Surviving my wife’s PMS?

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Ed1980
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Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Ed1980 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:26 am

Hello, I’m struggling to survive my wife’s PMS month after month, year after year. Significant problems in life (especially economic security, or lack of) that are mostly kept in perspective and balance just become magnified. Not only do I then just have to deal with my own underlying stress, anxiety and depression about things – which usually I manage quite well, all things considered – but I also have to deal with my wife’s anger and resentment towards me. She simultaneously wants to constantly engage in debate, but refuses to listen to anything I have to say. If I get angry in response, I am an “angry man.” If I stay calm and say that I don’t want to argue, I am still accused of being angry, even when I am not. I am no doubt visibly shaken by the anger that has been thrown at me, as it makes me feel stressed and anxious, like a state of shock. But it’s not anger. Either way – whether I respond with anger or calm – it is interpreted as my anger, and I am told I am mean to her. If I calmly engage in some kind of rational discussion on the topics that me wife brings up, everything I say is twisted. There is no point in engaging in the topics because discussion gets nowhere. As I understand it, humans have evolved with fight or flight responses. If I stay and fight (by which I mean argue back) it just makes things worse; if I take flight (walk away, to another room or go and pace the streets for a few hours with nowhere to go) it also makes things worse. As I said, in both cases I am construed as angry. That I am the problem. Everything is bad and it's my fault. Sometimes I manage to stay calm and sit it out, but because I have so much stress in life anyway (work insecurity, financial insecurity, some physical health insecurity) it is most often more than I can manage. Everything I do is wrong, everything I do is criticized, and if I defend myself by calmly (or angrily) pointing out that some of what I did today was right and not all wrong, then that doesn’t go down too well either. She wants me to be strong and weather the storm, but that’s not easy with all of life’s stresses anyway. I try to deal with the calm voice of self-doubt in my head all the time anyway, but hearing a loud voice shouting at me how bad I am means I can’t hear my own inner voice of reason. I work hard to maintain a balance and try to invest in good mental health in whatever ways I can (not enough), but I find it so hard to cope when being the target of impatience and anger for five days every month. I lose my balance and it pushes me too close the edge. I forget the calm voice of reason and start hoping for a heart attack so I can get out of this situation. It just brings me down so much that in those moments (of which there are so many over the course of several days each month) I just want to die.
What am I to do about this? I do love her, and I know she loves me. But up to 20% of the time is just unbearable. All of my responses just make her more angry and me depressed.

Sādhaka
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Sādhaka » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:49 am

Redpill/mgtow and all that; especially if you do not have offspring with her already.

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justsit
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by justsit » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:04 am

You don't mention how old you both are or how long you've been married, both of which might color an appropriate response to your post.

If, as you say, you really do love each other, then it sounds as though you are both ripe for couples counseling. Learning to manage anger constructively in a relationship is a skill that often needs to be taught then practiced and honed. And even then, sometimes love isn't enough, in which case you might go your separate ways.

I'd like to hear her story. Problems such as the ones you mention are rarely so one sided.

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Dan74
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Dan74 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:08 am

Hi Ed :hi:

Thank you for sharing this. Really tough situation.

I think justsit's suggestion of couple's counselling is a good one. I totally get that some women are massively affected by their PMS and may lack the insight to recognise what's going on, but hopefully her caring about you and the relationship is enough to get started with counselling, where you can both work out strategies to cope with it in a better and less damaging for you, ways.

On a personal level, as you do have insight that this is PMS, that it is a monthly occurrence, perhaps you can breathe in and out, relax the shoulders, the neck and other muscles which tense up, and see it as a chemical onslaught your wife is under where she is not being herself, where you are both victims, and not get tangled up in the emotional abuse.

It also sounds to me that it is other 'stress' that is the main culprit here. Even before the PMS, there are various sources of stress and this is where energy can be applied to face these situations in a better way. What do you practice? Is this something you've been working with?

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Vasana
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Vasana » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:26 am

Have you heard of the non violent communication programe? Could be worth looking at the principles found there - subtle tweaks in how we respond to others and frame our own qualms from how we are feeling can have big effects.
Be honest about it and tell her but also expect to hear her. If you can both choose to learn the principles together it will help even more. Aim to do it at a time when both of your guards are down and you're both relaxed. I've found that skillfull timing and tone of voice gos a long way. It can also help disarm things when they have already escalated.

https://www.nonviolentcommunication.com ... outnvc.htm
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:08 am

Is she really saying what you say she is? Is she actually saying ‘you’re bad’ or are you interpreting others things she’s saying to mean that?

If she is saying that, is it possible she means something else? A lot of times when people lack communication skills expressions of frustration can come out sounding more personal than intended.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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shaunc
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by shaunc » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:06 pm

Do you have a shed in your backyard. If not, build one. If you can afford it connect power and water to this shed, see if you can't get a second hand t.v. and a good chair for yourself, you're going to be spending a lot of time in this shed.
Get a project or two to work on down there, it's easier to explain why you're spending so much time in the shed and at least make one of the projects something that will be useful to her.
It might cost a bit of money but so does counseling.

Ed1980
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Ed1980 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:36 pm

justsit wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:04 am
You don't mention how old you both are or how long you've been married, both of which might color an appropriate response to your post.

If, as you say, you really do love each other, then it sounds as though you are both ripe for couples counseling. Learning to manage anger constructively in a relationship is a skill that often needs to be taught then practiced and honed. And even then, sometimes love isn't enough, in which case you might go your separate ways.

I'd like to hear her story. Problems such as the ones you mention are rarely so one sided.
Hi Justsit.
We're in our early-mid 40s. Been together for over ten years. Can't afford counselling. Her story is that she also has PTSD from an earlier trauma and suffers from anxiety over our financial situation and ongoing difficulties.
I didn't mean to present a "one-sided" picture. I acknowledge that our situation (financial, etc.) is mostly down to me, but I have been working really hard for years to change things, but no matter how much I try, I can't get onto the next rung of the ladder.

Ed1980
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Ed1980 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:41 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:08 am
It also sounds to me that it is other 'stress' that is the main culprit here. Even before the PMS, there are various sources of stress and this is where energy can be applied to face these situations in a better way. What do you practice? Is this something you've been working with?
Thanks for your comments Dan.
Yes, you are right. Other stress is a huge factor. I practice mindfulness meditation as much as I can. Not sure how to "work with it" but I'm trying.

Ed1980
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Ed1980 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:43 pm

Vasana wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:26 am
Have you heard of the non violent communication programe? Could be worth looking at the principles found there - subtle tweaks in how we respond to others and frame our own qualms from how we are feeling can have big effects.
Be honest about it and tell her but also expect to hear her. If you can both choose to learn the principles together it will help even more. Aim to do it at a time when both of your guards are down and you're both relaxed. I've found that skillfull timing and tone of voice gos a long way. It can also help disarm things when they have already escalated.
https://www.nonviolentcommunication.com ... outnvc.htm
Thanks for this. Never heard of that so it's good to know. My wife won't do anything regarding counselling etc. But I'll look into this starting with the URL you posted and see what I can get from it.

Ed1980
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Ed1980 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:53 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:08 am
Is she really saying what you say she is? Is she actually saying ‘you’re bad’ or are you interpreting others things she’s saying to mean that?

If she is saying that, is it possible she means something else? A lot of times when people lack communication skills expressions of frustration can come out sounding more personal than intended.
Hi Johnny. Yes, "you're bad", "you're mean", "I wish I never met you", "if I had met someone else everything would be better now". These are monthly statements that will go on for a few days, month after month for several years now. I work from home some of the time and keep things tidy, clear up after myself, and yet if I forget to water a few plants it can lead to anger disproportionate to the crime. Yesterday I ran an errand for her which took over three hours out of my afternoon (when I have work to do and job applications to do). I didn't get any thanks for that but I did get a "you're mean to me" and "wake up" because I overlooked one small detail, which really wasn't the end of the world. English is not her first language, and you're right that sometimes communication is a problem and things sound worse than intended. I give a lot of space for that. But she knows what she is saying by the direct statements listed above.

Ed1980
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Ed1980 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:58 pm

shaunc wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:06 pm
Do you have a shed in your backyard. If not, build one. If you can afford it connect power and water to this shed, see if you can't get a second hand t.v. and a good chair for yourself, you're going to be spending a lot of time in this shed.
Get a project or two to work on down there, it's easier to explain why you're spending so much time in the shed and at least make one of the projects something that will be useful to her.
It might cost a bit of money but so does counseling.
Hi Shaun,
We live in an apartment. But if we had a shed, imagine the anger when she finds me there watching TV!
You're right though. I remember speaking with an 80-year-old who had been married for 60 years who said his shed had been the secret to a long, happy marriage. In a one-bedroom apartment, there is no way to get some healthy "close distance". When she says, "Get away from me, I don't want to see you", there is nowhere to go.

Punya
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Punya » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:02 am

Given your confined living space, regular exercise would help. It would give your pacing the streets another purpose.

It seems likely your wife's negative feelings exist all of the time, it's just that under stress she voices them.

I hope the Compassionate Communication is something you will be able to apply and from this, your wife is able to learn these skills as well.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

Punya
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Punya » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:24 am

Punya wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:02 am

It seems likely your wife's negative feelings exist all of the time, it's just that under stress she voices them.
Hmm. Very presumptive on my part. Sorry and please ignore.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

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Nemo
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by Nemo » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:00 pm

Separate houses works great if you like someone who uses you as an emotional garbage can. Some people just can't distinguish sources of stress and use the people around them as punching bags. They aren't bad people. You just have to manage boundaries.

ford_truckin
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Re: Surviving my wife’s PMS?

Post by ford_truckin » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:38 pm

Life is too short to deal with people like that. Divorce her.

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