Perfect Timing Required


How do you tell your girlfriend that she needs to go on medication for PMS? Believe me, she needs to. Her personality really changes a few days out of the month, and yes, I’ve kept track. The problem is, I don’t know how to bring this up without getting screamed at even louder. -Annoyed BF

My first point is from the Department of the Obvious: Normally, it’s helpful to discuss problematic behavior when you have an example of it in the moment. But in this case, save the structural integrity of your eardrums and choose a different week.

PMS has such a stigma because of the pop-cultural condescension about it, and its use as an excuse to invalidate and criticize women. In truth, it’s a complex set of medical symptoms.

After the next phase, when her mood’s starting to get better, pick a relaxed, pleasant time to say, “You haven’t seemed yourself the past few days. I notice that happening every once in a while.” After you’ve planted that seed, then listen. This isn’t about you demanding that she get on meds. It’s about starting a conversation, showing your concern and trying to understand her better.

Still Together, But Feeling Alone

I’m pretty certain my husband’s been cheating on me with an ex-girlfriend, at least emotionally. I started out being OK with their relationship, because they’d been friends for years. Over time they’ve gone from occasionally having lunch, including me, to texting all the time and meeting after work alone. He’s also gotten much more secretive. I know in a way this is my fault and I don’t know how to address it. -Sad Spouse

You made a decision that was open-minded and kind, and if he’s taken things too far, then that was his mistake, not yours.

The details here are less important than your emotional state: You don’t feel like you’re the No. 1 woman in his life anymore. And the one who is isn’t his mother, sister or the customer service rep that straightened out his phone bill — but an ex-girlfriend. That’s not acceptable, and you have the right to speak up about it. Try not to frame it as the accusation of an affair. That will only turn into a game of deny versus admit. In reality, even if no clothes have come off, there’s a problem. So share with him that you’re feeling left out, and how this distance concerns you.

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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