What do you call a middle-aged man who's crabby, tired, and just plain worn out? Normal! And that's no joke.
According to More magazine, researchers now believe that men may experience the same type of monthly hormonal mood swings as women, such as irritability, nervousness, frustration and fatigue. It's called Irritable Male Syndrome, or IMS, and we've talked about it before.
Jed Diamond is a psychotherapist and author of the book "The Irritable Male Syndrome." And he says that declining testosterone is to blame for male midlife crankiness.
Most of the time it's the women in their lives who notice and complain about it first. They say things like, "All of a sudden my husband is mean and angry and blaming me for everything." Sound familiar, ladies? If so, here are the 4 warning signs that IMS is affecting your relationship:

  • First: Criticism: Your husband starts picking on you for things that never bothered him before.
  • Second: Contempt: He starts to tell you that you can't do anything right. Or he turns against activities and projects he used to enjoy.
  • A 3rd warning sign of IMS: Defensiveness. For example, you might point out that he spilled some soup on the counter, and instead of thanking you for pointing it out, or just wiping it up, he'll scold you for nagging him.
  • And finally: Stonewalling. You ask your husband what's wrong and he refuses to talk about it. And he's constantly holding in his emotions.

Diamond says Irritable Male Syndrome affects about 30% of all men. It can occur at any age, but it's most often seen in men over 45. The mood swings they experience are physical, and they sometimes even have hot flashes.
So what's the treatment? Exercise and a healthy diet can help. But men should see a doctor and have their testosterone level checked if any of this sounds familiar. The point is that IMS is not in a your husband's head, and he can do something about it.