I want my husband to have a healthy midlife and beyond. I believe that’s one of the building blocks to lifelong happiness and I certainly don’t want to think of a life without him.
On our radar now…
- Paying more attention to news reports like this…A fifty-something man died while paddleboardering at one of my husband’s favorite surf spots. They think he possibly had a pre-existing heart condition.
- A friend of mine complained to me about her husband’s purchase of that stereotypical flashy sports car and his attempt to squeeze his midlife manbelliy into skinny jeans.
- Another friend laments the death of a sex life with her newly grumpy fifty-something husband.
How can I help him?
I’ve been throwing myself into a tizzy worrying about how my husband’s admission into the land of midlife is going to affect him AND me. Always the Preparation Princess, I’m attempting to anticipate any issues so I can deflect and deflate them before his issues become my problem.
Is he losing his hair?
The very first inkling that some shift had occurred was during this daylong conversation thread that started first thing in the morning.
“Hey Rosebud, come here. “(Pointing to his pillow) “Do you see the hair on my pillow? See it? That’s my hair.”
And a bit later in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, “Do you see my hairline? Doesn’t it look different to you? Is it actually receding? Find a picture of me from five years ago and let’s compare.”
Five hours later, “ Feel my hair. It used to be really thick, right? And now it feels thinner. Feel it again.”
Watching television in the evening, “Get on the internet and find out what’s going on.”
“Am I sick?”
“Why is my hair falling out?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
You know how you see someone every single day and you don’t really notice minute little changes in their appearance? Well, that’s the way it was with me.
When I looked at my husband closely, I had to agree that he was right. His forehead was bigger. A LOT bigger. Wow.
Age has begun to ply its sneaky tricks on my handsome tugboat man.
He didn’t want to start using Rogaine, but I found a thickening shampoo he likes and he’s begun to grow his hair out a bit longer in front to conceal his expanding forehead.
Not a comb-over – not yet anyway. (Hee hee.)
Does he need glasses OR maybe that little blue pill?
He’s been paying a lot more attention to those erectile dysfunction advertisements (not that it’s an issue — yet) and it seems that he’s having a harder time reading the newspaper or a telephone book (who reads telephone books anymore anyway?) but he claims it’s just ‘cos the light’s not bright enough — Riiiggghhtt. Sure, that’s the problem. You need a brighter light. AND READING GLASSES!
Denial, denial, denial. It ain’t just a river in Egypt.
Anxiety about our financial future
Another change that’s popped up in our conversations is his interest in retirement planning with IRA and 401K talk. We’ve invested and strategized and hopefully created a blueprint over the years for a stable retirement, but the fifty-year threshold definitely heralded a more imminent need to save for the future when that future is closer than it used to be.
Knowing that other changes might be lurking on the horizon, I’ve commenced implementing lifestyle changes like a drill sergeant.
We’re already vegetarians – I’ve been one since high school and he came on board since before we were married.
But now I’m uber diligent with the amounts of food he’s allowed to eat.
The most difficult challenge I’ve had so far is convincing him that he can’t eat the same way he did in his twenties.
For instance, I dole out twenty raw almonds instead of allowing him to eat the whole bag, one cookie instead of a dozen, and try to transform baked goods to include mostly only healthy recipes –like Lentil Cookies, Black Bean Brownies (click HERE for the recipes), and my piece de resistance…Wheatgrass Flaxseed Smoothies.
I purchased a digital blood pressure machine to record our BP every now and then. High blood pressure is a silent killer; it can sneak up on you, and it makes sense to be aware of your baseline numbers.
Support his hobby
My tugboat man has no desire for a flashy sports car – his midlife cravings tend to be focused on surfing. He has three longboards, two shortboards, and a standup paddleboard. It seems as if he buys a new board about as often as I get a designer handbag.
With his SUP, no wave is too small, so I don’t have to hear him whine about the lack of good surf when he comes home from being out to sea.
I don’t envision my husband’s midlife crisis to include a wandering eye — at least I hope it doesn’t happen.
Many people have referred to us as two peas in a pod – except for surfing, we have the same interests and stay active working out together, hiking, camping, skiing, bicycling.
As a merchant mariner tugboat captain, he’s often away from home on assignment for up to two months — sometimes longer. When he’s here, we’re mostly inseparable. It’s not an ideal lifestyle, but we made the decision together when he was offered the opportunity to go back out to sea instead of working in our local harbor as he had done for most of our twenty-plus years.
Open communication is our key to success
I believe we’ll get through his male menopause the same way we deal with everything – our marriage motto is “full disclosure”.
We share everything and we have complete trust in each other. We’re a team, we’re in this together, in good times and bad — including his midlife crisis.
Do you have a marriage motto? What works for you? Do you work as a team?
- Grumpy Old Men: Ladies, it is not your fault! (retireinstyleblog.com)
- Bioidentical Hormones Offer Natural Solution for Hormone Imbalance in Menopausal Women; Now Available at Women’s Excellence in Menopause near Auburn Hills, Michigan (prweb.com)
- Women’s Excellence in Menopause Now Offering In-Office Bone Mineral Density Testing to Detect Osteoporosis near Auburn Hills, Michigan (prweb.com)
- More ramblings (annetteharris42.wordpress.com)
- Midlife is not a pathology (yourspiritualtruth.com)
- Menopause Changed my Life (expertscolumn.com)
- Science Says They’ve Cured Gray Hair… Again (chiefdoubleaa.wordpress.com)
- Menopause – How Will You Get Menopause Support? (aboutwebpageaboutmenopause.wordpress.com)