I Try So Hard, Why Does She Hate Me?
The truth is there are some people in our lives that we can never please. No matter how hard we try, our good enough never seems to be good enough. This can be very hurtful to us and makes us feel as though we are not loved, or even hated by those we seek to please. Something to consider: It is not you. It may not even be the other person.
Ben is a good husband and father. He works hard at his job, is well-respected by his peers, and his children adore him. His wife, Sara, on the other hand, can't seem to find anything good in anything he does. Even though he comes home every night after work, has always pitched in with dinner, the kids, and the chores, his wife complains. If he is five minutes later than usual, there are at least five minutes of complaining he and the children endure while eating dinner. If on the one occasion he forgets to take out the trash, he hears about it every day until the next trash day.
Sometimes he wishes he could just take a break from it all. But, he loves his children. He also loves his wife, at least who she used to be. Over the past five years, he has no idea who this woman is. Over the past years, all she does is complain, she is angry most of the time, and he cannot remember the last time they had sex. The kids are in high school, one due to graduate in two years, the other in three. They had always looked forward to the time the kids would be in college and they could have the house to themselves. That was when they were in their 40s; now they were both in their mid-40s and it seemed at times their marriage might end before they emptied the nest.
Ben nor his wife may realize that she may be going through menopause. Menopause can begin as early as the 40's or as late as the 60's, and in some cases, the symptoms can be so severe it makes the woman and those around her feel as if she is losing her mind. Sara is only 45 and it may not have occurred to her that she is experiencing early signs of menopause, sometimes called peri-menopause. Most women in their 40s only see their gynecologist once every year or two, and if her periods are still regular, and she has not told her OB-gyne or family doctor of her recent mood changes, they may have no reason to suspect she is going through early menopause.
What is a Man to Do?
The last thing a man should ever suggest to his wife is that she is menopausal.No matter how tenderly he proffers the suggestion, it is going to sound like an insult. However, he can be supportive and suggest that he is concerned for her and that she should see her doctor. He can say that he knows she is not feeling herself lately, and that there could be a health reason.
When a woman is experiencing mood fluctuations, it can cause others in her midst to feel they are navigating the proverbial minefield. It is an uncomfortable time for all involved, but more so for the woman. Not all women experience severe menopausal symptoms, hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, or sleeplessness, but those who do are miserable.
For more information on menopause and how to support your wife or significant other through this, and to help you to understand, it is not you, but it is not her either, reach out to one of our qualified, licensed therapists.