I’m 46. Since menopause five years ago, my husband and I feel our marriage has disconnected.
He’s stopped giving me attention and affection since I don’t reciprocate. He’s tired of feeling “rejected.”
I have NO interest in sex and find it painful. My gynecologist suggested a lubricant, but it doesn’t relieve the pain. I was also prescribed estrogen pills, but am not comfortable to take them.
We have sex maybe once/twice a month. My marriage is in serious jeopardy.
I’ve considered seeing a Naturopath or a sex therapist.
Don’t give up on a part of your life that’s still important, since you want your marriage to last.
Menopause is a natural process that affects women differently, but there are many ways to ease the symptoms.
There also many ways to stay intimately connected besides having intercourse, and to not reject him.
Women don’t have to accept being victims of their female cycles, though many are challenged by them.
Do the research. Ask your gynecologist to check for causes of painful intercourse besides dryness (e.g. a urology-gynecology specialist can look for any bladder pressure causing pain.)
There’s also a method of providing internal vaginal lubrication, with minimal estrogen (if you’re a candidate for this).
A naturopath may suggest alternative therapies that work for some women, e.g. black cohosh.
A sex therapist will talk to both of you about your approach to sex, how to change old patterns, and get past any barriers regarding sexual play.
Acknowledge your husband’s hurt and show you still love and value him, by renewing intimacy in every possible way, including pleasuring him while you explore ways to get pleasure yourself.
There’s a lot of family drama with my in- laws. I'm worried about my partner.
His father remarried a couple of years ago, and the stepmother’s very controlling.
We've been having some financial issues and my father-in-law wanted to help us. Now his stepmother won't let him visit because she thinks he'll give us money.
He has to try to sneak out of the house. She’s also hostile towards me and has blamed me for things I've never done.
I've tried to talk to her but she refuses and threatens to punch me.
I want everyone to get along and respect each other. How can I try to make the relationship between all four of us better, without violence and nasty comments?
There’s more to this story that isn’t being told. If his father married a difficult, controlling woman who’s potentially violent and restricts his mobility, he has options – he can stand up to her, leave her, call the police if she overreacts.
He can also transfer money to you through online banking or mail you a cheque, if he wants to help.
It seems the drama goes deeper than you describe.
You worry about your partner but don’t say why. He needs to visit his father and assess how his father’s being treated and what she’s doing to restrain him.
Or, whether he wants the marriage, and is not as bothered by the drama as you think.
You can’t just “want” everyone to get along. You both need to find out what’s really going on, and then decide how to approach the situation.
Maybe they both feel you two need to settle your finances on your own. Maybe she’s abusive to him and you need to take legal action.
Or, maybe there’s background to things that have been said and done that need re-thinking.
FEEDBACK Regarding the son who thinks he must move in to care for his aging mother (Feb. 26):
Reader – “I have Power of Attorney for a neighbour, 88, recently diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
“Since her diagnosis, and with the help of a Community Care Access Centre (which coordinates services for seniors, people with disabilities etc.) and the Alzheimer’s Society, we’ve initiated the Meals on Wheels program and a Personal Services Worker who visits for one hour once/week (social visit).
“It was at an Alzheimer’s Society workshop where I learned what I needed to do:
- Make an appointment with family doctor; insist on scheduling a memory test to determine a diagnosis.
- Request a referral to a geriatrician
- Educate oneself, the Alzheimer’s Society provides consultation.
- There are many in-home services in place. Moving in with her may not be necessary.
- Retirement/nursing living arrangements may be an option.”
Tip of the day:
Explore different ways to ease menopause symptoms and maintain intimacy in a relationship.