Carrying on with the husband/partner theme. The title was a wonderful quote from the husband of a friend. She had been in touch to tell me that her husband had been very relieved to hear via my blogs, that she was NOT unique in suddenly being mad, teary and moody.
As he had put it, “you’ve always been a bit of a handful…” I think he is now upgrading his patience skills in order to better “serve his goddess”.
Over the past year I have had a slow but steady trickle of men SIDLE up to me. Isn’t sidle such a great word? Yes, sidle up to me and just mention in passing, “so it is true then, this menopause stuff…?” I always say, “yes it is, but being prepared makes it better.” I’ve noticed that I only ever have between 10-15 seconds before they skulk off again, so I have prepared my one liner especially for the SIDLER. These men tend to be quite quiet and perhaps more contemplative than others. They wouldn’t normally engage me in conversation without another proper adult present.
Another type is the GROUP EXTROVERT. Now there are two types. The first is the kind of man who likes to show his menopause knowledge to me, as I have written a book about it. I live in a small community so I know everyone who is likely to do this when I am in a group. It is always on a Friday or a Saturday. He usually giggles while he says something like, “oh here she is, the menopause goddess…what has happened to you this week?” There are other props, his male chums and various glasses of the necessary weekend night liquid nectar. I have various replies for these chaps, one liners about my week of symptoms, greatly exaggerated of course. Others I have rehearsed over the year since I “came out”, such as,”would you like to try my tablets?” or “can you give me a demonstration of a hot flush or a mood swing?”
My hubs is deeply pained by any overt and group encounters with any hint of menopause as the main topic of conversation. His idea of heaven would be that I quietly and privately chat about my peri-menopause with a select group of lady friends. He sees me helping other women as an act of service. His idea of hell therefore, is me when I am ‘outing” myself in a group setting. Poor man. Too much sharing.
The second type of EXTROVERT is less blokey. Usually dragged over to me by a wife/partner who reads my blog. One great example was, the wife saying to her husband, “don’t worry, Deborah will get you through it. She is mad, she forgets everything and has to keep going back to bed during the day as she is tired. I will be the same, so you will have to read her book…” Her husband laughed and said, “oh so this is what I have to look forward to is it?” “Absolutely,” I replied, “I can do a bespoke training for you, a skills upgrade for better mood swing management, and provide as much information as you need.”
The ACADEMIC is quite an interesting one. Those are the ones who don’t really understand how their also academic and ultra capable partner is falling apart at the seams as a result of “just” hormones. These people, both men and women tend to be high achievers and are used to being in complete control of their environments. Like I was.
By the way, I have prepared dossiers for at least 4 men, at the request of their wives. This now includes – articles from medical journals, some wonderful infographics from the Nuffield Hospital Women’s Health Centre and a couple of good quality broad sheet articles on women’s health. It has taken me years to find the right articles which are not too off-putting or alarming and which explain enough without being overwhelming.
The best articles I think, show just how many thousands of women are experiencing peri-menopause AND strugglling. I think the sheer scale of the data is really helpful for all men that their wives/partners are not the “only ones”.
Often I just feel sorry for men and women, as they are generally utterly unaware of what will come before them. I STILL feel sorry for myself when I think of my “first year”, running round like a headless and clueless chicken in a complete pickle.
I don’t think any of it is necessary. All this secrecy, stigma and lack of clarity. Bugger it. So here I am – an unlikely saviour on HRT, having tried many. I can morph from shallow to academic in a blink of an eyelid…I hope some of what I have found and shared helps. Male OR female.
Let me know if you would like any more info.