Friday, August 22, 2008

how to handle a hormonal woman

This is for those of you who have to put up with these issues, whether in a wife, sister, girlfriend, or whatever.  And it's even for you women who don't have these struggles yourselves.  I know that there are some blessed women who have no idea what all the fuss is about.

First off, I will admit that there may be no right way to handle a hormonal woman.  It doesn't just seem as if nothing you do is right - it's true.  Sometimes nothing you do is right.  And while I can only speak for myself - I'm sorry.  That is a terrible place to be.  And I not only know what it is to be the woman suffering, I also know what it is like to be around a woman, suffering.

~ Understand that it is real.  This isn't just a monthly excuse to be a biddy.  Do some research and see what the underlying physiological processes are.  Or not.  But please, don't belittle it.  I realize it is hard to understand.  Women themselves have complicated the issue.  Feminists want to pretend this doesn't exist.  I know there are all kinds of mixed messages out there.  But the facts are available.

~ "Just love her..." That is Henry Higgens' solution, (My Fair Lady) for handling a woman - and it is also true if that woman is spitting nails.

~ Just because a woman is screeching and has lightening coming out of her eyes doesn't mean a hug wouldn't be welcome.  But then again, it might not. I suggest you ask first.  Perhaps just say, "hug?".  

~Give her time and space.  Especially if she is an introvert.  Let her just be alone.  You take the kids out for a couple of hours, or at least let her go to bed at 6:00 and you deal with everything.  Maybe a reservation at the nearest 5 star hotel.  That would do wonders!
On the other hand, if she is an extravert, she might prefer some time out with her friends.

~ Try to eliminate irritations.  If the kids are fussing, run interference - for the sake of everyone.  If you know noise bothers her, try to keep it down as much as possible.  Get the idea?  It sounds like I'm asking an awful lot, but you have as much to gain as anyone, right?

~Don't take any of it personally.  If you offer a hug and she says, "are you kidding?"  It is not personal.  Chances are she feels like she is in an oven and the last thing she needs is physical contact.  The grumpiness, anger, tears, etc, all really have nothing to do with you.  

~Not every emotion a woman has is because of hormones.  If you are being a jerk, chances are she's upset because you're a jerk.

~ Be patient.  If you have a history of being condescending about this issue, it's going to take her a while to accept your sincerity.

~ Really just try to understand that this is totally beyond her control.  I personally would rather have severe pain, than to have this emotional upheaval.  It's horrible.  I hate snapping at my loved ones.  I hate crying over every little thing.  It's horrible.

~ Talk to her.  Ask her what you can do that will help her.  Just knowing you want to help will mean a lot.  Then do whatever it is she suggests.  Unless of course, she says "drop dead."

It may be hard for her to tell you what she needs.  She may not know herself.  Or, I know I sometimes feel so guilty for being so horrible that I would feel even more guilty asking for something.

What it's like:
20,000 little spiders crawling around on my brain.  At night, they crawl on my skin, too.  
There is a lot of pressure in my head, as if I'm coming down with a cold, but it never turns into a cold.  Just fluid build up, is my guess.  
Mild body aches as if coming down with something.  Everything is tender.  It is a bad time to go to the dentist as the gums are very tender and more likely to bleed.  It is not the best time for a massage.
Heat as if I have a fever or I'm standing in front of a open hot oven.
And more.  I will spare you all of the details.  Just know that on top of the emotional problems, there are often physical symptoms as well.

TLC is the best remedy.  I know it may not be your style.  But if you want her to feel loved and cared for, then love her and care for her.

Now, while these things are beyond our control - and for me, I hate that out of control feeling the most - there are things that can help.
I had really good success with Evening Primrose Oil.  Yes, I used to be much worse.  There was a time I was terrified that I would hurt someone.  I actually told my husband that he needed to take the kids and get far away from me for one really bad day per month.
Anyway, the other thing that has helped me is to know what foods my body doesn't tolerate well.  I actually had a blood test to determine food sensitivities.  While I stayed away from those foods, I felt much better.  MUCH better.  I have been eating what I want this summer, though and that is why I'm having a harder time lately.

If anyone has anything to add, please do.  If there is something that would help you, or something that has helped, let us know.
If you have questions or even rants, let us know.  Men, and ladies who don't get it, feel free to vent your frustrations.  I'm feeling better for the moment.  I can take it. 


  1. It's hard to describe the heat factor. First there's chilling, goosebumps cold, then there's this incineration from the inside out: unbelievable heat as if the blood running through the body is on fire. Great, huh? I sympathize. I get the crying thing. I rarely get the rage thing.

  2. I get the crying thing as well. Worst ever statement from a husband during that time..."it must be that time of month"..grr.

  3. Really thoroughly written article, Kay. You could submit this to a women's magazine!

  4. I used to have pretty mild cases of some of what you describe. I kind of liked having a day when I didn't feel so tolerant or nice especially when I was teaching. It came in useful.

  5. When I had this really bad I was helped with exercise. You might also try Lachesis, Pulsatilla, and Sepia. They are all homeopathic medications, so if they work, wonderful, but if they don't, no harm done.

    You may also try Black Cohosh, which is herbal.

    Unfortunately, each woman is unique in her needs at this time so there is not one perfect rememdy. I'll be praying for you to find the right thing.

  6. Kay has a pretty good chance of very early menopause as I was through at age 40. However, I still have occasional hot flashes, 28 years later! I was so grouchy at one time that the pastor and his wife came to see me because they thought I was upset with them or with the church. I depended mostly on vitamin E and B-complex. The E helped with the flashes and the B's helped with the bad moods. My sister never had any of those problems. She was just through.......

  7. Menopause.. just the word can give me a hot flash. Oils, like EP and EPA DHA help. (I see mom used Vit E! Neat!) I also take 100 mg of cal.mag at night, to help me sleep. I have major mood and sleep issues right now. I wake at odd times and can't go back to sleep. My other stuff is for estrogen dominace, so I don't think it would help you. Here's a hug ((((KAY)))))

  8. You wrote: "f you have questions or even rants, let us know. Men, and ladies who don't get it, feel free to vent your frustrations. I'm feeling better for the moment. I can take it."

    My male reply: "Ummm. No, thanks, I'd rather join the Special Forces in Afghanistan." :)

  9. Heavy duty...

    I like what you said here -
    "Not every emotion a woman has is because of hormones. If you are being a jerk, chances are she's upset because you're a jerk."

    Your post reminded me of something a Christian comedian my in-laws really like says - HAPPY WIFE = HAPPY LIFE! Great advice :)

  10. Geen: ROTFL! Hilarious!

  11. The one and only time I ever hit my husband was when I was upset about something (not PMSing either). He made a remark about "hormones" and I slugged him in the arm! I yelled something about "A woman can be upset about something and not be hormonal!" Like I didn't have the right to be upset about something simply for the sake of being upset about something. Like men don't have hormones! :)

    By the way, My GYN got tired of me telling him about vitamin E, and he started recommending it to other women. LOL


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