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Living with Those Experiencing Menopause: What to Expect and Do

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  • Living with Those Experiencing Menopause: What to Expect and Do

    Around the age of 51 most American women enter a transitional phase during which both menstruation and fertility end. To actually hit “menopause” takes about a year for most women, and the time in between and before can be trying to say the least.

    Ironically, save for a decline in “introspectiveness” and an increase in hot flashes, a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology actually found that the majority of women do not experience negative mental health consequences during menopause.

    That said, we think the majority of women who have gone through menopause -- along with the husbands and other family members who have gone through it with them -- would beg to differ. Many women report experiencing profound emotional changes, equivalent to full-time PMS, during menopause. The emotional rollercoaster can include:
    • Mood swings
    • Irritability
    • Sadness
    • Anxiety and tension
    • Aggressiveness
    • Fatigue
    • * Difficulty concentrating
    • * Lack of motivation


    These emotions can appear long before a woman officially hits menopause -- sometimes four or five years before. On a physical level, changes in hormones are responsible for many of the symptoms, including the sleep disturbances, thinning hair, and increased tummy fat that can also occur.

    But on an emotional level, menopause is difficult for women to face because it signals they're getting older. It can also imply that a woman's sexuality or even her usefulness as a female are somehow gone.

    At the same time, not all changes that happen during menopause are negative, points out Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates.

    “This is a very important transition for everyone,” he says. “In addition to all the various physical changes, a woman transitions away from being there for others to starting to remember to take care of herself. This often can be misinterpreted, however it is a very healthy transition.”

    How to Help Your Wife, Mom or Any Female You Love Handle Menopause

    The mood swings and change in attitude that accompany menopause can make it a challenging time for others in the household. You may feel that your wife's newfound interest in yoga, ceramics or golf means that she doesn't care about you as much -- when in reality she's just exploring her own needs-- for instance.

    Or you may be shocked by her sudden outburst or fit of tears, and not know how to react.

    So what is the best way?

    “The best way you can support both yourself and a woman going through menopause is to simply allow her to have her own experience and to be exactly as she is,” Dwoskin says. “The feelings that come up at this time are just like any feelings. They are not facts, they are not the person and they can be released.

    If you have not yet explored the concept of releasing, now is the perfect time to do so, both for yourself and your wife, mother or other female friend who is going through menopause. When you release, something that's simple to learn using The Sedona Method, you'll be able to have a clarity and peace of mindthat you may never have experienced before.

    This is because releasing helps you stay focused on the big picture, rather than getting caught up in each mood swing or disagreement.

    “Also remember that if a woman is behaving differently or she is taking care of herself more this is a step forward not backward,” Dwoskin says. “Most important, do not take her changes in attitude and behavior personally.”

    If you follow this advice, and continue to release any feelings this transition brings up in you, you and your wife (mother, etc.) will sail through menopause with ease.

    'And if your partner is open to it,' Dwoskin adds, 'you can be there both to listen to what she's going through and to offer releasing assistance if desired.'
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