Debra Barone: Have you ever considered giving me a hug?
Ray Barone: A hug?!?!?!?
Debra: Yes! A hug! Did you ever think of that, you big jerk?!
Ray: Well, it’s pretty hard to hug someone who’s trying to kill you!
Debra: How would you know? You’ve never even tried it!
Ray: Well, look, THIS (referring to her prickly demeanor) is not huggable! THIS is not Debra. This is the woman who shows up once a month to tear into me like a monkey on a cupcake!
Bad Moon Rising
Whether or not you are an Everybody Loves Raymond fan, this episode, Bad Moon Rising, is absolutely hilarious! As many episodes were inspired from the real lives of the writers, this episode was inspired by an unfortunate hormonal experience producer Phil Rosenthal endured at the hands of his wife (the actress who played Amy on the show).
Continuing with our Monday thoughts about PMS and its effect on women’s moods, it is only fair to also address how we should treat our guys when the hormone monster rears her ugly head.
In a Bible study a few years ago, I remember a wise lady reminding us that we should not use our time of the month as an excuse to mistreat our husbands. Scripture tells women to respect their husbands and we are all told to love one another. There is no clause that reads, “Expect in cases of severe PMS.” Believe me, if that clause was in there, I would have it cross stitched on a pillow in our room!
I guess the closest scriptural reference on how to treat a woman with PMS would be 1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (ESV)
When I am edgy and uncomfortable, I do not feel compassionate, I am not concerned with pleasing Eric, and I want to squeeze items until they burst. It is like a pressure cooker in here! If I leave my mind and body to their own devices, I will tear through the house leaving broken dishes and terrified mammals in my wake.
How can I be sure to treat Eric with respect even when I want to throw water in his face? (Yes, that is a true and honest temptation when I am at the peak of my inner tornado.) How can I resist the urge to scream at the top of my lungs? How can I redirect my unexplainable rage into something positive?
Here is an action plan we may all do well to consider:
Step One: Learn to recognize your symptoms clearly.
Over the years, I have become attuned to PMS moods versus my every day or situational moods. If I wake up in the morning, have a ton of work to do, my car will not start, and then I find out we have a last minute social engagement, that bad mood is situational and understandable.
However, if I wake up in the morning and get ill with the dog because she is “in my way,” stand in front of the fridge and tear up because I cannot decide what to eat for breakfast, sit in front of my computer and laugh hysterically over a picture of a kitten, and then slam the door later that night when Eric questions one of my decisions, that roller coaster mood is PMS. Every. Single. Time.
If you can recognize your symptoms, you can prepare for the storm. ~smile~
Step Two: Be proactive in releasing emotions.
Clean vigorously. Play your favorite sport. Run ten miles. Paint the walls. Do something that allows you to move and exert your energy. Go outside and reacquaint yourself with the sun. Take your overheated engine and redirect it towards something positive! The endorphin rush, sunshine, and energy expulsion should do wonders for any edginess you may be experiencing.
If you need to cry (and you are able to cry), then do it! Get it out of your system. There are some days I almost (ALMOST) wish someone would hurt my feelings so I could “get the party started.” After all those emotions build up, it feels so cathartic to release them! This not true for every woman, but it is certainly true for me!
Step Three: Verbally prepare him.
I have come to apologize to Eric in advance – sometimes through e-mail and other times in person. I will say something like, “Just so you know, I am in major PMS-land and I apologize in advance. I will try to show you respect despite my inner lion!” Even then, I may still end up snapping at him or having some unexplainable emotion. He is still here, so that is good. ~smile~
Step Four: Have an exit strategy.
Sometimes, you just need to leave the room. When you are experiencing that “I am about to blow” feeling, do your best to have a way out of your social functions. I do not mean ignore people for three or four days, but have an escape plan just in case you feel the need to leave. Maybe drive separately to a party. Work from home, if that is an option. Plan fewer meetings or take a stress ball with you into those meetings. Motrin may even help calm pain and emotional edginess – at least I have been told. ~smile~
Step Five: Pray whenever you want to throw something or speak harshly.
Take a moment and ask for grace to flood you. Seriously, it helps! God understands PMS. ~smile~
Step Six: Show extra affection when you are tempted to show none.
“I want to pull your lips over your head, and your mere presence is repulsive to me. Hormones must be the reason since you have done nothing to incur my wrath. Therefore, I will push my feelings aside and hug you as if I love you – because, I guess I actually do. And, even if I do not, I will again in a few days.” ~smile~
Step Seven: Ride out the storm as comfortably as possible.
You may not have the option of hiring a butler or maid, but maybe you could plan to have a movie day on the heating pad or choose other low key activities that will not push you too hard. Stock the house with those foods and pampering accessories that make you feel better. The less stressed and more comfortable you are, the less likely you are to erupt. ~smile~ Right?
PMS is real. It is not something we ladies want. We would rather be even-keeled all the time. We get mad at our outlandish emotions and how horribly our bodies treat us. We do not want to be maniacs. Guys, we love you! We really love you!
Some women may be reading this and thinking, “Wow, I have never felt or acted like any of this.” If this is you, get on your knees right now and thank God! ~smile~ And, please have mercy on those of us who are not as blessed in this area.
Gentlemen, get to know your lady and her particular PMS related struggles. You could be an incredible source of comfort if you know what she needs during those days.
Ladies, remember that our fellas are the same loveable guys they were last week before we were visited by the hormone monster. We loved them before, we will love them again, so let us love them now despite our feelings.
Follow the steps above and keep the relationship happy. ~smile~
How do you treat the guy in your life when your monthly visitor arrives?