10th Jan 2018
Rhona McAuliffe might not be a trained therapist but she does have very big ears, quite a long nose and a gaping heart. If you have a problem that won’t just go away, she’d love to hear it.
It’s my birthday in February and my husband has offered to pay for me to have a boob job, out of the blue. I like my boobs, have never had a problem with them, even after two kids, and was upset when he suggested it. He pretended it was a joke when I bawled him out of it but I’ve known him for way too long – his pink cheeks and rare sheepishness were a total giveaway. When I’ve reached a point of accepting and being grateful for my body whatever shape it’s in, it frustrates me that my husband is so bloody basic. Now, I don’t want him near me because I feel he’s cuddling up out of guilt or pity. I thought we’d moved passed all that superficial bullsh*t and found a deeper, happier place. Obviously not. FML, Cavan.
Ok, so first up, your husband is literally talking through his penis. Yes, the words might have come out of his mouth but there’s no doubt that his crotch has overridden the system. He must be flaying himself for throwing down such a loaded proposition, one that is likely to ping off the walls of your marriage for years to come. If he’s lucky.
The obvious and immediate retort is, yes, babes, I’ll get my tits done if you book yourself in for a penal enlargement and bonus ball-lift, okays? But that’s flippant and doesn’t weigh up the significant risks associated with either surgical procedure. Better you’re both alive than gangrenous or dead, right? And I’m talking worst-case scenario, clearly. The stinger is, some men who actively encourage their partners to have breast surgery would never even contemplate a vasectomy, never mind an op to extend their precious Manhood. So, it’s worth tabling this with your partner for context, if not for ridicule.
I completely understand your frustration and disappointment; the realisation that the Love you share your bed with has barely evolved beyond that twenty-two year old boy with the ungovernable erection, is unsettling. Especially when it was your body, not his, that incubated and nursed two baby humans; that stretched and leaked and ripped in all the wrong places – or so it seemed – and here you still are, thankful for and content with that very same bod. Congratulations! You are the holy grail of post-prego body angst.
However, on the basis that your husband is probably mortified (and likely a little crestfallen himself), it’s worth exploring why he might have tendered the new boob offer in the first place. Have you ever mentioned it, maybe in passing? Before you reached that point of acceptance and renewed body love, did you ever entertain it? It’s possible he’s logged it, clung to the prospect of shiny new toys and genuinely thought your day would be made with the big reveal. Or is he just a ‘boob man’? Maybe you’ve gone down a size or three post-baby, which is as common as a 3-cup increase, and he wants to recapture what you had way back when, with a state-of-the-art pair of girls heralding a new era of unbridled and passionate love-making?
Whatever his thinking was – presuming he’d engaged his brain at some point – his offer seems to focus on self-gratification. Not that he is sentient to this reality, he may well feel like the misunderstood altruist. But you won’t know how he feels until you sit down with him and talk it all through, re-educate him on the trials your body’s endured and mastered and try to empathise with his position, hard though that may be. While women’s desire for sex is generally triggered by an emotional or cerebral connection, a memory or a thought, men’s libido is determined by the testosterone coursing through their veins. Their arousal is often chemically-driven and responsive to otherwise innocent encounters eg a partner stepping out of the shower. So yes, when it comes to sexual desire, women, as a rule, have more complex needs and men are typically more ‘basic’.
And so we circle back to boobs. Whatever your husband’s preference for big, pointy or firm ones, this is not your problem, it’s his. He may simply have a narrow perception of what turns him on, which though insulting to you right now, is not unfixable. Broadening your sexual repertoire – role-play, sensation play etc – is a good start. Signing up for a few sessions with a reputable sex therapist even better to get you both back on track and hopefully communing at a deeper level.
And don’t forget, you’ve €6k banked for your birthday swag. What an absolute dote he is. Happy birthday, Gorgeous.
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