Marriage Missions International

How Hormones Effect Our Marriages

You’ve probably heard the joke that’s been going around, but “What’s the difference between a woman with PMS and a Doberman?” The answer? “Lipstick.”

And then there’s Menopause that has to be dealt with, if you’re a woman and if you’re a husband whose wife is going through this stage of life. As they say, if you don’t laugh, you may cry. So here’s Chonda Pierce, to give her take (that may or may not make you laugh) on this matter in a YouTube piece titled:

MENOPAUSE PARKING

Our first instinct may be to laugh at these “jokes” but if you’re the one going through a hormonal change, or you’re married to someone who is going through that change, it’s no joking matter. It’s a pretty serious subject.

There are a lot of things competing to sabotage your relationship with your spouse and one of them is a wife’s fluctuating hormone level (if she is one who experiences this phenomenon).

“It’s not a subject most people like to discuss, but PMS or Pre Menstrual Syndrome can wreak havoc on relationships, especially when it is not recognized. Despite what many people seem to think, hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s cycle can be as hard on her as they seem to be on the people in her life.” (Sherry Holetzky)

Hormonal fluctuations can be something that attacks our bodies, emotions and our intimacy on so many levels, and it’s difficult for someone (particularly our husbands) to understand if they’ve never experienced them first hand in their bodies.

I’ll never forget a number of years ago, something that happened, when our sons were younger. I came to the realization that I was anything but a pleasant person when my menstrual cycle came around. So I thought I’d do my husband and two sons a “favor” by explaining that I would give them a “warning” when I was feeling tense, and that for their own good, I advised them to tread lightly for a while. I thought this would be a merciful act.

I remember well, one time when I gave the men of our household a warning to please ease up on their noise level and the manner in which they liked to tease me. I told them that I was struggling to “keep it together” and I needed their help to do so.

Our one son didn’t take my warning seriously because he proceeded to start teasing me right then and there. I immediately “lost my cool” and started screaming. I’ll never forget how he looked at me. All the color drained out of  his face and he looked absolutely shell-shocked. He just mumbled, “I guess you were serious … sorry!”

Yep! I was, and I can tell you that when I gave out my polite warning, no one tested my seriousness after that! We somehow came to an agreement that warnings were to be taken seriously.

One woman writes a solution she’d like to see happen:

“If I was going to invent something for the good of mankind I know exactly what it would be: a pill for men that would let them experience all of our worst PMS symptoms… The trouble is, I fear my plan would backfire. Instead of making them understand what we go through so they’d be more sympathetic, it’d be my luck to give [my husband] the pill and he’d expect me to cater to him. ‘Bring me the heating pad. Get me another Advil. Tuck me in for my nap.’” (Courtney Mroch)

Isn’t that the truth? As much as we may want sympathy and understanding on a different level, it could backfire in various ways —especially for the one who isn’t acting in an “understanding” way.

Another complication caused by these fluctuating hormones, happens to those who are prone towards depression and anxiety.

“While the symptoms of PMS are very familiar to many women, those who have a history of anxiety and depression or who currently suffer from anxiety and depression may notice that the changing hormonal levels during the month bring about increased emotional problems. The week before menstruation is well-known by women and feared by men as being the most emotionally difficult week of the month. That makes for twelve to thirteen ‘difficult’ weeks per year for women of childbearing age.” (Beth McHugh, Youronlinecounselor.com)

Actually, it doesn’t end there … even those who are getting beyond childbearing age battle with “difficult weeks” and even years when Pre-menopause and Menopause comes into play. (Somehow the word “play” doesn’t seem like the appropriate word, does it?)

To help us deal with these problems and attacks on our bodies, minds and marriages, below are several links to various web sites that have articles posted on this subject. To read them, please click onto the links below:

HORMONES AND BEHAVIOR

BEYOND THE POST-DELIVERY BLUES

DEALING WITH P.M.S.

NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR P.M.S.

MANAGING MENOPAUSE

This article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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