Educating Your Partner About Your Hormonal Shifts
Last updated: November 2022
At 43 years old, I’ve had years of first-hand experience with hormonal shifts in my body.
When I first got my period around 13 years old, I felt a little more on edge or easily triggered the week before my period. Add in the looming pain of endometriosis, and that mood heightens.
Learning to handle my emotions
The first time I was put on the birth control pill to help regulate my cycle, that was an indescribable experience that I couldn't tolerate for more than one month because it felt like someone had taken over my body.
Fast forward several years, I underwent fertility treatments and various medications affecting my hormones. Thankfully at this point, I knew to expect some changes in my mood, so I mentally prepared myself.
When I felt anxious or upset, I would do my best to acknowledge that I was feeling this way because of the medication. My normal tendency was not to have such a strong reaction.
I did breathing techniques, went for walks, and tried to do all the stress management techniques to get through the moments.
It was hard, but I did my best to keep the awareness that a hormonal shift triggered my emotions.
Educating my partner about my hormonal changes
What I struggled to do effectively, however, was help my husband to understand what it felt like to experience such intense hormonal shifts, especially as I moved through pregnancy and post-partum.
I wanted him to know that I was struggling with these emotions. I’m a relatively calm person, so it was hard to deal with intense emotions that didn’t feel like me.
It was hard for him to see me acting differently and wonder what was happening. He thankfully never said this, but I know a typical response would be to ask, "why are you acting so crazy or dramatic?"
The last thing I wanted to experience on top of these intense emotions was tension between him and me. That would only escalate the struggles I was having with the hormonal shifts.
But how do you get your partner to understand hormones when they’re invisible, and the only thing they see is you acting in a way that seems out of character and unreasonable?
I had to have a direct conversation with my husband. I did it when I was feeling good. Doing this was important because I didn’t want to enter the conversation load of emotions.
I shared that I was feeling anxious lately and quickly triggered by things that had never bothered me. It was from the hormones.
I don’t want him to take it personally. If anything, I needed him to support me through it.
I needed him to understand that this felt uncomfortable and that it was not a way that I was choosing to feel or act.
Calling it out ahead of time made such a difference because if and when I felt more emotional, I could simply say that I was struggling without explaining why.
It’s still a journey of open communication, patience, and grace, but for me, having a direct conversation in a non-confrontational way has made a significant difference.
I know there are so many more ways that we can connect with our partners about the struggles of our health, specifically hormonal shifts, so share what’s working best for you so that we can learn from you too!
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