Back when I was still engaged, a fellow bride shared some wisdom from one of her elder family members. It was a list of things every new wife should do to keep house. There, nestled alongside gems like “Never go to bed angry”, was this little nugget,
“Your husband should never know when you are having your feminine time. Keep those things private!”
I laugh now, but at the time I was very much inclined to believe that this was important information. A man should have some sense of allure and mystery in regards to his woman. That’s what inspires the chase, right? “I don’t know how she gets her hair that way, but boy do I like it”, or ” I don’t know how she always wakes up looking so radiant”. It makes the whole being a girl thing seem special and set-apart.
And then I got married and realized that thanks to this strange body of mine, I will NEVER have that kind of privacy. Thanks PCOS, you totally rock my socks. Jerk.
I don’t have the luxury of playing coy about “Aunt Flo”, or the Crimson Tide, or whatever the new terminology is that week. My cycles, and lacks there of, are common knowledge in my house. There are frequent honey-do trips to the pharmacy for yet another box of Always Infinity pads, and things “running their course” can take upwards of 40 days at last count. So when I think back to that list of things women should do in their marriages, I’m both saddened that I can’t be that woman and pissed that anyone else is being asked to.
I mean, to be honest and fair, it’s not like I want to share these things with my spouse. I’d love the opportunity to be the ideal aloof woman. Unfortunately though, that option was taken from me far before I even came close to marriage. I’ve always had to share just a little bit more because my body was uncooperative and confusing. And then to add insult to injury, infertility added an additional sh*tload of overshare which I have to provide my husband. He knows far more about my womanhood and how it all works than I ever would have imagined him being privvy to, and it eats me alive.
I find myself stuck on this particular paradox:
If the mystery and mystique of woman is what attracts our significant others to us, how then is it possible to still remain sexy, intriguing or attractive when we are forced to lay all our cards out on the table?
In sharing with my husband all that makes me a woman(biologically), I feel as though I’ve lost all my womanhood(theoretically). I feel like a roommate. I feel not only less of a woman, but less of HIS woman. And that devastates me.
Though he says I shouldn’t be self-conscious, or that I shouldn’t be so humiliated, I simply can’t help it. What I wouldn’t give to be the chick who has cute little 3-5 day “visits”, and wears a size 8 in clothes and shoes. But I’m not that woman. Instead, my uterus goes on binges, my clothing sizes are on a fluctuation spree, and my feet have recently decided that they wish to be sized 11.4 . And can I just say that today, I’m having a hard time dealing with that.
But anyway, what’s new with you?
Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.