I spent a little time reading an online forum last night. Specifically, a thread that had been posted entitled: “My Wife is in Perimenopause. What’s a faithful husband to do?”
The man who posted the question was feeling the pressure of his wife’s loss of libido. He felt as a married man he was entitled to sex and that his wife was depriving him, “unfairly” of his due benevolence. The question and the answers that he received were incredibly enlightening to say the least. They were also very disheartening if I can be honest.
Mainly because, as I read through the thread, which, by the way, was predominately men giving him advice, I saw what I tend to see here at The Perimenopause Blog. That is, most men, the average male, tends to see most things as it relates to “them”.
There were a few women who posted on the thread in efforts to help the desperate husband understand that what was happening to his wife was in fact, happening to his wife – not him. Unfortunately, that little piece of information seemed to fall on deaf ears. While there were a few notable exceptions of selfless compassion, the majority of the voices on the thread were about “me first”. “I deserve this”. “I have my needs” and then my favorite…..”cut your losses and run, buddy.”
Before I go any further with this post, let me disclose that I received a comment this morning from one beleaguered husband which was, um, shall, I say, bitter. He was angry because of the treatment he had been receiving from his perimenopausal wife and felt justified in his rage.
To which I say: I hear you.
I say that, because I know for a fact that I’ve gone completely and totally crazy during the worst of my perimenopause. In fact, it has been my own “crazy” that inspired me to launch this blog in the first place. I think perimenopause is a serious issue that affects entire families, marriages and relationships.
But, so does cancer.
I’m having a tough time understanding why some men cannot or perhaps will not offer unconditional love and support to their wives during perimenopause? Would you talk about what “you were going through” if your wife had terminal cancer? Would you feel deprived of sex or due benevolence if she had a brain tumor and lay dying?
Yet, if a woman is imprisoned by her hormones, and gentlemen, her hormones have taken HER captive, it’s as if most men feel we are choosing it. Like we’re getting up everyday and making a conscious effort to have raging mood swings, crashing fatigue, debilitating depression and anxiety attacks.
Are you kidding me?
I don’t know how much more clear I can be. I don’t know how many times I can say it before it is heard and actually understood: perimenopause is about HER. SHE is the one who is losing her fertility. SHE is the one who is having flooding, gushing, periods complete with blood clots the size of soft balls.
SHE is the one who is gaining weight. SHE is the one who is falling into hormonally induced depression. SHE is the one who is at risk for osteoporosis because of the shift in her hormonal balance. And finally, SHE is the one who has lost her libido and any semblance of vaginal lubrication to aid the process.
Translation: It hurts a lot of women to have sex when there is no lubrication and she has no physical desire. So, while it might be good for you, it definitely is not good for her. The last time I checked, sex is supposed to be about the mutual satisfaction of TWO people. If not, there is another word for it.
And finally, gentleman, let me say this one more time: Perimenopause is not nor will it ever be about YOU.