Originally Posted by AFWife
I really appreciate this. We've also had some, uh, marital stuff going on lately that *might* play into his feeling inadequate or whatever. I don't know what to do.
It probably makes me very un-MDC and will get me horribly flamed...but I don't want this to be a major source of argument with our marriage. We're already under strain because of other stuff. If we can find a sort of common ground with this then I think I can deal.
Ugh, I'm regretting this thread.
I'm sorry to hear that you are regretting posting. Also sorry to hear you are having marital issues.
I completely understand and sympathize for you just wanting to find peace in your marriage.
However, I think that would only happen if you
really, truly, 100% believed that circumcision was the best thing for your son. It seems that you are already doubting that and have some understanding of the pain involved in the operation and the healing phase, and of the lifelong difference in sexual function. Knowing what you know, if you go along with it to keep peace, it is very likely that, as other posters have pointed out, you would end up resenting your husband for making you go against your instincts and your logical knowledge. (You could read some of the stories in the thread "If you regret circumcising...") That usually isn't good for a marriage and you can never go back and undo it.
Also as another poster has pointed out, this new information is like a bomb being dropped on your husband. All of his life he has known his body the way it is, and all of his life his entire culture has told him that circumcised is cleaner, healthier, more pleasing aesthetically, and perfectly functional. This is what he has known
all his life. If he ever had any brief thought of wondering what was cut away, it was likely laid to rest by his knowledge that having his foreskin cut off only made his penis better
and saved him from a myriad of problems, and surely he was also glad to know that it was fast and painless when it was done to him as a baby, far better than him having it done as an adult when it would be so very painful - but of course necessary, for again he surely knew
as we've all been told that if you don't have it done as a baby you will surely have to have it done later.
Now you come along and start talking about things like, it isn't really necessary; intact boys don't actually have all those awful problems and infections and sexual rejections that he thought his circumcision saved him from. You're telling him that it is incredibly painful for a baby. You're telling him that the foreskin actually contributes greatly to the sexual experience for a man and his partner.
You are of course talking about the pros and cons of doing it to your son
, but to your husband's ears I'll bet it sounds like you are telling him: "You were put through great pain when you were most vulnerable, it served NO purpose as far as giving you any health or hygiene benefit, and you lost out on sexual feelings for both of us."
Whoa, who would want to hear that??? And hearing it, who wouldn't choose to NOT believe it?? So he tells himself, "No, that's a load of bull. Circumcision is a good
thing. It was good for me, and I must do it for my son."
But but but but but.. the problem with that is, pushing away those scary feelings he is having, denying them, is NOT going to make them go away. He might circumcise your son and think that all is well again, but once those doubts have been planted they aren't going away. They'll still be there around the edges. Along with your own doubts and possibly resentments.
Now, I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom. I just want to give the background for what I've seen in my own situation and with friends as a more lasting and real solution. Painful though it may be, the only way to truly put those bad feelings to rest is to drag them out into the open and deal with them. Own the feelings, realize they are his and have nothing to do with his son, work though them. Then he can heal and feel whole again and confident and happy, rather than the more unstable happiness of denial which relies on never letting the subject surface.
For many men, NOT circumcising their sons is a huge part of the process of healing from their own painful thoughts about what was done to them.
And for many wives, seeing their husband be so brave and strong as to face all those awful feelings, and work through them, and step to the plate to protect his son, elevates the husband to Hero status in their eyes.
Now, which would be better for a marriage: a man who hides from his feelings and cuts his son to try to feel better about himself and a wife who resents him for it every time she changes the baby's diaper (and a son who may well grow up to resent both of them for taking the decision from him?)
Or, a man who has the inner strength and quiet confidence that comes from working through a tough thing, and who feels a resurgence of that strength and deep connection of fatherliness every time he sees the baby that he helped make and helped to keep whole and healthy; with a wife who sees her husband as a smart, strong, sensitive, caring HERO and whose knees turn to jelly when she sees him with his son and realizes what an amazing father he is for putting his son's well-being ahead of his own feelings?
(I know that is how I feel about my husband!)
I wish the best for all of you. I know this is a difficult thing.
(and isn't it maddening that so many of us have to go through it, because of what doctors decided so many years ago to do to all the male babies, often even without parental consent? I see it as, that doctor who took your baby husband from your mother-in-law, HE is the one who is now causing you pain in your marriage at what should be a most happy time for you.)
Sorry for the novel, hope it helps some. Sending healing and peaceful thoughts your way.