How Come My Husband Doesn't Find Me Attractive After Baby?

    husband-says-he-is-not-attracted-to-wife-after-baby.jpgAs the blog moderator at Guy Stuff Counseling, I see a lot of comments from people about all kinds of things. There are a few topics, however, that come up much more frequently than others, and sometimes a lot of the comments from readers on these topics are very similar to each other. One such topic is women saying their “husband doesn’t find me attractive after baby," and therefore feeling he no longer loves them.

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    Many of these kinds of comments are from women who just had babies within the last year or two. Here's an example:

    Add another one to the ‘husband doesn't find me attractive after baby’ list. We've been together for 10 years, married for 7, and have a little girl who is almost 2. We used to have sex once a week which wasn't as much as I wanted, but enough that I could feel ok. When I got pregnant he lost all interest. Although I didn't get very big and he told me all the time that I was still beautiful, I figured deep down it was just the "ick" factor. Fast forward to 6 weeks after the baby was born and I got an IUD. I couldn't wait for the weekend! Sadly, I was disappointed -- he still had NO interest. I thought it was because I had 10 lbs to lose post-baby, so I hired a personal trainer and started working hard. At this point I'm 34, in the best shape of my life, and turn men's heads all the time. Sadly my husband still has almost no interest.” –Kim

    Having a baby is the most natural thing in the world, but it does change everything. And it can especially take a toll on a couple's sex life. In the blog comments it seems most women jump to the conclusion that “my husband doesn’t find me attractive because of my baby weight,” either due to gaining too much while pregnant or weighing too much after the baby, as Kim jumped to here. While this may be true, I think there are a few other things to consider.

    Husbands Fear Hurting the Baby (& You)

    Kim states that her husband “lost all interest” once she was pregnant, calling it "the 'ick' factor." In actuality, he may have really been afraid to have sex, not that her husband didn't find her attractive while she was pregnant. It’s pretty common for men to fear that sex will somehow hurt the baby, or you, even in the early stages of pregnancy. In the same way many people can’t really use a map to fairly judge distance, some men don’t really realize that it’s physically impossible for them to get close enough to the baby to hurt it.

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    Seeing the Birth is a Turnoff for Men

    Kim also mentions that only 6 weeks after the baby was born, she was ready for sex again, but her husband wasn't. Something else very important to consider is that he watched Kim give birth. Yes, it’s miraculous and beautiful, absolutely -- but it’s also a bit gory. Most men get a bird’s eye view of the birth, and see up close the amazing changes their partner's body goes through in delivery. This can be uncomfortable to see, and even harder for men to get those images out of their minds, especially when you're ready to have sex again. So it may not be that your husband doesn’t find you attractive after the baby, but that he hasn't forgotten about your giving birth yet.

    It Could Be Guilt, Not That You're Unattractive

    Also in the mix of watching childbirth is how men may feel as their wives labor and delivery progresses. Many men felt powerless to do something when their wives were in pain during delivery, or even guilty that they got pregnant in the first place.

    Since sex is how we get pregnant, it’s understandable that some men may not be ready so soon for sex again. Yet, rather than tell their partners how they feel and why, some men will just avoid it and keep their partners at arms length, not realizing their partners are wondering, “why isn't my husband attracted to me after my pregnancy?” A lot of men may not even realize this is how they feel, and if they do, they may feel guilty about saying anything.

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    I asked Kurt about a man's response and here's what he said: "Remember that the problem is about his interest in sex, not about whether he loves his partner. They're two different issues. Husbands become not interested for other reasons, too. It's not uncommon for men to find ways to deal with not having sex during a pregnancy and these can play a part in his loss of interest afterward also."

    Before jumping to conclusions, try these things:

    • Don't compare your sex life before the baby to now; sex after a baby can be different for men, but different doesn't have to mean bad or that it stays that way.
    • Ask your husband what he thinks about how a pregnancy affects a man. Don't be afraid to ask him if the baby has affected his attraction to you or interest in sex.
    • If you're pregnant now, ask your doctor about sex the next time you both go in for a baby check so that the OB/GYN can explain things.

    It can be hard to feel like my husband doesn’t find me attractive after the baby, but be a bit more patient as you both adjust to your new life. It typically doesn't stay that way and how you respond to him can play a big part in how long it does.

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