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Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

How do pregnancy and the first year after birth impact a couples sexuality?
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MQ
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Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by MQ »

I have read and heard about many instances where a husband cheats on his wife while she is pregnant or during the postpartum period. Or perhaps the husband didn't cross the line into an actual affair, but was very tempted to do so when his wife was pregnant/postpartum.


A recent comment on TMB brought this to my mind again. A husband wrote:


"I struggled with lust more during my wife’s postpartum weeks than any other time in our relationship".


As a woman who has gone through pregnancy and the postpartum period multiple times, comments such as these weigh heavily on my mind.


It's hard to not get the message that a pregnant/postpartum woman is undesirable, or is unable to meet her husband's sexual needs, and therefore he is tempted to look elsewhere.


Is it the physical that is the problem? Her  pregnant body doesn't turn him on? She can't perform the wild sex he desires because of the limitations of a growing belly or extreme exhaustion (or any of the other pains/discomforts of pregnancy)? Her postpartum body is not what it used to be, and it just doesn't do it for him? I read one Christian marriage blogger freely share that he was jealous of husbands whose wives had cesarean sections - because his wife's vagina was not as tight after giving birth vaginally. This just makes me feel like we women are just used up unwanted goods. We do what God designed us to do - bear children - and this renders us as 'less than'. 


Is it that the wife isn't showing desire for her husband sexually? Is she not taking enough time to be sexual in amongst feeding the baby around the clock? Is the husband expecting her to be sexually adventurous and enthusiastic, while enduring postpartum bleeding and exhaustion?


I don't know what the answers are. Can any of the husbands (or wives) offer some insight? What makes the pregnancy/postpartum period difficult for husbands? What (if anything) can we  wives do better during that time? 


Please help me to understand - are pregnant/postpartum women really just damaged goods that are disappointing sexually? Is the pregnancy/postpartum period so incredibly difficult for husbands that they feel drawn to seek satisfaction outside of the marriage?


Thanks for reading this far. I know there is a wealth of wisdom in this forum, and I would really appreciate some of that wisdom if people are willing to share their thoughts. Thank you.

olafthewise
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by olafthewise »

It's a depends on... question. My wife was somewhat accommodating during pregnancy. But really, business and work and getting ready for baby can wear ya out. Keep those sci fi movies and LOTR movies ready. Busy mind for men. At the same time, Just be accommodating as much as possible. Temptation? limit internet. Paint house. etc.
MQ
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by MQ »

But what is it that automatically increases his temptation? Is it just that he's not getting release as much as normal? Or is it that his wife becomes unattractive to him? Or something else?
sd595
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by sd595 »

It is a release and connection thing.

Being an attractive wife involves MANY qualities.

Some of them are physical, a wife certainly needs to take care of herself physically, and if she lets herself go, her husband will notice.  Letting herself go is not getting pregnant and having a child and going through normal body changes she was meant to go through.  He is going to go through those as well.  Letting herself go is not taking care of herself in an apathetic way.

I would say that non-physical qualities are most understated when it comes to ringing the bell for men.  A loving attentive wife is a beautiful thing a man can't get out of his mind.  As a wife if you want to get your husband's attention, do right by him.  Be for him.  Be into him.  Love him.  Be right in the way that you do things.  Do good to him all the days of his life.  Do what he asks with love, kindness, and a beautiful smile.  You will find that loyalty and being a blessing to him will keep his attention!  A wife like this is invincible!
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by SeekingChange »

I am not saying that this is the experience of most men, but I had a friend share with me the uncertainty and fear a man can face in having a baby. I would guess that would cause some to "self-medicate" or seek solace in a place they may feel they have some control. In these cases it may not be something about the wife at all, other than he doesn't feel he can show his fear and weakness to her in a time like that.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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BroadSword
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by BroadSword »

I haven't had the experience of dealing with pregnancy (we dealt with infertility for 10 years before our daughter came to us thru adoption) so this is all speculation on my part, but I wonder if it has to do with with a natural instinct to "spread the seed" that can become more heightened when it's obvious a previously planted seed has sprouted (so to speak).  Again, total speculation on my part with no scientific info to back it up but that's the first thing that popped into my head after reading the post.
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Olorin
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by Olorin »

The main issue concerns a man's attitude toward his wife and to sex. If a man marries his wife solely because she is sexy to him, and if he thinks of her primarily as a way to gratify his sexual needs, then it is likely he will have difficulty handling not only the changes to her body that accompany pregnancy, but also the changes that will happen to both their bodies as they age. A man does not marry a set of  genitals, he marries a real live person, who he ostensibly loves and cares for. With his wife, they will together create new people, and hopefully love them and raise them to know the purpose of sex, life etc. so they can become good loving spouses when they grow up and marry.

I obviously missed sex during the postpartum period after the birth of our children. But, this was only for a limited time, and even during that time DW would still shower with me, provide me with the occasional HJ, etc. We maintained a close connection, even during the stress of those first weeks after child birth.

With regard to the changes that occurred to DW during the creation of our family, I found her pregnant body exhilarating, and love her 'mom' body and still thrill to the sight of her butt, vulva, etc.  I will continue to love her even as we both become old and wrinkly. She is indeed my Dear Wife. She is the foundation of the family we have created together.

The point is that one of the chief sins of our time is the objectification of both men and women. The forces that form our culture are relentlessly secular, and preach an anti-gospel that we are 'just' made of meat, that nothing ultimately matters, and that our physical needs come before all else.  In this world, authentic love is rendered impossible as people become reduced only to ends for other people.  Boys need to be raised to understand women are not just objects for their sexual gratification. A healthy married sex life is important, but it must be within the context of a committed relationship ordered toward all the proper ends of marriage, which for Christians includes raising children and teaching them about God, etc.

 
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by Link+Zelda »

@Olorin - fantastically written!

-Scott
-Link+Zelda
Ron
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by Ron »

I don't think it's the wife's body changes at all. I think most of it is basic need for sexual release and for 9 months and a couple months afterward, every thing is focused on his wife and baby and he feels left out of the conversation so to speak. Everyone asks the wife about being pregnant or the baby after it arrives. The husband kind of becomes a working guy supporting his wife and new baby, but he gets very little back. His wife is tired, may not feel great, so he doesn't even get attention or support from his wife. I don't think I really felt like that as much, but I have heard plenty of guys at work mention it. They become so far down this list of things to do, they aren't even on the list anymore.
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Re: Question for husbands, but wives are welcome to answer too.

Post by Doug »

I think it would be a mistake to take a statement like that and try to apply it to every man,  particularly your own husband, if there is no evidence of it.  All that does is buy grief.  My wife and I were relatively active sexually, thruout the pregnancy,  almost till delivery.  Sex definitely changed during that time,  but it still happened.    I don't remember the post-partum period specifically, as it relates to sex.  Obviously,  for whatever length of time,  it didn't happen at all,  and then when it resumed,  it was never the same.  Prior to that,  we were separated by my military service quite a bit.  Probably two thirds of the time,  so we had an extended honeymoon and might have sex twice or three times a day during those reunions.  After the birth of our child,  that fell into what is probably a more normal frequency.

For those men who did fall into that trap,  my guess is that there is not one single reason that applied to each of them.

For me personally,  There was never a time that I thought my wife was more beautiful than when she was carrying our child, and I remember telling her so on a couple of occasions.
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