SWM 132 – Breast implants and body image issues

I received this question way back in February and wanted to answer it in a separate post.  Sadly, then I completely forgot about it until I was looking through my files and stumbled across it.  So, today, I’m going to finally answer this question we have about breast implants, and hopefully, she’s still a listener.

Hi! To start, I just wanted to say thank you so much for what you do! Your podcast has been immensely eye-opening and helpful! Now, to my question.

I am in my 30s, and my husband and I have been together for 15 years. There was porn use by my husband that nearly tore us apart, but after therapy, support groups and endless prayer, I am so thankful to say we are stronger than ever, and he has been porn free for over a year now. It has made a profound difference in our sex life,  we feel more connected than ever.

That being said, internally, I am still struggling with body image issues. It is not all-consuming but it’s enough to bring me to this point. I have been considering breast augmentation for years now but kept putting it on the back burner due to pregnancy and breastfeeding  (we have 3 children). I thought I was completely over the idea and just decided to fully accept my body as is until the porn addiction reared its ugly head. As I said, we are past that, and he has made amazing changes for himself and us, but knowing what he watched and the women he chose to view online has made the idea of breast augmentation appealing again.

I am not happy with what 6 years of breastfeeding has left me with. My husband says he loves my body the way it is, but I know I would love it MORE if I got the breast augmentation, and undoubtedly, I know he would too, even if he won’t admit it so as not to hurt my feelings.

My question is, do you think seeking a breast augmentation for selfish reasons would be sinful? Would God find that to be an abomination of sorts, a sinful act based on my lack of love towards my body? I know I would feel so much more confident. I truly would. And that would enhance our sex life due to my confidence alone. So, would it be a bad thing to do? I have flip-flopped on this for months now. Some days, I am certain it’s a sinful thing to desire and do, and other days, I’m certain that it does not fall in the category of actual sin. An outside perspective would be so helpful, and I’d appreciate it immensely.

I know I need to love the body I have, and I do. It’s the slight pains of the past and the desire to feel confident that entices me.  Knowing there are verses in the Bible directly telling the man to love his woman’s beautiful breasts makes my heart drop because mine are anything but beautiful. They are used, tired, and barely there after years of sacrificing my body for our children. So, would making them more appealing really be a bad thing? Or would it be no different than purchasing a new sex toy and having fun in the bedroom as husband and wife? Thank you for your time.

I posted this in our forum, and we had couples who had gotten breast implants and loved them and ones who said, “Never again!”  So, even in our supporter group, there wasn’t a consensus.  So, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, whichever way I go.

But I’ll start off with what I see here.

The first is that this seems to be dealing with symptoms rather than root causes.  As you said, you have body-image issues that are exacerbated by your husband’s past porn use.  It sounds like you were even getting better until the porn issue came to the surface, and then that shattered what progress you had made.

And so, this idea of breast augmentation seems to be a way to avoid body image issues rather than deal with the root cause.  

To me, that has a lot of the same feeling as divorcing because you want to be more independent.  The issue isn’t the marriage – it’s their lack of desire to live a shared life.  Now, sometimes people divorce and then grow up a bit by the next marriage or realize they never want to go through that again and are forced to grow up, but if they don’t, then I can almost guarantee there will be another divorce in the future.

In the same way, I worry that if you get this surgery without dealing with the root cause, you will just find something else to be unhappy about.  What if you get the surgery and your husband has a relapse?  Will you worry they’re not good enough?  Will you then want larger ones?

Reader's Question - Breast implants and body image issues

And this brings up another issue – men don’t watch porn because their spouse isn’t attractive enough.  His porn use has nothing to do with how you look.  I know it can feel that way, and it can make you feel insecure, but changing your looks will not impact his porn use or disuse at all.  Your looks are not responsible for it, and I worry that you may be thinking they might be.  

I have never met a husband who said they watch porn because they’re unhappy with how their wife looks.  I have met some who started watching porn and then saw their preferences shift, but again, that’s an issue that should be dealt with, not band-aided by matching their new preferences.  They need healing, not to have their incorrect preferences matched.

As well, you seem to not believe your husband when he says he loves your body the way it is.  I believe him because this is what I hear from men all the time, whether or not their wife is in the room.  When they are confessing their deepest thoughts, feelings, hurts and everything else – this is not one that comes up very often at all.  The rare times it does, it’s either due to the relationship itself that’s soured their opinion or a massive weight gain on the order of morbid obesity.  Even then, it’s only some men who lose their attraction.

So, if you get the surgery and ask him if he likes how you look – why would you believe him then if you don’t believe him now?  

For myself, I would like to see you work on those body image issues, work on believing your husband, and work on gaining confidence in the way you are. Then, if you still want to, give it another consideration, but not for these reasons.  

Those are my thoughts, and I welcome any and all to share theirs in the comments below.  I’d much rather we have a larger community weighing in on topics rather than just my voice.  Ultimately, the decision is yours, and I think a wider range of experiences and perspectives can help you think it through more thoroughly.

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What should we run a survey about next?

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