Every Monday I like to put up a reader question and take a stab at answering it, but today I thought I’d go through several ones that I’ve received recently that I can answer quickly. Some of the questions I’m just going to put links up to answers, because I’ve written about it before. But if people are sending me in a question, chances are some of you have the same ones, and you don’t know there’s already a post on it.
Then I’ve got a question to ask you! (I’m writing a book and could really use some help!). So here goes:
1. My Husband’s a Photographer, and Takes Boudoir Photos. Is that Okay?
Earlier in our marriage my husband took boudoir photos of some women at their request. I asked him to stop, and I thought he did, but I recently found out he’s still taking them. I don’t want to be the “police” in our marriage, but I had confidence that he understood where I was coming from in this situation and I feel as though he has broken my trust. He says he needs the freedom to take photos artistically without worrying what I might think and needs me to trust him that his motives are pure. Perhaps they are, but the intimacy of someone posing nearly nude for a photo taken by my husband seems to cheapen the intimacy we share. He does not have plans for more shoots like this. However, I am struggling with wanting to be supportive and at the same time protecting our marriage and the intimacy we share. To him, taking those photos is completely separate from our relationship and has no effect on us as a couple.
That’s a tough situation! It’s interesting–I answered the question a while ago “Is it okay to take sexy photos of yourself for your husband“, and talked about boudoir photos shoots, and we had lots of debates in the comments. But nobody actually mentioned the effect on the photographer’s marriage. Something to think about.
My quick thoughts: I’d be uncomfortable with this, too, and I’d definitely ask him to stop. If he just won’t, though, then I’d insist on being there during these photo shoots. I don’t think that solves the problem–he’s still looking at another woman who is almost naked–but at least you’re there.
And I’d pray a lot! But yes, I’d make an issue out of it with him, and I’d maybe say something like this: “I believe that this isn’t what God wants. Why don’t we look at how much money you made from the photos in the last few months, and then decide that you won’t take them in the next few months, and pray that God will make up the difference?” I’ve often found that when we do the right thing, God honours that.
A reader writes:
My hormonal imbalances wreak havoc the week before my period & then when I start, I feel tons better. I have spoken to my OBGYN & she has increased my magnesium & that seemed to help with my last PMS. But here’s the thing, the week before, I’m not in the mood sexually at all. Then we usually do nothing sexually while I have my period. So, essentially, we only have 2 weeks out of a month to enjoy sex. What can I do to improve this? Those 2 weeks we have fun & build up my hubby’s stamina, but then my PMS issues begin. Then we are back to square 1. Ugh.
I hear you. Oh, how I hear you! Hormones have been wreaking havoc with me, too!
I’ve written a post on hormones and sex which may help. It’s more specifically about menopause/nursing, etc., but I think it applies any time our hormones are out of whack:
3. My Husband Has ADD–How Do I Not Nag?
Here’s the situation: Her three boys have ADHD, but her husband seems also to have it, though it’s undiagnosed. She writes:
I don’t feel like it is entirely appropriate to approach my husband the same way I approach my children. I don’t want to treat him like a child, but at the same time he is doing many of the same things they do, and it drives me CRAZY!!! I feel like nobody listens to me, usually because I have to repeat myself many, many times to everyone. I feel like nobody respects my opinion, or what I am saying, because I am constantly interrupted! I am the only one keeping the house picked up and organized, in a house full of people who want to hold on to everything, and never put any of it away! I am exhausted trying to balance it all, and I am afraid that the relationships in our house are falling apart. I am constantly frustrated with everyone, my husband is frustrated by the kids behaviors, and mess, but is failing to see that he is the exact same way, which makes me even more frustrated!!!!
I hear you. I can just imagine living in that chaos! I wrote a while ago about husbands and ADD, and this may help:
When Your Husband has ADD
A bit of background: He’s used porn almost the whole marriage (though he’s trying to quit), and he suffers from ED. And now she writes this:
I have not noticed any signs that my husband is still doing porn. My problem is that he still has a wandering eye for beautiful women when we go out. My self esteem was not good before I found out about the porn and after that it was in the negative so say the least! I have told him how much his looking bothers and hurts me. I know this is a difficult thing for men and his comeback was that all men do it! We can go out on a nice date and I come home feeling like crap about myself because he’s checking out other women and then wants sex when we get home, while I’m crushed and angry. Do I say something to him when I notice it? What should I say? I want to be loving and not angry and start a fight everytime we go out (which doesn’t happen right now because I just stew and cry in silence). I love the beach, but last summer I could barely take it and silently cried the whole time (sunglasses help alot). We had a marriage speaker at church last week and we went for a date night and of course there was a beautiful woman to the side and behind us and he turned around 7-8 times to get a look. I try so hard to ignore it, but when he’s actually turning his body to get a look, it’s hard to ignore!
A few quick thoughts: I can absolutely understand how devastating this can be.
However, there’s a thread in her email that concerns me, and that’s the complete and utter lack of communication. She cries in silence; she tries to ignore it; she doesn’t say anything.
I’m not quite sure why? I think I may write a longer post about THAT issue–why is it that we often feel it’s wrong to talk about something that is obviously wrong in and of itself–but in this case, I think that’s what’s missing.
Here’s what I’d do. If you’re out, the very first time he looks at another woman, I would get up sweetly, put my arm on his arm, and say, “Honey, you’d obviously rather be alone so you have time to look. So I’ll just head on out and get my own dinner, and you text me when you’re ready to go home.” Or I’d grab a cab or a bus myself, or better yet take the car. Ditto with the beach. If you’re there with your kids, pack up and go home, and tell them that you’ll come back another time just with you and the kids. They need to also see that there are some things that you won’t put up with because they’re just wrong–even if it makes them upset, and even if it makes Daddy upset. There’s a bigger point to be made here, which is that you do not allow yourself to be treated that way, and you do not enable sinful behaviour (which is what it is when he is checking out other women).
I simply would not put up with it.
And if he makes an issue out of it, he makes an issue out of it. That’s okay. That’s his prerogative. He can get angry at you if he wants. But the truth is that seeing him look at other women is hurtful towards you, and you need to say, “I will not sit here while you do that.” That is setting an appropriate boundary, and it needs to be done.
I’m wondering right now if he even realizes that he’s hurting you or that what he’s doing is wrong, because she’s never said anything.
In addition to that, I have several posts that can help:
My Husband Doesn’t Find Me Attractive–What Do I Do?
My Husband Looks at Other Women (I talk about the difference between the drive to look and the temptation, and actually following through with it)
5. My Question: Have You Ever Been Ticked At Your Husband–and then Let It Go?
I’m looking for stories of people who were once really ticked at their husbands for something, and felt like their husbands weren’t making them happy. Then something changed–God changed your heart or your perspective–and you decided to be grateful instead.
If that’s you, can you tell me: how did that change how you saw the marriage? How did that change how you saw your own role in the marriage? And once you changed, what effect did that have on your husband? You can leave a comment, or, if it’s an involved story (and I’d love some involved stories!), just email me here.
Thanks so much, everyone! I’ve got the drafts of 6 chapters of 9 Thoughts That Will Change Your Marriage done; working on getting chapter 7 done today!