dad sleeps naked, what to do? not sure where to post, explicit language - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a kind of a weird situation. My husband sleeps naked and always has. We've been cosleeping ever since my daughter was born, she's 18 mos. now. She always cuddled with me at night until our son was born just three months ago. Now she comes over to me to nurse at night, then crawls back over to Dad and cuddles with him. A few weeks ago I told my husband I didn't feel comfortable with him sleeping naked with our daughter. Not because of anything inappropriate, but because I didn't want her to have confused emotions about her relationship with her dad, or for her to be told later in life that sleeping with her naked dad was inappropriate. He disagreed with me and we pretty much dropped it. Often when my husband and I are cuddling and we haven't been intimate for a while, he will "poke" me and he has told me this is completely reflexive and he doesn't do it on purpose. Last night when he was cuddling our daughter, I saw his penis moving under the blanket in that manner. He was completely asleep, I watched him and listened to his breathing and I am 100% sure that he was dead asleep. Well, I felt sick to my stomach seeing this even though they were both asleep and unaware of it. Then he rolled over and my daughter's leg was actually touching his penis. At this point I got up and verified that this was what I saw and then picked my daughter up and had her cuddle with me on the opposite side from my son. I just felt really uncomfortable about the entire situation. I felt nauseous and had a really hard time falling back to sleep. This morning I told my husband what I saw and that I didn't want him cuddling our daughter while naked anymore. I told him he needed to wear underwear and pajama pants at least. I think he understood why I felt that it was inappropriate, even though I made it clear that I was not accusing him of anything and I know that he was asleep at the time. He still said he would not wear clothing to bed. He said I should make our daughter wear clothing rather than him (she was not naked, she was wearing a top and a diaper, but no pants. and i will be putting pants on her from now on). I told him that wasn't enough and that there needed to be more of a barrier between them. He said "oh give it up" or something like that, I think he was just really offended that I had said that. My husband is a very good man and I don't think he did anything wrong so I want to make that clear. But I am concerned that he isn't more concerned and more willing to make this situation ok for all of us. I said if he wouldn't wear clothes to bed, then I couldn't let my daughter cuddle with him at night. He said that was fine, he'd cuddle our son instead. I just feel really upset still. I am not sure if I overreacted or not. I am not saying he abused her at all, I just don't want her to be exposed to anything sexual or even that might be sexual at such a young age and have lingering issues over it, esp. not from her dad. They have a very good relationship. I don't want to come between them, and I also don't want to feel like I can't trust my husband, but I definitely am feeling a bit distant from him at the moment. I am wondering if I should just take both children and sleep in another bed. But I also don't want unnecessary friction in our relationship. I am just really confused and I need some advice and support. Anyone?
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#2 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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I'm sorry, this sounds like an awkward dynamic, mama. My reaction was the same as yours. He should wear something in bed! I don't even think it is ambiguous. Is he claiming he could never possibly sleep with boxer shorts on ever?
I think the family bed includes clothes, that's not asking anything unreasonable. Sometimes she will end up alongside him, and soon she will be old enough to form memories, and for that matter your son will too. Like you said, there's nothing inappropriate going on but there is an issue here about how they look back on or talk about the co-sleeping experience. My 7 year old dd shares the bed with her Dad often, he wears pajama pants, no big deal.

Maybe you guys could agree to take this question to a neutral 3rd party. Who's opinion might he trust? Maybe a co-sleeping/fam bed book or article that addresses this? Take it out of the you-against-him dynamic, get an "expert" opinion.

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#3 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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My reaction is the same as yours..I don't have any advice though. I DO think he should be more respectful of your wishes though.

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#4 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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i wanted to point out - lots of men get erections while sleeping. it's perfectly normal and has nothing to do with who they are sleeping next to or whether or not they have underwear on.

mom to Andrew   born Feb 6th, already a mom to child with fur; and still missing and still wondering about the lost possibilities Mar 17, 2009
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#5 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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just my two cents, but your DH should definitely put some undies or some pajama pants on. It is sort of crossing a line to be snuggling nude with your daughter, and not that he is doing anything rotten, but god forbid anyone outside your family finds out they could make a big deal about it.
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#6 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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While I totally agree it is normal for a guy to erect during sleep and even when pressure is there in a non sexual manner I would feel he should be willing to compromise for the duration of the cosleeping. It really is not that much to ask.
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#7 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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I understand where you would be 'weirded out' But your LO is a child, and this isn't sexual. I hate to sound silly, but you are imposing sexual feelings on a child and someone who is asleep. Also, why are you OK with your son cuddling naked men? Do you cuddle your daughter naked? I assume you breast fed. There was nothing sexual with that.

I think your DD will be the one who stops cuddling with her dad when she is 'ready for that' I really wouldn't be worried about it now. If tables were reversed and he told you that your DS was going to be damaged by touching your breast at night, or nursing, (18 mo isn't that extended) you would be wild (or at least I would)

I would stop the 'poking' I don't like to be poked while I sleep regardless of the appendage. A simple nudge to wake him up enough to roll over and go back to sleep would work.

I don't like the double standard we've put on men, especially our husbands and childrens fathers.

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#8 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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My dp had always slept naked as well (well, so did I untill it became clear that my ds was a chronic nipple twiddler). Honestly, I would think nothing more of his skin to skin contact with a baby than of my own. Completely non-sexual. That said, now that my dd is 3.5 he recently started wearing undrewear to bed - totally of his own volition and for his own comfort.

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#9 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Catubodua, I know that the erection is totally normal and I don't think it has anything to do w/ my daughter of that my husband is attracted to him or anything like that. My concern is more that my daughter is not able to understand that, and in later years she may have hazy memories of these experiences and believe or be led by others to believe something inappropriate happened. Also I just don't feel comfortable with her being in contact w/ her dad's erect penis, this is just a gut reaction on my part and may be due to my own hang-ups or social norms but it is the way i feel.
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#10 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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While I totally agree it is normal for a guy to erect during sleep and even when pressure is there in a non sexual manner I would feel he should be willing to compromise for the duration of the cosleeping. It really is not that much to ask.

you're right that asking him to wear underwear really isn't a big deal. but, underwear won't prevent him from getting erections while sleeping. if it's the erection that bothers OP, underwear won't solve her problem.

mom to Andrew   born Feb 6th, already a mom to child with fur; and still missing and still wondering about the lost possibilities Mar 17, 2009
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#11 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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I agree. It's not too much to ask for him to throw on some boxers. The fact that he is unwilling to do that would make me more uncomfortable than the incident in and of itself. I used to sleep naked before having my son and I just don't do it anymore. It's not appropriate in my mind. Esp. not with an 18 mo old.

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#12 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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i wanted to point out - lots of men get erections while sleeping. it's perfectly normal and has nothing to do with who they are sleeping next to or whether or not they have underwear on.
This is true. Pajamas will not change the situation that nature has devised. So, if you are uncomfortable with your DD being around that, then it's time for either your DH or your DD to leave the family bed rather than for you to expect your DH to somehow overcome biology.
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#13 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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I understand where you would be 'weirded out' But your LO is a child, and this isn't sexual. I hate to sound silly, but you are imposing sexual feelings on a child and someone who is asleep. Also, why are you OK with your son cuddling naked men? Do you cuddle your daughter naked? I assume you breast fed. There was nothing sexual with that.

I think your DD will be the one who stops cuddling with her dad when she is 'ready for that' I really wouldn't be worried about it now. If tables were reversed and he told you that your DS was going to be damaged by touching your breast at night, or nursing, (18 mo isn't that extended) you would be wild (or at least I would)

I would stop the 'poking' I don't like to be poked while I sleep regardless of the appendage. A simple nudge to wake him up enough to roll over and go back to sleep would work.

I don't like the double standard we've put on men, especially our husbands and childrens fathers.
I don't see as an example of a double standard. Apples and oranges.

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#14 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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i wanted to point out - lots of men get erections while sleeping. it's perfectly normal and has nothing to do with who they are sleeping next to or whether or not they have underwear on.
yeah, i'm not sure how wearing underwear would prevent this. also, i slept naked last night next to DD. DH and i had DTD earlier when DD was sleeping in her room, then later she woke up and came into our bed & i was still naked from before. is that weird? it doesn't seem so to me. she sees me naked all the time!

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#15 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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In my house that would be a non-issue. Especially with such a young baby. I sleep naked, as does dh, now if a kid comes in they are more than welcome in our bed, we just put them on top of the sheets but under the blanket, or they bring their own blanket, but that's with my much older kids. 18 months is still a baby =)

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#16 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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my partner and I have a similar issue, though he hasn't been so dismisive.

as of now, we co-sleep with the baby- him, me, s.. and like you, my partner is usually naked and [most of the time] really doesn't want to wear anything (which I get, you know). I typically sleep with pants/shorts 'cause the babe's feet get around

when we move this summer, however, we will be sharing a room with the bigger kids too and I am worried that we will end up with a very similar discussion. As a mother of three girls and a rape survivor, I will admit to being *possibly* overly-concerned about sexual issues, but that doesn't mean that I will back down

I think pants on your husband are more than appropriate for your daughter's age and that your husband's reaction was a def uav.. I would sleep in another room, leave a few books/articles out for your husband on the topic (not sure what, but..) and wait for him to have a rational discussion with you. I know what you mean about not wanting this cause friction, but it sounds like it already is.. you know what's best for your daughter, and you are being a great mother by advocating for her..

Good luck, mama.. I really hope this works itself out

(wanted to add that the breastfeeding thing, imo, is totally irrelevant.. I have a feeling that others will elaborate more though...)

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#17 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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Sleep erections happen. He can't control it.

Even if they were both clothed it was going to happen. Her leg could have been over it with clothes on.

I am wondering if he felt attacked and accused. Even though you said you made it clear it could still feel accused.

I also wonder if you truly believe that men get erections for other reasons than sex. Many people put an automatic association erection = sex that shouldn't be there. You were sick to your stomac,IMO because you were making it more sexual than you should have been.

I do think he should put some sleep pants/undies on. I would also encourage you to have him try different products. Male sleep wear is very limited and uncomfortable. He might not be aware of options. It might mean taking up a little sewing to find materals that are comfortable for him.

I see it really as no big deal but I do worry that DFS might think different.
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#18 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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Sleeping erection aren't sexual, but I can see how they'd be weird while the kid is cuddling him. We just ignore them in our family bed. Well, DS doesn't ignore his own he announces them, but then we ignore those announcements lol.
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#19 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:08 PM
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My dp had always slept naked as well (well, so did I untill it became clear that my ds was a chronic nipple twiddler).
LOL! that made me smile...
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#20 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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I don't see as an example of a double standard. Apples and oranges.
You never been woken up by a 2 year old nippl twiddler have you? Or been woken aroused buy the said nipple twiddler and having to take a momment to regroup because you realized the nipple twiddler was your dead asleep son.
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#21 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I understand where you would be 'weirded out' But your LO is a child, and this isn't sexual. I hate to sound silly, but you are imposing sexual feelings on a child and someone who is asleep. Also, why are you OK with your son cuddling naked men? Do you cuddle your daughter naked? I assume you breast fed. There was nothing sexual with that.

I think your DD will be the one who stops cuddling with her dad when she is 'ready for that' I really wouldn't be worried about it now. If tables were reversed and he told you that your DS was going to be damaged by touching your breast at night, or nursing, (18 mo isn't that extended) you would be wild (or at least I would)

I would stop the 'poking' I don't like to be poked while I sleep regardless of the appendage. A simple nudge to wake him up enough to roll over and go back to sleep would work.

I don't like the double standard we've put on men, especially our husbands and childrens fathers.
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#22 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I don't see as an example of a double standard. Apples and oranges.
really? A father can't sleep naked with his daughter but a mother can with her son?

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#23 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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(and, fwiw, I don't think that the erection issue is what's bothering the op- rather his lack of concern..)
just my humble opinion... but i don't think he's unconcerned about it. i think he's annoyed and / or angry at getting accused of being inappropriate when it was something completely natural and out of his control.

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#24 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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DH and I always slept naked. And in the beginning it was so much easier for bf at night. Then the babies feet started moving and I realized it was much more comfortable to sleep with bottoms on. And after I nightweaned, I have to sleep with a top on otherwise dd won't stop playing with my breasts. So now I sleep in pj's for the first time in like 10 years. It was weird at first, but I got used to it. DH now sleeps in boxers because one morning when dd1 was around 15 months old she crawled under the covers and grabbed his penis early in the morning, . He's never slept naked since then!

I don't think it is too much to ask that your dh put on a pair of boxers. It obviously bothers you, and I feel like since he knows that it bothers you enough that you are considering sleeping in another bed, he should do it for you. It shouldn't be that big of a deal. He'll get used to sleeping in boxers after just a few nights and then he won't even think twice of it.

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#25 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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The underwear at least would contain the erection and help keep it from poking the daughter. My husband wears underwear to bed--briefs, not boxers, so maybe that's a different thing. He was never happy with cosleeping, never wanted to do it--he can't stand people touching him while he sleeps--so if I told him he needed to change the way he slept, he would tell me the children need to be in their own beds. Maybe that is part of what is going on here. It sounds as if the OP's husband is fine with cosleeping, but still, if he already has 2 children in the bed, maybe he is unwilling to give up another aspect of his comfort.
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#26 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really, really appreciate all the responses. Here is what I am thinking now:

1) my reaction (sick to my stomach) was definitely my own issues cropping up. I was aware of that at the time, actually, and that is why I tried to make it clear that nothing inappropriate was actually happening, both to my husband and when I posted.

2) i know that the erections will still happen with clothes on but for some reason i just feel more comfortable with him being clothed and having an erection while cuddling my daughter than not. this may be silly, i am not sure.

3) the erections actually weren't what bothered me, he has had them in the past and i thought nothing of it, it was the poking thing that made me attribute something sexual to it. but like i said before, this is not something he is doing consciously and i am not suspicious of him at all.

Thanks for the responses, I really feel like I am being supported and also challenged to examine this closely.
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#27 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just to address some other points brought up, i don't sleep naked myself. and i don't want husband to sleep naked w/ my son b/c he's too little and my husband is a heavy sleeper. i don't see the erection as the same issue for my son b/c he's too little to actually be in contact w/ it, and he's so young, i don't think about it being an issue in the same way. but when he is older, i would feel the same way. and in thinking it over, i do think my husband probably felt attacked. so i need to let him know that i really, really trust him and don't think he is doing anything wrong. and see if we can negotiate something that would work for both of us regarding clothing in bed. it may not be an issue in other people's families, but i do think i would just be more comfortable if he wore something to bed. again, could be my own hang-ups and i can own that.
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#28 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Has he tried silk boxers? When I think of silk boxers, I think of gag-gifts & 15 year old boys trying to be suave. BUT... I recently got a pair of silk underwear from landsend, and they're phenomenal. It feels like I'm wearing nothing - but a soft & silky nothing.

My DH wears boxer briefs at night, and we don't sleep with a child between us. DH is a sexual-sleeper, and he can't help it. When theres a body(me) next to him, he gives it cuddles & love. (Which, is welcomed by me.) When my eldest was still much littler, I slept with both kids in the bed & DH slept elsewhere. It was just more comfortable for our family all around - I just had to be sure to get his love&hugs awake rather than asleep.

Hope you come to a decision that works for your family.
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#29 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Maybe he'll be responsive if you present it to him as it being your own hang-up and for your sake would he please wear boxers? Like, instead of fixing something he's doing wrong, he's doing you a favor?
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#30 of 95 Old 04-07-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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OP,

If you are uncomfortable with the situation for whatever reason, IMO you should go with your instincts and decide that the situation is going to change and your DH will no longer be sleeping naked with your children. No blame, no shame, just you are no longer comfortable with it and are changing it. Just that one of you is not comfortable with him sleeping naked with the children is reason enough by itself to make a change.

Your DH wearing something to bed is one way. If he is not willing to go along with that, there are other ways to change the situation. Your children can sleep somewhere else, you can go sleep somewhere else with them, or your DH can sleep somewhere else.

If he was unwilling to wear something to bed AND was upset with me for changing the situation another way, and was insisting that nothing should change, that would be alarming to me.

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