For Men

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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 through perimenopause, and why she felt so negative toward her husband.

My thinking behind the post at the time was to provide insight straight from the horse’s mouth.

Prior to that, all of the posts I had written on the topic were a general sharing of my own story, and the stories of other women who had shared their experiences with me.

So, I thought it would be beneficial if readers (men) could hear it from a wife in her own words.  Frankly, I’m not so sure what good it actually did.  But, that was my reasoning nonetheless.

I wanted to feature Julie’s post today because she offers a different perspective, a juxtaposition to what perimenopause is like when women don’t have an unhappy marriage.

Julie

I had to write after reading the main article and some of the comments. While I feel for the woman who wrote the main article, I also know my struggle and what I put my husband through.

I started to notice a pattern where I was angrier, shorter in temper, and just mad at the world right around my period. It took me awhile to notice because I am also “blessed” with thyroid issues – a double whammy!

I always assumed it was the thyroid hormone issues that caused this.  But, to be honest, I noticed while I was more interested in sex – obviously, hormones working here – I was also this angry, mean person!

And, a lot of it directed at my husband!

I have to say it ruined our sex life over the years. I, mean, why would my husband be interested in sex when he is getting yelled at for every little thing!

That is when I had the “light bulb” moment.  It was happening right around my period. I really think it may have prevented us from having a second child. Something that bothers me to this day.

My thyroid affected my energy big time, and probably mood, too.  I eventually had a thyroidectomy due to medical reasons.  I am now on a high dosage of thyroid replacement medicine.

I began to notice some big improvements in my energy, but only some what in my mood. But, I still had the mood swings right before the period.  So then, I had PMS.

No I am in menopause and my mood is better.  Wow!  Hopefully it will stay this way. I’m not happy about menopause, overall, But, I welcome the equilibrium of mood !!!!!

So, I can’t blame my husband here as I have described.  In fact, I feel sorry that he had to live with me like that. I wish I could go back and re-do those years.

I should have – and I encourage everyone – talked to a doctor about all of this sooner. Have your thyroid checked! If your blood levels are okay, they will not increase your meds.

Because of the thyroidectomy I had to take higher dosages of medication.  Had I known how wonderful I would feel on the higher dosage; I would have self medicated!

The PMS was probably always there , but my anger was taken out over work issues etc.  I thought it was typical or normal for someone who did not like their job.

But, I really started to recognize the problem when I focused on the pattern occurring each month:  I was angry at husband and it was always right before my period.

But, I love my husband, and I hope that the years ahead will be better.  By me and on my part. That is my plan.

Magnolia

Julie, thank you so much for commenting and sharing your story.  It sounds like you had a series of issues going on in addition to the perimenopause symptoms.

A lot of women experience thyroid issues when they begin going through perimenopause.  Between the hormone imbalance from the thyroid dysfunction and the hormone imbalance from perimenopause, it can be one raucous, emotional ride!

But, it also sounds like you had more issues with your thyroid given that you had to have it removed.  I hope you are beginning to feel better.

I featured your post in “Dear Magnolia” today because your story is a good example of how marriages can survive perimenopause.  In fact, there have been many women who have reached out to me when they were going through perimenopause who shared that their husbands were extremely supportive and helpful.

So, it is important to point out that if a marriage is stressed and strained during perimenopause, it is not necessarily doomed to end in divorce.

Perimenopause, as I have often said, does not make a good marriage bad.  It doesn’t create problems in a marriage which didn’t exist before.  It will however shine a very bright light on them. Particularly if they have lingered for a very long time unresolved, shoved to the back burner of life.

Those marriages which do not survive perimenopause (and I will include my own in those numbers) are the marriages which were already troubled, stressed, strained, and unhealthy in the first place.

I would also like to point out that it is certainly true that mood swings caused by hormone imbalance can and do affect those around us negatively. You said it was always your husband who bore the brunt of your mood changes.

That is not unusual since he is the one generally closest to you.  If you weren’t married, chances are other people in your life who would have been affected by your mood changes.

I’ve often joked about the long list of phone numbers I had to call to issue apologies for my behavior once the storms of my own mood swings had passed.  I wasn’t only apologizing to my husband and children, I was also apologizing to store clerks, neighbors, and receptionists at the doctor’s office.

For me, it was that bad.

And while I make light of it, the truth is, it’s not very funny.  When we are swinging back and forth from rages to depression, to rages, and back to depression again, it can be, well, depressing.

It’s very important that we take responsibility for our behavior (even though we can’t help it when it happens) and issue whatever apologies need to be issued.

All of that said, not all women have loving, supportive husbands who help them through perimenopause.  Some men simply do not know what to do – and I offer grace to those men.  But, others simply do not care to know, much less offer loving support.

These men generally blame and condemn their wives as if we rise up everyday and make a conscious decision to experience hormone imbalance and all of the symptoms which accompany it. They suggest that if we would just “get control of ourselves” there wouldn’t be any problems at all.  When that is simply not the case.

I wish you well in your marriage going forward.  You said you are now in menopause.  What a relief, eh? That will certainly help, as you have said, with more stable moods.

Though don’t be surprised if you find that you still suffer with depression.  For women in menopause, depression is very common.  It is due primarily to low estrogen and serotonin levels.  If you find that you still struggle with it post-menopause, it might not be a bad idea to check your estrogen levels.

Thanks again for commenting.

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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 […]

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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 →

Why Do Wives Hate Husbands in Perimenopause? A Wife’s Perspective Part II

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The subject of perimenopause and marriage has been a hot one here at The Perimenopause Blog. Until recently, I have given men the floor, so to speak, by posting conversations I’ve had with a couple of men in hopes the dialogue would be useful and helpful for others. A couple of weeks ago I decided […]

July 23, 2012 CONTINUE READING →

Why do women hate their husbands in perimenopause? A wife’s perspective…..

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I thought I might do something a little different in this post series, by featuring a couple of comments from a woman (with her permission) who identified herself as SAH. SAH is in her late thirties, is married with two young children, and beginning to enter perimenopause.  Her comments are a  perfect illustration of the […]

July 8, 2012 CONTINUE READING →

If you want to help your wife in perimenopause……you can start by listening

Thumbnail image for If you want to help your wife in perimenopause……you can start by listening

I can’t begin to put into words how much the topic of perimenopause and marriage is beginning to frustrate me. There is no one out there tackling this subject who is more earnest than I am in their efforts to help men understand perimenopause, I can assure you. Yet sometimes it feels like I am […]

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What “Not” to do if You Want to Help Your Wife in Perimenopause Part II

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It was bound to happen. Since my last post, I’ve been semi-holding my breath waiting for it.  Then right on cue, it came rolling into my inbox: An angry male on a mission to straighten me out. As a general policy, I don’t delete comments readers leave here.  Even if they are hostile and angry.  […]

May 28, 2012 CONTINUE READING →

What “Not” to Do if You Want to Help Your Wife in Perimenopause

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Sometimes, the best way to teach someone how to do something is to point to the opposite of what you want them to do. It can be quite effective to say, “don’t do it that way, do it this way” when “that way” is so conspicuously wrong. I ran across a comment recently at another […]

May 25, 2012 CONTINUE READING →

Men, Women, & Perimenopause: The Truth as I See it

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I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time now – a very long time. One of the reasons I’ve not written anything sooner is because I am currently going through a divorce.  My emotions are raw, and I’m keenly aware of how much they color my perceptions, and create serious bias in my […]

May 22, 2012 CONTINUE READING →