Relationship Survival Strategy: For men living with a woman in menopause:
Is this the end of my sex life?? This is a realistic fear for a man in relationship with a woman who is experiencing the wavering libido of menopause and “not tonight” is the most common response to his expressed desire for sex. What can he do? There are no simple answers…but if this is you and you’re willing to get on the program and stay with it you have a high chance of maintaining a sexual connection with your woman, and even having the best sex of your life as you get older.
One of the main ways you can ease the menopausal path for both of you is to have some understanding of what is happening, and of how your responses has a major impact on the end result. Because negative judgement of her at this sensitive time will have a psychological and even physical impact on the experience for both of you. It is vital you develop trust in the process and trust in your woman as she basically redefines who she is. Maintaining a grounded perspective and a sense of humour is a great help too!
Menopause happens around the age of 51, but can start as early as 30. a woman is considered to have reached menopause when she has been period free for 1 year. Menopause is not only the time when a woman stops ovulating and having her period. The immense upheaval of her hormonal system reorienting itself to not having babies produces a range of physical effects such as hot flushes and sweats- especially at night, mental fogginess, mood swings, depression, decreases in libido, vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls which can make sex painful. To add insult to injury she may also be subjected to a higher level of vaginal infections such as thrush for a while. Eventually the hormones sort themselves out and she returns to a more even keel, after 5-10yrs. Menopause is different for each woman, for some it’s barely noticeable, for others it impacts on every area of her life even into her 70’s.
There are huge range of treatments available that can support a women through the physical symptoms but none that will “fix” it for each person. It can be a frustrating time for her of finding what works.
At a big picture level there is also a shift in how a woman sees herself
She is no longer the mother as she once was (menopause often occurs as kids have left home), her body is forcing her to face the fact of getting older, even of death. She too, like you, may have fears around her sexuality, she faces a a great deal of social conditioning around older women not being seen as sexual beings or having a place in the world, although this is very slowly starting to change.
Her body is not forcing her to nurture others as it once did with so now there is more room for herself and her female psyche will challenge her to question who she is, which can bring either anxiety or freedom. It can be a time of great unknown and uncertainty. Sometimes a woman will move straight from motherhood to grandmotherhood, giving her a renewed sense of self without her having to confront the question of ‘who is she if she is not a mother?’ She will often look to try new things for herself, make changes, seek to “sort things out”. If you’re not good with change this can make her very challenging to live with.
As well as these personal issues menopause often causes a woman to reassess her relationship, as with the children gone there is less room to hide what is or is not working between you. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you, it means she wants the best possible for herself. When sex is less frequent it can be difficult to want to stay close and intimate to this forgetful, emotional, sweaty, and lowered libido woman, but it is what she most needs to help her stay grounded and connected to you and her sexuality as she becomes more connected with herself.
As a result of all this, coming through menopause will end with a woman feeling more comfortable with who she is and where she is going. Sex becomes less about creating babies or providing pleasure for the man and more about self pleasure, sharing pleasure, fun, love and spiritual connection.
How you can help:
Physically: look after your own health ie. eat well, keep active, minimize stress, so you are in the best place to have sex when it is available.
Support her with any medical or other specialists she chooses to see. Understand this process can take time to get right.
Emotionally: Listen if she needs to share, know you don’t need to fix anything, just hear her. Also encourage her to share with her female friends for support.
Be willing to sort through things with her that apply to you.
Also be willing to set your boundaries if her emotionality is crossing yours.
Sexually: Don’t take it personally: If she has less overall interest in sex and takes longer to become aroused, produces less vaginal lubrication and has less intense orgasms don’t assume it is about not desiring you.
Remind her that having sex promotes elasticity in the vaginal tissues so having sensitive sex can help the symptoms reduce.
Know too that for a woman, desire doesn’t necessarily come before arousal, so encourage sex from an openhearted place, and remind her that desire may come once you start.
Also know that a daily 10 min attention to her gspot can help keep her connected to herself and her sexuality (without using it as foreplay, making it her time).
Respect yourself and don’t give up on your sexuality by shutting it down, emotionally withdrawing totally into porn, or going outside the relationship to get your needs met, at least without having tried these suggestions and having an agreement in place.
Let go of any agenda to manipulate her into bed, no wheedling, sulking or blaming, don’t make every touch an attempt to stimulate her. This will only push her away.
Do talk about how important sex is for you, what it brings you, let her feel your vulnerability in this; discuss your fears, concerns, especially about your fears of hurting her whilst sex is painful. Discuss what other options you can try, be willing to cooperate, be creative.
Respect her No’s and be willing do more self pleasuring.
Learn to last longer in sex so you will still be there when her arousal kicks in.
Learn to focus more on being in the moment in sex, going slow, conscious breathing, make connection rather than orgasms the focus.
Make the shift from merely having sex to get off, performing in bed and start learning to make love. This is what the mature woman will be looking for, she wants a man who will meet her there. Learn to bring your heart into your sexuality, penetrating her heart as much as her yoni. There is as much for you in this as there is for her- it will take your pleasure to a whole new level as you learn to make love as a man, rather than just getting off from your boy.
Know too that often she is not going to be “in her body” at this time with so much happening for her, so include plenty of loving touch (without sexual agenda) in your connection with her ie. sharing a hug, sitting together in the couch, holding hands, touching her on the body with the whole of your hand and holding it still for a moment, massaging her neck or feet. This helps her get grounded.
As you can see there is a lot going on at this time and the main tool is to start and keep communicating, attempt to understand, learn, connect and grow with her and the blessings will be many as you get to know this brand new, sexual, powerful woman!
And remember expert help from outside can smooth the pathways so don’t be afraid to ask for support. See some of the things we can offer you here:
Call us TOLL FREE 1800 TANTRA (826 872), email link
Getaways for you and your woman to reconnect