Husband Shames New Mom Struggling With Painful Postpartum Sex & Continues Anyway

iStock

woman crying
iStock

Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions related to sex that may be unsettling for some.

Everyone knows that your body changes after having a baby, but no one really explains how much intimacy changes too. Sometimes sex is the last thing on your mind, but other times it's the real fear that your body isn't ready to get down to business after giving birth. For one woman on Reddit, it's taken eight months to give her husband the go-ahead. And she asked to take things slowly, because she's a little nervous. Unfortunately, her husband is getting more and more frustrated and complained to his wife that "this isn't sex."

  • Mom explained that her delivery was traumatic and "rough," and she has developed postpartum anxiety.

    But the original poster (OP) is working on it. She wrote in her post on a Reddit forum about relationship advice that she's getting help -- hopefully from a therapist or counselor -- with her anxiety issues, but she's still concerned about "having sex after being torn and stitched up" and pain in general from penetration.

  • Advertisement
  • For that reason, getting back into the flow of their old sex life has been "very slow."

    And for the most part, her husband been cool about it --- except for the jokes. "He will sometimes make ‘jokes’ about our lack of sex life, but I get it," she wrote.

  • The thing is -- it straight-up hurts to have sex right now.

    Overall, things just feel way too tight down there "which is predominantly from fear I think."

    As a consequence, the OP has asked her husband to go very slow when they get intimate -- "as in I have full control, and we just ease into penetration at my pace."

  • But she says her husband isn't making it easy for her.

    He goes slow for about "five minutes tops and then will start thrusting," which is just too painful. "I will ask to stop, which he always does, but it will start up again," she added.

  • Recently, he's started to get vocal with how uncomfortable their sex life is ... for him.

    During a recent tryst, he couldn't even stay still while she tried to relax and focus. "He sighs and says ‘this isn’t sex’ -- and rolled over," she recalled. "This really upset me, and I said he was being insensitive."

  • And then, he lashed out.

    His anger went from zero to 100 immediately. He started yelling at the OP that he'd been "nothing but sensitive and understanding for eight months" and wanted props for not "pressuring" his wife for sex.

    He added that she had "no right" to "tell him off" and be "upset for no reason," and "accuse him of being insensitive."

    Cool, cool, cool.

  • The OP wonders -- does her husband have a point?

    She asked if she was wrong for testing her husband's patience with her anxiety and, worse, if she was wrong for not fixing their "sex issue" sooner. She also continued to emphasize the steps she's taking, such as making an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist.

    "It just feels like trying to squash a penis through a tiny hole made of bone that won’t stretch," she wrote. "I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know if I have the right to be upset at this comment but it really hurt my heart.

    "Do people just bounce back from childbirth and hop straight on the horse with no issues and there’s something wrong with me?" she wondered.

  • Fellow Redditors had no sympathy to her husband's plight.


    "I can't be the only person who thinks it's really horrible to keep thrusting into someone who told you not to because it's painful," one commenter wrote. "The fact that he stops, THEN GOES BACK TO DOING IT over and over is disgusting. That's not how we treat people we love. Or anyone really. No wonder sex makes OP nervous."

    "How would you not be tense during sex with a partner who repeatedly does something they know causes you pain?" a second person agreed. "I would not want to risk starting intercourse under these circumstances. Imagine how much different this situation would be if he let her control the pace instead of just doing what feels good to him even though he knows it is hurting her."

    A third commenter had some stronger feelings about the issue:

    "You don’t get a cookie for NOT sexually assaulting your partner, coercion into sex is assault," the person wrote. "Frustration with a drop off in sex life is understandable. But she has a physical impediment she is dealing with. He needs to be comforting and understanding to OP and get a therapist for his feelings of frustration."

  • Mental health professional Stephanie Macadaan agrees that OP's husband's behavior does not help.

    Macadaan, a licensed marriage and family therapist, spoke with CafeMom and reiterates that "sex is a very important but delicate part of a relationship." 

    "It also ebbs and flows throughout a relationship, and life changes can be particularly challenging around intimacy," she continues. But that doesn't excuse the OP's behavior.

    "The most important aspect is feeling respected and supported by your partner, and not shamed, accused or guilted," she says. "The partner feeling that sex is being withheld may feel rejected, hurt or confused, and being able to discuss those feelings versus pushing for a resolve can be really helpful" in reaching a resolution.

    So all this mom really needs is for her husband to listen to her very valid complaints and be supportive while she figures out what's going on with her body. If he can't understand that, then the OP has some serious thinking to do.

sex postpartum recovery