Note to the esteemed gentlemen on my list: I love that you are here SO MUCH. I welcome you and congratulate you for signing up. And I want to warn you, this post is about periods. =) It doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily find it helpful – particularly if you’re in a relationship with someone who has a period – but this is definitely one that’s skewed toward the ladies. I understand if you stop reading here.
As I write this, it is the official release date of my new book, The 28 Days Lighter Diet.
Can I get a whoop-whoop!?
And I wanted to offer some of the advice from the book that relates to relationships. I mean, a big piece of the book focuses squarely on diet and fitness. It’s tactical, it’s practical, it’s straight-forward, and I love it.
But hey. I’m a life coach. I really groove on the emotional stuff. =) So that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
I wrote a post many moons ago now on “How I Stopped Hating My Husband and You Can Too,” and it continues to get comments. Most of them from people who type “I hate my husband” into the Google search box. True story. So there’s clearly some hunger for more information on how to go about boosting the love in your relationship.
Ladies, there’s a lot of guidance you can get from your monthly cycle. (There are also examples of how to shift your energy when you find yourself having the same fights over and over, particularly about the dishes, in this post.)
But before I dive in, I feel I should issue a caveat: sometimes you’re bickering with your husband because you’re truly not a match, or he truly doesn’t value you, or myriad other very valid reasons for choosing to end the relationship. I am not suggesting that anyone should just stick their head in the sand and endure a bad relationship. What I AM asserting is that your monthly cycle can affect your relationship for the worse, or for the better. You may as well make it the latter.
If you feel like the partnership is worth working on, these are the best tips I have on using your cycle to promote more happiness and communication in your primary love relationship.
And if you sense that the relationship isn’t worth working on, these tips can help you in the next, better relationship that is undoubtedly awaiting you. =)
Start tracking when you fight the most
Irritability peaks during the week before you start your cycle. (This is the phase otherwise known as PMS.) Seriously. For me, it shows up like clockwork. Day 21 or 22 (the first day is Day 1, so the premenstrual phase starts three weeks after that for most women), and I start experiencing spikes of frustration over stuff that rolls right off my back during the other weeks of the month.
Start jotting down on your weekly planner or Google calendar what day of your cycle you’re on. Then put a little check mark, or other secret code, for when you have tiffs with your man. See if there’s a pattern that syncs up with your hormones. I bet it does.
Remember, awareness is always the first step to change.
Give yourself some solo time in Week 3 of your cycle
Each phase of your cycle has its own unique themes and needs. During the week leading up your period, one of your main priorities is solitude. This is the time to skip out on your weekly spin class and go on a walk in the woods instead. Bow out of pizza night. Even stay up a little later than normal, after everyone else has gone to bed, just to have some alone time. My co-author, Ellen Barrett, spends a night or two in the guest room during this week. You need space, sister! And the more you give it to yourself, the more others will respect your boundaries too. You’ll also be less likely to snap at the small stuff.
Say what needs to be said in Weeks 1, 2 and 4
Those fights you pick with your significant other during your pre-menstrual week are likely the result of thoughts and emotions you’ve swallowed during the rest of the month. Plus, in Week 3, you have little to no filter and your patience is at its lowest. If you’ve been biting your tongue about stuff all month, it will all come out in a big spew that makes a fight all but inevitable. But if you can communicate what you’re feeling during Weeks 1, 2, and 4 — when you’re not at your irritability peak — you’ll be more equipped to share your feelings in a skillful way, so your man doesn’t have to immediately put up his defenses because he feels attacked.
Rest of the first day of your period
This may sound nuts, but the easier you take it on the day your period starts, the better you’ll feel the entire rest of the month. That’s right. Your body is working very hard to shed that uterine lining. You are burning more calories, you are detoxing everything that’s built up over the last month that you no longer need. You know how much energy and focus it takes to de-clutter your house, and how good it feels once you’re done. That’s what your body is doing on Day 1. Do you really want or need to interrupt that, for anything?!
If you work from home, work in your jammies on the couch. If you work in an office, go right home after, order in, and kick it for the rest of the evening. Your next PMS and period will be more manageable, and you’ll be on more of an even keel all month long. Promise. =)
What kinds of things do you do to take care of yourself that result in smoother sailing in your relationships? Please share in the comments below! So many people need guidance and inspiration on this topic! I look forward to hearing from you and talking about this one more. =)