My husband Matt is nursing a beer on the edge of our couch. His clammy hands are squeezing the bottle for dear life, and the look on his face is a mixture of shock and awe. I’m frantically pacing in front of him, arms moving wildly and tears streaming down my face. To be quite honest, I have absolutely no idea what I’m currently talking about, because the (completely me-driven) conversation started about an hour ago.
But don’t tell my husband that.
Most of our fights around this time of the month tend to deal with his lack of romantic gestures, us not having enough sex, or him forgetting something important. Funny enough, the whole time I’m verbally barfing up my ginormous feelings to Matt, I’m forgetting something important too.
I end my audience-of-one Ted talk with three ominous sentences that manage to both openly infuriate my spouse and secretly relieve him. These are the words I always manage to spurt out and immediately regret. And each month, against my better judgment, I absentmindedly say them all over again.
“I can’t stay married like this anymore! I’m done! I want a DIVORCE!”
This is usually when my husband gives me “the look.” It’s his way of silently communicating words he knows, if shared to me at that very moment, will be spoken at his peril.
Matt’s a really smart guy, so he also knows exactly what to do next. He profusely apologizes for whatever I’m upset about. He tells me he loves me and doesn’t ever want to divorce me. And then he stops talking. In fact, my husband keeps his mouth shut for pretty much the rest of the night. Like clockwork, I react to his quiet demeanor with even less rationality than anything I’ve done prior in the evening. I spiral into full meltdown mode, curl up in our bed alone, and proceed to cry like a baby until I pass out.
It isn’t until the next day that Matt quietly says what’s been on his mind since I impulsively opened my mouth last night. He knows not to say it too abruptly, for that will surely incite tear-induced defensiveness.
Him: “Well, I think maybe…”
Him: “I think… you might be getting your period.”
I put on the charm and immediately change the subject. But deep down, I’m usually hemming and hawing. I am so not comfortable with Matt treating me like he’s a meteorologist predicting the onset of a Nor’easter. And anyway, how can a dude who knows absolutely nothing about having a period easily guess a lady’s time of the month like that? Am I wearing a shirt that says “PMS Woman Walking” or something?
The most annoying part is that Matt is always, without a friggin’ doubt, 100% right. I hate how much he’s right. My husband consistently knows I’m getting my period before I even do, and it annoys the shit out of me.
Apparently, I am tediously predictable in this area. Because apparently, I threaten to divorce my husband a few days before I get my period every single month. Matt has become skilled at knowing when Aunt Flo is coming into town because it’s the only point in our month when my catastrophic thinking gets us real damn close to a legitimate end of times.
Being diagnosed this past year with complex PTSD certainly hasn’t helped matters either. It basically makes me act like a giant ball of PMS-ridden panic. And since I’m terrible at keeping track of when my own period will arrive, these episodes of overly dramatized living seem to come out of nowhere. As you would expect, this thrills my husband to no end.
Now, there is some good news in all of this. Matt has become so adept at predicting the monthly metaphorical car wreck before I do, that he’s been jumping in more to help prevent the word “divorce” from spilling out of my mouth. He checks in regularly, doles out lots of bear hugs, and always buys me yummy snacks and that seltzer I like. Basically, he treats me like he did when I was pregnant with our kids.
TBH, my husband is kind of my hero in this department. He has a ton of patience and compassion for me, especially around these moments. And him being ahead of the game in the period crisis management department has led me to feel a teensy bit calmer during the inevitable times when I want to hardcore freak out.
I’m definitely considering getting him a special blue cape or something. On second thought, maybe I’ll make it red. Because I can’t think of a single husband who doesn’t want an unavoidable reminder that they are the prophet of female menstruation.
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