Is the menopause a cause of divorce?

The menopause has recently been found to be a significant factor as to why some marriages break down, with eight out of ten women saying they experienced relationship issues because perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms put a major strain on family life. This article discusses the link between menopause and divorce and reviews the divorce of a Liverpool stay-at-home mum whose menopause led to her leaving her husband of 28 years.

With one in four menopausal women experiencing severe symptoms, it is no surprise that divorce rates peak for couples aged between 45 to 55. This has naturally led to many people believing there is a link between the menopause and divorce. In the following section, we will examine some reasons for this.

What is the link between the menopause and divorce?

Menopause has been shown to contribute to arguments between couples, and this has led to some seeking divorce. In particular, the following reasons have been given by divorcing couples:

  • A lack of understanding regarding how the menopause can affect a woman inevitably impacts upon personal relationships. Despite increased awareness, a stigma persists that hampers discussion around the realities that women face on a daily basis.
  • A failure to understand why a partner is acting or feeling a certain way can be frustrating and could place an emotional strain on the relationship.
  • Brain fog and forgetfulness are two of the most common symptoms of menopause, but they may negatively affect a woman’s ability to work, and there is a pressure on menopausal women to achieve a sense of financial security.
  • It is common for menopausal symptoms to affect mental health, which is known to have a negative impact on relationships.
  • The combination of physiological, physical, and cognitive issues associated with menopause can be overwhelming, leaving many women feeling anxious, depressed, and lacking self-confidence.
  • The period of change can create new issues between couples, or exacerbate existing problems.
  • There may also be a loss of intimacy, with many worried that a lack of sex could lead to their relationship ending. The lack of sexual intimacy can take its toll on a marriage very quickly, and can lead to resentment, and in some cases, infidelity.
  • Changed priorities – some women decide to make drastic life changes through fear they have missed out on so much because of their caring responsibilities as a wife and mother. Embracing change may include things that are incompatible with marriage.

Other key areas triggering relationship breakdown are a partner not understanding what their partner is going through, an increase in arguments, lack of communication, and a general feeling of growing apart. In fact, many will have already reached the stage where they no longer want to resolve their differences.

Example: Liverpool mum divorced husband of 28 years, triggered by the menopause

Since divorcing her husband of 28 years, Sue Palmer-Conn has toured the world, become a divorce coach, and found love with an old friend from her Redcoat days. The mum of two from Liverpool has described how going through the menopause prompted her to reassess her life and made her realise she wanted more. Sue believes she is far from alone, after the mental, physical, and emotional toll on her body created a huge strain on her marriage. Suddenly, she felt a great desire to prove herself and pursue new opportunities. So whilst many might think that the menopause could hinder someone in the relationship, it is also possible that it provides impetus to seek more. Of course, life changes rarely on their own cause relationships to breakdown, such things expose and magnify existing issues. In most cases, if the marriage is already struggling, it is less likely to have the resilience to survive challenges such as the menopause.


Find The Best Divorce & Family Lawyers Near You

We independently review and list the top divorce lawyers and family solicitors in the towns and cities near you. 100% free.

Find The Top Family Lawyers Near You

Noticed an error on this page or something broken? If so, please email us at support[at]

The information on this website is to be considered a guide and is therefore not legal advice. You use this information with the understanding that Wiselaw does not accept liability for any direct or indirect losses as a result of anyone relying on or acting upon the information on this website. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, Wiselaw does not accept liability for any errors or omissions on this website.