I received an interesting response the other day when I was doing a little research before writing this sharepost. The questions that I asked were:
- How does (or did) the man in your life deal with your menopausal symptoms?
- And have you tried to "educate" him about what's going on?
Actually, what surprised me was that I received virtually no response from a group of friends who normally will share a lot of details about what they’re facing. Only Brenda provided a response. She wrote, “Yes I have ‘tried’ to educate my hubby, by talking to him about changes that were going on with my body, mood swings (such as when I lashed out although I couldn't even explain why), etc. I simply asked that he be patient with me and ask that he try to tune in when I become more sensitive at times than others.”
“On a more serious note it is very important to educate your spouse; that's the least you can do, and hope they will know when you are going through these changes,”
Brenda said. “My clue to him is ‘today is not my day!’”
Brenda’s response made me realize that Dr. Tara Allmen is onto something. Dr. Allmen, who is a National Certified Menopause Practitioner, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fellow of the American College of Ob-Gyn, and Chairman of the Allmen Foundation, is married and also perimenopausal. Based on feedback from her clients, Dr. Allmen has developed a companion DVD, “What’s Up with You-Know-Who?” that goes with her new DVD reference, “Menopause in an Hour.” (Copies of both DVDs were sent to me to preview prior to my interview with Dr. Allmen.)
“My patients were telling me, ‘My husband thinks I’m crazy,’” she said. “We need to educate the fellows a little bit so they can be empathetic and helpful to their partners.” The men often experience initial discomfort when the topic of menopause comes up, but Dr. Allmen believes they’re actually open to learning more, noting “Couples who communicate better and have active sex lives have longer and better health.”
“What’s Up with You-Know-Who?” is designed to inform family and friends (including men) about the challenges a woman faces while entering menopause and what they can do provide support. “I try to deliver the information in a humorous way,” she said.
In this DVD, Dr. Allmen doesn’t go into issues such as hormone replacement. Instead, she focuses this segment on steps that can be taken to create what she calls “A Loving Lifestyle.” This type of lifestyle is based on exercise, eating healthy foods, avoiding unhealthy food choices, drinking more water, and “living, giving and loving more.” Her approach in what she addresses on this DVD makes sense since these lifestyle choices are ways that family members and friends can not only provide support, but also join with the woman in embracing these healthy habits.
Published On: May 20, 2010