35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

by Magnolia on March 9, 2016

Post image for 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

I ran across this website recently:  Evan Marc Katz, Dating Coach. Don’t ask me how I ended up there because I don’t remember. I will admit to stopping and reading it though and I found what he had to say fascinating.  Mainly because, well, how many men and women do you know that actually understand each other?  Exactly.

I will hand it to him too, it’s a good site.  It also inspired a bit of thought about my own site here, since I continue to get my fair share of men contacting me with questions on how to understand what is happening to their wives who are going through perimenopause. 

Unfortunately, though, by the time many of these men contact me they have reached critical mass in their marriages and their wives have either already left or are in the process of leaving. In my correspondence with them, I’ve tried, often in vain, unfortunately, to help them understand what is happening with their wives and why, after years of wedded bliss, they now, all of a sudden “out of the blue” hate them.

Before I go any further, I need to say something and then I would also like to point something out.  First, I really do have great compassion for these men who reach out to me.  Often, they are desperate and hanging on by a very thin thread and are here just looking for answers, you know?  The last thing I want to convey here is that I don’t feel for them and the situation they are in.  Because I do.  Greatly.


That said, please hear this gentlemen:  It’s never, and I repeat, never out of the blue.  You may have been oblivious to the signs and signals that a marital apocalypse was brewing.  But I can assure you, unequivocally, the signs were there. I would liken it to the citizens of a city that sits right on top of a fault line.  Everyone is happy and life is rolling along just fine until the earth splits wide open.  Did the fault lines just come out of nowhere?  Well, no.  They were always there.

Had the citizens taken the time to study a geological map of fault lines, they would have known they were there and could have prepared themselves for any potential earthquake disasters. Yes?  And so it is with marriages and relationships.  There are signs.  There are signals.  Chances are you just missed them.

Anyway. In addition to the emails I receive, I also see a lot of search words like these that bring men to my blog,

“wife of 27 years all of a sudden hates loving husband when she’s in menopause.”

Usually, when I read stuff like this, my first thoughts are, “Wow.  Poor guy.” But then, I also can’t help but think, “Wait a minute.  Maybe she didn’t feel you were a loving husband?

Now, granted, I realize this is all conjecture on my part.  I have no earthly idea what is actually going on in any one’s marriage. It could be exactly as the search words say. But, something I have learned, and granted, it has taken me a very long time to learn it, is that men and women perceive, define, and give love completely differently.

So, maybe that poor guy actually thought he had been a loving husband for 27 years.  But, who’s to say that she didn’t try to tell him for 27 years what she wanted and needed from him and he wouldn’t hear it? So, like most women I know, she decided that she finally had enough and left.

I mean, I don’t know.  I’m guessing.

I do know, though, that women often complain that when they try to communicate their needs to their husbands, they get shut down, ignored or dismissed. A lot of these same men will justify their behavior because they feel their wives are ungrateful, spoiled, over-indulged nags, and don’t appreciate that they have worked for years to provide for them and care for them financially.


They may also believe that staying sexually faithful to their wives when they could have had more than a few cute little secretaries on the side is a sacrifice of love that is rarely, if ever, acknowledged.  Or perhaps they have always remembered birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day and feel their wives just don’t appreciate it.

Okay.  So, maybe all of that is true and I will concede that women really do need to acknowledge that their men do these things for them rather than take it for granted. But, gentlemen, if you have ignored them for the other 362 days and don’t realize or fail to acknowledge that women also have very deep, emotional needs that also need to be taken care of every bit as much as the light bill or the mortgage needs to be paid; well, I can assure you, there will be trouble in paradise.

So, anyway. As you may expect, I find this entire phenomenon completely fascinating.  So much so that I’ve skipped around the Internet a time or two to see if perhaps I could beat something out of the bushes on the topic. As luck would have it, I ran across an article written by The Sydney Morning Herald¹ in 2007, reviewing the book The Female Brain by American Psychiatrist, Louann Brizendine, who in her book, makes an excellent case for why women leave their husbands during menopause.

Dr. Brizendine says that during perimenopause there is a hormonal shift which occurs that actually “rewires a woman’s brain” (my words) in such a way that she becomes less nurturing, less motherly, less willing to put herself second to the needs of others and much more apt to decide that she’s had enough of many things that heretofore, she may have happily accepted with no fuss whatsoever.

So, let’s take the “27 years I’ve been a loving husband and now she hates me” guy, and apply this premise to the situation and well, you may very well have your answer. 



¹ The link to the website is no longer working.  You may be able to do a search on Google to find the original article.  I do not have a copy of it to download or link to.

No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post)

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Magnolia July 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I can’t explain why she doesn’t want to go to the doctor. Has she told you why? Has she told you she thinks she might be going through menopause?

Why would you take her menopause symptoms personally? They have nothing to do with anything you’ve done or not done. It is her body changing and she is experiencing these symptoms – if in deed she is going through menopause.

I do understand that if she’s experiencing mood swings that it can be difficult for you to know what to do or how to respond, and it can be very confusing, and stressful. But, it’s important for you to realize that her symptoms are not about you and are not a commentary on you as a man.

The rest of my answer is what I’ve already told you. It’s your girlfriend you need to be talking to to find out what to do about your relationship.



Shands August 3, 2013 at 8:58 am

Well I found this web site when I googled why I wake up hating my husband whom I love. I a see mostly men have commented here but here I am a women 41 yrs old wondering why I all of a sudden hate my husband especially when I wake up . As the day passes I try to dismiss the feelings because I do love my husband and think maybe a bad dream caused it ..but I know better after reading this because I do also wonder why I am able to get angry and mean in situations that would have never caused me to do so before even if they were a correct response. I do feel less nurturing and cold compared to my former self who was over loving and nurturing… Perimenopause I guess is to blame and I knew going thru it was going to cause changes but hating my husband ..what do I do? I accepted all the fault lines and have lived there happily my mind tells me nothing has changed and I can get thru this but I know as I am just starting perimenopause that this is just the icing on the cake . Some of the fault lines in our marriage are pretty big ones ..going to counseling for example is something my husband just will not do..so it is up to me to make this work and I want to.


Magnolia August 3, 2013 at 9:04 am


Every marriage is unique and should not be judged against someone else’s standard of what it ought to be. Many marriages survive perimenopause just fine. Those that don’t were likely unraveling anyway. That of course, is simply my opinion and should be taken as such.

If you are able to accept your relationship with your husband “as is” then far be it from me or anyone else to tell you that you shouldn’t. You are living it, no one else is.

And if you are also willing to accept (and want to, as you say) the primary responsibility for keeping the marriage together, that is also your prerogative, and certainly none of anyone else’s business.



Disgruntled Husband August 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

All my life I have heard about men having a “mid-life” crisis.. It sounds as if you think it is ok for a woman to have it, because of menopause?? Lol, you have no idea how biased you sound on this subject. It is NOT a man’s fault that a woman is going through menopause, unless you want to blame God… To NOT seek treatment is the cruelest thing a woman can do to her spouse during this period.. Sincerely, having to deal with it…


Magnolia August 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Oh, hello again, you charming, son-of-a-gun, you……..um, yeah, I’m pretty biased.

When you find out just how someone can separate themselves from their inherent biases, do please let me know.

You and I will become VERY rich with that book we can co-write.

In the meantime, I would HIGHLY recommend you find a good counselor to help you sort through all of bitterness you seem to be choking on.

Magnolia (who is definitely not feeling altruistic today)


Easy Target August 7, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thank you, Magnolia, for this very helpful website. I too find myself in love with a 42 yr old wife that is suddenly dealing with perimenopause. Our relationship hasn’t reached critical mass yet, but she definitely hates me. It took me a few weeks to realize what was actually going on. My initial response was selfish, and that only added fuel to the fire. I’ve spent the last week or so digging myself out of that hole, but now I need to adapt to this new normal. I am intrigued by the comments left by Shands (Aug. 3) and how she is lucid enough to recognize that her emotions do not match her feelings (hopefully that’s an OK paraphrase). I would like to ask Shands what it is (aside from going to counseling) that she would like her husband to do, or to change, that would help her right now.


Magnolia August 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hi there, “Easy Target”

Your language is fine, and any questions you have are fine as well. Women experience perimenopause differently. Some women actually skate through with no discernible symptoms whatsoever. Those women are rare, but they do exist.

Roughly 80% of women experience symptoms, and a large percentage of those women, experience the symptoms quite severely.

I’m not sure why it is that women feel resentful toward their husbands/spouses/partners when they go through perimenopause. I have my own personal experience, and I have listened to other women who have shared their experiences with me, but I can’t make a sweeping statement in general for all women.

I have stated many, many times, and it bears repeating once again (especially since I’ve had a rash of angry men here lately) and that is this:

perimenopause does not make a good marriage bad.

That is, if you have built a marriage with good communication, mutual respect, trust, and intimacy, no amount of hormone imbalance is going to change that.

Perimenopause can and does stress a marriage. ANYTHING like this can stress a marriage. If you were experiencing some kind of health problem that affected you profoundly, it would naturally stress your marriage or relationship.

So, in that regard, yes, when a woman goes through perimenopause, it does affect you and everyone else around her. But, it does not swoop in and make a once loving, caring, happy marriage dysfunctional and unhappy.

There are many men who come here who become enraged with me when I make that statement. They don’t want to hear that or believe that. They are convinced and refuse to see it any other way, that their marriage was “just fine” until that woman of their’s started going through this “hormone stuff”

And I will submit to you, Easy Target, and any other man who is reading this that that is poppycock, plain and simple.

While I appreciate your request from Shands as to what she would like her husband to do that would make things easier for her, as a possible solution for your situation, I’m not so sure that would be helpful to you.

Your wife is the only one who can tell you what *she* needs from you. It’s her that you need to be talking to. You said that you reacting selfishly and you are currently trying to dig yourself “out of that hole.”

Has your wife said anything to you that she needs? What has she told you?

One of the problems of relationships as I see it is that we get to the place sometimes, that we don’t want to listen to our spouse. We make assumptions, we close off to them, and no matter what they say or do, it has no credibility or holds no weight for us. There may be valid reasons for that, but I also think that when we do that, we are hurting our relationships ourselves.

As difficult as it may be for you to wade through this with your wife, if you really want to help *her*, then it’s *her* you need to ask. Then when she tells you, LISTEN to her. Really, listen.

If there is anything else I can provide in terms of general insight, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to provide that for you.



Tired July 4, 2014 at 11:31 am


I couldn’t disagree with you more on the impact of these symptoms and that there are always underlying problems. I have a good marriage, although not perfect, three weeks out of the month. Then the madness hits. It’s like one of our kids observed, it’s living with the “Hulk”!! All the screaming and criticism. She can walk through the door first thing in the morning and start in on everything she doesn’t like about me and every other verbal abuse she can hurl. I don’t buy into this excuse that this is just something women “go through” and that everyone should just be understanding. I’d love to see all the forums from women if the situation was reversed. I’m sorry but I’m just tired of it. Right now I’m just hanging in for my kids, because she won’t question a Doctor, most of whom ignore problems like this, and won’t get counseling help.


Magnolia July 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Hi there Tired,

Lately I haven’t been too sympathetic to most of the men who have found their way to this blog. Primarily because they sound like whiney little brats with no consideration whatsoever for anyone else except themselves.

To hear THEM tell it, THEY are the ones who are going through perimenopause and just can’t understand why I have no concern for them.

However, because you are here to vent some of your frustration and you are also doing it in a respectful manner, I will take some time to address the issues you’ve raised here. First, and most importantly, I would suggest that you read more posts here on this blog.

For many years I’ve offered a lot of compassion to the men who come here trying to understand perimenopause. I have stated unequivocally many times that I am very aware that perimenopause affects other people besides the women who are going through it.

In fact, I’ve told women here, and I’ve even said the same about myself, that it’s important to take responsibility for your behavior and actions. So, if an apology is due, give it.

What I will continue to say (and you are free to dismiss it entirely) is that there is a biological and physiological component to perimenopause that has NOTHING TO DO WITH FREE WILL.

Because if THAT were the case? Then we could also will away:

hot flashes and night sweats

erratic menstrual cycles


heart palpitations

vertigo & dizziness

anxiety and panic attacks


loss of libido

vaginal dryness

urinary incontinence

heavy bleeding

blood clots

hair loss……and oh yeah,

all that unwanted weight gain around our midsection

Because whether you care or not, “Tired,” hormone imbalance causes all of these things for women in perimenoapause, in addition to the horrible mood swings that cause women to swing from blood curdling rages, to paralyzing depression.

Ask me how I know.

I am very sorry that it is difficult for you to see past your wife’s behavior and try to understand that perimenopause really does cause these things. If you think it’s hard for you? You should walk in our shoes for a few months.

And listen up, sir, we DO put up with a lot of crap from men. Okay? Men are as affected by their hormones as women are. How many times have we been told that when men can’t keep their eyes off of a woman’s breasts, or their hands to themselves, or their penis in the marital bed that…..”men have needs” or “boys will be boys”

So, just because men do not experience hormone imbalance in the exact way that women do, doesn’t mean you don’t have your OWN issues that WE are forced to put up with too.

Maybe if you were willing to see things from her point of view, you might not be so tired. And if men “go through” issues of erectile dysfunction, or problems controlling their aggression due to testosterone issues, then women “go through” hormone issues too.

Unfortunately a lot of doctors (who are men) don’t know what to do about perimenopause. So you’re preaching to the choir when you tell me they ignore the issues. I know they do. And so do all the women who go to them for help and get nothing but a shrugged shoulder and a prescription for antidepressants.

And finally, let me reiterate one more time so it is the last thing you read:

I know it’s hard for family members when women go through perimenopause. It was hard for mine. However, now that I’m fully menopausal, I can look back and see clearly how crazy perimenopause made me.

It was a nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Yes, it was hard on my children and my ex-husband (who couldn’t have cared less how I was being affected, by the way…..it was ONLY how HE was being affected), but it was even WORSE on me.

So, please accept my sincerest compassion for you. But, also please understand that I will never accept and promote at this blog that you or any other man is a complete victim when it comes to difficulty with their wife or significant other going through perimenopause.

This is a women’s health blog and whether you agree with what is written here or not, the issues and concerns that are raised here are based in real medicine and science.



Easy Target August 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I hope I haven’t come across as an “angry man”. I’m actually encouraged that there’s an explanation for why she hasn’t been herself lately. That’s not to say that I couldn’t be a better husband. I’m sure that I could be, and that’s what I’m trying to do. But I need help, and I’m afraid I might need it spelled out.

I’ll admit that I’m not exactly sure what my wife wants. I have asked her. Sometimes she says she feels like she can barely function, and she doesn’t know what to do. (So I take a few things off her plate.) Sometimes she says she doesn’t feel loved. (So I give her a kiss.) Sometime she tells me that the way I handled a certain situation 20 years ago made her feel like she didn’t matter. (I can be a jerk sometimes.) Sometimes she says that she feels like I blame her for ruining everything. I don’t even know what to do with that. (And for the record, she’s never ruined anything.)

A couple weeks ago, one of the things she said to me was, “I don’t need you telling me that what I’m feeling isn’t valid.” That seems to be the big one. And I thought I was encouraging her, “Look, you’re way too beautiful, capable, and amazing to let that bother you.” Wrong answer. In hind-sight, it does sound an awful lot like “Just get over it”, but what’s the right response?


Magnolia August 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm

No, Easy Target,

You do not sound like an angry husband. I said what I said in my first comment to you because lately I’ve been getting smacked around by a few angry husbands. And I’m feeling a little testy over it.

Maybe what you need is more assurance that you are on the right track, rather than having it spelled out for you? Because from reading what you’ve just written, I see the “answers” already spelled out for you. Maybe you just need to look at it from a different angle.

First, if you don’t already know this, let me point this out……a lot of times what women want when they talk is for someone to listen, shore us up, encourage us, and empathize. To validate our experience.

I know that term “validation” has all kinds of touchy-feely, psychobabble connotations. But, the truth is, women need and want to be empathized with.

It’s very comforting to us to hear things like….”I know how you feel” or “That must be awful” or “I’m sorry that happened to you”

I know men do not communicate this way, but women do. I also know that you would never say that to another man. But, you are not dealing with a man, you’re dealing with a woman. So, this type of empathetic communication is something that women need.

Here’s another tip……if a woman wants something from you, she will usually ask. Like, “Hey, can you help me move this couch.” Or, “Can you help me hang this picture” Or, “What do you think about this situation?”

So, the notion that men want to offer solutions to problems should be addressed right there. If a woman doesn’t ask you DIRECTLY to solve something, it’s safe to assume, she’s not wanting you to.

But, if you are uncertain, there is never any harm in asking flat out…..”Honey, is this a time you just need me to listen, or do you need some sort of advice?”

Win-Win situation right there.

So, does she ASK you to take up the slack? Have you asked her if that is what she needs? She says she doesn’t feel loved? Ask here exactly what makes her feel loved?

It’s different things for different people. For me, someone taking time out of their life to sit with me and talk (aka, quality time) makes me feel loved. For other women, it might be gifts. For another woman, it might be doing something for her.

Ask her specifically……”What makes you feel loved?”

You can be a jerk sometimes? Okay, in what way? Examine that behavior. Let her tell you what that was…….even it was 20 years ago.

I know that seems preposterous that she would remember something 20 years ago, but hey, guess what? I remember things my husband did 15 years ago that hurt me that he NEVER apologized for. Even after I told him it hurt me. He dismissed me. Then he forgot about it. But, I never did.

So, address those issues if you need to.

Invalidating her experience and feelings by telling her she’s “too beautiful, capable, and amazing to let that bother her…” was certainly meant by you to be a build up and an assurance. I can see how you would have meant it that way.

But, what would have been the right response?

Doing what I told you earlier……creating an environment that made her feel she was entitled to feel what she was feeling, exactly the way she was feeling it, and that you supported her in those feelings…….

I KNOW that is not a manly perspective. But, please try to understand this. Women NEED to be heard, validated, and emotionally supported.

When you come in with solutions, options, opinions, judgment, problem solving techniques, or any other approach that communicates to her…..”Hey, what you’re feeling or thinking needs to be tweaked a little bit, and I’m just the guy to help you with that…..”

You’ve crashed and burned right there.

Learning to quietly listen, giving her all of your attention, and then plainly asking what it is you can do, or say, or be for her that would help, is always a winning strategy.

I sincerely hope this helps.



Easy Target August 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

So, to sum up… I’d just like to be able to do something to show her that I get it.


Easy Target August 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Much appreciated.


Patrick December 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Just exactly how does a husband “take care of his wifes emotional needs?” as you have equated it to a mans sexual needs. Throught this period I find my wife in an emotional wreck, mostley taken out on our chirldren. When I try to comfort, speak gently, I’m pushed away. Why is it doing things for her “don’t mean anything”. Just exactley how is it I should take care of her emotional needs when she doesn’t want me around except to change the tire or fix the house? I’m ok with waiting on her change, but not sure if she will go through with the divorse she threatens me with. Her perspective is all wrong on events through our 25 year marriage that she now finds nothing good about. Mostly I feel for her relationship with her children who want to run away from her mean baheavior. She also denies the need to go in and see if her Dr. can help her out. Just look for an honest answer on what I can do to help her emotions?


Magnolia December 18, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hi Patrick,

When our needs are not being met and we feel we are being treated unfairly, it’s not easy, and perhaps we don’t even WANT to see that another person’s needs are important as well.

You might not think emotional needs are as important as your sexual needs because perhaps you don’t have many emotional needs. But, yes, a woman’s emotional needs are every bit as important as your sexual needs. I would also go as far to say that physical needs of food, clothing, and a roof over our head are equally as important. They are ALL important.

And when those needs are not being met, they can become all consuming. Just a thought.

I would also tell you, if you haven’t already, that if you read a few of my posts here, you will learn that I am not here to make excuses for women. I am not here to bash men or to say that men are the problem and cause of a woman’s challenges with perimenopause. I sincerely do not believe that. What I am trying to do here is, first and foremost, help women understand what is happening in their bodies during perimenopause.

Second, when I can, I try to address other issues, such as potential marital problems, which can sometimes be problematic as well. I really do understand that when women are going through perimenopause their behavior and moods can seem irrational, and at times even unfair. I will also concede that the changes in hormones, can DEFINITELY color the way she may view things. However, I can’t stress strongly enough that perimenopause does not, never has, and never will create problems that do not exist.

Distort them perhaps? Yes. That is certainly a possibility. But, it does not render women incapable of rational thought altogether. Though I’m sure there are more than a few men who would beg to differ.

As far as your statement that her perspective is “all wrong” regarding the events of your 25 year marriage, I would say to you unequivocally, that if you are having issues and problems communicating effectively with your wife over marital problems, that YOU are undermining all of your good efforts by stating she is wrong.

Telling your wife, or ANYONE for that matter that their perspective is “all wrong” is going to do nothing constructive. In fact, I would say it is only going to make it worse. Quite frankly, I’m not sure that anyone would take too kindly to being told that they have it “all wrong”, which only suggests that YOU have it “all right.”

Not going to help you at all.

As a mom who had one hell of a time going through perimenopause, and who also, unfortunately, took it out on her young children too, I can empathize with what you are saying about your kids being mistreated. It does happen. I won’t deny it. When I look back on my own years when I was having a difficult time, I cringe at how I behaved. It was horrible.

However, I also took responsibility for my behavior and apologized to my children. A lot. I explained to them what was happening and that I was doing the best that I could. I don’t know that they always understood, but my taking responsibility for my behavior was all I could do at the time.

And yes, it is true, sometimes women just really do not see how their hormones are affecting their behavior. The same can also be said of men. But it’s important that you understand, any and all changes that are occurring in her body as a result of perimenopause are not a choice.

Women do not choose to get up everyday and have mood swings. We do not choose to gain weight, have our hair fall out, lose our libido, suffer from vaginal dryness, incontinence, hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, vertigo & dizziness, and a host of other symptoms which are all associated with perimenopause. We Do. Not. Choose. It.

And many of us have no earthly idea how to get help for it either. You may or may not know this, but when women go to physicians to get help with those symptoms, we very often get shut out. We are treated as if we have psychiatric problems or some other issue that can be “cured” by just taking a few pills. And unfortunately, they don’t work. Which is why this blog was born.

It is also why thousands of women come to this blog monthly seeking help. The medical community is damn near useless.

I may or may not have provided something useful for you in my answer to you. If I haven’t, I apologize. I wish I had a simple, all inclusive answer that would fix everything for you. But, I don’t. I do my best to explain what happens to women during perimenopause to men, in hopes that some of them might have a light go on over their head.

Some do, but most don’t. And if I come across as insensitive or sarcastic at times, it is because I am tired and frustrated myself. I pour my heart out here, and I have done so for years now. And it seems that no matter what I say, the average male is really not interested in understanding. They are only interested in understanding as far as it might help “them” get what they are wanting from the situation……usually to get laid.

I would recommend that you look around. Perhaps something I’ve said in the past might resonate with you. If you have any specific questions, by all means, direct them to me and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.



Dean December 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 27 years and have been together for 30. We have had a wonderful marriage with some ups and downs like any marriage. All of a sudden a few months ago I could tell something was changing. My wife has never spent time away from me. We did everything together but now she spends most of her time with a girl friend from work. She says she needs time away because she is confused on the feelings she is having about me. I ask her what is wrong and she always tells me she doesn’t know. I’ve been reading your blog and you always say that there is always signs, the husband just never sees them. It has always felt to me that we have had good communication and understandings of each other. So I have no idea what has happened, we were inseparable. It is killing me to not get any answers but I don’t want to give up hope. I just don’t know what to do anymore….


Magnolia December 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Hello Dean,

First, let me offer an apology regarding my statements on husbands not seeing the problems which are almost always there. I am very aware that it is entirely possible that men *might* not see the issues. And I also know it is entirely possible that you could in deed have a good marriage where both people seem happy, and then one or the other decides they are not happy. It can and does happen, and so, I apologize for coming off rigid in my views about it.

That said, please understand that it is not uncommon for women to discuss this matter among themselves, and it is certainly not uncommon here. It is safe to say that if women find common ground to complain about certain things, such as, they’ve *tried* to solve issues in their marriage and their husband thinks everything is great… or that men are often the last to know there are marital problems and usually don’t want to consider that there are problems until the wife is walking out the door……it’s a pretty safe bet that it is a common problem.

It is certainly a very real and common issue here. It is a very real and common issue which was a huge factor in the ending of my own marriage.

Maybe it is because men and women see problems in a different way. Maybe it is because women are unable to communicate their dissatisfaction in a way that men are actually able to hear it. I’m sure there are a multiplicity of explanations. The point is, I’m not pulling that statement out of thin air. It really is a HUGE problem for many couples.

So, I hope I made it clear. I don’t want to come across as insensitive

Has your wife said she is willing to seek counseling to get to the bottom of the issues? Has she given you ANY indication of what might be wrong? Has she dropped hints in anyway?

Because unless you give me more information there is not much I can offer you outside of very general suggestions, which probably won’t be very helpful at all.



Dean December 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Sorry I gave wrong email address, please correct. I originally gave deno201130@gmail.com and it should be dean201130@gmail.com


PKay February 19, 2014 at 1:46 am

Anger – I’m 51 and feel at the end of my rope. I expend a lot of patience on my stressed-out teen who is applying for college. I can still be there for her and help her calm and deal with life. But that’s it – I work, earn the family income and have no bandwidth for compensating for my husband. I am so angry at him so much of the time-and while I wish he were better at many things, he doesn’t deserve the of anger I feel (and periodically express). How does one know if it is peri-menopause or just pent up anger finally overflowing?
What helps?


Magnolia February 19, 2014 at 6:48 am

Well, are you experiencing any symptoms of perimenopause, PKay? And if you are, it’s probably safe to say that your anger and irritation with your husband could very much be exacerbated by your hormone shifts.

As far as trying to tell which is which, that’s like trying to separate your mind from your brain. :) Were you experiencing irritations and annoyances with your husband long before you started entering perimenopause? Were there issues in your marriage that drove you crazy and made up unhappy, but you were able to shift them aside and manage?

It is common for that to be the case with women, and then when hormones start shifting, buttons get pushed, and before you know it, those irritations which were on a slow burn, have now boiled over.



SuzyQ March 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm

“…and have no bandwidth for compensating for my husband.” First of all, not to be mean to the gentlemen here, but that made me chuckle out loud because that’s exactly what it feels like for me now at 51 (that and the wording was exquisite). With the shift of hormones away from “nurturing and tending” and more toward self, I can see how women struggle with the “systems” in place in marriage. I get the pervasive feeling that some men just want to “fix it” so it will all go back to “normal” and are not interested in growth and change along with their wives. I can assure those that want to go back to the status quo because it’s inconvenient for them will have the hardest time of all. consider this stage of a woman’s life like an uprising, and you can either be part of the solution or part of the problem. And of course, search terms brought me here cuz I’m down in it with an oblivious but sweet husband.


Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 8:24 am

Spot on, SuzyQ, spot on. Yes, men need to learn to change right along with their wives. Those who refuse are usually the ones who are the most unhappy.



D March 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Not sure where to start but I can see many parallels with other male writers here.
I dont know if I’ve been a good husband over the 24 years, I could blather on about what I did to help around the house and bringing up the children etc but that’s irrelevant and I believe in this day and age should be a given.
When I first experienced the onset of my wife’s menopause it hit me like a freight train and in hindsight reacted very badly, the coldness and lack of intimacy I interpreted as my wife having an affair /had stopped loving me . I am sure many men have made this same mistake. I don’t know if it has been mentioned but men of a certain age (50 in my case) are also likely to have changing hormone levels with a decrease in testosterone which ironically makes them more sensitive and in touch with their feelings. Unfortunately the two created a perfect storm I was very depressed and put on citalopram. It was only the thought of my three children (as I was of the opinion that my wife didn’t want me) that kept me going .
Things somehow calmed down, after a year I came off the Citalopram and we have managed to get back on track.
This all started four years ago currently things are tough again my wife locks herself in our bedroom doesn’t want to spend time with me at all. Despite her talking about trial separation under the same roof ( for the sake of not disturbing our daughter’s exams for uni in eighteen months time) I am going to try and ride out the storm and see what happens.
Often men are accused of being poor communicators of their feelings which is probably true but in the case of menopause there are no quick fixes and attempts to help will often be rejected. Its a tightrope, do nothing your marriage may fail, try to help you may accelerate the demise.


Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 7:58 am

Hello “D”

I honestly do not want to be insensitive, dismissive, or harsh when I say this. Because, frankly, I know that others are affected who are around women experiencing perimenopause and menopause. It’s just a fact.

During my days going through it, the mood swings were horrendous, and I said and did things that I deeply regret. And it most certainly affected others around me. But here’s the thing…..while it *did* AFFECT others around me……THEY weren’t the ones going THROUGH menopause. They were being affected, yes, and how they were being affected can certainly be defined by their own experience. And therefore, they could say, “I went through this”

But, they weren’t the ones primarily suffering from menopause. I liken it to raising my two adult children and my current teen. When a teen is hormonal they can spew their angst all over those who are around them. I currently experience this with my youngest who is a 15 year old girl. She gets moody, she gets snappish, she withdraws, etc.

I *used* to make it about me and take it personal. However, I was also going through a nasty divorce and my father died during that period, so I was very fragile emotionally, and so it was easy for me to place myself in the center of her mood swings and become a victim of them. Unfortunately, that made it VERY difficult for HER.

She would worry that I was getting offended or wounded when she was having trouble stabilizing her moods, and it made it worse. Once I stopped taking everything so personally, it seemed to improve. In fact, she even mentioned to me several times (and just again last week) that she is so glad that I don’t take her mood swings personally because it’s not ME she’s really mad at.

So, when I read in your comment….”When I first experienced the onset of my wife’s menopause, it hit me like a freight train” the first thing I hear is: I made her menopause about ME.

And as you continue in your comment, it is very evident that you most certainly did as it eventually led to depression. As one who has fought depression her entire life, I can tell with certainty, that a particular element of depression is that depressed people tend to dwell on their own pain and become very victimized in their thinking.

That is what your comment sounds like to me. And please do not let this discourage you. I would hope you could find a way to step back and separate yourself from what is happening to your WIFE and see that YOUR reaction is simply that you have personalized everything.

Yes, I know that men have hormone changes once they reach middle age too. And I see how this changes your temperament. Ironically, men become more like women as they get older in their sensitivity level. Perhaps that might be something you could reflect on and consider? You are perhaps walking in similar shoes to those that women walk in for most of their lives. And unfortunately, we are accused of being “too sensitive” or “too emotional” or too “something” by far too many men.

Now, perhaps you might be able to understand what that feels like? It’s not really great.

No, there are no quick fixes to dealing with the issues that menopause brings up in the lives of married couples. But, I will still remind you, “D”, that most of what I read here from you sounds like you are very much putting yourself at the center of your wife’s menopause.

I do not have any specific answers for you in terms of what you should or shouldn’t do. Except, perhaps, that you examine your tendency to be victimized in your mind.



D March 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Hi Magnolia,
Thanks for your reply I agree with your summary about personalising my wife’s menopause , problem was that like many men I had no idea on many levels.
As as been mentioned in previous threads men don’t discuss such issues amongst themselves other than at locker room banter level which isn’t really helpful. I do have women friends but feel that discussing the situation with them would be disloyal to my wife. I will take your advice (it affirms the conclusions I was already arriving at) and try to stop feeling like a victim. I realise my wife is having a terrible time, she doesn’t want to talk about it (which is fair enough given my history of projecting it onto myself).I don’t want her to feel I am ignoring her though .
Going back to the issue of sensitivity, I have never found women’s to be an issue but rather a desirable one. My wife has always been there to comfort anyone in distress(including complete strangers) I’ve always admired this and secretly wished I could be more like her. As you pointed out I probably am now!
I appreciate your frankness regarding your own situation as it is a great help in demonstrating how much I have made this about me and how much I need to stop taking everything so personally.
One day at a time I guess.


Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

It is not an easy proposition for anyone, “D”. I do understand how it bleeds over into households and a woman’s relationships.

It certainly affected my family and made an already difficult marriage excruciating. Most of what I’m trying to do here for men, is to help them realize that women are not choosing to go through perimenopause and have all these horrible symptoms.

And though we *can* say something like….”I’m feeling hormonal and this is not about you” to their spouses, it’s not always an easy thing to do.

And as I’ve said often around here…..I’m not trying to make excuses for women or relieve us of any personal responsibility. I’m just trying to explain what is happening when we go through hormone imbalance.



trs March 16, 2014 at 11:44 pm

I am very hurt my wife is 44 yrs old and left me five times in the last 3 yrs 4 days ago while I was at work she packed all her cloths and jewelry called my mother and told her for me not to contact her,all she does is stay on facebook chatting with her friends and I cant even talk to her,Ive bought her everything new jeeps a beautiful home but now she has gone and Im sitting here crying she was my best friend I loved here dearly,but I cant take the hurt anymore, is this menopause making her this way,it is killing me I don’t want a divorce but I cant take this anymore.


Magnolia March 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

I have no earthly idea, TRS, if she is in menopause or not. I would suggest you speak with your wife, and perhaps even a marital counselor.



James March 17, 2014 at 1:05 am

Firstly, let me say, I am no saint. I know this. I talk too much when I should be listening. I work too much when I should be at home. My faults can be measured and weighed as well as any other person. But I am now at the end of what my heart can bear.
James, I realize that you are here telling me your point of view and that you are not looking to be chastised. So, I will do my best here to be sensitive to your perspective. However, please understand that before I ever begin to offer support or advice to the men who come here looking for it, that I enter the conversation with a basic resistance to the fact that everything that has gone wrong is entirely due to a wife and her perimenopause symptoms.

And I begin by starting here where you have said you are no saint, that you talk too much when you should be listening, and that you work when you should be at home. If this is true, then you need to be willing to give equal weight to these issues that you are giving to your wife’s behavior.

That is where I want to begin


My lovely wife of 23 years is 45 and not the same person she was. Our three children and myself have been sad participants in the worst of “the change in life”. My wife has even cost me my job and reputation to the point where now I work long distance and can only visit every couple of months. She now points to that and tells our children that I have abandoned them. This is not the case. I would love to have everyone relocate inclusive of my wife but she is dead set against that. I do not blame her as we have moved around too much. As an Engineer I must go where the work is.


How has your wife cost you a job? And if you don’t blame her, why are you blaming her for “costing you a job” You have some contradiction here

A couple of years back I came home and clothes were gone, and a note was on the table. Three weeks of loss and pain I went through until I saw my children again. They were allowed to visit. She had checked herself into a house for abused women. Upon that, they eventually put her out as there was no merit. We have never argued or fought in our lives. Spending habits were our worst problems.


If you have never fought, but your wife is unhappy? Why? You have already stated that you talk too much when you should be listening, and that you are not present when you should be. Could it be that you dominate the marriage and do not allow for discussion?

If you are not present, there is certainly no opportunity for fighting. And if you talk when you should be listening, that tells me that perhaps your wife has TRIED to talk to you about what bothers her and makes her unhappy, but you wouldn’t listen?

If that is the case, then I would think she has a lot of pent up, unresolved issues. Is there any truth to that?

She will spend her nurses income and as much as she can of mine. I have constantly been the bad guy demanding bills to be paid, and groceries in the fridge.


Excessive spending can sometimes be a symptom of unresolved emotional issues. Does she feel abandoned? Does she feel you have neglected her? Women will sometimes resort to “retail therapy” if you will, if they feel they are missing something.

It is a way to distract themselves from pain. Rather like eating, indulging in alcohol, watching a lot of television. And of course, women are not the only ones who do this. But, since you are pointing out that she spends too much money, I’m offering possible reasons as to why.

I dearly love my the job and the opportunity. My coworkers are a joy to work with and I find the challenge to be invigorating. I would dearly like things to work out but each time we talk she is up and down. She stresses about money and is hard on the kids. I have asked her to seek help repeatably but I do not believe she is.


Is it possible that your suggestion “she seek help” increasing her stress? Does she feel you think she and only she is the problem?

That’s what it sounds like to me, and I’m not your wife.

I come from a large family. Even my mother, whom I have the highest respect has told me I have been too good to her. How is this possible? I am no pushover, I grew up on a farm and I am very handy. I know hard, hard work and I can lead teams through multimillion dollar projects with ease.


With all due respect, you need to keep your mother OUT of your marital issues. Your seeking your mother’s advice over seeking out your wife? That’s a recipe for disaster right there.

Not to mention, your mother is not exactly going to take your wife’s side over her son’s. I have a son. I know of what I speak.

I’m not sure why you are telling me that you are handy and can lead multi-million dollar projects? Is this another attempt to elevate yourself and continue to point to your wife’s failures and not your own?

I was not raised out of the church but I am not over churchy either. But my vows are very sacred to me, and I meant it when I said sickness and health. I just do not know how to deal with this increasing unhealthy situation.


It sounds to me that you do not know how to handle it because you are more focused on your wife’s failures than your own. Your mother sounds like she is more than happy to help you do that by suggesting you are too good for her. Which, can also be stated as, “She is not good enough for you.”

And if you are allowing your mother’s opinion of your wife to become part of your marital dynamics, you have problems far deeper than you realize. If you want to seek counsel, your MOTHER is not the person to be seeking it from.


On my first trip away she told me she wanted a separation. She then proceeds to tell others she is getting a divorce. I am home now on a visit. She is no longer wearing her wedding rings. Instead she has another in its place. I asked. She said she likes it better.


Given what you’ve told me thus far, this does seem like a logical progression. The question is, WHY is your wife behaving this way. Do you feel that you are completely free of any and all responsibility? If that is the case, I would say that the chances of your marriage surviving are pretty slim.

We went to marriage consoling and that worked for awhile. I have pleaded for further consoling and financial consoling but to no avail. She is happy. She sleeps in a separate room, enjoys payday and has her freedom from me mostly.


If the counseling helped for a while. Why did you stop going?

My oldest starts university in the fall, but my other two of 13 and 14 are at home still. I do not want to upset my wife further but, I am worried they may not be in the healthiest atmosphere. I guess I am hostage to my heart and hoping my wife will be able to cope with her change better and I will always be waiting. My kids tell me they hope she will become herself again but at the moment, it is so very painful…and pitiful.


I am in no way diminishing the effect that hormonal change can and does have on a woman’s behavior. It is a serious physical and emotional change which, for a lot of women, requires some kind of intervention to enable them to cope.

However, I will tell you what I’ve told thousands up thousands of men thus far…….perimenopause does not cause marital problems. Perimenopause does not cause you to talk when you should be listening. Perimenopause does not cause you to work when you should be home. Perimenopause does not cause a meddling mother-in-law.

Perimenopause DOES cause mood changes and can in deed exacerbate day to day life stressors and difficulties. It does not, however, create communication problems or other marital issues which you seem to be suffering with as well.

My best advice to you is to realize that you are as much a part of the problem as your wife is. And unless you are willing to accept some responsibility, then chances are your marriage will not survive these perimenopause years.



Waiting for my love to come back to us.


Magnolia March 17, 2014 at 8:21 am


Please see the italicized comments I’ve inserted directly into your original comment, separated by asterisks.



polly June 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Wow, I read your article and all the comments. They just clarify, to me, how incredibly different men and women are wired. Today I have acknowledged that I live my husband but I can not be around him. I have been peri menopause since October 2012 (or earlier) but the last year has been tough and getting worse. I have learned that stress makes my moods, tolerance, coping methods barely available. I have structured my life to avoid stress and toxic human interactions. My husband is needy and narcissistic, self possessed, he gets in thought loops for months on end. He is very verbally emotive, exhausting and draining. My personality is such that I allow a tremendous amount of acceptance. This has enabled him to be as he is. But, now, he is like listening to 1500 howling wolves scratching their nails on the chalk board…..is there a way to put a moratorium on our relationship until I find continued balance?


Magnolia June 5, 2014 at 7:00 am


I’m afraid I cannot offer a fool proof method on how to deal with your husband. It is true, many just simply do not understand, nor do they wish to try, what perimenopause does to a woman’s body and mind. I’ve tried to reach out to many of them, and there are certainly some who express a sincere desire to understand.

But, it’s an uphill battle it seems.



Hanedyz June 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

Hi Magnolia,Thank you, for this very helpful website. It helps to understand what perimenopause does to a woman’s body and mind. From your experience how do you percives divorce from the perspective of perimenopause and after having gone through perimenopause? is different now, there’s anything that you regret?


Magnolia June 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

Hello Hanedyz,

I wish I could say I never have regrets, but alas, I do. If I’m understanding your question, you are asking me do I regret how I behaved during perimenopause? Do I regret that I initiated a divorce when I was going through perimenopause?

Of course I regret many things I did when I was going through perimenopause. Mood swings can wreak horrible havoc on your life, your behavior, and how you treat others. A policy I had then, and still have now, is that it’s important to take responsibility for the things you say and do. I can’t count the number of apologies I’ve had to issue to family, friends, doctor office assistants……when in the throes of a mood swing, I snapped and bit somebody’s head off unnecessarily.

However, I also want to say as a matter of policy as well, that women do not need to apologize for how hormones are affecting her behavior. That is, hormone imbalance is not a flaw of one’s character and the effects it has on our behavior is NOT, and I repeat, it is NOT a choice. So, if your asking me do I think women (myself included) should apologize for the fact that perimenopause causes mood swings, then my answer is an emphatic “No”

Women cannot help having mood swings during perimenopause. No more so than we can help having hot flashes and night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, bloating, weight gain, insomnia, heart palpitations, and vertigo and dizziness. And these are ALL symptoms of hormone imbalance. Women should not have to apologize for that anymore than men should have to apologize for the changes in their own bodies when THEY go through hormonal changes……and you do.

Do I regret filing for divorce during perimenopause? No. I feel sad that I invested so much into a relationship that I wanted so badly to last and to give me the safe haven and love that I so desired. I am sorry that it failed. But, given the circumstances and dynamics of our relationship, it was inevitable and frankly, doomed from the start.

My marriage was deeply dysfunction, toxic, and unhealthy. It was also, dare I say, abusive as hell. Though it took me quite awhile to realize that as well. Perimenopause did to my marriage what it does to many others……it taxed it. However, because my marriage was also a very unhealthy and unstable marriage from the get-go, perimenopause just accelerated the inevitable.

My ex-husband would beg to differ of course, as he will tell you that *I* and only *I* destroyed our marriage…..but, that’s another dysfunctional story for another day.

I have said many, many times, and as I learn more about hormone imbalance and how it affects a woman’s life and her relationships, I feel even more strongly now, that perimenopause does not create a bad marriage. It shines a big spot light on it.



Hanedyz June 20, 2014 at 11:01 am

Mangnolia thanks because through your professionalism and experience you teach your readers that perimenopause is an inevitable fact that a healthy relationship where there is true love can survive.


Magnolia June 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

Not every marriage crashes and burns during perimenopause, Hanedyz. I would submit to you that those which don’t, were already strong, loving marriages where there was a good foundation of respect and communication. There are plenty of women who come here to tell me their husband’s are very supportive and loving, and that is how they get through this time.

Any other strategy just doesn’t work.



Jim July 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Is it menopause??? My wife had a total hysterectomy a year and a half ago. During this time I have seen her suddenly change from a normal, loving wife into something that is horrible beyond words. Anger doesn’t describe it. It seems that she works overtime to think up the most hurtful, horrible things to say to me. She often just walks out of the house and disappears. She says she’s leaving and we are beyond repair. Then she just sort of resumes being normal. It’s crazy. And it’s killing me…..


AddAnother August 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Your site is very informative. Yes, you can add another to the list. My wife of 31 years has decided it is time to “live to please herself”. You are correct – not out of the blue – she had been melting down in a most severe way for 9-12 months – but we did talk about it and she said she just needed her space to get her head together. What i miss in your comments is any responsibility to the person (either of us) for their own feelings and actions. There are many things in our marriage that bothered me (of course!) – some i decided to raise, others not. The ones i raised then became a loving responsibility of both of us. But the ones i did not raise, were my problem – if i kept them inside, i had to deal with them. By her own repeated admission, all of the “major” issues my wife now raises, she chose to keep silent on over the past xx years – -and she admits that our marriage was “great” until now. Ok, obviously not if we are here now – i get that. But literally abandoning a marriage that had no ‘open’ conflict, was outwardly loving, and committed for better or worse – with NO willingness to talk about it in any way is not “adult” – – no one would/should do that in any other setting, so why marriage and to someone you supposedly loved (at one time).


Magnolia August 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Dear “AddAnother”

It is not uncommon for women to want to do things for themselves once they reach menopause. Particularly if they have spent decades putting their own wishes, goals, and dreams on the back burner to raise a family.

I don’t know any men who have given up their personal goals and wishes to raise a family. Unless they secretly want to be a rock star and became a plumber instead, I guess a good argument could be made.

But, generally speaking, most men pursue their career goals and their educational goals (all under the umbrella of “providing for the family” ), while women shelve theirs to raise children, and take care of the needs of every one else in the family.

I gave up nearly 15 years of my life (and a foregone accounting career as a CPA) to do it, and I can tell you, there DOES come a time when you look in the mirror and say……”What about me? When do I get to do what I want to do?”

Most women don’t have the luxury of doing what they want to do if they have committed to raising a family and taking care of a husband. And when we *do* decide we want to do a few things to “please ourselves” we are met with scoffs by those who think that their mother’s/wife’s place is in the home tending to the needs of the family.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t have a basis for your frustrations here. I do not know all the ends and outs of what is happening in your family and in your marriage. I’m just trying to illustrate to you that your wife wanting to “please herself” is not such a major moral failing or criminal activity.

Why do you feel so offended in the fact that she wants to do something for herself? Why is that so unholy and unrighteous?

And just because you didn’t have “outward” conflict, does not mean that conflict and unhappiness did not exist.

I’m sorry you are frustrated and likely hurting as well…….but please understand that I do not believe that all of the issues you are now confronted with are entirely due to your wife wanting to have a life that is meaningful to HER.



GT670 October 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

Very informative site – I have read all of the posts and your responses and find them very informative to my current situation. My situation is that I was previously married with two children. One currently in University one finishing last year of high school – both my children live out of town and visit 6 to 6 times per year. My current wife has three children from two previous marriages- two daughters from the first ( both in University ) and an 11 year old boy from her second marriage ( his father passed away last year. I met my wife five years ago and we married two years ago. Life has had its challenges in that time, but we have always jointly managed to keep things together and move forward. Anyone standing in our immediate circle ( family, friends, ) would b the first to admit how hppy of a couple we have been, and I can assure you the feelings were mutual between my wife and I. She has admitted to me that she is going through menopause since last January and has shown many of he symptoms since hat time. When her sons father died last year, she received a large sum of money through a life insurance policy which was supposed to be put toward her son’s education. My stresses at work have been mounting for the past three months and it has had a strain on our marriage. I came home from out of town three weeks ago and advised my wife that I wanted to talk, seek a marriage councillor and I poured my heart out to her about how I wanted to fix our marriage and move forward I our life together. I advised her I would do whatever it took to make ” us ” stronger. She did not say a word to me and the next day handed me a separation agreement asking for a large sum of money and that she would be leaving the house. I have since found out she hs already put a down payment on another house and she will be moving as soon as she gets her money from me. Through the conversations we have been having, it seems everything that was positive in our marriage has now been turned into a negative. She is even throwing things in my face from before we were even married advising me she has been living in hell since she met me 5 year ago. She is cursing at me and calling me names. at this point, she has half of the house packed up and I suspect she will be vacating the house within the next three days. This is definitely not the woman I have known for the past five years and up to a month ago. It is like she has flicked a light switch overnight on her emotions toward me. She refuses counselling and her only motivation right now is to get out of this house and get her money so she can move forward in her life with her son. Is there anything I can say or do at this point to prevent he inevitable?? I really do love her but nothing I say or do at this point seems to be helping. Will she realize at some point in her life that we really did have a happy marriage ( only two years ) . I don’t want her to ever hate me but at this point, she has daggers in her eyes when she looks at me.



Magnolia October 4, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hello Desperate,

Thank you for commenting and I’m glad to know this blog has been informative and helpful for you. I’ve read through your comment and a couple of things jump out at me:

First, you say that your family and friends admit how happy a couple you have been….”but life has had it challenges….” You also say that you have jointly managed to keep things together. Of course, this is YOUR assessment of the problems. That is not necessarily your WIFE’S.

So, my first question would be……Does your wife share your positive assessment of the problems you which say you have had?

Second, you say you have had stress at work which has been mounting and it has strained your marriage. If you have only been married for two years, and you say you’ve also had “challenges” and then “stresses from work” which have made the marriage difficult, then I would ask again….. how does your WIFE view these challenges and stresses?

Are there any residual issues that SHE felt weren’t addressed to her satisfaction? Did you feel they were okay and she didn’t?

And since these stresses, and apparently “other challenges” have accumulated to such a degree that it caused you to seek a marriage counselor and then to pour your heart out to your wife, and ask to fix the marriage……..why exactly are you surprised at your wife’s reaction to you?

It sounds to me that you have quite a few issues and problems which have been building during the course of your marriage. Else, why would you feel you needed to “fix” the marriage. And if that’s the case, why would you determine that over the course of two years (which, by the way, is NOT a very long time to be married) that you were “happy?”

Your wife clearly handed you a separation agreement for a reason. And since you have said you went to a marriage counselor, and that stresses had spilled over into the marriage from your job, AND you had “challenges” that you supposedly worked out together……..I’m not sure why you are feeling surprised or caught off guard here?

Are you suggesting that her menopause is the problem? Because from what I’m reading here, I wouldn’t say that at all. It could very well be complicating the problems which you apparently already had, but perhaps didn’t realize how serious they were until now……but, just from what you’ve written here, it sounds to me that menopause is only a part of the issue.

I cannot give you any advice because I clearly do not know the full context of the issues. I do offer my compassion and empathy to you, because I’ve recently divorced and it’s hell. It is devastating and I don’t wish it on anyone.

However, if your wife is cursing you, calling you names and hating you with her looks, it is clear you have some serious issues you need to address. If she will not go to counseling with you to solve those issues, I can only suggest that you try to persuade her with all that you have.

Again, I’m sorry you are having such a difficult time.



GT670 October 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for your quick response Magnolia – the issues that have arisen during our marriage are as follows
3 Daughters ( 2 of hers and one of mine ) off to University
Death of my father
Death of her sons father ( from her second marriage )
her having issues recently with her mother and sister
my work stresses have always been there – even before we were married – we’ve always dealt with them accordingly
her physical health has been an issue since January ( not marriage related )
up until a month ago, she and I would state daily how much we loved each other in one form of affection or another
four days after her last ” I love you text” she is handing me separation papers
I have asked her to see a marriage counsellor and she refuses – I have seen a counsellor on my own – I’m not making any suggestions as far as menopause goes – I am asking if this could be a possible cause to ” I love you today ” and then four days later handing me papers


Magnolia October 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

Well, it is certainly true that when women are going through perimenopause they can experience mood swings. It is also true that the hormonal shifts can cause over-reactions to normal, every day stresses.

It is *not* true that it creates marital issues that did not exist before. If your wife is under a lot of stress, if she is grieving, and if she is feeling stress from marital issues, it does not strike me as odd that she might be ambivalent in her feelings.

I’m glad you are willing to see a marriage counselor even if she does not accompany you. At the very least, you will have a safe place to vent your own emotions and ambivalent feelings as well. I think you need to dig deep to find out what it is exactly that is compelling your wife to want a divorce.

It’s not perimenopause, I can assure you of that. Perimenopause is just exaggerating what is already there.



the song remains the same October 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

What a godsend to have found this website! I am 45 and have been spiraling downward libido-wise for a good year or so (although, I will admit that after 15 years of marriage — with two elementary age children, we still have sex 2-3 times a week). In the opinion of some, this is rock star status! We’ve had a pretty good run, so I am encouraged by what I’ve read regarding the stormy skies and seas that still surround me in this peri-menopausal state.

I have shared with my husband that my sex-drive has, unfortunately, decreased and that sometimes while having sex, he might as well be drilling a hole in the wall in the next room because I can’t feel it at all. Sometimes, I just have to stop because it’s painful. Having always had a healthy sex life in our marriage, this experience makes me feel less than womanly. Add to that, the creeping weight gain (even with exercise) and, what I’m guessing is a little depression. And yes, I yell at my children one week out of the month, too. Premsyn has helped, but I’m looking into additional herbal remedies.

The frustrating part has been the lack of affection shown to me by my husband, which adds to the less than womanly part. I’m not sure how to explain to him that my perimenopause has nothing to with his penis, but if I am exhausted at the end of the day and not even thinking about sex, it’s okay to still kiss me goodnight (and not begrudgingly) or even ask how I’m holding up. While I am sympathetic to the fact that most men are not talkers when it comes to emotions, ignoring me, playing dead (in bed — maybe he’s waiting for me to make the first move?); giving me the cold shoulder in the morning because I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow will most certainly not fuel my inner fire for desire.

It is a real and frightening place to be in. However, this felt good just to voice what has been on my mind and having a place to gain insight (for both of us).


M April 28, 2015 at 4:09 am

Why do wives leave their husbands in peri or just menopause?

I don’t know, maybe their bonding hormones have dwindled and we see the guy for who he is and not through hormonal goggles. Those bonding hormones have many young women putting up with all sorts of rubbish for the sake of the bond. Suddenly she’s enraged that she’s diminished herself all these years and craves freedom to be herself. Yes, I’m talking through personal experience…

Having your husband ogle young things while you struggle with losing your looks and figure, while knowing full well that a man’s sexual appetite for young fertile things never wanes and remaining appealing is a losing battle. Frankly, I don’t want that shoved in my face for the next 40 years, getting all those pity looks from the young women while I’m out and about. No I don’t want to just be best friends, he has been a lover and losing that is painful. Men seem comfortable to shove their wife into companion mode easily so they can still get the care and attention they want. Freedom to just ‘be’ with no pressure to conform to what’s out of my influence.

There are many reasons why women leave, that’s just a couple from another woman’s perspective.


Clueless May 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

So I desperately need some advice. I read the above and will try those things again. I have been with my wife for 8 years now we married late. The pass couple of months have been strange. She doesn’t talk to me often anymore and when she does its work related or kids and schedules, but when it comes to us nothing. She still tells me she loves me and I am her one and only. Then we finally got sometime together and she got mad and said that you think if I have open time that its for us, that I(her) can’t just be alone. I will be honest, one it was just going to be a movie and cuddle night and yes I wanted her but I asked her specifically if she would like to watch a movie and snuggle. Nope I want to relax and try to sleep. It was during the week and we had to be up to head out in the early morning. This has been the common theme. By no means am I perfect, but I do everyday strive to treat her like a princess that she is, she is my best friend and love of my life. Ok so now this weekend we have a chance to have time together for whatever, lunch, hangout, the sky is the limit. But she doesn’t even talk to me she doesn’t really want to be around me at all. She explained the other day that she is just mad and upset and doesn’t know why. I want to help her and whatever help may be defined as. I know I can not fix it and I know she is having such a hard time. I feel that every move I make, to be what I perceive to be sweet just upsets her. I will support, adore, and love her to the ends of the earth but I AM CLUELESS on what to do and not do. Please Help.


Magnolia May 5, 2015 at 1:39 pm


You haven’t told me if your wife is possibly experiencing perimenopause symptoms. You haven’t told me much except you are having troubles in your marriage. As much as I would like to be able to help you and provide some suggestions, I really can’t without more information.



Confused June 6, 2015 at 5:17 am


I’m Struggling. My wife has been open and honest about the menopause. At first we were worried that she was ill and searched the net until, after sometime, she discovered that her symptoms and age meant that she had started the menopause.

Relieved at first, it wasn’t long before fear set in, followed closely by resentment. I find that some how I’m two persona’s fighting inside one body. a selfish anger is threatening to over whelm a man who cares deeply for the welfare and happiness of his wife.

Though we haven’t been together long (5 years) we’ve always had a deeply passionate and tactile relationship. Then I began to notice a withdrawal, kissing less passionate. flinching at my touch, an intolerance to cuddling at night, and to be frank this hurt. Even now, with the understanding that this is caused by the menopause, the hurt won’t leave. I know that in any relationship sex tails off, but I find the other parts of the physical relationship also tailing off hard to deal with. know that the hot flushes means she needs space to cool off just doesn’t seem to help.

Obviously I’m only scratching the surface here but I am trying so hard to be supportive and suppress my needs and desires. What advice can you give?


Magnolia June 6, 2015 at 8:46 am

Well, I for one believe strongly is calling a spade a spade. I believe being honest with yourself about what you’re feeling and experiencing is the first step to being able to solve issues and make changes.

So, I am glad to read that you are being very frank about what you feel. I understand completely why you struggle and I don’t condemn you for it. I will, however, be very frank with you as well. She’s not choosing this. It really does have the types of symptoms and issues you are discussing.

Her physical changes are no different than if *you* were experiencing erectile dysfunction due to some health issue of your own. And it does happen.

My father experienced two very debilitating strokes as a relatively young man. In his 50s. It rendered him completely incapable of functioning in a normal way in his life for the next 20 something years until he died.

My mom told me that they could no longer have sex because my father was completely impotent as a result of it. She also spent the next nearly 25 years caring for him as he declined further and further over the years.

By the time he died, he was completely bedridden, suffering with dementia and could no longer control his body functions. She was right there through it all until he took his last breath.

Is this a dramatic example? Well, yeah. It is. But, it’s also an example of something physical which happened to someone that rendered them completely unable to do things he wanted to do. Like have sex with his wife.

It also forced him into an early retirement which put them in financial straits for their remaining of their years together.

My mother was worn out and exhausted from taking care of him, and yes, she too even got angry and frustrated with him because it took every ounce of energy she had and every hour of her day to care for him. The strain of their financial situation because he could no longer work also made her life very, very, VERY difficult.

But, she didn’t get mad at him because he couldn’t function. She understood why.

What if this happened to YOU? What if you were suddenly stricken with heart disease and were advised by your physician to not engage in any strenuous activity, which included sex? What if you were suddenly physically disabled in some way and couldn’t be a provider for your family?

What if you became very withdrawn and depressed over the fact that you now have to suffer with something that you had not planned for in life? What if, in your withdrawal and depression you didn’t want to talk to anyone? What if you didn’t want to be touched or approached about it?

How would you want your wife to react? How would you want her to respond?

Please know that I’m not condemning you. You sound like you are an honest man who is truly conflicted and I really do understand. But, I don’t think you are entirely accepting that something like hormone imbalance is a legitimate health issue for your wife to be suffering with.

But, in fairness to you, you are not the first man to think that. Women have been blamed and accused for their menstrual cycles and how they affect us since the dawn of creation. We’re called emotional, crazy, imbalanced, high strung, and told to “get over it”

As if we could.

So, here’s my advice, Confused, get it through your head completely that she’s REALLY suffering with something that is REALLY affecting her physical body and her moods. Understand that it is not a secret, nefarious plot to bring you harm or to make your life difficult. It is happening directly to her. But, you, unfortunately, are being forced to deal with it as well.

This is also called marriage.

Is it fair? No. Is marriage a fair arrangement in the first place? Heavens no. There’s all types of inequity in marriage and in families. We all have to compromise and tolerate and accept things we do not like.

I do realize that being forced into celibacy against one’s will could be viewed as going too far. As a woman who was frozen out of her marital bed with NO EXPLANATION for years upon years, and denied love and affection on top of it, I am personally of the opinion that it is solid grounds for divorce. I left my own marriage as a result of it. Not entirely, but that was a huge factor.

So, I have great compassion here.

But, in order for you to successfully navigate this, you ARE going to have to accept and believe that your wife is truly the one who is primarily suffering here. Not you.

Find out what she wants. Find out how she wants your marriage to be and how she views it in the future. Find out if she’s interested in treating her symptoms. And if you approach this properly and she opens up to you, LISTEN to what she says and BELIEVE her. If you filter everything she says into how it is going to ultimately shake out for YOU, she will likely figure that out and will be pretty resentful over it.

And as well she should.

This may not be the advice you are looking for, because I’m primarily telling YOU that you are the one who needs to be adjusting your thinking about what is happening. But, I think you already know that, or you wouldn’t be struggling with this in the first place.

Your feelings are normal and understandable. But, you’re still going to have to make some adjustments in your expectations or you will continue to be angry and resentful.



Petra August 4, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Just want to give you my heartfelt thanks. I always said if I ever had the opportunity to do what you are doing I would. if I could have had my ovaries removed I would have, only a woman who has suffered with this will understand. Thankyou . Love the fact that you recognise that the men also suffer. True they don’t suffer the physical symptoms, but they have to endure our mood swings , they aren’t all bad. We aren’t angels either. That has to be acknowledged.


Douglas August 27, 2015 at 5:42 am

Hello Magnolia I am an American living in Slovakia My wife Slovak we have a little girl 8 and a step daughter 26.

For the last 6 to 9 months as I may have not seen it at first my wife has a hatred to me (Wife 48 years old) She has all the symptoms of Menopause , Sever lower back pain , Extreme periods sometimes lasting for weeks (excess bleeding ), Unusual times of her period. For the last 4 years I always noticed she was going to begin her period as she became very sensitive and aggressive toward me and out younger child , but now she is just permanently hateful to me, cut ties with our friends and adopted two others as her friends , both with spousal problems ( one is a distant cousin of hers the other a neighbor) .

She had a year ago a falling out with her Parents and Brother (Financial dispute) Her Mother is a retired Nurse and I have talked to her about this problem I am having , ( I do not speak Slovak and her mother speaks a little german so understanding is challenging)

Doctors in this Village have out of date medical mentalities. WHat can I do ? Should I go to her Doctor with her mother or some one and talk to him about what can be done? (Hypocritical oaths are broken all the time of patient privacy here in Slovakia)

I and my little girl are walking on pins and needles around my wife . I provided her with a Nice home and for ten years she never had to obtain a job We live on a budget and are expanding the house I originally thought that was why she was angry with me as finances are difficult on the expansion she wanted.

Thank you in advance for any advice or comment.


Magnolia August 27, 2015 at 11:11 pm


Does your wife hate you with no explanation at all? You are giving me your observations (and I do not dispute that what you are experiencing is true), I just wonder what your wife has to say over why she is angry?



James September 10, 2015 at 10:01 pm

I found this site by accident and everything here describes my life! My 44 wife of 26 years is moody, complains all the time and is impossible to live with! You can’t do anything right, I’m dumb and marriage counciling didn’t help. I spoke to other men and they said to stay busy and avoid your wife at all cost, then it will finally blow over. I’m a very loving and understanding husband, but I’m running out of patience!


Magnolia September 11, 2015 at 9:29 am

Hi James,

I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time coping with what your wife is going through. If you have seen a marriage counselor, then I’m assuming that your marriage also hasn’t been hunky dorie all these years. Which also tells me that your wife’s hormonal changes are not the primary issue.

A refrain I repeat ad nauseum here. Perhaps one day, someone will actually hear what I’m saying and a light bulb will go off over their hand. Until then, I’ll keep repeating it: Your wife’s hormonal changes are NOT the cause of your marital problems. It WILL however, shine a very bright light on them.

In the meantime, I would suggest that you not speak to other men about a woman’s issue. And as a woman who was married to a man whose only response to marital issues was to put his head down and ignore it……don’t do that.

I’m divorced.



NotCrazy September 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Thank you.


Steve November 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm


Thank you for creating this site for this specific topic. I am eager to seek insights into this phenomenon and have learned a great deal over my lunch hour today–as I have been experiencing similar issues with my wife of 20+ years.

I am a faithful (55 yr old) husband that has always been committed to learning what I can, growing, and modifying my approach where I can to better support my wife (50 yrs old) and our family as she continues to deal with this change in her life. I have always believed in working to see things from multiple angles (from other peoples’ perspectives) until I feel I have a good sense of what I am facing, and then I work to help build collaboration.

We too are one of those families with children (two teenage daughters, 16 and 15) who seem to be hungering for a stronger healthier relationship with their mother, my wife. They often communicate how they are talked over, not acknowledged, and not encouraged to express their thoughts. In other words, they are constantly feeling run over, inadequate, and responsible for making their mother angry most of the time they are together. I too can relate to what our daughters are sharing as this is how I feel much of the time to. I realize too that my wife’s behavior characteristics preceded her perimenopause stage, but that doesn’t make her a bad person.

On a separate but related note, I am puzzled by the comparison made that women’s perimenopause driven emotions are somehow similar to a man’s sexual needs. I would argue they are not equivalent but, if it is being used as a point of reference, then I get it. I just feel that men and women are designed very different, we are wired differently, both emotionally and biologically, and, unlike women who eventually move beyond perimenopause, men have to fight their basic instinct on a daily basis throughout most of their life. That, I believe, would be one of the distinctions between the comparison made. Again, however, I would agree if the comparison is simply being used as a reference point–to help us men begin to understand the perimenopause phenomenon!

A second note I would like to raise is that nowhere in the blog (I apologize if I missed it) are women ever encouraged to take some level of responsibility for the perimenopause induced behavior changes and maybe how to help them effectively self-manage these changes, not to mention the sensitive interactions and relationships with the family. I think encouraging women to take ownership or take accountability for their behavior would be an important start, something I always encourage our daughters. After all, the family never asked for the perimenopause either!

Thank you for hearing me through!


Magnolia November 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Hello Steve,

Thank you for reading and for your comment. As I read through your daughter’s complaints about their relationship with their mother, my first thought was..”What was their relationship like *before* their mother began going through perimenopause?” But, you answered that question in the last statement of your paragraph that her “behavior characteristics preceded perimenopause” So perhaps what they are experiencing now is more of the same, just a bit more emotionally charged due to the hormone imbalance?

I’m not sure if you are asking me anything specific or simply making a few observations. However, I will respond to what you have called your puzzlement at my conflating a woman’s hormone issues during perimenopause to a man’s sex drive. Here’s the point: they are both hormonally driven. They are not the same in that emotions and sexual desire are two different things “I guess”

I mean, an argument can certainly be made that a sexual appetite can also have an emotional component as well. Certainly for women. And believe it or not, women can also have a very strong sex drive that is primarily physical. But, by and large, I think we can agree that a sex drive is a complex hormonal response? No? Perimenopause is a complex hormonal response too. You can think of it as hormonal wiring shorting out.

Given that mood changes during perimenopause are driven by hormones, then yes, in that regard they are the same. Hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, crashing fatigue, weight gain, and other secondary health issues such as adrenal fatigue and thyroid dysfunction are also hormonally induced as well.

The point I’m trying to make is that women can no more “control” their emotional changes (or ANY of the other symptoms) due to hormone fluctuations than men can “control” their desire for sex that is driven by hormones as well. Men can also not “control” facial hair growth, or the density of their muscle mass, or even the changing of their voice during puberty…..as these are all hormonally driven as well.

Labor and delivery is hormonally driven. The overwhelming nurturing instinct that women feel (an instinct by the way that can lead to violence if we think harm is about to come to our newborn) in the immediate weeks post-partum. Hormones cause post-partum depression. None of that is under anyone’s “control”

As much as I appreciate your tone (and I say that sincerely) I do hear the usual suggestions in your comments……”Why can’t women control it?” “I can control MY emotions, so why can’t SHE?” And in fact, you even state that women and men are designed and wired very differently, yet, you still want to compare YOUR ability to control yourself, with your WIFE’S inability to control herself.

Why is that? But, it is a common theme here, Steve. You’re not the first man to suggest it, believe me. So, I can see it and hear it coming a mile away.

And to address your final comment, which is a less passive-aggressive suggestion that women should control themselves, the answer to your question is “Yes, I DO believe that women bear some responsibility for their behavior and interactions during perimenopause”

If you take the time to read more of my articles you will find that I’ve said it countless times over the years. I say it because I believe it’s true. During my own years of perimenoapause, I would have horrible mood swings. I said awful things to my children and my husband. I would literally rage so hard my head would hurt the next day.

Once the mood swings passed, I would then fall into a pit of depression and despair. Then, once that passed, and I felt better, I did what I called my “apology tour” I would explain to my children what I had just been through and yes, I would apologize for things I said and ask for their forgiveness. I apologized profusely to my husband as well. Though, he wasn’t as forgiving, and like you, felt I should just “get a grip”

In fact, his lack of real sensitivity and judgment during that time was a HUGE catalyst for my seeking a divorce. He was a creep to me. And in case you are wondering….he’s STILL a creep.

But, I digress.

Yes, women should understand what is happening in their bodies and if they behave badly, own it. But, they DON’T have any personal responsibility for what compels the mood swings. I.E. “hormone imbalance” So, your not-so-subtle-suggestion that women really could, if they would just dig deep enough, control themselves, it NOT based in truth or accuracy as it pertains to perimenopause. Hell, it’s not even based in science or biology.

I’m sorry that your wife is having a difficult time and that it is spilling over into your family. It is difficult that is for certain. However, perhaps you can mention to your daughters since they are clearly of menstruating age, that what their mother is experiencing is what THEY go through once a month just prior to getting their own menstrual cycle…….menopause is PMS on steriods.

No, the family didn’t ask for perimenopause, but the family can try to understand that our wife didn’t ask for it either. Your daughters don’t ask for PMS, and you don’t ask for a sex drive that you must “fight to control on a daily basis”



Ron January 15, 2016 at 7:10 pm

As usual, most of what goes on in a woman’s head during this time (how they think) needs to be explained as the Natural Occurrence that all women go through, and we as men need to show the compassion necessary to help our wives or partners through this trying time. Some women skate through this with no problem and others it is completely debilitating.

Going to the internet for explanations and help for men, is a waste of your time unless you haven’t had enough of how supportive you need to be to your spouse. If you haven’t had enough of this keep reading. I guarantee you can find all you want on that supportive role until your sick in the head yourself.

Don’t misunderstand me here though, you need to learn what is going on with her and do everything you can to understand it and rise to the challenge where you can. This is critical! However, there is virtually nothing you will find that will support what you are going through, and the constant uncertainty of where your relationship is going. Walking on egg shell 24/7 is putting it mildly.

The excuse that something else went array in your relationship that caused this to happen just doesn’t cut it with me. Or, that it has been there for some time and we just didn’t see it. If you have for years openly communicated with your wife over various issues that were roadblocks in your relationship, and did your part in addressing and working on them, then prior issues don’t seem to hold a lot of weight for the root reason she has left you emotionally and every other way.

I am tired of all the excuses for the abusive behavior that is brought on by Menopause. The articles on the internet are there primarily to convince you that this time will pass and you just need to show a little more understanding and compassion for your partner.

If you have had a very sincere, loving relationship with your partner for years, and then they all of a sudden hate you, something major is definitely going on that you yourself need not feel guilty about. Call it Hormones or whatever you like, but what most of us go through is very real and very damaging long term to the relationship.

In my situation and I would guess many of you, the constant confrontation about what your NOT always gets put on the table. You will never have the last word, and if you do, it will be the wrong one.

I love my wife, and I have carried out the vows in front of God at the alter to love her in sickness and in health unconditionally. However men, I get that it is challenging most of the time and I wish I had an answer for you. Spend more time in prayer, find whatever resources that are out there about taking care of yourself during this time. For your own sanity, you have to be a little selfish here.

Here is what seems to work for me: Being that she is or has made that Valiant Journey of Change, it is also a time where you need to change things for yourself as well. Spend more time away, go fishing, take the trip to the coast by yourself or with a friend, and give her the space to now deal with the new person she has become.

You will find more new found freedoms for yourself and if your not there, then she cannot blame you for what is going on in her life anymore, and may just force her to make the appropriate decisions about what’s best for her new life. What you need to be prepared for, is that that may not include you anymore. If that ends up being the case, then I am truly sorry. Life is meant to be lived, and going through life blaming yourself for a physiological issue with her not brought on by you, could be damaging.

Do not take that bait and move ahead with your life with no guilt. The older I get the more I realize how much I do not control in life. This one my friends, is a no win situation!. As men, we have the profound instinct built into us that “We Need To Fix Things”. You just need to let it take its course and realize that all you can do is remain kind and loving to the best of your ability. Depending on your situation, you all will have a varying threshold as to how much of this you can take.

Unfortunately, it is sad that virtually no resources are available for men, and that it conveniently is forgotten that in some small way we have become victims of this Natural Phenomenon affecting our mates. I will tell you though, that I found one book that really helped me through this change of life with my wife. When you can, go pick up the book “Where Did My Wife Go” . It is written by a man for a man, and explains in common sense what you can do for helping protect your own dignity during this challenging time.

I wish you all the best, and if your partner is willing to understand how all this affects you, then I would applaud her. If not, well, it is what it is my friend!


Magnolia January 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Hello Ron,

Thank you for your comments. I’ve read it countless times and have considered for days and days how I should respond to you. That is because I am in the middle of writing a book directly toward men as it pertains to perimenopause and menopause. You have said that there are no resources for men to understand this. And I couldn’t agree with you more. There really isn’t much out there to speak of.

If you are looking to men, however, to explain women, I suspect you will continue to be confused and frustrated. Yeah, you can certainly find some “misery loves company” support from other men, and truthfully, I think that can be helpful sometimes. We all need to be heard, understood and supported. So, I certainly don’t slam you or other men who look to the “brotherhood” to find emotional support and bonding.

But, it won’t help you understand women. At best, you will get another man’s opinion on what women are and are not. But, you really won’t get inside a woman’s head, neither will you understand what REALLY happens to women when they go through perimenopause. You will only understand how MEN feel about it, and how MEN experience women going through perimenopause.

If, however, you sincerely want to understand what to do and how to respond to a female health issue, it might behoove you to ask a woman. IF you want to really understand it. If I want to learn calculus, I don’t read history books. It’s really that simple.



Rob March 12, 2016 at 8:15 am

I have been struggling recently with my own patience.
My wife has been going through this for about 3 years. I have found it very difficult to handle as she refuses to discuss the situation. In summary, she hates me. We no longer have sex. Our 3 children have all left home. (My step children) she has said when the children left it was time for her. I thought it would be time for us. We don’t do anything together. I have tried. I feel exhausted. I work hard. I get home and she can’t even look at me. She has told me that I have done nothing wrong. It is all her fault. She has turned from the kindest caring person I have ever met into a woman with no feelings at all. Will she ever get those parts of her character back that I love. I love her deeply. I just have run out of ideas. I am just tired. It’s exhausting living with someone that hates you. Yes I know it’s not personal. I am the one trying to cope with this. Yes I also know she is the one going through it. I just need to say this to someone as a release. I am at a complete loss anymore. She will not take any medication and has recently stopped taking the pill. This has not changed a thing. I tried to comfort her and touched her shoulder. I was blasted and she said I don’t want to be touched. Is this normal? It seems extreme to me. I just have so many questions and no answers. She seems to be the only one who can answer me.


Magnolia March 12, 2016 at 11:52 am

Yes, Rob, you are correct, she IS the only one who can answer you and tell you what is bothering her. And I know it may *seem* that she has “no feelings at all.” But, I can assure you that she does. They just may be very confusing.

I don’t know if you’ll understand this or not, but I’m going to put it out there anyway. It is VERY common for women to feel that it is “their time” after children grow up and move out. Most women who stay home and raise children and support their husband’s career often feel like they are nothing more than a springboard for other people’s lives.

To mother a child takes A LOT of self-sacrifice. We put up with a lot beginning with handing over our body to allow a human being to grow inside it and stretch every which way to Sunday, never to be the same again. And that’s just what happens with one child. If women carry several children, they don’t recognize their body anymore. That can be very distressing to some women. Especially if (like me) they have a beautiful, lean, muscular body before child birth. After child birth, there is this mess of a body left staring back at you that you don’t even recognize anymore.

So, there’s that.

Then, if you nurse a child, you’re also giving up your body to become the main and perhaps only source of sustenance for at least a few months. Your body is no longer your own. It belongs to the suckling child. Then as we raise them we face years of thankless, exhausting, and draining physical, emotional, and mental work. I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it is to be with children day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year. After a while, you feel invisible and useless outside of giving to other people.

It is a high and holy calling, that is for sure. And as far as I’m concerned, raising children is THE most honorable job on this planet. But, that doesn’t mean others value it, notice it, or even appreciate it. And that’s just raising the children. If we’ve also given up our own careers (which I did, by the way) to support our husband’s career, well, once again, we are nothing more than just a place holder in someone else’s life. We cheer on THEIR accomplishments, THEIR growth, THEIR advancement, while we smell like baby puke and left over Spaghetti-O’s crusted on our blouse that no one notices.

That does something to women, Rob. Especially if we feel that we’ve never been appreciated for what we do. I cannot say with any authority that your wife is feeling this way or that you’ve neglected her, but at the core of statements like “this is my time” is exactly what I’ve just told you here. She likely feels she’s given herself away so that other people can live and grow. Now, she’s trying to figure who she is now.

I also cannot give you an explanation as to why she “hates” you. But, I will tell you this…..my ex-husband used to throw that in my face every time I tried to reach out to solve problems in our relationship. If I dared say one thing that I felt he was doing to harm our relationship, he said I “hated him.” He managed to turn everything I felt or said into some kind of personal assault on him. When really, all I was trying to do was reach out to solve things that were bothering me. After a while I got sick of being accused of thinking and being motivated by something that I knew wasn’t true, and I stopped trying to talk to him about anything. We are now divorced.

So, is it possible that perhaps you are over-reacting to her withdrawing and deciding that she must “hate you?” when in reality, she’s just trying to figure her life out? If that is the case, and you become overly sensitive and make her life and mood changes about some kind of an assault on you, she is going to resent it. If you’re behaving needy and wounded and she’s trying to sort through her confusing feelings, she’s going to see your behavior as selfish and uncaring toward her.

I realize that I do not know all of the ins and outs of what is happening in your marriage. It may also seem that I’m defending her and requiring that you be more understanding, and in many ways I am. But, this is a women’s health blog and I’m here primarily for women. So most of what I say is usually going to be in support of women.



Rob March 12, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Thank you magnolia. I expect you to defend her. I am grateful that you do. I need to hear how it feels to be her. She won’t tell me. I understand that she has sacrificed her life and body for her children. I don’t have children at all. I took on her children from the age of 10. So it is difficult for me to understand that parental bond. I think it important to understand that it extremely difficult to tolerate what feels like a sustained attack on you personally. Every day. I don’t have a release for that pressure other than to talk on here. The pressure has built up on me for the last 3 years. I try to support and encourage and I work hard every day, not only in my career but at home to try to keep our relationship together. I certainly was not prepared for this. This information has just not been available to men. I would undoubtedly say this has been the hardest period in my life. The thing that cuts straight to my heart is the lack of contact. ( I am not talking sex before you shoot me) i mean any contact. That reassuring touch, the hand hold or even a hug. Where has that gone? Why has it gone? It’s absolutely soul destroying!


Magnolia March 12, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Yes, Rob, I agree with you that if you are feeling attacked day in and day out, that is extremely difficult. But, you’re not saying *why* you think it is happening. Look, here’s something I see at this blog very often. Men like yourself come here looking for understanding and help as it pertains to perimenopause.

They, like you, also have good intentions and sincerely want to understand. Almost without fail they will speak about their marital problems as if they have absolutely no earthly idea why their wife is behaving like she is. They are bewildered, confused, and often, frightened they are about to lose their marriage. They speak of their spouse as if she flipped a switch one day and became a new person without warning. And that is where I have a HUGE problem. Because NOTHING happens without warning. There HAVE been signs. There HAVE been hints. There may have even been a sustained effort by their wife to reach out to their husband (as I did for YEARS in my own marriage), all to no avail.

The hints, the signs, the reaching out have either been missed, ignored, or dismissed. This generally happens over a period of time. Years even. After a while, the woman reaches the end of her limit and shuts down. She may even continue to live a normal day-to-day existence and everything seems “normal.” Most men will interpret this as the storms blowing over and now everything is okay again. But, it’s not. It’s just that she has stopped sending out signals, signs, and stopped trying to reach out to resolve issues.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s over or forgotten. In fact, it never is. When women reach that point, they are done. And if their husbands don’t do anything to rectify the issues, they will one day get hit with it again “out-of-the-blue.” Almost every time I’ve explored the comments by these well-intentioned men, I’m able to draw out more and more information from them which demonstrates that it’s NOT out-of-the-blue, and the marriage was NOT all rosy and perfect before perimenopause.

As a matter of fact, once we dig deep enough, they almost invariably begin to admit that they haven’t been the best husband. Yes, they will admit, I’ve ignored her, I’ve taken her for granted, I haven’t been kind, I was this or I was that to her, and I shouldn’t have been.

Now, as I’ve already stated, I don’t know all of the ins and outs of your marriage. So, I may be totally off the mark here when I say these things. But, over the past 10 years of discussing this with men and hearing their points of view, this is a very common and frequent trend and theme that I see.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, EVER comes out-of-the-blue. There are always signs and signals. Always. But you may have missed them.

Having said all of that, I do understand how crushing it is to be shut out emotionally and every other way from the one you love. It’s devastating. I experienced something very similar in my marriage and it devastated me. In fact, the being shut out is what drove me away from the marriage and to divorce court. The divorce was devastating too. But, being in a relationship where you are degraded and made to feel you are not worth talking to or being treated with decent human dignity and respect, is the worst.

It can destroy you inside and I know it. So, please know that with all of this information, that I’m also offering compassion and empathy to you. The bonds of marriage run so, so deep. And when it fractures and breaks, it can tear your soul to pieces. I’m 3 years post-divorce, Rob, and I am STILL healing from my own divorced. So, I am sincerely offering you compassion and understanding.

I’ve been there.


Sasha Cohen March 30, 2016 at 7:01 pm

I am now in full blown menopause but before it happened my husband and I had so many issues. This is a great blog post. I have struggled in the past with marriage issues and have now finally gotten to a point where we are happy. There are many pieces of advice I have for married couples. One of the biggest pieces of advices is to seek help and advice. I found a lot of inspiration through Dr Robi Ludwig. Here is a really good article about her advice on marriage. I finally encourage others to read it, and hopefully it will help you like it helped me http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id=57


Magnolia March 31, 2016 at 1:05 pm


I’m very happy to hear that you’ve managed to get through your marital issues to find happiness in marriage again. I believe in marriage and think it is a wonderful thing. I don’t advocate divorce, though sometimes it is the only way out of a bad situation. It takes a lot of work for a marriage to work for both people. As long as both people are willing to do the work together, I believe that marriages can come through a lot of problems and be whole on the other side.

The problems are when one person is trying to fix a marriage and the other person is not. I also agree that good advice is helpful. But, you can have all the good advice in the world and still fail at fixing a troubled marriage if both people are not actively and equally engaged in keeping the marriage together. That was my personal issue. I finally tired of being the one carrying all of the responsibility for the success or failure of my marriage and got out.

It was a horribly painful divorce that I can’t begin to put into words. But, I know in my heart it was the right decision for me.



Jenn April 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Mag..I can’t say thank you enough for this blog and I truly appreciate all the men who are searching for answers. I agree with most points esp the one about marriage and perimenopause magnifying issues! As women, most of us become the sole provider of care, support and encouragement for all family members and our needs are rarely met. After 30 yrs of this, I am DONE! I have nothing left to give to my husband who had a wonderful, stress free life including travel, education, fun and and ideal marriage all made possible by me and my sacrifice. I say this proudly and yet begrudgingly… it is what I let it become, that I take responsibility for, it was easier to put my needs aside to make our lives easier. But now, kids are gone, husband is retired and now, it’s going to be all about me. Sorry, but it’s not selfish, it’s self interest and while I’m still viable and productive, I’m going to make choices that benefit me. My husband will have to figure things out just as I did many years ago. Luckily for him, he has Google. I didn’t plan to “hate” anyone, but looking back is a sad thing and I see places where I should’ve spoke up and didn’t but now I still can. I have no desire to be touched, cuddle or have sex, hopefully that will change someday but for now, I cannot be consumed by that and I can only focus on what’s working and not on what isn’t. To the men out there, thank you for laying your heart out there and continue learning, it’s a daily learning process for us too and sometimes we just want to figure things out alone. My brain works completely different than my husbands on almost everything and I know what stresses me out and I try to avoid it! This is not going to be a team event.
Best wishes and thanks Magnolia for all your encouragement and advice!


Magnolia April 4, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Thank you for your comment, Jenn

It is a common theme for so many women isn’t it? We tire of being the backdrop for everyone else’s lives with very little acknowledgement and/or appreciation. If we “speak up” as is often said to us by our husbands when we feel our needs aren’t being met, then we are labeled “whiners” or told that we are “making too much out of nothing”

I’ve been there.

I wish you well as you embark on finding things in life which make you happy. Hopefully, it won’t wreck your marriage in the process.



Rob April 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for your post Jenn. I agree with everything you said it’s really good to hear that you are in a similar situation. But from the female perspective. I am struggling with the whole situation to be honest. It’s a subject that is difficult to fathom out. For both men and women. My wife finds it very hard to communicate with anyone regarding health issues. I would certainly be very low on the list to talk to about her health. That is how she was brought up to be. You just get on with it. I think my constant harassment asking what’s wrong has pushed her into a corner. So I have stopped and things have got a little better. I do feel sorry for myself as this is the only thing I can see I have done wrong. I feel I am paying the price for an absent ex husband that left her to bring up 3 children on her own. (Because of work). She had a tough upbringing with a bullying stepfather. All I have tried to do was provide a loving stable relationship and a home for 3 children from the age of 10. I don’t have children of my own. Something I gave up the opportunity of when I met my wife. Yes I do regret that. I love my 3 step children. I feel that I am paying the price for my wife’s difficult past. I cannot change that. All I could do was make her life and her children’s life as comfortable as I could. So what I am trying to say is. I understand the sacrifices and the fact she wants to has a life of her own, but what she doesn’t understand is that I too have made sacrifices and have unfulfilled parts of my life. I just want her to understand my life also. Yes I know I feel sorry for myself. I think I have put a lot of effort into her life. I expected more. I am now working on understanding my own feelings. I can’t do anymore for her other than try to be the best person I can. If at the end of all this I can hold my hands up to say yes I did the best I could. I can move on. If she cannot put the effort in then she is not the personi married. I want empathy but I don’t expect it. I now understand that. If this is caused by menopause it doesn’t matter, the fact is we are where we are. I am certain I have some blame, it’s irrelevant. I am dealing with each day at a time


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: