I Try So Hard, Why Does She Hate Me?
Updated November 20, 2019
Reviewer Laura Angers
There are some people in our lives that seem impossible to please. No matter how hard we try, our very best never feels good enough. This can be very hurtful to us, and it makes us feel as though we are not loved. Sometimes we are even hated by those we seek to please. However, it may not be about you. Read on to learn about a couple in a similar situation.
Ben is a good husband and father. He works hard at his job, is well-respected by his peers, and is adored by his children. His wife, Sara, on the other hand, can't seem to appreciate anything he does. He comes home every night after work, and he always pitches in with dinner, the kids, and the chores, but his wife complains. If he is five minutes late, he and the children will have to endure at least ten minutes of complaints over dinner. If he ever forgets to take out the trash, he hears about it every day for a week.
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, she has become a stranger. 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 is due to graduate in two years, the other in three. Ben and Sara had always looked forward to the time when the kids would be in college, so they could have the house to themselves. That was when they were in their 40s. Ten years later, it seems their marriage might end before they empty the nest.
Neither Ben nor his wife may realize that Sara may be going through menopause. Menopause can begin as early as the 40s or as late as the 60s, and in some cases, the symptoms can be severe. They can make a woman and those around her feel as if she is losing her mind.
Sara is only 45-years-old, and it may not have occurred to her that she is experiencing early signs of menopause, sometimes called perimenopause. Most women in their 40s only see their gynecologist once every year or two, but if her periods are still regular, and she has not told her doctor about her mood changes, they may have no reason to suspect she is going through early menopause.
In this scenario, neither Ben nor Sara are necessarily at fault. Ben is allowed to feel frightened, confused, or hurt by his wife's actions, while Sara may feel similar confusion, shame, or fear. Everything is okay. Menopausal symptoms are a common source of tension for relationships at this age. In the next section, we have a couple of suggestions for approaching the situation from Ben's point of view.
What is a Man to Do?
It probably won't help Ben if he suggests that Sara is menopausal. No matter how tenderly he offers the suggestion, it's going to sound like an insult. However, he can be supportive and empathetic. He may say that he is concerned for her, and he could carefully suggest that she should see her doctor. He can also say that he knows she is not feeling herself lately and that there could be a medical reason at play.
It can be difficult to make these suggestions. The woman in question is more likely to receive them well if the man speaks from a place of love. If he expresses compassion for his significant other, showing that he truly cares for her and that he is here to support her, then she will be more willing to listen. Judgement, accusations, and picking a fight are not going to help in this conversation. The woman is still the same person. It's just that she may be dealing with a manageable condition and needs to seek treatment.
Online Therapy May Be Useful
When a woman experiences mood fluctuations, it can cause others around her to feel as if they are navigating a proverbial minefield. It's an uncomfortable time for all involved, but especially for the woman. Not all women experience severe menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, or sleeplessness, but those who do are miserable.
It is important to understand that it's not your fault, but it's not hers either. For more information on menopause and how to support your wife or significant other through this phase of life, reach out to one of our qualified, licensed therapists.
You may be at a standstill in your relationship, but every relationship has its struggles. You and your wife can work through the tension caused by her menopausal symptoms, and a counselor from BetterHelp can support you through the process. Below are some reviews from BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"Matthew is a great counselor and has helped me tremendously. I first started working with him when my marriage and my life was totally falling apart. He helped me rediscover things in myself and fall in love with myself again. I am now much happier in my life and every time we speak I realize something new. My only regret is not starting counseling earlier."
"The longer I work with Dr. Simon, the more grateful I am to have found a counselor who strikes such a kind balance between supporting and empathizing as well as challenging and coaching. She's been invaluable to the progress I've made individually and in my relationship."
Menopausal symptoms can be difficult for everyone involved. Always remember that many couples go through this natural process, and help is available. A fulfilling relationship is possible, with the right tools. Take the first step.