My wife is going through the menopause – what do I do?

Dealing with the menopause can be difficult for all of the family – what do I do?
Every woman experiences the menopause – it literally means the stopping of periods.  Before her periods stop, there are hormonal changes taking place which prepare the body for when she no longer ovulates.  The normal age for going through the menopause is around 51 but it can happen over a wide range of ages and can last any time from a few months to a few years.
These hormonal changes have a huge impact on some women, while others don’t even notice until they don’t have any more periods.  Just like pregnancy, every woman is affected differently.
Women may get hot flushes which can cause lack of sleep, they may experience extreme mood swings and their body can become very dry and irritated.
For the family members of a woman going through the menopause it can be a confusing time as tensions can run high.  We love this advice for men on the menopause matters website
A – Accept that changes will take place out with her control, it’s not her fault
Be informed, read the information on this website and be assured that it is accurate
Consider her needs, emotionally and physically and show her that you Care
Don’t necessarily offer solutions, we need time to work out the answers ourselves and Don’t assume that you have done something wrong. Do talk about it and Don’t go into your cave
Every women is affected differently, what worked for someone else may not be the answer and we need time to find what works best for ourselves – be patient
During the menopause your sex life and intimacy may change a great deal – it’s a topic that lots of people don’t like to discuss, but you can maintain intimacy during this time.
If you are really struggling to talk about the changes, you can encourage your wife to speak to the GP and maybe even go with her.  You could also go for couples counselling or sex therapy which gives you a great opportunity to talk with someone in the room to facilitate more productive discussions.
Keep talking and seek help if you need it.  Don’t let the menopause come between you.
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