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My Husband Left Me During Menopause

I never thought it would happen to me

My husband left me for a younger woman. It’s such a cliche. I never imagined that it would happen to me after we raised 2 beautiful children together. We had our differences but always made up before going to bed so I thought things were good.

After I found out about my husband’s cheating and I confronted him, his first words to me were, “I didn’t sign up for this.” I was in shock, crying angry tears and very confused so I didn’t even have an inkling as to what he meant at the time. I thought, “What?! He didn’t sign up for a beautiful home and family? For a caring woman who took care of everything while he was away on his business trips? I’m the one who didn’t sign up for the cheater and my life unexpectedly falling apart.”

I now know that he meant that he didn’t sign up for “me” in menopause. Menopause had hit me hard, like a ton of bricks, and looking back, it must have seemed as if I had a personality change overnight. Going through a divorce made it even more difficult and seemingly insurmountable. I blamed my husband, blamed myself, everyone else, my menopause. Sometimes I’d console myself with the thought that my husband’s girlfriend would also go through menopause and then he’d leave her. My life as I knew it had disintegrated for good and became very dark.

Unprompted, friendly advice was not my friend

It seemed that everywhere I turned, I received unprompted, “friendly” advice. None of it was helpful. My mother-in-law, who is a clinical psychologist, sent me a book on “how to have more sex as a couple,” not knowing that we hadn’t had sex in ages. I cried so much after I opened the package. I just threw the book in the trash.

My best friend gave me herbal supplements that didn’t work and told me that he would come back to me after the honeymoon of his dalliance wore off. She was wrong – they are still together five years later and more lovey-dovey than ever. My brother, who is a lawyer, started talking about contracts, money and alimony, when I didn’t have the guts to tell him that I had never even really paid the household expenses and didn’t have my own bank account.

After my husband moved out, I was officially alone – with my mood swings, hot flashes, anxiety, expenses and fear about my own income-less future. After the kids had left the house, I had picked up a part-time editorial job for something to do but it was not a steady, reliable income. I had quit my journalism job a long time ago when the children were young. It was too difficult to go into the office and also raise children with my husband away so often for business.

When I told my doctor what I was going through – divorce and menopause – he just nodded at me, telling me it was a common occurrence and that I would get through it. I really wanted to scream at him but instead I just bit the inside of my cheek. When I got home, I banged my fist hard against the wall to let out my anger at the doctor’s insensitive comments. While this act of violence made me feel better temporarily, I nursed a sore hand for a week.

Sleep became my salvation

I became paralyzed with depression and fear, especially with fear about becoming homeless and without any financial support. My children were just starting their careers and couldn’t support me and I didn’t know how to support myself.

I would start my usual morning routine of coffee at the dining table and realize that my husband wasn’t there for the chitchat and scheduling that, when he was in town, we had done every day for the last 25 years.  The sadness would be overwhelming and I’d cry into my coffee cup for what seemed like ages although in reality it was probably a few minutes.

I’d then pull myself together to try and edit a few pages, get depressed again and go to sleep in the afternoon for several hours. I didn’t know how I would live my life, make a living for myself, be cheery, and …. date? How could I even think of seeing another man when I felt like I had zero energy and zero libido?

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It’s a divorce, not a failed marriage

It took a long time – almost 3 years – but I got through my menopause and divorce to the other side. The darkness does pass. I gradually transitioned from not wanting to live, to surviving, living and back again to the enjoyment of life that I had before menopause.

The hardest part about the divorce was telling my children. I felt that I had failed them as a mother by failing as a wife. It took me a long time – and many therapy sessions – to realize that I shouldn’t be blaming my husband or myself. I learned to recognize that part of my descent into depression was due to the fact that the physiological and emotional roller coasters of menopause were fanning the flames of my divorce. I stopped thinking of it as “my failed marriage” and it just became a divorce.

Got my affairs in order

Unexpectedly, the person I turned to the most often was my baby brother, who is a pragmatic and unemotional type of person. He spent a lot of time with me structuring my finances, got me a very good divorce lawyer who worked on a contingency payment basis, and schooled me through the tough times. He also had confidence in my skills and encouraged me to write a novel.

I needed his steady, helpful – and non-judgemental – support at a time when I was going through so many ups and downs. He would listen to me rant or be emotional and then turn to the next topic of financial management. If anyone had been listening in, I’m sure they would have thought that we had quite a few very odd conversations.

Getting my financial affairs in order was the most important activity that I could do for myself. After I had more financial stability, I was able to work on everything else, including my hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms and eventually my own personal growth and relationships.

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Ended up on hormones

To help me through the dark times, my GP – yes the same one I was angry with – prescribed me hormone therapy. I don’t know which came first, the hormones or the post-divorce healing, but after about a year, I finally started feeling like myself. The depression – whether due to menopause, the divorce or both – had lifted enough so that I created a profile on match.com and ended up dating my neighbour down the block from me!

I had a lot of friends who kept telling me that hormones are so bad for me, I will get breast cancer and that I could weather the storm with good nutrition and exercise. Well, it was hard to exercise when all I wanted to do was sleep and it was hard to avoid carbohydrates when sometimes my only meal for the day was a pint of ice cream.

I needed hormone therapy to deal with my menopausal symptoms such as depression, anxiety and hot flashes – and while it’s not the right choice for every woman, it was the right one for me. I’m glad I’m still on hormones 5 years later as I’m positive that it’s also helping with my libido and my new relationship.

To each woman who is going through her own journey with divorce and menopause, I want to let you know that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. I’m living proof of how you can find your own way.

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48 thoughts on “My Husband Left Me During Menopause”

  1. Judith Warren-Brown

    Hormone therapy today involves much less hormone than in the early days.

    1. Valerie

      There are more types of HRT available today as well. I’m a true believer.

  2. Dawn Stroud

    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your experience. I firmly believe that my perimenopause (10 years on a roller coaster of emotions & symptoms from age 45-55 yrs) was a contributing factor to the breakup of my common law relationship of 19 years. The night sweats took over my life at age 55. Intimacy went out the window. I started hormones then and slowly started to feel better. Four years later nothing was getting better between us. I made the decision to leave. I had no idea my husband was cheating on me for months not with one but two women (maybe more but I only caught him with two). His massage therapist who was 41 and some skank aged 30-35 with 2 kids. The skank and her kids moved in right after I moved out. There are no words that can describe the pain & angry I feel everyday. In one of our last heated conversations I apologized for going through “the change” and sorry that it had an affect on our relationship. His response to this was “you have an excuse for everything don’t you.” I had no idea really what it meant when someone would say “he’s going through a mid life crisis”. Now I know.

  3. Yes! HRT was a lifesaver for me Still on them 25 years later but at a very low dose My Dr told me it probably saved me from osteoporosis that is in my family

  4. Tammy

    Thank you . It was s good read and one I will reflect upon for awhile, I’m sure.

  5. Janet

    Look into bio identical plant based hormones. They are much safer.

  6. My wife of twenty years is going through menopause. She is making any day of my life unbearable. She refuses to have any kind of physical contact with me, not even kissing. She doesn’t want to share a bed with me She makes me feel like a guest in my own house. We have two wonderful daughters, and because of them I am staying in the marriage. I was turning into a depressed alcoholic, until I found a woman who sees me as a desirable person again. She is not a young bimbo, she is 5 years older than my wife and 3 years older than I am. I don’t feel guilty for cheating, it is saving my life.

    1. Donna

      You should feel guilty. How about supporting your wife instead of being a scumbag!

    2. Cassandra

      Did she see a doctor? Did you try marriage counseling or maybe individual counseling for your depression and alcoholism? Did you even try to make yourself desirable? Did you ever ask her or yourself what you said or did to become undesirable? My guess the answer to all these questions is no. I hope you end up with untreatable impotence and she leaves you for some 25 year old stud.

      1. Marriage counseling is generally a waste. Most of the time the counselor is female and really has no interest in his wants. Needs, desires or complaints. If the counselor does take a position of support with the man, the woman will simply demand a new one and disregard the critiques of her behavior. I know, I have been married 25 years. I have never cheated but she has. Hence my familiarity with counseling. I have been through joint and single. Relations were of a bi- annual nature for years. Last year was the1st of the single. I have spent 27 years in Public Safety and I am eligible for my retirement now. I have worked 2 jobs that entire time with 3 dogs since 2008. 2 are seasonally off set. Despite my 70 to 80 hours work a week, I still did / do the vast majority of the child care and housework plus all the outside chores including vehicle upkeep and maintenance. She works 40 hours per week true, but she cones home and sits on her but all night. Yet she is too tired for anything else. I can set the mood, make overtures, rub her feet and back. Be nice, romantic whatever you can say men don’t do you can believe I did. Still nothing. Kids are now 18 and 21. If she thinks I’m going to live the rest of my retirement tbis way she is way off base. Currently I do not plan on divorce but she is 10 years younger and still has to work for her retirement. I will simply do my own thing without her. But rest assured. Should a divorce be initiated by her, my ducks are all lined up, fed and trained in their duties.

        1. Sorry to hear that, I feel for you.

        2. Find a male marriage counselor. They are a real thing and this isn’t rocket science. I, personally will NEVER EVER EVER go to a woman marriage counselor again simply because without fail, the husband cannot hear a word she says and feels like “sides” are being taken, and it’s the women against him. So. Find a guy.

        3. So sorry! Hubby and I have gone through ups and downs. I don’t think either one of us would have hung on if either cheated. Life and our marriage is good now.

    3. Jessica

      I am a 47-year-old woman experiencing the hot flashes and other issues that go along with the beginning signs of menopause. I don’t think he is a jerk or an asshole. It is wrong to expect men to accept bad treatment “because we are married” menopause or not. The first thing we say when a man treats our girlfriends that way is leave him girl. And I’m telling him leave her dude. She is clearly selfish and is not concerned about his emotional needs or feelings at all.

    4. I haven’t been intimate with my wife for 35 years…her choice, not mine. I have remained 100 faithful. This is absolute torture…but I can’t throw away a 41 year marriage.

  7. When you try everything you can to support your wife and they refuse to try and make life unbearable I can understand where this person is coming from

  8. Stephanie

    I’m in the peri-menopause phase of this and felt like I was losing my mind. Depression and anxiety were really bad as well as forgetfulness, hot flashes, severe mood swings and painful periods. My GP prescribed Effexor, which is an antidepressant/ anti anxiety med that also seems to help with many of the other symptoms. Different type of approach than HRT, but helpful for me!

  9. Patti

    After I moved to a different state of course I had a new dr. He took me off HRT, and I have had the bone problems, disc problems and pain. Pills dont help.seekung help from specialist. We’ll see what that does.

    1. Cheryl

      Try Vital Proteins , they have unflavored collagen.It
      will help with your joint pain,
      skin, hair ,nails.And Membrasin for the hot flashes, night sweats.It also is 100% natural & helps restore a woman’s lubrication.

  10. HRT sounds wonderful. I was 49 when I started Menopause. 49. I had the depression, severe hot flashes, vaginal dryness, no libido, etc. Unfortunately, it was during this time that I actually had a stroke, caused supposedly by a blood clot. Therefore, NO HORMONAL REPLACEMENT WAS ALLOWED!!! So, here it is, 15 years later, I am still having those damn killer hot flashes. Luckily, my husband has been very supportive of all my problems. He knows several men whose wives went bonkers when they went through this, and realized what was happening. Being a very devout Christian man, divorce wasn’t acceptable. So we have worked through it. My stroke has changed me more than the Menopause. It was in the part of my brain that controls my emotions, and my energy levels. Where I was able to prioritize things before, now I can’t. I have absolutely no energy. On top of all of that, two years after I began menopause and had my stroke, I developed Rheumatoid Arthritis and also had a heart attack!!! Talk about a double whammy!! I am not sure that I would have made it without him because I still had children living at home, small children. It was a living hell.

  11. Yvette

    Each story is different and interesting. I went through menopause at 49, didnt have any problems..the 6 mths before my cycle was sporadic, but no hot flashes or depression..still don’t have them. Unfortunately , my husband was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a couple of month after that, but we still had a normal sex life, until he could no longer perform, and he passed away when i was 57. I’m now 65 and still don’t have the hot flashes..picked up a few pounds over the last few years…started having vaginal dryness within the last year, but it doesn’t bother me, because I’m not sexually active.

  12. None Business

    So, she didn’t work because it was too hard with her husband out of town, didn’t handle even basic finances for the house, wasn’t having sex with her husband and then blames the failed marriage on menopause?

    The marriage failed because she didn’t have her own $&@! together. Now she’s in a relationship because she has a job, manages her own finances like a grown up and realizes that dealing with your sex life in a sexual relationship is actually important.

    1. No. She was raising children at the time he was away. That is a full time job/ undervalued as well, clearly.

      1. Catherine

        Mothering is a full-time job, yes, and a lot of us moms do that and work for a living as well. Hardest balancing act of my life and more undervalued than the SAHM job, in my observation.

        1. A. Whitt

          Here we go. SAHMs are prostitutes, right? “Work for a living” makes it sound like SAHMs are living off their husbands, like they are morally bankrupt. Women were at home for, literally, a couple thousand years, until the 60s. The Bible even says that women are to be”keepers at home”. Gods okay with it, so you need to get over it. You are not superior to anyone.

    2. Marge

      Man comes home…wants wife…she has home obligations…as well as changes in her body. Not a good situation. I wouldnt want a man having manapause..especially mine…

      1. Vincent

        I am 58, and my wife is just going through menopause. I am a super horny guy….yes, still and now I’m finding out that I cannot have it. Not sure how I am going to process this. I don’t like porn.

  13. Wanda

    I’m 49yrs old started my pre-menopause at 40 yrs old it’s the worse feeling ever the mood swings, no sex drive, anxiety is unbearable. I had to tell my husband please research the importance of menopause and I spoke to my doctor to assist me in dealing with this demon. So far my hubby and I are dealing with it. Thankfully he understands and he’s working with me through this difficult situation. I thank God everyday for blessing me with my husband.

  14. David

    This article does very little to establish his statement of dissatisfaction with the marriage, or why they were such a good fit together to start with. Many women pick “hot” men in their 20’s and treat selection of a mate just as men do. Young women should select stability, not likelihood of fertility. Lots of women get walked out on by poor choices in their mid 40’s. The men just repeats the process that put the last wife in the site. Choose a hot 20 something. A poor choice for a man will do it again and again. When men choose a woman just for looks, they get health. When a woman chooses using men’s criteria, she gets dumped after the bloom is off the rose. Pick “stability” girls, if stability is what you seek

    1. Elizabeth Colosimo

      I’m trying to explain this to my 26 year old granddaughter who wants a husband. She keeps picking “pretty boys” for boyfriends. The last one was a guy who had dumped his wife and 3 boys for my granddaughter, who was a spitting-image of his wife 15 years earlier! They could have been twins. I pointed this out to her and fortunately she saw the light. I told her it was okay to date quiet nerds, like Pops. They appreciate you and the marriage lasts.

  15. Bob Volk

    So sorry that that happened to you.
    My wife divorced me, she was not a communicator and after 20 years she just told me it’s over, I would have done anything but she was done
    It’s always sad and takes a long time to get over, hang in there and just do stuff
    Stay busy

  16. Tracey

    They all leave, honey. Let them go and fuck someone else’s life up.

  17. Marsha

    I kept forgetting to take my birth control so stopped taking in 2015 at 50 and threw myself into menopause. Everything went down hill from there. I started gaining weight, became very moody, agitated, exhausted and had b12 and vit D deficiencies to name a few. Already had an underactive thyroid to boot! About 2 yrs ago the arguments peaked to the point my husband asked for a divorce and my daughter actually answered door bell when papers were delivered. He paid for a lawyer and I had to go take out a loan to hire one. Long story short we talked and neither one of us really wanted a divorce so it got dropped. Two yrs later at 56 I wanted help so I got started on BioTe hormone pellets, estrogen and testosterone (my testosterone was very low). Also on high dose of Vit D weekly and B12 shots. My thyroid med had to be increased due to HRT. It is absolutely a fact that hormone levels wreak havoc on your mind, soul, and body and you’re not just crazy! Have your thyroid check because that controls a lot of things in your body. Get all your hormone levels adjusted and get your life back. Also, remember men go through stages like this too so going through this at the same time can be very bad! Get healthy again together!

    1. Bobby5000

      I hear the term “hormones” constantly and am facing a similar situation (not having a divorce but am stressed and frustrated). What hormones do you mean. I understand thyroid levels and drugs like Synthroid that purport to regulate them. But what happens if that is not sufficient.

  18. Michelle

    I hardly ever reply to these types of things. But I am today. Anytime I hear the name Effect, the hair on my neck stands up. Please be careful with it. I was on it. Loved it at first. Kept needing to up the dose after my body would get used to it. My experience with it left me a suicidal mess. Research it. It’s a very common story. I now refer to it as the devil drug . Please be careful.
    – Been there

  19. Eve Gorman

    For those concerned about HRT, look into bioidentical HRT. It is a little newer, plant based, and more closely identical to human estrogen at the cellular level. There is compounded biodentical and non compounded bio identical HRT. The non compounded is FDA approved. Also ask about progesterone with estrogen, this lowers the risk of endometrial cancers.

  20. My wife has been going through menopause for about 1 1/2 years now. 3 months ago she left me and got a house right down the street from our home. She traded me for another man because she thinks that I am the problem, and not her menopause. She’s constantly complaining that she’s not happy, but she refuses to see a therapist or psychologist. She comes to visit me sometimes and I don’t even recognize her anymore. Her children, grandchildren, sisters and everybody that knows her don’t recognize her either. We have been married for 19 years and she would never do the things she’s done to me and her family. She filed for divorce a couple weeks ago and I’m completely devastated and everybody else is in complete shock. I feel sorry for everybody that has to go through this menopause stuff.
    I’m trying to be strong by working out and taking care of our grandkids but it’s getting harder and harder. She is the love of my life:(

  21. Melissa

    My bf left me during menopause too. I couldn’t afford the bio identical hormone therapy as that would have helped me. My insurance would not cover it.

  22. Angela

    IMO life long monogamous relationships
    Are unnatural. I’m sorry if anyone disagrees and feels offended and that’s not my intent. But I don’t believe mankind was naturally wired for 2 people for life.
    It wasn’t the way until religion hit the scene. But regardless, we have natural flows biologically that cause us to be ‘ in the mood and fertile’ or not wanting sex at all and baby making time is done. Men also often get erectile dysfunction.
    I just feel like we need to be more in tune to our bodies and natural rhythms. We don’t eat just when we’re hungry and stop when we’re full. We don’t sleep and rise with the sun. We force lifelong marriage contracts on ourselves and are hurt when the other person naturally wants a change of scenery.

    We don’t listen to our mating cycles, our bodies literally telling us that sex and babies are over now. It’s a new chapter. Time to move on to the next greatest thing. Life is so much less complicated when there’s no relationship obligations or someone there to let us down anyways. Our bodies are done with it, so we should be too. But that’s just me. Just don’t struggle more than necessary. Find something that makes you happy. With yourself. Let your body go through its stages and heal. Love and be gentle with yourselves.

  23. It is sad for women who have breast cancer because they can’t Use hormones. I think women quit showing affection during menopausal phase because affection leads to sex and sex becomes painful for menopausal women not to mention the body becomes frail. Men start loosing their testosterone and Male part functions and take viagra which leads to increase in sex drive and cheating . Hormone loss plays a huge part in change in a marriage. It’s important to stay affectionate and show attraction for each other. Remember that just like the courting phase passes, the raising children phase passes, the body stops producing hormones phase will also pass and you will both be in the life reflecting get ready to see Jesus phase (last decade of life) which you will need each other to care for one another and sex won’t be an option physically. Marriage is work for both. It is a three cord strand and when God is that third cord it is stronger. Do it His way and don’t rely on your own understanding and human ways and everything will go so much better for man and woman. Celebrate and respect each phase for what it is. In the end we are His and marriage is a way we help each other get there. Honesty and truth in what’s really going on with our bodies with each other can help to figure out ways to help each other to feel loved . That’s what it’s all about… love. We just want to feel loved.

    1. The comments about different Life Stages is so wise and beautiful.
      There are things neither men or women are taught
      about our bodies as we get older.
      People are nit dushrags that you use and throw
      in the garbage.
      I’m so glad that we know more now than we’ve ever known about what happens to men and women as we get older.
      So knowledge of what to expect and how to deal with and have healthy aging is very important.
      Skincare ,diet ,certain kinds of exercise (HIIT) helps couples go through this stage of life together in a positive way and not abandon their mate.
      The man is getting older just like the woman.
      What happens as he advances in age with what young chick?
      Granted, some men or women just have their own issues and will drop you like a hot potato anyway.
      But knowledge is power.
      Take care 🙂

  24. For women who don’t know, there are BHTR for sell in Amazon. Also in FB there is a group call strogen dominance. It explain what’s going on in our bodies and what we can do to improve our lives.
    I’m 49 and menopause hit me like a boulder. I had a hysterectomy on 2018 with one ovary left. I went straight to menopause. I’m recently taking BHTR,(progesterone+ DHEA) due to the fact that I recently find out we don’t need estrogen, our body take testosterone and covert it to it..which is why explain how our testosterone levels drop. I also take iodine-lugols to improve my thyroid health, vit D3 + K2, vit B complex, boron, magnesium + potassium,calcium, and Cooper.
    Im still having a few hot flashes but it has improved greatly. I’m sleeping way better! My hubby is happy because I’m also working on his needs as well. I’m supplements him to keep his mojo going. Men thyroid needs supplements as well. (You are going to thank me) also vit D, Cooper, magnesium, potassium. We are currently into each other since my testosterone has improved everything down there.
    There is help out there. This isn’t the end.
    Also eliminate sugar and introduce more greens

    Take care

  25. LOUIS X HENNESSEY

    It is wrong to judge this writer for feeling that intimacy is important. Having sex outside of his marriage is a valid choice for him. My wife of 20 years has not had sex with me in three years and flinches if I even brush against her. Our sex life is not coming back, and there is no discussing it. That is also a valid choice on her part. I dearly love my wife and have no plans on cheating or leaving, but I am no great guy for that, and this man is not a scumbag for choosing to leave

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