According to Pamela’s work with thousands of people of both sexes, that the two sexes have entirely different fears about menopause. Men tend to worry more about the physical and behavioral affects on their partner. They tend to think more about mood swings and a possible reduced sex drive. A few men are also of the mistaken belief that women go “crazy” during menopause.
Women have concerns about the affects of menopause on their emotions. They also worry about how much support they will receive from their partners and families during this changing time. Pamela found that a large number of women had the worry that their husband would leave them and not give them the support they thought they would need. A three pronged approach was found to be a great approach to help the couple through this time filled with so many concerns and worries.
The first thing to know about menopause for couples is the symptoms that it will cause, as well as what it does not do to the body. Dr. Susan Franklin, one of Pamela’s lecture instructors, asserts that most people overestimate the potential effects of menopause. “We hear about many popular culture myths about menopause,” states Franklin. “We mostly assume that we will becoming raging witches, with constant hot flashes and hair on our chins”. In reality, according to Franklin, most only experience more mild and short lasting effects of menopause.
Second, family therapy gives couples an outlet to help them share their anxieties, fears, and worries with each other. Pamela’s workshops include small-group sessions that are led by a board-certified therapist. These sessions give men and women an opportunity to talk openly about their concerns and to articulate any needs they don’t feel are being met. Sex therapy is also a way for couples to work to increase libido, which often decreases as a woman enters menopause.
Third, according to Pamela, most couples will benefit from some medical treatment to deal with the more nagging or problematic symptoms of menopause. This will differ from woman to woman, but some women can benefit from mild medications to treat hot flashes, unwanted hair growth, and mood swings. Low doses of hormones and/or antidepressants are sometimes a great help for women struggling with menopause, and can be tapered off of later if they are no longer needed.
By: Francine Cook
About the Author: