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Communicating With Your Partner In Menopause

Communicate with your partner in menopause

Are you afraid that your mood swings may be alienating your partner?

Do you feel embarrassed to speak to your partner about pain during sex?

Are you feeling insecure about aging and afraid to bring the topic up?

 

How do you communicate with your partner and have a conversation about how you are feeling and the experience of going through menopause?

Menopause is a difficult time for women. The many physical and emotional changes she is going through can be severe. However, it is important for women to be kind both to themselves during this time, but also to their partners who may be confused by what is going on with them.

After many years in a marriage or relationship, a partner will get acclimatized to the cyclical changes in your body. Menopause brings new changes and many new challenges. This can be unsettling for a partner who may attribute these changes to other factors. So, it becomes crucial that a woman is able to communicate well with her partner both through menopause and about the changes she is experiencing.

Communicate with your partner in menopause

7 Tips on Communicating With Your Partner

 

1- Understand what happens during menopause

Before you can explain what is going on with your own body to anyone else, you should educate yourself about the process of menopause. A woman may have several issues, or symptoms (as the medical profession refers to them), but not all women will experience menopause in the same way. Understand how fluctuations in hormones are affecting your mood and your body.[Read our blog about menopause].

 

2- Choose an appropriate time and location

When you want to discuss an important issue with your partner, you must be careful to avoid the times they are tired or stressed. You want your partner to be able to hear you with an open heart and mind, so set up a time and place with that intention. Perhaps you can take a walk together or have a conversation over a meal or a cup of coffee. If you find that either of you is not in a good state of mind, opt to speak at an alternative time.

 

3- Use good communication techniques

When you want to communicate so that others really listen, you should keep good communication techniques in mind. In particular, it is important to remember that a conversation is two-sided, and you should listen as carefully and attentively as you would like to be listened to. Your partner will also have their own worries and issues to bring to the table, and the best way of being heard is to start by listening. When you are speaking to your partner, give them your full attention and ask questions. When you want to explain what upsets you, do not use accusatory language; avoid saying “You always…” or “You never…”. Speak about how you feel instead. Read more about how to communicate well here.

 

4- Explain Menopause as you are experiencing it

Be open and honest about what is going on in your body and emotions. It is important that your partner understands that the changes in moods and the impatience are not caused by them. A partner may interpret the change in your level of patience, for example, as a change in how you feel about them. They may suspect that you are unhappy in the relationship, or that you no longer feel the same way about them, which would be a reasonable assumption considering that feelings normally translate into observable actions. If you let them know that you are in the sway of hormonal changes that you have little control over, and which are causing you to feel irritable and snappy, they will be better able to  comprehend that the issue is not them and to be more understanding and supportive.

 

5- Talk about sex

Sex is an important part of a couple’s relationship. During perimenopause, many women begin to lose interest in sex and to experience a lower libido. This is, in no small part, often due to vaginal dryness which causes sex to be painful. If a woman starts to decline her partner’s sexual advances or to refrain from showing interest in the sexual aspect of the relationship, her partner may interpret this as a rejection of them, and this can drive a wedge between the couple. Sex is a sensitive issue and many people feel embarrassed to speak about it, but if your partner understands that this fluctuation in sexual desire is not because of them, they will be better able to deal with this change. On a more practical note, you can refer to your pharmacist or doctor for advice about what you can do to counter vaginal dryness, which can be helpful in restoring pleasure during sex.

 

6-It is not all about you

Remember that your partner is also aging. They, too, may feel insecure about the loss of youth and desirability. They may be experiencing their own issues causing them to lose confidence. This can become a double whammy with both of you perhaps feeling distanced from the other. It becomes even more important to speak openly about your worries and challenges and seek support and understanding from your partner. As much as you need their support, they may also appreciate yours.

 

7- Ask – Do not assume you know

Some of the best advice for couples is to ask your partner: “How do you need me to love you?”.

People sometimes assume that their partner would have the same needs as them. If they enjoy being given gifts, they assume that is what their partner would also want. This can be completely misguided. We can’t read other people’s minds. A better way to approach good communication is to ask your partner what they need from you. When they are angry, maybe they would prefer it if you left them alone for a day or two, or they may prefer that you make up with them before going to bed. Ask, and listen carefully to what they tell you. You should also tell them how you need to be loved. If you are complaining about a headache, you might appreciate a sympathetic arm around your shoulder instead of them telling you to take an Aspirin. Be as clear as possible but make it a request rather than a demand. Also, make it reciprocal. Listen to how they want you to love them.

 

Good communication is crucial for good relationships and learning how to communicate effectively can create stronger bonds and lead to healthier relationships. It is particularly important between couples as the added dimension of physical intimacy and the challenges that menopause can introduce into the mix can create cracks in the relationship unless addressed openly and honestly.

Communicate with your partner in menopause

To learn more about communication skills, click here.

 

 

 

 

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