How to Support Your Partner as They Undergo Menopausal Change

As your partner tracks their menstrual cycle, they may begin to notice changes that indicate the start of menopause. During this time, they may face challenges and discomfort that could increase their stress and anxiety. Being there to support them during this time is crucial and there are many ways you can help them navigate this change in their life.

Understanding Menopause

Menopause typically occurs in females around the age of 50 and is the reduction of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone production from the ovaries. This can lead to significant emotional shifts and physical changes that could be painful or stressful for your partner. While everyone’s experience with menopause will be unique based on their physical build, mental health, and more, there are a few common symptoms to be mindful of as your partner goes through this change.

Periods are shorter, fatigue can increase, and there’s typically a change in libido that can shift regularly. While hormone therapy is a common treatment to ease the symptoms of menopause, your partner may feel more comfortable trying to work through the development naturally. This means they may have more frequent mood changes, trouble sleeping, and feel more emotional over seemingly small incidents. As such, it’s important to navigate this time together with open communication, understanding, and patience.

Couples Counseling

There are many negative stigmas and stereotypes surrounding couples counselling – however, it’s important to remember that this form of therapy isn’t just for couples that are in crisis. Instead, seeking assistance before problems with your partner begin to set in can actually help to reduce the risk of these issues developing in the first place.

Taking a look into counselling articles from BetterHelp, an online mental health resource, can improve the way you and your partner communicate, debate, and resolve disagreements as you’re navigating menopause. It’s important not to see couples counselling as “divorce counselling”; instead, it’s a crucial step to help you and your partner open up to one another in a safe environment and discuss any challenges with a helpful member encouraging and coaching you both.

Compromises and Changes

During menopause, your partner will most likely need an increase in both support and space for themself. They may feel less interested in sex, have lower self-esteem, and feel agitated more often. It’s important to discuss these changes and compromises and to make adjustments to your routine; this helps to ensure you’re both getting the care or attention you need without making each other agitated or uncomfortable. This could mean more date nights, scheduled alone time, or even increasing compliments or small ways to show affection.

Expectations will most likely shift throughout the period of menopause. Because the condition can vary in symptoms and severity, you and your partner will most likely need to adjust compromises. Discussing your comfort zones, the changes in needs, and how you two can connect regularly will help you to navigate your relationship in a healthy way.

Finding Treatment

There are several options in terms of treatment to ease the change of menopause for your partner. As mentioned earlier, hormonal therapy is a common way some people help to balance the decline of hormone production from their ovaries. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a plant-based alternative to traditional hormonal therapy that can be developed to meet a person’s needs and preferences in terms of medical care.

As your partner explores treatment options, it could be beneficial for them to also consult a mental health care professional. While you and your partner may go to a couples counsellor together, encouraging them to find a personal therapist could also give them an outlet to express their feelings in a safe, individual environment. It’s important to remain open to their ideas and discuss your options with their well-being and safety in mind.

Menopausal changes for your partner can be a stressful and potentially scary time for them. They may experience hot flashes, mood swings, and other unfamiliar emotional and physical changes. As such, it’s important to not only learn more about menopause alongside them but also show your support and encouragement by looking for mental health assistance, adjusting your behaviour for their needs, and validating their feelings and challenges.

This article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

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