Do you allow any more leniency during PMS time? In other words, if she usually is not showing disrespect, but might slip into it during her blue days, is it ever appropriate to just let anything go?
Hormones explain behavior, but do not excuse behavior.
If she is disrespectful during PMS and you let it slide, you’ll eventually give her permission to be disrespectful the entire time. Then you’re toast. If she’s being disrespectful, you need to address it – PMS or not.
It’s really an anger management issue and nothing else. If a man gets angry because of high testosterone and some sort of irritation, he’s expected to hold his crap together and not turn into an ogre. The exact same thing should be expected of women when they have hormonal issues.
However that being said, PMS is a very predictable circumstance. If you’re following my advice (in Chapter 15 of The Primer) you have your wife’s PMS week marked in your calendar and can see it coming. This is the week where you can turn a little more of the Beta stuff on and provide comfort for her. Cook dinner more nights than usual this week. Don’t spring a new or unusual demand on her this week. This is a good week to tell her to go out by herself for some alone time (if introverted) or visit one of her friends (if extroverted). Take the kids out by yourself for half an evening or something. Essentially create lessened demands on her through this time period.
Just bear in mind that when you turn the Beta stuff on, she should recognize and appreciate it and not simply just expect it as a divine right.
Just like any other anger management issue, a key approach is for the person that is angry, to recognize it as an emotional state they are experiencing and actively seek to address it rather than simply rage. One of the things I most love about Jennifer is that when she is PMSing, she just states in a calm but tired tone that she is experiencing PMS. I always do something to try and aid things then for her. Compared to having to live with someone that starts screaming, throwing things, picking fights with me, or acting impulsively before saying PMS is an issue… having her simply say she is having PMS is a true gift.
Come up with a coping strategy for her PMS times. Whatever that is will be individual for her. Jennifer calms down and relaxes by taking long baths with a book and a beverage. She also likes escaping to Panera Bread for something medium sinful to eat and fancy coffee and read a book for an hour or so. Or falling asleep on the couch while clutching a book. Whatever the coping strategy is, figure it out in advance together and when the moment comes, you can both remind the other of the plan and put it into action.
I’ve also done the Captain thing and just ordered Jennifer to go away and relax when she’s cranky. Quite often she works too hard and needs to be directed to knock it off and self-care. Given the choice between having a cranky wife all evening and not have sex at bedtime, I’d just rather kick her out of the house for a bit, clean the kitchen and get laid at bedtime.