I came across this website today, and it has helped me so, so much. I am so grateful for all of the women who are unashamed to be themselves even though they are trapped in bodies they hate. I am 8 months pp, and I have the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen in my entire life! I am really, really happy and I am so glad I am a mother!
But I can’t get over my nasty body. I have lost my baby weight, but everything moved. I have thin legs now, but I can’t get my stomach to shrink. I have a question for all of you lovely ladies who read this site: How do you have sex when you don’t feel “sexy”? My husband is amazing and supportive and tells me that I am beautiful every day, but I can’t stand sex because I can’t stand to look at my body, let alone have someone else look at it. This is causing a lot of friction in my marriage, but I have no idea what to do about it!
Please help me.
This is my amazing daughter :D
10 thoughts on “Marriage Help? (Anonymous)”
I think the best thing you can do is read “Sheet Music” by Kevin Lehman. Sex is about sooooo much more than two sexy looking bodies. To me it represents a glue that keeps our marriage together. If I don’t make love with my hubby eventually someone else will. That’s the ugly truth. The other truth is your husband will think of you as the hottest looking lady on the planet after you guys make love. Especially since he already thinks you’re beautiful. My husband has love handles and a belly. My body is covered in stretchmarks and my boobs droop. Sometimes we joke that they’re taking a nap. But you know what all that doesn’t matter to us. Because our love life is about the deep commitment of our marriage and a time where once again we become one. Plus it could be alot of fun :)If your belly bothers you so much than light a few candles, put some lingerie on, and focus your entire attention on your husband. If no sex causes a lot of friction in your marriage than the answer is to have more sex. You don’t have to wait until you start feeling “sexy” Give it a try a few times.
I didn’t feel sexy for a long time after I had my kids – never mind the body changes, changing poopy diapers all day and being a human drink machine tends to make you look at yourself differently!
My hubby was very insistent about getting back up to pre-baby frequency for sex, quickly, which made me hate sex and resent him. Eventually it became a very bad situation, and I had to leave with my two kids (2 yrs old and 5 mos old). Not saying that your situation is that bad – but my husband wasn’t hearing my objections and couldn’t see that my life had changed a LOT.
Now, nine years later, I’m remarried. He’s wonderful, and listens when I have insecurities about my body. He also doesn’t pressure me.
The key to success will be communication between the two of you, and couple’s counselling couldn’t hurt either. In the meantime, look at how he’s approaching sex – is he demanding it because he thinks it’s your job to satisfy him, or does he miss being close to you? I bet your answer to that question will tell you a lot.
Good luck! Keep talking!
Stop looking at yourself for a while. Banish mirrors that show your belly and stop looking. Turn off the lights and/or close your eyes when trying to be intimate, if necessary. The post-pregnancy changes can be traumatic and it’s important to stop yourself from fixating on them while you adjust mentally and find ways to feel better about yourself.
Saw this interrupt article earlier today and love it because it encourages us to think about our bodies in terms of what they can do, not how they look. What you can do (like make a whole awesome person!) is what makes you beautiful; not whether your tummy looks like the one on the cover of Vogue. I’m betting that’s what your husband sees–the beautiful woman who made his beautiful daughter. Try to see yourself through his eyes–or through hers.
And, on the second point, I’ve made a point to, at least out loud, be vocally accepting of myself in front of my daughters. I don’t want them growing up, as I did, listening to a mom who always criticizes herself. My husband tells me sometimes (in the bad moments) “the voices in your head are really mean.” Those voices are the ones I heard my mom use on herself–never on me or my sister, but on herself. But I internalized them anyway. I don’t want my daughters to learn that. And I’m guessing neither do you! Plus, if you say good things about yourself out loud often enough, you may start to believe them!
I think there is something massively problematic in the thought that we are somehow responsible for our partner’s fidelity. We are responsible for our own selves and personal growth and mental health (as much as is within our control, anyhow), and we are responsible for our part in our relationship with our partners, but we cannot be the ones who are responsible for their choice to remain faithful to us or not. Men are, in fact, capable of being true to a person, even if that person is not in a place where they feel comfortable having sex for some time. If a man is unfaithful when his wife is going through a dark period, he’s not a good choice for a partner in life.
Sex isn’t the same after you have kids. Not neccessarily just because you don’t like your new body, but cause of all the other stuff that comes along too. They live in your room for so long, they wake in the night for longer, they demand constant attention during the day too (so no impromptu sofa fondling!)
Do you and your husband have time together without the little one where you can just enjoy each other’s company without thinking about sex at all? I think intimate moments sometimes get lost in the hectic-ness of a baby and it is hard.
If it makes you feel better, I Had sex about 5 times in the first year after I gave birth. It made me feel bad even though my partner never pressured me, I was never in the mood! I was exhausted and didn’t even have time to think about sex. my son is now 2 and a half and we are getting better at finding time for ourselves and each other. (I hope it doesn’t take you that long! but it does take effort!)
I agree with Bonnie’s comment that it’s problematic to think that we are responsible for our partner’s fidelity. It makes me very sad to think that there are wives out there having sex with their husbands primarily to prevent them from straying.
Hi Girl, I was reading this and I can relate. I had body issued before I has my baby. I learned to forget about my body when I’m having sex. Forget about it completely, enjoy the moment, focus on your husband not yourself. Try to see beyond, feel the pleasure, don’t keep yourself busy with thoughts of rejection about your body. Close your eyes of you have to, and just enjoy. You are a perfect creature that God has created just the way you are.
In response to Bonnie (SOAM): I agree with you completely. My comment “if you don’t have sex with your husband eventually someone else will” is a very broad generalization. I apologize. I want to elaborate on where this comment was born from. I don’t take my husband, my marriage, his fidelity, for granted. Our marriage is until death do us apart. However we all know someone who’s marriage fell apart for other reasons. As with so many other things in life I don’t want to live thinking “this will never happen to me”. Therefore I choose to be vigilant and work to have the best marriage possible. One of the ways I do this is by meeting my husbands needs despite of how I “feel” about my postpartum body. I choose to believe him when he says I’m beautiful. Sex is a basic human need, and I the wife, is the only one who can meet my husband’s need in this area. It makes him happy, which in turn makes US happy. I think not waiting to meet his needs until I start “feeling” or looking sexy is an act of maturity and true love.
For me its all about separating yourself from your surroundings and creating a fantasy…
Keep the lights off, discourage compliments and chit-chat, close your eyes and use your imagination. I need to pretend I’m a million miles away and not with the man who has left dirty socks for me to collect off the floor and should be doing more to make me less exhausted. I go to a place where I am not a mother and all women are saggy, loose, goddesses. The man with me is a stranger provided for my enjoyment! By not thinking about his enjoyment or needs it makes me far less self-conscious and instead I imagine that he is simply a willing tool for my own physical enjoyment. Thankfully my husband perceives it as confidence and actually finds it far more exciting than before. In my mind at the time I’m also thinking that I’m ENTITLED to get what I want out of it and his needs are kind of irrelevant! I never approached sex like this before and was always full of self doubt and body image issues, but now I just figure I have nothing to loose. In a way I started out making the most of a bad situation… It made me very sad when I thought about my body and sexuality and I didn’t have (and still don’t have) any sex-drive. I really concentrated on the individual physical feelings as a distraction from the mental and now just make sure I get all that. I actually put his hands on my awful boobs because I like it. When you are a goddess and your man is simply there for your pleasure, who cares what he thinks of them?! Unfortunately, the goddess goes into hiding once the lights are on and I’m back to hiding my shame in spanx, but hey, at least we both had a good time for while.