Exactly how do you explain hot flashes to a man? Put your hairdryer on the highest setting and chase him around the house! Just Kidding!!
Seriously here’s what to do:
The physical & emotional changes a woman goes through during menopause can put a significant strain on even the happiest partnership. Did you use to have harmony, peace & a nice sex life? And now you have arguments & frustration?
In the face of your fatigue, irritation, & lack of sexual interest, your husband might just feel like he can do nothing right, no matter how hard he tries. Your hot flashes are probably a complete mystery to your partner. Taking the time to explain your hot flashes to him can open his eyes to the struggles you are experiencing.
Here are a few tips:
Start with basic biology.
Most men have very little understanding of basic female biology, even if they are fathers many times over. Now you don't have to create diagrams or haul out medical textbooks; just explain that your decreasing hormone levels affect the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. In other words your “thermostat” has gone haywire. Men understand thermostats. Tell him that your brain thinks you are cold, and being a friendly brain, wants to warm you up. Tell him that instead of buying a wood stove, he can use you to heat the family room in the winter! (ha-ha). Also tell him that hot flashes & night sweats are common to 75 %of woman during Perimenopause & Menopause. You are not a freak of nature! “Honey, this is a real, medically-documented phenomenon. At midlife we woman have weight gain & hot flashes; you guys buy a motorcycle!
Don't downplay your symptoms.
Sometimes, we try to be stoic and downplay how miserable we feel. This is stressful and you will probably become resentful. Don't minimize how you feel when a hot flash hits. Get as descriptive as you need to be. Whether your skin feels “like it is on fire” or your head “feels like it is going to explode,” tell him. But try to keep your emotions in check. Sometimes, men tune out when women start getting emotional. You want him to understand that this is a physical reaction, not an emotional one. “Honey, it’s like someone is holding a Blow Torch to me.” Maybe you can both chuckle.
Explain you need “hands off” during a hot flash.
When hot flashes hit, the easiest way to deal with them is to remove a layer of clothes and find a cool breeze. The last thing you need is a man who sees you taking off a piece of clothing and wants to snuggle or lean on your shoulder during a movie marathon! Instead of pushing away your attention-seeking mate without explanation, make sure he knows that you need a few minutes to cool off. A typical hot flash lasts anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. HOWEVER it can take up to 30 minutes for a woman to feel normal again after a hot flash, especially with stronger and more intense hot flashes. Let him know that as soon as you cool off, you will be back to cuddle again so he doesn't feel like you are pushing him away. And, by the way, congratulations if you have a cuddling husband!
Give him a way to help.
Men love to solve problems and providing a “to-do list” for your hot flashes may let him feel more helpful. Whether you need an open window, a lower thermostat or to just head outside to cool off, get him involved as best you can. You may also want to explain other lifestyle changes that may minimize hot flashes. Getting more exercise and eating a healthy diet that includes more cruciferous vegetables can also help reduce the severity of hot flashes. Get your man involved in these changes so he feels like he is helping you feel better. Make sure he understands that menopausal symptoms may last a while so he doesn’t think there is a quick fix!
Ladies, Men will not intuitively understand your hot flashes. They have never had one. If your guy truly doesn’t understand your struggle, have him call me. I promise I will help! You can also tell him to go on my website and order you a couple of jars of progesterone crème. You can let him rub it on you!
Fact: I can tell you that women with hot flashes are found to have healthier vessels than women who do not. So that is the proverbial silver lining. Also, my experience is that life post-menopause is fantastic…especially if your child, or children have moved out of the house. LOL
I love you, Ladies. I’m on your side!
Warmly, (yes, that is a pun)
Call or email me if you need more help!
Tell your man to read Barbs cup…
“Im Still Hot it... just comes in flashes!”
# (877) 880- 0170 or Barbara@askbarbarahoffman.com