Exploring the Connection Between Perimenopause and Relationship Struggles
There is an undeniable truth that during the perimenopausal and menopausal phases, there are moments when we find ourselves drifting away from our familiar selves, caught in the undertow of mood changes that can include bouts of rage, anger, depression, and anxiety. These days often usher in an unsettling blend of sleep deprivation and heightened anxiety. In these times, when the currents of change are at their strongest, it becomes crucial to recognize the ripple effects these symptoms can create, extending their reach to touch our cherished partners. Through the undulating journey of menopause, this understanding forms an essential cornerstone for navigating the shifts in our emotional landscape while maintaining the bonds that tie us to our loved ones.
When our partners remain unaware of the profound influence these shifts wield over our emotional landscape, the very foundations of our relationships can be subjected to severe trials, hanging precariously in the balance. However, embracing a different path, we find that delving into the intricate interplay between hormonal tides and the challenges faced in relationships can unlock a potential for profound transformation. Armed with understanding, we possess the remarkable opportunity to decipher these complex nuances and share this enlightenment with our partners. We can share what we learn with our partners and create stronger, healthier bonds.
Here's more about the link between perimenopause and relationship struggles, along with healthy aging and menopause management tips that can help you and your partner get through it with flying colors.
When Does Menopause Begin?
The transition into menopause usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55—a period known as perimenopause. Menopause itself refers to the point in time 12 months after you've had your last period.
Perimenopause is when you may start noticing changes in your health-related to menopause, such as occasional hot flashes and sleepless nights. At the same time, these gradual changes may put more strain on your relationship.
What Are the Symptoms of Perimenopause?
Perimenopause brings forth a constellation of symptoms, each woman encountering them in her distinct way:
- Night sweats
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Hair loss
- Weight Gain
- Brain Fog or cognitive haze
- Changes in libido
- Vaginal dryness and susceptibility to infections
- Vaginal pain
- Sleep disruptions and insomnia
- Mood changes, anxiety, depression, or rage
This symphony of symptoms during perimenopause underscores this phase's intricate and deeply personal nature, a melody that only you can compose and interpret.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Menopause is never one-size-fits-all, as it affects each woman differently. It's normal for you to experience symptoms that bear no resemblance to those of your friends who are also going through menopause.
Common menopause symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness and infections
- Pain or discomfort during sex
- Lower sex drive
- Irregular bleeding and missed periods
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory problems and brain fog
- Frequent urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Mood changes
- Depression and anxiety
Relationship Struggles and Perimenopause: What's the Connection?
When you consider all the symptoms of menopause, it may be easy to see why you may experience relationship struggles during this time.
Hormonal changes are the primary root cause of perimenopause symptoms. Estrogen, DHEA, testosterone, and progesterone play essential roles in many bodily processes and do not only affect your fertility. For instance, estrogen helps regulate your body temperature. Declining estrogen levels can cause a higher body temperature—particularly at night—which is why hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep deprivation are more common during menopause.
The hormone imbalances you experience during perimenopause can also indirectly affect your partner, who may not fully understand what you're going through. This can lead to confusion and frustration that strains your relationship.
Infrequent sex and reduced sexual libido can make your partner feel rejected, less attractive, and isolated. Mood changes can also lead to relationship problems, especially if your partner incorrectly assumes responsibility as the root cause of your irritability.
Tips For Managing Your Relationship During Perimenopause and Beyond
The key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner is being aware of your perimenopause symptoms and making sure your partner is also aware of them.
If you're unsure how to approach your partner about perimenopause or menopause, start by reaching out to supportive friends and family—especially those who are also going through perimenopause or who have already gone through menopause. These women can be a great source of female empowerment and offer insightful tips and advice based on their experiences.
Other steps you can take to manage your relationship during perimenopause:
- Arm yourself with knowledge: Understanding the hormonal shifts you are experiencing can help as you go through them to demystify what's happening chemically and hormonally on the inside.
- Be open and honest with your partner about your menopause, perimenopause, and hormone symptoms. Mention which symptoms have the most significant impact so your partner is aware.
- Recognize when you experience mood changes. If you are still experiencing menstrual cycles, it is more common for mood shifts to take place in the second half of your cycle. You and your partner can devise solutions and activities—such as relaxation or self-care time—to combat mood changes that leave you feeling less like yourself.
- Use humor. Having a sense of humor helps reduce relationship strain, as long as you keep it light and fun and avoid sarcasm.
- Do healthy activities together. Exercising and eating healthy foods may help reduce your symptoms while strengthening your bond with your partner.
- Consider menopause treatment. Hormone therapy and longevity medicine can be personalized and tailored based on your hormone levels. Telemedicine may also be an available treatment option.
FemGevity offers personalized menopause care designed by women. Schedule a free 10-minute consultation with us today to learn more about our women's longevity and women's health treatments that can help you get happily and comfortably through perimenopause.