Grumpy Old Men: Ladies, it is not your fault!
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Really, there is nothing wrong with being aware and making an effort to be a part of the husbands life. Sometimes we get too comfortable in our relationship with our husbands and blow them off when they want to do something we think is silly. But there is a much deeper issue here. The question might be how responsible is a wife for her husbands happiness? What if the husband that was dealing with midlife issues didn't want to take up a new hobby but was so irritable that he was impossible to live with?
There was an article published on eHow several years ago entitled How to Deal with Grumpy Old Men (the original is not available but here is a similar one.) I could not believe what I had read. The female author was promoting the idea that, when her husband treated her badly, it was because she was doing something wrong. She believed that he would be happy if she just gave him a relaxing back rub or worked harder at not irritating him.
It all seemed so 1950s to me. But it must not be. When younger women bloggers are giving other women advise on what changes are needed to make their husband happier, there may be a lack of knowledge concerning a deeper problem. I think that if women are doing this, they are doing their husband a real disservice. The husband may not be suffering emotional issues. There may be problem physically.
|Grumpy Old Men (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
We all know that this is the problem so many married women encounter when their husbands pass middle age. Women are suffering from menopause and begin taking hormones to get through the crisis if it is necessary. They take blame for their husband's behavior because they are so menopausal and unreasonable themselves. But men, unaccustomed to even hearing about their hormone level, are in denial and making everyone miserable both at home and maybe even at work.
A book called The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression by Jed Diamond is a one that is referenced quite often. The author is a psychotherapist practicing in Northern California. In an interview written for the San Francisco Chronicle he said,
"The chief response with men is denial," Diamond said in a phone interview from his home. "They say, 'No, I'm not irritable!' to their wife at the dinner table, or, 'Of course I'm irritable! My wife makes me irritable. If she wouldn't do those annoying things, I wouldn't be irritable!'
I think that women really do believed that if they didn't do those annoying things their husband would be less irritable. In an article written within the last year for eHow, this was a contributor's advise for dealing with a cranky husband:
Watch what you say and do, because getting mad or offending him is not a good way to deal with a cranky husband. And remember, he isn't perfect, and neither are you. Have patience, because we all go through cranky spells. He is your husband, your lover and your best friend, so a little patience will go a long way in dealing with his moods.Trust me, when a man suffers from this drop in male hormones, there are not enough back rubs or patience in the world to help! I might add that if either party is displaying abusive behavior, there is something very wrong.
But what is this all about? Does the problem just creep up on the couple at such a slow pace that no one realizes what is going on? I think so. There are physical signs that go unrecognized because the syndrome is not all that simple. In a news item from Canada.com they pointed out that depression was not the only symptom. They also mentioned loss of sex drive, lack of energy, increased body fat, loss of strength and body mass and hot flashes.
Recognizing the symptoms, seeking either the medical help or counseling needed and facing the fact that abusive behavior is a symptom of a deeper problem is key. Even having the discussion about what the problem might be may help. As a woman that has been married for 52 years I can tell you that the work that goes into keeping it all together never goes away. This issue is one that needs to be faced head on or the misery could last a life time.
"If she wouldn't do those annoying things, I wouldn't be irritable!" is not even rational and never has been! The man that said that didn't really mean it...I can't believe that he even heard his own voice.
It is just a thought!
Note: My husband and I traveled in our RV with an older couple for several years. This lovely man was the most unreasonable, irritable human that ever lived. His wife suffered his abuse and even tried to change her behavior to keep him happy. This experience made me wonder what was going on. The research I did here was a result of that experience.
I might also add that I am not going to eHow for advice. It is not reliable...or at least I don't think it is.
Life Extension Article on Testosterone Treatment
Life Extension Article on Testosterone Treatment