While we hear of and read a great deal about menopause and tips to deal with it, there is little that is written or talked about perimenopause. The onset of the transition that is menopause is known as perimenopause and it can begin even when you are in mid-thirties. Perimenopause can be more traumatic to women because they are usually caught unaware with hormonal decline. To explain these changes to your spouse can be difficult too as you are already struggling to cope.
Here’s how one can try:
Arm yourself with all the information you can gather on perimenopause before you begin to explain it to your husband. If you have partial knowledge, both of you will end up confused and more annoyed. Ask your gynaecologist to suggest books or search for websites and discussion boards. You can also include your partner in this excursion as perimenopause is not just a woman’s concern. The virtue of being a spouse is to be involved in all major challenges life throws at one’s partner.
Never be in a hurry to explain away it all in one long sitting. He is unlikely to respond. Take one topic at a time and discuss rather than lecture. Various discussions over time will require perseverance and an open mind on both sides.
There will always be things you would have barely understood or cannot explain in simple language. Do not hesitate to consult a couple’s psychotherapist or even your gynaecologist ensemble. In fact, the more your husband is involved with your visits to the gynaecologist the better will he understand the nature of perimenopause.
Loss of libido may become the primary cause of conflict between you and your husband. Besides, sudden hot flashes and mood swings leave you too exasperated to feel sexually motivated. If you do not tell your partner the reason behind your reduced interest in sex he may feel rejected. Discuss at length how this would be a temporary phase and your sex drive will be at best irregular during the transition period.
You will have to learn to separate your other marital problems from your perimenopausal symptoms. You cannot blame it all on the condition and be wise to the subtle differences. However, it’s not an easy task. You will have to watch out for patterns and inform your husband about those. For instance, if the last fight was during a mood swing then note it as such. If it weren’t know the difference and talk about it.
You will have to deal with all of your spouse’s queries and comments in good spirit. If you feel he has not been sensitive enough towards your condition or hurt your feelings by making absurd generalisations then bring that up as well and try to see things from the his perspective too. This is also a tough task but will in the long run aid your relationship and help you grow.
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