Husband discussing my menstrual cycles with his mother

Oana - posted on 04/07/2015 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies,
I need somewhere to vent. I had a miscarriage some months ago, and I've had some menstrual issues since. I confide in my husband whenever something like that troubles me, because he's a doctor. However, I have overheard my husband talking to his mother about my periods today. He's done it before, and I told him straight up that it bothered me, and that it's none of her business. In her defense, she isn't the one asking. He blurs it out, and then she wants details. I don't even discuss the issue with my own mother. A few days after I gave birth, he started telling his mother in my presence about my uterus. She is not a medical professional, quite to the contrary. She's the type that will say you have a congenital issue because you don't eat a certain type of meat (so, completely off track). Some days before that, he brought his tablet while it was filming into our bedroom to show his mother that I was fine after I gave birth. I was in a bathrobe and bleeding heavily. It never occurred to him to ask me beforehand.
After all the fights we've had about my space, and what it means for me to be able to trust him, he's doing it again and again. I realize not every woman would be touchy about her menstrual cycle, but I am. I don't share specifics with anyone, and this is probably the first time I'm touching on the subject in public.
What should I do, ladies? I'm terribly disgusted, disappointed, offended, and sad.

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Cutemommy - posted on 04/10/2015

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How rude are they? He definitely doesn't know boundaries, that is your personal business. If my husband did that to me... (I'm trying to put myself in your position) I would pry embarrass him and tell him how nasty it is that he and his mom sit there talking about my menstrual cycle as if it where the weather. I think you should stop telling him about certain things. Tell him your going to see your own personal doctor because you know your doctor won't tell his mom about your period. If he wants to know your business even though your married, he needs to earn that. So yeah even though he is a doctor you should draw the line and have him as your husband and not your Ob/Gyn. As a joke give him a calender marked up with days of the week your period occurred and your symptoms and tell him it's for the next time his mom calls. LOL good luck to you girl, I hope you get your privacy back and hopefully everything works out for you.

Sarah - posted on 04/07/2015

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You mus be so frustrated. I get what you mean when you fear for our daughter's privacy in the future. She won't be happy when grandma sends her a card to congratulate her on her period. Yikes. Have you ever seen a counselor? Maybe having a third party tell him his behavior is inappropriate would help him wake up. Does he only talk this way with his mom, or does he do it with friends as well? Was there some sort of stress or problem with your pregnancy or delivery that he remains conflicted about?

Michelle - posted on 04/07/2015

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Maybe remind him of his patient-doctor confidentiality agreement. Tell him that when you discuss your medical problems with him you expect him to treat you like his patients and respect your privacy.
Other than that I don't know what else you could do.

[deleted account]

I was only suggesting that you play the same game with him because sometimes it works when a person doesn't see how what they say or do can effect another person and once they get a taste of their own medicine, they stop or realize what they are doing isn't good;so my apologies if I came off passive aggressive. Hope for the best to you and your family :)

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Oana - posted on 04/11/2015

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Thank you, Cutemommy. I have made up my mind not to let him in on issues like that anymore. I told him this week that I'll let him know I'm pregnant when I give birth, and no sooner. I was kidding, but he got the picture. I only ever told him my business because we were planning for a baby (hence the miscarriage), and my strange post-miscarriage symptoms made me doubt my doctor. But I put it through to him now that his actions make me feel like I'm a uterus on a stick, putting on a show for his mom. I've learned my lesson, and there's no way I'll ever share anything private with him again while his mom is alive. The sad thing is he's distancing me from his mom, which is otherwise a nice person, if only a bit too pushy and overprotective of him. She's very clearly developed a co-dependency relationship with him. Still, part of me will never understand how she can encourage him to do stuff like this, and not feel the least bit of remorse, or how she can even criticize him for not 'sharing'. Why she feels she's entitled to having this kind of information, in other words. Why would she feel empowered if she buds her nose in someoneelse's beeswax?

Oana - posted on 04/08/2015

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Yikes, indeed! Well, Sarah, he's not the type to take advice from anyone other than his relatives. I asked a friend who's a psychotherapist, and she advised me to treat him as I would a child, and to deprive him of something when he misbehaves. That's likely to work, because he's never been punished for anything in his life. He thinks it's cruel of me to apply a Time Out when our daughter misbehaves, but he sees no issue with applying physical violence. Luckily, I think I've made him see how wrong that is, and I've never allowed him to carry out traditional punishment.
He's a blabbermouth, for sure, but he will only generally discuss these things with his mother. That's how he starts a conversation with her, in fact, and then he carries on gossiping about me for the next hour or so, just so that he wouldn't have to talk about himself. I think he's trying to show off his medical skills to his mom, because she's the one who pushed him for a medical career, even though he never wanted that for himself. It could be a wealth of things, at this point. I just don't know.
I think I'll apply my friend's hypothesis, and make a list of things he can't have if he keeps doing this. I hope it works. Nothing to lose, at this point. Wish me luck!

Oana - posted on 04/07/2015

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Now that you mentioned it, Michelle, I have pointed out to him several times before that I would have been entitled to a lawsuit had I paid for his medical opinion, but that never really did seem to strike a chord. I never ask him about his patients, and if he ever drifts into the topic of work, I always change the subject. In fact, I always change the subject when he's referring to someone who's not present, whoever it may be, even his family. If I ever want to know something, I want to hear it from the horse's mouth, you know? Still, my feeling is that the issue stems from the fact that he's uncomfortable talking about himself with his mom, which is no wonder, considering she can't keep anything to herself. I've also pointed this out to him before, but he'd just ignore me and carry on. He seems to derive this sick pleasure from telling his mom everything. He was like that with me when we first met. He'd tell me how long he'd showered, what he'd eaten, who he'd called and for how long, etc., when I'd only ever ask him 'How's your day been?'. He's used to reporting to his mom, and as soon as he sees her, there's a click. I don't know what that is, or if there's a psychological term for it, even.

Oana - posted on 04/07/2015

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No, I see what you mean, but I just don't have it in me. I can tell him off whenever he annoys me, but with this, I just can't anymore. I've reached the point where I can't fight anymore. I know he'll never understand. And I know if I try to play at his game, he won't see the connection, and if I point it out, he'll just say 'it's totally different'. What I'm looking for, I think, is some sort of revelation, some magical psychological trick that will make him understand without my having to do anything. Without him even knowing it came from me. Anything else is bound to fail, because I'd be the source, and he's put off by anything I suggest or insist on.

Oana - posted on 04/07/2015

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Thank you, Sarah. I know what you're saying. I know my husband tends to over-share many things, in particular with his mom. She loves gossip, and she doesn't even understand she's gossiping. In her view, hearsay is a fact. But I just wish there were some way to make him understand that's it's wrong. I certainly don't want to nag him about it until my dying day, nor would I rather overlook it for the rest of our lives together. We have a daughter, and it's disheartening for me to think that he would ever discuss her private matters with his mother, or anyone else, for that matter. And it's also making me want to distance myself from my daughter and my future children. I just don't want to become a nosy mother like that. I keep telling him to talk about himself when he has a chat with his mother, not me, but it's useless. I have a feeling my daughter's private affairs will be the talk of the village in a few years. I only care because we visit his relatives a few times a year (we travel a few thousand miles), and they're a close-knit family (all 40 of them!) and we only ever exchange like 10 words, which will all be related to the latest gossip my mother-in-law spread based on my husband's subjective account of what happened. And I've heard enough uterus, menstruation, hysterectomy, miscarriage and ovary conversations at their tables to know that mine are right up there, on the menu, along with all those of female relatives. That's not the way I was brought up. It's not just etiquette, it's respecting what it is that makes a woman what she is, and that to me is something sacred. I'm just so sad...

Oana - posted on 04/07/2015

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Thank you, Mykala. See, that's the trouble. I simply couldn't bring myself to discuss his bodily functions with anyone. I wouldn't know where to start and I wouldn't see why that would interest anyone, to begin with.

Sarah - posted on 04/07/2015

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As a nurse, I find sometimes I lose my filter and over-share. It is not considerate of your husband to not respect your boundaries and you are right to be offended and hurt. My husband interrupts me and then doesn't apologize or even realize that I was in the middle of speaking. Despite 23 years of asking him to stop, he still does it, it still hurts and frustrates me. At this point, I have chosen to just accept it.
I am not saying that you have to learn to accept him discussing your private body functions with his mom, but I am saying he may never change. You need to decide how important it is to you that he stop and if he does not stop, what will you do?
To play games and do the same to him, probably won't bother him and seems a bit passive aggressive anyway.

[deleted account]

Your husband is being so DISRESPECTFUL, i would speak up more and tell him to STOP. If he proceeds then play the same card with him and see how he likes it.

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