Sep 22, 2023 News AMC Team 80 views

Some of menopause’s changes might be immediately obvious: disruptive night sweats, sudden hot flushes, fluctuating moods and trouble focusing. Others may be less apparent, including the impact menopause may have on your relationship with your partner. While nothing’s guaranteed about how menopause may impact your relationship, the changes it brings can, if not managed, lead to challenges in how you navigate a changing season with your loved one.

Stepping into menopause with preparation, awareness, and collaboration can remarkably impact how much (or how little) your relationship is affected.

We’ve gathered ten top tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner during menopause.

  1. Prioritise open communication

Since one of menopause’s challenges can be sudden mood fluctuations, this could have a detrimental effect on your relationship if left unchecked. Mood swings can result in heightened sensitivities, which, when not mitigated for, could lead to disruptions and conflicts between partners.

The solution? Look to open communication as a top priority. Whether it’s voicing new feelings, uncertainties, or concerns, choosing to express thoughts and feelings openly and honestly can give each partner more space to understand the role menopause is playing in their daily intimacies and shared experiences. By creating a safe space where both partners are able to express themselves without judgment, communication can become a powerful tool in the fight against the challenges menopause may bring.

  1. Learn about menopause together

It may seem like menopause solely impacts women, but given its impact on relationships as a whole, choosing to learn about it together is one way couples can strengthen their relationship. Choose to invest time in learning about menopause as a couple, whether that’s in the form of workshops, seminars, online resources, or books covering different aspects of the menopausal experience.

This can help to equip both partners to navigate the changes ahead, using education as a crucial mechanism to reduce confusion, misunderstanding, or conflict.

  1. Lean into opportunities for intimacy

With hormonal fluctuations comes changes to a woman’s desire for physical intimacy. While this may lower throughout menopause, it’s important to remember that intimacy is multidimensional, with other forms of affection offering essential opportunities for connection. Emotional bonding, the enjoyment of shared experiences, and safe, welcoming companionship can all support intimacy that may be under pressure due to a lower appetite for sexual activity.

This can also present an opportunity for fun – are there new, novel ways that you and your partner could nurture closeness and intimacy? Picking up a new hobby, experimenting with other forms of connection, and leaning into deep conversations can also help to fill any gaps that may result from changes to physical intimacy patterns.

  1. Embrace a shared active lifestyle

As the physical changes of menopause can often result in lower energy levels, staying active as a couple can kill two birds with one stone, increasing physical movement while building opportunities for engagement and connection.

Evening walks, taking up a new dance class, experimenting with exercise routines, or seeking different hikes over the weekend can fuel physical, mental, and emotional health and bring you closer together.

  1. Draw on patience and understanding

The kinds of hormonal shifts brought on by menopause can lead to unpredictable mood swings or physical experiences. For women in the midst of menopause, this may lead to a wide range of negative impacts, including a lowered ability to communicate effectively with your partner.

Whether you’re in the midst of menopause yourself, or walking through it by a loved one’s side, patience and understanding can make a world of difference to your partnership. Even if you’ve got decades of cultivating patience for each other behind you, now’s the time to draw on new levels as you navigate the unknowns that menopause will continue to bring.

  1. Review the practicalities

One area that might not be immediately apparent when it comes to navigating menopause is the financial toll it can bring. Menopause’s arrival can result in medical expenses, as more support is needed to maintain vital health functions. If you share finances with your partner, proactively evaluating the financial impact of menopause on your shared budget can help reduce the likelihood of unexpected expenses and complications around financial management.

This shared strategy also means both partners have the opportunity to contribute to the practical management of menopause, bringing you together as you find the best way forward for your unique situation and relationship.

  1. Celebrate the milestones – including the small ones 

While navigating through menopause can bring all kinds of complications, it can also mark significant milestones in a woman’s life that are worthy of celebration.

No matter how small these milestones are – like sleeping through the night after a rough patch of night sweats – choosing to acknowledge and celebrate them together can give couples a space of positivity, connection, and appreciation.

  1. Lean into the support of experts

Whether you’ve been to couples’ counselling before, or never stepped through the door, you may find the input of a relationship professional is crucial as you navigate through menopause together. This can create a neutral space where a fresh perspective can be applied to your particular circumstances, allowing both partners to be heard, seen, and valued.

You’ll also likely discover new management tools and techniques that can flow on into all aspects of your relationship, strengthening your bond and simplifying your everyday communication.

  1. Keep ahold of your individuality

Yes, leaning into the menopause experience together can be of significant benefit to your relationship – but it’s also important to maintain a sense of individuality throughout the season.

Menopause can often bring up feelings of introspection and reflection as a result of its significant changes. This means that personal spaces or activities can be a safe and necessary space to sit in this reflection, allowing individuals the opportunity to engage with themselves and remain as grounded in their unique experiences as possible.

  1. Focus on the positives

While menopause may bring a number of challenges that feel difficult to navigate, focusing on the positives is one way you can support not only your own mental health, but that of your partner.

Look for opportunities to build enjoyment and connection into your regular schedule, cultivating positive experiences in the midst of your menopausal changes. By choosing to focus on the positives, you’ll start to see them more readily, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Conclusion

Our loved ones can be powerful sources of strength throughout all of life’s unknowns, making the health of our partnerships all the more important throughout menopause. Consider how you can cultivate a proactive approach to supporting your own relationship in the midst of menopause’s changes, bringing your partner along for the journey ahead.

For more advice, insights, and support for the management of menopause’s symptoms, contact us at the Australian Menopause Centre.

About The Author - AMC Team

Our team consists of doctors, nurses, program assistants, naturopaths and nutritionists that join their wealth of knowledge to offer our patients and website visitors interesting and insightful articles to assist you understand the symptoms you are experiencing and how to relieve them.

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