What to expect way before you are expecting
April 16, 2011 12:17 AM   Subscribe

I am not even pregnant yet, and I feel like my husband is already concerned about the state of my body after pregnancy.

I am in my late 20s and my husband just turned 30. The plan is, we start trying to get pregnant at the end of 2011. We're both excited about it, and nervous.

Here's the problem: I'm not even pregnant yet, and I suddenly feel like my husband is really, really concerned about what my body will look like after pregnancy, to the point where I'm getting insecure and anxious about it. And I have maybe the normal amount of insecurities about my body already.

To be fair, I am in good shape now; I work out regularly and eat well. When my husband first starting making comments about how he'll work hard to make sure I have time to exercise once the baby is born, I thought it was just him being aware of how important being in good shape is to me. But there have been other comments. For example:

1) For some reason, we were in a group of people and talking about stretch marks. My husband didn't know what stretch marks were, so me and a friend explained them to him, and how they often happen during pregnancy. He asked if there was anything that could be done to prevent them. I said that it's mostly genetic, and he asked if my mom had stretch marks, and then a few hours later brought it up again, and asked if there was anything you could do to prevent them.

2) A friend of ours had a baby about six months ago, and we recently saw her. My husband commented several times on how great she looked, how thin she was, how quickly she lost the weight, and so on.

3) After the events of #2, I point-blank asked him, "Would you still love and respect me if I got fat after being pregnant?" and he responded, "You aren't going to get fat, because being in good shape is too important to you." Which. . . wasn't the answer I was looking for.

Am I being oversensitive? Or this is a sort of normal fear of soon-to-be-fathers? What's the best way to discuss this with my husband without coming off as accusing or desperately insecure? Is there anything we can both learn to better understand what to expect after pregnancy?

I should point out: when it comes right down to it, my husband is the for whom having children is more important, in the sense that me not wanting to have kids would have been a deal breaker for him in the earlier days of the relationship, but not the other way around. I want children, too, but it's something he's much more emotionally invested in.

In addition, I feel like my husband does have a not-so-great attitude toward a lot of overweight people. He's naturally thin, and very much in the mindset that, for most people, being overweight is a kind of personal failure--not eating right, not exercising. This topic is one we've debated sometimes and I think he gets a little more where I'm comnig from, but isn't totally convinced. I don't want to get bogged down in it, or have this question turn into "How do I get my husband to understand fat acceptance?" but I feel like it is an important part of his mindset, and maybe part of the place where some of my insecurities are coming from (as probably seen in the "respect" part of #3 above).
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (53 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think you're being oversensitive at all, but I really think you need to talk to a couples therapist about this. Issues about your body are the last thing you're going to want to worry about after becoming parents ( IANAparent, but am at that age when a lot of people are starting to plan these things and are having children).

It's entirely possible that your husband's feelings on your body ( no matter how you look after pregnancy) will change entirely once he sees it as something that produced a child that he will love and raise; but you should go through these feelings with a therapist or other trusted third party advisor.
posted by sweetkid at 12:36 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well, I'm a father-to-be (yayayayayay!), and I do not give a shit about my partner's weight post-baby - and if I did (i don't), I certainly would not be foolish enough to express those concerns to her now, when her body is already changing and she's hormonal, and no doubt somewhat sensitive to the permanent changes this pregnancy will engender in her body, changes that have already begun.

I think you need be clear to your husband; the fact that having a child means to much to him should make this conversation even easier. Something like,

"Honey, I know how excited you are about having a baby; I'm excited too. But some of your comments about body changes and pregnancy are making me anxious. When you talk about stretch marks, or losing weight after pregnancy, it makes me feel like you won't love me or our baby as much if I don't lose a lot of weight immediately after the pregnancy.

"My body is going to be carrying - and then delivering - a child for nine months. It's going to go through so many changes that I won't have any control over. When I think about my body after the pregnancy, I start to feel worried because I won't necessarily have control over that, either, and I feel like it's another thing I have to worry about, when the only thing I should be worrying about is the health of our child.

"It would really help me if you could let me know that you're going to love me no matter how I look after a baby, and let me know it regularly, so I feel okay and don't have to worry about this, also. Knowing that you're on my team and you're going to love me and my body during and after I'm preganant - however it looks - will really help me feel safe and positive about this pregnancy, and also make me know that your number one priority is going to be our new family, not how I look or whether I'm exercising. Could you please do that for me? I love you so much, and I just want to make sure as we go into this big adventure, where so much is changing, that at least one thing is going to be constant, and that's how you feel about me and my body."

These kinds of conversations are never easier, but you should only need to have them once. Best of luck, I'm sure you'll be a beautiful, radiant mother. :)
posted by smoke at 12:40 AM on April 16, 2011 [72 favorites]

I don't think you're being oversensitive; it doesn't sound like he's handling this gracefully at all.
posted by Menthol at 12:45 AM on April 16, 2011 [14 favorites]

It sounds like your problem has a very simple solution: stay healthy, stay in shape. It'll make both of you (hopefully, all three of you) happy. So, what am I missing here?

The whole thing about the stretch marks? The fact that pregnancy and nursing frequently DOES have an impact on the body -- you may still be in shape after the baby, but that shape is different. Saying "If you really care about yourself and about your man you'll have your pre-pregnancy body back by your 6-week postpartum checkup" is laughable, and to associate that with any particular nationality is even more laughable.

To the OP: You're not being oversensitive. At the very least, your husband needs to learn to check himself before he's raising a child whose body image he could seriously distort.
posted by KathrynT at 1:15 AM on April 16, 2011 [64 favorites]

What KathrynT said.

Also: There's a lot you can do to keep yourself as healthy (and 'in shape') as possible, before, during and after pregnancy. And it's great that he's thinking ahead and he's decided he'll make sure you'll get time for exercise. But he'll have to accept that stretch marks, for instance, either will or won't occur no matter how he thinks about them. And really, those are just an example.
posted by Ms. Next at 1:22 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Where did she mention the phrase "fat acceptance?"

In the question: I don't want to get bogged down in it, or have this question turn into "How do I get my husband to understand fat acceptance?"
posted by andoatnp at 2:15 AM on April 16, 2011

I don't think you're being oversensitive, I think he's being callous. I'd probably snap and say something like "maybe we should think about adoption if you want some sort of guarantee that my body won't change after pregnancy" but smoke's answer is probably a more productive one.
posted by emd3737 at 2:40 AM on April 16, 2011 [12 favorites]

I would be upset as well. And I'm used as the stick with which people beat pregnant women with since I was so 'good' and gained no weight, and then lost all the extra weight I was carrying. My brother in law has actually said that sort of thing to his partner WHILE she was pregnant and nursing.

The crux of the issue is that there is a lot of shit with pregnancy and post-partum that you have very little control over. I went from totally and completely lowrisk to high blood pressure overnight. My gallbladder shit itself. I ended up with undiagnosed gestational diabetes until three days before I gave birth. Excessive concern over appearance will not help any of those things and will only exacerbate them. Looking at photos of myself that last day and goddamn I was swollen. But weighing myself and prodding myself would have only made the situation worse. After I had my daughter more shit went wrong and again, beating myself up over something as benign and stupid as appearance would have been a vile waste of energy.

I would be prepared for a lot of truly unhelpful shit if I were you. I had a LOT of well meaning douches tell me to go for walks when I was pregnant and post-partum. Lots. Never mind the blood pressure spiking, never mind the pelvic instability, never mind the medical advice. I should walk lest I get fatter. I had people telling me to restrict my food intake because i dont want to be one of those hideous women who take advantage of pregnancy in order to gorge and get fat. Ignoring that I was throwing up two or three meals a day and desperately needed calories to, you know, survive. It is insidious and painful and unhelpful. What is he going to do if you're really sick? Or have a bad delivery?

You need your partner in your corner (as a general rule) and being unable to differentiate between health and appearance is worrying, as is the total lack of understanding or knowledge of pregnant bodies. That shit needs to be addressed well before kids.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:49 AM on April 16, 2011 [63 favorites]

How pregnancy will effect your body is really hard to control. No matter how much free time you have to work out after the baby's birth, your body is probably going to be different from how you looked 9 months before. Things like stretch marks or less perky boobs seem like minor concerns compared with serious medical conditions or mental health issues that you might experience as a result of your pregnancy. While it is kind of your husband to think of giving you time to work out after the baby is born, how you LOOK shouldn't be more important than you and your child's HEALTH. It seems he is trying to disguise his concern for your appearance as a concern for your health, and that just ain't cool.
posted by gumtree at 3:09 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

I could have written a LOT of that (my husband had a "nightmare" that I got fat after having children. And then TOLD ME ABOUT IT.) I was pretty shocked because he's a liberal feminist person, but everyone's got body issues in this culture. Could you encourage him to talk to his own mom? Maybe read Shape of a Mother? In my case, he got over it really quickly, seeing the damn hard work that building a person was and after my telling him that worrying about my post-baby body wouldn't change my outsides for the better, and would damage my insides pretty thoroughly.
posted by tchemgrrl at 3:29 AM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]

Women often want to transform their man into their ideal, the man wants the woman to stay the same as he thought she was ideal to start with. Sadly, time, if nothing else, will doom both projects to failure. In an argument like this just concede the principle - of course darling, I'll want to get my figure back pronto - and he'll concede any particular bar of chocolate down the line. Once you have a kid you'll both be too tired to notice or care about this stuff. He's anxious that having a baby will change you and your relationship, assure him it won't but you know it will and he'll realise it too sooner or later.
posted by joannemullen at 3:36 AM on April 16, 2011

Definitely not oversensitive - those comments would bother me as well. I was not at all prepared for the changes my body went through in my first (no complications) pregnancy and afterwards - and I don't think a lot of people are - yes, you theoretically know you'll get stretch marks, maybe, and so on, but most of us don't see real, unretouched women's bodies in the stages of pregnancy and after (Shape of a Mother, which tchemgrrl recommended already, is the one place I can think of offhand).

What made it even a worse transition for me was that I was one of those thin-without-trying teenagers, never exercised or thought about what I ate, so I had little concept or understanding of the body image issues many women have - it was a big shock to go through it all of a sudden in my mid-20s. I lost the pregnancy weight within nine months ("nine months to be pregnant and nine months to recover" is a phrase I heard often) but exercise and diet wouldn't have put my body back to what it was before, no way.

Breast tissue matures in pregnancy to be able to breastfeed children - it gets softer and less firm. Mine grew a cup size before my belly was even showing, sagged (I never had to wear a bra before, now I always do), and were covered in big purple stretch marks (the purple fades, the marks get less visible, but remain). They were a completely different shape afterwards. I got stretch marks on my thighs and behind; my stomach only had a few (the first time), but it never was flat and smooth again even after losing weight, which is completely normal - the skin is stretched and it doesn't usually snap back. My hips spread, so again, even after I lost weight, I couldn't fit into many of the skirts and pants I wore before. I have varicose and spider veins on my legs. My third pregnancy ended in miscarriage almost halfway through and I carried around that extra 25 lbs I'd already gained for four years afterwards. I just couldn't shift it - it could've been something mental, it could've been hormonal changes, it could've been getting older, I don't know. Different women have different experiences - these are just mine and relatively minor - I'm not even touching on mental effects or serious problems.

What does "being in shape" mean to you and your husband? You can look fine clothed if all you're focused on is looking thinner. But it was hard for me to be comfortable naked when my body didn't feel familiar to me anymore, either to look at myself, or during anything sexual. My husband didn't give me any pressure at all about my body - in fact he was the one who kept telling me these body changes were totally normal and it didn't make a difference to him. (He'd seen more postpartum women's naked bodies in the flesh than I had, after all.) I was the one it bothered, and it bothered me a lot more than I thought it would. My oldest child is almost 8, I have had more children, and only recently have I learned (mostly) to try and let go, accept and live with the body I have now instead of feeling bad I can't have my former body back ever again.

geek anachronism makes a great point above - you really don't have any control over how your pregnancy will be. I say this all the time - getting pregnant and having kids is a leap of faith. You cross your fingers, jump, and hope everything goes okay; but anything could go wrong. I think it's very important to feel supported no matter what because it will be a crazy time even if everything goes well - having a baby is a life change and it'll bring you nothing but grief if either of you are assuming that you're going to be continuing on as you were with hardly a bump or a difference in your lives, bodies, relationship to each other, or how you feel about and view yourselves.
posted by flex at 5:20 AM on April 16, 2011 [12 favorites]

3) After the events of #2, I point-blank asked him, "Would you still love and respect me if I got fat after being pregnant?" and he responded, "You aren't going to get fat, because being in good shape is too important to you." Which. . . wasn't the answer I was looking for.

OK, it wasn't the answer you were looking for. Understandable. But what did you say after he said that? Did you tell him what you were really thinking? The suggestion is that you gave no response, and instead came to Metafilter to tell us what you were really thinking. Couldn't you tell him: "Actually, I might gain weight after giving birth, because that's what often happens. And that's right when we'll have a new baby, so I wouldn't be surprised if I'm completely focused on the baby, not on a personal project of 'getting in shape.' You and I can't just decide right now that I won't gain weight just because we would both prefer it not to happen; it still might happen." What would his reaction be to this?

I wouldn't frame it in terms of "fat acceptance." That makes it sound like some kind of politically correct duty. Try putting aside what general attitude he has toward those you categorize as "fat," and just focus on: "Look, here's something that realistically might happen; so, if it does, what then?" Of course, he can't be allowed to use the escape hatch of "Well, I don't think it will!"
posted by John Cohen at 5:25 AM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]

I'll also endorse what KathrynT said. The suggestion to look at Shape of a Mother with him is also a good one.

I'll just toss this out there, not to scare you, but maybe as something that could be a conversation opener for you.

I have a good friend, who after a long struggle and fertility treatments became pregnant with twins. She was then on bed rest for about 21 weeks, in order to keep her pregnant. All in all, between the bed rest and the weight of the babies, she gained about 65 lbs. Within 6 months of the birth she'd lost all but about 14-15 lbs of that, but of course her body was very different afterward.

When the babies were about a year old, she and her husband very suddenly divorced. He's been very, very open about the fact that she's "not as hot as she used to be" as a factor in the divorce. (He's also been made a social pariah by his male friends for these comments - my husband reports to me that at one point on of their male friends (also a father) turned to this guy and said "Dude, I thought you were a man, but clearly I was wrong.")

I think your husband, maybe, doesn't know a lot about how pregnancy works and what changes your body goes through, and the reasons for these changes. So he needs some education about that. I'd start by asking him some open ended questions about what his expectations are about what your life will be like after the baby comes. Has he ever been around babies before? Has he thought about the (remote, yes) possibility that you might end up on bed rest? What would be his plan for that? If you had to have a C-section?

Also, were it me, I would share my story above with him ("Oh man, I just read the saddest thing on the internet. There was this woman who...") and talk with him about his reaction to it.

All that being said, I think Hal likely has the right answer - that he's just anxious about the whole thing and this is how he's showing it. If not? If it turns out that this is really "a thing" for him? Well, better to know that now than 18 months from now.
posted by anastasiav at 5:34 AM on April 16, 2011 [17 favorites]

He sounds like I do when I have a new car and it doesn't have any scratches on it and I'm parking down by the mailboxes and doing a walk-around every time I come back to it. It's a bit neurotic with a car (I get over it sooner or later), it's really troubling with one's spouse.

As has been pointed out, whether you ever get pregnant or not, you're going to keep aging. If you keep working out and eating right, you'll look great at 70, but you'll still look 70.

I agree with hal_c - I think this is anxiety about the whole idea of having a child.

I'm not the first guy on the therapy bandwagon in most cases, but that's what I'd be suggesting if he doesn't calm down after you sit him down and tell him clearly how you feel about this.
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:40 AM on April 16, 2011

Wouldn't it be the case that having a kid with someone is orders of magnitude more involved than having body issues with someone? Is your partner aware of the saying "putting the cart before the horse"?
posted by telstar at 5:48 AM on April 16, 2011

1. You're not being oversensitive. Those comments weird me out and I'm a guy.

2. You two seriously needs to talk and he needs to be educated. He doesn't know about stretch marks, are you kidding me?! He's needs to be spending a lot of time reading up on pregnancy and talking to men who have gone through it. Because at this point, he's living with some sever delusions of how life will be during and after your pregnancy and since he's the one more interested in having kids, he has to be made aware how it changes things and you. If he's so gung ho to have kids, yet doesn't understand the reality of having them, that could be a warning sign for the future i.e. he may want trophy kids as opposed to getting in there and doing the hard work of changing diapers, bathing and entertaining a child for the next two decades.

To me, as an outside observer who only knows your husband through this singular portrait, this a clear warning sign of him not understanding what's going to be happening in his life for he next few decades. He sounds ignorant and immature and self absorbed and ya'll need to work on that so his expectations are more reasonable and you feel more supported.

Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 AM on April 16, 2011 [13 favorites]

Oh duh, apologies, you're not pregnant yet. Apologies for that misunderstanding.

That makes it more important to sort this out before you're pregnant though. Ya'll really need to be on the same page and he needs to be supportive of you, no matter what.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:59 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think helping your husband look at the bigger picture in addition to the immediacy of body changes could help. Pregnancy and children are unpredictable, and you don't know how easy or hard you'll have it until you do it.

You're talking about making and creating a baby who will turn into a child who will turn into a teenager who will turn into an adult. It's a huge, huge responsibility and an absolutely wonderful, fantastic journey. There will be lots of laughs, lots of tears, lots of frustrations, and lots of love.

But you won't know if you'll be one of those people with no morning sickness and a four hour birth with no complications, or if you'll be one of those people on bedrest for three months at the end due to premature labor symptoms. Maybe you'll have to have a c-section, in which case you'll have a scar on your abdomen that may either eventually blend in or will rise up and be bumpy.

There is so much to worry about with a pregnancy and with a child that the condition of one's body in the first year after birth --- outside of any remaining health effects from the birth --- is just so far from mine and my husband's thinking that I can't understand it. So I will throw this out there --- is he simply nervous about the having a child part of this and is it manifesting in how your body will be after birth? It sounds like he needs to understand more about pregnancy and birth in general, but I'd hold off on any baby-making plans until you know what is going on with him --- general nerves and inexperience or really not looking forward to the changes your body will undertake.
posted by zizzle at 5:59 AM on April 16, 2011

One last note: Nothing in your description signals his concern for you as a person. If anything his concerns seems to be related to his wants and desires to be reflected in your body at all times. Hopefully I'm wrong about this and him, but food for thought.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:11 AM on April 16, 2011 [26 favorites]

Wow, um... well, it's sure nice that your husband likes your body so much.

But he's being incredibly insensitive and immature.

Maybe you should back off on the pregnancy schedule and give him some time to grow the fuck up before you decide he's mature enough to be a father?
posted by rokusan at 6:13 AM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]

He's obviously very weirded by this and no, you are not being sensitive. I am a man, and when I browse the magazine sections at the supermarket or drugstore, I am shocked at how many women's magazines put on the cover a postpartum celebrity in a bikini with a headline such as, "Brooke Burke--back to a bikini body--in 6 weeks!" If I didn't know any better, I'd think that was what was supposed to happen. So cut him a little slack and have some of the heartfelt discussions described above.
posted by teg4rvn at 6:34 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

If he's so concerned about what pregnancy might do to your body ask him if he wants to adopt instead. He needs to grow up and face up to the fact that he's been brainwashed into thinking women are only attractive if they meet certain standards.
posted by mareli at 6:52 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

So your husband (a) wants you to have a baby, but (b) doesn't want you to look like you've had a baby?

Tell him he only gets to choose one.

If you like, also point out that choosing both makes people on the internet think he's kind of a dick.
posted by astrochimp at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [14 favorites]

I gotta disagree, because I think most people DO see this in real life; either in their own bodies, or in the bodies of the women around them.

I am extremely rarely around naked post-partum women, and I think most young men who don't spend every waking hour at the nude beach would say the same thing. I'm an educated guy who has, in fact, spent a lot of time at the nude beach, and I'd be hard pressed to discuss those changes in anything other than generalities.

I think the thing he needs to understand is how pregnancy isn't just having your belly swell up for a few months, then out pops a baby, the end. It's a huge deal, with unpredictable physical changes for you and your body. If you end up with a high risk pregnancy or serious complications for you or the child, there are much more serious worries than will you lose those last 10 pounds.

For what it's worth, though, I've never heard one man, ever, say something like "It's such a bummer about how my wife's breasts/stomach/hips/etc changed." I'm not saying no one thinks that, but as far as I can tell people seem mostly content with those changes. (Because, after all, the outcome is a baby, and everyone likes babies.)
posted by Forktine at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I worry that his attitude toward your body means that he's not mature enough to deal with the reality of fatherhood. You can't "un-have" an imperfect child - what if he not only has his heart set on your body not changing, what if he has his heart set on an easy-going, sweet-tempered angel trophy child? How will he deal with a colicky baby, a grade-schooler with a learning disability, a willful teenager?

As hard as rejection is for adults, they can move on and deal with it. A child can be damaged for life by a parent who loved the idea of a family but turns out to not really like their child as a person and sends the message (consciously or not) that the child, as he or she is, is a burden and a nuisance and should have been a better child.

Please, please don't start a family with this man until you both have worked through all your issues and have realistic expectations of what having a child is like and how your lives are going to change.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:58 AM on April 16, 2011 [11 favorites]

I gotta disagree, because I think most people DO see this in real life; either in their own bodies, or in the bodies of the women around them.

Or they live in a guys-only commune.

Naked? I meant naked, or at least mostly exposed. Sure I know what my body looks like now but I had nothing to compare it to - it's very hard to have a good idea what's normal when all I'd seen exposed was other women who hadn't had children. Since I had children, I don't wear anything showing my stomach. I cover my upper thighs. I don't take my bra off in front of other people. No one sees me naked except my family. I never saw my mother naked before I had kids - I barely even saw her in her underwear, because she didn't want anyone to see her body. In my experience most women who have had children are carefully body-conscious - they look fine dressed, but I don't see those marks of pregnancy - they cover those up just as I do. When people do comment on those pregnancy changes, it's negative: saggy boobs, saggy tummy, saggy butt; you should wear shapewear to smooth your body out; how do I get rid of my stretchmarks? should I laser my varicose veins? should I get a tummy tuck or a breast lift?

My husband has seen more postpartum women naked than I ever have because he got around a good deal before we met. If you're a younger man, how common is that? What images are out there that show everyday postpartum naked women? What images are out there in magazines or so forth that show women with wrinkly skin on their stomach and droopy breasts and stretch marks? That's all photoshopped out. That is what I meant. How would the OP's husband know what normal women's bodies might look like postpartum with no frame of reference? Many people don't. It's all sort of airbrushed and glossed over and hidden from sight. It'd be easy to think your body should just snap back to what you were, and if it doesn't, you're not trying hard enough and you're letting yourself go.
posted by flex at 6:58 AM on April 16, 2011 [9 favorites]

I'm tempted to go the "you knew what you were marrying" route because I highly doubt this is the only area your hubby exudes shallowness and I highly doubt he only just started showing this side of himself. That said, a real heart-to-heart is in order asap. Good luck and [pre]congratulations...
posted by GeniPalm at 7:01 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

You are not overreacting. There's no doubt your body will be different after pregnancy. I gained 11 pounds during my pregnancy and 6 months after, I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant. My stomach is jiggly and has stretch marks all over the bottom (not that I was a swimsuit model before), my breasts have gone up a couple cup sizes, but I've got shorts I could barely squeeze into 2 years ago falling off. So even if you stay in shape there's going to be things about you that are different. Now is the time to figure out if your husband is going to be on board 100% or not. This is not something you want to hash out when you've got a baby on the way in a few months.
posted by chiababe at 8:18 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, his attitude would make me pretty nervous. Actually, I'd be pissed that the man I promised my whole life to is worried about my future rating on the fuckability scale.

From what I've read, there's an average of 7 pounds that just doesn't want to go away, no matter what you do to your body post-baby. Also, if you choose not to breastfeed, your milk will still come in and stretch your breasts -- even once that goes away, there's a good chance they'll have a slight 'deflated pancake' look to them. Obviously that's even more true if you choose to breastfeed -- but the longer you breastfeed reduces your risk of cancer and diabetes and has a bunch of benefits to the baby, so that's a plus for him getting to have a long life with *you* (and/or your less-than-it-used-to-be-body).
How is he going to react if/when you're too tired or distracted to want sex? When your hair is dirty, you haven't thought about make-up in a week, and you smell like baby vomit?

I happen to have an aunt who is shaped like an bowling ball on short legs, with a double chin and very significant hair loss. My body is holding it's own so far, but you can see that we've got the same genes -- it's entirely possible that I will look just like her someday. And I like to point that out to myself and to my husband. People who see her probably disregard her as another fat ignorant lazy american -- but she is the same brilliant, compassionate, talented, comforting, challenging person that she's always been (who happens to exercise regularly and eat better than anyone I've ever known -- like 4-varieties of green vegetables with no butter next to a protein, at every meal). The woman got my 5 yr olds to beg me for brussel sprouts (only they called them round leafy green 'pretzel clouds').

Which is to say that if you're LUCKY, if nothing bad happens, you guys will have a long marriage -- and one day both of you will be terribly unattractive by society's standards *together*. That's the best thing that could happen to you, and he needs to get a clue sooner rather than later.
posted by MeiraV at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2011 [20 favorites]

You're not being oversensitive, and I would work out this issue before you get pregnant.
posted by elpea at 8:44 AM on April 16, 2011

Mod note: few comments removed - please stick to the question and stop the hollering "DON'T DO THIS" comments, please. thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:47 AM on April 16, 2011

"Am I being oversensitive? Or this is a sort of normal fear of soon-to-be-fathers?"

It may be a normal fear -- I think we all have worries about how our partners might change, especially in response to big life changes -- but he's being so insensitive that I would seriously be testicle-punchingly-angry. So I'd say no, not oversensitive.

"In addition, I feel like my husband does have a not-so-great attitude toward a lot of overweight people. He's naturally thin, and very much in the mindset that, for most people, being overweight is a kind of personal failure--not eating right, not exercising."

Yeah, he needs to get over that. My husband is one of the absurdly naturally thin among us, and I am, since I started having babies, let us say "squishy." But even though I'm currently overweight (when not pregnant, which I am right now; can carry things longer or do other muscle activity longer or at higher intensity even if I can't lift as much weight as he does, etc.), I'm in better general health than my husband -- my blood pressure is lower, my muscles are better-conditioned (I hurt my back and pull muscles way less often than he does), my insulin response is much better, until he started biking daily my cardiovascular endurance was better ... in short, I'm squishy but strong and healthy, and I'm squishy because I'm poppin' out babies. I may be squishy forevermore, it's hard to say how permanent some of the changes are.

Here's a dirty little secret I learned from, I swear to God, a Salma Hayek interview in People Magazine: Some women don't lose their baby weight until after they stop breastfeeding. For many women they drop the pounds WHILE breastfeeding, but other women's bodies hang on to the fat to support breastfeeding and can't lose it until they're done. I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL to Salma Hayek for telling me this, because I turned out to be one of those women and I looked like just-post-partum balloon-me for the entire 12 months I breastfed, while being madly frustrated that I couldn't lose weight no matter what I did, despite everyone saying breastfeeding was this awesome way to lose weight. When I stopped breastfeeding, I finally started deflating and became able to lose weight ... with the general ease (at least until the last few pounds) that people claim of breastfeeding weight loss.

My nice round Beyonce-style butt just fell off and was replaced by a round belly. I am not a fan of either of these developments. I got back to the same size in pants, but such a different SHAPE that none of my pants fit anyway. I have stretch marks galore, but I'm not actually bothered by them ... it seems to me like a weird thing to be bothered by, you have a baby, you're going to have stretch marks. I also have a GIANT FREAKING SCAR from having a C-section, but I'm not really bothered by that either. It's just there, you know? It's hard to predict exactly how your body will change, and it's hard to predict what will bother you about it. I wouldn't really mind wearing a belly-baring swimsuit and letting people see my stretch marks and scar -- who cares? Probably 95% of women who have kids have stretch marks and I'm not 18 anymore -- but I HAAAAAATE being photographed from the side because my side profile looks so different to me now. A friend of mine who's a long-distance runner and model-thin and tiny, naturally, now has a post-baby muffin-top that cannot be defeated. It's just there even when she's running 10 miles a day and training for marathons.

So, yeah, your husband needs to get on the reality train here. Women who have babies have different bodies than women who have not had babies. And he's also going to be seeing you and assisting you with some weird pregnancy and post-partum body things that you may not be able to reach or deal with on your own. (Mine had to do a lot of scar-healing inspections since I couldn't see it without a mirror at first, for example.) I worried a lot about this before and during my first pregnancy. My husband's only response, ever, was, "Of course I'll still think you're beautiful and sexy." (And, verily, he has proven himself truthful.) People who make a lifetime commitment to each other also commit to the fact that bodies change over 40 years. Is he on board with this, or is he looking to trade you in for a younger model? I'd frankly ask him that point blank.

But more seriously, if he desperately wants children but ALSO wants your body not to change, this is probably a moment for marriage counseling. Someone needs to inform him he can have one or the other, and if it's "body not change" that guarantee is only good for, oh, 15 years or so anyway. People age. If he can't come to terms with this, that's when I'd worry that it was beyond "normal fear" and into "problematic trophy wife mindset."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:53 AM on April 16, 2011 [30 favorites]

Seems abnormal to me. I have my two-month-old on my lap as I write this, and if I'd have even thought anything like this about my wife, I'd have felt like a total asshole, let alone actually saying it.
posted by anildash at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

First, my biological father is not your husband. I don't mean to imply that.

Second, let me tell you about my biological father.

He ran in marathons. He ran every day. He was thin as a bone, and he prided himself on his physical shape. He was also anorexic and bulimic -- rare in men, yes, but my bio father was a rare man. He was so anorexic and bulimic that (as my mother has told me), the day I was born, he held me in his arms, and he thought, "If I don't get help, I'll be dead before she's two." So he got (some) help. He didn't die.

My biological father was also insane. A dangerous man. He ruined my life, and my mother's life, and my brother's life. None of that's relevant, but it's why my mother divorced him when I was 8.

Because I was my childhood in those 8 years was hell, because the divorce was hell, because I really like sweet foods, and because weight problems run in my family, I was chubby at age 8. By age 10, I upgraded to all-out fat. Fat fat fat, I was a fat kid.

For a while, my biological father had some custody rights. These visits I had with him were hell, but he was trying. One visit, he decided he was going to take me clothes shopping -- he liked showing his love for me by buying me clothes. We went to some department store, and he picked out cute outfits for me to try out.

Remember, I was fat. Buying clothing when you're fat sucks, especially when you're a child. Especially when the person picking out the clothes has no idea how girls' sizing works and has no idea what size you are. None of the items he picked fit me. But I was only 9 or 10 (I forget), and so he insisted on seeing how they fit. I said, no, I can just tell, it doesn't fit. But he insisted. So, wearing some blue dress thing that was tight as skin on me but wrinkled in the armpits, making me look like a walking, mishapen potato sack, I came out of the dressing room.

Etched in my brain: the disgust, the horror, the sorrow, the revulsion, that was on my biological father's face. That's the look he gave me. Quietly, he told me to go get changed, and we left. It was deeply shaming. I hated myself, and I was disgusted with myself.

Again, my biological father was insane, and a bad man, and he had many problems beyond a mere dislike of fat. But: that is an experience that really hurt me. The way he treated me that day made my relationship with food even sicker, my relationship with my body even more unhappy.

I tell you this just to highlight the same points others have made: what if his attitude bleeds into his relationship with your child? Please speak to him and work with him about how he understands bodies before there's a chance he could give a child that same look of disgust and horror that I received.

Last, another issue to keep in mind: what if you struggle with post-partum depression? That can be serious and difficult to deal with. It's just yet another possible thing that could make your physical appearance the absolute last priority on your list, after giving birth. Having a spouse for whom your physical appearance is first could make things worse and, literally, dangerous for your well-being. Someone doesn't have to intend it to cause you torment.

This is worth handling, now. It doesn't seem like the comments he's made give real insight into his character at all -- we don't know him. Again, I'm not implying he is the same insane, sick person my biological father was. But those comments are worrisome. They could have been nothing but anxieties about life changes, or they could be insight into future problems you and your child(ren) will face. You owe it to yourself, your husband, and your future children to talk to him earnestly and clearly now. I'd encourage couple's therapy. Worst case scenario, you learn what a wonderful, supportive partner he will be and the two of you are even more prepared to have a baby together. Best case scenario, you both learn important facts about each other and can work out the problems that arise.
posted by meese at 9:08 AM on April 16, 2011 [21 favorites]

I can't recall a thread with so many wondeful comments. If I had to pull out one to second, it's this: "having a baby is a life change and it'll bring you nothing but grief if either of you are assuming that you're going to be continuing on as you were with hardly a bump or a difference in your lives, bodies, relationship to each other, or how you feel about and view yourselves." A-freakin' men. A zillion times.

The media has conditioned men to see movie stars and the'r "baby bumps" (GOD I hate that term), barely registering visually, having the baby and POOF, trainers/chefs/clothing designers wave wand- movie star looks perfect and it's been like 2 weeks. "See, honey, Halle Berry/Gywneth Paltrow/Jennifer Garner/Gwen Stefani did it, why can't you?"

Real people CANNOT DO THIS. It is not a matter of "trying". No matter how hard you try, it is now out of your control. He needs to visit the doctor with you and get some real knowledge in his head to counter whatever misconceptions are fueling the worrisome comments/attitude he is sending your way. You are lucky to have realization while there is time to deal with it.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:30 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

For what it's worth, though, I've never heard one man, ever, say something like "It's such a bummer about how my wife's breasts/stomach/hips/etc changed."

I've heard this plenty, both from men and women.

I would like to suggest NOT looking at the Shape of a Mother site with your husband if only because the "supportive" comments on that site are quite cringe inducing.
posted by rr at 9:54 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, PS:

"When my husband first starting making comments about how he'll work hard to make sure I have time to exercise once the baby is born"

I wasn't medically cleared to start working out until twelve weeks (three months) after the birth, and I sure as hell didn't FEEL like working out until six months after the birth. I had a C-section, which has longer activity restrictions, and I had a baby with acid reflux, so sleep was at a premium for longer than expected. (And breastfeeding just kicked my ass. I had many adventures in breastfeeding.) So, yeah, be REAL SURE he's not expecting a Hollywood Starlet Timeline; you'll have activity restrictions for at least a couple weeks after even an uncomplicated birth. Not that anyone with a two-week-old feels like doing anything but eating and sleeping in a zombie-like fashion anyway.

(And really, I have to reiterate: Until I stopped breastfeeding, my energy levels were LOW. I didn't realize HOW low until I stopped breastfeeding after a year and suddenly I actually WANTED to go hiking and cook dinner and things like that again. While I was breastfeeding, even taking a walk around the neighborhood seemed like a tiring chore. I had a good breastfeeding experience, really, but only in retrospect do I realize how much energy it took for me. YMMV, but if you breastfeed there is a whole added period of hormones and physical stress for your body that may delay your return to more-or-less your old self.)

And just because of the enormous added complexities of managing a baby rather than just two adults, I mostly ended up taking the baby to gym child care anyway, since a lot of times my husband could watch the baby while I worked out ... but only if we weren't going to have groceries that week. Free, non-baby-care time is at SUCH a premium, and suddenly you have to fit in all the shopping, bill-paying, showering, etc., that you used to have plenty of time for. Non-essential life activities tend to fall off a bit.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:59 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

Don't agree to start trying for a baby with this man until he gets himself in-check. His anxiety will mess you both up if he doesn't get a better perspective.

Someone told my husband that when your wife is pregnant, you put your ego in your pocket and forget about it.

Best father-to-be advice EVER!
posted by jbenben at 10:17 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]

Echoing jbenben. Tell him that kids are off the table for now because you're understanding him to mean that he won't love you if you get fat, and pregnancy is just too uncontrollable to be able to predict that. Seriously. There's nothing you can do about it. The women who gain 60 lbs from their pregnancy aren't eating ice cream every day -- it's just how their body is going about energy storage. It's hormonal. Some women get lucky and some just don't. (Even the relatively lucky ones whose weight comes off easily won't look the same as before. Things will droop.)

I personally wouldn't want to go into an experience as life changing and as vulnerable-making as having children with a man who would be so shallow as to care much about this, and never EVER with a man who would be so callous as to express it. You really can't imagine how hard pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing are, even with a supportive partner. And with a partner who's not solidly in your corner? Forget about it!
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:08 PM on April 16, 2011 [10 favorites]

This is not normal, and you are right to be concerned. I think you need to push past your fears of seeming insecure or accusatory and just tell him how you feel. Tell him that your body will change, whether you have kids or not, in ways that neither you nor he can predict or control. Tell him that pregnancy and birth will change your body even more, and that even if you are determined to remain fit and healthy, your body will likely never again look the way it does now. Tell him that foods eaten or amount of time spent working out are not the only, or even the primary factors in determining how your body looks in the future. Tell him that you understand that there's a lot to fear about having kids, and much of that fear of the unknown is normal and natural, but that you can't bear his child until he understands that he has to commit to loving you and your new family, not the way your body looks.

My mother was pregnant six times and ended up with three living children. She ended up nearly 50% heavier than she started. Could she have reversed some of that with better diet and more exercise? Maybe. Was she emotionally or physically able to take the necessary steps after she lost three babies and spent a year in and out of the hospital with the last one? Not at all. My father never, as far as I know, said anything to her about her weight, but he also never had sex with her again (I wish I didn't know that). Would I have been emotionally healthier if I'd grown up in a household where it was made clear that even imperfect bodies are lovable? I think so.

Do not have children with this man until he can tell you, in a way where you really believe that he understands and believes it himself, that he is committed to loving you and finding you attractive as your body changes. He is absolutely entitled to prefer a certain body type. But he is not entitled to ask you to sacrifice your body to grow your family and then withhold his love if the body you end up with is different from what he prefers.
posted by decathecting at 12:34 PM on April 16, 2011 [12 favorites]

My husband and I talked over the kids question for about three years before we made the leap. We both had fears and anxieties and I was worried about so many things. I was also worried about my body and I really didn't want to completely lose my shape. I didn't want to lose fitness. And a whole lot of other fears... We talked through them to death. Luckily my husband always said that he'd find me attractive no matter what. However, he also made promises to watch the baby so that I could work out and suggested I could hit the gym in the morning before he went to work. Now, is that because he was worried about me becoming less fit and less desirable? Maybe. But I know he was also trying to echo my own fears back to me and reassure me that he would help me with them.

But, ultimately this started to stress me out. What if I just wanted to sleep and not go to the gym? (Ya think?) What if I didn't want to pump so that someone else could feed the baby? What if I had a C? What if I just didn't want to exercise? So we talked it out.

And, guess what? I really was in no hurry to get back into fitness. Odds are, you will be exhausted after delivery and you will deserve a break and you will need your husband's 200% commitment and effort. You will deserve that break like no other time in your life.

You guys have time. Talk this out. Get a couple books on pregnancy and have your hubs read one. I think he's talking from a place of ignorance and just needs some education. Again: you have time. The single best thing you can do for your kid is be a healthy, happy supportive couple.
posted by amanda at 1:03 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

So there is another possibility and I'll say at outset that I'm not sure if this is too far a leap...

Perhaps your husband is feeling a stab of ambivalence about being a dad. Maybe he wants to be a father but there's a streak of 'holy fuck, what are we about to do!' running through him. Maybe he's thinking about all the things that will change once a kid arrives and it's freaking him the hell out.

But, instead of dealing with the fears and ambivalence like an adult and you know, talking about them, he's being kind of a brat and channeling them into fussiness about your body. Perhaps he doesn't realize he's doing this. So it may not really be about your body.

You're not being overly sensitive. For you it does not necessarily have to matter where the comments come from in order for you to rightfully sense an agenda behind them. I'd still be pretty pissed off about the whole thing.

Regardless of the impulse behind these comments is the very fair question of whether or not your husband fully accepts you...all of you. I sense that this is the issue driving you and it's one that every marriage/serious relationship has to confront at one point or another.

Might as well do it now.
posted by space_cookie at 1:26 PM on April 16, 2011

To be fair, I am in good shape now

That's a little like saying, "To be fair, I was 22 when we met," to excuse a husband leaving his 40-year-old wife for a new hot babe. Did you and your husband vow that when one of you changed in appearance for the worse (due to illness, injury, or simply aging like a human), the other would be off the hook and the marriage would be over? Is that the deal you made? Because if not, then this--"Would you still love and respect me if I got fat after being pregnant?" and he responded, "You aren't going to get fat, because being in good shape is too important to you."--shows that something is really wrong. He didn't answer your question, presumably because he couldn't admit his true feelings or couldn't say them out loud because of how awful he'd sound.

I don't doubt that many people would prefer that their spouses remain perpetually hot, but most people are able to understand the limitations of the human body (even with dedicated fitness training and healthy diet). Your husband's perspective is warped.
posted by Meg_Murry at 4:03 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

I've attended a lot of births as a student midwife and I can tell you pregnancy changes bodies permanently. I find the idea and reality that our bodies change and grow as we nurture a new generation of young beautiful, but the dominant culture (your husband's mindset) does not agree.

You will have no idea what that means for you or how pregnancy will change your body till you go through it.

Yes, it is possible that you could try really hard and never lose the weight.

Unless your husband can really love your body even if you never get back down to the same weight and have stretchmarks, I would definitely reconsider having a child with him.
posted by long haired child at 4:14 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

You're not only in this for having kids together, right? Even if you'd happen to be one of those enviable, size 0, stretch-mark free super-MILFs (sorry), you're going to go out of shape eventually. There's no way around it even if you didn't have children. You're going to get saggy and wrinkly at 90+. So is he. You're both going to look, well, what 90-year-olds look like. What then?

It gets worse - it's likely that one or both of you becomes incontinent, drooly, loses control of other bodily functions, becomes toothless, grows tumours, needs an amputation... It's tough to imagine, but there's worse things than stretch marks. Many of them are huge turn-offs, and there's no way around it, except for a few lucky ones who, I dunno, have a heart attack while bungee-jumping. Some day, we'll all be disgusting, smelly, helpless bags of bones in hospital beds. That's what happens at the end of your life.

So, in discussing this, I wouldn't concentrate on pregnancy or uniquely female problems, at all. That puts you in a bad position. Try to talk to him about the faraway future when you're both 90 or 100 or 110. Talk about severe diseases, even dying. That will make him understand it's not just a female problem or a problem of people without willpower. It's a problem for everyone who isn't an android.

I don't think it's necessarily a problem that he can't deal with this right now - who of us can, really? The idea of mortality is tough and we don't like to think or talk about it. We prefer to pretend that it's all in our control, and that the diseased, disgusting, unattractive people just did something wrong (instead of accepting that we'll all end up this way, ultimately). But if it turns out that he's not interested in learning to deal with this aspect of life in the long term, together with you...that would be a bad sign for me.
posted by The Toad at 6:58 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]

I was thin when I got pregnant; I was also unhealthy by a variety of measures and halfway to anorexia, as well. I gained 65 pounds when I was pregnant; I was ravenous, and had to leave food on the floor by my bed to eat when I woke up at night. If I didn't eat, I fainted.

I have never lost this weight, despite aerobics classes and walking home from work every day; and barring some kind of illness, I likely never will. I breast fed for two years, and you can tell. I have stretch marks, and my stomach has never come close to being flat again. This is what being pregnant does. I do know some women who lost the weight, but the fat on their bodies is differently distributed, and of course there are the marks. The thing is, though, they show that I am a mother; I try to be proud of them, like that woman in the second or third series of Kink who had hers traced over in black, to tattoo what was already permanent.
posted by jokeefe at 9:01 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just asked my boyfriend a similar question, "would you still love me if I got fat?" and his response was almost the same as your husband's... he said "don't worry, you're not going to get fat!"

So, here's another perspective because we don't really have the complete picture: Any chance that his responses are just him thinking you are anxious about this? And then he's anxious and unsure on top of that? You mentioned that you put effort into staying in good shape. Guys are typically problem solvers, and they also are constantly in the position (at least in my case) of talking us down from worrying about all sorts of things.

For example, 1) You explain that stretch marks are sometimes unavoidable, what if he sees that as a problem that you wish you could solve, he responds by trying to "solve the problem" or at least investigate to see if there is a solution. 2) Your friend's wife who just had a baby and looks great might be something your husband is pointing out in the hopes that this is something you'd find encouraging. 3) The question you asked "would you still love me if I got fat?" sounds a lot like the "do I look fat in these jeans" question... some guys might respond by saying don't worry about that because you're not fat and you'll never get fat.

What I think you need to do is really talk to him more about this. He might need to know what you think about what he said and what your real worries are. Consider that he's a guy, just trying to de-code what you're saying and solve your problems, maybe even comfort your fears.
posted by belau at 10:52 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

Many great answers here already - just wanted to add that you may find reading

Attached: the new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find and keep love, by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller very interesting/helpful.

Basically, it sounds like your husband has an avoidant attachment style - he avoids feeling too intimate for comfort by criticising and fault-finding his partner, and any problems in a relationship will be (to his thinking) your fault, not his.

There are ways to improve relationships with an avoidant partner, so you might find the book very helpful. ^_^

Good luck! ^_^
posted by Year of meteors at 1:48 AM on April 17, 2011

Year of meteors: facts, as described by OP, do not correlate directly to avoidant style of attachment. The husband might equally be anxiously attached: anxious about the change in "things".
posted by Jurate at 2:18 AM on April 17, 2011

OP, I am 6 months pregnant right now, and reading your question made me want to cry. And, no, it's not hormones.

Your husband has insulted you grievously. He's insulted your personhood and he's insulted motherhood in general. He's inadvertently shown that he does not see you (fully) as another human being. Men who say this kind of thing are as common as pigeons, but that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean you have to accept it or negotiate with it.

What's the best-case scenario? You'll have a baby and fall in love with it. Meanwhile you'll be assaulted from every direction by advertising and by a culture encouraging you to despise your physical form, and a husband who secretly agrees. If you have a daughter, she will pick up on his attitudes, and it could literally make her sick. It could kill her. (Anecdotally, every woman I've known with an eating disorder can trace it directly back to issues with her dad.)

Maybe your dim husband will have a revelation about the beauty of your pregnant body -- it's possible. (Then you'll have to listen to him talk about that. I can't think of anything more tiresome.) Or maybe a few visits to a marriage counselor will teach him to school his tongue, but he's already told you how he really feels, hasn't he?

Can you get along with a guy like this and make it okay and have a life that is, to all appearances, nice? Sure. People do it all the time. It's called a life of self-loathing and quiet desperation. You deserve better. You are worth more.

You are still young. He isn't your only option. You have time to find someone else to make a baby with, someone who doesn't hate women.
posted by gentian at 3:55 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

The other thing to really really consider is how supportive he will be after the birth if you need to do things differently to what he thinks is necessary. Breastfeeding doesn't make your boobs sag (that's relaxin and pregnancy) but it does affect the look. Long slow weaning tends to help breasts retain shape, but is your partner going to be supportive, or is he going to continue to act like you're property to be maintained.

Also, just as an aside, my fear while pregnant was tearing, caesarian scars and prolapse. I once asked the other anachronism if he'd still love me if my vagina broke. His immediate response was a slightly pissy "of course, what kind of arsehole do you think I am?" with reassurance that it is unlikely to happen but if it did, the doctors can rebuild it (obligatory "bigger, faster, stronger" commentary) and that if they couldn't and it was broken forever, we'd work it out. Given the other conversations that should be mandatory when family planning/pregnant, fat and broken vaginas are pretty minimal. What we'd do if one of us died, or I was seriously injured, or if he was, or what would happen if our child was disabled, or had serious fetal abnormalities, or died, or any number of things.

If you can't count on your partner to be supportive in the small things, in the day to day bits of your life, how will you handle big disagreements?
posted by geek anachronism at 11:04 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

meese makes a really good point. He can trade you in for a 'hotter' wife if he really wants to, but he can't trade in an awkward fat teenage daughter or son.

I am surprised abotu the stretchmarks too - sure, women in magazines are airbrushed, I'm sure even the pregnancy fetish ones are, but I've seen men with stretchmarks because that's what happens when one gains weight in a short timespan. I've never been pregnant and I have one or two on my hips from a course of Depo-Provera that caused me to gain three stone in six months. Does he genuinely not know what kind of changes happen when women get pregnant? Have you talked to him about this?
posted by mippy at 9:07 AM on April 22, 2011

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