Maybe It's Your Relationship That's the Problem, Not You or Your PMDD
I want to be honest about something, I found it difficult to write a previous article on what I've learned from having PMDD while being in a relationship.
It wasn’t hard to write because it meant revealing my flaws (I'm actually fine admitting when I’m wrong). It was difficult because even though I understood my PMDD had a negative impact on my relationship with my partner, I also understood that our relationship was unhealthy regardless of my PMDD. He brought his own baggage to the mix and while I was doing my best to work through my own, it became apparent over time that a lot of his baggage remained unpacked on the floor with little intention of clearing it up. And some of it wasn't even baggage, we just had different needs in regards to being in a relationship.
- If, regardless of your PMDD, your relationship makes you feel crazy….then it isn’t healthy.
- If, regardless of your PMDD you feel as though there is an ocean between you and your partner….then it isn’t healthy.
- If, regardless of your PMDD you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around your partner…..then it isn’t healthy.
I’m sure it’s obvious by now that I am no longer in that relationship. It was a difficult decision but one which I am grateful I made. We made.
I was able to get to that place of clarity by addressing my PMDD (plus other issues) for a number of years and getting to know myself well enough to understand what is best for me.
But you don’t have to wait years to come to a healthy decision. Here are some ideas which you may find helpful in considering whether it’s worth moving on from your relationship.
First of All . . . Where Are You in Your Cycle?
If you’re in a phase of your menstrual cycle where you typically feel down and question your relationship, there’s a good chance your perception is a little skewed. Write out your feelings and concerns in a journal or talk to a friend. And then wait. Just wait.
Be honest with yourself: is your relationship generally supportive and happy? If you're nodding, then for your own sake and your partner's sanity....please wait. Let these feelings be and then come back to them at a time of the month where your mind feels more clear and you aren’t in that dark place you’re in right now.
If however you're at a point in your cycle where you typically feel on top of everything and your relationship is feeling a bit "off", then try these ideas below.
Are You Actually Compatible?
It’s simple….do you share the same core beliefs? Do you both feel the same about having children or getting married? Do you enjoy sharing a similar amount of time together or apart? Do you enjoy living a similar lifestyle (for example work to life balance)?
Differences in relationships are inevitable and healthy…but core issues like the ones above are ideally shared.
I found this below exercise helpful in my own decision making:
Write out a list of important attributes you would like to have in a partner and the kinds of things your heart desires in a relationship. This isn't what you WISH your partner to be or what you WISH your relationship would be like....just imagine you're single and making this list.
Things like: open with communicating, happy with being close, good sense of humour, is passionate about human rights etc.
Then, put a tick next to these attributes which you feel your partner encompasses. Keep in mind that no person will ever “tick all of the boxes”, but if you find that your current partner is lacking in characteristics you find important then perhaps you aren’t a good match. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or you’re being too picky…..you just aren’t compatible. Even two people who manage to have good times together can still be incompatible together for the long term.
Is It a Battle to Remain Together?
Yes, relationships take work and effort. But if it feels like a battle for you to remain together (despite how wonderful the good times feel) then it isn’t the right one for you.
Love shouldn’t be hurtful or confusing.
Go With Your Gut
It will tell you the truth, even if it’s painful. If you have a gut feeling that you’re in the wrong relationship then please do listen. You may love each other and share many happy moments in time but it isn’t worth prolonging something that just isn’t working for both of you.
Don't Let Your PMDD Be the "Bad Guy" in Your Relationship
If you and/or your partner constantly use your PMDD as the culprit of why your relationship isn’t working, then something isn’t right. Of course PMDD can be destructive as all hell but there are always two people in a relationship.
Perhaps you are reacting to things they do which are quite destructive. Perhaps your outbursts come from a whole month of holding in hurt from things they have said or done (or haven’t done). By all means take responsibility for your health and your own actions, but don't go blaming yourself for everything that isn't working in your relationship.
Let Me Say This Again
If despite your PMDD something feels awfully wrong in your relationship….then there probably is. I truly hope you can find the courage to make a decision which will eventually benefit both you and your (ex) partner. Listen to your gut, follow your heart and continue to do what is best for you.