Immature douchebags do.
Rabbi Shmuley, host of TLC’s Shalom in the Home, wrote an article arguing that breastfeeding is destroying marriages by… wait for it…
the de-eroticization of a woman’s body, as her husband witnesses one of the most attractive parts of her body serving a utilitarian rather than romantic purpose.
And he suggests…
public breast-feeding is profoundly de-eroticizing, and I believe that wives should cover up, even when they nurse their babies in their husband’s presence.
He even throws in some wildly insane notions like…
I believe this same problem comes up when men witness childbirth up close. There are certain poses in which a husband should not see his wife….That is just too erotic a part of a wife’s anatomy for it to become a mere birth canal.
And says of a woman who he recently counseled on his show…
I told the mother that in being so devoted to her son, she had committed the cardinal sin of marriage, which is to put someone else before her spouse, even if that someone is your child. Furthermore, I said, her obsession had turned one of her most attractive body parts into a feeding station, an attractive cafeteria rather than a scintillating piece of flesh.
Who, according to him, had an “obsession with breast-feeding well into the child’s eleventh month.”
OH NO! Not ELEVEN WHOLE MONTHS of breastfeeding!
While he does try to back up his side by stating that he agrees that “breastfeeding is usually the best thing for the baby” but “the principal form of marital breakdown in our time is a loss of erotic desire between husband and wife, and if couples find that breast-feeding is adding to a sense of alienation, there is always the bottle,” all I can think is, if your husband is having a hard time getting it up because you’re breastfeeding, there is a lot more going on than the way you chose to feed your baby.
I’m not even making this a breastfeeding vs. formula feeding thing because if you told me your husband felt your formula feeding was getting in the way of your marriage and sex life, I’d call him an immature douchebag, too.
Here’s the thing about parenthood, you’re in it TOGETHER. Every single choice, action, chore, responsibility, no matter who carries it out, you are BOTH responsible. And I’m sorry, I get that we need to do what we can to work on our marriages, to ensure they last, to provide our children with stable families, but uhhh…. dude, your screaming infant is going to HAVE to become numero uno priority that first year of their life, and if the Mr. finds that that kills his libido, I suggest a reality check and a vasectomy.
Moving beyond the incredibly sexist tone of the entire article (I’ll leave the feminism talk up to Gina), the whole thing is so WHINEY. The men shouldn’t see their wives vaginas as “mere birth canals”?! No. How about you now see it as the tunnel of POWER and AWESOMENESS that just brought your first born into the world, buddy. If a man can’t handle seeing his child born or watching his wife nourish that child with an exposed breast, well, I say he’s probably got the maturity level of a 12 year old. And if the marriage is doomed because he’s somehow traumatized by these images, well, better to get out now before he starts flinging spit balls at you. Seriously, there are OTHER issues at play here.
Listen, I can understand a man’s hesitancy to make love to a woman who may or may not squirt milk in his face (although, I hear some men are turned on by this). I can even understand a woman being afraid something like that might happen. You know what the perfect solution is? Get yourself some sexy bras or lingerie and leave it on for once. Discretely slip some nursing pads in there. ROCK ‘EM WHILE YOU GOT ‘EM, GIRLS. Your breasts will never be as porn-star-worthy as they are when you are breastfeeding. (For those thinking skipping breastfeeding will save you from the fried-egg boobies of doom, think again. Studies show this is related to the number of pregnancies and not nursing.) So stuff those bad girls in some hot support garments and feel like Jenna Jameson for the night. What red-blooded male would not find that hot?
On a serious note, the support I received from my husband while breastfeeding was amazing and it really did bring us closer together. In fact, just yesterday morning he was talking to me about the challenges I might face trying to nurse this second one and how he can help me. I never got anything from him other than encouragement. Admittedly, nothing turns my husband on more than the sound of not spending money, so maybe that had something to do with it, too.
I know this article is complete bull shit. Most of you probably know it, too. It’s just really frustrating to know that a public religious figure would say such tarnishing things about breastfeeding and relationships that seem to be completely unfounded. He has no studies to back his side up. All he has is his ridiculous male ego. Now this article is floating around the internet, out there for any expectant mom to see. I shudder to think someone might actually take this seriously, might actually give their husband a pass for being an immature douchebag because a Rabbi said *she’s* the one with the problem.
I’m going to end by linking you to Melodie’s take on all this where you can read in the comments section how breastfeeding has or hasn’t affected other marriages.
And now that I’ve finally got that off my chest, maybe I’ll take a nap.
Kendall is 2 and I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant