The short answer is no.

Perhaps she is using menopause as the reason why she seems distant from you and has no interest in cuddling or having sex.

Menopause is a huge health transition for women to go through; physically, mentally and emotionally. Estrogen plays a significant role not only as a sex hormone, but also in metabolic health. When estrogen plummets so does your skin’s ability to become elastic, supple and glowing. You become more prone to osteoporosis. You become more insulin resistant (inability to rid sugar from your blood) which often leads to weight gain. Then there is estrogen’s role in regulating body temperature (hello hot flashes). The estrogen receptors found in brain tissue are not receiving their normal dose of this essential hormone either, causing more brain fog and difficulty remembering (especially nouns, such as names of people, places, things). “You know…that THING!”

Does this sound like a fun time?? No!! Give your wife some slack.

As John and Julie Gottman have written in their countless books on marriage, women, and relationships, women thrive when they feel you care about them. As a Level 3 Gottman-trained therapist, I have heard countless complaints from men about women losing their sex drive. Mindlessly men encourage their wives, likely in an attempt to feel as though they are somewhat supportive ‘You should go get [that] checked’. To which they respond, ‘What is [that] exactly?’

Luckily there are ways of mitigating the menopause journey without experiencing the severe symptoms. We can do it naturally using phytoestrogens (using food that contains estrogenic compounds such as soy (which contains isoflavones), flax (containing ligins), and yes, even chocolate (containing catechins) have estrogenic compounds that bind to estrogen receptors.

Another route would be to embark on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Many women have been able to find relief to the physical symptoms mentioned above using this method as well. Other women use a holistic approach of combining bioidentical hormone replacement and diet, exercise, and stress management.

The worst thing a woman could do is ignore the symptoms and just hope it is going to get better. The worst thing a man can do is tell his partner to ‘get checked’ or insist on having sex when she is clearly ‘not in the mood’.

Men, I hope this article helps to explain that it is not necessarily you. Menopause can be completely absent for some women (likely <20%) but for the rest of us, it can range from mildly to severely affecting our well-being.

My best advice to men is simply to use two phrases often during this time:

“What do you need?” and “ I hear you”. And if you use those two phrases often, you won’t have a problem in the bedroom either.