Breastfeeding (& birth) is detrimental to your marriage

Yea, you heard me. Breastfeeding gets in the way of husband and wife. Didn’t you know that if your husband sees you breastfeeding, your breasts become a mere feeding station–a cafeteria–rather than the “scintillating piece of flesh” that they are?!

I’m sorry, but I thought that’s what breasts were for. I realize that men enjoy them and that helps the process of procreation, but–I thought the purpose of boobs were to feed your young.

Well that’s not what Rabbi Shmuley Boteach thinks. He hosts TLC’s Shalom in the Home and wrote the book “Kosher Adultery,” which talks about the sin of putting your child before your spouse. Apparently breastfeeding your child–providing them with the best thing possible–is putting your spouse second (and it’s a sin).

When discussing a couple with a rocky marriage, he says “their sex life had died completely, and one of the main causes was the mother’s obsession with breast-feeding well into the child’s 11th month. The baby was attached to his mother like a limb, and he even slept with her every night, consigning her husband to a different bedroom.”

Oh.my.god. heaven forbid that little child sleeps in HER BED! What is the world coming to?! That poor, poor husband…. he must be so lonely in the other room alone. I wonder why they don’t invest in a king size bed? I also wonder why the husband feels his needs are more important than the child’s.

And the wife is OBESESSING over breastfeeding because her child is 11 months old?! I call that being a good mother. A great mother who is providing for her baby. This gem of a man says “a wife who spends a year giving all her emotional and physical attention to the baby has left her marriage a barren wasteland, bereft of romance and affection.”

I’ve been breastfeeding for 5 months and plan to for at least a year. Ask my husband, our marriage is not at all barren or void of romance and affection. In fact, asked him what happened an hour ago when Ryan was napping. “If breastfeeding gets in the way of the marriage–if it means that a husband and wife never go out on dates, or that the mother is so tired from always waking up with the baby that she has no energy to ever be intimate with her husband–the child will probably end up worse off, however many colds or bouts with diarrhea he now avoids [by breastfeeding].”

I agree that a child in a loveless household will have some issues. I do not agree that breastfeeding is the cause of that. Breastfeeding cannot make two people fall out of love. It would seem to me that the couple this article refers to must be having other issues. I exclusively breastfeed, but Ryan is not attached to me 24/7. There’s also this thing called a PUMP. If you want your husband to take turns feeding at night or if you want to go out on a date one night… pump and feed from a bottle.

The second page of this disgusting piece of crap: “Dads–be there, but don’t watch the birth.” What would happen to this world if men suddenly viewed this erotic part of a woman’s body as a “mere birth canal.” Can’t it be both? Shouldn’t a man witness the miracle of birth? The strength and determination of his wife? I only wish I could have given my husband that gift [I had a c-section].

Ya know what I think? This guy has some serious mommy issues. Or daddy issues. Probably both. He even says “When I was a young boy, all I wanted to see was two parents who loved each other… I would take the diarrhea and cough any day over the permanent sense of brokenness that affects children of divorce.”

Mr. Boteach, I am truly sorry your parents got a divorce and it left you feeling broken. But I strongly disbelieve the source of their frustration was breastfeeding–or the view of her body during birth as utilitarian rather than sexy. (BTW, I’d say birth [and breastfeeding] is damn sexy. It’s a woman’s body doing what it was made to do.]

“The erotic nature of a wife’s body is one of the principal elements of attraction in marriage. When a husband ceases to see his wife as a woman, and begins to see her as “the mother of his children,” a negative trend has begun in his mind that can only subvert his erotic interest.”

I think I just threw up. Viewing your wife as the mother of your children is… utilitarian? Unromantic? Alienating? My husband tells me quite often that I’m sexier now than I ever was before BECAUSE I am the mother of his child.

“Our kids are getting screwed up, not because of their infant nutrition, but because in most households, children rarely witness a father and mother who are still passionately in love with each other.”

Fine. That may be true, but please… take your mommy issues, figure them out, and don’t place your blame on the miracle of birth and breastfeeding. Don’t give the best thing in the world a bad name for those who haven’t tried it yet. If breastfeeding is going to tear a marriage apart, the marriage probably wasn’t going to last anyway.

What do you think? Has the view of birth or the breastfeeding of your child affected your marriage??? Do you think it could???

*(This is in response to an article, written by Mr. Boteach himself, and posted on beliefnet.com… I didn’t link to it because I don’t think they deserve the traffic. Most of it–his most intelligent comments–is quoted here.)*

12 comments to Breastfeeding (& birth) is detrimental to your marriage

  • Storm

    Gag me! I’m thinking this guy has total issues, too! Good grief, it’s done nothing bad over here – my DH has never had a problem with BFing and it’s never made him think they are cafeteria’s. LOL

    Seriously, most women BF for 1 year – so that’s maybe two years out of what, 40 years of marriage for most long terms marriages these days? – that guys have to share in the average marriage. I mean, really!

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  • WTF!! Like what rock did he crawl from under? Seriously, how does he think Eve fed the children she and Adam had? I’m sure that bottles weren’t invented for at least a few those years. In fact if breastfeeding was a sin then why in the Bible did God allow Moses’s own mother to get the job as his wet nurse after Pharaoh’s daughter found him in the river?

    If your husband is turned off at the thought of you being the mother of his kids, leave that man ASAP!! He is nuts. Seriously, what did he think was going to happen when you had sex? That his sperm was going to evaporate? I can’t even believe he had the nerve to write something like that and then to post it on the web.

    I don’t know what this society is coming to. I for one applaud any mother who breastfeeds whether he husband or anybody else approves. When you have a baby, your needs do become 2nd (sex included) because you have a human being who can’t fend for himself or herself yet. And guess what, that human being didn’t ask to be here. Therefore, you have to do what you have to do.

    I just want to say to any man out there who has fallen out of love with his wife because she breastfed or had your child, man up!!! Stop using lame excuses to get out of living up your martial responsibilities!!!

    [Reply]

  • umm wtf! lol. That guy is crazy in the first place. I tried watching 1 of his shows and couldn’t even watch 2 minutes of it.

    My husband is damn excited and ready for the birth of our daughter. HIS plan (his idea!) is to literally deliver his daughter. Our Dr is excited to see a dad want to be so involved. I highly doubt it’s going to change his view on me as sexual… or else why’d he put himself though that?

    Mr. Boteach needs to do some more research. Shame on TLC for even giving him a show!

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  • I read that article and it’s just ridiculous. No decent husband and father feels that way about his wife nursing their child.

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  • MamaBennie

    My husband tells me all the time how sexy I am as the mother of his children, and how me giving birth was one of the most wonderful experiences, so this nut needs to sort out his own abandonment issues.

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  • Wow. That man does have issues. My husband and I have a very loving relationship. Get this, he was there when I had my children and watched me breatsfeed! OMG! He tells me how sexy I am 10 times a day. Our kids see our love. We are very loving and affectionate to each other. If what he says happens then the relationship was doomed in the 1st place and most likely the man is just using that as an excuse to get out.

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  • angelicme

    Sounds like he had a really empty and loveless childhood. It’s actually really sad.

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  • My husband finds my nursing “equipment” incredibly attractive. And he definitely isn’t getting “consigned to a different bed,” because believe me, we do find time for each other, if you know what I mean.

    I think any problems that are appearing because of putting the baby first are due to a much deeper problem: the idea that the spouses should be focused on each other all the time … to the point of shutting out everything else. Instead, a husband and wife should be focused on the same things … together. The dad should be focusing on the baby as much as the mom is. Since he’s not, it’s a sign to me that he is *being* the baby — acting out like an older child feeling displaced by a new baby. But a husband isn’t supposed to be babied by his wife — he’s supposed to be a grown-up who is able to put first the one who needs the most: his own child.

    Seriously, this made me mad. If a man gets his wife pregnant, he should be prepared to share her with the baby. If he can’t do that, he has no business getting married and having kids, because he’s still a baby himself.

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  • carol

    I totally agree with you. He is one confused man!
    Hubby and I have been married almost 35 years and we have had 3 kids. Did breastfeeding ever cause a problem? No way! How stupid!
    We love each other more now then when we were young. We had babies and toddlers sleeping in our bed for years.
    I rather think God planned it this way for us to feed our babies. What would people of old have done? Let them starve? Huh?!

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  • Kimiko Wehnes

    I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my web site 🙂

    [Reply]

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