Reader Question of the Week: What About Menopause?

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Every weekend I’m going to institute a Reader Question of the Week, where I throw out a question from the comments or from my email bag and I ask all of  you to chime in!

Let’s recap last week’s: A woman wrote in talking about her husband’s work schedule, and how they had so little time together. Can a marriage survive on quickies?

Lots of you wrote in for ideas on how to find more time together, including waking him up in the middle of the night! And the conclusion was, unfortunately, that it’s hard to live like this indefinitely. Anyone can do it if there’s an end in sight, even if the end is a few years away. But at some point something has to give.

Now for this week:

I’ve actually combined a number of similar emails I’ve had into one composite, and I hope that you all can give some thoughts, especially you older women who read my blog:

I’ve been married for about 5 years to a wonderful man. I’ve recently had some health problems, and I’ve gone through menopause.

Now, I feel completely dead from the neck down, dried up and finished up! At 50?!!!
He doesn’t push me though I know he too feels this is wrong. And now he’s starting to have problems, too. We are affectionate, but we aren’t sexual; we only make love maybe 2-3 times a year.
I’ve been put on Hormone Replacement Therapy, and I’ve been exercising and we’re in good health otherwise. I’m attractive and I look 10 years younger than I am. But sex just isn’t working. In my head I want to love my man but the idea, even of being touched, just leaves me cold!
How do other women get through this menopause time? I’m a Christian, I believe in God’s healing, and I want to get through this!
If you’ve been through menopause, or if you know a lot about menopause, can you comment and help? A number of women are asking me similar things. I have thoughts, but since I haven’t gone through that change, I’d rather the rest of you who have chime in first!
Thanks, everybody!

Comments

  1. Beverly Curts says:

    I have been following and enjoying your blog for several months, however today I find it very offensive when you said “especially you older women”. I don’t think most women over fifty would like to be considered old.

    • :) I didn’t say “old”–I said oldER, and I think there is a lot of wisdom that some of the older women who have gone through this can give! Just like I’m older than those who have newborns right now. I’m not old–I’m just oldER, at a different stage of life, and I think we need to help each other!

      • John Miller says:

        Sheila, I heard you on Dennis Prager’s show this week, well heard about the first half of the show before I had to get to an appointment. I am a 55 year old male. My wife and I have been married for 6 years. We are Christians. My wife had not been married before we met and, or course, having been raised in a solid Christian home and committed her life to Christ as a child she had lived a celibate life all those years. I was married for 20 years and lost my wife about 10 years before we married. We have a wonderful relationship but about 2 years into the marriage she went through menopause. All physical contact stopped, with the exception of a hello or goodbye kiss and hug when one of us is going somewhere. She said just like your email of the week, that she feels dead from the neck down. We have not had any intimacy of any kind in 3 years. She asked me when it happened, after struggling to just be intimate every few months, to no longer talk about it or even ask her. She said she just wasn’t interested, that she still loved me, but that sex was no longer of interest and she didn’t want to talk about it anymore because nothing was changing. I have sought medical guidance from some of the top specialists in the nation and all of them say the same thing, that this is what often happens and there is nothing that can be done. Their suggestion (from 3 major specialists at major medical schools in different parts of the nation) is that I just need to learn to accept it and take lots of cold showers. And boy, we’ve all run out of hot water at times, well I think our home must be about to run out of cold water!

        I’ve also sought pastoral guidance from a number of trusted sources and they agree that nothing really can be done unless she is willing. They do, of course, remind me that it is a sin to withhold affection from your spouse but also understand that you can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do. This has been very hard for me. My frustration has been great and I am to a point where I can hardly get through a day without severe struggles with my thoughts. And, it has surprised me how angry I often feel when she does nothing to bring that out in me.

        I have listened to Dennis Prager’s programs on this topic and his guest Allison Armstrong, but they make one mistake that eliminates their advice. That is that they assume that you can talk to your spouse about it. But when a spouse says they won’t talk about it it really is difficult. I live in constant frustration. When I heard you on his show and the fact that you are a Christian I thought maybe there would be more understanding since you would have the same values we do. I don’t know what I’m asking, I just know that hearing you gave me a glimmer of hope. Any advice?

        • John, I think you’re right, in that when one spouse really refuses to talk about it you’re in a very tough situation. I don’t really agree with a lot of the common advice in Christian circles–“just love her and she’ll come around”–because in my experience that often isn’t true. Loving her selflessly, however, does often change YOU and your attitude and helps you find peace in God, which is valuable in and of itself, but it doesn’t always change the situation.

          I did write a post that I’ve pointed a lot of men to recently to start the conversation with your wife, which is here. I do believe that a lot of the problem is that we come to associate sex with something that is only physical, rather than something which joins us on many levels.

          If she will let you talk about it, I would say that you want to help live her life to the extent that God made her–to the fullest. And maybe that means that sex is difficult, but you shouldn’t give up because it’s also a doorway into intimacy for both of you. But maybe there needs to be more massage, more baths together, more touching, and more gentleness. And gradually work up to it. If you start the 29 Days to Great Sex series that I had last month, some of the first few days are just about getting reacquainted with your body, and spending time just touching without anything else. That may be a good activity for her, just so that she can see that her body can still feel nice if it’s touched–even if it’s just nice because it’s a massage.

          I do think that for a woman to completely dissociate from her body isn’t a healthy thing, so the more you can start talking about it and telling her that you want it not just for you but for HER, maybe she’ll listen?

          So work on your friendship, work on your spiritual connection and keep praying together, love her, but then keep this conversation open, because it is an important one.

          I wish there were a magic answer, but there isn’t. I hope that helps.

        • If she was raised in a Christian home, doesn’t she read this in I Corinthians ~

          “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence {SEX}: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife has no power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife. DEFRAUD ye not one the other…”

          Is their no older woman in her life that can confront her in her sin? Or you, as the spiritual head of the home, needs to. She is walking down the wrong path.
          Lori recently posted…Are Fevers Deadly?My Profile

          • Lori, I’d agree with you, but the problem is that so often when we do this ourselves it doesn’t instigate a change in behaviour. That’s why I agree with you that a mentor or a mentor couple can prove so useful in this situation, and it’s too bad more churches don’t have them available, because often it doesn’t matter what a spouse says, you don’t get anywhere.

            I also think that when women have real issues with sex, to just say “you have to because the Bible says to” isn’t always going to get the desired result. I think it’s sometimes more efficacious to focus on WHY the Bible says this, which is because it’s the route to intimacy, and God wants you to cling to one another and to truly know each other and to receive pleasure from each other. It’s the doorway into intimacy.

            I just know that when I was experiencing a lot of pain during sex, to be told “you can’t deprive your husband” made God sound harsh. For me it ended up being a matter of faith, and I think I’ll write a post on this soon. Did I truly believe that God wanted the best for me? Did I truly believe the Bible? Because if I did, then I had to also believe that sex was supposed to be something good (even if I couldn’t see how then). And once I realized that it was a matter of trusting in God, things started changing for me.

            What do you think? Do you think that approach would help? Because I’m really wondering what the best way is to talk to women who are really hurting and who are hopeless, and who have cut themselves off. And I’m not sure what the proper one is. But I guess that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in, because we’re all different! And may be some women just simply need to be confronted and told, “you’re being selfish”. I don’t know. I really don’t.

          • Speaking the truth in love has been what has made the most impact as I am mentoring women. She needs to be told very plainly that she is walking in disobedience to God. Then I tell them that ALL of God’s ways are for our good. She is on a path that leads to destruction and divorce.

            I wish someone would have told me the straight truth all those years I was manipulating and controlling my husband thinking he would stay by me because he was a “good Christian man.”

            With some women, I do have to develop a relationship with before I can start confronting them with truth or they run away. Many women get offended way too easily…In I Cor. 13 we are told that love is not easily offended. A wise woman takes rebuke. I wish she would read one of our blogs. She needs Truth because only that will set her free.

            We are commanded by God to love one another and she is definitely not loving her husband.
            Lori recently posted…Sistas’ Famous CookiesMy Profile

          • I agree, Lori! The problem is that not everybody is wise…. sigh.

          • Suzanne Sommers has written books on how much Hormone Replacement Therapy did wonders for her. I haven’t tried that. I am a little bit leary of it and it is expensive. I have been taking Maca lately and it has definitely helped!
            Lori recently posted…Sistas’ Famous CookiesMy Profile

          • I’ve heard another friend mention Maca, but I don’t really know much about it. Want to elaborate?

          • Here is a very good article about the benefits if Maca –

            http://www.naturalnews.com/027797_maca_root_hormone_balance.html
            Lori recently posted…Struggling With Sin?My Profile

          • John Miller says:

            Lori and Sheila,

            I appreciate all you’re saying. First, let me add that she cannot read blogs or posts as she is blind. She lost her sight in an accident years ago. As for confronting her in love with Scripture, that’s tough because I’ve tried but her reaction is that it’s selfish for me to think of only what I want, and not be considerate of her desires. She feels that if her desire is to not have intimacy, then I should respect that. She doesn’t see it as disobedience no matter how the Scripture is presented. She sees me as not being able to control myself and sees me as weak.

            And no, Lori, there is no older Christian woman to confront her. She had a couple of friends but they’ve passed away. Friendships are very hard for her since she cannot drive and even though she knows I will drop everything on a moment’s notice to take her wherever she wants to go, she still feels trapped (understandably). I have tried to encourage her to make friends and do things but I think the lack of sight makes it harder than we can imagine. Even though she’s been blind for years and has accepted it well, one of her mechanisms for dealing with it, I believe, is that she became a loner years ago. By the way, her sight was gone many years before we met. And no, before anyone suggests it, there is no bitterness about it at all. She is amazing that way.

            One of the hardest things for me is that the rest of our relationship is so good and so vibrant. I have to say that your comment Sheila that these tough times can make us stronger is true. I’ve found it has been something that has helped me grow over the past few years. But one of the things that is difficult for me is that because I’ve aged and have a family history of heart problems the doctors have worked to keep me healthy (which fortunately I am pretty healthy). But because of age my testosterone has dropped, which should make this situation easier, but the doctor’s have prescribed testosterone for me for heart health and so my libido is like it was when I was 20, and that has done nothing but make it more difficult. I’ve talked to the doctors about whether there is anything else I could do so I wouldn’t have the libido increase and they have said that I put my heart at risk if I stop the testosterone. Since my wife is blind I know she needs me to care for her so I don’t dare risk the heart problems. But that has really made this more difficult.

            One last thing as I write this novel to respond to the things you both said, my wife has been on bioidentical hormone therapy for a few years. It has definitely helped with every other problem she encountered with menopause except libido. I’ve talked to the doctors and pharmacists and they’ve tried to increase the dosage to impact her libido but she has had no benefit from it.

            Thank you both for your input and I intend to look more into your site and the link you offered Sheila. I decided some time ago there probably is nothing I can do about this and have learned to live fairly well with it. But I still look for answers periodically hoping that maybe something will come along that I haven’t heard about. God is good and has helped me deal with it. It is still a struggle and I accept that sometimes He doesn’t offer a fix to a problem. I think of the problem the Bible tells us Paul had that never got healed and how God made it clear that living with it and accepting His grace was to be enough for Paul. I think that is sometimes, maybe even often, what God has for us so we learn and grow. I’ve accepted that that may be the case with this situation for me.

            Anyway, thank you again.

            As for the comment that you made about intimacy with things like massage and baths, etc., she is not receptive to anything like that. I haven’t seen my wife even in her underwear in 3 years, let alone in a bath. Massages and that type of intimate touching is something she’s never cared for. And what’s difficult for me is that the first few years of our marriage she was very responsive and intimate, although massages and the like were never something she cared for.

          • Could you talk to your wife about your “problem” in needing intimacy. Maybe start reading this whole thing to her. If you can respect her need for no contact,she can respect your need to find fullfilment and help you find solutions by listening to what you have written.Your questions are articulate anad well thought out. Keep searching for answers.

          • You are a good man, John. I hope your wife realizes that soon and the Holy Spirit convivts her of her sin.
            Lori recently posted…Struggling With Sin?My Profile

          • You mentioned that you wife cannot read blogs or posts because she is blind. I just wanted to say that many blind people use the internet to read websites and blogs with programs called screen readers that allow them to hear the text that they highlight. This may be something you and your wife should look into because blind people shouldn’t needlessly miss out on the vast text-based part of the internet!

          • It is awesome John the unconditional love and support you have for your wife. As 1Cor 7:1-5 makes it very clear that a husband and wife are meant to be intimate with one another, your wife is in sin by not doing this. Now the REASON this is happening may not be her fault, some physical or even emotional issue. Either way she clearly needs loving help and this needs to be treated as any other sin is in a marriage. Matt 18:15-17 gives us guidelines.
            If you were cheating on your wife she would also have this option. You have gone to her and because of the personal nature I would go to a pastor or woman in leadership in your church or a counselor.She may be very hurt , but someone in LOVE NEEDS TO CONFRONT her.God does not want us to accept sin in our spouses.They may not change when confronted, we can’t make anyone do anything, but we will have done our part. Keep loving her after this is done and prayerfully she will allow God to change her heart and get more help after confronted. All we can do is lovingly show them and sometimes with help, what the word says. If they are God’s child they should want to obey. She may need meds , there are natural things that work, some mentioned , but she must first admit there is a problem. The fact that she does not even want to deal with this implies perhaps there are deeper spiritual issues .
            If your church does not support you in this , it may be time for another church.They should not tell you JUST to keep loving her, WITHOUT doing all God says.We are more spiritual beings than physical, so yes you and the Lord can handle a marriage without sex. But you have a wife God has not called you to this, though by her choosing you might have to live that way.
            My husband and I do marital counseling and couples studies.There are to many couples suffering alone and in silence, because the leadership in the church will not follow scripture OR they don’t direct their members to biblical christian counselors..When you are trying to love you wife as Christ loved the church or she was trying to honor you, and you have problems, there are biblical guidelines to help in marriage.
            Your wife still sounds like a wonderful woman, none of us are perfect we all have things we have to work through and only can do by the blood of Christ.

          • John, if you’re still there you could ask your wife to try natural Progesterone cream. I boosts libido. progesterone is a hormone which both men and women need and at menopause hormones can get out of balance. Progesterone is best absorbed as a cream (through the capilliary glands) – it does not work as a pill or injection. You can by creams online but make sure it is a reputable company, I get mine from USA and it has helped me in many ways even after using it for a week.

  2. I am an “older woman” at 52 and proud of it! :) I love training the younger women to love their husbands, etc. After I had brain surgery 8 years ago, I was pushed into early menopause. Sex has not been nearly as much fun because I am so dry. We use lots of lubrication and I continue to give my husband lots of sex because I know he needs it and wants it. I have learned the value of serving others even when I don’t feel like it and I am blessed. Our marriage is better than ever. Like Sheila always says, “Sex is more in the mind..” So I made up my mind long ago to make my husband happy regardless of how I felt and I am reaping what I am sowing…a very happy marriage.
    Lori recently posted…Hardness Of Your HeartsMy Profile

    • Thanks for that, Lori! I have heard that from many women–that you really need the extra lubrication. That is important! And I think keeping concentrating on it because it’s good for intimacy, and not ONLY for sexual pleasure, is also so important, because we both need intimacy.

      So thanks for those thoughts from on oldER woman!

      • I have to ask a candid question here. I keep reading that extra lubrication is a good thing, especially in light of quickies or times when a woman just isn’t in the mood. What happens, though, if that lubrication completely burns every single time? I’m a long way from menopause, but I’m sitting here thinking that I’d still like to have a great sex life with the hubs when I’m older… but what if this is still the case?

        • hippie4ever says:

          Try coconut oil: all natural, no alcohols. I can’t imagine it burning.

        • Oil is really bad to put inside there. (It can cause infections, no matter what kind of oil it is.) So is the run-of-the-mill lubricant! The lubes you’ll find at the grocery store have parabens and glycerin, which cause cancer and yeast infections, and a lot of people are allergic. Look on Amazon.com for a paraben-free, glycerin-free lubricant. It’s amazing, feels so much better than the most popular brands, and it won’t give you health problems! :) I recommend Good Clean Love, but there are several other brands. http://www.goodcleanlove.com/store/personal-lubricants

          • Coconut oil (Health Store Variety) has anti- microbial /anti-fungal properties and in the 3 or so years we have used it, it has caused no infection. I am 58 and post menopausal. We have found it is a great way to get things started, by using it externally. I may be an exception, but even though I am through menopause, I still produce natural lubrication once I have been pleasurably stimulated with the help of the oil.

        • Elizabeth says:

          I’m not close to menopause either, but I do have sensitive skin! We use baby oil. I figure if it’s good enough for babies’ sensitive skin, it works for mine, too. :)

        • try changing lubs….do not use lubs with glycerin in it…glycerin in the lubs gave my wife yeast infections… coconut oil is a good one, but do not use it with condoms…..just go to google and do some searches on sex lubs with out glycerin
          James Witter recently posted…LastPass—Why You Should Be Using ItMy Profile

        • Thanks, everyone. Definitely going to check some of those out. Definitely do not want something that can cause yeast infections, as I’m diabetic and deal with those enough.

      • Clean, natural oils from the health food store are good. Some people recommend olive oil, but it can be too oily and has its own scent. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but it melts quickly when applied to the body, and has no odor. Almond is liquid at room termperature, with a very light, smooth texture and no odor.
        A Gal recently posted…Romance LanguageMy Profile

  3. I can only comment that as I approach the “change” I am so looking forward to it- after having extremely painful periods for 35 years to the point of having to be on narcotic drugs or face a hysterectomy- I am so ready to move on to the next stage of life! Enjoy your insights.

    • Amen, Janet! I think my body is more inclined towards your issues (at least I hope most of my difficult issues are pre-menopause, not post!). And I know for some women sex is actually more fun afterwards since there’s so much more freedom and no worry about pregnancy. So it’s certainly not uniformly bad. But for those who just feel “dead” below the neck, I really hope someone can offer some great advice on coming alive again.

  4. I am a 53 year old wife and mother of two grown children. I went through menopause 3 years ago after having a uterine ablation due to excessive bleeding each month. After reading all the comments folks have posted, my heart ached for these woman and their husbands. I am wondering if the hormone replacement therapy these women are taking is synthetic because it doesn’t sound like it is working which is usually the case with the synthetic hormones. I have been using natural, bio-identical progesterone for years. My bone density scans keep getting better instead of worse and my moods are so much more easy-going. After the ablation I began using the bio-identical estrogen. It is compounded by a compounding pharmacist and is made from plants and reacts in your body just like the estrogen your body produces. It has much less side effects than the synthetic hormones (made by drug companies from the urine of horses), and much less risk of causing cancer. It’s a little tricky and takes some trial and error to find the proper dose your body needs as no two individuals are alike, however, the benefits FAR outweigh the time it takes to find the right dose for you. I highly recommend a book by OB/GYN Dr. Uzzi Reiss called “Natural Hormone Balance for Women.” Dr. Reiss has been treating women for years with natural hormones and explains all the functions of each hormone and gives examples of women using the hormones and scenarios to help you determine if you need more or less of the hormone. When I first got this book some years ago, I bought a copy for my family doctor and gave it to her. After reading it, she agreed to let me try natural progesterone. She has thanked me numerous times for the book and uses it as a reference guide in her practice. For a brief time, I had to see another family doctor and I bought her the book also. She and the nurse practioner in her office raved about the book and thanked me profusely for introducing it to them. They also use it regularly to aid in treating their patients. When I had my ablation, I bought a copy of the book for the OB/GYN and again – rave reviews. Now that I am in menopause, she uses it as a guideline since we have added natural estrogen to my hormone therapy treatment. Dr. Reiss gives exact amounts of the hormones needed for perimenopause and menopause and instructions on how to adjust those dosages. The natural compounded hormones are more expensive but they are worth the cost. Most insurance companies will pay some on the compounded hormones. Intimacy for me and my husband of 35 years is better now than it’s ever been. The estrogen definitely helps with lubrication and libido. I use the cream method for progesterone and estrogen which I rub into the inner parts of my upper arms and my neck. It can also be taken by capsules but I find the cream gets into the bloodstream faster so it works quicker and it doesn’t have to go through the liver where some of it may be excreted. Natural hormones can be bought at a health food store but the dose is so low they did not work for me. Dr. Reiss reiterates that women need the prescription strength to really benefit. For the men whose wives do not even want to talk about it, maybe you can get the book and read some of it and leave it out where your wife may see it and peak her interest. It has truly been a blessing for me and a God-send.

    • Thanks so much for that comment! That sounds like it will be useful for many readers, and I’ll keep it in mind for when I need it in a few years!

      • Need to contact Women’s International Pharmacy..there is one in Wisconsin and Arizona..they are full of information and helps as well. I totally agree with Angie…Compounded Hormones are the way to go..must have a Ob/Gyn that will do bloodwork to tailor your hormone medication to specific needs..may be lacking/or too much in estrogen, estriol, estridiol, progesterone, DHEA. Testosterone there are a whole list and my Ob/Gyn helped me tremendously. Had hysterectomy and hot flashes were hitting every few seconds, amongst other things as well. Give the Women’s International site a try..awesome awesome site.

    • I’m pretty young – late 20s, but I have been taking birth control pills since I was 18. I’ve been a bit concerned about the cancer-causing aspect that some people talk about, but it’s not really an option for me – I need the hormones. I was taking yaz (which has estrogen and progesterone) until the beginning of February, which always worked for me and I never had PMS, but when I lost my health insurance I had to switch to something the health department had available, which was ortho-tricyclen. (sp?) It gives you a different hormone every week. This has turned out to be really bad for me – the week that I take the placebos I become extremely suicidal, I can’t stop crying, I just completely fall apart and can’t function at all for that entire week. Apparently this is because I’m bipolar, so the different hormone each week really messes me up. Anyway, my question is, does the natural estrogen and progesterone work as a birth control method? (Because I absolutely CANNOT become pregnant!) If so, it is available otc, or only by prescription? Do you know of a good website with information on this? I can’t afford a book right now. Thanks! :)
      Jen recently posted…the first and second dressMy Profile

    • THIS IS GREAT information. The natural progesterone DOES work for me, but I didnt realize that the dosage from the health food store was lower than having a prescription; and I was so worried about it causing cancer that i was non-committal in using it.
      Thanks for sharing.
      nylse recently posted…MORE – Sharing My FaithMy Profile

  5. John Miller says:

    Carol, Thank you for your comment. As I mentioned, my wife is not receptive to talking about it. That ended 3 years ago. She is not open to discussing my need because she does not believe that sex is needed. Her view is that she lived 48 years without it with no problem before we got married so it makes no logical sense to her that a man might have that need. She views people who say men have a need as just being too focused on their sinful flesh. After trying many times to talk to her she finally said to me 3 years ago that she wasn’t going to talk about it anymore and asked me to please not bring it up again. After being rejected to even talk about it so many times I finally gave up back then and have simply lived without fulfillment in that area of my life. I’ve tried to focus on the fact that eventually it was going to end as I got older anyway and for many people it ends sooner than they think due to health reasons so I might have had to learn to live without it sooner than I thought anyway because that could have been the reason.

    For Angie, I know what you are saying is right. It sounds like you are using exactly what my wife does by going with bio-identicals. They made a wonderful difference for her in every area except libido, which both the pharmacist and doctors tell me is very possible. The libido gets helped for some but not for others. They kept changing her prescription trying to help the libido but nothing worked. Three different specialists and two pharmacists a different compounding pharmacies all said there is really nothing else that can be done pharmaceutically for her regarding libido.

    So, for anyone who is wondering, my wife did try to accommodate me by going along with my requests both for intimacy and medically through the hormones, but in the end she said it wasn’t working and she wasn’t going to bother with it anymore since there was no desire. I will tell women (and it sounds like those of you on here may already know this, but I’ll give you a man’s perspective in case you don’t) that nothing in my life has ever hurt me as much as the feelings of rejection that this has caused. That has been the most difficult thing to deal with. I realize that to women who feel like my wife does it probably does appear very selfish of men to say they have a need, but it is true. However, in defense of those women, I will also say that as a husband I have a biblical responsibility to care for, provide for, and meet the needs of my wife by serving her without asking for anything in return. If a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, then like Christ he would do so selflessly. To me that means that I need to look beyond my desires and focus on her, not me. We can only love someone, we can’t make them love us or respond to us in a particular way. As a Christian husband I think that it is important for me to always remember that my life is about serving Him and because of Him I serve her in my marriage while expecting nothing in return.

    • Thanks for being so vulnerable, and I do think it’s important for women to hear how a man feels. It does hurt. I admire how you love your wife. That’s beautiful.

      • John Miller says:

        Thanks for the compliment Sheila. I will say that it’s about focusing on Christ and my relationship to Him. I think a lot of people don’t understand love. We’ve even heard people say love is a choice. While that’s true in a sense, what we really need to understand is that in the New Testament the word that is often translated as “servant” is actually incorrectly translated from the Greek. Only 3 translations actually interpret it correctly. The correct term is actually “slave.” It wasn’t used because translators felt it would be offensive to people but what’s so sad about that is that the Bible was written in a time when slavery was rampant throughout the world. Jesus and the apostles lived in a world full of it. It was far worse than it was in this country in the past. But the Bible says that we are slaves to Christ. A slave does not do what they want, they do the will of their Master. The beautiful thing about being a Christian is that we are slaves to the most loving Master and He makes us more than just slaves, He makes us part of His family. But we are still slaves in service to His will.

        With that said the point I want to make is that I am commanded to love my wife. I’m not told to do it if I feel like it. I’m not told to do it if she responds lovingly to me. I’m not told to do it when I feel like it. I’m commanded to love my wife. So if I love my Master and seek to do His will above all else, then I want to serve him and do as He commands, which means I will love my wife. And when I do that it is not mechanical or forced, it is real and deep. It is a love that supercedes my feelings and doesn’t take into account her reactions when they are not positive or her reactions when they are negative. People need to realize that. It is very freeing and fulfilling. Learning to love like that (and I’m still learning because I’m a long, long way from getting it right all the time) is what husbands need to do in their lives.

  6. Hi, everybody! I’ve been receiving a number of emails from older women talking about “bio identical hormones” and other natural remedies for a low sex drive after menopause. I don’t want to recommend anything myself because I don’t know the studies, but it seems like there are a lot of options out there if you seek them out. So please, if something isn’t working, don’t be satisfied with that! Keep asking questions and trying things until you find something that works. It may take a while, but I don’t think we’re meant to live “dead from the neck down”. I really don’t.

  7. Nicholle Olores says:

    I actually in mid 20’s and I know already what is about Menopause. My mother is already in menopausal period, at first she was depressed when she knows that she already in Menopausal period but as time goes by she is happy now.
    Nicholle Olores recently posted…The Benefits of Choosing Timber Windows When Renovating Your HomeMy Profile

  8. Here’s an article on some of the more natural remedies.
    http://altmedicine.about.com/od/sexualhealth/a/TreatFemaleSexu.htm
    (The article carries a lot of warnings, but, from my understanding, it’s largely because folks got carried away with large amounts and there were side effects. Just be smart, do your research and check with your doctor.)

    I’ve been taking a low dose of DHEA for a number of years and it significantly helped during perimenopause (I had some major emotional swings). A few weeks ago I started taking L-Arginine and Ginkgo. I have seen an increase in arousal (hopefully it’s not just a bit of placebo effect). :)

    • Ginko can mess with Thyroid drugs. Often staff in Pharmacues and Health stores are just’ shop assistants’. Pharmacists are better placed to advise.
      Please don’t Internet shop if you take ‘life saving’ meds eg Thyroid and or Immuni suppressants as I do. They can cause heart problems, wrap around and cause meds to stop working.

      Lots of great comments and advise re Lub’s though. In UK Vielle is a Sylicone lube no glycerine.
      Watch the use by dates.

  9. I am 63 and know that menopause can be a problem — especially with dryness. Have tried different lubricants they help but more than anything getting my brain focused makes even more difference. Having candlelight in the bedroom is just more romantic than bright lights. As time marches on I/we have to be more intentional/plan (energy levels are not as high)I focus on making love much earlier in the evening and my husband has a prescription so he can maintain an erection. Sometimes things are great and other times we just get tired and snuggle and talk. Don’t plan on giving up. Thank you for this “29 Days” I’ve learned and been encouraged – and our love life has been so much better. Sex and lovemaking has been a learn as you go — it wasn’t talked about as it is today and the info was more about the physical.

  10. read “What your Dr wont tell you about Menopause.” My mom who is menopausal said that exercise, good diet, relaxation and good sex (orgasmic) has been the killer to her “typical” menopausal symptoms.

  11. I am commenting because Miss Sheila asked me to. I am 57 years old this year and the “old” bothers me not one wit. It is 90% in our heads how we react to just about anything. I personally like the simple way. God designed us for sex and we will get through any dry spells, spiritual lows, mental lows if we let Him the great healer take care of business. I think sometimes we over think things. If you seriously have a physical issue then have it treated. Likewise with emotional and spiritual issues. I am not being flip at all. When you were dating and oh my gosh if only he would……………………..same as today, but today we say if only he would…. go to sleep. I have been married to the same amazing man for 36 years. I love him. Do I always like him? No. When I “decide” to want him I have no problem making that happen. We change over the years we get toooo comfortable, been there done that, let’s see what else is on the other side of the road. As for menopause, yes I have to supplement due to dryness, excitement yes, I have to supplement due to don’t have any, but we do have years of knowing each other, laughing through, crying through,stumbling through so many things. Sex is just one more thing we need to put the effort into to feel connected, loved, special,whatever it is you both need. Actually if our husbands were really thinking they would print a phony newspaper article how sex reduces wrinkles & cellulite. Most men wouldn’t be able to drag themselves to work, their wives would wear them out. Come on ladies you know it’s true. Good sex to you. Bette

    • Awesome, Bette! You made me laugh. (And isn’t there some research that DOES say that sex reduces cellulite? :) ).

  12. Just received an email from a woman commenting on this who would like to remain anonymous. She writes:

    I have found planning sexual surprises are great: candles (battery, so there are no fires!) on the way to the bedroom, greeting him with sexy lingerie, asking him what would turn him on, and then doing just that when he least expects it, having mini – no kids – overnighters at a hotel (honours the 5 mile – away-from-the kids rule), and sex in the afternoon when the kids are away with friends. These are great because my head is in the game while I am planning and anticipating them, and the surprise is a real turn-on for him.

  13. I am 52 , and have been in peri-menopause about two years. I am trying to break new ground in my family, and go through menopause without a hysterectomy. I had hot flashes-black cohosh cured those. I had some episodes of flooding- birth control pills stopped that. Now, I’m experiencing a lull of sexual response and difficulty getting to orgasm, but here are the things I have read help:
    1. Think about sex through the day. Read romantic books or daydream.
    2. Eat soy. It has estrogen in it.
    3. Take ginko and the amino acid L-argenine.
    4. Exercise, get your rest, de-stress, eat healthy
    5. Do your kegels, and do some sort of aerobic activity before sex to increase blood flow to the genitals.
    6. Try a vibrator during sex to give you some extra stimulation.

  14. I have often wondered want men would do if they were told BEFORE marriage that their wives would not continue with sex. Or that they really did not like sex. If they were given the choice then as to whether or not that they would still want to get married. It appears sometimes to be a ‘bait and switch’ tactic. If a man is told that that it is no more sex. I am done with it. Then the wife has broken her vows to love and ‘honor’ her husband. Her promise has been broken and it makes the vows ‘null and void’. I would like to see a poll taken of men who are in a sexless marriage. The question being……if you knew then what you knew now – would you still have married your wife? They could have had a life, and children, and a fulfilling intimate life with someone else. It makes no sense to me. Why do women marry and then be so hurtful to their husbands?

    • Kathy, that would be an interesting survey, and I imagine that many men would say no–at least the many who email me. They love their kids, but they find their lives very hard. I know there are things that we women find very difficult, too (and some women, of course, are also really hurt by their husband’s rejection of sex), but this is a really big issue for many men, and I think you’re right.

    • Don Jackson says:

      Kathy, you as a really good question. For myself I don’t know. My wife and I have been married for 10 years as of last month. It took us a year before she was able to consummate the marriage. We were in our mid 40s when we got married. She was a virgin, having grown up in a strong Christian home and holding firmly to her beliefs all her life. She refused to settle for less than a committed Christian husband and I was fortunate to meet her and fall in love. However, once we consummated the marriage things were frequent and good between us sexually for almost 3 years and then she went into menopause. She tried to maintain interest but she was so overwhelmed with the problems of menopause (like hot flashes, etc.) that it became rare for us to have sex. What had been 4 or 5 times a week became once every few months. I tried to talk to her over and over again but got nowhere because she said she just didn’t feel like it anymore. She told me she didn’t enjoy it and was sorry but wasn’t going to pursue that part of our relationship anymore. She went with me as we talked to counselors, doctors, and pastoral staff. The church simply told me (privately) that it was my job to love her and accept the conditions whatever they were. I was not to expect something because my job as a husband was to care for my wife and expect nothing in return (selfless love). I agree with that and have lived now for many years with no sex. Doctors tried everything and the only thing that worked for her symptoms were bio-identical hormones. But they didn’t work for sexual desire. Finally after a couple years of no sex and trying to find answers my wife told me that she wasn’t interested any longer and asked me to no longer pressure her. I have honored that request. When I’ve tried to talk about it she rejects it and reminds me that I said I wouldn’t press her.

      All that said, your question is still difficult. My first marriage of 15 years ended when my wife had an affair and left me. I was single for many years and content but was really struggling to maintain pure thoughts being single. I prayed and asked God to either take away the desires and give me a gift of singleness or to bring the person he had for me into my life. Within about 4 years I met my wife. We dated for some time before we married and I still believe she’s the woman God has for me. But I have come to understand that it is not about me, it is about serving God. I have to look at it like a situation where maybe something had happened to her and she couldn’t have sex anymore. I’ve asked myself if that were the case would I regret marrying her and the answer is an emphatic no, I have no regrets whatsoever. The struggles are huge. I live fighting the impure thoughts on a regular basis, but I don’t blame her for that. It is my responsibility to be pure before God. We don’t face God as a group on judgment day.

      I like many things that are discussed here, but I can tell you what you ladies believe here is rare. In my career in the business world I’ve been fortunate to rise to high levels in business and have been transferred all over America. I’ve moved 22 times in a little over 30 years. It’s been a member of many churches around this country and this is a very common thing for men to face. Over the years as I’ve been involved in men’s groups this has been a common topic. From about the mid-30s on up men often face the fact that their wives rarely or never have sex with them any longer, and that’s men in solid Bible teaching churches. I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen men broken by it and it’s everything we can do as brothers in Christ to encourage them and work with them to love their wives and keep their commitment regardless of how she responds to them. Many, many of the men I’ve known over the years who’ve discussed this with wives who still had regular sexual relations with them have bee told by their wives that many of their friends no longer had sex or rarely had sex with their husbands. And the view of the wives who still were sexually active with their husbands was that if a woman isn’t interested any longer the husbands just needed to learn to live with it. It left those men wondering how much longer they’d be able to enjoy that aspect of their relationship with their wives before it would end.

  15. John,
    I think that loving her with out any pressure will help tremendously. I don’t know about all women, but in my experience. I ad health issues that casued my menopause. I felt that it took all that made me a women .No more children things like this. I think that it is just in our minds.Cudle with her with no added presure let her know she is stil the women you married. The baths and massages are good edvice. Satan is lying to her and it is hard for her to think this could happen . Your love life can be better but it is going to take a lot of understanding and doing the little thins untill she relizes she is still the women that she was .I think a small amount of hormone therepy will work. I have been married for 32 years. It is hard but pray together and God will answer you.

  16. I recommend that women in the menopau give natural Progesterone cream a try, I really recommend it. Not sure if I am allowed to post up a link in case it is seen as advertising,mbut I can’t say how much this cream has helped me and my menopausal friends with our various symptoms. http://www.healthyhormones.com/progesta.htm. Progesterone is beast absorbed through the capilliary glands (pills and injections are not effective).

    progesterone boosts libido also.

    However, we are all different and I am 53 and my sex drive shot up (hubby just about kept up with me three times a night we got a second honeymoon out of it) I think this was because my T-levels rose and also I just needed to become really orgasmic for emotional release so it was as much in my brain as well I think. the Progesterone helped to balanced out my hormones though because I found having a high sex drive very inconvenient (I’d being the verge of orgasm while chopping vegetables for example) and I found aspects of it distressing, but I tried to extract good out of it to improve our sex life which it did.

    I real feel for the men who wives have lost the urge. The cream will help to boost libido and also helps reduc hot flashes etc, but I think these ladies need to really reconnect with their sexuality. I found visualisation pushed my sex drive up (visualising that being in love feeling you get when you first meet) and this caused a rush of sexual energy I had never known before, but not every woman can do this.

  17. John,
    Your wife needs to understand that sex is not just a physical act, and suggest that you should be less worldly(like her) and give up your physical needs. She is doing God, you and herself a great dis-service. The scriptures are clear that sex is part of marriage. It is one of God’s prescriptions for our emotional, spiritual, and physical health. The most important components of sex are the intimacy and spiritual sharing. I have found that as my husband and I have aged, we can’t always get to orgasm like we used to, but during those times we still have the physical intimacy which in itself can be fun, fullfilling, and keep us connected emotionally and spiritually.Truthfully though, to get to that point we had to get past the EXPECTATION that one or both of us would reach orgasm every time. That took some open communication. Now we know we can truly reach a kind of “oneness” even without orgasm, but physical intimacy is crutial to get there…. AND it is surprising how many times we start out without copulation in mind, just calling it “cuddle tIme”, but we both end up being very satisfied.
    I think your wife has probably never been in tune with her body, and she is feeling threatened by the whole concept. It is hard to be vulnerable and put all your trust in another human being, but for women this is what we must do to make things work for us sexually. If our head is not in it , then our body can’t be.

    Another thought… It is said that “the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul”. You mentioned that your wife is blind. She can’t gaze into your eyes like lovers do, and focus on you during the love act. She can’t see the hurt or the love in your eyes. She doesn’t like intimate touch. She won’t talk about intimacy. She has little previous sexual experience to draw upon. Somehow you have to help her use all her other senses to begin to experience physical intimacy the way it was intented to be. Maybe let your voice be a focal point during physical intimacy, affirming what is in her eyes that she can’t see… but be 100% truthful, because just as the eyes of someone we know well can be a tattle tale, so can your voice.

  18. I am a Christian author and menopause expert. There are many excellent suggestions for dealing with menopause sex that have helped numerous women. You and your husband don’t have to suffer.
    For example, vitamin E oil applied to the vagina will help with lubrication and it will help you to start producing your own lubrication again. It is the dryness that makes sex uncomfortable. Unfortunately, if you don’t use it, you will eventually lose it. The vagina will atrophy. However, you can improve the state of your vagina through Kegel Exercises (I explain this on my site) and sex.
    Research has shown that an increase in Estrogen does not improve sexual desire.
    Sex is mostly in our brains, not in our sexual organs, therefore sometimes we need to relight the romance in order to feel sexual.
    Desire has a lot to do with believing you are still sexual, despite your age. Research has shown that if you think you will continue to enjoy sex, you probably will. Sheila talks a lot about the importance of sex in our marriages, so abstaining or infrequent sex may become a bigger issue than any of us have bargained for. It is worth the energy to keep you sex life alive and well throughout menopause. Best of luck, Glenda de Vries
    Glenda de Vries recently posted…Sep 18, Vitamin D DeficiencyMy Profile

  19. I have to wonder what God was thinking by giving women menopause at an age so mismatched with their husbands’ sexual desires. Maybe there is wisdom in marrying a man old enough that he will be dead or invalid by the time the wife reaches menopause.

  20. John,
    God bless you! There is a Christian author that has written books on His Needs/Her Needs. Perhaps you could talk about improving or strengthening your marriage and read a book together or you could read it and talk to her about both your needs. (Men and woman have different needs.) Sex is mentioned in it. Kevin Leman’s book (Sheet Music-I believe it is called.), is good. He is also a Christian author. I am pretty sure it was in that book he addressed this issue. Somewhere he (I am pretty sure it was him.) asks how would a wife like her husband to stop providing for her since the wife felt she “did her duty” long enough. There is a telephone number in the back of the book. I called it and he actually called me back! (I do not think this is the norm.) Tell your wife how hard this is for you, perhaps give examples. Let her know that men are made differently than woman. Tell her that men are turned on by sight and you are so frustrated and have no release. Also tell her that a woman’s desire can “go to sleep” when not used and that is not happening to you. Let her know that having sex will draw you closer together and it can be fun! Perhaps you can start out by pleasuring her with you hand. It seems your wife needs to be educated about the differences between men and women. If she knows that what she is doing is so much harder for you to handle than for her, hopefully she will meet your need out of love for you. I think the two books mentioned will give you information to help educate her and you will learn some great information too! I would recommend Sheet Music if you only pick one. As a last resort, maybe Kevin Leman would talk to her on the phone.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

Trackbacks

  1. […] throw up a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. Last week we talked about menopause and sex, and there’s some great resources in the […]

Leave a Comment

*

CommentLuv badge