I have to laugh at myself when I think about your situation because there are times when I’m acting moody. My husband and 10 year-old son will say, “Wow, you have some PMS going on right now.” When I’m not PMS-ing I laugh in response. If I am really experiencing PMS I glare at them with death eyes and tell them they are the ones PMS-ing, not me. I know it makes no sense, but it feels good to shout it back at them considering my state of mind at those times.
Not all women suffer from PMS, but those who do experience it (and your GF may be one of them) feel horrible, because they are often crampy, grumpy, and sad for no reason. This can be so difficult for some women that they completely withdraw for a few days. At my house, my husband Al actually puts in his calendar the days I’m likely to experience PMS so he is prepared for my irrationality.
The upside to tracking her cycle like my husband does is you get to enjoy the benefits of the non-PMS times of the month. The first half of her cycle her hormones are likely in great shape for more intimate moments. When you know this you can help get her in the mood by giving her a nice massage. When it’s PMS time, there are some things you can support her, like get her some herbal soothers such as chamomile tea and magnesium pills. Your care and concern at this time will be a long-term win for you. A big part of my routine for managing PMS is regular exercise, which you can do together. Al often accompanies me on long walks and afterwards runs a nice Epson salt bath for me.
The net-net is to support her. Find out how you can help. Try Tokii’s Love Quiz and find out what you can do to help her feel loved. This really clued Al in on what he can do to help me through PMS. Good luck!
Your reluctance to ask her about this is understandable. Oftentimes men and women assume moodiness is the result of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), and while it could contribute to how she’s feeling some of the time, that’s not always the case, which is why some women will get even grumpier if it’s suggested.
There’s no doubt that hormones can have a big influence month-to-month. Research shows that some parts of a woman’s brain can change up to 25 percent during a given month due to hormonal shifts. Life issues, stress, responsibilities, and even underlying annoyance with a partner or child can contribute to and exacerbate these changes. As the issues mount, it can feel a bit like a dog pile at some point, and any woman OR man can understand how that feels.
Are there times when you feel you can handle day-to-day stress better than she can? Well, according to research on the brain, you just might be able to. The male brain on average produces 52 percent more serotonin, a chemical that affects moods in a positive way. This difference helps explains why men and women respond differently to sappy stories and why having a bad day can be harder for women to bounce back from.
Discussing this with her is critical, because over time it can impact your relationship. The key is how you approach the subject. Here are some options for you to consider:
- It’s not always PMS but some parts of a women’s brain can change up to 25 percent during the month.
- Do nice things for her and even keep track of her cycle so you can both benefit
- Don’t guess about her headspace. Talk to her. Try one of the recommeneded approaches.
Karla may have the right approach based on your girlfriend’s needs. Karla and Al have had years together to figure this out. By taking this approach you show sensitivity and understanding. This may help to prevent it from becoming a bigger long-term problem.As Alison suggested, discussing it gives you two a chance to learn a little more about each other and to build goodwill and trust. It also gives you a chance to flex your communication and conflict skills, which is helpful as you travel down the relationship road together.
Karla Stephens – Tolstoy
Try playing our DiscoveryGame, Love and Moods before talking with her about this or suggest she use the MoodMeter to give you a heads up on her headspace. They may give you more ideas on how to approach and manage times like this.