How to Strengthen Romantic Relationships in Menopause
Women go through different stages in their lives, and menopause is one of the most challenging ones. Not only are you suddenly experiencing symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain, low sex drive, and mood swings, but you now have to deal with menopause's impact on your relationships. The relationships that often suffer the most from menopausal symptoms, are romantic relationships. Whether it's your spouse or your partner(s), peri/menopause can sometimes negatively affect your romantic life.
If you and your partner are having trouble working through some of these challenges, then here are a few things you can do to repair your relationship during menopause.
Participate in Couples Rituals
Now you might be wondering, what are couples rituals? Think of couples rituals as any habitual activity you do with your partner. It could be having coffee with them every morning. It could be making Sunday brunch together. It could even be going for an afternoon walk once a week. Whatever ritual you have or want to have couple rituals are important building blocks for strong relationships. Do something together that makes you feel closer to your partner and do it regularly. Have a date night once a week, share a bedtime routine, or simply set some time aside each day for something that you can do together.
Make Sure to Check in
It doesn't matter if you work from home, are retired, or still work full-time, checking in with your spouse can help you strengthen your bond in menopause. Talk to each other at the dinner table. Ask them about their day, their work, or something new and interesting that you think they'll love. Check in on them from time to time about how they're feeling. If they're having a rough day, talk about it. Find ways to help them move past it. Having these kinds of conversations on a regular basis will bring you closer together. This is especially relevant if you both work and don't see each other much during the day.
Understand the Importance of Alone Time
Sometimes the key to repairing or maintaining a healthy relationship isn't by spending all your time together. There is value in spending some time alone too. When you and your partner need to decompress, take some alone time to relax. Read a good book by the fireplace or watch your favorite show. Whatever you do to relax, make sure you respect each other's space and privacy. Come together in the evenings for dinner but leave enough time before or after for your partner to slip into relaxation time. Be mindful of each other's personal space.
Prioritize Your Relationship
Putting your spouse/partner first is a sign of true effort. When times are stressful or hectic or just plain weird, it's important to remember to prioritize your relationship above everything else. Are you working overtime 4 nights a week? Is your calendar booked with book clubs, volunteer work, PTA meetings and more? Maybe it's time to cut back a little on your social commitments. Rework your calendar to include more time to spend with your partner. It can be anything from date nights to having longer coffee breaks in the mornings. The important thing is to make them feel like you're making the effort to keep your relationship in the number one slot on your list of priorities.
Talk About Your Problems
More than half of women who experience menopause say that they're too embarrassed to talk about their health issues with their partners, especially when it comes to sexual wellness. Talking about your hot flashes or your mood swings or you low sex drive can make you feel exposed, and it's perfectly natural to feel that way. There is no shame in feeling embarrassed, but, your relationship will suffer if you don't talk about it.
Having open and honest communication is the best way to strengthen your bond and help you get over the embarrassment you may be feeling. Talk to your partner about your concerns. Speak openly about your hot flashes, your mood swings, your low sex drive. If sex starts to feel painful, let them know so that they can find ways to make you feel more comfortable. Your partner cannot help you if you don't tell them what you're experiencing.
Celebrate Each Other
One of the biggest things you can do in a relationship is to celebrate even the smallest milestones and achievements. If you've gone a few days without experiencing intense hot flashes as a result of taking new medication, celebrate it together. If your mood swings are starting to decrease, celebrate it together. Maybe you've both achieved new success at work? Celebrate it together. Each achievement is something worth celebrating. Not only does it help boost your morale, but it can help bring you closer together by sticking to a more positive outlook. Cheering each other on can help lessen anxiety, sadness, and stress. So keep each other going with positivity and boost your spirits together.