Menopause affects every woman slightly differently. However, there are some common symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain that can affect many women as they progress through menopause. Some women barely experience menopause symptoms, while others can struggle more with their symptoms.
Menopause usually happens when women are in their 40's and 50's and occurs when a woman has not had her period for 12 months. Leading up to menopause, women may experience menopausal symptoms If your partner is going through menopause there are some steps you should take to make the transition less stressful for her.
Don't Pressure Her
Mood swings can be a symptom of menopause. If your partner's mood swings are affecting you, or you think they may be affecting your partner, it is important to talk to her about them. However, you should do this in a non-accusatory manner when both of you are calm.
Vaginal dryness is also a common symptom of menopause. For vaginal dryness it is important that you talk to her about your sex lives and that you support her in seeking treatment. However, it is not right to pressure her into having sex with you if she does not want to do it.
Actively Listen to Her
It is likely that your partner may be experiencing some physical changes, like vaginal dryness, hair thinning, and weight gain. These may be difficult things for her to acknowledge and express how she feels about them. It is important that your partner knows that you care about what she is experiencing. You need to open up about how you feel if you want her to open up to you. Asking open-ended questions in a non-judgmental manner will help. Giving 100% of your attention when she talks with you is also imperative. Reassuring her that you continue to value her, love her, and find her attractive.
Offer to Go with Her to the Doctor
Treatments for menopause symptoms include lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). She may value your emotional support if she chooses to go to the doctor to treat her symptoms.
If your partner chooses to see a therapist or counselor, you should offer to attend at least some of the session with her. This will help show her that you support her choices and want to be an active part of how she helps herself.
Seeking to understand your partner's experience of menopause is already a good first step in being a supportive partner. Following these steps and showing your partner that you care may help make the experience better for her and strengthen the relationship that the two of you already have. Click on the link for more information about treatments for menopause symptoms.
- National Health Service. (2014). Menopause: tips for partners. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/menopause/Pages/Supportyourpartner.aspx