You haven't gone crazy....you've gonepausal!

Why Fight It? (A Man’s Guide to Menopause)

Menopause comes once in a lifetime. Should we not revel in the moment? Should we not appreciate this “time of life”? Should we not pay tribute? Oh boy I feel the fire coming out of my reader’s eyes and some out of their ears. What is he talking about? For years men endured days of PMS; now it’s months (even years) of menopause.

OK seriously, menopause is that “time of life,” an inevitable and natural change. So when your wife begins to experience menopause, why fight it? Did you fight your child’s change at puberty? When those sex hormones started raging through his/her body? OK, maybe you did and maybe that’s a bad analogy; but you can see what I’m getting at.

Women are going to experience menopause. That’s a fact of life. Some women may experience a lot of symptoms while for some it may be mild and hardly noticeable. Regardless, it’s an emotional time for a woman, not only because of how hormonal changes may affect her, but just because she’s reached a milestone of life that once seemed so far away.

It’s not that I’m such an understanding guy. I am one of the fortunate men whose wife is not experiencing severe symptoms. But she does experience some mild ones and what I’ve learned is “Why fight it?”

Instead, there are things you can do to help her through and in the end make life more comfortable for the both of you. Let me share:

I. Get a better Understanding of Menopause.

This is the best place to start and will certainly help you. Many women don’t know what to expect, so how can you? Begin by getting a better understanding of menopause. Some women worry about menopause and all the uncomfortable symptoms it can cause whether or not they ever experience them. But fear not, there are many ways to treat symptoms and stay active and strong.

II. Understand what she may be feeling.

Menopause affects every woman differently. The symptoms that come with menopause can seem challenging. The impact of menopause can be harder and more severe for some women (and therefore some men) than others. Changes can occur in several areas of a woman’s life, but it’s not always possible to tell if these changes are related to aging, menopause, or both. Many women find it difficult to live how they previously were due to some symptoms. Get an idea of what these changes are and what she may be feeling. She may experience irregular periods, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and have mood changes to name a few.

III. Learn what you can do to help.

If you’re still reading you probably care enough to learn what you can do to help. And it’s not all that tricky: make her feel special, be patient, look for signs when medical help is needed, try a little humor.

IV. Take care of yourself too.

Menopause is not the end of the world, although some people will have you think otherwise. Be sure to make time for yourself as well. Take “me” time, golf, jog, swim, take the dog for a long walk. And above all remember, “This too shall pass.”

Additional Reading
Understanding Her Menopause
Menopause Basics
The North American Menopause Society

About the Author

Stuart Schenendorf is a freelance medical writer. His web site, “The 50 Something Man,” is designed for men over 50 who want information about health, exercise, eating right, life after 50, great gadgets, and much more.

The Men's Room: "Why Fight It?"