Gynecomastia Support Forum

General => Parents/Family/Friends => Topic started by: caringwife on May 27, 2014, 10:52:44 AM

Title: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: caringwife on May 27, 2014, 10:52:44 AM
My husband obviously has G but we've never spoken about it.  (Also, I've observed that both of his brothers have G.)  I know my husband is self conscious about it because he always wears a t-shirt when swimming and is reluctant about going to the beach, pool, lake, etc.  Also, we have 2 boys that may one day exhibit signs of it and if so, I'd like to address their condition medically, in a timely manner.  So, for the sake of my husband's silent suffering and my sons' well-being, I am considering approaching my husband about it.  Advice?  Thoughts?  Please weigh in. 
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: hammer on May 27, 2014, 11:42:26 AM
Openness and honesty is always my best policy!

Just ask him if he is bothered by the size of his chest, then let him know that he is one of 60% of the male population, and he is not alone with the condition of gynecomastia! There is help for it if he can not accept it. There is also help if the two of you can't afford the surgery, choose not to have it or he is not able to due to health reasons.

Your being a very supportive wife, I commend you for that and you are also looking into the future for you two boys, God bless you mom!

Hope that this helps, Bob
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: caringwife on May 27, 2014, 11:51:45 AM
Thank you Bob!  Yes, your comment very much helps me.  I do want to be open and honest but couldn't think of a sensitive/neutral/caring way to bring it up.  I don't want to hurt his feelings or cause him to shut down/shut me out.  I'm curious, what is the help you refer to instead of surgery, etc?  Thank you again. 
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: hammer on May 27, 2014, 12:09:20 PM
Learning to accept. I'm one of the guys here on the forum that has had this all my life and learn to live with it, even going through 11 years of the military with breast, running a business, fathering 5 grandfather of 3 but never letting them stop me!

I've gone through a lot, health wise so I won't let having breast stop me. I've been disabled now for 16 years and due to health issues mine have grown to 46H but I have full family support, a great wife of 27 years and a faith that will get me through anything!

If you want you can read my story in stories, "my story after all these years".

It is hard for some guys to get used to the idea in today's world that he has breast, but the truth is there are worst things that can happen. I see this problem on the rise and I pray that the insurance industry will start to cover the cost of surgery because I know that many young men are just devastated by it!

In the mean time, people need to become educated about the problem. One of the doctors here on the forum and myself started a letter writing campaign to the doctor Oz show to do a segment on gynecomastia, but it never went anywhere, so if you have any ideas, please help, because I do believe that if we get people educated then the stigma and taboo will go away just as ED did and there may be more help.

Just my thoughts.


Bob
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Paa_Paw on May 31, 2014, 01:39:40 AM
With the advent of the internet age, I dreamed that the rapid spread of information would make the truth of gynecomastia well enough know that no male would ever again be embarrassed by it.

What I did not consider was the fact that misinformation and false ideals spread just as quickly and since they are more sensational, they get repeated more often.

The result of all this is that the condition of Gynecomastia is even more of a stigma now than when I was young.

As for being pro-active, I do not believe that there is anything that can be done to prevent the condition. Most boys develop the condition in early puberty and it is true that the condition does resolve in many of them. If the condition is unchanged for two years or longer, it is highly unlikely that it will ever change and surgery is the only known effective treatment.

I dropped any pretense of covering up the condition when my boys were small so they grew up thinking it was perfectly normal. They all have it to some degree, but it has never been a major issue for any of them.

I really think openness is the best way to deal with it. It can be an embarrassment, but only if a man allows it to be so.
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: caringwife on May 31, 2014, 11:14:31 AM
Thank you both for your inputs.  I have yet to broach this topic with my husband because I fear that he will initially be upset at the prospect of discussing it... 
I do understand that G cannot be prevented.  I simply meant that if my boys develop G, I want to look into a surgery/intervention as early as developmentally appropriate so they're not dealing with the mental anguish of peer scrutiny, teasing, etc that others have described. 
As for my husband, if he wants the surgery, I will support him.  I know he likes to swim, go to the beach, etc, but he often says he doesn't want to go and I'm pretty sure that G is why.  We had been together for a while before I first noticed.  And like others on this board say, I cared far more about what was going on between his ears and in his heart to be bothered by his chest.  It was a few years later before I began to make the connection between his chest and him routinely turning down invitations to swim, go to the lake, etc.  I just want him to be comfortable in his skin whatever shape that may be. 
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Paa_Paw on May 31, 2014, 02:19:35 PM
Teasing will happen no matter what you do. Kids will tease cruelly for any reason and even seemingly for no reason. Any feature could be the topic of teasing. Hair color, eyes, skin tone, You name it and the kids will use it for a reason to tease. I was teased as a child because of the way I walked.

The key is to make sure your kids are not good victims. The bully who teases is looking for some sort of payoff. Deprive them of the payoff or give them a negative payoff and the teasing stops. Actually it seldom totally stops but at least they go looking for a better victim.

Time has a way of making things come out even. I am now 76 and the kid that used to tease me because of the way I walked still lives not far away. I still go camping and hiking even with my funny gait. He has lost his feet due to poor circulation caused by uncontrolled Diabetes.
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Finally Didit! on July 12, 2014, 05:13:28 PM
I don't know if you ever brought your concerns up with your husband.  But, allow me to share my experience.  I suffered in silence. Fifty years old and married for 19 years with three kids.  We just never talked about it.  I wouldn't go to the beach, swim in our pool and bought clothes to mask the condition.  She saw me shirtless all the time, but that was always in the privacy of our bedroom, while changing clothes, after a shower and when we were intimate.  Three weeks ago, on a hot, humid day, I couldn't take it anymore!  I googled a nearby plastic surgeon and made an appointment for a consult.  That forced me to bring it up with my wife.  I sat her down and had the conversation.  Years of pain melted away.  She was shocked at first.  She said even though she always thought my breast were different, she was never concerned.  I had the surgery a week ago and she has been very supportive throughout.  She's excited for me because she sees how happy I am now.  And I look forward to the days when we can go to the beach together and make up for so many lost years of fun times!

I hope you have the conversation if you haven't.  The new openness will take your marriage to new level if he takes it for what it really is...you wanting to support him.  Good luck!  I look forward to hearing how it goes.
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Sven on July 16, 2014, 10:29:30 AM
I hope you have the conversation if you haven't.  The new openness will take your marriage to new level if he takes it for what it really is...you wanting to support him.  Good luck!  I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Thanks for sharing that story, finally didit!  It must have been terrible to suffer in silence about this for so long.  It's great that your wife is so supportive.

To caringwife, I would just be straight up about it.  Tell him that you've been reading online about a condition called gynecomastia and ask if he's ever heard of it.  Tell him about this site and that a lot of the guys on the forum say they avoid beaches and pools because they are self conscious about their chest.  Then be straightforward and ask if he thinks he has that.  Then listen...

I don't know if this approach would work for everyone, but if your husband is like me, he will appreciate your being forthcoming.  If he is more sensitive, you might want to find some less direct way to broach the subject.

Thanks,

Sven
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: caringwife on August 19, 2014, 02:10:06 PM
Thank you guys!  I have been busy with the kids and not checked this forum until just now.  We have not discussed this yet as he's OOT for work (mil) for a few months.  I plan to bring it up after he gets home and we get settled.  I appreciate your kind words and sharing your experience and advice.  I think it will go well.  I'll update later.  :)
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Sven on August 19, 2014, 03:37:03 PM
If he's in the military, there is a possibility he will be able to get the surgery paid for.  Some branches offer coverage for a cosmetic surgery if it directly affects you in your job.  He should talk to his CO about it.
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: hammer on August 19, 2014, 05:22:45 PM
Sven is right! The VA will not cover the cost for us old vets, however tricare will in many cases for active duty.

Good luck.
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Alchemist on April 24, 2015, 05:49:36 PM
Hi Caringwife,

My wife of several decades introduced me to nudist ideas.  However, the shirts she bought me showed that she had no idea of the pain and grief gyne carried for me. 

I've been an activist for all sorts of things all my life when I have been healthy enough. 

There is acceptance to various degrees. I appear to have a familial type where breast development in boys and girls happens early and big.  My birth mother and sisters, me, my son and daughters have all followed that pattern.  I would expect that to continue with my grand kids.  I will do my best to make sure it isn't based on a genetic vitamin problem we also all have.  I don't know if connected but they could be.

There is accept and hide a lot, accept and hide some and then there is accept and open carry, to borrow a phrase, no lots of layers of loose hot clothing to cover them up.  With the LBGTI community coming out of the closet, fat liberation has happened more than a decade ago and fat guys and fat guys with breasts can all wear t-shirts even though they may not have fit in the closet.  So why is gyne still in the closet.  Why is there so much fear to protect ones self against the feared and projected prejudices of people around one?

It's tough to bring up even with a wife.  I tried to have an honest talk with first my wife and later my partner.  This year I bought the t-shirts that in an earlier version when my wife picked them out, 30+ years ago, I freaked out on.  My partner again says the shirts look good on me and are just fine.  Part of the problem is that with all I've been through I have a tough time believing ANYTHING can actually look good on me.  Isn't that an awful truth? 

At least being a nudist I get a realist view of what people look like.  It's like Albert Ellis said in THE AMERICAN SEXUAL TRAGEDY, the unhappiness comes from comparing ourselves to an unrealistic impossible to achieve standard of beauty set by WHO?  This standard can be reached for a few years by a tiny percentage of people causing vast unhappiness.  Looking at myself as a whole, compared to hundreds of others seen equally fully at a nudist club and I find that I look just fine for my age and banged-upedness. We get invites to dinners and the women dance with me.  I think I look a darn sight better in many ways than the other later 60s guys.  At this age and stage in life, breasts don't matter in the least.  Since going to T-shirts 9 years ago I'm going one step further, no oversize, no layers and if somebody doesn't care for my breasts and nipples sticking out, that is their problem.  I'm going to wear comfortable summer weight t-shirts.

I don't know how to advise your husband.  At 16-18 if surgery had been available I might have had it.  By 24 I had serious medical problems that have run the rest of my life and I was on the way to being a nudist.  Accepting fat which I couldn't control (metabolic problems) and which everybody around me blamed on addictive eating really made me pissed off.  I absolutely hated that.  How do you "hide" 285 pounds.  At the time of the car wreck I was about 250.  I was 325 pounds by the time I could get around after the fractures.  I was back down to 170 in 3 years after that.  I was okay until my body crashed and the metabolism went screwy again.  Then it was 285 and holding for 10 years.

Find out what it really is with your husband.  If there is an overall body shame dealing with breasts won't be sufficient. To raise healthy self accepting sons with healthy body self image I would suggest you all go to the nudist club.  Breasts can become a real non issue.  Good luck.

Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: aboywithgirls on April 25, 2015, 07:46:13 AM
My hubby has G (he's a 42C) and he and I accept it. About 6 years ago he chose to wear a bra for it rather than have surgery. Initially he didn't like going to the pool or beach either but a year or so ago we went on a cruise and I got him a tankini and he reluctantly wore it on the snorkeling excursion as well as the pool on the ship. It was a blue underwire and it had matching boyshort bottom. He did shave what little body hair he has and he didn't look that bad. In fact he looked like Anne Hathaway (a busty women with short hair). No one said anything or notice from what I could tell. He's been wearing something like that ever since. So basically he goes as a "women" when we go to any pools or beaches. We have two daughters and we explained his condition to them a few years ago so its normal to them to see him wearing a bra and the tankini is just a natural extension of that to them.
 
I am glad that I am not alone. Reading this was amazing! I have done the same thing! I wear a Panache Tankini that is also an underwire with the matching trunks. It keeps me covered and supported. I wear a 38 G in most of my bras so I definitely need the girls covered and supported. The tankini was my best option so I could go out and enjoy the sun sand and surf. I don't try to present as a woman but I am usually assumed that because that's what my figure shows. Like hammer said,  "standing in a garage won't make you a car!"
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: hammer on April 25, 2015, 10:03:08 AM
My main reason for those sayings like "standing in a garage don't make you a car", are for those young men that have those tiny little bumps on their chest that think that everyone looks at their chest and lose all their self confidence and self esteem because of a little extra fat, breast tissue and skin!

To me, it's no different then if you were to start going bald! Growing breast, going bald (or other changes in life) does not change who you are no more then standing in the garage will make (or turn you) into a car!


Bob
Title: Re: how do I bring this up with my husband?
Post by: Alchemist on April 25, 2015, 05:01:08 PM
My main reason for those sayings like "standing in a garage don't make you a car", are for those young men that have those tiny little bumps on their chest that think that everyone looks at their chest and lose all their self confidence and self esteem because of a little extra fat, breast tissue and skin!

To me, it's no different then if you were to start going bald! Growing breast, going bald (or other changes in life) does not change who you are no more then standing in the garage will make (or turn you) into a car!

Bob

Hi Bob,

Do you remember Mike Royko (columnist in Chicago) and his Dr Kookie collections of writings?  He started the "GUN OWNER OF THE YEAR AWARDS" for people who managed to do things like shoot their penis off in bed. Being bald (of which your mention provided the inspiration for all that follows) as Royko pointed out is a sign of the mature man and therefore imitated by the football helmets to make their players look like more mature men rather than immature young men hardly grown up. 

So now we have another marker for the more mature men, more matured breasts.  Trying to get on TV with doctors making it a medical situation, but not playing it out as body dysmorphic disorder, just terrible psychological anguish and shame from a very normal and common breast growth that over time includes more than 50% of boys and men, without really delving into it. 

Maybe that whole approach is just not going to get something done.  What is it we, part of the eventual majority with larger than non-existent male breasts want out of publicity and TV shows?   Ultimately I think that what we want is a society in which we can be comfortable with our bodies.  Taking the medical show approach is that there is something medically wrong with being of the greater than 50% majority.  Promoting it as

My ex-wife and now my partner both never got why basically junior high teenage boy BS was so traumatic.  Society doesn't get it at all either.  Most of the men, and even most of the men with gyne, don't get the intense shame for a normal occurrence for which they have no causal responsibility that some feel.

So, from a different viewpoint, Dr Kookie perhaps, maybe we need to take control of the mythology, of the societal story about gynecomastia.  Being taboo to talk about makes it so that NOBODY even in the family understands.  My mother was fat phobic anorexic and on me breasts were clearly more fat and completely unacceptable. So what we need is a societal story of normality and acceptance.  Even a mythology that the smaller percentage of men that don't grow normal male breasts can get help doing so and becoming normal(controversy to keep them entertained and not noticing the real messages) which seems much easier than keeping them from growing. 

So all the noise is to get the stories to allow the breast deprived men to develop "normal" male breasts, for clothing styles to take them into account and expect them in their design.  So soon we would see ads for men's bras on prime time shows and male breasts with or without bras become normal and acceptable.  Then when the protest is that is taking correction way too far, then when the dust  settles acceptance and normalization will be established.  It's the type of commotion that will get all sorts of publicity and inspire TV shows and such with "true stories" that can't get done as "poor man, he has boobs" because that is a story that goes nowhere. 

And here we have two guys who didn't go through junior high hell with the biggest breasts in the school or whatever.  Generally older men who develop breasts ignore them as far as I can tell.  Where is the societal messaging coming from? 

And just because the ambulance chasers are promoting surgery for all the side effect cases they can around gynecomastia, remember that is for the benefit of the attorneys as they work on the percentage and want the bills to be as big as possible.  I don't think we want a situation were amputation becomes automatic and essentially mandatory upon appearance.  If we want to avoid some kinds of futures we need to take control of our own stories, of the stories of the 50% plus of men who have more developed male breasts.

We definitely should not be supporting mythology that makes us inferior and only acceptable with surgery to change our bodies or wearing ridiculously oversize hot uncomfortable multi-layered clothing.  So perhaps in a new mythology of our growing maturity,  one goes out and look around and see more than half the men have noticeable breasts, nobody is having to announce their problems with "hiding clothes" and look like they are dressed for the dead of winter in the heat of summer.  People are wearing clothing that fits and is comfortable. 

So the real question is, being in the majority, why is it on us to feel bad about our bodies, hide them from "decent" sight and even pay a bunch of money for surgery.  Why are we letting society do this to us?

What does this mean for the new guys here?   I don't know.  I do know that the problem is far more complicated.  To do surgery on all the new cases in a year in USA would cost about $10,500,000,000 at an average of $7000 apiece.  The "premium" per household tax unit per year would be $105 per year, call it $9/month forever to pay for all that surgery and that makes ho headway into the other 75,000,000+ men with it. 

What each person wants to do is up to them, sort of, except that it is acting out part of the societal mythology that gets the short end of the stick.  I have no idea how often the surgery is a psychological failure despite being "surgically correct".  That hasn't been discussed here.

Good luck. 
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