How Men Can Be Supportive During a Woman's Period
(Or, maybe, just how to deal with a woman's period. That's the best I can offer.)
As someone with a fair bit of lady friends, I've had to deal with PMS a bit over the years. While some women seem unaffected by their monthly cycle and you would never think their mood has shifted an ounce from the usual, for some women this is the week that sends all their friends scattering.
Here are some tips for survival at such times, with such women:
Don't touch her, especially in the no-no place.
If she is sore and grumpy, touching her will make it worse.
Don't touch her in the stomach where she is cramped and bloated.
Don't touch her in her fatigued limbs.
Touching her anywhere near the object of her curse is an even worse idea. It may seem like a good idea because normally this is a happy place, but just don't do it. She is angry with that part of her; she does not want you making friends with it. She does not want this kind of loving attention (probably).
In fact, just go away. Run. Head for the hills.
Don't mention her period or try to make light of it.
Making jokes about it if she's in pain will result in a swift slap to the head. Trust me, I've tried to joke about this before. The problem is that joking about something will remind someone of it, and if she's reminded of her curse she will have to think about it and any attempts she made to distract herself will be in vain. Also, she could quite possibly think you're laughing at her, especially since you (probably) do not suffer her same fate month after month.
Just don't mention it. Mention anything else. Talk about baseball. Talk about movies. Talk about nothing in particular, so long as it has nothing to do with her least favorite bodily function.
Worst of all, don't say you know how she feels. Because you don't (even if you do); according to her, you don't, probably even if you're a woman. Keep your sympathies to yourself and just don't talk about it.
Actually, just don't say anything.
Now that I think about it, just don't say anything at all. Anything you say can and will be wrong. It doesn't matter if there's no reason she should be bothered about what you're saying. She doesn't need a reason to snap at you; she just will, if the mood calls for it.
Example of how what you say could be wrong:
"You look very nice today, dear."
"Oh, so does that mean I don't look nice other days?"
"So, what, did I look like crap yesterday?! Is that what you're saying?!"
You can't win, so just don't say anything.
Do not deny her foodstuffs.
If she's hungry, feed her. Don't mention any diet she might be on at this time; she is suffering enough and your denying her any bit of pleasure she might be able to squeeze out of life will not make her happy.
In fact, offer her food. Buy her things she likes. People, like animals, tend to respond to food-related gifts well. Get her chocolate or a basket of fruit.
Make sure she is stocked full of supplies.
She does not want to run out of toilet paper or feminine supplies. She does not want to have to run to the store in her state and get the things she needs, so make sure such things are stocked far ahead of time and you will not have to face an excess of expletives coming randomly from the bathroom one unexpected evening. Make it your mission that she will not be in want of these basic things.
Yes, I know, it's embarrassing for some (male) people to shop for feminine products. Get over it. It's better than the alternative, trust me.
Or you could just hide for a week. That works.