I hear a noise and think the garage door is opening, my husband is home. However, it clicks just as quickly that it is the heat, that he has not opened that garage door in almost nine years. That garage door does not belong to either one of us anymore.
Male menopause is real. Just like a woman's hormonal makeup changes, so does a man's. Yes, a man can continue to have children, but that does not mean there are not changes.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
If the man in your life, or you, has a personality change, starts to have mood swings, withdraws, gains weight or gets flabby quickly, or loses interest in things that had been of high interest, get him to a doctor. There are things that can be done: dietary changes, hormone-replacement therapy, and counseling. My ex has said if he had gotten counseling, we would still be together. (By the way, that makes it harder, not easier, to accept.)
The middle-aged men who leave their middle-aged wives for the much younger women is such a cliché. I never thought I would be one of the women left behind, but I was. It is still hard for me, but I think it is so hard because I never saw it coming.
Valentine's Day in 2007 was a horrible snowstorm where we lived, but that is the only reason he spent it with me. He could not pretend to go to work, but go spend the day with her instead.
On St. Patrick's Day, he will be turning 60 - 10 years after his brain chemistry convinced his that his whole world was wrong. The wrong job, the wrong house, the wrong woman. None of those things are his anymore - he left the wife, the house has since been sold, and he lost the job.
It is lucky(?) that my children were adults when it happened to us. Lucky, because it did not affect them financially. Lucky, because they did not have to see the destruction. Unlucky, because, it might have been easier if there was still the routine of going to games and plays, cooking them meals, etc.
I can honestly say that I hope turning 60 is easier for him than turning 50 was. Or the year when he was 29 and convinced himself he would be dead before his 30th birthday - he should never have watched "Logan's Run" with Michael York. The year he was 40 was life-changing in a different way - he had a new job in a new state, so a new house, we got new furniture and a dog. It was like starting over again, but with the same cast of characters.
P.S. If you have a friend who has been through what I have been through, realize that holidays, her birthday, his birthday, and the date that was their anniversary can be difficult. Give them a card, send them a funny card, just something to let them know you care.