Night sweats, itchy skin, migraines, breast tenderness and irregular periods…no periods…nothing but the onset of middle-age. Sound familiar? Menopause is divisive, emotional and mysterious to the uninitiated. As we conclude our reproductive lives, old feelings re-surface and uncertainty sweeps across our brow, creating worry and elevated stress in the face of the unknown. Our first period signalled the slow bloom of adulthood; we carry in ourselves to create and nurture life, and now that magic is at an end. As hot flushes replace pre-menstrual chocolate cravings, many women feel uncertain about the future. Before your self-esteem takes a common dive into confused loathing and moodiness isolates you from even your own psychology, acknowledge what is happening to you.
Menopause may feel like the end, but it’s really a fresh beginning, as your biology resets for the next stage in life. Your libido may suffer in the interim, but worry not, you’re not unattractive, you aren’t passed your use-by-date – keep the spark alive.
Acceptance: Tips For Her
Don’t deflect, lash out or passively turn around any accusations around onto your family and friends. Instead of insisting you’re fine, be honest and clear about how you’re feeling. Your significant other is not a clairvoyant, he can’t read your mind and may be confused by your body language; if you feel sick, tell him, if you’re having trouble getting out of bed, tell him.
Change is all around you. Lovemaking may be the last thing on your mind, as you dive between moods and symptoms, but there’s a hot tip circulating among professional that you should really jump on; sex isn’t just for menstruating women. Of course, vaginal sex will be painful, so you’ll need to open those communication floodgates and re-discover each other all over again. If you need inspiration, check out sites like naughty but nice for discreet and extensive lubricants.
Tenderness: Tips For Him
Your partner is going through a difficult time right now – her body is rearranging itself, her career is wrapping up and the idea of a middle life crisis isn’t restricted to men. She needs someone to lean on, now more than ever, an ear to bash and a sounding board to canvas her feelings, thoughts and ideas. This vulnerability is not an excuse or opening to criticise her, she isn’t broken and in need of repair; instead go with the flow, find ways to make her feel special and even when you don’t agree with her, don’t invalidate her experience by suggesting she’s being dramatic or unnecessarily sensitive.
Don’t misinterpret the need for human contact as a sexual invitation, if she wants it to go there, she’ll make a move. Make her feel beautiful, read to her or laugh together, tell her you love her, that you’ll always love her and you understand she’s going through a particularly rough time. Share your own difficulties and grow together.
You may have noticed some serious bodily changes lately; she might be having issues shifting the last lot of belly weight or perhaps her weight distribution has changed. Be active together and get out of the house, buy a couple of mountain bikes and find terrain that challenges you both. The sense of adventure and freedom will improve her self-esteem and make your feel healthier.
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