From a dear friend and precious wife who is on this journey with me:
Like so many other women, your post about “The Challenge”
really struck a chord with me… I didn’t realize until lately how bad of an attitude I have had at times…. there have been times I could almost hear God whispering
“Is this the right way for you to act? Does your attitude show that I am in you, living in your heart?”
This is something I need to work on ALL the time…. but PMS throws it into overdrive….
I decided to talk to my husband about dealing with PMS when I didn’t HAVE it (From Peacefulwife – That was wise timing!
)… so I talked to him last night. And I am so thankful to have a husband that I can talk to so easily about anything. I told him I really don’t know a better way to handle it and that I felt terrible about how I act during that time. We both agreed that this was the worst month I have had in years and he attributes it to me running out of my B6 vitamin, which I have now bought more of.
But he said some really interesting things…
-that he reminds himself that I cannot help having PMS and it is only temporary, in a week or so he will have his normal, sweet wife back. Which made me sad that he feels this way. (And thankful that he now does realize PMS is real… he used to tell me it was not real and was all in my head)
-He told me that he didn’t think I realized that when I am so hormonal, it is just as difficult for him to control his temper as it is for me because I am constantly pushing him so we are both miserable. (From Peacefulwife – I am SURE my husband would agree with this wife’s husband on that comment!)
I tried to explain what it felt like. I tried to explain that I really don’t know what to do when I have it to deal with it. I told him the things that I have found helpful… B6, Pamprin/Midol, being alone or quiet…. and as crazy as this sounds, I asked him to please get onto me when he noticed I was struggling/being unkind during that time. I have noticed in the past that when he does this (lovingly but firmly) I calm down instantly. (From Peacefulwife – I agree, when a wife is hormonal and feeling possessed, her husband taking a firm, loving stance and asking her to calm down can be VERY helpful – hopefully he will take her by the hand and embrace her, maybe even pray with her. And remind her that her emotions are not being truthful with her right now – that this is not a time to try to figure things out, but a time to rest and relax in his arms.)
I don’t even understand it myself except to say that it is like when he says something to me to let me know that he is displeased with how I am acting, that I know I can’t act that way anymore, that I have to listen to him. He didn’t laugh when I told him this although I thought he might. I told him I realized it was not his responsibility to deal with MY problem but that it was really helpful to me.
I could not tell anyone else I know that or they would think I was absolutely crazy. Asking my husband to point out when I am out of line? They would laugh their heads off. But I can tell you that. It doesn’t make PMS magically disappear but it does help me to gain a bit of perspective.
I wrote the Bible verse about complaining down to use as a bookmark. I thought it would be a good reminder. I hope to do better at this, all weeks of the month. 😉
PMS used to be pretty bad for me, too. When Greg and I were dating in high school – every month I would decide I had to have a serious talk with him about how “awful” our relationship was and how he needed to change! After a few months, he was on to me. He said, “April, your period is going to start tomorrow. That is why you feel like things are so horrible. You will feel much better tomorrow about everything.” And I would get SO MAD!!!! “This is a REAL problem!!! It has NOTHING to do with me being hormonal! YOU need to change!” Then, invariably – I would be totally fine the next day emotionally. Sad but true.
Before I learned about respect and biblical submission, PMS would throw me for a huge loop every month after we were married, too. 🙁 I almost felt demon possessed or something. It is hard to accept that your feelings are trustworthy the rest of the month, but suddenly, without any warning, they are lying to you. I always believed the churning storm of feelings and emotions instead of believing my husband back then. They were SO insistent – those strong emotions. It seemed like the problems I saw were the most urgent problems EVER and HAD to be addressed RIGHT NOW!
I was amazed after I had been studying and praying about respect and biblical submission, and I was submitting myself to Christ and dying to self… I had peace. Even in the PMS weeks – most months. In fact, what used to be a big storm, became a little ripple most of the time – sometimes it is not even noticeable at all anymore. Of course, menopause will bring a new set of challenges in the next 10-15 years I am sure!
I have learned to catch myself when those awful thoughts start taking my mind captive and to ask Greg if he thinks I might be hormonal. If he thinks I am – then I have learned to disregard the messages my emotions are sending to me during that time. I think of it like I am a pilot flying an airplane during a storm. Normally, I can trust my instrument panel. But during PMS, my instrument panel (my feelings) go haywire. If I follow them, I will definitely crash the plane. So, I have learned to think of Greg as the “control tower” and I allow him to walk me through how to safely land and I do not trust the instrument panel during that time.
I think about Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
I daily seek to trust God, not myself. During PMS, I consciously shift my emotional and spiritual weight even more from depending on my own understanding, wisdom and feelings, to trusting my husband’s understanding, wisdom and his perception of reality until I can get my bearings again. So, I look to him and ask him to tell me if something is a problem that I should be upset about or not. If he says it’s not a big deal, I trust him and don’t trust my feelings. I write in my prayer journal, like I do every day. But I can lay my concerns before God. But then I shift the weight of my concerns to Him and His wisdom and do not try to handle things myself – of course, that is an every day thing.
With PMS, my biggest focus is to lean on my husband’s wisdom and understanding during that time and not to trust what my feelings are screaming to me. I totally understand what this wife is talking about. If my husband can tell me, “April, I think you are hormonal right now.” It makes things suddenly become clear to me and I understand that I can’t depend on my feelings and emotions for awhile. It is a HUGE help when he points this out to me, because it ALWAYS takes me by surprise!
Something I have to remember, too, is:
My hormones may be a reason why I am more easily tempted to sin (i.e.: want to control or disrespect or not forgive), but they are not an excuse.
Sin is still sin even if I am hormonal. I am still accountable to God for my attitudes, motives, thoughts, words and actions!
It is SO comforting to me to know that my husband is my rock and solid anchor and that I can look to him to find safety in that emotional storm and that I can find shelter in his protective love and care for me. I LOVE knowing he is in charge, not me. I love knowing I can count on him to guide me through those rough patches, and that I don’t have to try to do it alone. I thank him for his godly leadership and wisdom and I thank God for His beautiful and wise design for marriage!
As a pharmacist, I also know that there are many ways to try to treat PMS. You can talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your options, or you can check out WebMD or another reputable site to find some things that may help, as well.
I pray that this might bless many other women! Let me know if you have issues you want to talk about. I love discussions! 🙂