Once upon a time, hubby and I had weekly debriefing meetings over a drink. We were truly committed to putting in the work for our marriage. We discussed what was working or not in our relationship. On one occasion, he said that I seemed to have a ‘ka-demon’ that would occasionally and suddenly take over my mood and turn me from a sweet Samburu girl into a Jezebel, so much so that I would scare him. “That sounds like a bipolar situation,” I had said, to which he quickly replied, “No, no, it’s very brief and it does not even happen during your time of the month.” Right.
Gentlemen, there is an animal called Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which four out of five women experience every month, in varying degrees. If you read that right, it means ninety-nine percent of us, your wife, daughter, sister included must experience it.
Also read: Wifespeak: What do wives need?
PMS is a medical condition described as ‘a group of symptoms, ranging from psychological, gastrointestinal, neurological to skin and eye conditions that women of childbearing age experience between the ovulation and menstrual period.’ Men assume that a woman is moody and cranky during ‘that time of the month.’ Far from it. Those who are emotionally attuned to their wives will notice that we are extra cranky, snappy – and truly a tad murderous - impatient, and depressive four or so days before our menses check in. Key word; before menses.
By the time the red river flows, we are just fatigued and tend to sleep a little longer than usual.
PMS is the enemy here. It gets us easily irritated, so emotionally high-strung that we pick fights with just about anyone. Husbands, please, this is not the time to try winning a fight with your wife, heck this is not the time to engage in a fight at all. She will go crazy and irrational on you. I believe it was solely for the PMS reason that our creator did not give us muscle power because a woman during the onslaught of PMS would beat you to a pulp. I remember once a friend asking whether we would consider applying for a firearm licence.
“Never! Karimi will shoot me and continue writing her stories.” He was dramatic of course, but I have felt the possibility of that happening when I am besieged by PMS, and he insists on carrying on endless fights. Husbands, this is not the time to try solving that toothache in your relationship. Every tiny issue is accentuated to Armageddon levels.
PMS is caused by fluctuating hormones, specifically, a deficiency of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that conveys messages from the brain to the rest of the body. A medical journal describes serotonin as playing key roles in body functions such as ‘mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and sexual desire, low levels of which lead to both physical and psychological health problems.’
You must be familiar with these symptoms, which, if you are a man, you probably attributed to ‘the time of the month.’ In essence, the onset of menses should be a celebration as it eases the symptoms once the hormones regularise after the brain realises that your wife is not growing a baby in her. Serotonin deficiency is the culprit when your wife is weepy, anxious, restless in bed, moody and either eats like a horse or is choosy with her meals.
Clueless husbands, the world all over, are busy picking fights with PMS instead of studiously keeping peace and giving their wives space. With zero serotonin in us, we are like a car out of fuel, and you are busy stepping on the accelerator expecting the car to climb uphill and sustain that for an hour. You know why it baffles a man, this sudden change in her? It is because she has just come from a season of ovulation when she jumped you every chance she got. Sorry dude, it was not necessarily your Adonis skills that made her look at you like a meal, exhausting you with her demands for her conjugal rights, just a few days prior to PMS. Once again, her hormones were at play. Look, Mother Nature and woman are one. The same way today is chilly, and tomorrow is sunny operates in the same pattern as a woman. They are both cyclical. You court danger, my friend, when you do not adjust accordingly.
Karimi is a wife and mother who believes marriage is worth it.