I am personally very glad this week is over!
I’ve (Rebecca) been looking over the blog since Sheila (my mom) has been on her vacation (they are having a lovely time, by the way!).
And although I get to work from home and my job is really not that hard since mom left the blog mostly scheduled, this week has been pretty intense. Baby has his first cold, and I’ve come down pretty hard with it, too, so none of us are sleeping and all of us are cranky.
But even though this was not a great week in the Lindenbach household, we got some great discussions happening on the blog! So let’s take a look at what happened, and what you had to say!
Apparently it’s time we to be vocal about a wife’s physical needs being more important than his sexual wants.
These comments are from my post on Monday about 10 things to know about sex postpartum. When we forget to tell women that their needs matter loud and clear, we can accidentally enable immense amounts of selfishness that can even become abusive in some cases, especially concerning the postpartum period.
But also, when we don’t educate women on what is truly normal in most marriages during her recovery time, it can be more difficult to identify manipulative, coercive, or abusive behaviour. I think the reason we don’t often talk about her needs being important is that in good, well-meaning marriages her needs usually do come first before his wants! So those couples don’t feel the need to say anything–of course a husband will put his wife first. But we got a heartbreaking comment from a woman who explains how this is not always the case:
Thank you so much for this post. I’m past baby times but this was so validating to the abuse I suffered while having babies with a self centered man who told me how hard my surgical birth recoveries were on him because he had to do more around the house and couldn’t have sex. Even though I had C-sections, he watched the calendar for week six and expected me to perform sexually by week 7. What I thought was something that was wrong with me, I now see was abuse and coercion from him. I read that you said 6 weeks was the minimum and immediately cried. Thank you for getting the truth out there.
So if you are reading this and you are feeling pressure to have sex before you are ready after having a baby, if you’re feeling coerced or scared but you feel you have to have sex because it’s a deep need of his you are required to fill, hear what our commenter Jane Eyre has to say:
There are many pragmatic reasons to wait for marriage to have sex. One of them is the postpartum period (or other physical illnesses). If a man can manage to not have intercourse for many years of his adult life, he can be a grown-(donkey) adult and not have sex for six weeks or a few months while his wife recovers from the physical challenges of bringing his child into the world.
The idea that men “need” sex is antithetical to the idea of chastity. We expect that unmarried adults can control their sex drives and live perfectly functional and happy lives without intercourse. We expect that there are times in one’s adult life in which intercourse is not appropriate, whether it be the single life or when one’s spouse is not able to do so. That expectation doesn’t fly out the window when a wife’s vagina is full of stitches and scar tissue.
(Jane, I loved that whole comment of yours so much.)
But also, we got some great practical tips for husbands who want to help their wives discover their beauty!
My dad (Keith) wrote a blog post for husbands for his Men’s Corner segment, helping them be a voice of encouragement and empowerment in their wive’s lives, rather than another voice telling them that they’re not enough. He’s got some great tips in the post, and you can check it out here.
But there were two additional practical tips from commenters I wanted to highlight for you today:
Compliments about things other than our bodies can also do wonders. Sometimes we get so down about how we look because we’re obsessing over it and not focusing on anything else about ourselves. Feeling intelligent, capable, accomplished, having our character complimented can actually do wonders for our body image because it de-centers our looks and our bodies a bit. It’s harder to hate how we look so much if it’s just not as important. That’s been my experience anyway!
Love that! I said something very similar in a video that I made a few years ago, actually, about how my journey towards accepting myself started by me simply not caring as much about looks. I explain it better in the actual video here:
And here’s another great piece of advice from Lydia Purple:
I would add one more thing: tell your wife to unfollow anybody on social media who feeds these negative thoughts on body image.
Why spend hours looking at perfect fake pictures of strangers who make you feel bad?
So simple. But so important!
What was your favourite post from this week? Any advice you would give to add to this? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!