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Old 02-04-2010, 12:58 PM
 
5 posts, read 24,361 times
Reputation: 34

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Or do I have to wait for nature to run its course and hope I get the woman I love back??
This is a post I never thought I'd be writing. It wasn’t too long ago, two years or so, things were good. However since menopause started our relationship is suffering. I won’t list all the physical manifestations involved, the list is typical of any menopausal woman. What I’m concerned about is my wife’s depression and our utter lack of intimacy. Not intimacy in the sexual sense but the gentle ongoing intimacies that couples enjoy. There’s no caresses’, kisses, or physical contact in our day to day lives. Zip, squat, nada, and zilch.
I’ve been educating myself as to what changes menopause brings about, and now better understand what a trying time it can be for women. There’s a lot of change going on here, and I can be patient with regards to the process. Whether the change is physical or emotional there’s a course to be run.

Unfortunately, due to medical issues hormone replacement therapy isn’t an option. (Refuses to quit smoking… If I could have just ONE prayer answered…) She has spoken to the DR with regards to the depression and medication was prescribed. The antidepressant worked for a short while but I’m not sure it is any more. That may well be a part of the problem, but I’m unsure to what degree.

I’m floundering trying to put my emotions into words. I hurt, I feel alone, I miss my wife both physically and emotionally, and at times I feel angry. I don’t want to be demanding or overly insistent that my needs be met. But the reality is I get a Hollywood peck on the cheek twice a day and that’s the extent of our physical contact.

She did share with me that aging isn’t easy for her either physically or emotionally. My wife has always been beautiful and has attracted attention no matter the setting. While she retains her grace and poise nature is going to have it's way with regard to physically aging. Is she still attractive to me? Absolutely and without a doubt. Where I see maturity she sees crow’s feet. Where I see a lovely figure she sees gravities effects. Etcetera etcetera. I wonder if she doesn’t see her mother in the mirror these days.

What, if anything, can be done to make this transition easier for her… or me? How hard should I push for physical contact? What has worked for other couples, women, and men that are reading this? How did you as a couple and individual work through this? Any advice, words, and constructive comments are most welcome.
Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
16,224 posts, read 23,098,901 times
Reputation: 24035
It sounds like you are being very patient and understanding through this ordeal. I would just try to sit her down and explain to her how you feel, and let her know that you are here for her through this, etc..but, she needs to try and help too.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
23,992 posts, read 22,910,397 times
Reputation: 23032
Im not there, yet, so I dont have any first hand exp. Have you tried homopathic remedies for some of the symptoms. Diet and exercise?
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 4,762,189 times
Reputation: 2753
I hope my guy is as understanding when I get there (which could be any time).
There was a show on PBS a while back: Dr Christiana Northrup: Menopause and Beyond. I HIGHLY recommend watching it (if you can see when it airs again or if it's available on DVD) or getting one of her books. It goes into a lot of scientific/biological aspects AND psychological AND gives sensible suggestions on how to alleviate symptoms all in a way that any average person can understand. (just as an example, in one case it can be a matter of needing more vitamin B6 or cutting back on carbs). She's funny too.
Good luck and hang in there!
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,610 posts, read 4,464,435 times
Reputation: 1462
Your wife is very lucky to have a husband who anguishes over how he can be more supportive to his wife in what is obviously a trying time in your lives. Perhaps the best thing you can do is just continue to treat her like the younger women she is longing to be and sometimes you may have to just keep quiet and let her "vent." Don't tell you that you understand what she's going through - cuz you don't! Just let her know that she will always be the woman who makes your heart go pitty-pat, no matter how old she gets and that there isn't another woman in the world, regarless of age, who could ever take her place. Tell her also that you will support whatever attempts she may want to make to lessen the unpleasant effects that we must all face eventually (that $100 eye cream may be just what she needs at that moment) but that she will always be your sweetie. But at the end of the day you need to take your cues from her and don't try to minimize the sadness she's likely feeling at the loss of her former glory. You're a good guy and once the worst is over and she's on the other side of this, she will be grateful for the support you've shown her and life will get better for both of you. Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,776 posts, read 10,131,531 times
Reputation: 11397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvertoad View Post
Or do I have to wait for nature to run its course and hope I get the woman I love back??
This is a post I never thought I'd be writing. It wasn’t too long ago, two years or so, things were good. However since menopause started our relationship is suffering. I won’t list all the physical manifestations involved, the list is typical of any menopausal woman. What I’m concerned about is my wife’s depression and our utter lack of intimacy. Not intimacy in the sexual sense but the gentle ongoing intimacies that couples enjoy. There’s no caresses’, kisses, or physical contact in our day to day lives. Zip, squat, nada, and zilch.
I’ve been educating myself as to what changes menopause brings about, and now better understand what a trying time it can be for women. There’s a lot of change going on here, and I can be patient with regards to the process. Whether the change is physical or emotional there’s a course to be run.

Unfortunately, due to medical issues hormone replacement therapy isn’t an option. (Refuses to quit smoking… If I could have just ONE prayer answered…) She has spoken to the DR with regards to the depression and medication was prescribed. The antidepressant worked for a short while but I’m not sure it is any more. That may well be a part of the problem, but I’m unsure to what degree.

I’m floundering trying to put my emotions into words. I hurt, I feel alone, I miss my wife both physically and emotionally, and at times I feel angry. I don’t want to be demanding or overly insistent that my needs be met. But the reality is I get a Hollywood peck on the cheek twice a day and that’s the extent of our physical contact.

She did share with me that aging isn’t easy for her either physically or emotionally. My wife has always been beautiful and has attracted attention no matter the setting. While she retains her grace and poise nature is going to have it's way with regard to physically aging. Is she still attractive to me? Absolutely and without a doubt. Where I see maturity she sees crow’s feet. Where I see a lovely figure she sees gravities effects. Etcetera etcetera. I wonder if she doesn’t see her mother in the mirror these days.

What, if anything, can be done to make this transition easier for her… or me? How hard should I push for physical contact? What has worked for other couples, women, and men that are reading this? How did you as a couple and individual work through this? Any advice, words, and constructive comments are most welcome.
Thanks.
I went through this years ago and if she's real lucky it'll only take "two years". It actually is a longer process than that for most women. One of the sad byproducts of menopause is that some women start feeling that they aren't "feminine" anymore and no longer "women". They can no longer bear children, they may start to put on weight, they may have problems with their periods...until that stops completely...and, yes, they will feel that they aren't attractive anymore. TELLING them that are is useless because it's what THEY think that's important to them. They may even see themselves as "useless".

I lost a lot of my desire for sex and it bothered me no end. I asked my doc about it and she had the nerve to say "It's all in your head", which I knew wasn't so. I hated myself, when I read in books, that menopause would be "wonderful" for me because I'd no longer have to worry about getting pregnant, etc. etc.. Well, I didn't have to worry about that from age 22 so that was a moot point to me. My then husband, put a LOT of pressure on me for sex but he was one who wouldn't be happy unless he could have it 24/7/365 anyway so I didn't take him all that seriously. I had been hearing that lament for years. That was his biggest complaint in our whole marriage and, truthfully, we did have sex often enough to be considered "normal". Just never enough for him...

It's good that you are educating yourself about menopause but remember one thing...not ALL women are affected in the same ways. I actually flew through it myself and didn't go through all the PMS type things, the hot flashes, the depression, etc. etc.. BUT it took about five or six years to get completely through it. Not ALL women suffer all the symptoms and some are badly affected by it. Some women find their desire for sex increases and some find that they lose it. My ex never realized how lucky he was that I stayed so level and unaffected. He also refused to read anything about it or listen to anything I had to say about it. All he knew what that MY physical changes made HIM unhappy. And there weren't that many either. I never gained an ounce of weight but I did feel like I wasn't worth much to him, except for sex. Which is another reason I got turned off to it. It's no fun to feel like you are only a receptacle for the man who's supposed to love and respect you for YOU. For some reason I could blow that feeling off for most of the years we were married but during menopause it did 'get to me'.

I have a hunch that your wife isn't 'into' the physical contact and intimacy because she knows one thing...it's going to (hopefully for you) lead to sex and, for whatever reason, she's just not into it at this time. My ex used to get mad at me because I didn't want him giving me massages. I didn't because he wouldn't have been doing it to make me, and my aching muscles, feel better. He wanted to do it to lead to sex and that was all. Why is it than men cannot seem to put their hands on their wives without it having to lead to sex?? I've always wondered about that.

Anyways...forgive my rambling but I sincerely hope that all turns out well for you. You might even think about talking to her doc about this and see what he/she has to say about it. You can read up on it, sure, but don't take everything for gospel because you can't paint all women the same. We are all individuals and things affect all of us differently.

Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:27 PM
 
15,408 posts, read 20,625,839 times
Reputation: 22169
Yes, you probably should go fish for the next couple of years. I had a hysterectomy, never took HRT and never had one bit of menopause-type symptoms, so I have trouble relating. However, I've known women who have suffered through it for years; nothing their spouses did or said was appreciated. I felt bad for them but, to be honest, I dont know how their husbands managed to get through it. Counseling would be good for both of you. Good Luck!
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:36 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,993 posts, read 17,907,008 times
Reputation: 14316
That does not sound like fun at all, at all. For either one of you and good on ya for hanging in there with her. At first I thought that maybe there's more going on than menopause, but by the end of your post, it seemed to me like she just doesn't feel attractive anymore. You probably already do this, but compliments are good and lustful eyes at her are better. You could just go by about once a day and look at her like she's the hottest young pole dancer in the club and let me know if it works--I'm looking my own menopause straight in the eye but it hasn't started yet and I'm madder at my stbxh for the fact that he won't be here to support me in this, than any other reason I can think of.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:48 PM
 
Location: in the good ol' South
865 posts, read 2,187,874 times
Reputation: 876
For as bad as it is for you, it's 100x worse for her, believe me. Get educated about menopause (both of you, that is), do what you can, ask professionals for help if she can't take meds, if she needs counseling, get counseling. But most of all, try to be supportive. This will pass, but it will be a bumpy road.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:49 PM
 
3,284 posts, read 2,981,214 times
Reputation: 1832
Menopause... is there anything I can do? Or should I go fish for the next two years?

As serious of a problem this may be for the OP, this is the funniest f'ing thread title I've ever read.
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