Is it common for women approaching menopausal stage of their life to begin to seek,with a vengance, time for themselves to the point of becomming private, and closed to inquisitions about simple things in their lives. It's like "just leave me alone" sometimes. Willing to talk about general things but not about her friends, male or female. Considers questions an invasion of privacy.Sometimes I wonder if she just doesnt want me in her life or just is requiring a lot more space (private space) than she used too. Someone give me a little insight based in experience please.
If you haven't already, you might want to read the thread "Relationship during Menopause" by caringhubby. From my experience with perimenopause, I became more moody, irritable, maybe even a little depressed at times. Sometimes I didn't even notice my change in behavior, but my husband sure did. Until we figured it out, we'd fight about the smallest, dumbest things.
I think you have to go with your gut instinct. Does her behavior fluctuate with her periods? Is the "alone" time in the bedroom with a book or out of the house for hours with no explanation? You need to talk to her and ask her to be frank with you.
The alone time is ,ostly "give me space for myself". She spends a small amount of time online with emails from friends and sometimes shares info with me but doesnt like to respond to questions like who were you chatting with. She has a pager that she text messages with "people" a lot. again sometimes sharing sometimes not. I really dont believe she is involved with anyone else . She is not the kind of person to lie she would just come out and say if there was someone else. Very independent and straight forward in that regard. I guess there's too many people asking for her time. Her 87 yr old mother lives with us and can at times be demanding and annoying to her, I've seen it like in movie interuptions. She has several at home hobbies which she likes to spend time doing uninterupted. Our 23 yr daughter is still at home in college, sometimes lots of stress in the air. I think I'm just going to back off and let it flow where it may. It will either improve in time or not. I read the post from caring husband and also have a personal female friend of 64 yrs age who has given me a few stories of her friends and the changes they went thru and I will try to be supportive thru this change in her. Thanks for the reply and food for thought and for the oppurtunity to express my own feelings.
Let me tell you from personal experience that you need to take action NOW. I've read countless posts and been to many forums where I find the same situation as caringhubby. What I've found is that most of the people promote the "alone time" or "time for me" garbage and let their wife have some space. At first I too thought it was a good idea but 80% of those stories end with the woman leaving because the time alone gave them the ability to solidify their seperation thoughts.
First off, I implore you to read other boards relating to menopause and relationships between man and wife. Don't listen to any one group or person on this matter.
Let me tell you my particular story.
I've been married 13 years to my wife. She is 49 I'm 36. She was seperated and finalizing her divorce when we met. Her husband cheated on her and was a dramitic thing in her life. There were many conversation we have about infidelity and how she couldn't understand it.
We have had a very good relationship and I never really saw much wrong with it. We of course had fights and things of that nature but nothing that wouldn't happen when you live with any person for any amount of time but it was never really a problem. She had 3 boys fromt he previous marriage and one with me. The 3 are over 21 now and out of the house for a while and only the youngest(12) lives with us now.
This year she began to have menopause(perimenopaus) symptoms and has in the past 5 years been on thyroid treatment. Thyroid and premenopause have some of the very same symptoms and can easily be confused with each other. On of the problem was a sever lack in sex drive. She has never had a very high libido but it went to next to nothing over the coarse of the last year. In fact, it seemed that sex was little more than a chore like dishes or laundry.
We both play a particular online game where thousands of people play and interact with each other. I'm an avid gamer and got her interested mainly because of the social aspect of it. We have many many friends that we play with and talk to all the time and there has never been a problem until this summer.
Over the summer a male friend(mainly of hers) from the game became much more involved in the game and so did my wife. They started to use our voice server that allows people to talk over internet with headphones and microphones. As the summer went on our intimate life became nothing. More and more she was spending time in the game and with this particular person and a couple other friends. I didn't notice until after a month exactly how much time she was spending alone with this person and began to start taking a closer look at the situation. Mind you I'm not a jealous person and my wife has never given me any reason to doubt her. I didn't however, trust the guy as I am one and know what goes on in my own head. Add to this my wife has always had a certain naievity to her and is one of those people who see the good in everything.
The more I paid attention to their relationship the more I found it to be inapropriate. She began spending more time alone with this person than with me and her son combined. I decide that I would start playing the game and interacting with them and made a point to be around whenever they were together and be involved. I still didn't really think there was a problem but I was beginning to think I'd be a fool not to investigate.
Since it was summer she began staying up late and since I had to work I was going to bed alone. She has been having trouble sleeping because of her change and this was a valid excuse. That was until I looked at the log to the voice server and found she was only staying up as long as he was. This was the first clue I had of the true inapropriateness of the relationship.
It was around this time I started to notice her attitude toward me was becoming less than nice. Not quite hostile but definatlely moving into that direction. As time went on it became worse and we had less and less to say to each other that didn't relate to the circle of friend the other person was involved with.
Anyway I will cut to the chase. One night we had been playing all day and having fun and the other guy had to leave for something he was doing in real life and my wife decided this was a good time to take a nap. She had agreed earlier to do things with me and the other guy but when he had to go the plan suddenly changed. I completely blew up. She thought I was being irrational and kept telling me they were friends and yadda yadda.
It didn't get any better. I finally told her that I was becoming jealous and that she was having an inaprpriate relationship and it needed to stop. No ultimatums at this point but expressed my concern calmly. She said she understood and would work on that but the other person really needed a friend as he had real life worries and she was his only friend.
Again, nothing got any better. At this point we had not been intimate in months and I comfronted her about it. That when I got the bomb. She told me she loved me but hadn't been in love with me since shortly after we met some 12 years ago. I was flabbergasted. Not because of what she said but because of all the things I did for her. Without tooting my own horn I've been a great father and husband for many years. Regardless, she blamed me for all kinds of things. Small things that she said added up. Not giving her massages, ignoring her. She said she felt I only wanted to have sex and didn't care if it was with her or not. I've always been encouraging and loving about her and the way she looks and had no idea where this was coming from but basically everything wrong with the marriage was something I was doing or not doing and nothing she did or does was a problem. I told her that spending time with another man was the reason for our problems and that she needed to cut back on her relationship with this person. After a few days of talking about it she agreed.
Then I did some searching and found our phone records and found out she had been calling and talking to him for the last 3 months by telephone. Without going into too much detail I've told her not to ever give out our number to anyone on the internet because of numerous reasons. I still didn't think she was cheating but didn't quite understand what was going on. I wrote down the number(one of them) to the guy and asked her nonshcelantly(sp) if she recoginized the number saying someone had called and hung up on me one day I came home early(actually happened but I didn't put them together until it was too late) and she denied it. Then I showed her a printout of our phone bill.
This is where is started to get better. She was being the "good friend" to this person as he was having numerous problems in life and wasn't having an affair in the physical sense. She WAS having an emotional affair. It's my opinion that each day she was going closer to him and further from me until I found out and put my foot down. We talked the whole weekend and the "not in love with me since we met" turned into a few years then a couple then it turned into her not knowing what she was thinking. The whole sitation, again, turned out to be my fault. Until I reminded her of the infideltiy of her husband. She started to turn around. I should state that I told her she not be talking to the other person when I wasn't around in any capacity and could only talk to him when I was there.
Through all of this she was exhibitin behavior that was odd and very familiar with bad PMS. As time went on the person eventually faded away(now that he didn't have the attention of my wife is my guess) and she started to return to normal. The whole time she and he stated it was a mother/son relationship and nothing more. I told them both that in the 13 years I knew my wife she never called one of her other sons at 4AM to "talk". Neither had a response to that statement.
That was about 4 months ago and while my wife never came around and aplogized or admitted fault or wrongdoing he is gone and she is back to normal. It's obvious to me and her that she is premenopausal but I truly believe that if I had not investigated and found out about the relationship that her hormones would have led her away from me.
Time alone is fine and I gave mine plenty of time but don't take that too far. Don't allow her to move out for this as you can have alone time and still live in the same house. Don't assume that nothing is wrong either. Don't be a fool and let her slip away from you. Stand up and talk to her now!
My recent experience of this seems similar to yours, my wife is 45 and had a hysterectomy 10 months ago. since then she has gradually wanted to do more things on her own which is ok to a point ie lots of gym time, swimming which i support, it did mean that i had more time on my own and started to feel i needed to do more for her so cooking and some cleaning around the house basically felt left out and confused by it all. our sex life went down to nil recently and is a very sore subject. some days she can look at me in the eye and i dont recognise her and ten minutes later shes back to normal.
I'll tell you guys something. As much as women suffer in perimeno (and we DO suffer) there is something about the experience that forces a woman to look very closely at her own satisfaction and that in itself can be liberating.
Women tend to be the givers in most relationships... imo... I realize they aren't ALL that way, but I think most are. It's in our nature as females/mothers. I've known my husband for many years and have always been crazy in love with him. I was the kind of girlfriend then wife who just lit up when he came into the room. The fact that he was coming home to me at the end of each day was enough to make me happy. Our sex life has always been great.
Perimeno hit me hard and I had all the symptoms. Unfortunately it took me almost a year to figure out what was going on... during that year, I was just confused about why I was feeling so unhappy. I started getting angry with my husband for (seemingly) no reason. He didn't know how to take it. We started fighting. I just didn't have it in me anymore to be the primary giver in the relationship. I'll be honest and tell you I did think about divorce.
I feel fortunate that about the same time I was figuring out how to take charge of some of my symptoms he also realized he could lose me if he didn't start being supportive. And by supportive, I mean REALLY try to understand what's going on. Become my partner in this, and not somebody who waits on the sideline until I get over it.
He did step up to the plate. I also took responsibility for working with my doctor to deal with my symptoms. It has been our first phase in "growing old together"..... and I am happy to say I am back to smiling when he comes in the room.
Had he NOT become my partner in this, I hate to think of where we could have ended up.
I think perimeno IS a risky time for marriage, but it can also be an opportunity to demonstrate how much you care. No, this isn't like bringing a card home for Valentines day. This takes much more.
Hey if you can get through perimeno-- dealing with each other in diapers will be a piece of cake, LOL
This has been a very interesting thread so I think that I will add my two cents....
I am glad to see that there are caring men out there. My husband is one of them too. However..
I have gone thru a sudden, abrubt early menopause (39 y.o.) and the past 5 months have been very difficult for me. My husband's job is very demanding and he works long hours. By the time he gets home, I am so exhausted, yet so relieved that someone else is here to be responsible for the kids. All I want to do is crawl up in bed and go to sleep or read a book. He will ask me questions about what I did today. I reply, the same things I do everyday. He thinks that I am being evasive or that I am mad at him. To tell the truth, I just don't have the energy to expend. He will also ask how I feel today and I reply the same. I know that he is as frustrated as me, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I don't want to feel this lousy.
I don't think that men can understand the havoc that hormones play. I myself did not realise it.
I would suggest to give her a little space while she adjusts to the changes her body is going thru and do some nice gestures, ie flowers, massage, dinner. And please don't take things to personal.
Thanks everyone who posted their opinions and shared their experiences. I will continue to deal with this with the love and support any long standing relationship deserves. At the same time I will not allow that commitment to blind me to other possibilities. So onward I go, into this unchartered territory with an open heart and a watchful eye.
I am 49 and have been in perimenopause for years. Yes, everyone can use a little alone time, but not daily for hours on end. If your wife is pushing you away, you have to push your way back in. Try reading in the same room as her. Make fun plans to do with her. Do things that she usually likes to do. Do things you would not normally do to help her out on a regular basis (dirty dishes, dinner, make the bed).
I know that I was unhappy with my hubby and it showed. One day, after a year, when we were alone and the time was right I had the opportunity to speak and he was totally shocked at how I felt. He started making changes and this helped me to change back into a happy wife. Sometimes you can be unhappy in a relationship and feel that you are stuck because you don't know how to tell the person. You don't want to confront the person, deal with a no win fight, etc. So you just become bitter, cold and indifferent. I think the hormone imbalance makes your feelings (good or bad) hit harder and if something is bothering you just have less tolerance for it.
So I think that something is bothering your wife. It could be the pressures, demands, and daily expectations of her family, job, etc.
Hi Belle, I have started doing more about the place, more than I usually do.
I even got my ponytail cut which was always something she tolorated but didnt really like. I have also changed my own attitude about the whole thing.
When we first met( not to sound too conceited but) I was so dammed charming there was just no way for her to get around me.I wanted her and did my best to win her.
I am still the same man and she is still the same woman.We still share the same ideals and see our retirement years in the same light. I still want her and will do my best to keep her.
I have no idea if she is involved with anyone else or even considering that; (really doubt that she is) but I charmed the heart out of her once before and I can sure enough do it again.
If these changes in her are only related to her soon to be 50th year and/or physical changes over which she has no control then I can also take the oppurtunity to ensure that in this time of change that we grow to become more understanding of each other, closer together and not allow it to drive us apart.
Well this has become more interesting - i can relate to this so much - i can understand mike and his opinion but i can also relate to garbare and mistyeze from the female view - i decided at the outset to do the space thing and to be there in a supportive and sympathetic manner as i have been - her sisters and best friend also advised me that was the right thing to do to be caring as i always have - so rightly or wrongly i did it - i know hormones play havoc and some women suffer with the symptoms badly - so the space thing is it really that or is there a hidden agenda as the poster said about the online gamer - well as you'll see from my posts my wife was going to indoor bowls each friday night where this guy was part of the setup (only him the rest are women) he has obviously over a period of time paid her attention which resulted in the last 5-6 months being what it is - up until she told me she has strong feelings for him we know nothing has happened - i also know she doesnt see that much of him as she is always at her sisters or friends or work where she does not even mention him - one thing i know it can be a journey to hell and back - in hindsight maybe as mike said 6 month ago i should have said "what the hell is up" but i didnt know and there was certainly no indication of anyone else hence me taking the good husband route - one thing i know is you CANNOT control their behaviour - they are trying to escape the daily grind truth is they cant - i still even now think we are floating down different rivers that will lead into the same sea - as i said it is a grey area - can we stereotype all women the same? I think not each one handles this phase of life differently - i have looked into this in great depth even to the extent of what each chemical does to the hormones etc - headstrong ones like my wife will avoid GP and/or counselling and try to go through this themselves, we cant stop them and as mid life means in chinese it is a dangerous opportunity - i would say good luck garbare, go with your heart you will be a stronger person - i am getting stronger and more positive each day and i know from her sis she is still not sure - yeah she knows i love her, she's also told her sis and best friend who is a kind of counsellor that she respects the way i have been the last 5-6 month - whatever happens i bear no malice to her and i know she will still be a part of my life whatever happens as i will hers - best of luck