There are a range really. Starting from the beginning when you first tell him you have the menopause and he doesn’t know any more than you do. After I had finally seen the guinea-pig-ologist here in Dar es Salaam, I was relieved I wasn’t going to die, but horrified that there were all these awful symptoms which could last up to ten years.
I rushed home calling my husband on the way. “I need to talk to you now.” He left work and came home. There were people in our house and so we went on the roof. As you do.
I was crying and incoherent. He kept saying, “are you going to die, do you have cancer”? It was ages before I could answer.
“No, no,” I said, “nothing like that.”
“Well what is it then?”
I finally gulped out, “no I have something called the peri-menopause and it lasts ten years..”
“The what paws, the what paws?” He asked
“PERI-menopause”, I repeated.
“The PERI-menopause,” he repeated continuing “doesn’t everyone get that?”
I nodded my head
“Is that all it is?” He said relieved
“Is that all?” He kept repeating like a parrot.
“Is that all?” I repeated after him.
“That’s enough” I said, “it lasts for TEN years and you can have 50 symptoms.
I have never forgetten those words and neither has he.
Five years later on, I can say categorically that it was much better when I knew what was going on and much better when he knew. Suddenly he was so much more helpful as it was not his fault and I hadn’t lost my marbles. It was just my hormones and I was “normal” in a not “normal” way as lots of other women had had the same symptoms as me and were experiencing the same as me.