Hormones: Dealing with PMS on steroids!

I am sure that all men will agree with me: talking about her hormones is a touchy subject, even if you are not dealing with fertility issues.

It has taken me many attempts to write these words as I was trying to find an honest description of my feelings about this. However, being a good representative of the average male, I was looking for a rational narrative that would follow a logical path towards my feelings on the subject. And the result, not surprisingly, never felt honest…

I had to dig deeper in my emotions to find why it was so hard to write about how her hormones had an impact on me. And the answer was quite simple and obvious: I had them as well…  “Hormones”, in my case, could simply be described as “feelings”. And no, I do not think I became more fragile in admitting that. In fact, it was a bit of a relief…

I have written before that the cultural and social environment my wife and I live-in praise on the all-powerful men, the one who does not have “hormones”. The one who has answers and not questions. The one who, ultimately, has control over every situation. Well, at every treatment we went through, I had none of that. In fact, I always felt quite lost and not in control at all… And this was a terrible feeling at a time all I wanted was to be as positive about the outcome as possible. But there were days it was difficult to remain focused. How could I have remained calm 100% of the time when I was feeling “attacked” by her sudden harsh words every so often? How could I have remained supportive if I was being pushed away by her erratic behavior? How could I have kept emotional balance over the situation when I too was feeling adrift?

Since our first treatment I learned that there would be days where I would never, ever, not in a million years, not by holy intervention, be right…That there would be days when I would “casually” embark on an easy ride to soon find myself on an emotional rollercoaster that was coming down fast, making sudden and sharp twists along the way and finishing on a triple loop that would leave my head spinning for hours… That there would be days where it would be best to dive at a ruthless tackle and fake an injury than to face that “fierce defender” armed with an uncontrollable desire to stop me, no matter what… And the timing? Ah the timing… Joyful were the days when she felt the urge to discuss a very key point of our relationship when I was about to fall asleep. Or when we were stuck in traffic and I was stressed to miss the doctor’s appointment, but we had to go over a forgetful comment I have made possibly three year ago… And the subject of such discussions really did not matter, as it could range from what I would be cooking for our guests on Saturday to running over possible baby names for the 847th time. It could be related to my family, to her family, or to someone else’s family. It could be over what’s best: Pinterst or Instagram?   (Really, I do admit having feelings but that doesn’t mean I get those two sites…) It could be an in-depth discussion on options to infertility, already assuming the treatment had failed… The subject was definitely not important as the timing never felt right.

Those were challenging days… I felt I was bound to impossible discussions, where there was no winning for both sides.

All infertility treatments we went through required a bombing of hormones that caused an almost nuclear blast to my wife’s body. It felt like she was brought to menopause in 2 weeks to then be forced to come crashing back to a fertility status in a couple of days.. Just by thinking about it, I fully understand the rollercoaster… But it was never an easy ride. For both of us. In a matter of seconds, my wife would go from a fragile creature that needed caring to a determined woman planning in taking the world by storm. She would be a stubborn teenager, playing “I don’t like you anymore”, just to turn into an injured animal determined to protect herself even from the ones trying to help! I had to read the signs early and prepare, as our emotions were constantly put on the turbocharger!

Yes, it was definitely hard. And No, I was not always nice about it. I reacted in ways that were not nice to her. I rationally knew where her behavior was coming from, but that did not block my emotions from erupting from time to time. I was only being human… But that did not made it right. Not for me, not for my wife.

We have always been a couple that talked a lot. That hardly fought. That always discussed things rather than argued about it. That has, in my opinion, a very balanced relationship. Infertility definitely put a challenge to our “emotional status-quo” and I had to learn how to deal with it. The “hormonal blast” never lasted long and it was not chronic by any means, as we were always able to talk things through and get back to our normal selves, but it helped me see I needed additional counseling. My wife consults with a Psychologist for a while now and, after feeling the extra pressure of the treatments built inside me, I felt I too needed assistance. Since last year I begun consulting and we also go for couple’s sessions every now and then, when we both feel the need to talk at the same time.

That has become one of the best initiatives I could have done for myself and for our relationship, as it helped me release and deal with the pressure of our infertility journey little by little, not allowing the “pressure cooker” that is my head to explore without warning. Hormones, at the end of the day, did lead me to a better path!

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