"Am I feeling like this because I'm menopausal?"

Therapist A is a counsellor with a psychodynamic approach with experience of working with adults and young people.

It is not an easy thing that you have taken on, to start a new life abroad in midlife and it seems that you have reached a point where it all feels too difficult and you feel hopeless and helpless. One difficulty merges with another and you canít see a way forward. You donít say how long you have been in France but if we go back to the point at which you and your husband decided to come to France, I wonder what your relationship with your husband was like then? Was it your decision as much as his to move to France? Was it what you wanted, or did you go along with your husbandís wishes? You agreed to leave your family, your children, your friends, your home and maybe a job, all the supportive relationships, things that you had taken time to build up. Did you think then about what you were giving up and how difficult it might be? I wonder if you, like many people, saw only the exciting side of it all and didnít realise how you and your husband would be much more dependent on each other than before and that you would be thrown back on your own resources.

Rather than trying to talk to your doctor, who probably canít help except by offering you antidepressants, you need to open up two dialogues, one with a counsellor and the other with your husband who needs to understand your difficulties and, if you are going to stay with him, support you. The counsellor will listen and help you think about how you are feeling, help you talk to your husband, and help you decide what you want to do. You need to make a decision that is yours - leave or stay it wonít be easy - and then find positive ways of putting it into action.

It depends on where you are living whether you can find someone to talk to face to face, but if you canít, there are counsellors on this site who work on the phone, on Skype or by email. I urge you to find a counsellor or therapist to talk to.

Therapist B is a Relate-trained counsellor with experience of working with relationship issues and is an experienced couples counsellor
Therapist B is unavailable at this time so the response below has been provided by a person-centred counsellor

You aren't alone in feeling like this, indeed there are many hundreds of expats in France who are feeling isolated and alone, unable to speak good enough French to integrate and within marriages that are very often crumbling under the strain of being so far away from friends and family. Plus you are going through the menopause, when emotions are very often all over the place and many women feel that when their children have left home, they have no role any more and can feel very down about it.

Your husband appears to be behaving in a very unsupportive and uncaring way, giving you an ultimatum when you are feeling so low and appearing not to care about how you are feeling. However, I wonder if your marriage has been like this for a while and that you have been ignoring the signs or whether perhaps it is that your husband is also feeling unsupported and uncared for at the moment and is lashing out at you? This may be the case if he doesn't normally behave in this way. If he would agree to go and see a counsellor with you, then it would give you both a chance to be able to talk about what you are both feeling with someone who can help you to look at the issues together. However, you may feel that he wouldn't agree to that but you may be surprised.

You say that you find local people generally unfriendly and that your husband does his "own thing" at weekends but it's important that you are honest with yourself - are you making an effort yourself to find friends, to find expat groups or join one of the many organisations in France that are springing up to help deal with people's isolation? Could you even try and start a coffee morning, book exchange, quilting circle or something like that for expats in your area? Maybe put a poster up to see if there are others feeling like you or look online to see if there's anything you can go to or do? Unless you are deep within an all-French community, there are usually a few expats living in your area who may be feeling just like you. Indeed, there may be a French class nearby where you can not only learn more French but have company and support, plus warmth and friendship. I often think that the older expats who don't speak good French get far more from going to a French class than just learning the language.

Sometimes, when we are feeling alone and sad, we can exude an air of childlike neediness to others and this in turn can make people avoid you in case they are asked to take on your neediness and get enmeshed with it. Most of us can identify with what you are describing, at some time in our lives having felt alone and unwanted outside the group, especially as children. You sound as though you would have a lot to offer, but have forgotten how to go about meeting your own needs, but expect others to meet them for you. If you start the ball rolling and make the effort to reach out to others, you start giving out different signals, that of someone who is doing something positive and taking responsibility for your own happiness and that, in turn, is likely to attract people to you rather than turn them away. You may find that there are friends in France that you haven't met yet but will never meet if you don't take the first step. It IS very hard to take that step but what have you got to lose?

About your doctor, are you just speaking English rather than taking a dictionary and trying a few words of French? Very often, French doctors will not talk to you in English as a way of forcing you to make an effort, even if you can't understand much French although this can come across as hard and unfeeling. At least make sure you prepare something on paper before you visit the doctor, that you have researched before you go. Very often, French people are impatient with you if you don't try but extremely helpful if you try at least a few words. If you have done this and still got a bad-tempered and rude response, you should perhaps consider changing your doctor!  Good luck, I hope things work out for you.
Therapist C is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with experience of working with relationship and many other issues.
I wonder if the emotional problems that you mentioned have actually been there for a while and are being brought out by the menopause, which can sometimes cause women to have doubts about their identity as a woman. This could lead to greater feelings of insecurity and self-doubt that might be contributing to your feeling hopeless and abandoned. It is difficult to start again in a new country, especially without the language but I wonder if you have thought about what it is that is contributing to your feeling that everyone is unable to help you.

You say that you find the people unfriendly. Maybe they are responding to something that you are expressing that you are not aware of. It sounds like moving to France has evoked feeling of loss for you and I wonder if you have allowed yourself to grieve for all that you mentioned that you have lost with the move. I also wonder if you are expecting too much from others and are waiting for them to rescue you, especially your husband. I would suggest that you see a therapist or counsellor to help you understand what it is that is causing you to feel the way that you are feeling and to address some of the issues contributing to your unhappiness.