Across the UK, millions of women experience symptoms of the menopause every day. October marks World Menopause Month, which is held each year to raise awareness of the menopause and break the stigma of this often neglected topic. World Menopause month also highlights the important support options available to those experiencing the menopause, in terms of both improving their physical health and mental wellbeing.
There is a correlation between the breakdown in relationships and the menopause. A survey conducted by The Family Law Menopause Project and Newson Health Research and Education (2022) shows that 7 in 10 women who responded to the survey blame the menopause for the breakdown of their marriage.
The physical, physiological, and cognitive symptoms of the menopause can understandably impact the relationship between couples. The menopause can have a real effect on mental health, sometimes leading to overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression. The menopause can also trigger emotions such as low self-esteem and irritability, which can both place a huge strain on family life.
Although symptoms of the menopause may not be the sole reason for divorce, they are often a contributing factor. An increase in disputes between couples can also be due to menopausal symptoms. The disputes could be on new issues, or they could highlight the existing or current struggles within the relationship. It is therefore unsurprising that over 60% of UK divorces are initiated by women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, the average age at which most women go through perimenopause and menopause.
One of the concerning findings is that many women do not recognise, at the time, that the menopause is a contributing factor to the breakdown of a relationship. It is therefore vital that we open the conversation. Family lawyers must understand the correlation between the menopause and relationships, and offer clear advice, whilst encouraging women to seek help and support.
A survey conducted by The Family Law Menopause Project and Newson Health Research and Education, shows that 7 in 10 women (73%) who responded blame the menopause for the breakdown of their marriage.https://www.balance-menopause.com/news/menopause-puts-final-nail-in-marriage-coffin/