For Men

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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.

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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.

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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. 

*******

Notes

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.

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Dear Husbands of a Perimenopausal Wife

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Update: This post was originally written in 2009.  It has been edited and updated to be republished Well, as you can tell from the title of this post, I’m sending out a lifeboat of sorts, to husbands whose wives are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause.   The search data on my blog tells me that more than a […]

January 25, 2016 CONTINUE READING →

My Wife is in Menopause…..How Can I Help?

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I’m coming back around to this topic. Cautiously, I might add, but I’m coming nonetheless. I say cautiously, because back when I used to write semi-regular blog posts for men to address relationship issues which arise during perimenopause, the response was at times overwhelming. Many of the comments and emails I received from men were […]

December 31, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia……I Don’t Want to Just Be Friends with my Wife

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Today’s “Dear Magnolia” installment is from a reader by the name of “Dave.”  I was impressed with Dave’s comment because unlike many men who come to The Perimenopause Blog looking for help in understanding perimenopause and how it affects relationships and marriages, Dave actually takes some personal responsibility for his marital woes. Whoa Dave! Dave […]

November 15, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia….My Husband Takes My Loss of Libido in Perimenopause Personally

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I received this reader comment a few weeks ago, and was so moved by it, that I wanted to feature it in this installment of “Dear Magnolia.”  The reader posted under the pseudonym “Heartbroken.” And perhaps that is why I was so touched by it.  I could hear the sorrow and pain in her words, […]

March 28, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

A Brief Comment on Comments

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If you are a woman coming to this blog, chances are pretty much 100% any comment you leave will be posted once you are past the initial moderation phase. If you are a first time commenter, your comment will always go into the moderation queue for me to approve it before it gets posted. If […]

February 15, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia……Not Every Woman Hates Their Husband in Perimenopause

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Today’s “Dear Magnolia” post is featuring a comment by a reader named Julie.  Julie left her comment in response to the post “Why Do Women Hate Their Husbands in Perimenopause: A Wife’s Perspective”  A post which featured another reader’s story where she explained why she decided to leave her marriage once she had started going […]

August 30, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Andropause: Treating Male Hormone Imbalance Naturally

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Today’s post is a guest post by Dr. Andre Berger, founder of Rejuvalife Vitality Institute in Beverly Hills, CA.  Dr Berger’s full bio can be found at the end of the post Male menopause is a term that doesn’t correctly describe the change of life men go through. Men don’t menstruate, so how can they stop having periods, […]

June 13, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

I’m Done. Really.

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Don’t worry. I’m not done with blogging.   I’m here for the duration. I’m done with men – not all of them, mind you. Just many of them which come to my blog. Let me explain: As many of you know, I started a new series a few weeks ago to focus on the book The […]

June 5, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause, Marriage & the Male Brain: The Teen Brain

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According to Dr. Louann Brizendine, if testosterone were beer, a 9-year old boy would get the equivalent of 1 cup a day. For teenage boys, however, the testosterone that washes over their body by the age of 15, would be equal to two gallons.   Yes, you read that right.  Two gallons of beer testosterone per day, […]

May 12, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause, Marriage & The Male Brain: More on the Boy Brain

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We left off in my last post on this series discussing attributes of boys during the pre-pubescent years, when their hormones (particularly testosterone and MIS: Müllerian inhibiting substance) are making neural pathways in their brain which “hardwire” male specific behavior and tendencies. While it is certainly true that the surge of testosterone during puberty – […]

March 28, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause, Marriage & The Male Brain: The Boy Brain

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For the sake of those who might just now be joining this series or reading this blog, let me state again the purpose and reason for this series. I receive a fair amount of traffic and communication from men who are looking for help in understanding perimenopause, how it affects their spouse/partner, and the impact […]

March 21, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause, Marriage & The Male Brain: What Makes a Man?

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I said in my first post in this series that we would begin with chapter one of The Male Brain. However, I’ve since decided to begin with the Introduction with an important note which will lay the foundation for this entire series. Dr. Brizendine, while very feminist in her point of view, is not a man-basher. In […]

March 20, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause, Marriage, & The Male Brain

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Dr. Louann Brizendine is a doctor of psychiatry and neurobiology.  She is the founder and director of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic in San Francisco, California. She is also the author of the books The Female Brain and The Male Brain.   I have referenced  The Female Brain  here many times, because in my opinion, it is one […]

March 5, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

The Female Brain The Male Brain: More on Perimenopause & Marriage

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Not surprisingly, the subject of perimenopause and marriage continues to be an evergreen topic here at The Perimenopause Blog. It is very evident to me this is a very serious and important topic which is not be being adequately addressed by much of anyone in any professional field. I wish I could say I had […]

January 24, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

How Can I Help My Wife in Perimenopause? A Conversation with a Reader Part II

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Part II of my conversation with Andy which was originally posted in 2010.   ******** Gentlemen, I sincerely hope you are finding the conversation between Andy and me helpful. As I read back through it I couldn’t help but notice once again, a tendency men have when it comes to menopause.  It is not something […]

December 23, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

How Can I Help My Wife in Perimenopause? A Conversation With a Reader – Part I

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This post was originally written in 2010.  Given that it is a perennial topic, I thought I would repost it again while I’m on a posting hiatus for the holiday season.  I plan to launch a new series for men in 2014.  Until then, perhaps these old posts can generate some some conversation ******** A […]

December 20, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

More on “Misogynist John” and Women’s Health

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Ever since I received the comment from “John”, who I now affectionately refer to as “the raging misogynist,” I’ve spent a fair amount of time (perhaps even too much time), thinking about men like him, who believe that women’s issues, whatever they may be, constitute “feminist bull.” I’m well aware that true misogynists like John […]

August 12, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Dear John(s)…….

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I’ve made a new decision regarding my comment policy. Going forward, raging, angry comments by men, against me or women in general, over what they have read here, will no longer be allowed.  They not only won’t even make it past the moderation process, but they will get blocked and banned with no questions asked. […]

August 8, 2013 CONTINUE READING →