This Woman’s Reddit Post Exposes A Kind Of Sexual Violence We Don’t Talk About

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Sexual assault is a crime that can take many different forms, from nonconsensual touching to rape. However, one Reddit post brings to light a type of sexual coercion that isn't discussed nearly as often. A user under the name of Eyeburr52 confided to the Reddit community in a post Tuesday night, describing a situation in which her husband wants to try for a baby — even though she isn't ready. The user shared that she and her husband of two years previously discussed having children around this point in their lives, but that with a new career and the debt from buying their house, she doesn't feel ready now that the time has arrived. "I told him I thought we should wait maybe another 6 months to a year," she wrote. "We have definitely, 100% talked about this. I told him my concerns, and he agreed and said he understands and it's no problem." However, since their conversation, she wrote that her husband seems to be taking deliberate steps to impregnate her. The user noted that she's gone off birth control for the first time in their relationship after experiencing bad side effects. She decided that it made more sense to stay off of it for now, since she and her husband decided to try for a baby in about a year, anyway. "Since having had these conversations, and since I've stopped taking birth control we've had sex about five times," she wrote. "This is kind of weird because like I said, we don't usually have sex that much... He's initiated every time and he has been much more forceful/insistent than ever." "Second of all, he has (TMI) cum inside me every single time," she continued. "The first two times he claimed he forgot (??) about the discussion we had. The next time before we even started, I made him actually say he wasn't going to, then he did again!" As other Reddit users have noted in the comments section of this post, this kind of behavior is called reproductive coercion (pressuring a partner to get pregnant), and it's abuse. According to a recent study from Michigan State University, women of reproductive age are at the highest risk for intimate partner violence and "often experience unintended pregnancies, miscarriages, and preterm labor as a result of the victimization." Not only is reproductive coercion a form of control, as another Reddit user commented, "ignoring your wishes during sex is a big betrayal of a really intimate experience." The user sharing her story also noted that her husband "made me feel really guilty and like I was being crazy," which sounds eerily like gaslighting, an abusive tactic in which the abuser manipulates someone into questioning their own sanity. After an influx of responses from other users urging her to be careful and safe, the woman sent in an update, telling the community that she is still unsure of what to do. "A lot of people alluded that my husband may be abusive, and that was a hard thing to think about," she wrote. "I don't plan on having sex with him until I figure out what to do exactly... I just want to thank everyone again for their concern and messages. I'll update again when my thoughts are clearer." As countless Reddit commenters have noted, the kind of behavior this user's husband has exhibited is not okay — it's a form of sexual violence. Even if a couple has agreed on having a baby, if one person decides they aren't ready, their partner needs to respect their wishes (and this goes for both partners).

If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series