I'm really lost as to what to do.

I don't know if I'm doing the right think posting this ? My wife is 57 and I am 55. We have been together for 15 years, married for 10. My wife is menopausal and has been for over 4 years. I love my wife unconditionally, but our situation is tearing me apart. I am not able to find support groups for the partners who are menopausal, only the direct sufferers themselves. To be frank I am at my wits end. Theres no getting away from the fact that our sex life has suffered, and its taking its toll on me. (I feel selfish writing it). Aspects of some of my wifes demeanour with me changes without rhyme or reason. We have talked and her reasoning toward anything we discuss changes each time, making me feel shes making up excuses. We have talked together about all help available to her and she is adamant that she will not seek medication because of the side effects. These last 4 years are taking there toll on me. I don't seek or want any sympathy, I want to know what I can do for my wife and our relationship, because I can't see an end in sight. I have tried everything I can think off, I accept there is no quick fix and I don't expect to eradicate all aspects of the menopause, just help her through it whilst still having some happiness with her. She is a hard working loving caring wife/mother and grandmother. She has time for everyone and everything except me. Honestly, I feel alone and sad, but I try to hide it as to not make her feel guilty. Somebody please help, i am desperate.


Comments

  • KazKaz Posts: 482 mod
    edited July 28
    Hello @whattodo ,

    Thanks for visiting us on the forum. 

    I think it's lovely that you want to support your wife, and I think you're right. it must be very difficult as the partner of a menopausal lady. As women, we don't know what's happening to us half the time, so it's not entirely surprising that you are struggling to understand too. It's not an excuse at all - but I certainly found that it took all of my strength when I was outside the home, or with the children to act as if nothing was wrong, and by the time I got home, my "nice" was all used up. Unfortunately, the ones we love the most are sometimes on the receiving end of the worst of our behaviour, consciously or otherwise!

    I've just been talking to my husband about your post - and he certainly agrees with a lot of what you've described. It is very hard to have those difficult chats, and it must be both frustrating and upsetting for you.

    There are places you can go for help.

    Firstly. This book written specifically for men by menopause expert Ruth Devlin is a great start for you. She's smart and informative, there's some practical advice for both of you, and she manages to inject a bit of humour along the way.

    https://promensil.co.uk/men-lets-talk-menopause-by-ruth-devlin/

    Also, our own expert Maryon Stewart has a FB group specifically for men to talk to each other about the subject. https://maryonstewart.com/2017/11/03/men-coping-menopause/ 


    Attached also is a symptoms checker - your wife may be surprised to realise just how many symptoms she actually has, including the ones that you describe. It's sometimes not until we see things written down in black and white that we realise some of what is happening to us, and your wife may not even be aware that some of the things she's experiencing are even symptoms of the menopause.

    https://menopausesupport.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MENOPAUSE-SYMPTOM-CHECKER.docx

    As far as your wife's concerns about HRT, it's all about perspective. The attached video is from Dr Louise Newson, one of the best menopause experts in the UK. She talks sensibly and helpfully to try to put things into perspective, and help women make informed choices with regards to HRT. I certainly felt much better after I watched this in January - I ended up far more concerned about the glass of wine I used to like having in the evening, and being a bit overweight than I was about any risk of breast cancer. In lots of ways, HRT helps you. It protects your heart function and your bone density levels. Again - all about perspective, and you have to hear the information from a reputable source in order to believe it. This may be worth a try for you to watch with your wife.

    Even if your wife remains dead set against HRT, a trip to her GP can get her some alternative treatments, and the menopause checklist will help facilitate any conversation about menopause with her GP.

    https://www.itv.com/lorraine/health/menopause-expert-dr-louise-newson-answers-your-questions-and-dispels-myths-about-hrt

    My other advice would be to write her a letter. Sometimes it's so hard to sit with our other halves not only to listen, but to hear what they're saying. When things were at their worst for me, a letter from my concerned husband telling me how worried he was, and how much he wanted to help me sat in my pocket and was read and reread until it all began to sink in, and the paper began to fall apart. I think I'd got caught up in feeling so miserable, and feeling so out of sorts for such a long time, that I didn't like myself very much. I was certain that my husband couldn't be very keen on me either. The letter reassured me and he told me that although he missed our intimacy, he missed his wife more, and he simply wanted to help me to feel better. That was the start of my HRT story. I finally appreciated the effect my menopause was having not only on me, but on my husband and my children. I researched and found out what I could have. I checked the side effects, read the scare stories, and ultimately decided that quality of life was far better than the negligible increased risks described. I started on HRT patches 8 months ago - and my husband, kids and I are delighted to see and feel a massive difference. Even HRT isn't a quick fix, but it has definitely given me back my life, and my husband has his wife back.

    I can fully appreciate that you're in a difficult position.  I look back now and see that my husband must have felt the way you do. I can also honestly say that I can see it from your wife's position too. If your wife feels half as bad as I did, or as any of the women on the forum do, then she's feeling pretty miserable. I think it's brilliant that you care enough to try to help her find some answers, and I sincerely hope there's something here that you can use to help you both.







  • whattodowhattodo Posts: 2
    How do I begin to thank you for your wonderful response. I was consigned to living without any hope and what you have just done has changed that. I will definitely look into everything you have listed it's reassuring that you're husband felt a lot of what I feel, I've thought at times tgat I was being soft and should "man up." I wish you and you're family all the best. Thank you again. 
  • VassaVassa Posts: 2

    Dr Louise Newson did a great pod cast this week with a husband who has been though the journey with his wife . I would recommend listening to it . And also with your wife . Her pod cast are amazing

    also Liz Earle

    you could also start a men’s support group yourself 😊

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