You may be quite familiar with the symptoms of Manopause you’re experiencing, but what about menopause? It may seem like your wife or girlfriend has just completely flipped her lid. Menopause is the stage of life for women when hormones drop and the life they once knew has forever changed. She may be experiencing mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, dryness in her lady parts, and sleepless nights. We as women understand it’s not easy for our partners either.
So how can you, as a supportive partner, cope with this new world and help her? I did some extensive research and surveyed many women, including some in my menopause support groups. When asked “What do you wish your partner would start doing or stop doing to support you?” the overwhelming response was “I wish he understood what it is like to always be hot. I need the air conditioning on in order to sleep!”
I compiled a cheat sheet, some do’s and don’ts, for you men so you can save yourselves, your relationship, and your sanity when you’re living with a woman who is struggling with menopause:
DON’T tell her she is grumpy. She already knows that she is, and she hates it, but it is out of her control.
DO tell her you are sorry she is having a rough time and that you are there for her whenever she needs.
DON’T try to argue over the air conditioner. Imagine walking around naked but still feeling like there is a furnace blowing on your face. This is how she feels.
DO accept that you might have to put up with some chill in the air, put on an extra blanket and some socks and let her get some sleep.
DON’T smother her and try to fix it. As much as she loves you, she just might need some space.
DO allow her some alone time when she needs it. It’s not anything personal, she may just need to clear her head.
DON’T demand sex if she really doesn’t want it. As much as a woman in this stage wants to feel desirable and wishes she felt like a teenager, she doesn’t. Sex might even be painful for her.
DO talk to each other about sex and come to an understanding of what works for both of you. Every couple is different. Just communicate.
And perhaps most important of all:
DON’T tell her you think she is crazy. This woman already feels like she might be losing her mind and is doing her best to hold it together.
DO either walk away when you need to quietly, or simply say, “I love you. No matter what.”
This uneasy time shall pass, so hunker down and enjoy the ride.