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The PMS Issue – Part 1

From a dear friend and precious wife who is on this journey with me:
Like so many other women, your post about “The Challenge” really struck a chord with me… I didn’t realize until lately how bad of an attitude I have had at times…. there have been times I could almost hear God whispering
“Is this the right way for you to act?  Does your attitude show that I am in you, living in your heart?”
This is something I need to work on ALL the time…. but PMS throws it into overdrive….
I decided to talk to my husband about dealing with PMS when I didn’t HAVE it (From Peacefulwife – that was wise timing!) … so I talked to him last night.  And I am so thankful to have a husband that I can talk to so easily about anything.  I told him I really don’t know a better way to handle it and that I felt terrible about how I act during that time.  We both agreed that this was the worst month I have had in years and he attributes it to me running out of my B6 vitamin, which I have now bought more of.  *:) happy
But he said some really interesting things…
– that he reminds himself that I cannot help having PMS and it is only temporary, in a week or so he will have his normal, sweet wife back.  Which made me sad that he feels this way.  (And thankful that he now does realize PMS is real… he used to tell me it was not real and was all in my head)
– He told me that he didn’t think I realized that when I am so hormonal, it is just as difficult for him to control his temper as it is for me because I am constantly pushing him so we are both miserable. (From Peacefulwife – I am SURE my husband would agree with this wife’s husband on that comment!)
I tried to explain what it felt like.  I tried to explain that I really don’t know what to do when I have it to deal with it.  I told him the things that I have found helpful… B6, Pamprin/Midol, being alone or quiet…. and as crazy as this sounds, I asked him to please get onto me when he noticed I was struggling/being unkind during that time.  I have noticed in the past that when he does this (lovingly but firmly) I calm down instantly. 
I don’t even understand it myself except to say that it is like when he says something to me to let me know that he is displeased with how I am acting, that I know I can’t act that way anymore, that I have to listen to him.  He didn’t laugh when I told him this although I thought he might.  I told him I realized it was not his responsibility to deal with MY problem but that it was really helpful to me. 
I could not tell anyone else I know that or they would think I was absolutely crazy.  Asking my husband to point out when I am out of line?  They would laugh their heads off.  But I can tell you that.  It doesn’t make PMS magically disappear but it does help me to gain a bit of perspective.
I wrote the Bible verse about complaining down to use as a bookmark.  I thought it would be a good reminder.
I hope to do better at this, all weeks of the month.  😉
PMS used to be pretty bad for me, too.  When Greg and I were dating in high school – every month I would decide I had to have a serious talk with him about how awful our relationship was – well, how awful HE was, more specifically.  After a few months, he was on to me.  He said, “April, your period is going to start tomorrow.  That is why you feel like things are so horrible.  You will feel much better tomorrow about everything.”  And I would get SO MAD!!!!  “This is a REAL problem!!!  It has NOTHING to do with me being hormonal!  YOU need to change!”  Then, invariably – I would be totally fine the next day emotionally.  UGH! 
Before I learned about respect and biblical submission, PMS would throw me for a huge loop every month after we were married, too. 🙁  I almost felt demon possessed or something.  It is hard to accept that your feelings are trustworthy the rest of the month, but suddenly, they are lying to you.  

I used to always believe the feelings and emotions instead of believing my husband back then.  They were SO insistent – those strong emotions.  It seemed like the problems I saw were the most urgent problems EVER and HAD to be addressed RIGHT NOW!

I was amazed after I had been studying and praying about respect and biblical submission, and I was submitting myself to Christ and dying to self… I had peace.  Even in the PMS weeks – most months.  In fact, what used to be a big storm, became a little ripple most of the time.  THANK YOU, GOD!
I have learned to catch myself when those awful thoughts start taking my mind captive and to ask Greg if he thinks I might be hormonal.  If he thinks I am – then I have learned to disregard the messages my emotions are sending to me during that time.  I think of it like I am a pilot flying an airplane during a storm.  Normally, I can trust my instrument panel.  But during PMS, my instrument panel (my feelings) go haywire.  If I follow them, I will definitely crash the plane.  So, I have learned to think of Greg as the “control tower” and I allow him to walk me through how to safely land and I do not trust the instrument panel during that time.
I think about Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
I consciously shift my emotional and spiritual weight from depending on my own understanding, wisdom and feelings, to trusting my husband’s understanding, wisdom and his perception of reality until I can get my bearings again.  So, I look to him and ask him to tell me if something is a problem that I should be upset about or not.  If he says it’s not a big deal, I trust him and don’t trust my feelings – then I wait it out.  I write in my prayer journal, like I do every day.  I lay my concerns before God. Then I shift the weight of my concerns to Him and His wisdom and do not try to handle things myself – of course, that is an every day thing.  

I don’t carry the weight of the burdens anymore.  My husband and my Jesus carry them on their strong shoulders now!

With PMS, my biggest focus is to lean on my husband’s wisdom and understanding during that time and not to trust what my feelings are screaming to me.  I totally understand what this wife is talking about.  If my husband can tell me, “April, I think you are hormonal right now.”  It makes things suddenly become clear to me and I understand that I can’t depend on my feelings and emotions for awhile.  It is a HUGE help when he points this out to me, because it ALWAYS takes me by surprise!
Something I have to remember, too, is:
My hormones may be a reason why I am more easily tempted to sin, but they are not an excuse.  
Sin is still sin even if I am hormonal.  I am still accountable to God for my attitudes, motives, thoughts, words and actions!
It is SO comforting to me to know that my husband is my rock and solid anchor and that I can look to him to find safety in that emotional storm and that I can find shelter in his protective love and care for me.  I LOVE knowing he is in charge, not me.  I love knowing I can count on him to guide me through those rough patches, and that I don’t have to try to do it alone.   Ultimately, my faith and trust is in Christ to lead me through my husband even on the PMS days.   I thank my husband for his godly leadership and wisdom and I thank God for His beautiful and wise design for marriage!
As a pharmacist, I also know that there are many ways to try to treat PMS.  You can talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your options, or you can check out WebMD or another reputable site to find some things that may help, as well.  I love the vitamin B6 idea!
I pray that this might bless many other wives!  Let me know if you have issues you want to talk about.  I love discussions! 🙂

52 thoughts on “The PMS Issue – Part 1

  1. I struggle with emotions more during early pregnancy! It is like being a difference person. My first pregnancy I did not know I was expecting for almost the whole first trimester and I could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong with me. My other two pregnancies were a bit easier to deal with because I knew what the problem was and knew to bite my tongue and watch my facial expressions til the tiny hormonal tornado passed 😉

    1. Alyssa,

      Pregnancy is MUCH HARDER than PMS many times! The hormone levels go through the roof! And living with a pregnant woman can be very difficult for a husband. I remember my husband telling me that I was picking fights at work when I was pregnant with my son. I had to go apologize to the manager of the store where I worked – very embarrassing! He had kids, so he seemed pretty understanding of my irritable, pregnant self.

      Not knowing you were pregnant would definitely make it worse! Especially for your husband, I am sure. 🙂

      I have talked with a number of wives in the past year who were trying to learn respect/biblical submission while pregnant. I told them, “If you can learn this stuff when you are pregnant, it will all be very simple after the baby comes!”

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      1. haha, this reassures me april. I’m 27/40 now and it has been such a difficult and painful emotional journey but I know god is using this time to ‘prune and refine’ me. I hope it eases up a bit once I’ve had the baby! The other ting I read that encouraged me is that how it took Greg 1yr to trust you again after you learnt about submission and respect. I know pete is hurt and guarded, I do hope that in time he can overcome that.
        liz x

        1. Liz,

          Pregnancy and hormones make the respect thing MUCH, MUCH more difficult. THANKFULLY, in Christ, all things are possible to those who believe!!! 🙂

          I am praying for you both, my precious sister. As you continue to open your heart to God and to allow Him to get rid of all the yuck and renovate your heart, mind, and soul – you will be able to walk in God’s peace, joy, humility, and power. You will have the resources of heaven at your disposal. I believe God will heal Pete’s heart and soul, as well, and your marriage.

          Sending you a huge hug!

  2. I like the topics you tackle, April. Some months I hear how irritable and impatient I sound. I know I’m saying things I shouldn’t (at home and at work), but I can’t seem to stop them from coming out of my mouth. I’ve learned to recognize that as part of my PMS symptoms; now to find the impulse control during that time, lol. Good post 🙂

    1. Joanna,

      It is VERY HARD! Especially at first when you don’t realize what is going on. After about 2-3 snapping sentences come out of my mouth – I look at my husband and say, “Could I be hormonal right now?” And he’ll say something like, “I sure hope so!” Then I know to ride it out and not listen to my stormy emotions. Lots of times, I will feel better if I just go sit with my husband and cuddle with him quietly.

      Being hormonal, sick, exhausted, in pain, having low blood sugar and many medical conditions make respect and biblical submission MUCH HARDER! That is when we need God’s Spirit more than ever! And sometimes, that is when we need to listen to our husbands and go take a nap, eat something, rest, etc.

      1. Amen. I’ve been incorporating short periods of rest more often, esp. when I come home from work. 20 minutes with closed eyes usually does it. I’m up and energized. Take care.

  3. I deala with this issue every month like clockwork and it seems to always sneak up on me as well. I feel the inner emotional turmoil. I will try to press in closer to Jesus during these times.Thanks for posting this April!

    1. Nekiwa,

      You are very welcome! It is so frustrating, that is for sure. Praying for God to empower us to have victory over sin even when the hormones are raging. He is able! 🙂

  4. I’m definitely guilty of this-I do not realize I am being hormonal and think I’m completely in the right. After 15-25 minutes of pointless nagging/arguing on my part-I tend to eventually calm down and apologize, and then I feel helpless. Awful feeling.
    Luckily, my husband does his best to understand, but I can tell sometimes he’d rather not be around me during that time…;).
    I am working hard at realizing when I’m bring irrational.
    Thanks for these wonderful, encouraging posts :).

    1. Kendall,

      Those hormones just sneak right up on us, don’t they???? It would help if there was some warning signal first!

      You are more than welcome. I pray that many wives might be encouraged!

  5. Oh The PMS Issue! It was a really big issue for myself and my husband. I could so relate to the comment here by one of your blog followers that she felt like she might be possessed at that time of the month! I know she was ‘joking’ but that is exactly what it felt like for me as well. I am usually a fairly happy, loving person, but at that time of the month, I thought the world would end, and I had to fix everything before it did.. especially my husband and our relationship. My dear husband began to chart our course thru the monthly PMS on a calendar. Even though it was obvious to him what was happening, I refused to believe it , for a long time. I believed my emotions over him. 🙁 They were so strong.. I would finally, every month after my period started, see the truth of the matter, and then be so broken and ashamed. We would have two or the odd time, three peaceful weeks and then the whole disaster would start again. He used to ‘joke’ ( gently..) that I had Homicidal PMS.. and April it was pretty much true. I went from being a rather gentle soul to Attila the Hun! It was awful. I am now menopausal and that monthly disaster is thankfully gone for good. I feel like a Titus woman here as I do want to say that I have read lots and lots about PMS.. and I do know from my reading that for some it is not an issue at all, but for others it is like my story… an emotional roller coaster every month.
    and .. I have read, and it was my experience that it intensifies as you get closer to menopause..because the hormonal cycle becomes more erratic, and there can be strong estrogen dominance. One of the things that really helped us, was to mark it down on the calendar, and to TALK before hand and develop strategies. Sadly we came upon this rather late, in my late 40’s, but it did help. Cutting out coffee, and if you drink any wine, some may, those two things, can make it wayyyy worse. So can chocolate, something women with Estrogen dominance crave. I could write so much more on this as it was a huge issue in our marriage for many years.. and I had two sons. They both said, “If I get married will my wife have PMS?” That nearly broke my heart. We talked about it, and they talked to their Dad as well. Another thing I tried hard NOT to do, was talk about my husband to my girlfriends , especially when I had PMS. I mean the ‘negative ‘ conversation. I love my husband so much and after 41 years of marriage we are truly more in love now than ever. He is a spirit filled committed Christian who has walked faithfully with me, prayed for me, and stood with me in the monthly horror (for me ) of PMS. I would encourage those who struggle with this, to listen to your husband, if he is a Christian pray with him about it, and talk to your doctor and see if there is help. Exercise is another thing that seemed to help me. God bless all the young Moms who struggle with this, and I pray you find a solution that works for you. As April said, there are things out there that can help.

    1. Lindagreeneyes,
      Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story!

      This is a HUGE issue in many marriages. And for some women, it goes beyond PMS to PMDD – which is MUCH, MUCH worse than just PMS. These women can go into rages, even violence. THERE IS HELP! There are a lot of dietary changes that help many women, supplements at times can help. Sometimes there are RXs that can be very helpful. I think being prepared ahead of time and marking the calendar is a fabulous idea – so is talking with your husband and asking him what he suggests and how he wants to try to handle it.

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE the advice not to talk about your husband to your girlfriends during PMS. VERY WISE!

      I greatly appreciate your willingness to talk about this!

    2. Without hijacking the topic, could we go into more about menopause or peri-menopause? Does that distort your perception as badly or worse, in terms of everything seeming to be wrong with a husband?

      1. Peri-menopause and menopause are MUCH WORSE than PMS for many women. YES! The hormonal changes definitely distort emotions and help give fodder to disrespect, fear and control. This is a HUGE issue! I want to do a post about this, as well, soon.

  6. Thanks for your comments April. I really believe that we are as sick as our secrets, and this one PMS and the changes that it brings in personality each month, and especially the shame afterwards, often cause women to keep it secret. Ladies, I believe if we get honest about these things, and talk to our husbands and our friends, and confess our need for God during this time, healing can begin. Don’t hide alone and suffer.. God says’ Confess your sins one to another that you may be healed.’ I believe this careful thoughtful confession will help to heal the shame especially. Now that I am through having a menstrual cycle each month and into menopause, there are new ‘joys’ to experience ! I have found,once again, just like PMS, women have been reluctant to share what happens to our bodies when we go through menopause. Fortunately there is a wonderful emotional change that is delightful! I don’t worry like I used to ( I know worry is a sin, but around PMS it was always a struggle).. I love and laugh more deeply and rejoice with abandon, and seem to delight in all of life more.. it’s a wonderful gift that comes at this stage of life. I have talked about this with my friends and it is a commonality amongst us. Being a grandparent is amazing! It is this wonderful gift that comes later in life. I can’t even express how incredible it is, without getting tears in my eyes. I have two beautiful grandsons who are the delight of both my husband’s and my lives! We have a granddaughter coming in July,..I can hardly wait! Okay enough gushing, what I meant to also say is that menopause brings some new physical challenges and women I hope will begin to share honestly about those as well. I don’t know how many older women like me ( 62 years young!) read your blog, but if there are a number of them , it might be helpful for us, and your younger readers, to talk about menopause at some point. April your blog such a gift to us all, thank you for your courage and your honesty. / credentials can be used.

  7. Hey Peacefulwife! I e-mailed you the other day & haven’t gotten a response yet. Do you not use your gmail email anymore? Thanks so much! I love reading your posts, they help me a lot!

  8. This is pretty much the only, if any, issue in our marriage. Is there something about the first year that makes one extra hormonal?? Even while we were dating, I became aware that the only time we had a less-than-friendly “discussion” was just a few days before my period. Now we are both completely aware of my hormones so the challenge has been me not using it as a crutch or excuse and he acknowledging it as real and an actual struggle with which I need help. While we both have improved immensely here, there are still times my seemingly demonic emotions overpower me; however, instead of spending hours and hours trying to fix a big issue, we now quickly get through our “discussions” coming to the conclusion that when I’m like that less talking and more hugging is usually better 🙂 I, too, agree that when my husband catches my first line of snarkiness and immediately, lovingly, calls me out, I am better able to pull myself back together- and instead of thinking crazy thoughts about my husband, I think, ” how blessed I am to have him help me”. 🙂 Thank you for this post!

    1. A New Wife,

      This is a tough issue! We will have another post about it with more info and help tomorrow!! I think it will be a huge blessing to you!

      Check out this post My Demon

      And as far as the first year – the difficult thing is that you are now together every day. There is no escaping each other. AND, because you are now married you have much greater expectations of your husband. I have a number of posts about how dangerous our expectations can be! (there are four parts)

      Also, because you have these higher expectations, when you are angry/hormonal/emotional – it is easy to automatically assume HE is the reason. At the time, it only makes perfect sense that you couldn’t possibly be this upset unless he did something HORRIBLE!

      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!

      1. I just read the post My Demon- that is SPOT ON. We do not have a TV so my demon has the nerve to attack my husband’s work! I have greatly improved at cutting off the nasty thoughts concerning that, but demons are rather skilled at finding other little things that on a normal day would never get me down. Now that hubs and I have talked openly about what happens to me, it is fun to acknowledge my small victories such as refraining from spitting out a disrespectful remark or recognizing immediately (rather than the next day) the better way that I could have responded to something. God has blessed me richly with a beloved who wants to care for me and lead me in the right way- he does this succesfully! How can I let erratic emotions supersede that?
        I am just so thankful for this blog and the opportunity to glean from wiser women who have gone through these issues. Those first couple of months I did not talk to a single person about the terrible thoughts that attacked me every month- oh but life is so much better when we utilize the vast support system of brothrs and sisters God has given us. 🙂

        1. A New Wife,
          I am so glad you are finding help and encouragement here! That is an answer to my prayers! 🙂

          YES! I want to see the older wives teaching the younger – then maybe those coming behind us can learn from our mistakes and victories and not have to try to cut a new path themselves like we did! 🙂

  9. Hi April, thanks for this topic, very helpful.
    Focus on the Family had this 2 day broadcast May and 29 for anyone that wants to listen. Just go to their site and click broadcasts in the top right nav and use the calendar to find the dates.
    Lorraine Pintus
    Popular speaker Lorraine Pintus shares her journey with the hormonal changes surrounding PMS and Perimenopause, and offers insight to women – and their husbands – to help lessen its impact. (Part 1 of 2)

  10. I find it interesting that I’m reading this blog post at this very time. I just started my period two days ago, so I’m currently dealing with this issue. The day I started, my husband and I received a free gift card to a restaurant, but I soon realized that we didn’t have this particular restaurant anywhere near us and I got heated. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs because I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted (we had been traveling home and been riding in our car for nearly 4 hours). My husband started to pick on me by acting and complaining the way that I had been, mostly his way of trying to make me laugh, which was not very clever to me, but I could also see how irrational I was being. I’m still dealing with mood swings and when small things happen I overreact. I sometimes feel like I’m literally going crazy and that something is seriously wrong with me. I will try to keep this blog and the helpful advice in mind. And your prayers are greatly appreciated.

      1. I also wanted to tell you, April, that I love reading your blog. I feel like every time I check it, the blogs you post seem to be written exactly to my life. The blog(s) your wrote about being more respectful to your husband really made me stop and look at how I was being as a wife to my husband. I realized I wasn’t living up to my full potential as the wife that God wants for me to be. Since then, I have really tried to be more thoughtful towards my husband and how I could bless him by being more respectful to him. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog and I hope that God will continue to use you and this blog to help others and myself!

        1. Savannah,

          Well that is a huge answer to my prayers! I thank God for His willingness to use me to encourage and bless other wives and marriages. Thank you so much for sharing! Please pray for my marriage and for this ministry – that God might be greatly exalted and that we act and speak in His wisdom alone. 🙂

  11. Words cant express how grateful I am for this post! It’s so good to know I’m not crazy and I’m not the only one. For so long I would get really down on myself for feeling depressed, angry and irritable during the 1-2 weeks before my period and believe it or not, for a long time I didn’t know what it was! I would blow up at my husband, we’d have a huge fight, I would pray for forgiveness and deliverance, my period would start, I’d be fine for a few weeks, then the next month, I’d have to pray for forgiveness and deliverance again! This went on for months after I had our second baby. I didn’t look too deep into it until my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our third baby and our second baby was only 8 months! A week later, we miscarried. This went on for about 6 weeks and my cycle was so out of wack! I didn’t know what was going on with my body, I didn’t know when my cycle would begin again, so I was playing it by ear (very dangerous when dealing with PMS/PMDD). In January, I became very depressed, I was under great attack from the enemy in my mind, I began to experience the irritability and anger, but on another level, it was terrible. I began to feel like my husband didn’t love me and that my children would be better off without me. I also felt that my husband deserved better than me (these are only to name a few emotions). I ended up seriously considering suicide. I called a friend of mine and I actually sought professional help, which didn’t help because I only experience these feelings 1-2 weeks out of the month! Now, I’m taking a B6 vitamin and doing everything I can to track my cycle so that it wont get that bad again. Sometimes I find myself getting discouraged because it seems I have no control over this. I’ve spoken to my husband about this as well and he’s very understanding, he doesn’t give into the mood swings and insecurity, which is a great thing! I pray that I learn how to use self-control during these times and that it will become easier in the future. Thanks for the post!

    1. Sherea,
      I am so glad this blessed you! I hope you will talk with your doctor because there are things that can be done medically to help. Praise God your husband is so understanding. My heart breaks to see how much pain and turmoil you have had with these hormone issues. And I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby.

      I am excited about what God has in store for you my precious sister!

  12. I’m sorry to dredge up a “zombie post,” but you were so kind and helpful to me the other day that I decided the google “peacefulwife hormonal” to see if you had a post on this issue and it’s exactly what I needed! I tend to have hormonal issues around ovulation rather than true PMS. Around this time in my cycle, I also have difficulty sleeping which tends to make matters worse. I’ve written down two things in my new prayer journal (per your suggestion) that I feel like God is telling me: 1. The problems and stress I feel during these couple of days are a lie. They are not nearly as real and huge as my hormones and lack of sleep would have me think. 2. Proverbs 3:5 – I’ve written this out and I’m going to memorize it and repeat it to myself during these couple of days. Thank you, April, so much!

  13. My pms has really been out of control this week. I know it is pms bc I am sad/crying/angry or upset about things i wouldn’t normally be. My mother in law said she used to have the same problem and that she started taking some medication, and that I need to talk to my doctor.. She also offered me a Xanax but I have never taken any pills in my life besides ibp and I was nervous to. I also don’t want to get attached to any pill… I am worried I will think I need it all the time and become a pill popper, I also have a weird conviction about taking medication .. I sometimes will sit through a terrible headache because I don’t want to take medicine bc I believe God can heal me but I’ve asked him to take away my pms and he hasn’t.
    I don’t know why I feel this way about meds?
    Because I drink coffee to stay awake
    I will take vitamins to be more healthy
    I will eat junk food when I want it?

    So maybe it is ok for me to take anxiety meds if I am having pms?

    Well any insight would help

    1. Learning Wife,

      As a pharmacist, I can’t advise you to take your MIL’s pills. Xanax is a controlled substance, and in the USA, it is a federal offense to take someone else’s controlled substance rx.

      How has your time been going with God?

      What does your husband say he believes you should do?

      Are you willing to clean up your diet? That may help. There are times meds can help. But I vote to try non-medical treatments first. 🙂

      How are you sleeping?

      Much love to you!

      1. Oh I am sorry I should not have said that I didn’t know, she was just trying to help me.. I sleep great, my walk with Christ has been so good I even told my husband I feel I’ve had a break through with God lately, feeling so close to him and his presence but when I am having strong PMS I feel less close to him bc I am come rely controlled by my sad emotions and feel it’s hard to remember the promises of God.. My husband says he wants to stay as far away from me as possible.

        1. Learning Wife,

          I’m really glad that you are sleeping well and that your time with Christ is going really well. Are you able to recognize that these sad emotions are hormonal and that you really can’t trust them? Are you able to lean on God’s wisdom rather than your own understanding at that time – or do the emotions just seem to overwhelm you like waves and a storm?

          I can understand your husband’s reaction. I’m sure a lot of husbands feel that way. Actually, if we could avoid ourselves during those times, I think we would stay away from our own selves if possible!

          Would you be able to share how old you are? Are you taking any hormonal birth control pills or anything?

          Much love to you!

  14. i am 23 and not taking any birth control pills… idk its like I don’t wait to believe them but i always truly believe Christ is always good and always faithful! but it’s hard for me to have the same thoughts about my husband… I don’t want to confuse him bc sometimes I tell him hes the most amazing husband but im trying to be sweet because I know I can pray for him and build him up with kind words but really he is not, and its in these moments of severe emotion that I want to tell him all these things he really needs to change but I know I can not change it or him. :/

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