But before I go into semi-seclusion ...
This post at New Kid's, and the ones to which she links, is really good. I've thought about this a lot (if you read the comments, you'll know why), and I've figured out what bothers me about all this. It's about blame and fault and obligation. It's really the SD anti-abortion argument all over again (but not).
The author, Morphing into Mom, says:
“No, because some weight gain is inevitable with age. Five years ago when Husband and I married, I was 120 pounds. I now weigh 125. I would have to use extreme measures to get back down to 120. That’s not a weight gain I can control within reason. However, if I’d maintained the 40 pounds I’d gained during pregnancy, well, that would be unfair since I can actually do something about that.”
So, if a woman were to have a radical mastectomy, or one partner were to lose a limb or undergo some kind of horribly scarring and disfiguring experience -- or if a male partner became impotent due to some physiological reason (like, I dunno, prostate cancer? Hey, I've gone out with significantly older men, and it's something one thinks about), it would all be ok, because it's not the partner's fault??? And our love for each other would make it all OK? And if we couldn't deal with something that isn't our partner's fault, we're bad partners??
Me? I think those things would just be harder to deal with. And I think that people who love each other will try very hard to deal with them and probably will. But I don't know that it's natural or easy. Hell, if I had, for example, a huge scar running across my torso and no breast, I'd have a hard time with it and I'm guessing I'd want some serious counseling. How could I expect a partner to deal with it any better? The physiological is part of attractiveness. It just is. But compounding the difficulties in dealing with major physiological changes in a partner with whether or not the partner is responsible for those changes seems to be both wrong and ultimately damaging to any adult relationship.
I haven't said this as well as I'd like. But I really need to go away and work now.