Would you get divorced over it? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > Would you get divorced over it?
Dragonfly's Avatar Dragonfly 04:36 PM 11-29-2005
I don't necessarily agree with lilyka on the reasons why your husband is shooting down any discussion because I'm not part of your marriage and I can't know. I do agree with her, though, that professional help sounds like a necessity. Can you all do counseling together (if you are not already)? Preferably with someone who does not have a vested interest in your faith?

I'm so sorry for what you've been through and what you are having to experience now. And I am in awe of your strength.

Minky's Avatar Minky 04:41 PM 11-29-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
Your dh isn't wiling to talk about it because he knows he won't be heard so why bother. You are not even remotely intrested in listening to what his reasons for wanting to circ are because it isn't going to happen regardless of how important it is to him or why. And you are so stuck on "this is never going to happen" that you don't even care how he feels about it. You don't want to talk to him you want to convince him. Understandable? absolutely. conducive to positive communication? no way. Likely to cause a pattern of behavior even if you get your way? absolutely. And it is likely to crop up all over the place any time you disagree about parenting. What a mess. This is definitely something you guys need to seek outside profesional help over. Beyond circumcission you guys need to address the poor communication issues. Either way one of you are going to lose on this and the one who loses needs to learn how to grieve thier loss in ah ealthy unresentful way and the other person needs to learn how to respect why it was important to them and actually hear the losers pain and be compassionate towards that loss even if they can't agree on what was best.
As much as I disagree that circ is like any other argument I have to take your point. If you're not listening to your dh's reasons for wanting circ, why should he listen to yours for not wanting it? Of course we know in our heart's that intact is better and we know we are better educated than DH is on this subject, but I remember I did give him a chance to speak his mind on the subject. I didn't interrupt, I just let him go through his reasons. Then I went through what I'd learned here and on other anti circ sites. He didn't change his mind that day I think it planted the seeds for him to change his mind in a month or so because his reasons didn't make sense.
milk4two's Avatar milk4two 04:47 PM 11-29-2005
I don't know what I would do. My DH was strongly in favor of circing, but during the course of my pregnancy I was able to talk him out of it. We're not Jewish, though. I do know one Jewish woman who said if she ever had a boy (she didn't) it would be the end of her marriage.

I don't know that I would divorce my husband over it, but our inability to come to an agreement would severely strain our marriage, even more than the procedure. I can say that even though I circed my first two boys without a second thought (not our third).

You'll be in my prayers. I hope the two of you are able to reach an agreement on this. And I am sorry about the loss of your daughter. FWIW (and I am adamantly against circumcision) it's my understanding that a bris is less traumatic than a western circ, and done in a loving atmosphere.
RubyWild's Avatar RubyWild 07:35 PM 11-29-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by girl138
I know in my heart that our marriage would be over the minute a hand was laid on this baby anyway - and better that he have a broken home and be intact than have a broken home and be circ.
I still don't see how divorcing your husband will save your son's foreskin. Won't your then ex-husband just do it without you? Or are you planning to kidnap your son and never let him see his dad again? I really think you're going to have to get him to change his mind, otherwise he'll do it anyway.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 08:06 PM 11-29-2005
Just for the record, I was not saying her dh could possible have good reason, nor am I defending any reason. There is no such thing as a religous reason outside of a person actively practicing said religon.

I would recommend however just listening to him. let him share his reasons without stating yours. (for now) just give him the floor, listen to him, let him be heard and let him know that you will take his feelings into consideration. Then at another time bring the topic back up with your reasons etc. he might be more willing to listen. Especially ify ou can understand where he is coming from. "I know this is important to your family . . .I love your penis just how it is. . . I know this will help you feel more connected to your spiritual heritage . . whatever whatever. would you be willing to read this one article, watch this video together, talk to the Dr. together (pre interviewed and on your side of course), ask questions, etc . . ". No need to insist in anything until your baby is born. let him have the room to learn and decide rather than digging in his heals to win (not defending this behavior but some people just get this way regardless of immature it is).
A&A's Avatar A&A 10:09 PM 11-29-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
I still don't see how divorcing your husband will save your son's foreskin. Won't your then ex-husband just do it without you? Or are you planning to kidnap your son and never let him see his dad again? I really think you're going to have to get him to change his mind, otherwise he'll do it anyway.

WORST CASE SCENARIO........... You get divorced and dh gets the circumcision done anyway. BUT at least you didn't stay married (giving your heart, body, and soul) to the jackass who abused your son.

Again, that's the absolute WORST case scenario, which I don't see happening. More realistically, either the dh will back down or the divorce will happen and ds will stay intact.

Additionally, most doctors will be reluctant to do a "just because" circ as the child gets beyond 6 months (because then it requires anesthesia, etc.), so it will become progressively harder for the dad to get it done.
RubyWild's Avatar RubyWild 11:00 PM 11-29-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
WORST CASE SCENARIO........... You get divorced and dh gets the circumcision done anyway. BUT at least you didn't stay married (giving your heart, body, and soul) to the jackass who abused your son.

Again, that's the absolute WORST case scenario, which I don't see happening. More realistically, either the dh will back down or the divorce will happen and ds will stay intact.

Additionally, most doctors will be reluctant to do a "just because" circ as the child gets beyond 6 months (because then it requires anesthesia, etc.), so it will become progressively harder for the dad to get it done.
I disagree that the worst case scenario is unlikely. If he's willing to allow her to divorce over it, he'll be getting it done with or without her; and a doctor doesn't have to be involved, although I"m sure there are many pediatricians who'd do it no questions asked. I've known women who were told by pedis that their son's this, that, or the other problem was caused by being intact and have recommended that their toddlers get circumcised. There are a lot of people who are extremely pro circumcision. That's why I think she should work directly on educating her husband to bring him to her side.
Dragonfly's Avatar Dragonfly 11:38 PM 11-29-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
I still don't see how divorcing your husband will save your son's foreskin. Won't your then ex-husband just do it without you? Or are you planning to kidnap your son and never let him see his dad again? I really think you're going to have to get him to change his mind, otherwise he'll do it anyway.

Respectfully, I think you're missing the point. The point, as it seems to me, is not that she would be divorcing her husband because it's the way to save her son's foreskin. It's more that the divorce would be a result of the loss of trust and love for a person who could bully her into such a decision and take that sort of action against her child.

I know if I were married it would have a horrible time surviving something like that even without having gone through everything this mama has already experienced.
RubyWild's Avatar RubyWild 11:57 PM 11-29-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Respectfully, I think you're missing the point. The point, as it seems to me, is not that she would be divorcing her husband because it's the way to save her son's foreskin. It's more that the divorce would be a result of the loss of trust and love for a person who could bully her into such a decision and take that sort of action against her child.

I know if I were married it would have a horrible time surviving something like that even without having gone through everything this mama has already experienced.
You're right. I really thought the point was to save her son's penis from mutilation.
Breathless Wonder's Avatar Breathless Wonder 12:23 AM 11-30-2005
Yes, I think if my husband issued a threat/ultimatum like that, over my heartfelt, researched opposition...

Circumcision is not something that can be undone. It is my job to protect my children.

You are not choosing divorce. Your husband is.
girl138's Avatar girl138 12:40 AM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minky
As much as I disagree that circ is like any other argument I have to take your point. If you're not listening to your dh's reasons for wanting circ, why should he listen to yours for not wanting it? Of course we know in our heart's that intact is better and we know we are better educated than DH is on this subject, but I remember I did give him a chance to speak his mind on the subject. I didn't interrupt, I just let him go through his reasons. Then I went through what I'd learned here and on other anti circ sites. He didn't change his mind that day I think it planted the seeds for him to change his mind in a month or so because his reasons didn't make sense.
his reasoning is that "his family will freak"

and to be honest, i am being pig headed on this and i acknowledge that. i am AFRAID of what could happen. and if you were me you would risk everything to keep your baby SAFE too.
girl138's Avatar girl138 12:47 AM 11-30-2005
oh - and i said somewhere in this mess that i do not want a divorce nor would i ever ask for one. i was told BY MY HUSBAND that if i didn't allow a circumcision to APPEASE HIS FAMILY then we would end up divorced.

initially i wanted to know if i was crazy for standing my ground on the topic after that threat.... now, i don't CARE what anyone thinks. i AM standing my ground.

and by the way: he dropped it. haven't heard a word from him about it since i emailed him all of those links and the video - so who knows. maybe he will come around after all.

i'll tell you one thing - we aren't fighing and he is being his usual sweet self to me again.

and again - thank you ALL for your input. i was feeling very alone when i made this post and hearing all of your opinions helped me a lot.
Quirky's Avatar Quirky 01:04 AM 11-30-2005
I spent some time reading your blog....you are one awesome mama.
Dragonfly's Avatar Dragonfly 01:07 AM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
You're right. I really thought the point was to save her son's penis from mutilation.
And now you've missed my point. Oh well.

I'm glad to hear things seem to be on their way up, Jenna.
A&A's Avatar A&A 01:58 AM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
That's why I think she should work directly on educating her husband to bring him to her side.

I don't disagree that she should work on convincing him. HOWEVER, her question was whether or not we would get divorced over it, should it come to that, God forbid. My answer still is an unequivocal yes. Being the father, he can get a circumcision for the son, whether they are married or not. However, I would not continue to share my heart and spirit with such an evil person. Therefore, yes, I would get divorced, even if the divorce didn't/couldn't stop the circumcision.

However, family courts are still biased towards women. She does have that in her favor. Should a mother imply that perhaps the father is a danger to the child (assuming she has a good lawyer), she may very well get a custody arrangement which only allows the father supervised visits.
A&A's Avatar A&A 01:58 AM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by girl138
initially i wanted to know if i was crazy for standing my ground on the topic after that threat.... now, i don't CARE what anyone thinks. i AM standing my ground.

You're NOT crazy, and I'm VERY proud of you.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 02:26 AM 11-30-2005
You are not being pig headed. you are being firm. there is a difference (one is backed up with a solid reason.) but they are ways to be firm while still honoring your partners emotions. I am glad to hear he at least seems to be mulling it over. Actually thinking about is a good place to start. It is hard to think about it to much wiothout coming to a logical conclusion and "my family will freak" is not a strong reason. Your about to have a kid. His family is gonna freak about a lot of stuff . they will get used to it. And counseling is good for that too if they need help
LadyMarmalade's Avatar LadyMarmalade 08:33 AM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by caloli
I feel that this sentence is missing two words and should read "circ is not a crime, not considered abuse legally in America. The rest of the world feels differently and many countries have classified it as legal abuse (RIC is illegal in Sweden).
Just wanted to quote myself and share a link I found - the UN considers circumcision child abuse:

http://www.universalway.org/circtruths.html

(about 1/3 of the way down).
Greenie's Avatar Greenie 01:36 PM 11-30-2005
I'm sorry for your loss, and I'm glad things are better with you and your DH. We argued about this for about a week. I had never read anything about Circ in my life, never thought much about it. I was worried about paying for a procedure that my insurance didn't cover.. SO wanted the circ done because he is.

Well. Then I did a little research, found this lovely messageboard, and told SO that if he wanted to 'circ my baby, who is growing inside me, and who I love, and will protect no matter what' that he would have to 'kill me first'. He saw that wild hormonal look in my eyes, or something, because he said 'Okay, honey. That sounds fine to me.'

He did say later on, though, that he thought my desire to leave my son intact had something to do with his penis. I knew it.

Besides, my main thing is, what business is it of their what your son's penis looks like? It's not their son, it's not their penis.

Here's hoping that he came around!
Treasuremapper's Avatar Treasuremapper 02:17 PM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by girl138
oh - and i said somewhere in this mess that i do not want a divorce nor would i ever ask for one. i was told BY MY HUSBAND that if i didn't allow a circumcision to APPEASE HIS FAMILY then we would end up divorced.
So part of his concern is that his family will be upset or freaked if he doesn't do this to your son? I got the feeling from his response to my post in your blog that I was insulting him by suggesting such a thing.
Treasuremapper's Avatar Treasuremapper 02:20 PM 11-30-2005
You may want to put in writing to the persons who may possibly perform the circumcision that you DO NOT CONSENT to having the surgery performed on your son. You have to use those words. Even if you are planning a homebirth, carry copies with you if you get transferred and hand them to everyone, especially the director of pediatrics or neonatology. A bunch of things I did not consent to happened to my first daughter and they said that was because the pediatricians never got my birth plan and it did not say "I do not consent to _____". (note they used two excuses, which makes me think they were both b.s., but still)

Good luck. I'm glad he is acting like himself again.
milk4two's Avatar milk4two 02:27 PM 11-30-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by girl138
oh - and i said somewhere in this mess that i do not want a divorce nor would i ever ask for one. i was told BY MY HUSBAND that if i didn't allow a circumcision to APPEASE HIS FAMILY then we would end up divorced.
If your husband is willing to divorce you over this, I find that sad and disturbing. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
mattemma04 06:17 PM 11-30-2005
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jenP's Avatar jenP 03:58 PM 12-01-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by inezyv
Even if you are planning a homebirth, carry copies with you if you get transferred and hand them to everyone, especially the director of pediatrics or neonatology.
This is where having a doula really gave me peace of mind during my labor and delivery. Just knowing she was there to run interference allowed me to focus on the birth, w/o worrying who had or needed or read copies of my birth plan.
I highly recommend a doula, not just for the circ thing but for thepeace of mind all around.
Hope all goes well for you!
Jen
woobysma's Avatar woobysma 04:45 PM 12-01-2005
To answer the OP's question: YES, I would and I did (wasn't the only issue we had, but the circ fight was definitely the nail in the coffin)

It was the best decision I ever made. What finally made up my mind was this thought: "would I rather split up now because I'm not circ'ing, or split up later because I hate him for circ'ing?" either way, I knew we were doomed - might as well protect my son, you know?

But that was just my personal decision.
missab's Avatar missab 07:11 PM 12-01-2005
I'd probably have to divorce my husband.
Arwyn's Avatar Arwyn 08:26 PM 12-01-2005
I actually don't think the circumcision issue per se is what would "justify" divorce - but the bullying, the conformity, the willingness to cause permanent damage to avoid familial conflict, the implied insecurity, the poor communication, the lack of considerateness, etc. would. Those are all signals of major problems in the relationship.
woobysma's Avatar woobysma 03:31 PM 12-02-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
I actually don't think the circumcision issue per se is what would "justify" divorce - but the bullying, the conformity, the willingness to cause permanent damage to avoid familial conflict, the implied insecurity, the poor communication, the lack of considerateness, etc. would. Those are all signals of major problems in the relationship.
This is EXACTLY it for me. When I realized that my "partner" didn't respect my views or the rights of our son enough to even DISCUSS it, I knew our relationship wasn't worth saving. I think it would have been different if he was willing to read and watch and think about the info out there and then have an honest discussion - AND THEN still disagreed with me (I still wouldn't circ, but it wouldn't have created such hostility, IMO)

The "I'm the man with the penis and my word is law" crap is what infuriates me.
Smithie's Avatar Smithie 04:16 PM 12-02-2005
OP, I'm so sorry for your loss.

As it happens, my dh became a rabid anti-circer after we did our research on the subject, but one thing I was thinking of doing if he pulled out the "my parents will freak" argument was to talk to his parents directly. I think it's important for the other people who might be involved in a circ against your will do understand that you DO NOT CONSENT, and that the action would destroy your marriage. Your dh's parents aren't stupid. They know that you will get custody of a newborn, and that their role in the child's life would be seriously diminished. I think it's entirely possible that even if they are very pro-circ, they are even more pro-marriage for you and your dh. They have years of experience raising kids and being married, after all. They know that divorce would be terrible for all three of you.

The whole issue may just blow over. Circ is often a very nasty fight, and nobody wants to admit that they went over the edge defending their views. Eventually your mother or MIL will ask about a bris, and at that point I would have a brit shalom planned already and just tell them about that. It would be more fair for your husband to handle his family, but it may fall to you and it is just the first of many times you will run interference as your son's #1 advocate.
kristenburgess's Avatar kristenburgess 04:42 PM 12-02-2005
I hope all the links have helped to change your hubby's mind. I haven't read all the replies so maybe this came up. But you mentioned that your husband's reason for wanting to circ was "my family will freak if we don't." Do you think it's possible that members of his family have made comments to him - comments along the lines that he'll be hurting his son if he doesn't choose to circ? Since it is a religious thing, perhaps the implication is there that your baby will be hurt spiritually - and thus your husband's desire to circ is also because he wants the best for his child, and he wants him to be safe in all respects.

I hope that the links you were given can help change your dh's mind and help him realize there are ways to celebrate your son without the traditional bris.

I know both of you must have so much fear and apprehension within you after the pain that you're experiencing with the loss of your daughter. I'm just wondering if his response is coming more from fear and pain than deep conviction or desire to control...My prayers are with you mama as you go through your pregnancy and birth your son.
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