My name is Matthew; I'm Jackie's husband. I wont try to speak intelligently on the medical side of things but I can at least talk a little bit about what it's like being Jackie's husband. I'm not going to presume that every woman that has PCOS experiences the same things or is effected in the same ways. Having said that, I'm sure that every husband of a PCOS patient experiences something different. There must be some similarities though. If so, then this may help a young husband who finds himself overwhelmed by the challenges of living with PCOS.
For starters, all women are crazy! Men and women can be so different that it's hard for any couple when they're first married. Whether it's a T.V. show, your dad, your buddies, or your own experience growing up with women in the household most guys learn that women can be emotional......moody.......crazy. At least that's what guys tease about. When your sister starts her period and every month your dealing with her PMS you learn how to tread softly. It's hard for most guys to even comprehend what it's like for a girl when they loose control over their hormones. It is without a doubt a fact of life. Any man who lives with any woman knows all about mood swings and crazy. Now, more than likely, every newlywed couple goes through a period of adjustment. Sometimes those first few months or even years can be rough. If either party goes to someone for advice they're going to get the same generic, stereotypical advice that newlyweds have been getting since the dawn of time. Maybe it's your dad patting you on the shoulder telling you, "welcome to the club son". There in lies the problem many couple face when dealing with PCOS.
It is true that all women live on a hormonal roller coaster that can at times get the best of them. With PCOS that normal condition is exponentially magnified. If a girl transitions through puberty into adulthood with PCOS and is never diagnosed, it gives them a false sense of "normal". For instance, my wife never had a regular menstrual cycle, she would go through extreme mood swings and pain with her cycle. Most of the time people are going to chalk this up to normal. Once we got married it didn't take long for me to see that things where NOT normal. In the beginning the last thing I wanted to do was suggest to my wife she might actually be crazy. Now don't misunderstand, Jackie wasn't off the reservation all the time. And the symptoms were not all emotional. She would goes months with no period followed by months with heavy bleeding. For a new husband it was very frustrating. At what point do you put your foot down as a husband. I mean, what if she was just really spoiled and didn't know how to be a wife or for that matter a mature adult. At work I am hard on myself and the people around me. If a guy working next to me is wimping out I'd ride him. But not everyone can do the same things. In my marriage I didn't know how much of what was going on was me expecting a fantasy or how much was a real problem. When the mood swings got worse things got scary. Nobody outside our relationship knew what was going on. I was alone. For Jackie, when she'd have an extreme episode, she'd come out of it feeling the extreme opposite; most of the time not even remembering how bad things really got. Jackie really is a wonderful person. The person she became when she was having a bad episode was not her. Now someone might read this and shout "bipolar". That is not the nature of her mood swings. Both of us know people with Bipolar and that is not what we felt was wrong.
A quick note on sex. I'm sure the problems sexually are obvious. For the months on end that Jackie is bleeding sex is problematic to say the least. What woman wants to even think about sex when she has a constant flow of blood emanating from her vagina. They don't feel sexy and that entire area become sore and gross to them. Now one might think I hit the jack pot the months she's not bleeding. Wrong.......women aren't men. I don't have to be emotionally into it for sex. Her sex drive simply isn't there that often. All the way around PCOS has shaped our sex-life.
It took years before Jackie was properly diagnosed. That is a very important first step. Knowing that we weren't imagining a problem that didn't exist. From there we were able objectively handle things as they come. As a husband the most important things are commitment and patience. Jackie knows that no matter how bad an episode is or how bad things get I'm not going anywhere. I'm like Batman in the Dark Knight, I can take the crap. She can get all the negative out on me so that everyone else can get the woman she really is.
I am excited to get this study under way. We've gotten so use to dealing with things that I can't really picture life without the symptoms of PCOS.
(For more information on PCOS Diagnosis, PCOS Treatment, PCOS Diet, PCOS Studies, PCOS Support, etc. visit My PCOS Treatment - http://www.my-pcos-treatment.com)