My Partner Doesn’t Understand Perimenopause At All

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I went to bed last Friday night with a lot of good intentions. I felt great, wanted to get up early and get some stuff done around the house, make the cookies for my daughter I’d promised her, and my boyfriend and I were going to enjoy a hike with the dog followed by a couples’ massages.

Then, I settled into bed and fell asleep only to wake up in a deep sweat. I couldn’t fall back asleep and after waiting for an hour, I got up to open the window and turn on the fan.

I was running so hot even though it was in the 40s outside and I was wearing nothing.

My boyfriend woke up and got an extra blanket and asked me if it was really necessary to have the window open and fan on me full blast. I told him I was dripping with sweat and that, yes, it was absolutely necessary.

He bundled up and fell back asleep. I know this because he was snoring loudly. I was so annoyed I went downstairs to the sofa after trying to wake him up again. I think I got maybe three hours of sleep that night.

So, when he woke up in a cheery mood, saying he didn’t sleep well, and I responded with, “I guess you snore when you are awake,” he wondered what my problem was.

I could feel that my hormones took a dive while I was stewing and stressing about life.

Why am I so hot?

Why is my heart pounding?

Why do I want to cry?

What will I do when all my kids move out?

I need to go get my hormone levels checked but I don’t have time between all the shit I have to do for the kids and work.

I’m out of lube. Again.

OMFG, I think I’m bleeding. Again.

I was, in fact, bleeding for the second time that month. After trying to decompress in the shower, my pants were too tight when I put them on and my head was hurting so bad I thought it was going to pop off.

I wanted to cry. Then I tried to hold it together as I stared at myself in the mirror trying to conceal my anger away with the best foundation money can buy.

I ended up crying anyway.

My daughter wanted to know when we were going to make the cookies and I snapped at her.

Then I hated myself even more.

While my boyfriend tried to soothe me, he has a tendency to pour on the toxic positivity when it comes to my very real mood swings and perimenopausal symptoms.

It could be worse!

Nothing is really wrong.

You just need to catch up on some rest.

If you keep moving you will feel better.

Did you remember to get more lube? You are looking sexy! (Insert stabbing emoji here).

I know this isn’t just me. I was eating gobs of sushi the other day with a friend my age who said she goes at it with her teens. “My perimenopausal hormones clash with the teenage hormones and my husband thinks all he has to do is stay out of the way.”

What those of us with a uterus go through when it comes to menstruating and perimenopause isn’t fun and yet we have no choice but to deal with it. You can’t deny the bleeding, the night sweats, the fatigue, or the mood swings.

Men don’t understand this (I think) because there’s nothing visible there for them to see. They don’t understand how we can be fine one minute and have the best intentions, then have something like an inner-furnace turn on inside our body and fuck up the whole vibe.

I mean, they complain if they don’t get laid for a few weeks and say that’s a good enough excuse to be irritable and grumpy but they can’t seem to wrap these heads around hormone changes that women have been struggling with (and have been proven) since the beginning of time,

I know I am not always pleasant to be around and this is new for me — I’ve never gone through perimenopause before so I don’t even know how to handle myself.

I’m just here to say this is a problem with couples — a very real one.

If you are struggling, know that other couples are dealing with the same thing. Also, if you have a solution let me know. My doctor told me Vitamin D, sleep (when you can get it), and valerian root can take the edge off but, she doesn’t have a solution for this common problem.

It is taking a toll on our relationship and, of course, I don’t want that. I’ve decided to try (as best I can) to accept the fact he doesn’t get it because he’s not going through it.

Maybe if I drop that expectation (and we convert the spare bedroom into a bedroom for him), things will smooth out a bit.

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