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Is it ok for me to want my partner to have reconstruction?

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2018

My partner of 13 years has decided to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure due to genetic risk. I support her decision - the risk she faces is unacceptable. If it was me I would make the same decision. But I’m very afraid. I’m afraid of the pain and suffering she will go through. And I’m afraid of how it will affect my physical desire for her and our sex life. Will I still be turned on by her if she has no breasts? What if I don’t want to have sex with her any more? I want her to explore the possibilities of reconstruction, but she says no, she wants the absolute minimum risk. She doesn’t even want to talk to the doctor about it. I think she doesn’t care about our sex life. I think she expects me to just want her physically despite the surgery. But what if I don’t? I can’t just decide what turns me on and what does not - it just doesn’t work that way. I’m feeling depressed and she’s angry at me for even raising the question. What can I do?

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 426
Joined: Jan 2014

She needs all the support she can get from you but seems like you are not giving it to her..Shes fighting cancer and all you are worried about is her losing her breast and not being happy with your sex life.

 Sounds like she has already made her mind up to get a BMX.I had a BMX in 2014 and my husband was ok with it and he did not want me to even have reconstruction because of possible cancer showing up again and did not want me going through all the suffering and pain again. Before all procedures started he told me he loved me for what was in my heart not what showed on the  outside. Our life is wonderful and everything we have went through we have become closer and that was because he loved me for what I was, not for what I did not have. There are alot of cancer couples that are cancer free from different cancers that cannot have sex but remember one thing, when something drastic happens in a marriage due to this, this is when the love in your heart takes over and yes things change but you can also have a wonderful marriage. For some people sex is not everything in a marriage. Love is. I hate to sound rude but quit thinking about yourself and think of what she is going to have to go through and give her encourgament, support and love. If you do this things will work out for both of you.

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2018

No, that’s not all I am worried about. It is one thing I am worried about. Your response does not address my question.

Apaugh's picture
Posts: 856
Joined: Aug 2016

It is not only the surgery that will be tough.  She is going to go through hell and high water for a good long time.  Having someone from the get go that is not supportive is a nightmare.  It will not help with her recovery at all. 


Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2018

Hi Clymbon.  Here's my thoughts.  I was with my boyfriend who lives far away so I don't see him often.  We were being intimate and as he approached my breasts, he was hesitant and said "I don't know what I should or should not do".  I get it.  Sex acts become more delicate...unless you talk about it.  You have EVERY right to feel conflicted.  You don't have to be a martyr and neither does she.  Just talk, as hard as that is, but it takes the elephant out of the room.  If  you show her you want to work with the cancer situation, the sex stuff will work its way out.  I just want you to know, you're not alone.  She feels bad as well.  Just gotta talk and put it out there.  I understand your feelings.  It's natural.  But if you love her enough...you'll both find a way.  

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2018

She’s angry at me for wanting to talk about it. So there is not mech I can do. Thank you for acknowledging that this is something that it’s ok to worry about and not just saying, “you are being selfish”.

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2018

My wife was diagnosed 2 years ago and we were faced with the same options. Others might not understand but I see where you're coming from. The future is bleak enough and then you think about your sex life one day and it's just another unanswered question that lingers . 

But in my case, she opted for reconstruction  (a flap procedure) and it was tough on  her. She admits that had she known, she wouldn't have done it. As her husband, I was indeed worried about how I would feel toward her sexually. Her breasts look nothing like they used to. Her nipples are no longer there. But the overwhelming feeling I get when we are intimate is how strong and brave this woman is and what she's endured. Her scars aren't unappealing but serve as a reminder of the amazing woman I married and who she is. 

Our experiences are different. In your case it perhaps saved her life to undergo a mastectomy and in mine it's just prolonging it. But if you truly love her than don't fear the scars, embrace them. It's easier than you think .

awsmGirl's picture
Posts: 38
Joined: May 2016

@Clymbon,  thank you for raising this very valid issue!  i am facing the same surgery on less than 2 weeks, and i have the very same fears and concerns! 

will it be enough to keep me alive?

how awful will recovery be?

will i look weird with at least one nipple gone, maybe both?

will fake breasts look absurd, esp as i age?

will my partner still find me attractive (esp since he really likes -- liked, i guess :( -- my larger natural breasts?

how will i feel, with diminished pleasurable response in my breasts/nipples?

and on, and on...


i get it that others are encouraging the idea that we're more than our damaged bodies, that we are multi-faceted 360° people, and that perhaps for now, focusing on the facets that are unchanging,  BUT realistically part of us IS sexual, IS visual, and change is hard!


good on you for speaking up about your concerns!  it's hard that your partner is stonewalling your attempts at further discussion, stonewalling even considering discussing Options.  it should go both ways, and just as she is going through some very hard changes, so are you.


i'm sorry i haven't any better answers for you, but i do want to validate your concerns from the viewpoint of a woman who is facing a similar dilemma -- from the other side of the coin, as it were.  Realistically, you may have to just "suck it up" and figure out how to deal -- just as those of us (women) who are facing this have no choice in order to save our lives.  i absolutely do not want this, but i have to figure out how to accept it, normalize whatever outcome, and move on.  i hate it.

Maybe seeking a counselor could help. cuz damn this s--- is the definition of life gone crazy. 


good luck to you both, and my usual philosphy of

cultivate peace

cultivate gratitude

move forward in love and compassion 



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