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What we wish our partners knew about menopause

Fri, Oct 15, 21
By an anonymous woman who never thought menopause would happen to her. 

 

There are some things I wish you knew that have been on the tip of my tongue for years. I’ll tell you, though - it’s not so easy to talk about. Who talks about this? My mother never talked about this. 

A part of me feels like maybe you won’t understand. But isn’t that better than settling for a relationship where we’re not talking? 

So I’ll talk. 

I’m dry. So dry, all the time and everywhere. Imagine spending every single night sitting in front of a roaring fire. It sounds like a nice experience until you realize that the fire has removed every single drop of moisture from your whole body - and it’s not coming back. 

Don’t misunderstand me - it’s not just about sex. 

It’s my skin, my hair, my whole shebang. 

My old moisturizers don’t work anymore. I try oils and lotions and serums but my skin’s not getting the memo. Not sure if you recall the tragic twist of fate of yesteryear where I started breaking out with acne like some kind of teenager, but alas, those pimples were the last oases of oil that my poor skin could hope for. Once those dried up, so did the rest of me. 

Ever wonder why I’ve been to six different hair salons in the past two years? I keep getting my hair done, and every time it turns out looking like I got a cut and color from my dog. It’s because my hair, once oh so beautiful and thick, is now the glorious trifecta of thin, brittle, and dry. Not exactly a recipe for feeling the most attractive. 

My body is changing and I didn’t see it. Did you? I felt like the same me, yes maybe the same old me, but still the woman that I was when it all started. 

There was an old joke that I used to tell myself, that I’d be glad when this time came because I wouldn’t get my period anymore. The period I didn’t like so much because of the pain that came with it. Little did I know just what new and painful delights awaited me once the monthly periods ended. Except instead of pain just once a month for a paltry few days, I get dryness every day, and pain...also every day. 

Did you know that’s called atrophy? That’s right. My vagina is threatening to shrivel up and blow away in the wind.  

That’s barely a taste of what I’ve been dealing with these past years. Hot flashes, mood swings, pain, insecurities. And I didn’t say a word. Maybe I hoped you’d say something first. Or maybe I just thought it would be too awkward to talk about. 

Well, now you know. 

Other than listening, I have one more thing to ask of you. 

Be my partner in this journey. Share my successes, my failures, my confident days, my insecure ones. 

I’m ready to do this alone. But I realize now that I don’t have to. 

So, can we talk?