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Husband wont budge on Circumcision

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
I havent seen another recent thread on this and I am really emotional about my husbands absolute refusal to leave our son intact. "There is no discussion" he says. I am 22wks pregnant so there is time to figure this all out. He has already "given in" to my desire to give birth at a birthing center naturally, with a doula & midwife. He has been very understanding about everything except this. I do not want to circumcise. I cry when I think about doing that to my baby and dont think I will be able to keep my composure if I actually have to go thru with it. We fought about it, then I decided he needed to have some say in this baby and allowed him to decide whether we should cut or not. But I am so unhappy about it. I dont know what to do.
He has 3 kids from a previous marriage and the two boys are circumcised like he is. He wants them to look like him and be normal in the locker room. I have already talked about a lot of the down sided of circumcision and he wont listen, besides that he is a very good lawyer and can argue any point to death. Ugh an thoughts or ideas on ways through this? It almost makes me wish for a girl.
post #2 of 72
Just bind up your courage and tell him "No circumcision, and that's final. I'm not discussing this with you." And if you need legal counsel, contact David Llewellyn from Atlanta, GA. His username here is Dave2GA. He is an anti-circ lawyer and often helps people out for free.
post #3 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by squintycat View Post
I havent seen another recent thread on this and I am really emotional about my husbands absolute refusal to leave our son intact. "There is no discussion" he says. I am 22wks pregnant so there is time to figure this all out. He has already "given in" to my desire to give birth at a birthing center naturally, with a doula & midwife. He has been very understanding about everything except this. I do not want to circumcise. I cry when I think about doing that to my baby and dont think I will be able to keep my composure if I actually have to go thru with it. We fought about it, then I decided he needed to have some say in this baby and allowed him to decide whether we should cut or not. But I am so unhappy about it. I dont know what to do.
He has 3 kids from a previous marriage and the two boys are circumcised like he is. He wants them to look like him and be normal in the locker room. I have already talked about a lot of the down sided of circumcision and he wont listen, besides that he is a very good lawyer and can argue any point to death. Ugh an thoughts or ideas on ways through this? It almost makes me wish for a girl.
Well, sounds like he is being a total, complete @$$. I would tell him that he's right, it isn't up for discussion and you're going to let some perv doctor chop off part of his penis OVER YOUR DEAD BODY. Don't argue, don't discuss -- if he hasn't seen all the info already -- lay it out for him. Show his the awful circ videos etc...but don't budge.
Normally, I would recommend a more gentle, compassionate approach -- but he sounds totally inexcusably intolerable.
Please protect your child -- as a mother, you must protect your baby. I think you know this -- I'm so sorry he is being so awful. I would leave my dh and never look back if he acted so disgusting after knowing all the facts.
post #4 of 72
I would let him name the baby instead maybe. I would not allow my son to be circumcised, not for anyone. Since you can't agree on circ then the default should be to leave your son how he is born, intact. I'm truly sorry your dh will not listen to reason and because of that I would stop trying to convince him and just make damn sure that everyone invovled with your son's birth (midwifes/nurses, ped....) knows your son is NOT being circumcised.
post #5 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by twins10705 View Post
Well, sounds like he is being a total, complete @$$. I would tell him that he's right, it isn't up for discussion and you're going to let some perv doctor chop off part of his penis OVER YOUR DEAD BODY. Don't argue, don't discuss -- if he hasn't seen all the info already -- lay it out for him. Show his the awful circ videos etc...but don't budge.
Normally, I would recommend a more gentle, compassionate approach -- but he sounds totally inexcusably intolerable.
Please protect your child -- as a mother, you must protect your baby. I think you know this -- I'm so sorry he is being so awful. I would leave my dh and never look back if he acted so disgusting after knowing all the facts.
ditto this.
My dh wasn't difficult to convince, but I told him it would happen over my dead body - and if it came down to it, I would've left. Just as I would've left if he had insisted on circ'ing a baby girl. When I put it in those words to him, he understood how much this meant to me. Do not try let him try to negotiate "If you get to choose the birth center, I get to choose circ" or anything like that. Do not let him negotiate with a part of your baby's body.
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post #6 of 72
For him to say that shows an utter disrespect for your natural instincts in protecting your child. Vincent Bach did a nice paper on circumcised men when they have sons "the vulnerability of men."

I would get your husband to read everything, and make an effort to get him educated. However, you are this child's mother and your most important function is to protect him. Therefore, you are within your rights as his mother to say no to circumcision.

It would have been an "over my dead body" thing for me as well had my husband not agreed. My husband is circumcised as well (and also an attorney) and he couldn't argue with fact or evidence as once he read everything it was flat out obvious. It sounds like your husband doesn't even want to read/research about it. Perhaps as he doesn't want to deal with the idea that he nor his other sons were harmed.

But, don't give up Momma...stand firm!!!
post #7 of 72
How about this idea I got from my mw: agree to not do it in infancy and that if at any point the boy himself decides that he wants the operation once he know what it is, then take him and pay for with a clear conscience.
I know for me, I wanted to have a nose job when I was young and my parents told me that they would have no problem with that once I was 18. By the time I hit 18 I felt better about myself and looking different and researched the operation and decided to stay as is.
post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses. I feel like I may have described my husband as a monster, which of course as I chose to be with him and love him, he is not. He dialogues very well with me about all of my ideas. My ideas are the opposite of what he and his previous wife had (epiderals, c-section, petocin, circumcision, hosptial all the way). That is just not what I want for my body and baby and he has come to support that. I have no desire to destory our relationship over this, but it is like running into a brickwall. He is supportive and giving in every aspect except this. I suppose it hurts to think of him in a negative fashion b/c I dont think that it is fair to judge him as a person over a belief he holds, but rather I hate his belief (ie that cicumcision is the only option). If I dont sign paperwork will that halt the circumcision? That seems like a last minute drastic measure, but one I might take. Any other ways people have convinced or enlightened their significant other? I dont see myself taking hostile action against my husband, rather I would rather not cooperate, and would ultimately prefer to reach a resolution thru brilliant disscusion (I just dont know what to say anymore).
post #9 of 72
Welcome!!

There is a ton of information on this board. Tell your husband that he's right, it's not up for discussion. Until he has done research and can prove why your son needs it you will not be concenting to unnecessary cosmetic surgery on the baby. Period. It's the default. Babies are born intact. You wouldn't have any other surgery without much research and evidence that it is necessary. This is the same kind of thing. It's surgery. No one has surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. Not grown-ups, and certainly not babies. He needs to bring the proof to you, you don't need to do a thing until he gives you information to refute. But surgery "just because I want him to look like me..." Absolutely not. That is the most ridiculous reason ever.

Stand strong mama, protect your baby boy. It can't be done without your permission, so just don't concent, and don't let that baby out of your sight once he's born! Tell your midwives, doctors, and pediatrician that it is absolutely not to be done no matter what without them speaking directly to you. Tell your husband that you made a mistake, there is no decision about a child that only one parent should make, especially when the other parent feels so strongly about it. This is an amputation you are talking about. It's not a decision you can barter.

You still have a long time left in your pregnancy. With patience you can turn your husband around.
post #10 of 72
I believe Cindy Crawford had a similar situation... her DH "let her" have a natural birth/midwife, but wanted at least one decision to be his. She didn't want her son circ'd, he did, so she let him have that. She regretted it.

I was in a very similar spot as you. I know exactly what you are going through right now. I wrote my sad story on the long, mothers who regret? thread.

Bottom line, I know you feel lost and emotional. That is part of the problem. You are sooooo very vulnerable right now, and your DH might see that as a weakness "my poor, unrational, emotional wife" (at the moment) and "I (your DH) need to do the thinking for the 3 of us right now and do "the right thing." That's why he is taking a hard stand.

Well, he's dead wrong.

You need to take a deep breath and remain unemotional. I know how hard this is right now. But don't do what I did... just roll over and play dead and give in. You need to center yourself and find your strong backbone.

Don't beg or plead. When you do that, you put him in a position of power to deny you or give you want you want. :

You need to tell HIM, we are not circumcising him. PERIOD. YOU BECOME THE BRICK WALL. That was my biggest regret. I didn't become the brick wall. When you become the brick wall, then he needs to convince you and maybe it will be a more even field, where there is some discussion going.

So he can argue anything. So what? You can calmly read up on everything you want to now and argue with him when you are in a better state of mind.

When you give birth in the hospital, you tell the nurses, your OB and pediatrician, I DO NOT CONSENT to the circumcision. In fact, you should find a pediatrician now who is pro-intact, not some twit who will side with your OB (so they both gang up on you.) The hospital will present you with a form to sign. Don't sign it. If you must, then keep your baby in-arms so he doesn't take him away to have it done without your consent. (Can the DH do that? Even though he isn't the patient???)

After DS was born, I found Fleiss' article originally published in Mothering (wish I had found it BEFORE I gave birth ) and that clearly laid out the cons to circumcision. When I presented it to DH, he scoffed at it and didn't even want to read anything that came from a "natural living" magazine.

But I left it with him and he did read it on his own. Then he came to me later and ADMITTED that it was a mistake and if we were ever to have another son, we wouldn't circumcize. :
post #11 of 72
as an attorney myself, i always prefer to use logic when making decisions. so, have him answer these questions:
1. what does circ entail? (he will have to watch a circ video--there's a link in one of the posts here--in order to understand the procedures. then you can show him the statistics that nearly all circs are done without anaesthesia, and show him the function and benefits of the foreskin)
2. who recommends circ? who does not? (no medical organisation in the world recommends routinely circ'ing. as well, many insurance companies do not cover it any longer because it is considered elective *cosmetic* surgery)
3. given these first two, what are his reasons for still wanting to circ?
*"to look like me" -- um, what will he want to do to the baby if he has a different colour of hair/eyes? should you get him a nose job as well so he can "match" dad? sounds ridiculous, right? its just as ridiculous to circ.
*"its cleaner/healthier" -- there are tons of resources here debunking these myths

whatever "reasons" he can come up with can be easily debunked by the smart posters here. please, please, please dont let him pull a guilt trip on you about "you're deciding everything else so i get to decide this" -- let him decide on the name, the nursery colour, that you call his family first when baby arrives. sending good thoughts your way.
post #12 of 72
You know what I think? Any parent that wants to mutilate their poor DS should have to be the one that cuts the foreskin after the wretched doc had it ready to cut. I bet 1 out of 100 parents would actually do it, and that makes them sick in the head.
post #13 of 72
I do hope you can change his mind without a battle. Maybe you could get a copy of Penn&Teller's BS. You know, give it to him from a guys angle? Please don't wait until the last minute. Good Lord forbid that anything should go wrong during your delivery but you may not be in the frame of mind to even know what is going on, let alone stop a circumcision. EVEN with my husband on my side, a big red X on the consent form and telliong my OB no less than 10x, hospital staff still came to take my 1st DS to get circ'd!!! I agree with letting every midwife at the center know how you feel and maybe letting them work on DH. Does he go to your check ups?
post #14 of 72
Has he seen videos of circ? You might try asking him if he thinks its humane to cut off an infant's genitals-something tells me he doesnt "get it" kwim? He has no right to mutilate this baby. Perhaps seeing the actual procedure and hearing an innocent child screaming in pain will change his mind.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ared1 View Post
I do hope you can change his mind without a battle. Maybe you could get a copy of Penn&Teller's BS. You know, give it to him from a guys angle? Please don't wait until the last minute. Good Lord forbid that anything should go wrong during your delivery but you may not be in the frame of mind to even know what is going on, let alone stop a circumcision. EVEN with my husband on my side, a big red X on the consent form and telliong my OB no less than 10x, hospital staff still came to take my 1st DS to get circ'd!!! I agree with letting every midwife at the center know how you feel and maybe letting them work on DH. Does he go to your check ups?
I agree - when you turn in your registration information to the hospital, include a document that says in no uncertain terms that you do NOT give them permission to circumcise, regardless of your husband's wishes. The DH, as far as I know, does NOT have authority to sign the circ consent, however, I wouldn't take that as foolproof. Contact one of the NoCirc lawyers and ask them to draw it up, if necessary.
Also, unless you continue to work on him and as someone else said BECOME THE BRICK WALL, you run the risk of him doing it behind your back if he truly feels this strongly about it. There would be nothing illegal about him taking the baby to a pediatrician, by himself, after you all get out of the hospital and having it done. You just have to keep trying.
post #16 of 72
You're duty is to protect your child, and put his health, safety, and well-being above you're husband's superficial, selfish desires or baseless fears. If he won't discuss it and is not open to research or reason, he doesn't deserve to have any say in the decision at all, because that's simply not responsible or loving parenting.

You're child's genital integrity is his birthright, just like his arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, earlobes, nose...Amputative, cosmetic surgery on a non-consenting minor without a medical indication is a violation of his basic human rights. It need not even be put on the table for discussion. As our dear Frank always says, our children's genitals are not a bargaining chip.

Do you see circumcision as unnecessary, painful, and damaging? Is it an abuse...of his human rights, and your authority as parents? If so, can you imagine another situation where you would allow your child to be irreversibly harmed in order to preserve a romantic relationship?

Consider how you will feel if you allow this to happen, by supressing your protective maternal instincts and allowing him to do this to your son merely because they are the same gender. Realistically, who's going to be changing the dressing on his wounds? Who's going to be changing the majority of diapers and giving most of the baths? Who's going to be faced with seeing his surgically altered, exposed penis every single day, multiple times per day, for at least the first few years of you're son's life? You.

The guilt and resentment giving in to his demands and failing to protect your child may breed will likely have a far more negative effect on your relationship than putting your foot down and saying "No." to cosmetic, genital reduction surgery on your healthy baby boy.

Please don't assume that you're signature will necessarily be required for him to have it done. Some men will go behind their partner's back and have a circumcision performed against her wishes. It has happened. If you refuse, and he's still adamant and threatening to do it anyway you will have to be dilligent in keeping your son with you at all times and might wisely consider a protective order or some other sort of legal action (contact arclaw.org) to restrain him from having it done without your consent.

It's ideal of course to reach a mutual conclusion of protecting your son from unnecessary pain, loss, and harm by keeping his body and choices intact. However, if this becomes impossible I implore you to protect your son at all costs, no matter what. He's depending on you, and sacrificing his foreskin to maintain your marriage is not a reasonable or ethical price; it doesn't belong to either of you.

Please also read through the circumcision regret thread.

Positive thoughts, courage, and perseverance to you...

Jen
post #17 of 72
You can convince with rhetoric all you like, after being 'the brick wall' (I like that phrase'). No. Period.

I'm sorry that during this emotional time he is being obstinate. Be more obstinate. It's not his choice. It's not his decision. (If it helps in your head, pretend he's talking about circ'ing a dd.)
post #18 of 72
You know the best way to deal with your dh.

With my dh, after dd was born (thankfully, my first was a girl, if she had been a boy, I would have probably circ'd out of ignorance, as I didn't learn all it was until after her- I thought it was 'just a snip') I decided if we had a boy, he would not be circ'd. I mentioned it to dh, 'you know, if we have a boy, I don't think I want to circ'. He was shocked and a little freaked out 'WHAT, why???, etc., etc., etc.' I let it drop. Didn't bring it up again.

After ds1 was born (in a hospital) dh was home w/dd when the nurses asked if we were going to circ. I said we hadn't discussed it yet. The next day, same thing w/the nurses- we still hadn't discussed it, but I told them no. I told dh in the car on the way home. I figured we could always do it later, but we cant UNdo it. He was shocked and surprised. Talked to everyone he knew and got their opinions (though I could care less about that) and decided it was 'ok' to not do it.

With my dh, the more you argue, the more he digs his heels in, so it's about finding a way to either make it his idea or at least not make him 'wrong', you know?
post #19 of 72
Quote:
Thanks for your responses. I feel like I may have described my husband as a monster, which of course as I chose to be with him and love him, he is not. He dialogues very well with me about all of my ideas. My ideas are the opposite of what he and his previous wife had (epiderals, c-section, petocin, circumcision, hosptial all the way). That is just not what I want for my body and baby and he has come to support that. I have no desire to destory our relationship over this, but it is like running into a brickwall. He is supportive and giving in every aspect except this. I suppose it hurts to think of him in a negative fashion b/c I dont think that it is fair to judge him as a person over a belief he holds, but rather I hate his belief (ie that cicumcision is the only option). If I dont sign paperwork will that halt the circumcision? That seems like a last minute drastic measure, but one I might take. Any other ways people have convinced or enlightened their significant other? I dont see myself taking hostile action against my husband, rather I would rather not cooperate, and would ultimately prefer to reach a resolution thru brilliant disscusion (I just dont know what to say anymore).
I am so sorry you are dealing with all this stress during your pregnancy! This is the last thing you need right now. I will share with you my story. When I was pregnant with my first (we knew he was a boy) my own natural instinct, without reading anything, was to leave my baby intact. I could not imagine hurting him like that and I figured boys were born with a foreskin for a reason. My dh is circ'ed and was very adamant about our son being circumcised. It was a constant source of tension and anger and it was really stressing me out. I had not found MDC yet and didn't really know much about circumcision but I had found enough on the internet to know it was not necessary. I had not one friend in real life that said I should leave him intact. In the end I began to doubt myself and think "well maybe my dh is right." Right up til they very end I was unsure about it, but we ended up going through with it. We had him circumcised when he was 8 days old, and the dr. who performed it even told us it was not necessary. It was the worst mistake I have ever made and I will never, ever get over it. I just cannot describe the anguish. That was over 3 years ago and I have learned alot since then, and so has my dh. He has come around and is very anti-circ now and our new little boy is intact. I know what you are feeling right now. I am sure your husband really is a great person and only wants what is best for your son. But he is wrong and he just does not know it yet. Even if you cannot convince him, it is your job to protect your son. Do not allow this to be done to him under any circumcstance. It is not necessary, it is torture and it is harmful. No matter how angry or threatening your dh might get, do not give in. I know it is hard to have this argument when you are pregnant and then after giving birth with all your post partum hormones. But I promise you if you give in, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Anyway, I am not sure if I helped or not, but I have been there and my heartfelt advice is to protect your son and not let this be done to him under any circumcstance. Even if you don't feel like you have a great knowledge of the harm of circumcison or the benefits of being intact, that's ok. At least you know not to do it, and the knowledge will come in time as you research more. Don't be bullied into doubting yourself when your dh and others come at you with myths. Stand your ground-your son will thank you for it!
post #20 of 72
Oh my Gosh Mama.....

I agree with everyone else. Just tell him it is not a subject open for discussion. You carry the child for 9 months, you give birth, you recover from the birth, you get up at all hours to breastfeed, the circumcision "decision" is YOURS to make. Let him name the baby, but under NO circumstances should the baby be circumcised just because HE wants it done and he thinks that because he has the parts it should be up to him. Just flat out tell him that if he does this to your son, you will forever hold resentment.
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