This post is written for married or soon-to-be married women.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but I struggle with insecurity. Not so much with who I am as a person, but with my body. I think I have always struggled with this since I can even remember. It sucks. It really does.
It’s like I cannot get what my heart knows is the right thinking about my body, to match up with my mind. My mind thinks that I am ugly, that I am not thin enough, that I need to lose weight…etc. This translates into my marriage, and especially how I view my body while being with my husband.
Can I get a witness? Any other women struggle with this?
I think more women than you can even imagine do. Maybe you didn’t raise your hand….great for you, but I think you are the exception.
Almost every woman I’ve ever talked to, has struggled with some form of body issues (insecurity).
Have you noticed that women on magazines and billboards are perfect? I mean seriously perfect. From the flawless skin, to the perfectly voluptuous… (eh hmm) hair…among other things. No flaws whatsoever.
Do you think that is really REAL?
You see, we are trained, since we are young, to equate the perfect female bodies with these kinds of images. I think it is the media’s way of infiltrating our minds. Maybe they mean to, maybe they don’t, but these things stick in your mind and in your perception of what reality is.
Here’s a couple of examples of this…
1. Kate Winslet.
Kate Winslet’s face has been airbrushed so significantly in this Vogue cover image that she almost doesn’t look human. Her complexion and eyes have totally changed colour, and any sign of a wrinkle has been completely erased.
2. Kourtney Kardashian.
Kourtney Kardashian posed for this original photo (left) seven days after giving birth to her son Mason. The image was published in Life and Style magazine.
A short while later, this second image (right) appeared on the cover of OK! magazine, which changed the colour of Kourtney and Mason’s clothing to give the impression of a new photo shoot. They also slimmed Kourtney’s stomach down, making her look as though she’d lost all of her baby weight.
Kourtney responded to the retouching, saying, “They doctored and photoshopped my body to make it look like I have already lost all the weight, which I have not.”
(pics and info courtesy of buzzfeed)
The Way Media Influences
In various degrees, we are all unwittingly a victim of the media and it’s barrage of influence. The images that we subconsciously equate with what a beautiful person is, is not necessarily reality. These perceptions really do affect the way we dress, live, have sex with your husbands, act and think.
However subconscious these thoughts can be, I know it affects me.
I don’t know about you, but when I see a girl on Pinterest that is wearing this super cute outfit or has her hair all nice looking…it makes me want to go lose 10 pounds, and buy that outfit and look just like her! It’s a strange instinct to me. Its one that, for me, I don’t mean to do. I don’t mean to have those thoughts or want to go out and buy that stuff.
So I started thinking, “Why does this happen? Why do I feel the need to “look like her, to dress like her, to be thinner”?
Well crap! It’s the stinkin’ media influencing us! Whether it is Pinterest, movies or whatever…we are INFLUENCED. This influence affects us. It affects me.
Especially if you are married and are naked when you have sex.
Down to the Nitty-Gritty…
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of these body issues. Yes, I did just use the words NAKED and SEX.
I just set the stage for the reasons why we are so effected in our insecurities by media, so let me now try to pull it all together in the WHY it affects our marriages…
When I first got married, I had a nice little body (not that I thought so when I first got married). Even though I was young, had no stretch marks, very few flaws, no wrinkles and no grey hair, I STILL was insecure! Isn’t that insane? I look back now, and wish I still looked like that!
We learn a lot as we get older and wiser, right?
I have to tell you, these insecurities effected (and still sometimes) affect my marriage. I am sure that if you are honest with yourself, it affects yours too. Am I right?
- Turning lights off
- Wearing “modest” lingerie
- Not being “comfortable in your own skin” while naked
- Not wanting to be naked
The lists go on! And these are only a few! Some of these things, subconscious or not, are because of our perception of reality.
When we allow our minds to go to what we THINK we are supposed to look like, it can be such a damaging thing. It definitely affects how we are able to enjoy sex with our husbands. Let’s look at scripture…
Song of Solomon
“My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
that lies between my breasts.
in the vineyards of En-gedi.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
behold, you are beautiful;
your eyes are doves.
Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
Our couch is green…”
I know, I know…this sounds like a mixture of “steamy” and someone with an A.D.D. problem.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the “poetic” talk of these two makes all sorts of images pop up in my mind (sorry, I have a crazy imagination). But, I love how the Bible is so candid about topics like this. Real life stuff.
If you haven’t gotten it yet…this passage of scripture is TALKING ABOUT SEX! Down home, two naked people, married-SEX. These two are talking about each other and each others bodies! (OMG!)
(Mom, if you just read that, I know you just gasped…but it’s ok…stay with me here).
I love that these two are just madly in love with each other, and with each other’s BODIES! They don’t care about their extra 10 pounds, or the stretch marks, or the stinky breath! They just freaking love each other!
There are so many more excerpts from song of Solomon that I could show you, but this tiny little portion will suffice. I am trying to make a point here.
The thing was, back in the day (long, long time ago), they didn’t have tv’s or smart phones. They had hard work, food to make, house to keep and probably a whole lot of sex (maybe that’s why there are so many people on earth now ;). There wasn’t the opportunity to look at an image and say, “oh boy, I need to look like her”, or, “I need the lights turned off first before we can be naked”.
In my lowly opinion, I think that back then, women had a lot more “self-esteem.”
If you ever get a chance to read the Song of Solomon with your husband, you should do it. It’s a great portion of the Bible that is so poetic and artistic. It also gives you the perspective of how God created sex with your husband to be. It is a picture of our intimacy with God.
Note: If you do not have a relationship with God, feel free to send me an e-mail. I’d love to chat with you!
Back to the topic…
I’m sure you’re thinking, “gosh! this girl’s got to be the most confident girl ever!”…
The problem here is not with our extra weight, or the imperfections that we probably have…cause we are human. The problem is in our minds!
So, how do we have confidence? How do we get over this hurdle in our minds about how we look (especially in bed)? How do we go into our “bedrooms” with confidence and realize that sex is a beautiful thing; something to be cherished and respected, both by our attitudes and by our bodies?
The Bible tells us that beauty is not about what we look like. It is deeper than that.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Pro 31:10-12
Beauty is more than skin-deep!
Of course, our bodies are incredible things! If you have had children, then you know what happens after pregnancies! It is not all pretty. The world likes you to think that after babies, your bodies can be exactly how they were when you were 20. But, unless you have thousands upon thousands of dollars, that is just not reality.
The reality of it is, after multiple pregnancies, after babies, and just the effects of age…we all have imperfections. I don’t know about you…but I have stretch marks, wrinkles, grey hair, rolls and many other imperfections.
However, my focus needs to be on the inward beauty, not my imperfections.
(P.s. This is not me lol. Courtesy of pregnancy health.net)
If we were just able to accept the fact these “imperfections” are normal, and that NORMAL women do not look like the magazine covers or the billboard ladies, I feel like we would have such freedom in how we look! Our husbands want to SEE our bodies. They don’t want us hiding in them.
With all that being said, we cannot forget the importance of being physically healthy as well. For some men, this is VERY important thing.
Something that my husband and I have always said since our honeymoon, is that if either of us begin to “let ourselves go”, then we would be open with each other in saying so. Not in a rude or condescending way, but in an encouraging manner. It has been a very important thing for us to try to stay as fit as we can for each other. I know that it is a very important thing for most men, although they would never admit it.
They are sexual beings and they are also VERY visual. I cannot stress the important of this!
IF YOU ARE A FEMALE…PLEASE WATCH THIS…explains it perfectly…
Did you learn anything about males and their visual stimulation? (p.s. be on the lookout for my post about Guys and Visual Stimulation! Coming soon!)
Now, I know that some circumstances don’t allow for us all to be a size 2 (and who says that’s the size to be anyways?), but I do think it is important for us as wives to try to look as attractive to our husbands as we can, especially knowing that they are VISUAL beings!
On another note: My husband has told me so many times that when men have sex with their wives, they don’t even notice those extra pounds, the messy hair and no makeup, or the stretch marks. They just want you to be “engaged” in sex, they want to see you. ALL OF YOU. They want you to be excited, to be “in to it” with them. They also want you to just “service” them from time to time (that’s another topic for another day). Those things for them, is the most attractive thing!
It’s time to take some action ladies!!!
How can we get rid of the idea that the images in our mind we THINK are reality, are NOT reality?
How do we as wives, have confidence with our husband when we have sex?
How do we become comfortable with our naked bodies in front of our husbands?
How do we get over the perception that we “need” to look a certain way to be attractive?
Answer: PUT THESE THINGS YOU JUST LEARNED INTO ACTION! Action is required!
Here are a few ideas to start putting into action what you learned…
- Talk to your husband about your insecurities, let him reassure you that it is not how he views your body.
- Consciously remind yourself that these thoughts that you struggle with are NOT reality.
- Write down scripture about who you are in Christ and leave those scriptures around the house where you can memorize them.
- Go through a book about sex with your husband. Learn about each others bodies and don’t be afraid to be naked in front of each other! (too many resources to list! Just look up books about sex for christians).
- Read the Song of Solomon together…and then have lots of sex. 🙂
- When your husband is around, try to look your best and be attractive for him. If the kids are not around, wear some lingerie and just walk around. Trust me, you won’t be wearing it long ;).
- Start a workout routine to tone up! Not only will you feel great and have more energy, but your husband will notice. I PROMISE.
- Last but not least….Leave the lights on next time you have sex, or just do it in broad day light more often. He likes to see…everything! You’re welcome.
Those are just a few ideas. I know that when you have a perception about something in your head, it can be very difficult to get rid of it. So, be patient! Pray and ask God to clear your mind of these perceptions and to give you a heathy perspective of your body, and the importance of letting your husband enjoy your body. He will. He is faithful!
Praying you have a great day! God bless you on your quest to have confidence with your body!