I have been tracking my wife’s cycle for several years. There is a certain time during the month when what was no big deal the week before becomes tragic and the ‘end of the world’ the next week. How do I refrain from pointing out to her that she will be starting her period in 5 days. She has never noticed the tiny red dot I put on the calendar….I know I am right. Should I pretend to be wrong?
The swings became more intense after she had her IUD taken out a couple years ago. She will beg to differ….I realize she is at the age (46) where things are winding down….my question really is about how to kindly remind her she may be about to ‘start’ without me waking up with a knife in my chest. Is there a kindly reminder or is it zip the lip time? ; )
Married Man in Memphis
Dear Mr. Clearly Does not Value his Life:
Before you embark on this “kindly remind her” project in which you tell your wife something she already knows, I suggest you purchase one of these:
First you asked me how to refrain from pointing out her impending red tide of death and destruction and then you asked whether or not you should bring it up at all. Make up your mind, man! The Advice Goddess needs to be approached with specific and non-contradictory questions, especially on a Monday when she’s cranky.
You have been quite the industrious fellow, methodically tracking her cycle like the Colombo of girl flow and connecting her mood swings and crying jags to the crimson tears of her disappointed uterus. Bravo, dear fellow, bravo!
OK, let’s get serious for a moment. Most women suffer from PMS, but for some women PMS is much more serious than the run-of-the-mill bitchiness and tendency to cry at life insurance commercials. Take a look at this article: Severe PMS: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
Is this you during shark week at your house? It was probably something you said, you insensitive asshole…
…but if not, your wife may be one of those women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, which is characterized by much more dramatic mood swings and physical changes than those that ordinarily arrive a few days before a woman hops on the cotton pony for a 5-7 day ride in a rusty saddle.
Think that’s the bad news? Not even close.
Your wife is 46, and as you so aptly framed it, “things are winding down,” meaning she is very likely peri-menopausal. This is where things really start to get interesting, my friend. Peri-menopause can last for up to five years before the womb goes on it’s final strike for good and it is not pretty. Read this article and see if it sounds familiar:
Peri-menopausal women make PMS look like a fucking joy ride – they are angry, prone to crying jags, randomly horny as shit (that’s the good news unless they take it outside the home), unreasonable, pimply and downright mean.
How do I know this? Because I own a mirror and have voice memo on my phone, which I engage when I suspect I may be acting erratically due to peri-menopause and I want to examine the evidence when I am not in the throes of a tantrum or planning the perfect murder.
Knowledge is power, Married Man in Memphis, but it must be used wisely. What does that mean? It means UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER SHOULD YOU SUGGEST TO YOUR WIFE SHE MAY BE PERI-MENOPAUSAL.
That knife in your chest you mentioned? If you’re lucky, you’ll get a knife in the chest. If you aren’t, she will either divorce you or insist you remain married during the pendency of the Change, either of which is equally unpleasant but for different reasons. I can’t stress this enough: men who suggest their women may be peri-menopausal are either suicidal or just plain stupid.
And herewith I render my advice, AskDesCamp by numbers style:
1. Buy your wife something pretty. This isn’t necessary but it always helps.
2. Take her to her favorite restaurant. This serves two purposes: first, it will put her in a happy and receptive mood. Second, there will be witnesses so she is less likely to kill you.
3. Tell her you love her and you want her to be happy, but you fear she may be suffering from some out of the ordinary symptoms when her body is rebooting the ovarian operating system. Be sure to use this moment to praise how normally wonderful her personality is before you describe how she changes a few days before the communists take over the fun house.
4. Ask her if she will meet together with you and her OB-GYN so you can get more information and discuss options.
That’s pretty much it. A message of concern delivered in a loving way and with wine, good food and a shiny present can’t possibly go wrong. Unless your timing’s off, of course, but you are way too smart for that.
If your wife is unreceptive to your involvement in her lady bits beyond the occasional pump and dump, I suggest you insist upon meeting with a therapist so you can discuss how her mood swings are affecting your marriage. This is actually pretty serious business and it would be unreasonable for her to refuse discussion about something that is clearly difficult for you to deal with and which may be controllable through medication, exercise, diet changes, etc.
Also, would you like Mr. Patience and Understanding’s phone number so you can form a support group?
dishonorable discharge from the ovarian navy