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To Men: Tips for Understanding and Supporting Your Woman on Her Menstrual Period

Updated on May 14, 2021
Joy At Home profile image

Joy has dreamt of being an ideal wife, friend, and mother since she was 13. Relationships are tops, including those with children.

Respecting Yourself and Others' Experiences

No one person has enough knowledge to decide what can be counted as trivial in another person’s life. Assume that nothing, ever, is trivial. You will save yourself and others much heartache.
No one person has enough knowledge to decide what can be counted as trivial in another person’s life. Assume that nothing, ever, is trivial. You will save yourself and others much heartache.

Generalizations vs. Your Woman

The information given here is meant as a generalization. Just because I said something is so, doesn't mean it's true for your woman. It is your responsibility to get to know her individually, and establish through gentle conversation, and acts of care, what is normal for her, and what is not. She will appreciate you for doing this, even if she doesn't directly tell you so.

With that said, there are several things you can probably assume. It is these things we've chosen to discuss here. I've divided the information into five major sections, each covering one aspect of how a woman's period affects her well-being. These aspects range from physical and emotional (the obvious ones), to social and spiritual. No single section is more important than the others. At the end, I've included suggestions for ways to show your wife you care.

If some of the information below seems hard-hitting, please remember that two imperfect people won't make a perfect relationship--but there's nothing stopping you from trying. So go ahead--learn about your girl.

Benefits of Learning About Women

Before we dive in, let's get some junk out of the way, like, "What's in it for you?"

First, if you ignore your woman's needs, you will be working by default to destroy your relationship with her. Whatever is not built up on purpose, deteriorates.

Benefits of Actively Building Your Relationship

  • Paying attention will help you become smarter than most men about people and relationships, enabling you to make better choices in life. (This is part of wisdom.)

  • This super power will make you more attractive. Some may even see it as natural charisma--but you can't fake it very long, especially with women who are worth being around. You have to actually learn to care in your heart.

  • You will be able to have fewer fights with the girl you love.

  • Your woman will respond better to you during sex, because she'll know you actually care about her . . . not just her body, or having your needs met.

Consequences of Ignoring This Part of Your Woman's Life

  • She will assume you don't care about her as a person.

  • She will probably come to view you as stupid, and inept (no matter how good you are in other areas of life).

  • She will be more likely to make friends elsewhere, even if she remains attached to you, and sexually committed. In other words, you will lose her heart, and her respect.

  • Sex may become less frequent and ardent, and far less satisfying.

  • Her loyalty to you may eventually dwindle, or disappear.

  • She may leave you, and go looking for someone who visibly cares. If she doesn't, it's because she needs to believe you can do better, and will eventually find your way. Or, perhaps, she believes that strongly in the institution of marriage. In other words, her commitment--not your presence or prowess--keeps her around.

Ready to learn something? You are in for a wild ride!

Please don some brass underwear. Adventures are never easy.

Physical Menstruation Symptoms

I'm going to list some common symptoms, and leave it up to you to establish which ones bother your woman the most.

  • Brain swelling, similar to that in the Doberman Pinscher dog breed, leading to headaches, irritability, short-temper, and exhaustion.

  • Pain and possible inflammation all over the body, not unlike during a flu bout. This may include stomach cramps. All or any muscles and joints may feel tight, out of alignment, and sore. This may result in intense pain in the back, shoulders, neck, ribs, hips, legs, stomach, hands, and feet.

  • Breast swelling and tenderness. If the breasts are touched (not just the nipples), this may result in further muscle cramps, and possible nausea.

  • For some women, the abdomen cramps are not unlike third stage labor (the most intense part of the birthing process). The painful pull of the uterus and belly muscles may create dull pain in the lower back, not unlike "back labor". This means that everything in the midsection is pulled out of alignment, making breathing difficult, and inducing possible nausea. To sum up, cramps are synonymous with contractions during birth. Yes, really. The same muscles are doing a similar job, to move fluid and blood clots out of the uterus and birth canal. A single cramp may last from a few seconds to almost an hour. Cramping can occur for several days in a row, non-stop, both before and during the actual period.

  • Blood clotting. Some women pass clots up to the size of golf balls . . . over and over.

  • Nausea, sometimes severe enough to lead to vomiting. Muscle cramps, and a feeling of worry and doom, can induce pain bad enough to cause actual throwing up.

  • Diarrhea, from muscle cramps creating pressure on the intestines, and also hormone fluctuations.

  • Hormone fluctuations (especially high amounts of progesterone), mean brain fog, short patience, and unpredictable emotions. We, as women, don't enjoy this either.

  • Poor sleep. This can result from hormone-induced insomnia, muscle cramps and joint pain, or a fear of sleeping through sanitary product malfunctions and leaks.

  • Low energy. The entire body is busy cleansing at this time, so there's not much energy left for life. Also, hormone changes can make the body less responsive to nutrition, and blood sugar problems may occur.

  • Balance changes. Hormone imbalances and muscle cramps can severely hinder the body's ability to act normal. Changes in inner-ear balance, sensations on the skin, hearing and visual perceptions, and other alterations of senses, can mean a woman literally does not perceive her surroundings in the same way as normal.

Pause, before we go on to the next section. Picture this:

If you felt like you had the flu, complete with stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, back pain, joint pain, and balance problems--would you suck it up, act like nothing was wrong, and get on with your business as best you could? Women do it every day. Be kind.

Boys vs. Girls Period Pain Simulator, by Aaron Burriss

Emotional Symptoms

The range of emotional symptoms is huge, including but not limited to:

  • Disappointment

  • Rage

  • Resentment

  • Depression

  • Uncontrollable crying

  • Numbness

  • Apathy

  • Worthlessness

The best way I can approach this issue is to give you a word picture, explaining how emotions function at this time. Here goes:

Juice glass vs. Pitcher Analogy

If originally a woman has in a day a water pitcher full of energy, then during her period and slightly before, she has only a juice glassful. This is the maximum. In reality, even her juice glass may not start full on any given day.

Each demand, task, and bout of emotions helps to deplete this energy, a bit at a time. And when that glass is empty, it's empty. No refills.

Is it any wonder she is extra touchy at this point?

Relationship Pressures

The emotional pressures exerted on a woman are often many and heavy. During her period is no exception. In fact, the pressures are likely to increase.

Let me explain why.

There are naturally emotional stresses from not being able to think clearly, or make decisions well and quickly--but there is more. It often happens that she is blamed for not acting nice or normal. Are you guilty of this?

Then too, she is often dismissed, or verbally berated, for not wanting any sexual activity. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, and if your woman and you are both pleased to enjoy each other sexually during her cycle, go for it. But too often, she is cramping, emotionally strung out, exhausted, and therefore disinterested. This may have nothing to do with you. It is a natural consequence of being in pain. For you to take her temporary disinterest personally, and act miffed, is truly silly.

Allow me to be blunt: She may already feel overwhelmed by daily stresses. Having some asshole add more stress by acting like an incompetent, spoiled child who's mommy isn't coddling him, is disgusting. An emotionally grown-up man can and should afford to be put off for a few days.

Your Woman's View of You

Now we come to the crux of the whole matter. This may hurt, but if you want to really take care of your woman, below is a fact that you must understand.

Does your woman treat you with quiet contempt, but is actually a really good woman? I'll tell you a probable reason why she does this:

She normally assumes you're too incompetent, or stupid, or selfish, to truly learn her needs. Why? Because you've shown her in the past that you didn't care enough to pay attention, and make a sufficient effort. (If this weren't true, you probably wouldn't be reading this.)

If you have used the line that women are complicated and impossible to understand, you have already sealed the deal. She knows you don't intend to try, or fix what you have broken.

But there's more.

During and shortly before menstruation, this perspective that you are a dolt and a fool, becomes harder for a woman to hold. Her hope returns. Quite irrationally, she tentatively assumes that you can learn, that you do (or can) care, and that you have potential as a human being and as a man.

Don't disappoint her. Learn! You will actually be held in esteem by your buddies--not to mention your wife--when you try to understand her. Whether you succeed totally isn't the point. But you gotta try.

Your woman probably has spent an enormous amount of time trying to figure you out, and you know what?--she has probably succeeded in pinning down the main points. She may disagree with your approach to certain things, but this is not to say she doesn't understand you or your needs. You can guarantee that, if she is at all tenderhearted, she does understand.

Is it too much to ask that you make a similar effort?

Treat nothing as trivial, and you will be well on your way to having a great relationship which will yield years of friendship with your woman, in and out of the bedroom.
Treat nothing as trivial, and you will be well on your way to having a great relationship which will yield years of friendship with your woman, in and out of the bedroom.

Spiritual Changes During Menstruation

I won't discuss here what the Scriptures say about menstruation. That isn't the kind of spiritual matter I mean.

What I mean is that during menstruation, a woman's intuition is heightened, almost to an unbelievable pitch. This directly affects her view of you, and her perspective on life.

Does she assume certain things about you at this time, which become obvious in the way she talks, and in the things that bother her? Are there topics that she only talks about when she's on her period?

Watch out--those things are likely to be important--and true. So pay attention.

If you dismiss her concerns, regrets, and fears at this time, you automatically dismiss her heart and soul. Doing so repeatedly will kill her respect and affection for you, making you potentially worthless in her eyes.

In short, you suffocate your relationship with her when you dismiss her intuitions and concerns. At the least, she may come to view you as an incompetent, selfish playground bully, without a shred of real manhood.

Do you want to fix this? Then understand this:

Heightened Perception=Shortened Perspective

During menstruation, a woman's perspective tends to grow shorter. I'll explain using an analogy based on target practice.

Let's say that during the best part of each month, when emotions are the most stable (usually during ovulation), a woman's perspective reaches clearly to 100 yards. She can see and aim correctly and easily at this distance.

But during menstruation, this distance drops to 20 yards.

Just 20. Little. Yards.

Anything past this point, and her focus blurs and becomes unreliable.

There are two ways of applying this analogy in practical terms to your relationship:

  1. Assume that anything she brings up when she's "on the rag" is in that 20-yard focus range. And she can see it extremely well. In fact, she can't see past it. Nothing else exists as important during this time. Are you a fixer? Then listen! These are the things she wants fixed! You no longer have an excuse for not knowing what she wants. (I'll supply you with tips for handling these topics, below.)

  2. Whatever is in that 20-yard range is important to your life, well-being, and relationship. These are the concerns of her inmost being. She is an open book, more now than at any other time. The problem is that her first page is usually full of junk. Keep reading to find out what to do about it.

Phases of Fertility, Made Simple

Learning to track your woman's phases along with her will help you understand your woman's behavior. Her highs and lows will make more sense, and allow you to get along better.
Learning to track your woman's phases along with her will help you understand your woman's behavior. Her highs and lows will make more sense, and allow you to get along better.

About Her Destructive Emotions

It is unfortunate that fear and anger often take center stage during this time. These negative emotions are clues to her unresolved issues.

The outbursts, the blame, insults, and shaming--these are all symptoms of a heart that feels unheard. Is this behaviour bratty? You betcha. Is it done on purpose? Probably not.

Bear with it. If you learn to be bigger than your woman's childishness, you can help her overcome it. But you've got to do it for her sake--not merely to make yourself more comfortable. She'll know the difference, even if she never lets on that she knows. (She may just assume it's one more move in a long, selfish chess game, and put up with the fact that you are showing yourself to be a blind bastard.)

If you want to help her heal, try to see what is underneath these outbursts. If she is screaming about a broken dishwasher, is it really about chores? It might be. But there's always more. For example, she probably feels you don't care about how many hours she works, and the tedium of many of her tasks. Your approval over how well she washes the dishes doesn't matter if she's too tired and upset to like you. So if you want to make her feel respected and loved, get the freaking dishwasher fixed! And don't make a big deal about it. Let her make a big deal about how well it works afterward. (A hero who flaunts his own cape is, to a woman, not that impressive. He is like a little boy showing off all his owies on the playground.)

"Those Topics" During the Rest of the Month

What happens to the pain-in-the-ass topics during the other three weeks? I'll tell you.

During the week following her period, a woman may feel some lingering resentment that you seem like such a jerk. But the feelings will begin to dwindle.

During week 2 (her most fertile timeframe), her sex drive is likely to peak, and she may seem to have forgiven and/or forgotten your deficiencies. But she hasn't. The thoughts are still present, if faded and camouflaged.

What has probably happened is that she feels an almost euphoric rush (you can thank hormones), causing her to downplay her own insecurities and problems. She feels capable, and strong.

And she may feel that you are a jackass, if not a slug.

Allow me to state the difference.

Degrees of Resistance

A jackass is a fool. She knows well that men and women each have their own strengths and weaknesses, even if they are capable of doing most of each other's jobs. But--she often feels that you don't use even your God-given talents to capacity.

If she sees you resist growth in spiritual and emotional areas, she will assume you are too ignorant to want to grow. In other words, that you prefer to always be a little boy and have fun (and get your way).

Is it any wonder that women often write men off as silly jackasses?

A slug is a silly jackass that thinks it is cool to remain a jackass.

Uh, Those Topics

So, about those topics. She still sees them. But for the moment, she can see beyond them. During week 3, when hormones begin to radically shift, she will start the downward slide. Meanwhile, because she feels capable, she avoids mentioning fight-starters. She assumes (from previous experience), that you are too much of a jackass to do anything about them.

You can count on it, in her better moments, when she feels strong, she is planning how to deal with these monsters herself. And she will leave you sitting on your ass in the dust, when the time comes. She probably figures that if you can't be of use, you can at least get out of the way, emotionally if not literally.

This is part of the root of militant feminism, guys. You've done it to yourselves, by ignoring your women's hearts.

Social Pressures

One more thing before we answer the, "So what should I do about this stupid mess?" question.

Social pressures can be unrelenting. We already covered how a woman is expected to act normal, and carry on, even though period pain can be worse than childbirth. (I've had kids, I should know.)

The first of these pressures is hygiene worries. Nothing about having a period is convenient. A few aspects to consider are:

  • Shaving (some women shave more to keep and feel clean than to look attractive).

  • Washing/showering extra.

  • Needing to stay close to a toilet or private place, where sanitary products can be changed or checked. (I've worked outdoors most of my life, sometimes being the only female amongst a group of up to 15 men. Changing a tampon discreetly behind a bush, or in a work truck, can get tricky.)

  • Embarrassment over leaks and stains on clothes, bedding, and furniture.

Money for Supplies

The homeless aren't the only ones who struggle to keep stocked with sanitary products. During a poor financial month or year, this can become a real hassle. This is especially true if a woman chooses to use traditional tampons and sanitary napkins, instead of relying on a more sustainable method, such as an insert cup, or washable cloths.

Are You Contributing to Your Woman's Monthly Pain?

I won't belabor the point. By now you know whether you are part of the problem. Let's proceed to the fix.

How You Can Help Her--9 Tips

  1. Show grace and good sense. Having a monthly cycle is no fun for women, either, so show mercy, unless you enjoy being an asshole. This is the most important point you can take to heart, out of all we've said here.

  2. Take notes on the things she wants fixed. Yes. Notes. In your phone or planner. Develop a game plan for addressing these topics, and getting them fixed. If there seems to be underlying issues, such as childhood insecurities, or damage from past relationships, learn how to help her address these. Do so only during teachable, hopeful moments--not during her period! She will love and adore you for caring enough about her heart to help her heal, but you have to get your timing right. This may mean having heart-to-hearts with her, sometime in the two weeks after her cycle ends. It may mean encouraging her to pursue therapy, especially if the problems are quite old and deep-seated. Go with her to counseling, if she wants, and take it seriously. (I mean personal, or couples, counseling. Either one.)

  3. Never assume you've done your job to help her get better, until she gets better!--or staunchly gives up . . . either on herself, or you.

  4. Remember that some emotional outbursts are hormonal, and can't be helped. Try not to act baited. Consider gently, tenderly asking her if there is anything she wants to talk about--then really listen. Just listen. Don't whip out your notes in front of her at this time, unless you are convinced that her seeing you enter something in your planner will help. Just remember--if you enter it, it is your responsibility to do something about it. In this case, it is not the thought that counts! It is deeds. Hard, cold evidence.

  5. Be her knight in shining armor. Slay her dragons. Rescue her from her tower. But you have to figure out first what those dragons are, and what kind of tower she is stuck in. For example, if she was sexually molested as a child, and bled during forced intercourse, she may experience flashbacks during her period. Getting her out of her tower may include therapies for PTSD, or it may include finding a safe way to interrupt her cycle, so that she doesn't bleed. It may mean re-imagining your approach to sex, so that she has a chance to feel safe with you. This example may seem extreme, but apply it however you can to your wife or girlfriend. Of what is she afraid? These fears come into her 20-yard perspective range during her cycle.

  6. Make her feel pretty. A woman seldom feels less attractive than during her period. She may wear her oldest underwear, dress frumpily, and mope or distance herself a lot. She is likely to feel bloated and waterlogged, plus she may experience hormonal acne. Remember that pain, especially during the first few days, may mean she wants to curl into a little ball, and cry from the torture. Telling her she is sexy and grabbing for her tits will most likely backfire. Instead, offer some TLC (see below for ideas).

  7. Don't rely on jokes to get through this. Your girl's sense of humor will probably be at low ebb during this time.

  8. Change and wash the sheets for her if she bleeds on them. Clean up the kitchen. Sweep the floor. Little things matter. Taking even one task off her hands can make you into some kind of hero. If you regularly do small, heroic deeds, she will notice.

  9. If her period is irregular or late, comfort and encourage her. Talk about what it would mean to have a baby, if she wants to discuss this. It is a cruel reality for a woman to realize that she will be blamed for getting pregnant, especially if no protection was used. You are at least half the equation. If you have pressured her for sex, or been careless--own up. Learn from your mistakes, even if, this time, they don't result in an unwanted pregnancy. Conversely, if she wants to get pregnant, and can't seem to--or has miscarried--be extra comforting. Going through the grieving process every month is exhausting. (For many women, failing to bear children comes with similar feelings of shame as a man may feel when he fails in business. Imagine if you had a new failure each and every month.)

Effective Advice?

How effective will this advice prove with your wife? I don't know. But unless you are dealing with an exceptionally self-focused, hurtful person, you will get somewhere good--if you can be consistent enough in your approach to gain her trust in your efforts. To her, your efforts matter much more than actual results.

Have You Slain Any Dragons Recently?

Discuss the particular dragons in your girl's life, if she's up to it. Work to be non-judgmental and patient while she lashes out at them. Get her to let you help her fight them. It will be an adventure to remember, I promise.
Discuss the particular dragons in your girl's life, if she's up to it. Work to be non-judgmental and patient while she lashes out at them. Get her to let you help her fight them. It will be an adventure to remember, I promise.

Tips for Showing Your Wife Some TLC

  • Offer to give her a massage. Her neck, back, hips, legs, and feet may be quite sore and touchy.

  • Cuddle her, if she wants. Just cuddling--no grabbing.

  • Watch a movie that appeals to her, and keep the house atmosphere quiet, lowkey, and dim. Send the kids and pets away for a couple hours, unless they obviously cheer her up.

  • Provide a nice dinner, if she feels up to eating, and would really enjoy it. It doesn't need to be expensive or fancy, but the time must be heartfelt. Chicken nuggets eaten on a TV tray, if eaten in love, can be amazing. Play music that soothes and comforts her, or maybe watch a favorite TV show. Candles are optional. Check first if a scented candle is likely to be too much for her senses.

  • Buy her her favorite chocolates. It is not a myth that chocolate helps.

  • Offer to go on a walk with her, if she wants. She may prefer to spend time alone, however. (Walking often helps to alleviate cramping.)

  • Talk about everything, or nothing. Listen to your gut when deciding whether a topic or approach might be helpful.

  • Learn about herbal and natural remedies for period pain, and offer to make her an herbal tea which may help. Vitamin E has been known to alleviate and even prevent cramps. Encourage her to try things that may help, and can't harm her.

  • Don't pressure her. She'll feel better when she feels better.

How to Relieve Menstrual Cramps and PMS--Reflexology, by Howcast

Recap

  • Having a period sucks.

  • If you make light of your woman's period, or anything she does while on it, you are in for trouble.

  • If a woman has PMS, plus a period of at least 5 days . . . she spends between one-quarter and one-third of her fertile life span fighting destructive emotions, and recurring pain. All while attempting to act normal.

  • There are things you can do to help, but you have to be brave enough to pull your head out from between your legs. Good luck, sir. Good luck, and God bless.

Healing Frequency Videos

The videos below were chosen because they are especially effective for relieving pains associated with a woman's fertility cycle. In other words, they get rid of period pain. They also do a lot more.

Ask your girl to try these, if she is not already familiar with healing frequencies.

These videos work by changing the brainwaves to be calmer, and can potentially heal womb problems, ovary pain and problems, and other things relating to a girl's reproductive system.

They should not harm you if you hear them, even though they are designed for girls. Most of the frequencies used are aimed at pains of all kinds.

3 Hours Ultimate Pain Relief--Theta Waves Soothing Music Subliminal Messages for Healing, by Vortex Success

Beautiful Ovary Healing--PMS, Menstruation, Cramping, Pregnancy Help, by Healii--Healing Sounds

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Joilene Rasmussen

Comments

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    • Joy At Home profile imageAUTHOR

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      11 months ago from United States

      Hello, DS my friend.

      You are right, not all women are the same anymore than all men are the same.

      I just added a color-box under the "9 Tips" section explaining that this advice will fall flat with an exceptionally self-focused person. Hopefully anyone in that position will realize they can't win, and had better move on with their expectations.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      11 months ago from Chicago

      Very interesting article.

      Fortunately not all women are the same.

      Over my lifespan I have to come realize if you have to "change" your core being to make a relationship (work) it most likely means you're with the "wrong person".

      Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.

      The goal is to find someone who already is what you want.

      Thankfully we live on a planet with over 7 Billion other people.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

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