From a precious wife and sister in Christ who has been down this road. THANK YOU so much to her for sharing!
After re-reading the comments about PMS … I thought of a few things I would love to share.
Several women in their comments mentioned that during PMS they found it much much more difficult to trust or to see their husbands in a positive light even if they normally viewed their husbands positively the rest of the month.
That was my experience as well.
I love adore and trust my husband so much, but when I still had my period and raging PMS , during that week to 10 days of most months
I couldn’t seem to view him in a positive way. I also felt that he was the ‘enemy’ sometimes. Now this is a very Godly lovely man, who was sucker punched every month when his sweet wife, suddenly became Attila the Hun overnight.
One of the things I see in retrospect is the spiritual aspect of this…
I could not , for the life of me, calm the turmoil that happened inside me at that time (during PMS). Even though after I got my period , and the dust settled, I could see that I had behaved badly (sinfully without grace) and much of my behaviour was totally irrational!
During my crazies, I thought that I was being ‘super rational’ and speaking the ‘truth.’
I now think, looking back, that PMS is part of the ‘curse’ or the punishment of Genesis, that God said was consequence of Eve’s rebellion in the Garden. That also means it (PMS) is an incredible opportunity for a ‘saved’ Christian woman to view (and do) PMS in a very different way! If we know then that PMS was NOT part of God’s original plan but it is part of our ‘fallen’ nature, then surely God can help us to overcome it as well. He would have a plan for it!
I believe if a woman sits with her husband, and develops a very specific strategy for handling PMS, BEFORE it comes, and talks about it , during the other part of the month, and prays with her husband each morning and night of PMS (FROM Peacefulwife – only if your husband is ok with praying out loud together, if he is not, just say, “Please pray for me today, it would mean so much to me! Thanks!”), much of the horror , (and I use that term very consciously because it was like the Enemy ran my heart during PMS)… then things could be turned around.
I did not trust my husbands judgement, or assessment of our relationship during PMS. I trusted my friends, and my children the same, but my husband… nope.
That should in itself have been a clue to me, that something was amiss and perhaps the enemy ( the real enemy – the devil) had stepped up his game plan. I behaved in very unChristlike ways. I would not forgive, blamed, dredged up the past out of fear , etc etc. Afterwards, the shame of my behaviour was also , not Christlike. I would not forgive myself.
One of the things, that I believe might have helped would have been to have ONE godly person , an older woman perhaps, a mentor, to share with during PMS , to confess my feelings, share my fears, and that I trusted to say .. “Linda , this is PMS talking. It will pass. Don’t make any decisions about anything right now if you can help it. ” and then to pray with me. and pray FOR me. That’s asking a big commitment, of someone else, but may be necessary for some with severe PMS. What I am saying is a strategy in place would help a lot! (From Peacefulwife – AWESOME IDEA!!!! Amen! Amen!)
I like the way God said the Jewish people were to have visual reminders of Him in their homes…. on the lintel of the door frame, on their clothes, in their temples etc. I believe at PMS the ‘ball cap’ strategy I mentioned , or calendars with permission for one’s husband to note on it, and see it as well and to know PMS is on it’s way.. are big helps.
I was/am a woman of strong faith, and deep love for God, but it would have been difficult for anyone watching my behaviour during some months when the PMS was particularly bad to have believed that ! It was truly as if the hormonal rages overtook me, and weirdly every month, I always was surprised! That was shocking to my rational husband, who would always say….”OH!!!! This is PMS .. in the midst of my crazy rant about something or other.’ Poor guy, that was like waving a red cape in front of a bull!
So for the husbands.. I would say this…
1. Develop a strategy with your wife, if she is willing.
2. Pray pray pray for her and about this.
3. When she has PMS .. be tender. Don’t believe the negative she says about you. I know how difficult this will be, but one of the things that God can use for good in this is that if you are praying for her, and trusting God, he will use the persecution that you feel to develop strong character in you, to develop compassion for your wife. He will make you able to stand against the enemy of our souls with courage in God, and faith for a Godly outcome. He will make you a warrior! I know because he developed perseverance, deep character and great faith in my husband, partly due to how difficult it was for him during the PMS times and how he turned to God in Faith. (From Peacefulwife – I think husbands also get a taste of how people treat God, and it is a very tangible reminder about how we grieve God when we disrespect Him, don’t trust Him and depend on our own wisdom instead of leaning on His wisdom. What an incredible opportunity to show the love, grace and mercy of Christ in spite of our unlovability at the time.)
4. My husband has PTSD, which is treated, but can still rear its head on occasion. It gave him great understanding in some ways for my ‘out of control feelings ‘during PMS. I could no more stop the roller coaster of feelings of PMS .. than he can stop the fleeings and triggers of PTSD. They are both chemical cascades that happen in the body in such extreme that only strategies and faith can overcome. (From Peacefulwife – this is a really great comparison!!! Very helpful!)
5. Dear husbands, if you stand with your wife at these time of PMS and don’t blame , shame , or criticize her, but love her regardless of her behaviour… she will see your deep love and commitment. Trust me in this, she will.
I was sexually abused as a very young girl by a close family member and have worked very hard for healing. I have had many years of counselling and attended many courses. I have prayed much alone and with a few good friends about it. It is many years now since I have had a period and so PMS as well.. but during that time, PMS… all my fears, and the things that normally I had put to rest, .. well those things could come back to haunt me. I know it has been the same for others. Our rational behaviour and thinking seems to leave – and the sin and fear, becomes heightened. I was so sure my husband wasn’t safe, and would leave me, and his continued peace and patience would astound me!
I would rail accusations at time of PMS at him, if I became afraid, and he would say calmly ” Linda, I love you and I’m not going anywhere. God gave me to you, and you to me, and I am committed to your for my life. I love you. “
Outwardly , I wouldn’t necessarily let him see how much that affected me, but inwardly , those words, in spite of how hateful I was being.. those words led to my healing. God’s grace , under fire, was so evident in my husband. I know, men out there reading this are probably saying ‘Give that guy a medal!’ I agree! In fact, when we get to Heaven and God is giving out rewards, and it’s my husband’s turn to receive His reward from Jesus, I’ll be the first one on my feet with tears streaming down my face in gratitude for the love, and patience and acceptance he gave me, especially during PMS.
The other thing he did, was lovingly walk away if I became irrational. He would say ” I love you, but I’m taking a time out. This is too painful for me. ” I will be back, in 20 minute, or a half hour or three hours, whatever.. but he loved and protected himself. He did not stand and take verbal abuse, but he didn’t abandon me either. (From Peacefulwife – I think this is a great idea for husbands, too – if it is done in a loving, gracious way.)
April , thank you for the opportunity to share my story. It is difficult to recall those times, but it also makes me so grateful for what I have now. I hope that my honesty and sharing helps someone else. ladies if you are reading this and you don’t have terrible PMS, you are possibly wondering what on earth I’m talking about, but if you do have PMS you know…
Trust God that He will make this part of your victory in Christ story one day… I know He has mine.
MORE HUGGING AND LESS TALKING IS A VERY, VERY GOOD IDEA! I know that if my husband hugs me, I can’t be mad at him!