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Indian Husbands Ignore Issues Of Their Menopausal Wives Making Them Feel Invisible; ENOUGH!

Just as women do not talk about their periods to their husbands, they don't share about menopause and usually suffer alone. Unless a medical issue presents itself; and by then any preventive or therapeutic medicine or treatment is already late.

Menopause is the pause we women find ourselves in whether or not we are prepared for it. Life is such that it keeps changing no matter if we prepare for it or not.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It is diagnosed after you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s. Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot-flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health.”

Of all aspects of a woman’s life, the least talked about is menopause. A drastic life change that is inevitable, yet one that often occurs in silence—most spouses or family members are not aware of it.

Menopause is made invisible by women’s silence and their spouse’s disregard

Just as women do not talk about their periods to their husbands, they don’t share about menopause and usually suffer alone. Unless a medical issue presents itself; and by then any preventive or therapeutic medicine or treatment is already late.

I also find that most husbands are not at all supportive, just like most do not want to be aware of the periods unless they hinder their sex life; forget discussing something that is unpredictable at best. A person who should ideally be the biggest support since he would be the first one to know that his spouse is going through a difficult phase, is the one who turns a blind eye and deaf ear.

Add to it the various symptoms and changes that it brings to a woman, and it is a volatile mix. Yet the partner who sleeps next to you is unaware, or rather the wife’s discomfort is drowned in the snores of a well-looked-after man.

No one wants to take the onus of making the difficult choice or task of making a middle-aged woman’s life easy. Despite the massive changes all around the woman yet she must sail through it all without breaking a sweat. Just shine baby, women do not perspire! Hot-flashes are in your mind, as is the waning libido.

The forties and fifties are for self-discovery and here too the men have taken over with their ‘mid-life crisis’ of buying superbikes, gadgets and toys for pleasure, leaving little room for a woman to express her angst.

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Menopausal women increasingly find themselves being lonely…

Now you know why so many affairs happen with older women. All of them need a sympathetic ear, and someone who makes her feel wanted even when nature and life are blaring signals about her getting old, undesirable and unfit as her biology changes.

As we age, we find ourselves to be increasingly unattractive and top these with the typical menopause symptoms and anyone will doubt herself. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. We find it easier to bury it under the carpet than air it in the open. A woman suffers from physical and mental symptoms, all the while showing a normal facade to the world. Heaven forbid that we talk about ageing—we aim to be forever young and beautiful.

A time of changes both inside and outside makes it tough to handle. The hot-flashes that make us shine at the most inopportune moment or the painful breasts that make the normal daily activity difficult are just the tip of the iceberg, or should I say volcano; the hot-flashes are the worst. No one wants to be sweating buckets in nice clothes.

We need to shout about it, not just talk!

I am lucky that I have the elder women in my family who talk about menopause, so I was somewhat prepared but not so much that I have not felt helpless and crazy on some days and many nights. Even with all the details I knew, experiencing it first-hand has been disconcerting and unsettling.

Sleep is a big issue since it is the one thing that holds it all together. I find the endless nights and small irritable noises the worst. Add the total lack of discussion and genuine conversations with female friends and I feel all alone as if this is a peculiar disease specific to my madness and taboo to boot!

Can we talk about menopause just like we share and discuss puberty? It is also growth or change in the human body, but since it is just women who face menopause, the world thinks that it is okay not to talk about it.

I say let’s shout about it. The only way to embrace this life phase is to get loud about it and talk. Support groups, discussions, and the ever-popular zoom meetings are the easiest way forward.

So many lives can be saved if we spread awareness about menopause. Not just the women, but families—couples and relationships. But we—you and me, all of us need to talk about it, embrace it and not see it as a symbol of ageing but that of growth.

Menopause should not be a pause, but rather a stepping stone to the carefree, adventurous years for a woman who knows what she needs and how to enjoy what she wants. With or without the support of her partner.

Image source: a still from the Marathi film Photo Prem

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About the Author

indywrites

Inderpreet writes for her love of writing, edits manuscripts and reads endlessly. An authors' editor with a decade of experience, she provides manuscript critique, linguistic editing, substantive editing and developmental editing for fiction and nonfiction. read more...

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