View Full Version : Intimacy and self-esteem

09-07-2011, 01:36 AM
Ever since I got pregnant with DS, I've been uncomfortable with my changing body and not as interested in sex with DH. I had a painful labor, resulting in a 4th degree episiotomy plus tearing that made sex unbearable (physically) for 4 months postpartum. It's much less painful now, and I've stopped breastfeeding, so my breasts are less tender. I also had an IUD inserted about a month ago, so now there are really no more excuses to avoid it.

DH is incredibly patient and supportive. But I know he wants to have sex (or even just physical contact) more than I do. He'd be happy having sex every day. He's constantly telling me how sexy I am (I know, I'm lucky), but I don't feel that way at all. I've always had body image issues and was quite a bit overweight as a teenager. Now, I'm normal-ish, though I'm still about 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. But I can't stand my body. And I don't want him to see me naked. Even if he thinks I'm sexy, I don't, and this, I think, affects my sex drive--I have about zero. This is one of the reasons I had the IUD (copper) inserted, thinking that all of the hormones could be contributing to my lack of interest. Now I'm thinking it has more to do with self-esteem.

I'm not sure what I'm asking for--BTDT? Or maybe I just want to vent? DH and I just tried to have sex tonight, and I just wasn't into it, and he could tell, so he stopped. I felt so badly, and he was (and always is) so sweet and supportive. I told him I just needed some time to be alone. He said, "of course," and told me not to worry.

Any tips? Maybe I just need to wait longer to get all of my hormones back in tune? Maybe some days are better than others? I sort of feel like my body has been through A LOT lately and that it needs a break. Know what I mean?

I want to have sex with DH, but sometimes I have to make myself. Sometimes I end up enjoying it, but a lot of the time I'm wishing it were already over. It doesn't hurt anymore--I'm just not that into it, and I just don't feel sexy. He's very attractive, and intellectually (I know this is a paradox) I want to have sex with him. I want to please him, and it makes me feel good that he wants me. I just need to feel that drive again. Any advice? Or commiseration?

09-07-2011, 07:39 AM
This going to sound so cliched but would exercise, especially strength training, help? Even with my 10lbs that I (still) want to lose I always feel so much better when I have been lifting. Everything feels more toned and just good. I might not really look different but I feel better. It's a pretty easy thing to fit in, you could do some stuff with baby and break it up into bits and pieces during the day.

Or a glass of wine. :)


09-07-2011, 01:04 PM
I think what PP mentioned is a great idea. Also, maybe shopping for new clothes that actually fit you will make you feel better about yourself. You can also get a new haircut and mani/pedi to make yourself feel pretty.

You also mentioned that you don't want him to see you naked. You can buy lingerie where you don't have to take off while being intimate. You also have to remember that us women don't have a switch to turn us on. Unlike men, they can be ready in an instant (in many cases). Perhaps a little flirting throughout the day will help (e.g. text him or leave him a voicemail....and he should do the same too).

I know it's hard to get back to being intimate after a baby and it takes some work.


09-09-2011, 03:18 AM
Aquaglide - best lubricant. Sex was painful for me too after DS's birth and I would tense up, avoid it - of cours those things make it worse. I don't need to use Aquaglide anymore, but I still do...so much more comfortable. I also fake it until I make it. If I'm not in the mood, I try and most times, I quickly get in the mood.