Does your husband make you feel insecure?
Last week I wrote about how sex can make you feel powerful. But I know that in all too many marriages the opposite is the case. Your husband says things that make you feel ugly, degraded, or objectified.
Every Friday I like to write a Marriage Moment, a quick, 400-word inspirational piece about marriage that touches on just one thing. This week I thought I’d talk to those women for whom last week’s post didn’t apply–those whose husbands tell them that they’re not attractive, or have impossible standards for beauty.
It’s a sad one. here goes:
Sheila’s Marriage Moment: When Your Husband Makes You Lose Your Confidence
When I give my Girl Talk, my event for churches where I talk about sex and marriage, I always include an anonymous Q&A session. And invariably one of the questions I get goes something like this:
I try to keep myself fit, and I’ve only gained 10 pounds since the wedding and having kids. But my husband is always telling me I’m fat, or mentioning gym memberships or pressuring me to tone up. And he’s always asking me to do things I’m just not comfortable doing, especially when he doesn’t even think I’m attractive.
I get email upon email like that, too–more today than I did five years ago.
It’s getting worse, and I’m fed up.
Our bodies were not designed to look the same at 36 as they did at 16. And there is no good reason that a couple cannot enjoy great sex even after stretch marks and a gravity shift!
When I hear about men expecting their wives to keep a body shape that just doesn’t happen post-baby, I get a huge red flag. That man has bought into our pornified culture which says that only one type of woman is attractive. And he has made sex into something only physical, since he wants to do things that make her feel uncomfortable.
Ladies, the problem is not with you. You are not wrong to want to be his sole object of attraction. You are not wrong for feeling “icky” about certain sexual acts.
You want real intimacy; he wants pornography in the flesh. And it needs to stop!
Don’t let his words make you feel inferior; listen to God’s design for sex instead. Believe what God said about intimacy being physical, spiritual, and emotional all at the same time–when we make it only physical, we rob ourselves of something profound.
Next time he insults your body, reply,
Honey, I love you, but I believe that you have bought into lies that our culture has told us about sex, and it’s making us miss out on what God has for us. Can we talk about how we can have an awesome, intimate sex life together, instead of defining ourselves by our culture’s standards?
Our culture has become disgusting. Don’t let our gross culture rob you of confidence of joy in your marriage. Stand up for truth, even if that means standing up to your husband.
Next Steps if This is a Big Problem in Your Marriage:
- Ask your husband if you can go through 31 Days to Great Sex together. It helps you talk about your desires for sex; it helps you work through your preconceived notions about sex that may be wrong; it helps you communicate about hurts that you’ve had. And it also is super fun–it helps you explore your bodies, spice things up, and make things feel great while also talking about safe and appropriate boundaries. It’s a great way to start the conversation without being confrontational or angry (and it’s fun, too!). Get it here.
- Explore whether pornography is a factor in your marriage. Suggest getting Covenant Eyes installed on your computers and devices.
- Be proactive about identifying a mentor couple for both of you and an accountability partner for your husband. Sometimes we need someone else to come alongside us and say, “you know, you may think what you’re feeling is natural and normal, but it’s really wrong.”
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?
We are hitting the #4’s this week (except for the top new post from this week of course!), because the other top posts were all mentioned last week, and I wanted to give you something new! With spring right around the corner (maybe?) it’s just the right time to start airing thing out. From the clutter in the house to the clutter in your marriage, we are cleaning up and starting fresh!
#1 NEW Post on the Blog: If I Divorce My Husband Will I Lose My Salvation?
#4 on the Blog Overall: Top 10 Effects Of Porn On Your Brain, Your Marriage, And Your Sex Life
#4 from Facebook: Why Sex Isn’t Just For Him
#4 from Pinterest: The 43-Folder System: Organizing Your Paper Clutter
I Guess I Got a Little Testy This Week, Eh?
I feel like I spent this week rebuking people. I don’t normally get upset at reader questions, but this week’s, by the woman wanting to justify an affair, really got my back up, and I let her have it.
And then on Wednesday I tried to address something else that I see over and over again in reader questions: people feeling helpless and like everything is everyone else’s fault and nothing is their own fault. I used two questions that didn’t have as much to do with “fault” as they did with choice, but this is a theme I see so often in questions. Here’s the issue: if you did absolutely nothing wrong and there’s no way that you possibly could have done things differently, then there’s also no way you can do things differently now. We really need to start recognizing that we are not helpless babes being carried along in life; we are making choices, and we’ve made choices in the past, and we will continue to make choices. That’s actually freeing!
I do have a lot of sympathy for people in tough marriages, and I’ve written so many posts for them recently. But I also think that it’s pretty impossible to fix those marriages unless we first recognize that there are things that are within our power to make our lives better, and then we actually follow through! Blaming everyone else and seeing all the bad in our lives never helps anybody.
Wanna Hear My Husband and I Talk About Marriage?
My “patrons” (the people who support me on a monthly basis for as little as $5 a month) heard a podcast of my husband and I reminiscing about what we did right (and what we did wrong) preparing for the empty nest! And I put Keith on the spot for a few questions. They also got an email today with all the things I’ve been reading and more thoughts on some of my posts (an “inside Sheila’s brain” thing). And later this month, when the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle comes out, some of my patrons will get one for free (depending on their level of support). If you want to see more behind the scenes of this blog, and just get to know me better and ask me questions, you can become a patron, too!
We’re on Our Way Home!
Yesterday in South Carolina, after 2 weeks in the south and three trips in the RV (where we left the RV in storage and flew home) we are finally driving it home.
I hit the “Go Home” button on our GPS!
We’ll be back in the U.S. with our RV in May for a quick tour in Pennsylvania (there’s still one more opening if you’re a church in Pennsylvania/Ohio that would like to host a Girl Talk! And they don’t take long to organize, so there’s still time! Just email Tammy for more info).
And then we’ll be back next year, doing it all over again, in September, starting in Michigan/Iowa/Kansas/Oklahoma. Again, if you want to be a part of it, just email Tammy!
An Instagram Update
Here’s one of our more dramatic moments this week:
Here’s What Katie’s Been Up To While I’ve Been Gone
And that’s it for now, everybody! Have a great week!