If you’ve been following this blog you know that I’m 48-years-old, married to a 35-year-old man and have left the metropolitan city of Toronto in Ontario, Canada for the small town of Pearl Lagoon in Nicaragua, Central America. You also know that I’m going through menopause…at least, I think I am. I’ve done my research and know that there are about 34 recorded symptoms tied to menopause. I’ve had a few of them and sometimes all at the same time. What makes this experience more interesting than I’m sure it usually is, are my husband Jose’s reactions. He speaks a mixture of Creole, Spanish and English and sometimes what and how he says things is hilarious, though he doesn’t mean it to be. He also tries to be very serious and squints to show just how serious he is. To me, his serious face is just too cute!
Most North American men have at least heard about menopause and/or have known a woman, usually a mother or wife, who has passed through it. They’ve at least seen women fanning themselves or turning bright red when a hot flash strikes or they have heard the talk about the “change”. My husband is a menopause virgin. Until he met me, he had never heard the word nor had he observed any of the typical menopausal woman behaviours. You must understand that in Pearl Lagoon women don’t talk about their menstrual cycles or menopause symptoms quite the way we do in North America. You might hear a woman say she “got sick” which means her monthly visitor has arrived but if you didn’t know those code words, you’d just think she picked up a cold or a stomach virus. To make matters worse, it is hot here! Really hot! So if you see a woman fanning herself, you’d never think she was experiencing a hot flash.
Statistics show that many marriages fail while a woman is going through menopause. This is attributed to the mood swings and loss of libido that can happen during this phase of a woman’s life. I decided that I wanted my less than a year old marriage to be one of the ones that survive menopause. So, in my infinite wisdom I schooled my husband about the 34 symptoms and explained to him some of the behaviours to look for. Me and my big mouth! Now every time I’m irritated with him about something, he says, “Is this part of menopause?” This of course makes me want to strangle him even more than I did before!
I’ve got to him his props though. He has been very patient, understanding, supportive and loving. I’m sure there are times when he’d like to run screaming as far from me as he can, but he just shakes his head and says, “It isn’t as easy as you think”. Then he puts his arms around me and tells me how much he loves me. That’s when I realize how blessed I am to have this young man as my husband. And you know what? I think we’ll make it beyond this first anniversary!