Amongst the many letters and emails we receive, asking about advice for menstrual problems and period pains, we occasionally come across letters from women who are concerned that their husbands do not know how to cope with both the physical and mental changes occurring.
I have decided to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) today in order to write down a few helpful tips for men. That’s right ladies; this one isn’t exclusively for you.
From my own personal experiences, and those of my friends, associates and clients, I have seen how marriages can decline when a woman is experiencing the menopause. Today, my aim is to help ‘educate’ all of the husbands and partners out there, so that they can perhaps gain an understanding of the emotional and physiological changes that are taking place.
1) Ok guys, first lesson is to learn the symptoms and understand how they might affect your loved one. Be aware that there are a wide variety of different symptoms, but the main ones to be aware of are hot flashes, diminishing sex drive, memory problems, depression, mood swings and weight issues.
2) Next, after mastering the main symptoms, it is time to look at the actual physical changes that occur. Be aware that these changes can happen suddenly for your wife, and as a result can be very distressing. Your wife could be experiencing an increased heart rate, vaginal dryness, sex becoming less pleasurable, flushed skin, erratic menstrual cycles, osteoporosis ailments and hair thinning. Imagine this was happening to your body (minus the vaginal dryness and erratic menstrual cycles of course) and be sympathetic to your partner’s feelings during this emotional time.
3) While understanding the symptoms and changes is a well and good, what is really important is making it not just “her problem”. Back her treatment decisions and perhaps even do some research by yourself. Try to do some of the recommended exercises together and alter your diet to match what she is currently taking (less alcohol and caffeine, more fresh vegetables and fruits). Not only will your wife feel more supported, but you might actually improve your own lifestyle too.
4) Prompt your wife to visit a specialist doctor for advice. Recent studies have raised some concerns regarding HRT, such as future issues with breast cancer, heart problems and strokes. Encourage your wife to seek the opinion of a qualified professional, who can suggest a whole range of viable alternatives such as dietary changes and herbal supplements. Many doctors have been recently hailing a herb called Curcuma Comosa, which is gaining popularity with women all over the world.
5) The menopause is a time of significant change, both physically and mentally. Your wife will naturally have some fears and concerns. Be there for her and always be available to talk to. Don’t turn her symptoms into a joke, and listen to her as she speaks about her concerns about ageing and the future. Listening is one of the greatest therapies you can offer, and it’s completely free!
6) While spending more time together might seem like a difficult prospect during this time, either through work commitments or just because you no longer have that ‘spark’, now is certainly not the time to give up. Use this as an opportunity to discover each other again, learn how you have both grown and changed over the years, and rediscover some old forgotten things that you share in common.
7) Make your wife feel special. Don’t forget that your wife needs to feel loved. Sometimes just buying a small token of love can let your loved one remember that you are always thinking of her. Perhaps invest in some herbal remedies, such as Curcuma Comosa, which has been proven to reduce many of the unpleasant menopausal symptoms, such as reduced libido and mood swings.