It happened again a few weeks ago, and this time I couldn't resist commenting. A woman shared in a social media group asking if anyone understands her struggle, living "mom life" and having no interest in sex. There were many who had empathy, many who said "yes," "I feel you," "I know this," "that's me". But there were also quite a few, "nope," "no way," "I can't keep my hands off my man," "all I want is to be with him after a day with the kids," "sounds like a partner problem," "these women need more supportive partners," "I don't understand this at all."
The second style of replies were flippant, gleeful, arrogant and harsh. Their smug enjoyment of their continued strong desire for sex throughout every stage of motherhood was not softened by any attempt at understanding or sympathy. There was not a word in their replies seeking to comprehend or come beside the woman posting to hold her in her grief at the situation. I was both saddened and angered.
A healthy sex life deserves celebration, don't get me wrong. Celebrating the joy of a newborn child has a place too. But not on the post of a mother sharing the loss of a child to miscarriage or stillbirth. Thriving children and a growing family deserve rejoicing over, but not on the post of a woman sharing her struggle with infertility.
A friend reaching out about her divorce doesn't need to hear about my approaching eleven year wedding anniversary. A woman barely mustering the will to care, to eat, to get out of bed in the morning fighting postpartum depression, who reaches out for others like her, doesn't need me to talk about how quickly my body recovers from pregnancy and how I never fought those emotions after birth.
In the same way, a woman posting about complete lack of desire for sex or even wanting her husband to cuddle her, feeling "touched out" and wanting her space, does not need to hear about how you "just can't get enough of your husband in bed." One of these days, you can talk about it. One of these days it will be your turn to share your joy, for that is a scenario to be joyful about.
But not today. Not here, not on this post.
Do you think she is not grieving? Let me tell you, that she is. Do you think she dreamed and hoped for this to happen? She did not. Do you think in the heady, passion-filled early years of their relationship that she ever imagined she would find herself here? She did not.
She is fighting a painful battle. She received the beautiful blessing of children she longed for. But her continued sexual desire for her husband was part of that vision too. She has lost that and is actively reaching out for help and understanding, yet you are laughing at her sorrow, content and gleeful in your joy.
Stop and think before you comment. Pause a moment, take a breath, put yourself in her shoes. She wants to want him, she remembers when she did. She doesn't want to lose him through his frustration over it or lose that sexual side of herself. She is hurting and afraid and lonely in her pain.
Maybe she is just tired? Overwhelmed? Maybe her hormones are out of balance? Maybe she is nursing? Maybe she has a toddler and a baby and a job? She is asking, pleading to find out that she is not alone. She is seeking hope.
Please be kind.
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