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Will YOUR marriage survive the menopause, asks the Daily Mail

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Comment on and summary of story from Daily Mail, June 2, 2011

Yet another infuriating article from the Daily Mail.

This time it’s about husbands and partners who share their lives with a woman going through the menopause (who all seem to turn into ‘crazy monsters’) and how it can ‘can cut right to the heart of a man’s sense of masculinity.’

In her new book, psychotherapist Sue Brayne persuaded a group of men, all married to women who were going, or had gone, through the menopause, to open up about their experiences.

She says: ‘Women have each other to moan to or to pick up the pieces when our worlds fall apart. But men don’t have that innate capacity.’

Her research found varied responses from men, some of them seeming to acknowledge that the menopause is a monumental change for their partners.

Gary Drew, 67, who had an affair when his wife went through the menopause admitted: ‘I often wonder whether I would have behaved like this if my wife and I had been able to talk about what she was going through.

‘Only now can I see what a monumental change she went through. She moved from the role of wife, mother and lover to this matriarchal authority figure. That was a real challenge for me.’

But then he goes into ‘crazy monster’ mode: ‘Sometimes she would turn into a crazy monster. I remember saying: “I don’t know who you are any more.’

Another man commented: ‘Life would be going well and then out of the blue, sometimes from one minute to the next, she’d turn into a crazy monster.’

Will Stephens, another of the men questioned, complained about his wife’s weight: ‘Though I know what she’s experiencing physically, I find it difficult to understand why she won’t do anything about her weight.’

‘She often moans about it, but when I say: “Do some exercise”, she doesn’t. It’s not that the changes to her body have turned me off, but it does make me sad that she can’t get motivated to help herself feel better about it.

‘It’s one thing for a woman to accept the menopause as inevitable, but another to let herself go.’

And here’s another gem: ‘Because of the lack of sex, I’ve found it difficult to keep my feelings for my wife alive. It comes out in the way I tease her. Sometimes it’s funny, but I know it wears her down.’

But women, don’t worry. The author suggests it’s our fault:

‘Men will always be worse at putting across their feelings than women and, whether they like it or not, it does fall to a wife to explain to her husband what she is experiencing, because he won’t have a clue.’

‘Not nearly enough women do this, but I can’t stress how important it is to keep talking and not alienate your other half — it could be the difference between losing a husband and saving a marriage.’

So let me get this straight. The menopause is selfish and ultimately turns all women into ‘crazy monsters’.  I mean what other reason could we have for being angry/not wanting sex/’letting ourselves go’?

  1. Ahhh, I feel really sorry for the husbands mentioned here. How do they cope.

  2. Jane Osmond says:

    Yes, my heart is bleeding as well Cecilia. It is a real shame that women suddenly become surplus to requirements when they go through a life changing event and, possibly for once, are not totally focused on their husbands/partners. Hopefully this is a trait that affects a certain generation of men, and the younger generation will be more in tune with their partners. Maybe.

  3. Karen Whiteley says:

    The onus is on the women to explain? Surely if you see someone you love going through a horrible, difficult time, the onus is on you to educate yourself to understand it and support them? Maybe I just live in LalaLand.

  4. Jackie says:

    Maybe for some women, the menopause is a time when they start to re-evaluate their lives, and decide they don’t want to put up with being a doormat for their partners and children any longer. I reckon the anger is more political than hormonal.

  5. I do think older women are stronger, perhaps they get to a point where they’ve just had enough

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