Yep, man-o-pause, that’s right… we’re always hearing about women and their menopause experiences, but did you know that men go through their own type of menopause? Often when men feel like they are going through a midlife crisis, doctors and researchers explain that they are actually experiencing a form of male menopause called “andropause.”
Shocking as it may be, andropause is becoming widely recognized by physicians to explain the changes many middle-aged men experience—from energy loss and depression to loss of libido and sexual dysfunction. Some clinicians suggest that men experience these symptoms because they are not able to connect to their loved ones and may be looking for love in all the wrong places. Just as women feel unloved or unheard, men often have similar feelings, we just don’t hear as much about it.
Why? Most men were taught to suck up their feelings and be macho at a very young age. You’ve heard the saying “Men don’t cry.” Why not? Aren’t they human? Ignoring or stifling feelings all the time can be a hard role to play, considering the ups and downs of running a business and providing for your family. Who do our men have to fall back on? Expecting men to be loving and romantic, while at the same time not showing their feelings or emotions doesn’t exactly make sense when you really think about it.
What if we, as women, gave them the same opportunities to freely express their feelings like we do? Just as women often take on executive roles and desire to become stronger in their businesses while still having the luxury of expressing their womanhood without judgment outside of the office, wouldn’t it make sense to give our men the same permission and freedom to acknowledge and express their feelings? As moms, we may encourage our sons to be expressive, but as they grow up, it all changes. It’s time to change the societal norms so men are no longer expected to stuff their feelings. This will probably feel foreign to everyone at first, so let’s be open and supportive when the men in our lives are willing to express their feelings and even cry.
The outcome will be rewarding. You will finally get to know the real man you have been sharing your life with. Instead of watching him fake a smile to avoid rocking the boat, he will feel comfortable enough to talk about his personal feelings. Isn’t that what most of us women are looking for? A true soulmate. When your husband feels free to express his innermost feelings with you, he won’t feel the need to go looking for someone else to understand him and he will be more content and connected with his own life, which helps maintain a happy marriage.
Kim Pagano is brought to you by the award-winning talk radio station AM 1590 KVTA. She brings you the Brighter Side of the 805, Saturdays from 6 to 8 a.m., reminding us how important it is to “Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good.” Feel free to listen to the Kim Pagano Show at your leisure by subscribing to her podcast: ITunes/The Kim Pagano Show. Kim is a hair therapist in Westlake, a motivational speaker, a mother and so much more.