How to Talk With Your Husband or Significant Other About Breast Reduction
The long-term positives when contemplating breast reduction surgery includes the life-altering alleviation of symptoms related to the freedom from the burden of having to carry heavy, oversized, and usually droopy breasts. The many benefits of breast reduction for the woman cannot be denied, but there is another important angle to consider: how it affects her spouse or partner. While any woman in a supportive, healthy relationship should feel free to pursue her personal interests, it is also important to be sensitive to the feelings and needs of the husband or significant other.
The following is not the consensus recommendations of marriage counselors, divorce attorneys or psychologists. Instead, it is a sensible and hopefully helpful and constructive approach to talking about this subject.
It is a good practice in every relationship to consider how your actions affect the other person. This may not matter in small decisions but in choices that permanently alter your lifestyle or appearance, any decision could have ramifications beyond what you’ve considered. Your husband’s opinions, thoughts, and feelings should matter because you care about him and want him to be happy. A loving husband should feel the same about you; that’s what makes it a good, supportive relationship.
Talk About It With Him First
Your husband may not be the very first person you talk to about breast reduction, but he should certainly be high up on the list. You don’t want him to overhear your sister or best friend talking to you about it when you haven’t even discussed it with him. You probably shouldn’t take him by surprise to breast reduction consultation with a plastic surgeon, either. Bring it up to him yourself to give him a chance to process the information and learn why it’s important to you.
Discussing the “Why”
It is essential to discuss with your partner your reasons for a breast reduction. Are you in chronic pain? Do you have shoulder grooves or postural problems? Do you avoid exercise because it is too hard or too painful? Do you get catcalls or inappropriate passes because of your bust size? Do you struggle to find attractive clothing, feel good about your body, or even perform normal daily tasks because your breasts are too large? Your husband may have no idea just how much the size of your breasts affects your quality of life. Hearing these reasons makes it much easier to understand why someone would want the procedure.
As you share openly, be prepared to hear and consider his thoughts. Upon hearing your reasons, he may immediately encourage you to get a breast reduction. Or, he may have a hard time warming up to the idea because it means you will be changing your body—a body he loves and enjoys being intimate with. It’s common for a man to feel protective of his wife, and a surgery to remove part of your body—quite possibly one of his favorite parts, at that—could feel somewhat like losing you or like losing his favorite part of you. You may think this reaction doesn’t make sense or is unfair but emotions don’t have to be sensible or fair to be real.
Discussing openly your reasons for wanting a breast reduction will help him see how this could be a good thing for you both. Help him to understand that as breast reduction improves your quality of life, it will also improve his (quite simply – if you are unhappy and miserable, by nature he’s going to suffer as well!). Tell him how breast reduction will help you feel better about your body and will likely improve your self-confidence, help you feel more attractive, make it easier and more comfortable for you to exercise, improve your health, find more flattering clothing options, and more (sex). Consider taking him with you to your breast reduction consultation and discussing it openly with Dr. Turkeltaub as well.
Marriage 101: both person’s opinions matter and should be respected and considered. This should be true when it comes to all major decisions. Yes, it is your body, but you aren’t the only one who loves it. You love his body as well. If he wanted to make a major change to his appearance, wouldn’t you want him to consider your opinion and decide on it together?
Supporting Each Other
Some women may think, “I’m the one in chronic pain about to undergo major surgery, so why do I need to be worried about him?” Your spouse is concerned about you and loves you—your mind, your personality, and your body. He wants what is best for you, which is why you’re getting this breast reduction. He may even be sacrificing his own personal desires to make sure that you get what you need.
If you have been together a long time, he has likely grown used to your appearance and may have a hard time adjusting to the change. As you two support each other and look forward to the future, you can make it a positive change for both of you.
Breast reduction is truly life-changing for many women and their partners. To learn more about it, schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub. Call (480) 451-3000 or complete our online contact form to request your appointment today.