I love my wife of 20 years, our children, and the happy life we’ve made.
However, since my wife started menopause, I see that she just plain resents me. It goes way beyond lack of physical intimacy.
Little I say can fix things. I’ve been a very good, loving, and faithful husband.
It seems that many women in menopause hate their husbands. Many will deny this and say that men are jerks, which we are, but their mood changes are undeniable.
I can stick it out if there’s hope it’ll get better. Is there?
I cannot find online literature about the mindset of women once they’re done with menopause.
Can you tell me the experiences of other older women?
I'm afraid of the prospect of emotional neglect for the rest of my life. I need a ray of hope and some womanly advice.
Looking for Hope
Look first to your wife.
Online information is unlikely to generalize about “the mindset” of menopausal women, because that’s specific to each woman’s upbringing, past experiences, current self-image, adaptability, etc.
But you DO know many of those particulars about your wife of 20 years.
Talk to her with those details in mind.
Tell her you care about her and want to know what she’s experiencing.
If she won’t share that with you – or is emotionally unable to explain it – do deeper research.
Learn the range of effects of menopausal hormone changes. Some women experience depression, anxiety, extreme mood swings, intense night sweats, pain on intercourse, loss of libido, and more. Others have milder reactions.
They don’t “hate their husbands” because of menopause. But many lose patience with husbands who don’t get what they’re going through.
Of course, your wife should be trying to find ways to handle these symptoms, for her own sake as well as for her family.
She may need to talk to a specialist gynaecologist if her symptoms are extreme, but her family doctor is where to start.
There are also natural therapies that help some women, and exercise is strongly recommended.
Get on her side through this time as her body adjusts to the changes. And it will, but she needs your supportive interest.
Many post-menopausal women re-gain their energy, well-being, and self-worth, as well as their interest in sex, love, and intimacy.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose step-daughter, 11, was giving her a hard time (March 31):
Reader – “I was deeply affected by your response, as I lived through that experience from the other end.
“I was age nine when my mother re-married. Over 60 years later, I can still be affected by the memory of my father's death, the moving, the boarding schools, and the pain that followed.
“My step-father was very patient with me, but I know I was pretty badly behaved with him.
“I recall my mother's insistence that I behave properly. I never thought to tell her this, but her response was reassuring:
“In all the uncertainty and change, I could count on her to care.
“Looking back, I can see my step-father stayed the course. I'm glad to say that years later I was able to say Thank You to him.
“I feel genuine gratitude because his daughter, my step-sister, and I are still close and she has a husband and children with whom I get on well.”
Ellie - I told the step-mother to look at the big picture and try to guide the girl, with her father’s help, to a healthy adjustment.
FEEDBACK Regarding the unstable mother whose daughter wrote you (May 3):
Reader – “I’ve been through a similarly difficult drama.
“If the unstable person won’t seek help, it's damaging to the children, young and old.
“For years, I suggested that my mother get professional help. She always refused, criticizing me for raising it.
“I believed she was either bipolar or had a personality disorder.
“I finally walked away for a while. I was better off when I no longer saw her.
“Now, she has Alzheimer’s so I'm back helping her. “We’ve been able to add a little medicine to calm her. She's easier to deal with now.
“I often think of the years of her rages, and resent that I now have to spend years helping her.
“The daughter should ask her mother to seek help. But if her mom refuses, the daughter should do what's right for her own children and family.”
Tip of the day:
Partners of menopausal women could benefit both of them, by learning what’s being experienced.