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Does menopause make disengaging harder?

Ozlady's picture

Recently I have been told by my GP that I have started the next phase of womanhood, menopause! Blood marvellous (not)!!!!

The impact is mainly physical, I am fatigued, emotional and just plain fed up with being a girl sometimes. I accept that this is a normal progression and am working through the process of acceptance and learning how to manage a new stage of life.

The reason that I am writing this here is that I think my emotional state has become more labile and I find myself saying in my head "don't say that" " avoid that topic, it will just cause you to be emotional" and yet there are times when I just appear to have brain fades and out comes something I would prefer have remained internal. ( See my previous post about the bathroom saga).   This is at times making the process of disengaging harder.....

For example:

Well just this morning DH and I were discussing friends and the fact that their 2 adult children have recently moved home and how we are enjoying are lives as empty nesters. DH is very negative about these 2 children of our friends and made a couple of comments that I thought were a bit out of line and in fact his children have behaved in exactly the same way. I stupidly made comparison of our friends kids and his (all adults mind you) and he lost it, told me he is sick of having to defend his and his ex wifes parenting choices and stormed out of the house.

Now I can see his point, it is difficult to look at your own children through the eyes of others but I manage, other people I know manage, my parents do it (sometimes I wish they wouldn't!) and in honesty we are not ever going to approve of all the choices our children make, the world just doesn't work like that.  I also explained this to him prior to his storming out of the house.

Does anyone have any advice on how to work through this time?  Should I just accept that I am going to spend the coming years making DH and possibly others unhappy because my mind is scrambled by hormones? 

I should add I am trying very hard to disengage from any conversation about kids (his, mine or others), I am trying to avoid conflict and sometimes I isolate myself to avoid conversations that could lead to conflict.

I don't know what to do, feel very sad, lonely and like I have nothing to contribute that is positive anymore.

I have spoken to my health team and their advice is welcome but I can't shake the feeling that I am just failing and life is not going to get any better.

Kes's picture

Speaking as a woman who has come through menopause - it is indeed a difficult time for some women - with many tiresome symptoms if you are unlucky, as I was.  I chose to not have HRT, but found taking soya isoflavones took the edge off the worst of it.  

However I agree with Evil3, it is not the cause of your conflict with your DH, although menopause can make you more emotional and have a shorter fuse.  I found the beginning of menopause the worst - when you are just going into it and coming to terms with hot flushes, occasional and unexpected periods, and sleeping issues.  I found it helpful for a while to join an internet forum - the one I joined is "Menopause Matters" which is a UK forum, but I think folk from other countries can be members.  

Gimlet's picture

The unexpected periods.  I just started buying ugly underwear and breaking out my good ones for date night because they all get ruined by that unfortunate surprise.

My period: Oh hey girl, I know I was just here two weeks ago but I see you have a romantic weekend planned so I wanted to tag along.  Grrr.

Dragonfly6's picture

I have started this process also. I am going call it the decade of no white pants! Lol

I have been researching and the Diva cup is on my radar. Have been reading this is a great option for those traveling long term in 3 world countries where sanitation can be a problem. but this could be an option too!

still learning's picture

I use one of these during the heavy days of my period. It's great but I do have to wear a pantyliner as a backup.  

Ozlady's picture

Thank you for your advice, I will check out menopause matters. The lack of sleep, sweating and emotional rollercoaster are driving me a little bit bat S%$T crazy

tog redux's picture

Menopause might make you more irritable, but it won't be the cause of you reacting to already existing issues.  If your DH is the type who slams other people's kids but thinks his own fart rainbows that would be enough to make anyone lose their cool, menopause or not.

Thumper's picture

Did you use PMS for situational problems too? The reason I ask is,,,I have some friends who went bonkers every single month and expected that free pass for PMS. Now that they are going thru the change---they blame the change on their unchecked attitudes and sensitivities too. Family members hid, so to speak....

I would never consider HRT either. Honestly I don't know why women decide to take it. Maybe I need to read up on the 'why's" I am sailing thru mine too---maybe sailing thru is genetic? My Mom sailed thru the change too...RIP mom Sad



Ozlady's picture

No I did not, have not and would not use hormonal fluctuation as an excuse for emotional behaviour, I have never experienced PMS and am informed by research about the emotional and hormonal fluctuations of menopause.  That is why I am asking the question

Exjuliemccoy's picture

For me, menopause came along at the perfect time. Problems with skids and in-laws had worsened, and menopause built a fire of empowerment in me that fueled my disengagement.  After so many years of doormatting and trying to make everyone else happy, the 'Pause turned me into a strong, no f*cks to give, take it or leave it woman. It came when I was in my mid forties, burned the scales from my eyes, and made me feel so sure of myself and what the truth was. If only I could have bottled that!

  • Old Me catered to the crazy; 'Pause Me told DH I wasn't the one who stuck their d!ck in crazy and that he'd better handle his crap.
  • Old Me overfunctioned for DH; 'Pause Me told him he was a pu$$y for not standing up to his meddling sister.
  • Old Me helped conceal his depression; 'Pause Me threatened if he didn't deal with his people that I would out him to everyone.

LOL. It cracks me up to write this stuff down, but it really happened and turned my marriage around. I suppose you could say ST gave me the clarity and menopause gave me the high octane impetus for change.

Gimlet's picture

Ugh, no, your mind is not scrambled by hormones.  I'm in perimenopause, no birth control, no hormones, and I am still of sound mind and have not lost any cognitive functioning.  Yes, there are days I get annoyed more easily, but it's nothing that interferes with normal daily functioning.

I'm not yelling at you OP, I just get ticked off when men can act like giant weak-kneed crybabies and that's all fine, but you object to something compeletely reasonable and "Oh, your hormone-addled brain is acting up again" 

Don't gaslight yourself like that. 

Futuro and Julie, spot on!! 

still learning's picture

Menopause = Hit the "pause" button on your man's issues and focus on yourself.  

Your body is changing, no more periods YAY!  No more posibility of making an oops baby YAY!  You get to focus on you and be a grown individual woman who has wisdom and experience to contribute.  DH's messed up spawn and his bad parenting choices are his to own.  Be so busy diving into this new phase of your life that you don't have the time, energy, or interest to bring up dysfunctional skid issues unless they are directly threatening to affect you.  

soccermom830's picture

It is not just your hormones and don't let him think that for a minute.  Or yourself for that matter.  Just because you are stating your opinion doesn't mean you are hormonal.  If he acts up at your comments and gets defensive and storms out, maybe he is going through some kind of change!  haha  The situation of being a SM is a lonely one for sure and the DHs just don't get it at all.  Some of them think their kids are perfect and will fail to see otherwise no matter what is said.  You pointing it out only made him think about it and he doesn't want to accept they are not.  I don't get it but it definately doesn't mean it is all related to hormones.  You are right for trying avoid talking about them.  Sometimes it's the only sane answer.  Hang in there!

onthejourney's picture

As an opinionated woman, I find it hard not to share my opinions with my husband even when he reacts negatively.  I usually try to say what I have to say in a nice way  Sometimes that doesn't get heard though.  I have found that as I have approached menopause, that I am more selective on what I am willing to engage in.  Sometimes though, I am just not in the mood for drama and am much less tolearant of BS in general from everyone.  Although,tThere is nothing that aggravates me more thought that when I try to make parenting suggestions to my DH that he ignores me and dosn't take what I have to say in consideration, especailly when my DH is sometimes harder on my son, his SS, than he is on his own children.  My DH made a statement yesterday and said that my son is pretty much the best out of all of our children. And I was like, yep, thanks to mama.

Ozlady's picture

I would describe myself as opinionated and yet I find that I am less likely to express my opinion now, the drama is harder than having an opinion. Thanks for the links will check them out