Wife+bitch+menopause

To the beleaguered husband who used those words as his search terms and wound up on my site, might I suggest other terms to use in your search to help your wife, or yourself it would seem, through what can amount to a very trying time. The possibilities are endless actually, as you might have guessed by living in the house with her. She could be moody, irritable, itchy (we all know that one), and can be suffering from insomnia, restlessness, fatigue and hot flashes. She probably feels like an alien in her own body. So go ahead and use any one of those words to search for help.

But let’s be clear here. You are hoping to ease your wife’s symptoms for her sake and not just yours, right? Because thinking of the woman in your life as a bitch is not going to help you at all!

Hopefully you realize you are both going through this now. Being understanding could be the best thing you could do for her. It would be nice if more men took the time to educate themselves about menopause and didn’t just think of it as something their partners are going through alone.

So though we women understand what the male point of view might be on all of this, as we’ve suffered for years knowing you think once a month it is your cross to bear when we have a period, I ask you to have patience and be supportive during this transitional time.

I know, I know, she’s short with you. She’s cranky and hot. Or cold. Or hot and cold…And she doesn’t want to have sex with you now, or maybe ever, or so you think. And maybe, if she has hives and intolerance like a lot of us here do, she wants to rip all her skin off or jump into a lake. She’s making you crazy with her mood swings and you’re tired of getting up to lower the thermostat to only have to get up minutes later to raise it. I know, it’s all been a big pain in your ass. But how do you think she feels about the whole thing?

And maybe, just maybe, as you age, and get cranky and fat and bald, your wife will still love you for your many positive attributes and not just search on the Internet landing, on eharmony to look for a newer model! Now I’m just being mean…

But I want you to really understand, bodies are complex. Yours too. And it’s no fun growing old when the body you’ve had for fifty years feels like it doesn’t belong to you anymore. So if you really want to help, stop thinking of her as a bitch, and start thinking of her as someone who needs a loving husband who understands that it’s not her choice to feel this way.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on you. After all, there are probably men out there that don’t even care enough to search for help of any kind. But let’s just use better search terms and stop thinking of the wife as a bitch. Life will improve dramatically doing just that.

DLB

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Posted in menopause, Women's health
30 comments on “Wife+bitch+menopause
  1. K.K. says:

    Amen!

    Well said, DLB. 😀

    (Have missed coming here, and commenting.

    Sprained my wrist, and so I’m not online much lately, but will be back soon. Wrist healing, so all is okay. Just hard to type, and need to rest wrist. Sprained it dancing, of all things.)

    Cheers to all on here.

    K.

    • Were you break dancing? When that wrist is healed you’re going to have to tell us how you did it dancing!

      Glad you checked in. It had been a while and I was wondering.

      Heal fast sister!

    • Steve says:

      So just sit back and let her treat men like crap…. She can’t help it like a child abuser or murderer… It’s hormonal.. BS Just another excuse for treating people like crap. She knows she’s over the line but is allowed to get away with it?? Hot flashes…I get it.. The body changes just like the teenager she screams at. Menopause or not, you choose your words…

      • james says:

        Spot on Steve… Screaming at the children, ridding their ass because she’s in a mood, but that’s okay right? she’s got a hormonal thing going on so yeah excuse her you fat, bald, crabby ass men.

      • Robert Jones says:

        I feel your frustration Steve. It is really hard living with this kind of person. Mine is still in denial, which makes it worse, because I start thinking, if this is how she really is without menopause, then I am in big trouble. At least, if she could just admit it, she could begin to get help and some medication. As a husband who really loves her, it is still very, very hard.

  2. K.K. says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the kind words about the healing. It’s coming along.

    Nope, I was not break dancing, though the image makes me laugh. 😀

    While I wish it were from something exciting (like skydiving, or the like), it happened in a grassy area that is always wet, lumpy, and full of holes made by various critters that live up here in the mountainous country.

    I feel down hard on my left hand (my non-dominant one, thankfully), spraining my hand, wrist, and arm up to just below the elbow. I’m lucky that I did not break anything.

    It’s healing, but stiff and sore, so I still keep it wrapped in a brace, babying it so I don’t hurt it again.

    Such is the “thrilling” story of how I sprained myself. 😛 🙂

    K.

  3. The gal who cuts my hair was out walking her dog one day by the bay and stepped wrong on something and went down with a severely broken ankle. She’s been in physical therapy for six months. Life is full of surprises isn’t it? I think we tend to forget what fragile beings we are.

    But thankfully, we are also resilient beings. Keep healing!

  4. K.K. says:

    Thanks. 🙂 Same to you. 😀

    Goodness. That’s rough about the broken ankle. Life can turn on that proverbial dime.

    It is amazing how we humans are both, and what the mind/body/spirit can endure.

    K.

  5. Rick Hewat says:

    Mmmhh! I am a little late to the party but have a few comments. I am a husband of a wife going through this and it has not been easy. Without getting into the emotional content, I have a few comments that attempt to be more objective. firstly, women often seem in denial about menopause. 2. The amazing support system that women seem to have in place during their lives seems inadequate to deal with menopause. i.e. women don’t talk in detail about alot of things and when menopause hits, hints, talking around it and inneundos don’t fit the bill. I am amazed that the sex that is supposed to be so in touch with their bodies (stereotype but culturally embeded in us all) fail dismally in dealing with menopause. Does the collective experience of women not get passed on? I have been astounded that women deny, won’t take responsibility, won’t get help etc. etc. during this so important time. Yes, great to say that we husbands should be supportive and such but why is it that men are left to their own devices during changes in their lives ( yes, the sterotype of the male, mid-life crisis), we are labelled pigs and unemotional and abusive if we under go “changes” but when it comes to women, we are supposed to be understanding and supportive. Stats show that more women are having affairs, breaking up long term marriages during this time than ever before. Sure, some marriage maybe shouldn’t be prolonged after children are raised and that job is done but there are many that don’t need to be broken that are during this period. Basically because of a lack of information and ability to deal with the symptoms of menopause. Enough said for now but there is so much emphasis on Women’s health that it boggle my mind that women (and men) are so woefully unprepared for this major change in one’s lfe!!!

    • Rick,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. It is apparent to me that this is something you are struggling with, as well as your wife. I didn’t want to rush to answer without thinking about this first, especially because I am not married and am not in a relationship right now.

      I was with my best friend last night, who has been through the whole menopause thing and is married, so I had a chance to get an opinion from her. A couple of the things she said, and I agree with, is that women do speak about menopause often among themselves. They just might not speak about it in detail with their husbands. She thinks a lot of guys don’t want to know the details for one. And on the flip side, women probably don’t think they even should share all the gory details. Maybe they are afraid of alienating their husbands if they go into too many details about how they’re feeling and what’s going on. Maybe they’re not giving their husbands a fair chance to understand it all.

      I agree with you that if, for example, the woman’s sex drive is falling off because her hormones are dropping, and a husband doesn’t understand that, he might think she’s lost interest in him rather than in sex in general. And without a healthy dialog, I could see how that alone can ruin a relationship.

      I can understand how women go off the rails in their relationships during this time also because, judging from my own experiences, they don’t even recognize themselves. I’ve commented often about how I feel like an alien in my own body. So it’s not just about their mate, it’s a lot about looking in the mirror and questioning everything. It’s very disconcerting to be floating along in life and then feel as if you don’t know yourself anymore.

      So in essence, I do agree women are unprepared for the way their bodies and minds change but I do not think they are in denial. You can read about it, but until you feel like a completely different person in the body you’ve had your whole life you can’t imagine the disconnect. You have to go through it to understand it. But failing to tell your husband that, I can understand could be disastrous to a relationship.

      I think the medical community has also done quite a bit of harm to the way women see themselves during this transition. Instead of supporting a body naturally changing with supportive nutrition and advice on how to cope, doctors and big pharma throw drugs at the issues. I’ve always wondered why, if your body is losing estrogen naturally during this transition a doctor would want to replace it. What the message is is that your body is doing something wrong that needs to be fixed. I believe menopausal symptoms are an indication that as your hormones change your body goes out of balance. Women can bring their bodies back into balance themselves. But their doctors don’t tell them that. They just give them HRT and send them on their way. In my book, women have given away their power to this way of thinking. So basically I agree with you that there is a huge lack of information and guidance for women on how to manage the symptoms of menopause outside of taking hormone replacement.

      I really do hope that if what has brought you to my site, what seems might be a disconnect with your wife I am guessing from the tone of your comments and might be wrong, can be fixed by sitting down with her and telling her you want to know all about it. That you are open to knowing all the details and that it doesn’t scare you. I think all anyone wants to know is that it will all be ok and that it might take some time to get through it but you’re willing to do it together. She has to make that commitment just as much as you do.

      I wish you much luck and hope you’ll stop by again to either further the discussion or tell me things are good. You sound like a thoughtful, caring guy that any women should make sure to hold onto. Remind her you’re part of this journey too.

      Dale

      • Steve says:

        Nice excuses!! Well thought out of course. Don’t take responsibility for your words or actions….

      • What would you want me to say? If you don’t really feel some part of it is uncontrollable, then what does that really mean? She’s wanting to abuse you verbally on purpose?

        Only you know the answer to that. I’m not there. But if she wasn’t like this before and she’s like this now, maybe there’s something to what I’m saying.

        My mother was incredibly nasty when she went through menopause. She wasn’t before. She was like a completely different person. It was quite a long time ago, but it was so bad she went on HRT.

        If you are serious about having a dialog, please write back. I would like to have the opportunity to at least have a chat. I don’t want to convince you of anything. Just maybe help a little if I can. You sound really angry.

        Just tell me this. Was she this way to you all the time, or is this new?

      • Aristotle says:

        Stop struggling with it Rick. Shag a few of her ‘friends’ and start to enjoy your life again. These selfish arseholes are out of control and if you let them they will convince you and everyone else that all their self created drama and problems are your fault.

        The modern woman is getting used to having all her own way. That is the truth of the matter.

        Modern women have been trained, by the media and celebrity, trash, culture to be selfish and difficult.

    • Robert Jones says:

      Good points Rick. The denial factor is what I am dealing with right now. I love my wife dearly, but I am human and can only take so much. My former wife of 12 years, had PMS on a scale of ten and was also Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I hate to say this, but menapause looks the same to me. It’s freaking me out.

  6. K.K. says:

    This is a place to find help, and understanding.

    If I may suggest to Steve, step back, take a breath, and start over here with a calm, open mind and heart. 🙂

  7. Dieter Baum says:

    £326,000, 2 seriously disturbed sons and a heart attack and a failed suicide attempt later I feel justified in saying. No one, no matter how menopausal or how much they might feel the need to find themselves (in some colleagues bed as it happened) and brazenly lie about it to their spouses of 14 plus years.
    No man , no woman has the right to be that much of a selfish shit and justify it by hormones.
    I will never trust another woman in her mid 40s or over again and it may sound vindictive but I would seriously recommend always keeping your partner under 38 no matter how old you are or choosing the gay scene. guys it would have saved my life , my pension and my children’s sanity if I had taken up the proposition from that handsome helicopter pilot when I had the chance. We could have had the kids with a surrogate mum or adopted and I would be over a quarter of a million richer instead of broke and at the mercy of an insane woman.
    Who will still not divorce me after she and her now ex boyfriend started the ball rolling 7 years ago.
    I am not a misogynist, I do not hate women, but I am now very, VERY careful.

  8. A difficulty with the sort of advice on these kind of pages – several offer similar advice to men.
    Try to be thoughtful and help with this problem, they say. But what to do when all of those thoughts and attempts to be helpful get thrown back in our faces. Constantly.
    If men had this same issue, there is no doubt that women would not have stood for it. For sure.

  9. Steve says:

    For me It was like one day she had a personality change, I went to bed with the person Ive known for the last 11 years, the next morning it was like she had changed into someone else, someone I didnt recognize, ranting and raving about washing up of all things, I asked what the problem was, she didnt know, I asked why she was attacking me, she said

    because your the closes one to me.

    So, I also read the advise offered all over the net:

    Try to be thoughtful and help with this problem

    I was very thoughtful and really really tried help with the problem, all she done was pushed me further away, I gave her space, that didnt work either.

    6 months later she said she’s done with this relationship and wants me gone and never wants to see me again, In those 6 months I was seeing the odd glimpse of the loving person she used to be.

    WTF happend I’ll never know, strangest thing i’ve ever experienced

    • I am so sorry for your situation. It’s heartbreaking to read this. I am not married and cannot comment on how I would have handled being with a husband when I was at my worst. I can only tell you I was very ungrounded. I felt like an alien in my own body. I know that people did get under my skin more during that time. But I didn’t destroy relationships. I just somehow rode it out.

      I just don’t know if she’s reacting entirely to the changes to her body and taking it out on you or if there was already an underlying problem and this change made it all bubble to the top.

      I wish there were something I could say or do to help, but I guess there really isn’t.

      I do wish you well on what is now a major transition in your life too.

      Dale

  10. Sasha Cohen says:

    I really like what you wrote. My husband and I struggled a lot when I started menopause. Not only did I go through menopause, but I started a mid-life crisis at the same time. My husband would say that I was a being a bitch but it was so hard to get through to him what I was going through. I worked hard to get into a better frame of mind and I needed a lot of help. I had a ton of issues with my midlife crisis and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. She has written two books but my favorite book is with Your Best Age is Now I have read it and loved it! I highly recommend it to anyone out there struggling with dealing with midlife. I got hit hard during my 40’s and this book really helped me to become a better version of myself.

  11. Scott says:

    Bullshit! Mine won’t even accept that menopause is a problem. Blames everything on me. I’m just about to give up. I’m nice and caring and still get treated like a dog. I got her some diamond ear rings for her birthday because she mentioned that she wished she had some. Three weeks and she hasn’t even taken them out of the box. We haven’t had sex in over 9 weeks and now I really don’t care. I’m ready to leave. Constant complaining and in a bad mood and when I mentioned her going to the doctor just to make sure everything is ok she went off. There’s no helping this woman. This is above and beyond what anybody should have to put up with. I really don’t expect to be married this time next year. I wish she would just leave and never come back.

    • Scott,

      I always find it so heartbreaking to read these posts. There’s really nothing I can do or say to make it any better. At some point if you feel your wife won’t help herself you have to help yourself. I hope whatever happens you find happiness again.

      Good luck,
      Dale

  12. JR says:

    DLB,

    I found your blog in a moment of extreme frustration and anger with my wife’s constant…let’s call it crankiness. First off, thank you for some perspective. Your article made me think about how I could better respond to the situation. I acknowledge how difficult it must be for her and that I probably can never fully understand what is going on with her mentally or physiologically. Your post helped me realize that the situation requires more understanding and patience on my part than I have been offering her so far.

    On the other hand, I do believe that people are responsible for their own actions. Regardless of their circumstances, whether someone has a hormonal imbalance, an addiction, or too much stress, we choose how we respond. My wife seems to take the position that it simply can’t be helped that her hormones are causing her to be irritable and short tempered with her family – and that we just have to deal with it. You also seem to take this view, which despite the nod in your post to the ‘male point of view’, takes no serious account of any stress that others may also have after coming home after working long hours, or of the impact of her actions on other family members. She doesn’t feel at liberty to act in this way towards other people with whom she is less familiar, so I do not buy the argument that she cannot control her behavior to some extent. In this sense this is less of a male -female issue than it is a matter of taking personal responsibility for one’s actions.

    In any event thank you for your thoughts – I found your persepective to be a thought provoking – if one-sided – tonic that cooled my anger, and it made me reflect that my perspective had been one-sided as well. Hopefully we can find some balance between accomodation of the difficult circumstances and taking responsibility for our actions.

    Any advice welcome!

    JR

    • JR,

      Thanks for writing and sharing your views. It’s nice to have a dialog with someone who is trying to really understand what is happening even if it’s all still such an upsetting mystery.

      The only thing I can offer, as defense of women, is that one sided view that we cannot control our behavior well. I am a high school teacher, and I can tell you I was a maniac some days and could hear myself acting like a scary ogre but just couldn’t seem to stop myself. It’s a horrible feeling to be a person who is always in control and then suddenly you seemingly have no control. It’s actually very scary.

      My reflection on why you see the bad behaviors in the house but not outside the house, in my opinion, is because your wife manages to keep herself in check because she is a reasonable person, but when she is alone with you she might feel she can just be who she needs to be at the moment without being embarrassed by the societal norms she faces outside.

      It’s so hard to describe to someone who is not going through it how awful it feels. It’s as if the ground comes out from under you and you feel very disassociated from who you’ve been. Have you ever had an attack of existentialism and felt you were disconnected from the earth and the why you even exist? That’s what menopause can feel like.

      I hope you find the patience to see this through. A lot of guys come on here at the point they are ready to leave their wives. I’m not saying some women don’t use what’s happening as an excuse to get away with bad behaviors, but many are dealing with tangible issues that even women who don’t suffer just don’t understand. They don’t want to be this way but they are.

      Only you can answer the question of whether your wife is using this or is just really suffering. But from your writing, I feel that your wife is suffering and not torturing you on purpose. My Mom, thirty years ago, was a terror. I had just come back from college and my Dad and I used to cower in the the kitchen before dinner. We had no idea what was going to set her off but we knew we were in for it. And she was a legal secretary. High functioning on the outside, a maniac on the inside!

      Good luck JR. Keep in touch if you’d like.

      Dale

  13. Rudy says:

    I’m one of those guys that did the “how do I support a bitchy menopause wife” that’s how I felt at the moment
    Your article is right on the money, I agree 100%

    I’ve learned the last 2 years to not engage, to minimize my sometimes big mouth (I have bad days too n mood swings) sometimes i don’t have patience or energy to attempt to make her feel better – she won’t talk, share or communicate – I feel rejected and abandoned

    I feel as her emotional punching bags at times
    What do I do? I go for a walk, ride my road bike, gym, see friends or family – talk in a more compassionate way to calm her down and make her feel loved and safe

    Any other comments are more than welcome- she is the love of my life- best friend n life mate
    I’m in for the long haul

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