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Don't let menopause cause a divorce!

"E" is the pen name of Ellen Sarver Dolgen, author of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness, a light-hearted, informative, easy-to-read book on menopause, and creator of  www.shmirshky.com, a resource treasure trove for women going...

The menopause-divorce connection

Women often find themselves divorced at the same time they're going through perimenopause and menopause. Why? Well, while there is never one reason for the breakup of a relationship, it is safe to say that the challenges of perimenopause and menopause can put tremendous strain on a couple. Here's how to diminish that effect.

Couple in 40s

Communication

It's so important for our loved ones -- especially our spouses -- to know when the perimenopause and menopause storm hits and what it's all about. If the woman herself is overwhelmed, confused and feeling isolated with her perimenopause and menopause experience, this alone can lead to incredible relationship strain. It doesn't take long for communication to break down and silence and confusion to take over.

Menopause and your sex life

One of the biggest issues couples face during perimenopause and menopause is the loss of their sex life. This is exactly what happened to John and his wife.

John told me that his wife, who he called "the love of his life," became uninterested in sex. He said that at a certain point, they became roommates instead of lovers. Their communication broke down and they got divorced.

John had no idea that this was perimenopause and menopause related. He didn't know that a drop in estrogen levels can cause a dry shmirshky, which can make sex hurt. He didn't know that low testosterone results in a low libido.

He thought it was about him and that she didn't love him anymore. He told me that he still loves his ex-wife deeply, and if they could have received help back then, it would have saved their marriage.

Don't let this happen to you

Reach out for the help you deserve and face these challenges together -- as a partnership, as a team. Remember that you both want the same end-result: To be happy and to enjoy each other and your life together.

Communication is the key in any healthy relationship, especially during perimenopause and menopause.

Oh, and guess what? It's not just the women who deal with these issues. There is such a thing, in fact, as male menopause. Google it!

Related video: male menopause

Is male menopause a reality?

Menopause is not just for women. It can also affect men over the age of 50. Alvarado Hospital's Dr. Larry Emdur talks about how male menopause can cause severe health problems for men and the treatment options that are available.

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