If your Wife Won't Have Sex With You After Her Menopause
Lack of sexual intimacy in a marriage can be due to many causes ranging from emotional dynamics between the couple and the kind of lifestyle they lead to physical condition of either partner. In case of the last, one of the most significant is female menopause which ushers in wide-ranging physiological, emotional and social changes in the life of a woman. While a husband may be willing to understand it all, he is also likely to feel upset at his sexual needs not being met in the marriage. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few suggestions to help you deal with your wife’s lack of interest in sex after menopause.
Get the facts
The first step to coping with the consequences of your wife’s menopause is to inform yourself of the facts. Menopause marks the end of the fertile period in a woman’s life and is typically diagnosed twelve months after she ceases menstruating. Apart from lack of interest in sex, the most common complaints are hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, weight gain and stress even though symptoms may vary widely among women. Educate yourself by reading as much as you can find on the subject. You could hit the library and pore over printed material or ask your family doctor about the physiological and emotional processes involved in a female menopause.
Understand what is going on
As you acquaint yourself with the various aspects of menopause, you will gradually understand why this is a time when women lose interest in sex. Menopause brings about changes in the levels of various kinds of hormones in the body, one of the most important being estrogen. As the level of estrogen dips, there is a corresponding fall in blood supply to the vagina. This decreased blood flow can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable intercourse. Menopause is also associated with lower levels of testosterone, a hormone which plays a major role in enhancing sex drive primarily in men but also to some extent in women.
Apart from hormonal changes, there are numerous other factors that may influence a woman's interest in sexual activity during menopause and after. Bladder control problems are common in menopausal and post-menopausal women and these may inhibit love-making. Many women going through menopause are affected by sleep disturbances which leave them too tired and irritable to enjoy sex. Other than these depression, anxiety and stress at all the changes taking place in her life can put a woman off sex. In fact even certain medications prescribed to treat menopausal symptoms like sleeplessness and depression may have side effects which further decrease the libido. Understanding the many ways that menopause affects sexual desire in women will help you to treat your wife with empathy and realize that she may not be willingly pushing you away.
Take pleasure in physical intimacy
Popular notions about marital fulfillment has brought about an either/or attitude towards sex in relationships. Either you have sex in your marriage or you don’t have a marriage at all. At a time when your wife is herself going through menopause such an attitude can be damaging. However your sexual needs are valid as well and incase of a mismatch, it is best to shift the focus on staying physically connected for a while In fact, there is a lot that couples can do to enjoy intimacy with each other. Hugging and kissing your wife regularly will help you to remain physically connected. For special occasions, take a shower together or pamper your spouse with a sensual massage. Spend leisurely evenings with some soft music and aromatic candles around. All these ways will help you both to take pleasure in physical intimacy without pressure to go all the way.
Do things that you enjoy together
Even though menopause is a complicated phase, you need not let it run your marital life. Use humor to defuse a tensed situation and you may just find your wife join in out of sheer relief. Again help her to feel that there is still an element of fun in your relationship. Take your wife out on surprise dinner dates or send her a lovely bouquet of flowers at work. In fact a great way to remain close to each other is to do something interesting together. Take up a hobby which you both enjoy like hiking in the mountains or putting up amateur theatrical productions. You could also join classes for couples like learning to do the salsa or experimenting with Thai or Lebanese cuisine. These activities will not only offer you innovative ways to have fun with each other but more importantly keep you busy from obsessing about the perceived lack of sex in your relationship. However even as you try to keep things light, don’t make her menopause the butt of jokes. If you start using humor to show your anger or disapproval, you are neither helping your wife nor your relationship.
Menopause in a woman brings with the realization that she is no longer young and past her fertile age. This may cause your wife to feel old, unattractive and even dispensable at times. She may even be anxious about your love and fearful of your getting involved with a younger woman. This is the right time to reassure your wife how much she means to you and your family. Tell her that you love her and why. Sometimes simple but heartfelt words of love and reassurance are enough to make women more amenable to intimacy. However be careful not to appear patronizing or insincere. Remember she is your wife and will sense it from a mile away when you are faking. Rather look for quiet, mundane moments in your daily life to appreciate her.
However if the gap between your mutual needs is too wide, it may be best to seek professional help. A sex therapist might be able to suggest ways to give and receive pleasure keeping both your expectations in mind. Or if your wife finds making love particularly uncomfortable, she could ask for remedies from her doctor.
Many experts now believe that women actually start enjoying sex after menopause. Relieved of the worries of an unplanned pregnancy and with decrease in child-rearing responsibilities, women may in fact have more leisure and opportunity to enjoy sex. However conditions vary and what you may read in a magazine may not apply to your wife. The bottom-line is that unlike conventional wisdom, menopause is no longer considered to put a stop to living and loving, either in the life of a woman or for a couple.