“You’re lucky that I’m a nice guy or I would have left you. It’s only mean women that don’t have sex with their husbands.”
As soon as I witnessed the words being said I felt like I was going to vomit. My stomach started to clench up and I could feel tears threatening to escape my eyes. Ever since my diagnosis almost 6 months ago of endometriosis, vulvodynia, pelvic floor tension myalgia, and probable adenomyosis, my hesitancy to think about future relationships has been at an all time high. And…I know that there are thousands of other women who feel the exact same way.
But on Sunday night when I found myself watching an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, I didn’t expect to discern something between a husband and a wife that set me so on edge. For the last couple of months, I have been telling women like me that they are lovable. I have told them that they deserve just as much love and affection as anyone else out there; broken uterus or not. I have been urging women to carefully select the type of people they surround themselves with. And after all of this, I was truly starting to hope that we all could see our true value. Yet there I was, witnessing a woman who had been diagnosed with fibroids. She was in an extreme amount of pain, her cravings for food were out of control, and sexual intercourse was practically unthinkable because of the pain she was experiencing. She felt physically terrible and as a result her emotional well-being was at an all time low. So, naturally, she looked to her husband for support. She looked to her husband, the same man who had once pledged in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. And what did he do? He criticized her. He told her she was being dramatic. He downplayed her pain and made comments about her weight gain. He tried to make the situation about him instead of about her. And he ridiculed her for not feeling up to having sex with him.
Now, I know that this is an extreme case and that most men wouldn’t dare to talk to their wives this way. I know that this is probably not the norm and that there is a reason he is on TV, etc. But can I just take a moment to say, on behalf of all women dealing with feminine pain, STFU. But more importantly, to any woman that allows a man to treat her this way, stop it. Please, stop it. There is not a woman on this planet that deserves to be treated this way. There is not a single reason that would excuse this type of behavior. And there is not a damn reason for you to ever be apologizing for illnesses within your body that you cannot control.
This has to stop. We have to stop settling for less than we deserve. We have to stop making excuses for the people in our lives just because we have guilt that we aren’t what they expected. But we are more than enough. We are us, and when you love someone, you love every single part of them. You can’t pick and choose the parts that you love.
We all have secrets. We all have baggage, big or small. But through it all, please remember that you are worth just as much love and affection as anyone else. And don’t settle for anything less.