I was sitting beside my wife in the delivery room as a nurse attempted the Epidural administration. It’s an unpleasant procedure that forces a large needle into the spine via the lower back. As the tube was shoved home, my wife began to close her eyes, grasping on the bars of her bed. It was horrendous, like something from a horror film. I was shaken. These things happen.
My wife and I talk about the nasty stuff. That’s just our style. It’s not as if we intentionally set out to be completely transparent about our respective grossness. It wasn’t some strategic plan for a happy marriage. It just happened that way. But we’re better for it.
So maybe it was just natural that we talk to each other about our poops and eating more fiber to make them “fluffy and floaty”. She certainly wasn’t squeamish about talking about her period. Neither of us has ever winced about talking about rashes or blemishes or sickness. We see no shame in the things that come out of our bodies. We don’t worry about appearing perfectly put together, or making love before a shower, or performing personal hygiene tasks side by side.
I do understand that some couples lean heavy on maintaining a sense of “mystery”. Some women refuse to be seen without makeup or experience shame in menstruation. Some men go to extraordinary lengths not to talk about their buttholes or the health of their sexual organs. I’ve read that some couples have separate bathrooms or refuse to be in one at the same time, for fear that they won’t be desirable anymore.
My wife went through the Epidural procedure like a champ! She’s all healed up. Better yet, she hasn’t changed in my eyes. Talking about the gross stuff means that she can be covered in bloody vomit in an ER and still be the absolute love of my life, not when she’s cleaned up, but in that moment when she looks, feels and smells like crap.