Often called the grey divorce, menopause and divorce can sometimes come hand in hand.
In our culture, we assume that when someone reaches 50, some things are “settled”: career, partnership, home. We don’t expect a lot of dramatic, long-term changes after middle age. However, we are becoming more aware of the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of menopause, as well as how they impact women during this time, and the connection between menopause and the breakdown of relationships is becoming clearer. Most women who suffer through menopause could confirm that this period of time is anything but settled.
Multiple factors mean that couples, where women are suffering through menopause, are getting divorced at a much higher rate, these women often feel that their partner does not have the knowledge or ability to support them through such a difficult and physically and mentally strenuous time.
Menopause can affect you in many ways physically but can also take a great toll on your mental health causing mood changes such as irritability, sadness, lack of motivation, aggressiveness, problems focusing, stress, difficulty concentrating, and depression. If your spouse is not understanding of this and doesn’t have the knowledge to be able to help you through this, arguments can become a common occurrence. This may be over small things that spiral but constant arguing can sometimes feel like divorce. Making sure you take care of yourself however is extremely important.
Here are some helpful links on how you can do this:
This is something that is of course important in maintaining a healthy relationship, especially when married for a number of years as most women often are at the point, they have started to feel the effects of menopause. However, this can seem a lot less appealing when suffering from menopause symptoms since a reduced sex drive is one of these symptoms. It is important your spouse is understanding of this. If you can, sit down and explain to them how this time is physically affecting you and perhaps try to agree on different waits you can still show each other love and affection without making yourself uncomfortable. We know that not all partners may be happy with this but approaching the conversation is certainly a start.
If you feel like your partner doesn’t understand what you are going through, it can be easy for communication to slip away. You may get frustrated when trying to explain to them your symptoms so decide to exclude them from this entirely. This can make it a little harder for them to understand however so has opposite to the desired effect.
If you feel you can’t explain it, there are many articles online you can send to them which can try to help them understand your struggle and how it may be affecting your relationship.
A lack of communication can often cause you and your partner to grow apart. It may have been building for a number of years now but you feel that you are not ‘in-touch’ with your partner anymore.
They have not helped to support you through your symptoms and have shown no interest in gaining an understanding of what it is you are experiencing and how their behaviour could affect this for you.
At the point you feel your spouse has displayed all of the above, you may feel like divorce is the only option. This is no bad thing as such, it may have a positive affect on you in the long run and help to empower you if you feel your spouse is no longer helping or uplifting you as they may have one done. Divorce is of course not a decision to take likely but if you have sought professional advice and you feel that divorce is the right path for you, then it may be time to sit your spouse down for this conversation.
Call us on 0800 294 0452 to start talking about your divorce today.