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Wife's personality changes (Page 1)

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As I type this my wife of 36 years is packing and leaving. My life has fallen apart over the past 2 years. My "hippie chick" has turned into an angry and hostile person. She only remembers all the mistakes I have made over the years. She recites them daily and wishes me dead. She doesn't seem to recall anything good, only the negative. I have been a good husband and have cared for my wife through the years. I have been a good provider and friend. I am at an end.

She has spent the past month in the spare bedroom, I call it "cave time". She locks herself in and only comes out occasionally, usually in great rages. She has destroyed many of our things. Our dogs are now frightened of her. For the first time I am fearful that she might harm me. She will not entertain a conversation about all this. She has refused to seek a doctor's help and denies the changes in her mood are medically related although she admits the onset of menopause and experiences hot flashes. She is 50 YOA.

The "cave time" has repeated itself several times over the past 2 years. Each incident last for nearly a month.

She has seperated herself from ALL of her friends and most of the family. It seems that lately she hates more people than she cares for. She has moved me to her hate list. I am sad for her and know that her life has turned into a dark and depressing place, I wish I could help.

Today, the day that our paths will take different turns for the first time in 36 years, is heartbreaking. I wish I knew what to do?
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First Helper Cybernut
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replied July 17th, 2009
Community Volunteer
If I can count correctly you married your wife when she was 14 years old...How old were you or are you now?...

If she was corraled into this marriage, she just may be breaking free...I kind of await what you have to say on this...
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replied February 3rd, 2013
Java Missus,

With all due respect, it appears you have not reached menopause. A woman can change 180 degrees when going thru menopause and if the woman is stubborn there's not much that can be done.
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replied July 17th, 2009
Actually I was counting from the time we met, in high school. We married some years later (I'll correct the original post to prevent any further confusion). Until the last two years we had a marriage others admired. We traveled together (I retired at 46 YOA) to many beautiful places. We had common interest and our relationship was great. Neither of us were unhappy then. Even now she indicates to our daughter that she has no desire for a new relationship. I don't believe this is an issue.
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replied September 25th, 2012
Menopause
I know how you feel...my mom is the same
way with my dad for the past 2yrs and we
just cant stand seeing her like this... I wish
Menopause never existed....we try not to
give up, but it's very hard...she always goes
somewhere without even telling us where,
and she always keeps things to herself...
To be honest I am kind of scared of her and
I'm not the only one...but I just wish this would
all end...I wish Jesus would answer my prayers...
I'm just kind of glad I'm not the only one and this
Is kind of a life lesson for me when I grow up in case
I get menopause Sad
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replied July 17th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
Is she having an affair?
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replied July 17th, 2009
raven53 wrote:
Is she having an affair?


No

The advise I seek is from a woman that has experienced similar behavior as my wife now does. Has anyone felt the need to isolate themselves for extended periods of time? If so, was their anything others could have done to pull you out of the funk?

I have little doubt that the extreme changes in my wife's moods are related to menopause. It is as if she has turned into a new person. Only rarely do I get a glimpse of the person she once was.
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replied July 17th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
She has to admit she needs help and go to a doctor. To be truthful, I have never seen hormonal changes in menopause go to this much of an extreme, but I have seen cases where the women became more agressive, angry, depressed and defensive. This sounds like more than just menopause. The fact that she doesn't want help, makes me wonder if she isn't bipolar. Usually women who are going through a rough change of life WANT help. Is there a computer in the room she locks herself in? If there is, I suggest you scout around it when she isn't home. You might come across her looking up something concerning her problems. There is nothing you can do unless she is willing to get help or talk to you, I am so sorry.
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replied July 17th, 2009
Thank you for your kindness Raven53.

You have caused me to expand my thinking on what is going on. My wife has 3 half sisters (uterine sibling) and all of them suffer from bipolar disorder. They have all been hospitiziled at some point in time for their condition.

My wife has seemed so different from these half sisters that I never considered the connection. My wife's family have always blamed the mental health conditions on the genes of the now missing father (of the half sisters).

Just recently, within the last few months and at the conclusion of a "cave" event, my wife confided in me that she was the victim of rape as a child. I tried to be as supportive as possible but fear my response was lacking. I did ask if she would like to talk with someone about it and she refused. With this history might PTSD also be causing some of this?
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replied July 17th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
It could be quite possible for your wife to have PTSD, or be bipolar, since you said it runs in the family. Add menopause to that, and you have a ticking time bomb. I can sympathize with your lack of adequate comfort at your wife's confiding in you about the rape. It's hard for a man to verbalize most of their feelings anyway, let alone for something like this, and you were helpless to take her pain away, as anyone would be.

I wish there was a way for you to get across to her that she needs medical attention to help her through this. You know, in her mind she may fear she is going crazy, and her addmittance may cause others to think she needs to be taken to a hospital. Do you have children? If so, can they talk to her? What about her parents? If her sisters have been helped through medication maybe they could talk to her? There is alot going on here underneath the surface of her mood change, and I really don't think it has to do with menopause as much as the other things. All you can do at this point is let her know you love her very much, and want to see her happy, and will do anything to help her find her way back from this black hole. Tell her, that if she thinks you fell short in comforting her, all she needs to do is tell you what she wants, and you'll do your best to give it to her. After that, it's in her hands. I pray that she makes the decision to get the help she needs. God bless.
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replied July 31st, 2009
I am a menopausal woman who has gone through some drastic changes due to menupause. I am no longer the person I used to be. I don't like the new me. For a long time I suffered severe depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, crying binges. I could go on and on. As things happened in my life, they added to the already existing depression, pushing me deeper and deeper. I because lethargic. Like a walking dead person. I had no feelings about anything..and I still suffer. I am a new person..and I have no idea if I will ever be myself again. When it started happening I didn't know what was wrong with me..I isolated myself..( I worked all day) but slowly but surely stopped having a social life. When I can I hide in my house. Sometimes I don't even want to get dressed, or wash my face. So..I would say there is definitely a chance that Menopause can cause all kinds of ill effects. It is a change in the hormone levels in your body. Lots of things can happen. If you can get your wife to speak to someone, that would be in her best interest. If not,and she does leave you, don't lose hope. Hang around and be there for her. Your absence may trigger feelings in her, and help her to realize she does love you. This is the best advice I can give.. I am not a professional and I haven't found a doctor who has helped me.
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replied August 1st, 2009
I doubt seriously that menopause itself can cause the symptoms you are describing, but your wife's feelings toward menopause may be complicating any underlying issues. Some women view menopause as the end of their sexuality, and, given her self-reported rape experience, there could be some connection. There are no psychological changes due to menopause other than what our society imposes, but that's already a lot. The topic of menopause is surrounded by fear.

Also, life's pressures can have been building for many years. If there are teenagers still in the home, those issues can add to the stress. Loss of her parents, fear of aging, etc., are other hurts

If what you describe is accurate, your wife needs professional help - probably mostly a very patient and understanding therapist rather than drugs.
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replied October 29th, 2010
menopause no excuse
LostinUtah are you still out there?
I need to know how things worked out.
I just found your post and I'm where you were.
We've been together 26 years, 2 sons, and she's ready to chuck it all.
Bipolar, been in therapy (individual and couple), been on meds, cave dweller, ...
I'm tired of putting up with it.
Sign me Pissed Off in N. O.
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replied May 10th, 2012
October 29th, 2010 update
Finally finshed up with all the legal matters.
Yes. it took this long to finalize divorce.
She's already engaged - not to the one she left us for.
It was rough for me to accept at first.
Now, good riddance!
The boys and I are better off without her.
Signed,
Used to be: Pissed Off in N. O.
Now feeling: Pissed On in N. O.
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Users who thank computerchip for this post: same_boat 

replied June 7th, 2012
I think sometimes my husband wished I would hide in a 'cave room'. I was really afraid of this time of my life as a younger woman. So far,thank God,I'm not doing that badly. No hot flash's..and none of the other horror stories I've heard about. Even when I am moody,I am hating myself for it,and apologize endlessly to my husband. I try to keep to myself when I am having an 'off' day. Normally I'm a pretty happy,up beat kind of a person. I am SO sorry to read about your marriage breaking up. THAT is the LAST thing I want for my life. I have heard of SO many women going "insane" during this time in their lives,and breaking up their marriages. My husband is great,but he's not the most understanding..so I've learned to take care of myself..and leave him alone,especially when I am not feeling..well,not feeling my normal self. He's also impotent,which has made life difficult. He's going through THAT,and I'm going through this. Weird thing is,I keep hearing about women getting LESS sexual at this stage in their lives..for me,I want him more than ever(I'm very fit,and healthy).I don't bother him about sex. I just don't think about it so he doesn't feel bad that he can't deliver right now. Sorry..didn't mean to ramble. I'm having an "off" day today.
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replied May 18th, 2013
I don't know if this is any help but here goes. My husband was an angel. Everyone tells me so. I was so lucky to have him. We went through a long bleak period, Very little affection although we still loved each other. When I was working on my degree (this was in my forties and probably at pre and intra menopausal age, he would come into the study and ask if I'd like like something started for dinner. I would flare up, guilty because any other wife was in the kitchen doing the wifey thing and I would get up grudgingly. The assignment was everything. I used to think 'why can't he see I am busy and just put something on for dinner"?" but then I would have flared up because I may have had other plans. He used to say that coming to the study was the equivilent of entering a war zone. Once the assignment was handed in, I was back to normal. Mind you when I worked at night, even before the dreaded degree days, they would often have take away, not that I ever benefited. However, I did all the washing, ironing, cleaning, part time work and we did not have fast food. Everything was made from scratch. Even after a rotator cuff repair, I was the one cleaning the shower with my left arm, the bad one out-stretched so I could do it. After carpal tunnel I was flat out peeling potatoes. I do it because I am stubborn, willful and probably made things harder for myself. I would not ask for help but I was angry because he wasn't a mind reader. We women are very frustrating to live with, we feel guilty if we are caught out as many of us believe it is out fault because something wasn't done. Jump in and do something if you tend to stand back, and give your wife a shock. Unfortunately many of us are raised to try to be perfect wives. Sadly, our daughters are doing exactly the same and the husbands are expecting it. We probably aren't insane just heading that way due to our own expectations and with the extra pressures on many young mothers, this can be destructive. While they are not menopausal, they deserve some TLC as so their older peers. If you've had a good relationship up until now, you need to see if a little nurturing will help it along.
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replied December 6th, 2010
Personality Change Due to Hormone Loss
Hysterectomy, castration (ovary removal) and menopause can create the personality changes described by the original poster here. I was hysterectomized and castrated three years ago and I changed immedicately. I woke up from surgery and cried out that I wanted to die. There are over 400 hormone receptor sites in women and when women have their hormones taken via hysterectomy, ovary removal or when they are drastically lowered via menopause; a woman's body is thrown into complete havoc. The brain does not and cannot function the same, the thyroid cannot functio the same, etc. I have lost most of my vision due to the lack of estrogen to my lenses. I have lost all desire for sex and the ability to feel anything from the waist down. I am completely disabled since the surgery; not able to work. I am a completely different woman now. I have attempted suicide many times since my surgery and the loss of my hormones. I am on hormone replacement therapy but there really is no such thing and doctors know this.
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replied December 11th, 2010
Completely changed
My life completely fell apart after my partial hysterectomy...physically and mentally...I am hypertensive now, have lost half my hair, pre-diabetic, sleep apnea and narcolepsy, body temperature changes, chronic yeast and bladder infections, major depressive disorder and PTSD! just to list a few....i don't like the person i have become either and the medical community doesn't care about women like me...my marriage is in trouble now too and i'm desperate ...
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replied December 29th, 2010
I am a menopausal woman age 55 and I don't even recognize myself! I have turned into a hating, pissed off, ugly thinking troll! The hormone replacement made it worse, I developed a hair trigger temper and had to get off them before I killed someone! I am waiting for this to pass but fear to never find the sweet, loving person that I used to be.
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User Profile
replied December 29th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Hi riverite and welcome to ehealth: Honey, these are the good times...Some of us can fight a War and others go through it without any problems...Have to tell you that the sweet and loving person is still inside you...She is well and happy...However, she is being challenged by this other side of you that is going through a life changing battle that will hopefully once again turn her into the Cinderella that she used to be....

I have to tell you something...Yours is the funniest post that I have ever seen....I'm not even going to ask you if there are any others in your family....You are a blast...

Anytime you need to vent don't hesitate to let it all hang out here at the forum....You may want to talk to your doctor to see if he/she can give you any other help...Take care....

Caroline
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replied December 29th, 2010
menopause
I fail to see the humor!
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replied May 18th, 2013
So do I Riverite. It's not funny and you need support, not ridicule. HRT is not all it is cooked up to be but you do need some breathing space and some understanding.
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User Profile
replied December 29th, 2010
Community Volunteer
riverite: I guess I look at life different than you do...Menopause is something that all women go through...I thought your post was funny...You said it the way that many women feel it and let it all hang out...I guess in many ways this is the way that I am...I speak life as it is....Amen...
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replied December 30th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Dear riverite: Please forgive me for being flippant about your post...You see I thought you were kidding...In all my days here I had never seen a woman in pain such as you are in....I thought you were trying to make a joke...I am so sorry.....

Today I talked to my friend...She is a very wise woman in the world of women's problems...I told her about my actions with you and your response to me...I guess I was put out...I thought you were joking...Then she straightened me out...She told me of the sufferings of women during Menopause...She told me how some of them get so overwrought and in pain that they can get suicidal...I was shocked...You see I had a complete Hysterectomy at age 47...They took everything out...I kind of slid through the whole thing...Never had problems so up until today I never knew this fact of life....However, I promise you that I will continue doing the reading that I have been doing to catch up on this part of life that I missed...Once again, my deepest apologizes...I hope you are feeling better...I sure am after writing this note...Please take care...

Sincerely,

Caroline
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replied January 23rd, 2011
I understand the challenge of changing emotions from menopause. Also, I recall denying that I was quick to anger when confronted, as I assumed my reaction was justified. I believe my emotions, hot flashes and other physical symptoms have lightened up somewhat, due to the use of bio-identical hormones.

I am not comfortable with hormone replacement, though, even bio-identical. Women in some other countries don't experience the hot flashes and raging symptoms women in America do. Is there something in our diets, environment or lifestyle that is causing the natural lifestyle change of menopause to have so dramatic an effect on American women?
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replied June 10th, 2012
I realise that the original post is now several years old. There are so many analogies with my own current situation.

I have been married for 25 years and have two wonderful daughters. Until two years ago I was unaware that there was anything wrong with my marriage. Then came the big change. The rage phase seems to have passed. However, my wife now tells me that, while she still cares for me, she has no love for me. She only seems to remember bad things and none of the good. She blames me for everything that she has become unhappy with in her life. She is a stay at home mom who has been home schooling for the last six years. This was her desire and I have supported this decision to the best of my ability. To do this and survive on a single income, I have gone the extra mile at work and we are currently living overseas. Like the home schooling decision the move abroad was also a joint one. My wife had a wander lust, which we now know to be linked to her menopause, and I Coincidentally had a good offer to move to the Far East.

For the last two years we have slept in separate rooms and my wife expresses no affection to me at all, we do not even hold hands. I am forbidden to attempt to do anything nice or romantic towards her, because this puts her "under pressure".
My wife treats me like dirt and this is being picked up by my teenage daughter, who is going through hormonal changes of puberty. My daughter has no respect for me and is blaming me for taking her away from her friends. My daughter has a point in that she had no say in our initial move, but the decision was not just mine. So, I'm getting grief from two sources in the family when all I have done is to provide for them as best I knew how.

I am so alone, only my youngest daughter still shows any sign of affection or need for me. I am dreading her hormones kicking in and her too realising that her awesome dad is just some ordinary bloke.

My wife does not recognise that any of our issues are due to her menopause. She will not seek any help. I am so, so, lonely in this loveless marriage. My wife has decided to move back home later this year with our daughters, with or without me. I am faced with a tough decision. I can stay here in a foreign country on my own, in a steady and well paid job or I can head back to Europe's financial crisis to be in a loveless relationship and likely unemployment and financial hardship. I do not love the matriarchal dragon that my wife has become. However, I am hopeful that, while my wife will never be the same as she was, the essence of the woman that I fell in love with is still there somewhere. I have no guarantee that the essence of my wife will return but I miss her so much.

So why am I posting this? There have been some replies to the posts by women who seem to have come through similar experiences. These have given me some hope that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel and so I will return to Europe. I am so lonely now but without my younger daughter my life would be worth nothing at all. My daughter also needs her dad.

So thank you ladies for giving me some hope; even if this is very remote a chance.
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Users who thank EverSoLonely for this post: same_boat 

replied June 20th, 2012
Dear EverSolonely,
I, too am going through this horrible phase of menopause. I'm 49 yo and I can't wait for this phase to be finished in my life. What women need in this phase is lots of love and understanding and most of all, "space". Your wife seems to be looking for space because she knows she is not the same person. At least, not right now and is probably hoping her old self will make it back somehow soon. One of the most important issues in marriages today, is the lack of emotional connection men have with their wives. She is looking for emotional connection from you and that does not mean sex. She needs to know and feel that you are genuine about your feelings towards her and also respectful. Yes, women need respect too. What men need to realize since no marriage is perfect, is that they have played a role in her anger and rage throughout your married years. Women that are married or in relationships have a tendency to internalize their feelings through years of marriage. Feelings that consist of hurt, pain and just plain keeping quiet to keep the peace in the home. They keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves and they build up over time. Women also feel trapped and helpless sometimes in their marriages, because, lets face it, most men can come across as intimidating when angry as if they "own" the marriage. They feel they have no say. It it one of the worst feeling that any adult can have when they feel like they are being treated like a child. So when the menopausal phase comes "Watch Out!", because she now does not care what you say or do. It is best for couples to sit down and redefine their marriages. You need to go to couples counsel if you value your marriage.
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replied June 25th, 2012
Lavender123

Thank you for your reply and advice.

I am guilty as charged for contributing towards the build up of my wife's anger and rage over the years. I have been lacklustre and being too busy to notice. The intensity of her rage and anger towards me was such a surprise and I didn't know how to handle it. I'm quite gentle by nature and not at all intimidating, so I really did not know where this was coming from or how to react.

I am so relieved that the anger phase has passed but this rejection phase hurts just as much. I understand that my wife needs space. I am following the advice of several people who have described similar situations and I detached from my wife. Actually, I do not have a choice in this. I can't get near to her emotionally. I need some emotional connection too. I know that it is needed but this detachment is killing me inside.

My wife does not want her old self to come back. She prefers her new powerful self. This matriarchal monster is not the woman that I married. I don't even know if the essence that was my wife is still there or whether any of her will return one day. I so miss her.

There is no relationship counselling where we currently live. We intend to seek help when we return to Europe later in the year.@
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