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Five Things You Should Never Say to Women in Menopause

by Holly Osterman on August 12, 2012

People sometimes say the stupidest things without even realizing it. It’s usually because they don’t think. Or they may just not understand the hormonal changes and mood swings many of us are experiencing. But if you’re talking to women in menopause, carefully consider the words that are coming out of your mouth. Women in menopause have feelings and those feelings are on a heightened sense of alert.

Are we being overly sensitive? Maybe so, but here are a few examples of thoughtless comments I’ve heard recently—some from my own family—that struck a nerve:

  1. You’re too young to be in menopause.  According to whom? Studies show that the average age of menopause is 51. However, some of us can begin experiencing symptoms in our thirties or forties and we want validation.
  2. What’s your problem? Oh, I don’t know. My pants are too tight, I can’t remember whatever it was I were supposed to remember, and it’s so freakin’ hot outside. But I’m not outside. It’s a bad day and the last thing I want is to listen to someone else’s smart mouth.
  3. Isn’t there a pill you can take for that? For what? Menopause? If there was a happy pill that cured all menopause symptoms, do you think millions of women would be walking around wondering what the heck is going on? These words have probably been uttered by more than one ill-informed husband who has since avoided eye contact. Or any kind of contact, really.
  4. Hot flashes are no big deal. No, they didn’t just say that! Maybe not for some women, but hot flashes can certainly be a big deal for others. Hot flashes are inconvenient, disruptive, and not a lot of fun in general.   So unless you’ve personally experienced them, keep your comments to yourself.
  5. You sound like my mom.  Nobody wants to sound like someone else’s mother. In fact, we avoid sounding like our own moms. And to make matters worse, you don’t want these words to come out of a twentysomething’s mouth while she’s showing you a new wrinkle cream at the beauty counter. Just put the product in the bag and shut it.

You don’t need to walk around on eggshells near every menopausal woman. Just be considerate. Women in menopause are going through some very dramatic life changes and we need a little compassion. So be kind to your wife, sister, friend, or mom. She’ll be back. But in the meantime, if you think you shouldn’t say it, you’re probably right.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Haralee August 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

The thinking, wait until it happens to you can not be helped!!

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Magnolia August 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

And my favorite……”Why don’t you just get a grip?” Grrrrrrr…….don’t get me started.

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Barbara Younger August 22, 2012 at 6:05 am

For some reason, I was fine talking about the physical stuff but the mental stuff just felt too scary and too private. If I had to do it again though, I’d be a lot more open with my husband and friends about the negativity and sadness.

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Holly August 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

I think many women feel the same way. It can be very hard to express the emotional issues we face during menopause.

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Joanna September 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm

As a woman that stopped wearing a winter coat and uses a hoody all winter, the one that gets to me is “Aren’t you cold?” What are you supposed to say to that? It’s none of their business, but I can’t be rude, so I usually just say no. I wish I could say something like “Why, yes I am-I always sweat like a pig when I’m cold”. LOL Well, I can dream !

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Yolanda December 3, 2012 at 7:52 am

hey cristina thkans so much for your comment on my blog! nice to meet another spaldingite and someone who understands what it’s like to struggle with cancer. i’m glad you got some laughs out of my posts. speaking of cancer, judging from your post today, looks like i have yet another thing to (possibly) look forward to down the line. *sigh* ah well, what can ya do. feel free to keep in touch. take care, and ciao for now

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jean fearns September 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

people dont under stand its a very emotional issue menopause and its makes me cry .when i do talk about it they have no idea how i feel with this menopause.

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pennrichteratyahoodotcom December 14, 2012 at 5:29 am

Im in Arizona it’s 343 am I’ve uh ad hot flashes for fifteen years and was on previara and Arizona changed the medical coverage that if you dont have a cronic condition or a child living in your home cant get medical help .So my grandson age 3 was given to the father who is a convictes drug dealer and an open sex with minor complaint and he had two open warrants and was not married to the mother , had a restraining order on him for 1/3 of the childs life to stay away. Had kidnapped the child Three times. said they would never give custody to him but my daughter, did not show up in court judge gave child to aledged father shocked everyone! I almost died of heart attack. The mothers attorney said injection your honor we have not established custody or d&a .Dum Judge said over ruled.tempory Custody to father pending d&a.. Oh my God ,it get so much worse im crying so hard right now I can hardly see to.type. With all This greef they cut my hormones off abruptly I lost my grandson and my medical ins and my mind the hot swrats and flashes came back four days in bed with massive head aches. I go to Church at the corner of camelback and thirtyninth ave in Phoenix Arizona they pray every day for us. Its so hard snd the child school made a cps report that my grandson complaned that This dad was naked exposed him self to the child ,cps did nothing This was the weekend before her got tempory custody and cps allowed his girlfriend to be the saftey monitor he had only supervised visitations ten hours once per week prior to custody. and he lives with the safty monitor also. two months after custody the father of the 5 year old girl that belongs to the x safty monitor took the child out of the home emergancy order and filed police that sexual misconduct was going on between the little girl and my grandson. All This is in the court papers in the files Cps still not doing anything. Cps lies corrupt.they even know that the fathers oen mother has been arrested for sexual misconduct felony with a child and is currently on probation for assult and robbery. In california. Msny lawyer s have seen This case but want thousands because its so complex.and CPS needs to be sued big time. Meantime these hot flashes keep me crippled up. Thanks for reading. God Bless.

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