What To Expect When Your Partner Is Going Through Menopause

Although the menopause directly affects women, it can also have an impact on the life of their partner and their relationship. If your partner is going through perimenopause or they have recently reached menopause, it's important to have an understanding of what is going on so that you know what to expect and how to help.

Here are some helpful tips to prepare you for your partner going through menopause and to enable you to help, support and reassure them:

Insecurities, sex and loss of confidence: it is very common for women starting to experience menopausal symptoms to feel less confident, less attractive and more conscious of their age and their appearance, so try to be as reassuring as possible and comfort and listen to your partner. The menopause can be a very scary, unpredictable and daunting experience for some women and often, the support of their partner is invaluable.

Sex can be a major issue approaching and during menopause, as many women experience vaginal symptoms, as well as a loss of libido; try to be patient and understanding and make your partner feel confident and attractive if they are doubting themselves or worrying about what they look like. If you aren't very open about your sex life, you may find it awkward to talk about issues, such as pain during sex or a lack of interest in intimacy, but being honest and open can really help. There are various solutions, which can help, such as using lubricant, which treats dryness and helps to alleviate pain. In many cases, when penetrative sex is uncomfortable, couples try new ways of being intimate, which actually brings them closer together.

If your partner is struggling, encourage them to seek help from their GP; they may feel more comfortable if you offer to go with them, even if you sit outside while they have their appointment.

Mood swings and anxiety: mood swings, becoming emotional and anxiety are common in menopausal women and it can be difficult for both parties; try to be calm, patient and understanding. Listen to your partner and encourage them to talk to you about how they are feeling or why they are feeling anxious or on edge; don't make them feel guilty if they're being a little grumpy, but encourage them to share why they feel like this. If you're worried that your partner may be depressed, try and encourage them to see their GP; warning signs to look out for include low mood, lack of interest and motivation when it comes to family life, work or socialising, becoming withdrawn, low energy levels and loss of concentration and focus.

How can I help?

One of the best things you can do for your partner is understand what the menopause is, what effects it has on a woman and how it will impact both your lives. Do some research so that you know all about the menopause and most importantly, be there for your partner when they need you. Offer support, encouragement and assurance and try to be patient.

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