about how he used deceit and manipulation. He has used “my age” as one vehicle to shift blame and not accept responsibility for his actions, practically trying to make it look as if I am crazy. This has made the journey of forgiveness more difficult, as he is not repentant.

    I feel hurt that he does not see me as a whole person, but defines me as hormones. I think too much emphasis is placed on menopause, in some cases, allowing room for blaming everything on that phase of life. I realize everyone does not do this. My husband has always had difficulty accepting responsibility for his behaviors. It just gave him one more thing to use to point a finger at me. Please, remember that just because your wife may be going through menopause, it does not suddenly somehow make her responsible for all the problems in your relationship. My plea to anyone reading this is that you, please, see the women in your lives as more than hormones and as scripture tells us “live with your wives with understanding”, including all of the facets of them as a human being.

  8. (USA) Dear Kathy, When my wife and I were both 50, I heard the same story and emotional outbursts that you have stated. YOU have a hormonal issue that YOU must deal with (Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Oxytosin and elevated Cortisol levels in your belly, high stress levels, and increased weight gain). This is where you are today and this is why you need to resolve YOUR hormone issues. SEE A DOCTOR AND GET HELP. Stop blaming your husband… Your husband is a victim and has been stated many times before (your husband is collateral damage) and the sooner you realize this; the better you both will be able to communicate and find harmony in your relationship. Denying that YOU have a serious problem is happening is the 1st phase of the collapse in your marriage.

    2nd phase is to push your man away and as far away as possible, hoping that he will find interest else where. A good man will not leave you…. And fight you every step of the way. Which is what I did with my wife at about the same age as you are now? So that you know the fight continues 8 MORE YEARS… It appears from you declaration that your husband has had an emotional affair with a women that you have been successful in the 2nd phase of pushing him away… Human beings are NOT “ASEXUAL” beings. We need and must have touching, caring, and love to feel human…

    The 3rd phase is a plutonic relationship. Sharing your lives together with little to no intimacy. Both couples may even explore other partners outside the marriage. Finding euphoria and the adrenal rush of their youth from others… only to realize the grass is NOT greener on the other side.

    The 4th phase is reconciliation. This is for the lucky few…

    1. (USA) J.C., I left out a lot of details concerning my situation, as that was not the intent of the comment. There were witnesses, in my case, to the inappropriate relationship, and I have the backing of Christian friends and two Christian counselors. It is not a “story”. I “stated” nothing about “emotional outbursts” or “pushing my husband away”. In fact, I have prayed for many years that he would be more present and more of a spiritual leader in our home. I know exactly “where I am today”, and it is not wandering aimlessly through menopause.

      It seems that you interjected things related to your experience and your “phases” into what I shared. I am aware of the science of menopause and ways to manage symptoms, and have addressed those personally, as needed. I have been the one to actively pursue reconciliation in my relationship with my husband. I will stand on God’s word concerning behavior choices. It’s not about blaming. It’s about being accountable for one’s actions. I have prayed continuously for God’s grace and strength to heal from the situation, and He provides it by the Holy Spirit and supportive people with whom He has blessed me.

      My marriage is on the road to recovering, not “collapsing”. My husband and I are not on the 10 yr. course to destruction, based on your calculations of two years having passed and there being “8 more years” to go. I have been “successful” at surviving this trial in our lives. I do not see myself, nor do I believe my husband sees himself, as a “victim”. As scripture tells us, we are more than conquerors in Christ and will be victorious because of Him. Perhaps, it would be helpful to you to stop seeing yourself as a “damaged victim”.

      In addition, my husband and I do not have a “platonic relationship”. When times are tough in our relationship, I love my husband with the love that Jesus gives to me. He enables me to love beyond any capacity I could possess. Even when I don’t understand a situation, whether it’s a challenging season in life or a trial God allows, I believe God’s promise: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28 In closing, your reply to my comment… actually made my point.

      1. Thanks Kathy, for the insights you gave here. We ALL need to be careful not to project what happens to some, as being true in every case. I’m glad that you pointed out that sometimes hormones can be used as a scapegoat for poor behavior on the OTHER spouse’s part. The same is true in reverse, where some women are not facing their stuff, and they should.

        Please know you are appreciated for what you share here. I also appreciate the men who are expressing their sides of this important matter, as well. It’s good to share, pray together, and encourage one another. This is a very passionate issue that needs serious tending to and prayer.

      2. (US) JC thank you. Your experience sounds very much like the situation I went through. My wife went through a very similar path of destruction for herself and for our marriage. She too had emotional outbursts similar to the writer’s and she was in denial through all of it. My efforts to help her were in vain and responded to with denial. She also found friends to confide in who told her what she wanted to hear rather than helping her face the hormonal issues she was going through. It was as if I was victimized by her and then by everyone she knew and had talked to.

        Unfortunately, at some point my marriage was devastated beyond repair. I loved my wife with every fiber that was within me but eventually I failed her and had an affair with another women. Ironically it was the very thing she falsely accused me of many times and some would say drove me to it but I take full responsibility for my mistake. Before that we went on for years in what you identified as the 3rd phase, “sharing your lives together with little to no intimacy”. Eventually I lost interest and desire as I saw her as a person who needed help instead of as my loving wife.

        Kathy, Please heed my warning, I agree with the previous observation that JC made. You have HORMONAL ISSUES. Please get help. Don’t let your marriage end up like mine. Your husband may be at the end of his rope, GET HELP TODAY. What I fail to see in either of your posts is you taking responsibility. You sought out this post for a reason and I suspect you are at the point that you are questioning yourself and your behaviors; that is a good sign. Stop blaming your husband and GET HELP before another marriage is destroyed. Your husband IS the VICTIM although you may not see that and you may not believe it. Pose the question to your husband and let his response lead you to realize that you need HELP. Please read the many past posts on this subject; you will see these patterns again and again.

        You state that your marriage is on the road to recovery and I pray that it is however, I do not sense that based on the differing tone between your first and second post. Your admission that your husband has had an emotional affair with a woman can be a sign that you have reached the 2nd phase that JC mentioned. The longer you continue without seeking HELP the further you risk pushing your husband away, as stated before, “human beings are NOT “ASEXUAL” beings. We need and must have touching, caring, and love to feel human…”.

        Your statement to JC, “Perhaps, it would be helpful to you to stop seeing yourself as a damaged victim” shows that you do not believe or accept the damage you are doing to your marriage. Face your stuff, stop the denial and get HELP TODAY.

      3. (USA) Kathy, I sincerely admire your ability to respond with a measured tone in this thread. When I read your post my heart really ached for you. I didn’t hear you blaming your husband or anyone else for your marital ills.

        I think JC’s attitude toward you is, unfortunately, a very typical one, and is one of the reasons so many marriages never make it out of menopause.

        I agree with Cindy that women should take responsibility for their own behavior, however, I haven’t met a woman yet who can *will* herself out of menopause. No more so than she can *will* herself out of post-partum depression, or even her monthly ovulation for that matter -it is all biological and hormonally driven.

        What makes it worse, women go to physicians seeking help and the best they can get 90% of the time is a prescription for birth control pills, antidepressants or some other drug. Rarely do physicians know how to treat the symptoms. That’s a fact.

        I wish I had clear cut answers. I hate to see women suffer so. I also wish I could say I feel the same compassion toward men. But, when I see such unkind and self-absorbed blaming toward women for something they can’t control, it makes it difficult. -Wishing you well. Magnolia

  9. (US) I am 43 and my wife is 40 and going thru perimenopause. I have read all these posts, as well as many from other sites, and this has been EXTREMELY helpful for my own sanity. I now know that I am not the only guy being verbally abused on a daily basis …that I am not going crazy …and that I don’t have some kind of special, secret plot to undermine every aspect of her life. I love my wife so much that this breaks my heart to even write any of this. This was the beggining of OUR TIME, now that the kids were getting older. Traveling, concerts, beaches, hotels without kids, etc. I miss my Best Friend so much!!!

    Back to reality …My wife is a master at twisting words, so much that when I actually think about how we got into certain fights, I’m extremely impressed with how she manipulated the situation to get there. I am a very mellow guy and don’t like to yell, even at our kids, so I take the advice on-line and remain calm and try not to provoke the situation. This just makes her madder if I don’t want to fight, which I never do. If I walk away, I end up in a sitution like last week where I try to go mow the lawn to get away and not fight, and she follows. What insues is her screaming outside for me to get a lawyer, mind you I live in AZ, so my mower doesn’t have an engine, so yes the whole neighborhood heard. Then, since I refuse to stop mowing and go call a lawyer, she begins to pelt me with fishy crackers. Amusing as I write it now, but living it didn’t seem to funny. Where’s the advise guru’s on that one??

    ALL the guys that are researching this, trying to save their marriages, have mentioned that it is “Painful, stressful, and difficult trying to keep the family unit together. AGREED! In reading thru these posts, I want to ask some questions that I’ve never heard addressed, here or on other blogs that pertain to the MAN’s well being…..

    1) I was 5’10” and 185 lbs 1 year ago. The stress and pain of this situation has me down under 150 lbs. People that haven’t seen me in a while think the worst, like cancer or something, but I just tell them I’m eating better and exercise. LIES!!! I love my wife so much but for my kids sake, I don’t know what’s going to be left of me if this lasts another 10 years!!!
    2) Lying… NOT her lies, but the lies I have to tell family, friends, and kids to try and protect her from the things she says and does. WHY lie for her? I don’t know what else to do… if we make it thru this, the last thing I want is my entire extended family to hate my wife. As things get worse though, the lying isn’t working and frankly I hate it. It turned me into something that I’m not but I just feel like I need to protect my wife.
    3) JOB =I used to be one of the top sales managers in our company. It’s difficult to be happy on the phone with a customer, when you just got yelled at for 3 hours about a lamp being out of place. Who the heck wants to buy something from someone who is verbally beaten down and is probably closer to breaking down in tears, then thinking about closing the sale? Is this best for the kids to stay in the relationship, if I’m going to Lose my job? What about my future if she decides to get rid of me, like she mentions all the time? NO wife and No job as well? I can’t lose both.
    4) FINANCIAL =There have been several posts, even by women, that they’re turning from nurturing Moms to being “IT IS TIME FOR THEMSELVES”. For my wife, this translates into buying things to try and make her happy. I know that the hormone changes makes her despressed and I try do everything I can for her. But depressed people like to buy stuff to buy happiness. NEVER WORKS, and the credit card just gets used the next day to try again. So, if I’m flat broke and can’t feed my kids, lose the house and so forth, can someone please explain to me how this is good for the marriage and my kids?
    5) TRUST… I am a very personal person, meaning what happens in the family is our family business. I’m going to see a therapist, frankly to make sure that I have not clinically moved into the INSANE category… but also to help me deal with everything and make sure that I am doing things right with the kids and this situation. 1/2 hour after I told her, she text my personal medical information, and seeing a therapist is personal to me and no one needs to know about it, to one of her friends. This leads me to ask:
    a) Now that the Trust factor was broken, will this lead to my entire life being an open book, cause she is hormonal that day and can’t control what she says? And I’m supposed to accept that?
    b) What are you other guys doing with the credit cards? How can I trust her to make SOUND FINANCIAL DECISIONS, when she can’t even remember buying stuff on-line when it shows up?

    I really hate writing all these things about my wife and feel like I’m betraying her. I know she doesn’t wake up wanting to feel that way and I have been to many doctor appointments with her, where the doctors just really don’t know what to do.

    Like most of the guys that end up here though… WE ARE CONFUSED/SAD/MAD/SCARED/LOST/BROKEN DOWN but we also know that we need to try and keep together what we can for the kids sake. At this point though, and after putting all this in writing, I’m not sure staying together is the right thing for the kids and maybe it would be better for them so they wouldn’t have to witness all the abuse. It hurts them cause they love me and they can see how it affects their Dad.

    Lastly, I’ve read posts where women have come out the other end and are mostly back to themselves (I love my wife so much, I’d take less than 50% of the woman I married), but others have stated that they’re never the same and not even the same women at all. I just don’t know if I can take 10 more years of this, all the while knowing that the person that comes out the other end, may not even want anything to do with me? I’ve been dealing with it for 2 years now, and it just keeps getting worse, so that’s why you find me writing long, drawn out boring posts about my miserable marriage. I think someone mentioned writing a book about this subject, so please take the time to write a chapter or 2 about how this AFFECTS the men both physically, emotionally and financially.

    I do want to thank all my fellow men out there, as again, this small piece of solidarity has gone a long way towards helping me deal with this situation.

    1. (USA) David, I’m praying for you! It’s coming up on 2 years for me and while I haven’t had the fireworks you have had, it’s been really bad at times. I don’t think you’re betraying her by writing into this blog… we men need a support system, too. I would also recommend not lying to family and friends but just tell them you and your wife are going through a tough time as some couples do at this age. You don’t need to go into details if you don’t want to.

      I’m to the point where I have insulated myself against getting my hopes up for my marriage. I just take it one day at a time and pray she doesn’t blow up at me all the while feeling like one day I’m going to be blindsided by her. Real tough way to live! Get with your pastor or some close friends and confide in them… it really helps a lot. Also, feel free to post some more to this blog. There are a lot of great men and women who will read, listen and pray for you and your family. God Bless, Jay

  10. (US) I’ve been at this for nearly four years staying in the house to finish raising the kids. She moved out July 4th, 2010. It’s been horrible and I’ve buried myself in work. Bad economy and company sold in July, so I’m out of a job. Now I’m trying to work this through while she grinds me. She’s going to force me to file for divorce and spousal/child support since she has a really good and secure job. This is probably what I should have done a couple of years ago.

  11. (CANADA) I have posted several comments over the past year and have been monitoring the site and the various posts over the past several months. I have been silent for those months but thought I would provide an update of my situation for those who remember me. My wife moved out of the house and left me on August 8th. She still lives in the city but has made no effort to communicate with me since she left me and I haven’t seen or heard from her in over 9 weeks. When she walked out, she said she leaving me and never coming back. She said she was leaving me because she was going on a journey and that she had some difficult times ahead of her and that it was unfair to me to have to deal with her going through it. She also said that she doesn’t love me anymore and hasn’t for most of the years we were married.

    Needless to say that this has been the most difficult period of my life. To have your best friend for 32 years walk out on you and not make any effort to communicate or to see how I am doing; to just ignore me as if the marriage never happened is the worst experience I have ever had to go through. The past several months have been a roller coaster of emotions with more downs than ups. I am ok for a few days and then in the middle of the night wake up crying uncontrollably.

    I pray for my wife everyday and hope she is doing ok and somehow God can bring us back together, although I know she is gone for good and will never return. I still wear my wedding ring but everytime I look at it, my heart is crushed. When we were married we inscribed on the ring, “Eternally yours”. I will always be eternally hers even if she doesn’t return. I can only pray that somehow in all of this that God has a plan, although right now I can’t imagine how anything good can come out of this.

    As has been the case over the past year or so, my faith remains as strong as ever and is as weak as it has ever been at the same time. It’s very difficult to see any hope for the future but I am taking one day at a time, and for today, I am still here. I wish my update has better news but needless to say, I am crushed.

    1. Just read your comment, Will. Doing some research on menopause to see if it might help explain my situation. What you wrote here is pretty much my story, but my wife is still living with me, sleeping in the same bed, but we are from “together”. Saturday, 3 days from now, will be the one year anniversary of the day she told me she doesn’t love me anymore, hasn’t for most of the marriage and wants me out.

      I refused to leave. We went through counseling to no real avail. She blamed me for all the problems, but I addressed them all to her admitted satisfaction, and yet nothing has changed in her heart. I’ve read enough on this subject to encourage me to be patient and wait for things to get better in the belief that this situation is likely due to her changing body chemistry. I guess only time will tell.

      I have spoken with women who divorced only to realize later that it was physical changes they were going through that created the problems they blamed on their husbands. Don’t know how true that might be, but I hope it’s somewhat true in my case. Prayer is about all we have to rely on. My faith in God is strong. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

      1. I love your heart and motives… I pray your wife eventually wakes up, sees that you are a promise-keeper, and falls in love with your heart and with all of you. Stand strong… somehow, I just know you will be rewarded for your faithfulness.

  12. (ENGLAND) Hi ya Will… I must admit I have notice you were quiet …Like you, I have watched over the forum and have been quiet too. I am saddened to hear that she has finally gone from the scene. It’s so difficult to deal with this at times, people around you saying there are plenty of other fish in the sea, and I can safely say we both know that.

    The sad part is that you want the wife back from a few years ago. I really think that this is really just about a Mid life crisis. I am beginning not to believe in a Hormone change. It’s really just about them reevaluating their own lives. They have had kids, you have been the bread winner for years, she is made re-dundant from her child bearing years and along with that you are no-longer needed in her eyes.

    Will, to be honest, and this is now how I feel, let her get on with it. You cannot change her, she has to have realization that you were protective, loving caring and part of the glue that held that family together.

    My wife is still with me, but when I hear of some of the most stupid comments she makes to the kids like “aint I a biatch” how low can you get? So I have adopted the approach of… I know what I did; I know how hard I worked… I know what I achieved. And no-one can take that away from me. My and Your dedication was hopefully second to none. Why they change it to this new person I do not really know why. They can come up with excuses, but I really can say that they do change the outlook of their lives.

    I have really gotten to the stage where I am tired of trying. Maybe we try to hard, maybe we should have been harder, lacked understanding, kept them at arms length, never have tried to be the stronghold, and never have been the warm loving caring people that we are. I have seen plently of other marriages where the male figure is an absolute total idiot. Why do their marriages seem to last?

    Only time can tell of the greater purpose for this upheaval. Let them realise that there’s a cruel world out there that will suck the life out of them. As I said long ago, what have we got to lose by enjoying our lifes, meeting new friends? Maybe it is time to do what we want to do, and not work ourselves into the ground and have come out the other end of our marriages despondent.

    What I should be saying here is whatever is God’s Will … will be. And maybe all of this will turn us into stronger people with a stronger bond.
    However… I do feel at times is, where on earth is this leading? As always we can only all pray. It does say if two or more agree in prayer then it shall be done… I’m still waiting …like you.

    I NEEDED a build you up point at the end… Have you tried? Have you stood by her while you get a barriage of abuse? Do You care? Well, you have done your bit mate …it’s time for her to face up and start realizing you have done more than a lot of men would have done… and that’s a fact.

    1. Hello, I’m new to this forum. Just ran across it by chance and realized that I’m not the only man out there at the age of 53 that has been in a long marriage and seems to have been forgotten by their Friend/Spouse years ago. She has been the homemaker and me the bread winner. I use the term “winner” lightly. I feel as though most of our years I’m just a paycheck to her.

      We have three children (teens) and they now are old enough to notice how she treats me. Finances are a big part. She has refused to get a job to help or even ask to help. She spends money given to her with no regaurding a budget or how the money is earned. I have worked 28 years in a high labor type job. My body is getting old and broke down. I still work many hours of overtime to try and stay ahead financially. My wife sleeps many hours during the day I’m told by my kids. That makes me feel even more abused.

      Intimacy for me now is just gone, due to her actions and what I call abuse to take advantage of me financially. She borrows money from her own kids despite me giving her money. If she gets $100. It’s gone in one day. $200 gone. I see no end to her changing. She is the most unaffectionate woman I have ever known. I now am starting to realize that I have the second half of my life to live. I’m still young, in good shape for the most part. And would love to have some affection once in a while. I guess it’s time to move on as she has changed and I’ve lost interest and respect for her due to all her non- caring emotions and lack of affection and Financial failures to me. My older kids have advised me to move on to someone new and full of life! Any comments from the forum is appreciated!

    2. Hi, my name is Neil and my best friend and wife has left me after 32 years of marriage and four years of dating. She left me with all the responsibilities of the house hold and went on her own to find a new apartment. She left me mentally and emotionally unstable and it is very difficult to find my bearings and comprehend all these changes that occurred in my life. This should be the time of enjoying life together because all the kids are grown and out doing their own things but instead I find myself alone and hollow as an individual. However, we share very little communication and it normally consists of me telling her how much I miss her and that I want her back but it normally ends that I NEED MY SPACE YOU NEED TO GIVE ME TIME TO FIGURE THINGS OUT!

      1. Hang in there Neil. I’m praying for you! I have been going through the ups and downs for about 4 years. Though my wife has not left, she has asked for a divorce after the kids are “well enough along.” I don’t know what that means or what the timetable is but I take one day at a time and trust in God’s plan for me even though it is a hard path I am on. Give her time and space and use this time to look within and find your strength. God Bless! Jay

  13. (PHILIPPINES) Hello! I am 54 and my husband is 45 and I consider myself so blessed that I had my menopause just a year ago. I somehow feared this so called change in life since my husband is younger. I never realized how difficult it really is, and how insecure I could be physically, psychologically and emotionally until now. It is so difficult to admit the reality. Suddenly I am lost, and insecure.

    I noticed that my husband has lost interest in intimacy. I still have the desire, although physically, I feel uncomfortable. On my own, I tried to find means to help myself. I tried to communicate to him my desire but to no response. I feel so undesirable, rejected and insulted when he would just ignore the message that I want him. Although I can feel my husband’s love for me, despite the absence of intimacy, I can hardly imagine how a man his age who is supposed to be sexually active can be this cold. This has been going on for several months now.

  14. (USA) Will, Mark and others, I looked at this site for sympathy as a husband facing some mild rejection in the bedroom. What I found is a group of caring men with much deeper problems than I can fathom. God bless you as you continue in your search for God’s will. You are men of strength. Thank you for shareing your stories. -Jim

  15. (USA) “Looking for hope and finding wisdom” I entered this forum looking for honest answers and hope that someday my life, my wife and our intimate bond would somehow be resurrected. As of this day I can tell you; “it is not good and it is not bad” but I am still here and we are still together. The two women responsible for keeping my marriage off the rocks and cliffs and who I believe should be an inspiration and as I believe are “totally protected by all that is good” is Cindy and Magnolia, whose words of wisdom and inspiration got me through a most terrible time in my life.

    Their total honesty, wisdom and willingness to lay all their emotions and feelings out for all to see is more than inspirational but a life changing event for me. I could actually feel their sorrow and concern for my deep feelings of despair without hope.

    What I got was not hope but truly heartfelt wisdom and knowledge to help me bear through the despair and hopelessness. I have been waiting for their responses to some of the forum comments and finally realized “there is nothing more to be said”. Any male or female going through this issue, can simply read the history writings from this forum and the writing on the wall…. The answers are quite obvious.

    Cindy Summation: “we just survived through it”… With Steve’s comments: – Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, New Living Testament)

    Magnolia Summation: YOU are “collateral damage”. Nothing more needs to be said as to what this means or the implications of what you are going through or even the outcome of the aftermath. The sheer implications being there is absolutely nothing you can do to “fix” the problem as all males simply believe is in their DNA to access the situation and fix the problem. Take comfort in the fact that you lived this long, had the privilege to love a women with all your heart, most likely have kids that adore you both.

    To summarize my situation and all that my wife and I have been through: My wife and I celebrated our 37th may be less I do not remember now, at a very private grand opening of a new restaurant. I knew the owner and had him open the restaurant one day early for just my wife and I which he agreed to do. When the waiter and the owners began to serve us, the waiter asked my wife what the secret was to being married for so long… My wife, in tears, told him, “we made a commitment to be with each other forever and we take every day one step at a time”.

    So the moral of the story is in my opinion “is to live your life as best you can”. “Trust in God to carry you when you fall down” and “Never give up Hope”!