Menopause, as you may intimately know, is often accompanied by fluctuating hormone levels, leading to changes in mood and emotions. For many of us, those fluctuating hormones can manifest as mood swings or angry outbursts, often with our partner in the crosshairs and receiving the brunt of it.
Before we continue it’s important to stress two things:
- Not every person going through menopause will experience anger. There are a whole raft of menopause symptoms you should familiarise yourself with. Read Karen Abi-Karam’s blog Listen to your body and you’ll hear menopause calling for a holistic take on noticing and dealing with changes in your body.
- When you experience anger during menopause, it’s common for it to be geared at your partner. Not because you’ve fallen out with them or because they’re deliberately doing things to upset you, but because you spend a lot of time around them, they will naturally be the recipient of your anger through sheer proximity!
So if anger in menopause is something we can’t control and if our partners are in the crosshairs due to cohabitation, how do we navigate this?
The answer is simple (easier said than done, in fact). Through communication. And let’s be honest, openly communicating takes work. It’s easy to snap in the moment. It’s harder to pause, reflect and communicate how you’re feeling.
Of course anger and frustration may arise due to various reasons including increased sensitivity, heightened emotions or a sense of feeling unheard or misunderstood. But open and honest communication with your partner is crucial at this stage. Share your experiences, concerns and emotions. Allow your partner to gain insight into your perspective. Remember, unless you fully express yourself your partner may not understand what you’re going through.
If you are experiencing menopausal anger, it can be overwhelming to deal with. It’s essential to build a support system to help you navigate. Connect with friends, family or support groups where you can share your experiences and receive empathy and understanding. You may also consider couples therapy, which can provide a safe space for both you and your partner to express your feelings and work on strengthening your relationship.
Menopause can be physically and emotionally demanding, so taking care of yourself is crucial. Prioritise self-care activities that help reduce stress and promote emotional well-being. Engage in regular exercise, practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises and make time for activities that bring you joy. You may also want to consider doing a bit of research—pick up a copy of How To Survive Menopause Without Losing Your Mind.
Whilst menopause can be a challenging time and impact your motions and your relationships, anger towards your partner isn’t uncommon. Remember to recognise the influence of menopause on your emotions, engage in open communication, seek support if you need it, and practice self-care. Menopausal anger doesn’t have to affect your relationship with your partner.