Being a Supportive Spouse for a Partner Going Through Menopause
June 22, 2022
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
Getting older is inevitable. With age comes a whole new set of challenges that you and your spouse will need to handle together. One such challenge is menopause. When a woman goes through menopause, she will likely face many hormonal and emotional changes. As a spouse, there are many things you can do to ease this transitional period.
Learn to Communicate Openly
One of the best ways to be a supportive spouse to someone going through menopause is by learning to communicate openly. For many partnerships, menopause comes after you've had a chance to discover each other's habits and communication preferences for years. However, the hormonal shift your wife is going through will throw a wrench into your carefully curated routine. You may need to relearn how to communicate as partners to de-escalate conflicts.
Even if you've never needed it in the past, it may be wise to invest in some marriage counseling if you're having trouble communicating. Because this is a time where your relationship will need to adapt, learning some problem management will help you and your spouse stay close. The change in hormones and mental health will require new conflict solutions. If you and your partner can't seem to see eye to eye on things, it may help you to go to a counselor and iron things out. In any relationship, communication is critical. By learning how to adapt your communication skills to what your wife's body is going through, you can keep your relationship strong.
Commit to Education
Another way you can be supportive is by simply learning what changes your spouse's body is going through. Menopause is taxing on both a woman's body and mind. When female hormones like estrogen stop circulating, your spouse's body will go through an intense adjustment period. During this time, your wife may have problems sleeping, increased moodiness, and difficulty regulating her temperature, among other symptoms. Every woman experiences menopause differently but learning what general ailments your partner potentially faces will lead to greater understanding and patience.
Along with learning, it's essential not to minimize what your spouse is going through. While it may be tempting to crack jokes between your friends about how your spouse is hormonal, so you need to go golfing more regularly, that can hurt your relationship. Keep in mind that your wife is uncomfortable and probably discombobulated by what's currently going on with her body. By making jokes at her expense, you essentially tell her that her discomfort isn't important to you. Learning more about the symptoms your wife is facing will help you build the understanding and empathy needed to keep your relationship strong.
Exercise Patience Regularly
Finally, being a supportive spouse requires patience. Menopause will be a learning experience for both of you. While your wife may be going through the physical changes, you both will need to learn how to adapt to each other all over again. No matter how healthy your relationship has been in the past, you will make mistakes during this period of change. When you do, it's essential not to get discouraged. Rather than dwelling on the slip-up, just pick yourself back up, apologize as necessary, and move on. Being patient with yourself will help you diffuse some of the conflicts that menopause will bring your way.
In addition to giving yourself some patience, it's also vital to give your wife some. Menopause brings physical changes along, but it also causes mood shifts and increased anxiety and depression symptoms. Sometimes, there will be no real reason why your wife is upset. During one of those episodes, it may be best to tell her that you love her, hand her a snack, and head outside to mow the lawn or walk the dog. By giving patience and love to both you and your spouse, you can ease the psychological strain menopause brings.
Overall, menopause is simply a fact of life that women have to endure. By following these tips, you can be the supportive spouse she needs and help keep your relationship strong.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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