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Just A Guy Dealing With Menopause

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Bruce Sallan: I doubt there's any way I can win writing about this topic anymore than commenting on PMS wins over women's hearts. But, that said, I have to say women's plumbing and emotions continue to be a mystery to me.

Man and woman having trouble with each other

My new wife has been "in menopause" since we met, so I actually have no idea who she really is. First, there were the hot flashes. Then, the moods. Then, more moods. Then, the new moods began, followed by the post-hot flashes moods. Did I mention her moods?

OMG, when she reads this her mood is really going to improve. But, seriously, there certainly do seem to be some changes going on. The hot flashes have mostly stopped, but she's undergoing real changes in her body that must be crazy-making. Especially for a woman who has always taken such great care of her body, in the form of working out regularly, eating well, and taking every vitamin supplement available at Whole Foods.

The treatment options are even more confusing. Take hormones and you risk some disease. Take custom-made hormones and you go broke and there really isn't much difference. Go to Chinese witch doctors and you brew foul-smelling teas. You women just can't win!

So, I know there's just one solution for me. No, not euthanasia (for either of us), but patience. Thankfully, my boys don't have a clue. They just think we're nuts all the time anyway. But, what do I know, I'm just a guy.

next: Haleigh Cummings' Dad: 'She's Out There Somewhere'
21 comments so far | Post a comment now
jennifer May 16, 2009, 7:12 PM

this article made me have serious compassion for men. they are so disadvantaged when it comes to understanding women and our mysterious ways. btw, men go through as many hormonal changes as women do in their lifetimes!

Debra May 16, 2009, 7:54 PM

The key to handling your wife is right in your blog; humor. And, of course, patience. We have to put up with all your male b.s. you know! Good blog; at least you’re noticing what’s going on which is better than I can say about my husband!

Erin May 16, 2009, 9:21 PM

So, are you going to let us know what your wife said about this blog? I think women today, and men for that matter, all worry too much about everything. Menopause is just another part of life. Sometimes, we just have to endure these things. Enjoy the feel good times and shut up about the others. And, making those around us aware of every little hurt we have just makes them miserable too. My mom always had a smile on her face though she endured amazing hardships in her life. Our generation could learn something from hers and a be a little less self-involved. I enjoy your blogs Bruce. Sometimes, if there wasn’t that photo, I think you’re a woman in disguise. Ha ha!

Debra May 17, 2009, 8:04 AM

I couldn’t agree with Erin and Debra more. The key to LIFE/relationships is patience, humor and most of the time keeping your eye on all the good in your mate instead of the bad. Bruce if you want to know what menopause is read a book about it. In fact, there are a couple on the bookshelf in my office. It’s different for every woman. As I’m writing this comment it’s 4:58 AM another bout of insomnia has hit me. The hot flashes have subsided somewhat after 6 years now if I could just get some sleep!

Scott May 18, 2009, 8:29 AM

Bruce…good to find your blog…love your columns!

I have a good friend whose wife describes her hot flashes as “my inner child playing with matches” I am also a guy trying to be supportive and understanding of my wife’s struggle with menopause. As others have written, the keys have been communication and humor. Early on in this process, we had a series of discussions about her and her family’s medical history and the potential dangers of hormone therapy. For me, it’s actually a pretty simple issue. Every bit of reading I’ve done indicates that with a family history of cancer like my wife’s, she is at serious risk if she took the HRT route. So, we trade some tough years for, we hope, a long and healthy life together. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

? May 18, 2009, 10:14 AM

Well, Bruce, all I can say is “Yes, Dear” works well. Good luck and just try to understand how she might feel, as hard as that is for “just a guy.” Love your blogs; keep ‘em coming!

Anonymous May 18, 2009, 11:04 AM

Men will never fully understand women and maintain sanity (incompatible ends). Menopause exacts a huge price on women and as a result on their men as well. HRT is better understood today and under many circumstances can be a terrific solution to a very vexing problem (for both sexes).

Christine May 18, 2009, 1:54 PM

I originally laughed out loud when I read this piece. Perhaps I was embarrassed for us ladies (or perhaps it was for the writer…!). All joking aside, menopause is a significant concern for many women. I have gone through some of the first signs of peri-menopause myself, and all I can say is I hope my guy will be just as compassionate and patient with me as he has always been. Good topic!

Bruce Sallan May 18, 2009, 2:46 PM


I know your guy, and I think you’re in BIG trouble! Just kidding. Thanks for the comment.

Susan May 18, 2009, 2:48 PM

All I can say is you have the right philosophy..don’t try to figure it would have to be inside a woman’s body to really know how it feels…it is also an age when (even in today’s world of being able to look younger longer) a menopausal woman begins to lose the things that makes men pay attention…it is also a very emotionally difficult time because it is a sign of lost youth…Just my opinion….having gone through it for 10 years!

Melissa (Australia) May 19, 2009, 6:00 AM

Why do I find this funny and scary all at the same time? I think that the hard things, when faced alone can easily undo us. Yet when shared give us the ability to laugh at ourselves (or maybe that is just hysteria?) So good to know that we are all in this together….men inculded!!

Eleanor Lee May 19, 2009, 3:47 PM

I wanted to say something profund. Not having gone thru it myself, I understand it’s not only annoying but also intolerable. All I have to say is you have the sense of humor and the “yes dear” kind of patience, just stay with it. It’s only a phase of life.


Beverly Shorr May 21, 2009, 12:11 AM

Bruce, another wonderful insight into this very challenging time for all women. My daughter will certainly be helped by your article.

I thoroughly look forward to each and everyone one.

Good job,

Beverly Shorr

Monique May 22, 2009, 1:39 AM

Wow, great blog Bruce. I’m not there yet, but I can relate. There are times when I don’t recognize the person who’s making my mouth run. The best thing about your take on menopause is that you’re not trying to fix things. There is no fix. Thanks for understanding. Love your blogs. What’s next?

Kelli Grenier May 26, 2009, 6:06 PM

I see my first comment on this subject didnt stick. I dont remember exactly what I wrote the first time except, I LOVE this guy. Bruce, you really nailed it considering you’ll never have to live it…(Hopefully) Strange how we get such a bad rap about this condition and yet men call it MIDLIFE CRISIS… We’re in crisis too, however you have made an effort to understand and WE ALL LOVE YOU for that… Kelli

Kathy June 5, 2009, 8:55 AM

Been there gone through that! Hope this helps” Drove my husband crazy as well. I found that by following my Dr’s advice, dieting (or just watching what I eat) and exercising I feel good and I still am a size 4. It’s a battle but I keep on chugging.

james June 16, 2009, 5:28 PM

Lots of laughs, but my girlfriend just broke up with me because of all the anxiety she feels in her life because of menopause…I am not even sure she realizes she is going through it…she’s 51 yesterday…I love her and I losther. Thanks menopause.

Lance Chambers February 15, 2010, 6:55 AM

That’s right.Understanding the biological and physiological changes in a woman’s body will enable men to cope with the symptoms and make necessary adjustments and compromise if they want to save the relationship. These changes are not permanent and can be treated but a healthy and active lifestyle with lots of exercise and essential vitamins is the best and natural way to ease the symptoms. May 31, 2011, 9:35 AM

Menopause_bruce_sallan.. May I repost it? :) June 3, 2011, 7:50 AM

Menopause_bruce_sallan.. Dandy :)

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