I remember the first time I sat down to read about the symptoms and effects of menopause. By the time I got done reading about the hot flashes, loss of energy, heart palpitations, mood swings, depression, anxiety, loss of memory, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, bladder problems and constipation – I just had to laugh. This is what I had to look forward to?
Despite the laundry list of the negative, there are positive compensations that occur with this mid-life crisis. As our bodies and minds transform in relation to our hormonal changes, we can become the person we were and, more importantly, the true person we are meant to be, along with our male partners.
Positive Hormonal Shifts
The hormones that affect our emotions and tenderize us to become wives, mothers and caretakers, diminish as we go through menopause. We now have an opportunity to gradually transition into a more individuated adult. In a way, women become more of who they were meant to be, by losing estrogen, yet maintaining androgen. While men soften with the loss of testosterone, we women become more powerful: as the softening veil of estrogen lifts, our stronger self emerges and formerly suppressed, creative, feelings resurface.
Of course, this transformation -- in both men and women -- can deeply affect relationships. However, the pain of these changes and fear of the unknown does not have to translate into suffering. Attitude is everything. If you don’t contract against the pain, but surrender to it, you will transition into a renewed and deeper relationship. By communicating honestly about these changes, you and your partner can meet them together. The two of you become a home team by confronting the past, present, and future, bravely.
Deeper, More Honest Communication
Your maturity can work for you now, by allowing you to risk communicating your deepest and most intimate feelings. Honest communication is essential to your relationship at this time. Silent suffering only uses up libido and women who deny their repressed feelings and undiscovered parts of themselves often get sick from the stress of that repression.