Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage, relationships, and strategy.
This week’s battle strategy is all about facing the perfect storm. No, we’re not talking meteorological issues here. We’re actually talking about two related issues that often happen at the same time. For women it’s menopause, and for men it’s a midlife crisis. It’s just like the movie A Perfect Storm. A fully loaded boat, a massive storm, it’s a recipe for disaster. But does it have to be?
Most of us know what menopause is, but if you need a catch up, it’s basically a hormonal transition 2-10 years in length, often happening in women over 40 years old. In Australia, the average age is 51 and a half years. Related issues can be memory loss or fog, a loss of estrogen, libido, hot flushes, aching joints, and sleep fatigue. There can also be feelings of anxiety, depression, and a sense of not coping
This one is a little less solid biologically, but it’s something a lot of people can relate to. It’s usually found in men, but in general, it happens when a person passes the midway point in their life. They come to terms with mortality, and have to face difficult internal questions like “what have I accomplished?” or “does my life have meaning?” Conveniently enough, it’s also accompanied by feelings of anxiety, depression, and inability to cope.
How does this impact couples?
Well, in a general pastoral sense, they both have a similar dynamic. Both conditions are related to a sense of loss. For women, it’s the loss of ability to have any further children, and for men it’s the loss of their youth and younger years.
How do couples support each other through this season?
- Research and prepare for it before you get there. Think of it like a lighthouse. A lighthouse is put in a certain spot so that ships can see it, understand the danger, and head in another direction.
- Acknowledge it. Avoiding the issue means it’ll increase and strengthen against you.
- Talk about it, and do so free of judgement. Also do try to avoid quick solutions.
- Get support for it. Go see a doctor if needed, or look up some effective home remedies. Also don’t discount the idea of a therapist, counselor, or even a trusted friend.
For all of Ps Phil’s tip top tips on the strategy for navigating the perfect storm, check out the podcast below: