How can a married couple navigate the struggles that arise when the wife enters the menopausal phase?
The impact of menopause extends beyond the physical symptoms, affecting the couple’s relationship dynamics. The wife may experience a loss of identity and self-esteem as she confronts aging and a shift in her reproductive capacity. This emotional journey can lead to self-doubt, anxiety, and a sense of loss, which the husband may find challenging to comprehend fully.
However, by fostering open communication, empathy, and a willingness to adapt, couples can navigate this phase together, finding new ways to maintain intimacy, support each other’s emotional well-being, and strengthen their bond.
In this episode, we’ll take a deeper dive into the topic of the menopausal stage and what you can do to help your wife navigate through the changes it brings.
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Doug Holt 00:01
Hey, guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. If you guys have been with us for a while, you probably knew that last episode we were scheduled to talk about menopause. However, Tim and I got off on a tangent, and I hope you guys enjoyed that. We always have a good time on this show. So, Tim, are you ready to deep dive into Menopause?
Tim Matthews 01:23
Ohh. It’s been a lifelong dream. Let’s do it.
Doug Holt 01:26
So I got some notes here, but this came up. What I did, Tim, is I posted something in our private community just asking guys, hey, what are a couple of things that you’d like to hear Tim and I riff on on the podcast and menopause came up by two guys in particular, and a couple other people have chimed in.
So I thought what I would do here is start off with an introduction of what is Menopause? Because I’m guessing a lot of people aren’t really as familiar with it. And then two, talk about what are things that we, as men can do, or you as a listener, as a man, can do to help your wife? And especially the two big complaints that I’ve heard are help her with mood swings and increase sexual desire. So those are the topics that we’re going to go in today.
Let’s talk about this. What is menopause? When you think about menopause, it’s really just a transition. It’s a natural hormonal transition for a woman that marks the end of her reproductive years. Right? That’s really what it is. She’s no longer really about that’s telling her body that your childbearing years are over. And it can bring a lot of physical changes as well as a lot of emotional changes that will impact the partnership and the relationship. So let’s talk about this!
Menopause usually occurs between the ages, about 45 to 55, but it can totally vary between women, right? Every woman is going to be different. And it’s basically a biological process that causes a decline in hormone production, really estrogen and progesterone, and it leads to the cessation or the stopping of your wife having her menstrual period. It also brings along a lot of, as we said, physical and emotional symptoms, like hot flashes, sweating at night, mood swings, fatigue, and unfortunately, guys, a decrease in sexual desire. Tim?
Tim Matthews 03:23
Yeah. I mean, it’s a rough one, right? It is. The guys struggle with this a lot.
Doug Holt 03:31
Tim Matthews 03:32
Because it’s so much out of their control and it just takes time, right? Obviously there’s certain things they can do, which I’m sure we’ll get onto to make the journey a little bit easier to a degree for their wife. But yeah, it is. It’s one that the men often struggle with.
Doug Holt 03:47
Yeah. So much so that the men I didn’t know this before, Tim, but men in our community have created a private group within the community that’s more of a discussion group for men that are going through this. Going through this process with their wives, kind of their trials, their tribulations, but also exchanging information, which is really interesting to see. And they go through.
And when I think about it, one of the things that comes through menopause is obviously most men don’t even know what it is. They just really don’t. It’s kind of the joke is it’s men on pause? And that’s the sexual desire component, is that Barbara, your woman, is putting you on pause, which is not the case. Right? She’s going through so much. And you look at the hormonal changes. Hormones affect so much of our body. She can’t control it. Right?
And it’s not like she wants this. She doesn’t want this. Most likely, I don’t want to have a blanket statement for all women, of course, limit the hate mail that I’m going to get from this anyway. But chances are she doesn’t want it. She doesn’t want to have mood swings. She doesn’t want hot flashes. Hot flashes have got to suck. She doesn’t want to sweat at night in bed. She doesn’t want to lose sexual desire for her man.
All of these things that are going on, these are changes that she doesn’t really want. Now, of course, it’s beautiful, it’s natural and all of these things. But let’s be real, guys, right? It’s not fun for you and it’s not fun for her. So one of the first things that you can really do is start by communicating with your wife with empathy. Try getting in her world. Gentlemen, use the hidden motives technique. We talked about it last podcast. We’ve talked about it a lot. That’s a really good way, just openly communicating to her and understand the changes that she’s experiencing are not in her control and just show her compassion, listen to her, be patient as much as you can and really just sit down and talk.
And if she’s lashing out with mood swings or things like that, this is your chance to be the lighthouse, guys. This is your opportunity to stand in the storm. I’m not saying you got to take a bunch of crap. Heck no. But I am saying that you get to stand by it, right? She’s going through some hormonal changes that she cannot control or affect. And imagine if that was you. Imagine if all of a sudden your body started doing weird stuff, right, and you couldn’t control it. An example right now where I lived him, it’s like, all of a sudden everybody’s got allergies, I’m a little stuffed up. I never get allergies. Right? It would be like someone being mad at me for sneezing, I can’t control it. Right?
And if somebody wasn’t empathetic and was always mad at me because I was sneezing, that’d be horrible, right? I’d feel bad. I want some empathy and some understanding from the people around me that, hey, I can’t control this. I’ll take some Claritin or whatever I can do to mitigate it, but it’s not fun for me either. And your wife wants that too. She wants you to empathize with her. And really, it’s about communication. Right?
Communicating with her and asking her what’s going on. She is probably struggling to figure it out. A lot of women that I’ve talked to, Tim, don’t really understand menopause and what’s really going to happen. They just know what happens to women. They know more than men, but not a deep understanding of the changes that their body are going to go through.
Tim Matthews 07:03
Yeah. You can imagine the divide it creates, right? If there’s two people in the relationship that don’t understand it, the stories that can be created on either side. We talk a lot about mud on the glass, right? Luckily for the men in the movement, a lot of them are, like you said, either in the conversation with one another, like in the private groups, or they’ve got a support group they can turn to and say, hey, this is going on. How do I handle it? Guys have a lot of questions, right? How long will it last? What am I supposed to do? Should I be communicating my needs during this time?
There’s all sorts of questions the guys have. Should I be taking a stand for what I want to need in this time? So, yeah, to have that support group is key because otherwise the distance that can be created during this time frame can create lasting damage, especially if you’ve not repaired, let’s say a decade or two of disconnect that’s built up since having kids and having a young family and so on. It can often be a situation that can create. When we’ve had guys join the movement in this situation, it’s created so much distance between them and the wife at a time when they really thought they were going to be enjoying life the most.
Doug Holt 08:13
Yeah, and it gets even harder nowadays because you have families like mine where they get started a lot later in life when you have young kids during this time. And then the woman is what’s called my wife calls motherwhelmed. She’s overwhelmed, which is another topic we want to talk about. She’s overwhelmed with that. Maybe she’s overwhelmed with work. Her body’s changing. And if you, as the man, are reacting to that, you’re getting mad and upset because you’re not getting laid or you’re not getting that this or that, and you’re kind of being a jerk at the same time, as you said, it could be lasting damage.
Now, you brought up a good point here. Do your needs get to be met still? Heck yes. But just like if your wife got really sick with COVID right, or whatever, COVID is such still a triggering topic for so many people. She gets the flu, she gets sick, you’re going to give her some leeway. But there’s still some expectations, right? There’s still some expectations on things that she still gets to do, right? The kids still get to have to get fed, the dog still needs to be taken out, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
So, yes, your needs still get to be met. Yes, you get to take a stand for yourself, but you get to do so from a place of power. And what I mean by that a place that’s grounded. And if you love your wife, which I’m going to assume you do, it’s a place that you’re empathetic. She’s going through a tough time. Doesn’t mean she just has to lay on the bed. Maybe she does because maybe she’s so sick that it’s a major issue going through because it affects women differently. Right?
Hot flashes at night means you’re not sleeping. Right? And for most guys that I talk to and as you know, Tim, I’ve struggled with sleep issues most of my life. When most people don’t get a good night’s sleep the next day, all they do is complain about that one bad night of sleep they had. Now multiply that out across many nights, she’s going to be more lethargic. She’s probably going to put on weight. All of these things are happening. She can’t control it. She’s upset.
And then if you’re bickering at her or barking at her, that’s not going to contribute. That’s not being a lighthouse. That’s not being a leader in your home. You know, one time I shared this story with many people, is what is a king? A king is somebody who serves their people, right? And your people is your wife, your queen. And so you want to make sure that she’s good. Doesn’t mean you have to be a servant and wait on her hand and foot. But understanding that she’s going through a hard time is going to go a long way.
Yes, boundaries get to be created. No, she does not get to be a complete b**** and chew you out and yell at you and all those things. No, respect needs to be there. She’s having mood swings. You just get to realize, okay, that’s her hormones. That’s not her. She’s being hijacked right now. She can’t control this. If you’re practicing engaged in difference, which we’re going to be doing a whole one off master class about practicing engaged indifference, it’s just going to bounce off you guys.
It’s not a big deal as long as those lines aren’t crossed, the boundaries that you’ve created aren’t crossed, and you still want to hold those firm. But you can do it in a loving way. You can do it in such a manner that you do it out of compassion. You do it out of a place where you are uplifting her and holding true to yourself. And those things aren’t mutually exclusive. I think a lot of men miss that. They think if I’m being caring of my wife or I’m taking care of her, then I’m somehow subservient.
And that’s not the case at all, guys. That’s a lie that you’ve been fed or you’ve thought for a long time, no, no, no, you want to take care of the people you love. That’s a good thing. It’s not being subservient. But you want to do it from a place of desire, not from a place of need. Right? Neediness, if you will.
Tim Matthews 11:58
Wise, open, loving, and fierce. Right? There’s a reason why there’s a loving component to that.
Doug Holt 12:03
Yes. You got to be loving and you got to be open. And you want to encourage your wife to do self-care. This is the time through menopause. A lot of women are going to feel lethargic, they’re going to feel down. But this is where self-care becomes crucial. Now, I’m going to tell you, you want to be careful on how you address the topic of self-care. Hey, Linda. You’re looking fat. No. So you want to address this very encouragement from a place of encouraging her. You want her to prioritize her well-being, right? So suggest that she does stuff that helps her relax, reduces stress, regular exercise. Right?
We all should be doing it. We all know it. Also, it’s one of the more common things that people neglect. But she can also just go for a walk, doing yoga. Just set it up, something that I could do and have done with my wife. And she’s not in menopause, but instead of saying, hey, you should be doing yoga, talk to her about it. You start exercising, guys. And then set up a space for your partner. Set up a space. So I started working out, and I bought a yoga mat and yoga blocks, and I laid them out for my wife. I said, hey, I know you love yoga. I create a little yoga area for you, and I just don’t say a word about it after that.
It’s an invite. Like, hey, I was thinking about you. Oh, I talked to Rand, the Susie at the grocery store. She’s doing yoga at Black Butte Yoga. It’s amazing. She said it’s awesome. Right? You’re just giving little things. You want to encourage them to do it and whatever else it is. Maybe it’s getting a massage, book, something. Tim, you get a massage every couple of days, it seems like, but getting a massage somewhere, gift certificate or something for your wife, letting her relax, just showing her you care. But she needs to emphasize self-care at this point. Right? You probably do too, by the way, but especially at this point for her.
Tim Matthews 14:01
Yeah. One of the great ways for this is obviously for the guy to also be modeling it to a degree. Right? Make sure he’s working out and he has some of his own routines and such. It’s kind of hard to be suggesting yoga if you’re totally out of shape yourself and you’ve let yourself go and you’re not working out and you’re not looking after yourself and such, you can still do it. So you can still come from a very caring, loving place for your wife. Right? But equally, she might sense a little bit of a manipulation versus actual genuine interest, because it’s how you guys are, how you operate, too.
Doug Holt 14:37
Yeah. An easy one, guys. Here’s an easy, easy win. An easy win is just you come home from work or whenever it is, and you say, hey, babe, let’s go for a walk. It’s nice outside. Let’s go stretch our legs. And you take her for a walk. Right? It sounds like you’re taking your dog for a walk, but you go with her. That’s an easy way to encourage somebody.
We all get depressed. We’ve all been depressed. And if you see someone who’s severely depressed, their hormones are all over the place or their emotions are going for a walk seems like such a daunting task. So go with them. Hey, let’s go. Come on, let’s go for a walk. It’s fresh. It’s beautiful outside. I’d love to spend some time with you. I’d love to talk to you. I’d love to be with you. Oh, I want to share what happened at work today. Let’s go for a walk.
There’s all kinds of ways you could do it, guys. You could also talk about your own fitness. You know what? 46. I really just don’t feel as limber as I used to. I really needed to start doing some yoga. You want to do yoga with me? I think that’d be a cool way for us to do it. So you can do that. Now, if you’re combining this with the empathy, you’re talking to her, you’re getting into her world, she’s going to feel so connected to you guys. It’s going to be amazing. Now, what else are we looking at here, well, how do we nurture intimacy? This is a big thing, right?
And one of the consequences for this is sexual desire during menopause just goes down. And one of the things you want to do, as we’ve talked about it, is really doing non sexual physical affection is a really good way of doing that while she’s going through this process. Now what does that mean? Well, rubbing her shoulders, things you used to do, guys holding her hand, things of that nature, cuddling, reaching around and grabbing her. But then without the anticipation of the sexual act is another thing you could do. You really want to foster this intimacy portion, the non-sexual intimacy, even more than you should already be doing for your partner. And this is the time to double down on it.
Tim Matthews 16:39
It’s key on that though, right? Without the anticipation of anything sexual.
Doug Holt 16:45
That’s the key, Tim, is you want to make sure that she can have… (Crosstalk)
Tim Matthews 16:48
Doug Holt 16:50
Right. My wife definitely knows.
Tim Matthews 16:53
That’s the big thing here.
Doug Holt 16:56
My wife is shocked when it’s not with the expectation, but it’s really even commandant, but she definitely knows. And that’s super fair. Super fair and understandable. And she appreciates it when it’s not. It’s almost shocking to a woman. You got to remember guys and I remember a woman telling me this one time years and years ago, she’s like, Doug, you got to remember that as a woman, there’s guys that have been trying to get into my pants since I was like twelve. Right? So it’s like not new for women. It’s just not. And so when you don’t, that is new. That is unusual. And especially for your wife because she’s kind of expecting it. She knows you’re a hornball, she knows you. So what else can you do?
Well, unfortunately, during one of these times, guys, when you have a decrease in estrogen so men, we want to keep our testosterone high, right? Well, women’s estrogen, and they have a decrease in estrogen and during that time it leads to vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex. This is very common. And some of the guys are exchanging ideas back and forth in the private community about this. But you want to use like a water based lubricant, right? Or a moisturizer of something to help alleviate dryness and discomfort. Right? You want to make sexual activity enjoyable.
That should be a no brainer. But you’d be surprised at how many men forgot that sex is supposed to be fun. If you and I are hanging out and every time you and I hang out, it’s not fun. You’re not enjoying it. How long are you going to keep hanging out with me? Not very long.
Tim Matthews 18:24
Doug Holt 18:25
However….Seven years — I was waiting for that, man. I was going to throw it back at you. But we call it in the States. It’s like a soft pitch to you to knock it out of the park. When we look at it, if you’re having fun every time with me, every time we hang out, we’re having fun. You’re going to be looking forward to it. Like, hey, Doug, let’s get together again. Hey, Doug, let’s do some more stuff. Same thing as with the bedroom. If sex isn’t fun, if it hurts your wife and she’s doing it more out of obligation, that’s not fun. That’s not something she wants to do.
However, if you can make it more fun, right, you can make it less painful. Now we’re talking. Now, the likelihood of you getting laid, you likelihood of you getting into the bedroom, and I’m sorry for being crass, but let’s be real, guys, the likelihood of you having intimate, connected sex increases dramatically. And guys, no excuses. I don’t care what town you live in, what your religious background is. I don’t know any religion that I’m aware of that says you can’t use lubrication.
I don’t know any place anybody listening to this has access to the Internet, which means you have access to education. And you can find lubrication and have it mailed to your house discreetly so you can get it and actually be there and be the leader of your house and have it for your wife, right? And oh, Doug, my wife, what’s she going to think if I do this? She’s going to think you’re thinking of her, that you care.
And you can blame it on me. You guys can blame it on me. Say I was listening to a podcast. A guy was talking about how some women and I would use a lower age guys over 35 or whatever, sometimes sex can hurt them. But if you use a water based lubricant — lubricant, I can’t talk now. Lubricant. It can actually make it feel more enjoyable. And babe, I love you. And I just thought about the fact that, wow, if we’re having sex and you’re beating and it hurts, that sucks. I didn’t want that for you. So I did some research and I got this for you.
What woman’s going to have a problem with that? Oh, wait, you were thinking of me. You were concerned that I might be in discomfort and you did research and then found a solution and took action to mitigate my discomfort. No woman’s going to have a problem with that, guys. But you get to take the lead. Don’t just be like, yeah, get some lube. It’s not what you need to be doing. Don’t go to your pantry and get the oil. Get something specifically a water based one that you can utilize.
Another thing you can do, have fun, exploration and experimentation. Right? You could think of this as a challenge. You could think of this as a horrible thing. Or you can think about this as an opportunity to explore new ways of experiencing pleasure and intimacy with your wife. You could try different sexual activities, positions, techniques that she enjoys that feel pleasurable to her and to you. And then also, guys, be open to communicating what your preferences are.
You would be surprised if you guys are showing up as the lighthouse, and if you don’t know what I mean, go back. You have to listen to the podcast. We talk about what the lighthouse means. But if you’re showing up as the wolf who’s wise, open, loving, and fierce versus the nice guy deer who defends excuses, explains, and reacts, if you’re showing up as the wolf, then she’s going to love it. She’s going to be open to communication. She’s going to be open to your ideas.
Like, there’s a reason 50 Shades of Gray sold millions of copies. It’s not because women don’t like sex. It’s not because women are prudes. They’re not. Society tells them that they are not supposed to talk about it openly maybe. They talk about it with their girlfriends. They just might not talk about it with you. So this is your chance to talk to her. Try new things, guys. This is your chance to experiment, right?
This is almost use it as an excuse to talk about sex in your relationship. Use this as an excuse to try new things, different positions, oral, anal, whatever it is you may or may not be into. I’ve heard it literally all from the guys that we work with. Also, since my wife coaches women, I hear it from her. And just having so many female friends owning a gym back in the day, you hear everything through those walls.
And women do talk and they want to have fun, too, and they want to have fun in the bedroom. So find ways of making it fun. Explore, explore, explore something else. This is more something that your wife needs to do, but you can maybe talk to her about it. Now, I recommend that a woman going through this does seek professional guidance, right? It’s not usually the best for your husband to do, but you have to bring this one up smoothly. But Kegel exercises, like pelvic floor exercises, are a great way to help the woman because it’s going to strengthen her sexual muscles, which can also increase her sexual sensation and her satisfaction.
And this is really, really important, right? Because guys, one, if you have a woman that does kegels, you know what I’m talking about, she can do kegels while you’re having sex, and it’s really squeezing your penis, right? Trying to figure out appropriate way to talk about this on a podcast, Tim, but that can be a more fun and desirable way. And two, she’s having more fun. It goes back to having fun in the bedroom. And that’s really what you want to do. You want to make this a desirable place for her.
Tim Matthews 23:59
I was thinking about the framing that a lot of guys have going into this, right? I think this is a very useful podcast for a lot of guys. And I think I love that part about the framing. Right? You could go into this and consider this as a time of exploration and fun and connection and even challenge for you as the man, right? How well do you get to hold space? How well can you be the lighthouse? How firm can you be with certain boundaries?
Because in some respects, there could be an opportunity for you to be either a little bit more tolerant and equally, there could be room for excuses from her that, hey, well, I’m acting that way because I’m going through this. Not saying that’s right or wrong, but the point being is if you’re able to rise up in all of this and be the wolf wise, open, loving and fierce, and what it means to be the wolf during this phase is going to look different to what it means to be the wolf prior to this. Right? Now, you guys that are in the movement, that have been in here for a few years, you’ll know that you guys often reinvent and redefine what being the wolf means to you at different points in time. So, yeah, I think it’s a really, like, that point about the frame that you take going into this.
Doug Holt 25:16
Yeah, it’s a paradigm shift, right? To use the old Stephen Covey idea, you’re shifting your paradigm. It doesn’t have to be hard. It can be fun. This could be a great way of exploring things, and I’m not going to try to get to too many taboo topics, but, you know, Tim and I have the opportunity of talking to thousands upon thousands of men. And I can tell you that most of you guys don’t talk about sex with your wives. Most of you guys might be interested in trying anal or you’ve done it on a birthday or whatever, or you might be interested in other things that you watch porn about or things that you think that your wife wouldn’t be into, yet you never talk about it with her.
This could be a great opportunity to do so. This could be a fun thing. You never know. Just like your interest may or may not have changed, hers may have changed, she may be more open to things. And in my experience, especially with women, as they get older, this whole idea of the Madonna complex, right, that they’re supposed to be pristine, goes way out the window. Women realize that was a crock of crap I was supposed to do.
And I think if your wife, if she trusts you, she’ll open up to you in ways, guys, that will be magical and wonderful, especially in the bedroom. And that’s what we’re looking for here, right? We want her to feel good. Another thing that I think is really good for women, or it can be talked to, is talking to a doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Now, I think men should get their blood levels checked around this age too, for testosterone replacement therapy TRT as a possibility. If your levels are low, that’s up for a doctor. And I think we’ll bring a specialist on to talk about men and how that relates because it is relevant.
But for women, too, it’s opposite. It’s not testosterone, it’s estrogen or estrogen progesterone, progesterone therapy. There’s a lot of healthcare professionals that are out there that can really help her and that can help her alleviate these mood swings, increase her sexual desire. Now, she needs to want to do that, but you can help her along this way, right? And really, sometimes helping her starts with you just educating yourself on the basics of hormones, how they play in life and how they work.
And guys, it’s a Google away, right? So to speak, or ChatGPT or whatever else you want to use going through. And again, we talked about stress reduction and self-care. She’s taking care of herself. The chances of being in the bedroom increase dramatically, right? She’s happier with herself. She’s feeling better about herself. Go back and listen to the previous podcast where Tim and I talk about self-deprecation versus actually lifting people up. Right? These are all things you get to do to create the mood to help her.
Now, should you do this, you’re the man. Is it your responsibility? Yes. If you want to be the lighthouse, right? The guy that the man who is grounded in the eye of the storm through good weather, bad weather, he is steadfast and strong. And all men want to be the lighthouse, right? If you want to be the lighthouse, you get to do that. You get to do these things to the people you love and take care of them. And of course, the last thing, guys, is just have fun. So many of us take things so seriously. I know I go through those ebbs and flows where I can get so serious about life and things of that nature. And it’s not fun for me, it’s not fun for anybody else. But go back and have fun, right?
Remind your wife how to have fun. One of the things we talk about a lot, The Powerful Man, is being the CFO in your house. No, I’m not talking about sitting down, talking about finances. We call the CFO the Chief Fun Officer. Be the chief fun officer in your house. Be the Chief fun officer with your wife. Understand that she may not want to have fun at times. Those mood swings may come up, right? But the more you can deflect if you go see the Master class on how to handle shit test that was done, we talk about how you can deflect shit tests like an Aquito Master.
We’ve done some other classes that we’ve done free for the public on. This is laugh at it. Have fun. Life is short. Life is short. Enjoy. Enjoy it. This is one of the flavors, right? There’s a place here in the States called 31 Flavors. I don’t even know if it exists anymore, Tim, but it’s an ice cream place. You go in there, they had way more than 31 flavors of ice cream. But that was kind of the idea. Try the other flavors of ice cream, try the other flavors of sexual positions in bed, try the other ways of being. And maybe menopause is just another flavor of life that you get to explore yourself. Tim, any closing comments?
Tim Matthews 29:43
Yeah, I think you’ve covered a lot. I mean, if I were the guys and this was resonating with me, I’d go back, listen to this, actually create time in my calendar, sit down, go back, take some notes on this, and I’d probably revisit this a few times because there’s a lot that you’ve shared. But there’s going to be guys who will do that and guys who won’t. There’ll be guys that will move on to the next podcast and guys that actually implement this and come back to it time and time again. They’re the guys, in my experience, that tend to be the 1%, and they’re the ones that walk a kind of different path, but also they’re the ones that get the biggest results as well. Really, the choice is yours which kind of guy you want to be.
Doug Holt 30:26
Guys, you get to choose your own journey, and I hope you choose a powerful one. As always, Tim and I are in your corner. Have an amazing day.