Talking to Your Husband About Your Period


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There he is. Poor Nick. My husband. Smelling the inside of a maxi-pad.

This was during one of our many talks about my period. My husband – like many – is a little bit of a misogynist. He has never taken the time to consider the nuances of the fairer sex and always thought that women were just like him. Cold. Sterile. Emotionless.

Recently I decided that the best way to make him understand that women have different experiences, emotions, and needs than men was to talk at length about my period. Who am I kidding, though? A man understand women? That’s about as likely to happen as Kim Kardashian closing her legs and losing that huge ass of hers. So at the very least, talking to my husband about my period is a good form of punishment.

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

Cramps

My husband rarely experiences bad bodily feelings. But when he does, it’s like the end of the world. I have noticed lately that he’s starting to feel the effects of age. His elbow hurts all the time when he uses it a certain way too much. I have aches and pains all the time, but you don’t see me rubbing them, blathering on about them, and putting icepacks on before lifting something. His stomach can no longer handle him eating three week old leftovers either. The endless conversations about how he had lost his appetite the last time he did that were enough to make me take an Ambien-Vodka cocktail.

What my husband has absolutely no concept of still, though, is being compassionate towards other people’s pain. When I had a really bad asthma attack years ago he told me I was acting like a princess. I had back surgery when I was 13 years old and still have stainless steel rods screwed onto my spine. And he still doesn’t understand that I have limitations. One time we moved my husband actually insisted I help carry heavy boxes and furniture up a staircase. By myself while he was at work.

Cramps are a really good way to help him get the point that people have their limits. Usually when I have cramps they progressively get worse and worse and worse. There is never a let off until I either (a) take some Tylenol, or (b) pass out and sleep them off. It’s always been this way, but it was only recently that I realized I should be sharing with my husband the nuances of it all.

“Nick, I can’t make dinner tonight, will you pick something up? … oh, there are about a million men trying to push their way out of my uterus. It feels like World War II in there.”

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

Stomach Upset

I remember when I was in health class in high school, they always acted like a period was no big deal. You just bleed for three days and that is the end of it. And for swimming class, they’d only give you the pass on it for three days too; then still make you do super-strenuous stuff as a replacement activity, in spite of how shitty you felt. Now I realize that this was just a part of the cultural male agenda to try and minimize the plight of women, but let’s not get socio-philosophical here.

To begin, I’ve never actually bled for only three days. Maybe just four or five, but never three. It isn’t just a little blood for those days though, either. It’s cramping. It’s hurting boobs. It’s headaches and anxiety. It’s mood swings. It’s insomnia. And it’s stomach upset.

All of those are normal for a woman to have on her period. Normal. But if you are my husband, you have no concept of what is normal for a woman, so it’s all crazy and unreasonable and it’s like being in high school with the health class and the swimming pass all over again.

So a few weeks ago my husband ate leftover Mexican food that was over two weeks old. We were laying in bed, watching some shitty movie, and he said he had a stomach ache. Then for about thirty minutes he tap danced around just telling me that he had the shits from eating old Mexican food. It was the most awkward conversation I think I have ever had.

To me, if you are married you are there to experience everything. Why be skiddish? We’re married. This is why I have absolutely no problem at all telling my husband every little thing that’s wrong with me when I’m on my period (really, ever). My boobs hurt. I have a migraine. My sinuses are drizzling gooey snot down the back of my throat. I could continue, but the real gems are when my stomach is upset.

“I just lost forty pounds in water weight, thanks to my glorious period and too much dairy. I think I’ll skip dinner and take some Imodium.”

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

The Scent of a Woman

Let’s not beat around the bush (no pun intended): periods can smell a little weird. I don’t mean like fish weird (that’s gross). I mean like dead blood cells weird. I mean like feminine products weird. That’s why they make scented tampons and maxi pads.

I don’t usually use scented stuff, simply because I don’t see much of a point. If you are clean and take care of yourself, there really isn’t much of an issue. And it’s only about a week anyway. But sometimes in the box there is a free sample for whatever their newest product is, and nine times out of ten they have some new scent technology.

Last night I opened this box of sample scent technology maxi pads and opened the package to smell a waft of lemon scent fly at my nostrils. Weird, I know. I started laughing and my husband asked what was so funny, so I figured I would show him. By having him sniff the pad himself.

But he didn’t understand, so I explained. First I squatted so he had a visual aid. Then I explained it to him.

“Sometimes a woman’s vagina smells rotten during her period.”

He interrupted “you don’t smell rotten on your period.”

“Right, that’s because I bathe a lot. Some women do not, so their vag smells foul when Aunt Flo is in town. So Always has taken it upon themselves to add lemon scent to the mix in hopes that it will cover up whatever foulness the period has to offer.”

And then I illustrated with the movement of my hands how the smell wafts out.

Horrifying, I know.

So the only question that remains here is if this is effective. So far it seems not. Poor Nick is not more compassionate, or understanding. Now he just blames everything that goes wrong on my period. But I do feel that this is just retribution for being a misogynist.

I also think that women should not be so ashamed of these things. Why? Why be ashamed? It’s who we are. Cramp-wielding, hormone-fusing, foul-smelling blood baths. Embrace it, ladies.

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7 Comments on “Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

  1. Most excellent. I think your next lesson should involve having him wear a pad around for a day. A tampon would be way too cruel.

  2. Oh, my God! That’s too funny. My hubby stays away mostly and brings me things like I’m an invalid for my first couple of days…especially if I’ve got strong cramps (which only usually happens on day 1). Still, this reminds me so much of the night I spent at my best friend’s house when we were in our early teens. Her brother had been in the bathroom…apparently looking for band aids. He came barging in with a pad with wings and said…”Oh my gosh! Check this out! This has to be the biggest bandaid I’ve ever seen! But the sticky part is in weird places. How do I use it?” We laughed our heads off while directing him to speak to his mother. 🙂

  3. OMG! You “wafted” the smell to him???

    I have never known anyone to only bleed three days…. More male propaganda…

    My husband used to be all stoic about pain. I tried to get him to see it was okay to express emotion or not be “fine” all the time…and I think it backfired. Cuz as he gets older, and his pain is getting a bit worse, but i think he tolerance is a little less too. LOL

    • That said, hubby is def not squeamish or weird about lady stuff…and anyway, I think if a man wants to stick his dick or face there during the good times, he better be man enough to deal with the not-so-pretty times (periods and childbirth, namely)

  4. My tugboat man does not want to hear any details–he covers his ears with his hands and says’ TMI TMI” well, that was many years ago because THAT ship has sailed for me, ya know? I’m glad to never have cramps or have to buy another box of fem hygiene products. And in school, my mom always wrote me a note so I could stay home as long as I wanted.

  5. I swear, and so does my husband, that he has sympathy symptoms during my periods. He can usually tell when I’m going to start because his stomach will start hurting a day or so before. He’ll be complaining about his stomach hurting and then it’s like a light bulb goes on, “You’re about to start, aren’t you?” he says. And damnit but sure enough nearly every time, the answer is yes! He’s like Premonition Man 😉

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