As men we are at a great disadvantage in understanding and coping with women who are on their periods. We are never really trained to do this and have to learn over time. There is a great deal of guess work involved as we can never tell exactly when a woman is on her period and when she is not. Most women will not tell us when they are on their periods even though that is a crucial piece of information in a close relationship. Women expect us, as men, to be supportive, sensitive, and intuitive about their moods and feelings. Since we are not mind readers, there are clues we can be alert for and moods we can be sensitive to to be able to divine when a woman is on her period or suffering from PMS.
Men, remember that when a woman suffers from PMS she truly does suffer. She may experience very uncomfortable physical symptoms such as bloating in the abdomen, headaches, tender breasts, swelling in the hands and feet, and just plain feeling bad. She may also suffer to varying degrees from emotional upset such as depression and anxiety, anger, feeling withdrawn, indecision, and just being upset over every little thing. In short, a woman who gets PMS, and not all women do, goes through hell for several days each month when her hormones are raging. As men, we don’t experience this in our bodies and we can not know what that is like. Nature is simply unfair to women in that regard. A man may go for months at a time and feel perfectly well whereas a woman who suffers from PMS has to deal with being ill one week out of the month, every month, all the time. Its just not fair. As a man, you must realize this and be empathetic to these facts.
The most important thing to know is when your woman is on her period or is suffering from PMS. Remember, she is probably not going to tell you. What a wonderful world this would be for men if women would just come out and tell us when they are suffering! Still, we have to guess. Learn to look for the clues. Remember that most women are on their periods or PMS for a week to ten days each month, but this varies from woman to woman. The point is, that it is fairly frequent. There is a one-quarter to one-third chance on any given day that she is having PMS or is on her period. Knowing how likely it is that some or all of the symptoms may be present then gives us a foundation to go forward and be alert to her moods and her behavior. Just always be aware that there is a significant likelihood that she is suffering from PMS or is on her period.
You come home from work to find your girlfriend crying her eyes out over a movie or a television program or over nothing at all. She wants to be held. All of a sudden she has an angry outburst directed at you over some perceived slight or perhaps nothing at all. Then she seeks reassurance that you do indeed love her. You ask her what is wrong and she doesn’t know. (Of course she knows, she is having PMS, but she will never tell you that) You try to make things better. She picks a fight with you. You see the physical intimacy as an invitation to sex but she pushes you away and now she doesn’t want to be touched. Now she has a headache. You get frustrated, and she gets angry and starts crying again. Classic PMS. But you have to know what to look for.
There are certain signs which are obvious:
DEPRESSION: Your woman may or may not feel sad during PMS. If she does feel sad, this may or may not be obvious to you. One obvious sign of PMS related depression is crying for little or no apparent reason. Now, women can cry for a variety of reasons. The better you know your woman the better you will be able to tell if the crying is out of character. If she is displaying exaggerated emotions, i.e. excessive crying, then this is a good clue that she has PMS. She may simply come out and tell you she is depressed but she doesn’t know why. If her depressed mood is markedly different from her regular day-to-day mood, you are probably dealing with PMS related depression.
ANXIETY: If she suffers from anxiety, she will start worrying about everything. Anxiety is pretty easy to spot but may have many causes not related to PMS. When you detect anxiety in your woman make a note of it and start looking for other PMS related signs, but don’t jump to any conclusions. Anxiety is simply another indicator. When you spot anxiety, especially if it is exaggerated or out of character, start looking around.
ANGER: This is a very good indicator of PMS especially where the anger is uncharacteristic of your woman or where the anger is disproportionate. Fortunately, PMS related anger typically comes in short outbursts and doesn’t last long. While it may be terrible and extremely uncomfortable for you as a man, you have to recognize it for what it is and suck it up. Forgive her; don’t hold it against her, let it go. Whatever you do, don’t provoke her when she is angry. When she hurts your feelings during an angry outburst, and she will, don’t fight back. Wait a week until she is feeling better and then explain things to her and hope it never happens again.
IRRITABILITY: Everything bothers her and she is not approachable. Your relationship is going along just fine and then all of a sudden you bother her and you are clueless as to why. This is PMS related irritability at its finest. This is pretty easy to spot and is a dead give away that she has PMS. When your woman is irritable for no reason, this is nearly always PMS. This is an early warning indicator and may occur before any of the other signs and symptoms.
INDECISION: This may well be where the old adage comes from: “It is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.” Your woman may appear to be uncharacteristically confused or vacillating. If this is so not like her you may be dealing with a case of PMS.
This kind of behavior drives men nuts but women are unphased by it. Take a deep breath and suspect that PMS may be behind it. Remember too, that you have to forgive your woman for driving you crazy by changing her mind or by being confused over the simplest things. She is not trying to drive you crazy and may not even be aware of the impact that her conduct her behavior has on you. Be a man, suck it up and move ahead.
BEING WITHDRAWN: If your woman is suddenly withdrawn for no good reason, you may be dealing with PMS. Now, she doesn’t want to talk to you or anyone else. Fortunately, this only lasts a day or two and kind of goes hand in hand with depression.
FEELING BLOATED: You have no way of knowing unless she tells you. But you should know the physical symptoms by heart. If she is feeling bloated, it is PMS time. This may occur with or without any or all of the other symptoms. This goes away when she actually gets her period.
FEELING “GROSS”: She may describe this in a variety of ways but basically she feels fat and greasy and disgusting. Not a pleasant feeling at all. If she shares any of this information with you, you know right away you are dealing with PMS.
SWELLING OF THE HANDS AND FEET: You may or may not be able to see it. Maybe she will tell you about it. Dead give away that you have a case of PMS.
HEADACHES: Pretty common among women suffering from PMS. This may be the first thing you notice, the first indication you have that your woman is suffering from PMS. If your woman gets a headache for no apparent reason, immediately suspect PMS and start looking at the other signs to see if there is potential verification of PMS.
BREAST TENDERNESS: This is a dead give away. When your woman exhibits unusual sensitivity in the breasts be extremely careful in handling her breasts. Also be aware that she probably has PMS and will be on her period in a few days. Be very sensitive and be kind.
THE NESTING INSTINCT: This manifests itself in a desire to tidy up the place and a general dissatisfaction with clutter. Somehow, this pops up along with the hormones. Learn to identify this instinct and try to be accommodating. Just go with it, pick your socks up off the floor and put them in the laundry, that’s really all she asks. But if she suddenly starts cleaning the house you have to wonder if PMS is at the root of it. Don’t say anything, of course, just cooperate and start looking for other signs.
THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD DEAL WITH IT:
Far and away the worst thing for men about PMS is that women will rarely tell us when they have it. They expect us to be mind readers. It is so frustrating and the stakes are so high. Many misunderstandings and even failed relationships stem from an inability of men and women to come to terms with PMS. Because you are simply a man and not a mind reader, you will have to become an expert at spotting the signs and symptoms of PMS. You will also have to develop highly refined strategies and coping skills to deal with your woman when she is suffering from PMS and when she is on her period.
Never confront a woman with the fact that she is on her period. Never disregard a woman’s thoughts, feelings, or actions simply because she is suffering from PMS. Never use a dismissive or denigrating tone when discussing these matters. This is very serious stuff, men. To disrespect any woman because of menstrual related issues is the height of insensitivity. Handling these issues in the wrong way will alienate your woman and put your relationship(not to mention your life!) at risk.
Men must know how to ask a woman if she is on her period and they must know when to ask. Approach the question most gingerly. Ask her if anything is wrong. This will give her an opening to tell you that she is in fact on her period. If she says no, and she may very well say no, then ask her if she feels alright. Again, this second question is intended to get her to discuss her PMS a little bit. Chances are she may describe some symptoms. All real men know what the signs and symptoms of PMS are: depression, anxiety, anger, irritability, indecision, being withdrawn and bloating, swelling, headaches, and tender breasts and just plain feeling “gross.” If she seems calm enough and open enough to the question you might then gently ask if she is suffering from PMS. Take great care when inquiring of your woman not to make anything you say sound like an accusation or a criticism.
DEALING WITH BLOOD: When a woman actually gets her period, you may have to deal with blood. Get over it. You will wash the sheets or launder the clothing or whatever happens to get blood on it. As a real man, you will empty the waste paper basket out of the bathroom or wash the commode or whatever, and never complain. When you have sex on her period, and you will, you will get blood on yourself and do so without comment, like a gentleman. You will put her at ease at all times and never make the slightest remark suggesting that she is dirty or disgusting in any way. Should you cause her to feel uncomfortable in any way, you may well find yourself sleeping alone and you will deserve it.
SEX: PMS and the menstrual period will affect her desire for sex. She may want more or less sex depending on how she feels. Try to be empathetic, kind, and understanding. All real men will perform cunnilingus even when she is on her period, so don’t be squeamish about it. Doing so is little different than doing it in the absence of blood. Understand that her sexual desires will be different during PMS and her period and give her everything she wants. That way there will be no problems. Your woman may choose to forego sex altogether for a while so be prepared for that and support her decisions cheerfully.
CHOCOLATE: All real men know that, to a woman, chocolate is more than mere candy, it is medicine. Chocolate actually may relieve some of the symptoms of PMS. Much has been written about the benefits of chocolate. Many women crave chocolate during their time of the month. As a man, you will have a good supply of chocolate available at all times. If your woman is craving chocolate and there is none available you will go out and get some as though it were a true emergency. Do not underestimate the importance of chocolate. It is your responsibility as a man to learn her favorite chocolates and to provide them for her. When you supply her with chocolates, especially during her period, you will do much to ingratiate yourself to her.
FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS: All real men take on the responsibility of making sure their woman is well supplied with whatever feminine hygiene product she uses. You have to make sure you buy the exact product she likes to use. Accept no substitutes. Its pretty easy actually. The best way to know is to ask your woman what it is that you should buy. Typically, a woman who uses pads will use a small thin pad called a panty liner every day and will use a larger pad for those heavier days of her period. You will be buying both. Simply take the end flap off the packages the pads came in and take it to the store with you to insure that you get exactly the same thing. Compare the product code numbers if in doubt. The people who make these things are changing the products and the packaging all the time and it can get confusing. To make matters worse, there are dozens of kinds of feminine hygiene products out there so be careful when you buy. Close is not close enough, it has to be exactly the thing she wants to use. The same shopping and purchasing practices hold true for tampons as well as pads. Never run out or you will find yourself running to the store in the middle of the night, stay ahead of the game. Doing this is a great way to show your woman that you are a real man, that you are mature, and that you are not afraid of menstrual issues. Being grossed out or too embarrassed to get involved with feminine hygiene is for little boys.
As men we suffer indirectly from PMS too. Our women make us suffer. All real men take this suffering stoically and in silence. Since we are not the ones suffering directly, we really have no room to complain. The best we can do is to accept the situation and move on. There are rules, however, that no woman can break. There are lines she should not cross even when she is in the depths of her worst PMS. The rules are: Don’t hurt me, Don’t hurt my things, and treat me well. If a woman breaks the rules, the time to discuss the problem is days later, well after she has recovered. If you try to confront her with her conduct while she is in the throes of PMS you will get nowhere and will only make matters much worse. If you will learn how to spot PMS when it arises and manage it well when it does, you will have a happier woman and a stronger more enduring relationship.
TL;DR Learn to spot PMS, Learn to handle a woman on PMS, Enjoy better relationships with women.
Edited by Thinker2357, 11 February 2012 - 07:56 AM.