‘I cannot let my husband touch my breasts after surgery’ – Advice column

Fiona Caine gives advice to a woman who is struggling with body confidence after breast surgery.
Fiona Caine gives advice to a woman who is struggling with body confidence after breast surgery.

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a woman who cannot let her husband touch her breasts and another who thinks her in-laws hate her.

Q After breast surgery to remove some tumours, I have been left with unsightly scars which shattered my self-confidence and left me traumatised. 

I cannot let my husband see me naked and when we have sex, I can't bear him to touch me anywhere near them.

He and his colleagues visited a lap dancing club and I got angry and told him he was disgusting. I have been unable to share a bed with him ever since.

We're hardly talking to each other now. Will I ever get over feeling like this, or should I leave him? 

A I wonder whether the root of your problems lie not so much with the disgust you feel for your husband, but more with how you see yourself?

Please contact Breast Cancer Care (breastcancercare.org.uk). In the meantime, please don't make any hasty decisions about your marriage. Your husband is probably just as confused by what has happened but your letter to me suggests a part of you wants to try and make it work. 

Q My husband has a daughter from his previous marriage.

She and her mother have a lot of contact with his parents. They are very close, and I am sure my in-laws are doing all they can to get their son back together with his ex-wife.

My husband says I’m worrying about nothing, he loves me and has no intention of getting back together with his ex-wife.

His daughter is great so why do I feel so unsure about his ex-wife and parents? 

A You're the newest addition to an already established, extended and happy family. That can't be easy, and I can see why you might feel a bit resentful of this.

However, might it be possible that you are perhaps worrying a bit too much about it all? 

You love each other, and this must be clear to your husband's parents and his daughter.

So, in the absence of anything clearly wrong here, perhaps you simply need to give it additional time in order to feel more like 'one of the family'.