PMS used to be a really difficult challenge in my life and in our relationship – from the time I was in 10th grade when we first started dating. I can remember thinking I needed to “have a serious talk” with Greg about once a month as we dated. I would tell him all the ways he was failing and needed to change. Really.
This guy truly loved me. I sure didn’t deserve it many times.
Greg would say, “April, your period is going to start tomorrow and you will feel much better once that happens.”
I would get so mad! “This has NOTHING to do with my hormones. That is not what this is about. This is a REAL problem and we need to take care of it right now!”
Of course, the next day, my period would start and I was fine emotionally. Greg was always so happy when the awful cramps hit me – because as soon as I was in physical pain, the emotional storm disappeared.
One thing I have really enjoyed about learning to trust God and submit to Him and learning to trust Greg and submit to him has been that PMS has been SO MUCH BETTER the past 5 years!
WHAT I DO NOW
Now, I will get about 2-3 sentences out of my mouth and then notice my tone of voice and the content of what I just said and then I will stop and say something like, “Hmmm… Greg, do you think I could be hormonal?”
He’ll say, “It sure sounds like a possibility to me.”
I’ll say, “Ok. So, this thing I am feeling so upset about – is it a big deal in your mind, is it worth me being upset about right now?”
He will say, “No, it is not worth being upset about.”
I’ll say, “Ok, I will trust you, not my feelings right now – and for the rest of the day.” Then I refuse to attempt to think about whatever the topic is that has me upset. I acknowledge that my feelings are messed up and unreliable and I put aside any big decisions or major thinking for a few days. This is one of those times when I “lean not on my own understanding” but trust God and trust Greg.
Then, I just savor my time with my family and I rest in God’s love and Greg’s love and don’t allow myself to listen to my feelings. I take those thoughts captive for Christ and shoot down the evil thoughts, recognizing where they come from.
I think of my feelings as the instrument panel on an airplane. When I have PMS, the instruments that were working fine for the past 3.5 weeks suddenly start going haywire. Yes, I can usually trust my feelings. But when I realize I am hormonal, as soon as I identify it- I realize that if I believe my feelings, they will cause me to crash and burn my plane. So I check in with Greg and with God – like checking with the control tower. And I let them walk me through landing the plane. I know that I can’t see clearly, so I trust their wisdom over my own.
Now I know, just because I am upset does not mean I should be upset. And it does not mean Greg actually did something wrong – like I used to think it must mean.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE FROM LAST MONTH:
So, I am possibly hormonal. Had a fairly stressful morning in the pharmacy, but I am glad to report that I didn’t have to call an ambulance on anyone and I didn’t even get cussed out – so, that is a pretty good day.
Greg and I talked about what direction my book should go yesterday. I spend a lot of time reworking it some more. Still a long way to go. Writing a book is very different from writing a blog!!!
Greg brought the kids home from his parents’ house after he and his dad went to the flea market, their normal Saturday routine. It was 1:30, I just had gotten home and hadn’t had lunch. My blood sugar was low. If it gets low enough, I seriously can’t think straight at all – it can get pretty bad! I cannot afford to let it get too low or I am in trouble.
Greg gave our daughter a water bottle he got at the flea market and she complained about the color. I don’t like it when my kids complain when someone gives them something! So, I got on her about it.
I interrupted the kids’ video game plans and asked them to both take showers so they will be ready to go to my parents’ later.
I realized, “I feel sad and overwhelmed.”
I stopped Greg in the hallway and asked if I could talk with him. He smiled and said, “Yes.”
I said, “I am feeling stressed out about the book thing. And that my child seems to be ungrateful. I don’t want my kids to be spoiled. I am probably hormonal. I feel like I could cry. Are you going to be upset with me if I don’t finish a book or don’t publish it? I want to cry thinking about it right now. I am not sure I am doing a good job with it.”
He said, “You do seem a little hormonal right now. Take a break from the book for awhile. You don’t have to do a book. I won’t be upset. If you want to do it and feel led to, that is great. If you don’t, that is fine, too. Don’t stress about it, OK?” And he hugged me and smiled.
I said, “Maybe today is not a good day for me to evaluate how I am doing on my long term parenting goals or book writing goals.”
He said, “Probably not.”
I felt tons better.
Now I will trust him and rest in his perspective and not freak out or allow myself to try to figure out the future, and focus on today.