Is Your Husband A Liar? with Debi Walter

Debi Walter is a marriage blogger with The Romantic Vineyard—a fabulous blog that inspires and encourages biblical marriages. Debi and her husband Tom are also masters of date night ideas.

I’m thrilled to welcome Debi to Hot, Holy & Humorous for her take on Feeling Beautiful. (For more about the series, check out the introduction video.) Take it away, Debi!

Is Your Husband a Liar? with Debi Walter

Is your husband a liar?

I’m sure most of us would answer this question with an emphatic, NO! However, many of us treat them as if they are. It’s true that most husbands see their wives as beautiful, yet we roll our eyes when they compliment us, or say, “Yeah, but…” pointing out the flaws we see staring back at us in the mirror.

I was thinking about this attitude recently and wondering why it is so common for wives to think their husbands aren’t telling the truth when it comes to how they see them. It has to be discouraging to our man to hear his compliments so quickly disregarded on a regular basis. It’s a wonder he doesn’t stop all together!

It’s led me to ask God why we do this? Why are we so quick to dispute with our husband on something they see as good?

I believe there are three reasons:

1.  We have allowed our culture to influence our definition of beauty. We are bombarded daily with women who seemingly have it all, and tempt us to see how poor we look in comparison. We measure how far short we fall in comparison with the outward beauty on display on TV, in magazines and at the movies.

They draw us in to buy whatever it is they’re selling, and it obviously works! Statistics show that in 2013 we spent over 56.6 billion dollars on cosmetics alone in the United States. We spend so much time trying to improve the outside of our bodies, when what will really make us the most beautiful is left wanting.

2.  We think more highly of ourselves than we do our husbands. When our husband takes time to compliment us and we are quick to disagree, what we’re basically doing is saying my opinion matters more than yours. We walk away thinking we’re being honest, but in reality what we’re really showing is how deceived we are. We’re deceived into thinking we can never be what our husband is already saying we are in their eyes. We are craving something based on our own opinion that will never be satisfied.

The Bible calls it the “lust of the eyes.” What?! Have you never considered lust to be used in this way? Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (which by the way, is the original dictionary that Noah Webster wrote using the Bible to define all the terms used in that day) says that LUST is a longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy. If our husband is our priority, shouldn’t we believe him when he compliments by offering a sincere, “Thank you?” Instead of allowing our unsatisfied lust to reject his words or worse—his love?

3.  We have forgotten what true beauty is. The Bible defines beauty with a well-known verse: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 ESV). When we focus on outward beauty it will always disappoint because such beauty doesn’t last.

We are like flowers fading away, but inside God has placed the beauty of His grace which will never fade. “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:4-5 ESV). True beauty is found beholding the One who is eternally beautiful—Christ, our Bridegroom. As we behold Him, He will transform us more and more into His image. This is true and lasting beauty. Seek this and no matter how many birthdays you celebrate you will become more and more beautiful.

The next time your husband compliments you, I challenge you to look in his eyes and say, “Thank you.” His opinion is all that matters.

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Also check out these posts from Debbie’s blog with her husband, The Romantic Vineyard:
Biblical Love Language
Finding Love Right Where You Are
Everyday Romance – Life Giving Words

Tom and Debi WalterTom and Debi have been married for 36 years and have 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. They have called Orlando, FL home for most of their married lives. They are enjoying the empty nest stage for the first time in 33 years, and would be quick to tell you that in this season they have discovered a whole new freedom in expressing their love to each other. It’s wonderful! 😉

Through the Eyes of Grace book coverDebi has written her fist novel—Through The Eyes Of Grace, an historical fiction based on the life of her grandmother set in Indian Territory in 1904.

Pain brought on by the ill motives of another forces Grace to abandon the only security she has ever known in the hopes of finding the lasting love she has only dreamed of.

It is 1904 in the township of Ceres, Oklahoma Territory. Fifteen-year-old Grace Stella Kirwin’s life is blossoming like the prairie flowers she has grown to love, yet she is unaware of the encroaching storm about to ravage her heart. It will seek to destroy all the hope she has of finding genuine love.

A protective ultimatum by Grace’s father leads to a violent response by the only man Grace has ever wanted. Shattered and bruised, Grace fears she’ll never be free from the nightmare caused by Doogan Maguire. Hope dawns when she moves to the new township of Jenks in Indian Territory, only to discover a darker night awaits her. Will she find the lasting love she’s longed for?

50 thoughts on “Is Your Husband A Liar? with Debi Walter

    1. J Post author

      Love this! But I think a lot of husbands might argue about you being married to the Most Beautiful Woman In The World. (For instance, my husband better argue that… LOL.)

      Reply
        1. Todd

          I’m sorry to have to inform both of you, that it is impossible that either of you can be correct, due to the fact that I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world!
          I feel certain that this is an honest mistake, and thus I will certainly not hold it against you guys.

          (Can’t we all just agree to disagree!?!😉)

          Reply
  1. libl

    #4…some women were taught that it is more modest and humble to reject such a compliment rather than accept it! True story!!

    I do envy women whose husbands say they are married to the most beautiful woman in the world. My husband doesn’t say or think that. He feels I am cute, hot, sexy, and once in a blue moon beautiful, but he has said that I am not the most beautiful woman in the world, but that I stand up there with the lookers. :-/ Oh well. At least he doesn’t think that I am ghastly! LOL! But it would be nice to be seen as the treasure God says I am.

    Reply
    1. Jason@SongSix3

      Below is a portion of something I posted on my Facebook page (My Beloved Is Mine) back on August 5th. We were having a discussion about this very topic. I’m hoping it is uplifting to someone here – perhaps a husband who hasn’t quite figured it out yet…

      Beauty in the world’s eyes is not very deep. Who’s got the best skin? The straightest nose? The biggest boobs? The cutest butt? The whitest teeth? Forget all that! God’s standard is far beyond all that! I’ve got 3 DECADES of my life invested in this woman! We have children, memories, trials, failures, victories… we have HISTORY together! When I married her almost 28 years ago, it was merely by the world’s standard – it was all I knew. But living through the years with her has taught me a life lesson that I could have learned in no other way. It is THE ENTIRE PACKAGE that makes her the most beautiful woman in my world. The physical beauty, combined with all the scratches and dents that life has thrown at us. Without those dents, it’s just empty.

      Reply
  2. alchemist

    Re: definition of beauty by movies magazines ect.

    I found something really interesting the other day: http://www.buzzfeed.com/sallytamarkin/abs-olutley#.ywdqX8220

    This article described what you need to do to get “ripped” abbs. I know buzzfeed isn’t the most reliable source of information, but I believe this article is accurate. Similarly when you look at athletes, ballerinas, yoga and Pilates teachers on YouTube. They look amazing. Then go and look at their diet and exercise schedules. Looking like that is a full time job (not even talking about the editing and air-brushing here).

    So you CAN get six-pack abs or whatever. IF you are willing to spend all your time planning meals and exercising. It’s a matter of priorities.

    I find it amazingly empowering to think I choose to keep my body healthy by moderate exercise 4-6 times a week and mostly healthy meals. I could strive for some aesthetic ideal, but other things are more important to me.

    Reply
  3. B

    Or…. what if he is just telling you you’re beautiful because that’s what he’s “supposed” to say?

    I do try to say thank you, but no, I don’t believe it. I don’t think he’s intentionally lying, but I think he’s not stupid and he knows that is what a husband is “expected” to say.

    I’ve seen him notice other women, and I know that’s normal to an extent, but I have never, ever seen him “notice” me. So I do think it goes beyond him just noticing an attractive woman because she is an attractive woman to him noticing an attractive woman because he has nothing good to notice at home. Does that make sense?

    I am working on this, I really am. I think I have a lot of deep seeded issues regarding beauty or even average looks. I try looking in the mirror and finding one thing to like. Even if I can, telling myself “you have pretty eyes” feels wrong, wrong, wrong. It feels like I’m trying to be something I’m not and being horribly conceited in the process.

    This was a good post. Point #1 – I agree, and yes, it does work. Point #2 – ouch! Point #3 – that’s one of those points that is true but requires a lot of thought and reflection.

    But my main point is, I don’t know. I am sure most husbands think their wives are sorta beautiful, but I am pretty sure mine says it because he’s a nice guy and doesn’t like to hurt my feelings. I do try to say thank you, but he’s very discerning and I think he knows when it’s not sincere.

    Reply
    1. Kate S.

      One day I took over mowing the lawn for my hubby. It was a hot day and he looked like he needed a break, so I asked if I could finish the lawn. He accepted and then watched me. I started to feel self conscious and even angry. Why was he watching me? Why was he scrutinizing how I was mowing? Why can’t he just go inside and leave me alone?

      Later that day, after I had finished, he told me why he was watching me mow. He was enjoying the view!! He was thankful for me taking over, but also loving the look of me, and he couldn’t keep his eyes off me.

      But every time I looked at him, I saw a stone face and arms crossed.

      What I am saying is that what we perceive and what is the truth are two different things. He may very well be admiring you, but because he isn’t doing it in a way that registers to you, you don’t notice.

      Believe your hubby and believe God!

      Reply
  4. jls

    I try to accept the compliment, but it is hard to agree when you have a different opinion. 🙂 So I try to say “I’m glad you think so.” Is it perfect? no, but maybe it is a small step.
    About point #3- I have looked inside the beast (me) and it isn’t pretty (or beautiful). So to call me beautiful by God’s standard- ouch! Yes, there is growth & grace, but let’s face it- there’s a lot of work still to be done with the inside of me.

    Reply
  5. e2

    Then there are the times when our wives think we’re lying when we’re really changing the discussion. You know the question we all dread, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?” Now, unless you’re an airbrushed, brazilian butt lifted barbie doll, the jeans probably make your butt look fat. So, instead of directly answering that question, I answer a different question. “Yes, honey, they make you sexy.” Without getting too embarrassing, I absolutely adore my wife’s butt and, yes, the sight of it stirs me hormonally. I tell her this all the time, but in her mind, she doesn’t see a beautiful, sexy butt; she sees a “fat” butt. Now, I’m not going to try to convince her that her butt is small, tight, and skinny because, in truth, it’s not. But it sure turns me on and I try to tell her that as often as I can. It is discouraging to be hormonally aroused by the sight of her less than perfect body only to have her dampen the mood by putting herself down. So, ladies, what you might consider to be a flaw may be the very thing your husband loves most.

    Reply
  6. Mary J

    Hmmm I wouldn’t say my husband is a liar but I do think he he says what he thinks he is supposed to say., and that, yes, the shared history makes it partly true. But his eyes light up with women/images of women that look nothing like me. Women who look like me? He doesn’t even notice them. He struggles with porn from time to time, and though I understand the draw of porn and don’t take it too personally, looking at porn is like telling your wife she is ugly and inadequate. I know he doesn’t mean to “say” that but it makes the words harder to believe.

    Reply
  7. Ashley

    I long for my husband to compliment me more. Sometimes when I’m dressed up for church he tells me I look cute, but he never tells me I’m beautiful. Add to that the fact that he has had a problem with porn (he is doing much better, thank God). And what about the computer games with scantily clad women with perfect bodies? I don’t have a horrible self-esteem, but it’s no wonder I do have some body issues.

    Reply
  8. J Post author

    Hubbies, do you see these last two comments? If this sounds like you, STOP THE PORN. It’s messing with your brain, your sex drive, and your marriage. Please get help if you need it, and learn to see your wife as the standard of beauty. Then tell her sincerely and often.

    That was your public service announcement. You’re welcome.

    Reply
    1. e2

      As a man, let me offer a hearty AMEN to stopping the porn. It is neither innocent nor harmless. It’s absolutely destructive. Let me also try to dispel the myth that men look at porn because they think porn actresses are more beautiful than their wives. It’s not a beauty contest. The lure of porn lay not in pretty women; it lay in the fact that porn actresses are portrayed as thoroughly enjoying sex and craving it. Men get aroused when they see a woman desiring and enjoying sexual pleasure, whether in their own bedroom, on the Internet or in a chick flick on network TV. A hot love scene in a PG-13 movie will have the same arousing effect on a man as a full-blown Internet porn flick.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        Not sure it has the same arousing effect. Yet I completely agree with your main point: Most men want an enthusiastic lover. And that lover should be their wife!

        Reply
        1. e2

          Same in kind, if not necessarily intensity. Years ago, one of my wife’s favorite TV shows was on one of the “family” networks. It portrayed several late teen/early twentyish folks who engaged in some hot kissing scenes in every episode, swapping partners throughout the season. These scenes were incidental, not necessarily part of the plot. But, every week, you knew there would be at least one, if not more, such scenes. I found it arousing to watch, while at the same time frustrating as my wife generally doesn’t enjoy passionate kissing. I finally told her it was too hard for me to watch the teen passion every week. I let her watch it by herself all the while wondering why the makeout scenes never seemed to inspire her desire.

          Reply
      2. libl

        Then why do some husbands with sexually eager wives look at porn and type in appearance specifics like hair color and breast size opposite of the very woman eager to have sex with them?!

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          A sexually eager wife is not a guarantee a husband won’t look at porn. Some men are addicted; some men are in denial; and some are just plain selfish. I doubt they’re intentionally picking out porn women who look different from their wives — could be that’s just what there is.

          Reply
  9. K

    Before addressing the question posed here, I must say that my husband is a wonderful, amazing man. I know he loves and adores me because he shows me every day in many ways. He always has.

    Now, to the question posed. Yes, my husband is a liar when it comes to sexual integrity. In our first year of marriage, he lied when he visited strip clubs with co-workers 6-10 times. For several reasons, not involving porn, he refused sex for over 2 decades. During this time, we only had sex about 3 times per year. I asked for sex at least several times a week during those years and always got the same answer…maybe later. Was he lying? Absolutely! He had no intention of having sex with me, and we both knew it. His lie hurt way more than the truth (no) would have because I still held on to a slight twinge of hope that maybe this “maybe later” would actually happen. Was he masturbating regularly while refusing me sex? Yes! Did he tell me that? No. So, there’s another lie. Did he have various excuses for refusing sex? Yes! Were they true? Mostly, no. When we did have sex, he pretended like he had pain after ejaculating. Every. Single. Time! Was this true? Mostly not (occasionally, yes because he has had some prostate issues). For the last 6-8 years, he’s had a porn habit because his drive came back and he didn’t want to come to me for sex (performance issue). He hid the porn extremely well. Another lie. So, is my husband a liar? Yes, he is when it comes to sex.

    I know my husband is okay with my body and my looks in general (even though I am not). He would never put me down or tell me to lose weight because of how I look. He says he thinks I’m pretty and always has thought so. He says he’s attracted to me and my weight doesn’t impact that. For the most part, I do believe him. I know he sees me as a complete being, not just my outer appearance. But, do I believe he thinks I’m beautiful? As a person, yes. As for as my body, no! I’ve never been modest or self-conscious around my husband because he never made me feel bad about myself. Even when he was refusing sex. I always knew the reasons weren’t about my appearance. But, learning about the porn and the strip clubs did make me question this slightly.

    But, just recently, this happened. I was lying on the bed completely naked trying to cool off after a hot shower. My husband walked in the room and barely gave me a glance. He did notice and mentioned it, but then went on about his business as if I weren’t even there. That hurt deeply! The next day, we were watching tv and, unexpectedly, the show had a very graphic sex scene with nudity. Neither of us expected that. If we’d known, we wouldn’t have watched the show. I was shocked and became frozen. I didn’t know what to do in the moment, so I did nothing. We continued watching the show. Later, we talked about it. He admitted that it got him excited and he didn’t look away. I’m now ashamed to be naked in front of my husband. He can walk past me without missing a beat, but didn’t look away when presented with beautiful, naked women. For the first time, I feel insecure with my husband. Aren’t husbands supposed to stop in their tracks when they see their wife naked? Mine never has, but I thought it would be different now that we’re working through all of the sexual issues. This has really set me back and nothing my husband says can change how I feel about myself in his eyes now.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      1. Husbands don’t necessarily stop in their tracks every time they see their wife naked. Like anything else, when you’ve seen it a lot… Also, male sex drives tend to lessen just a bit as they age, and it can take a little more for him to get aroused.

      2. You are completely right that HE has got major issues on the sex stuff. Absolutely not okay for him to visit strip clubs, watch porn, and solo masturbate. This is depriving you of your rightful intimacy with your husband. Sheila Wray Gregoire has some fabulous posts about what to do when your husband uses porn: 4 Things You Must Do If Your Husband Uses Porn; How to Deal with a Husband’s Pornography Use: A Man’s Perspective; Dealing with Your Husband’s Porn Addiction.

      Praying for healing.

      Reply
      1. K

        Thanks for the encouragement and prayers! Thanks for links too. It’s always helpful to have more resources.

        We are in the healing process and are doing much better overall. Counseling has helped a lot. My husband is devastated about the hurt he’s caused me. He is working hard to change his behaviors. He hasn’t watched porn or masturbated since January. The strip clubs are way in the past. He realizes now how wrong these things were and how much pain they’ve caused me. The porn and masturbation were more a by-product of his sexual refusal than the cause, but all of it is still a betrayal and extremely hurtful.

        You’re right about him depriving me of my right for sexual intimacy. I use a much stronger verb for it though. He stole it from me. Even though his reasons were understandable (grief, performance issue, etc.), his choices impacted me in ways he couldn’t imagine and some of the damage can never be undone.

        His behaviors also stole my innocence. I can no longer walk into a room full of people without wondering which men have recently watched porn. I wonder if their wives and, possibly if, their children know. I wonder if they think it’s wrong and do it anyway or don’t think it’s wrong at all. I wonder if they would want their son to watch it or if they’d care if their daughter’s boyfriend or husband did. I wonder how many of them have actually progressed to having a physical affair. I wonder if they deny their wives sex because they’ve used up all of their sexual energy with porn and masturbation. I feel ashamed and feel like a fool for trusting him.

        I think these recent events are more about my need to feel truly desired by him. I want him to fit the stereotype of how men desire sex with their wives. I want to be pursued, even if sex isn’t imminent. I know this is partially my own issue that needs to be addressed. I have to grieve that my husband doesn’t fit this stereotype and that I will probably always have a higher drive. I’m sure Satan is also in the background trying to stir things up! I know he’s not happy that our already strong bond is growing stronger now that we are sexually intimate and are working on healing.

        I hope your male readers do take heed of the damage porn causes. If they want their wives to believe when they say she’s beautiful, they need to be consistent in their actions. Otherwise, they risk her never believing them on issues that matter. And, it also goes beyond wives. What message does this send to their sons and daughters? If they have daughters, it is possibly causing them trust and self-esteem problems. I doubt that’s what they’d want.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          A significant, beautiful plea to husbands out there. Yes, the damage can be devastating. Not worth it for any reason.

          Even though it’s been months ago, the wounds still sound fresh. Having talked to others who went through this journey, it takes a while to grieve and work through the feelings and issues in the relationship. But I also know that healing can come and with years of better intimacy, your hurt will fade. In fact, I believe what happens is that eventually you reach a tipping point, where the good outweighs the bad so much that you really feel peace about it all. I am praying that for you. Blessings!

          Reply
          1. e2

            Recent surveys show that porn use by *both* Christian men and women are alarming. Covenant Eyes (http://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/02/23/new-porn-stats/) reports that some 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women admit to viewing porn at least once a month (then there are those who are too spiritual to admit it.) More disturbing is that porn use among married women is higher than unmarried women (25% to 16%).

          2. J Post author

            Yeah, the rise of porn use for both men and women is highly disturbing…and damaging to many relationships.

        2. libl

          I get what you are saying about loss of innocents. I avoid meeting with or being seen by other men because I know I stand in sexual judgement before them. Hubby asked me once to treat his crew to lunch. I made them a huge homemade feast and brought it to them. After I left, they told hubby what they thought of my looks, my body, my butt, and asked him if he’s been able to do certain sex acts with me. From what I hear this sort of degrading locker room talk is common. And while hubby was at least gentleman enough to not divulge about our sex life, he thinks I should be happy, flattered, and grateful that I measure up to the other guys’ sexual judgement. Apparently, it is a high compliment that these guys think I am bed-worthy. Never mind how nice I was to make them food and deliver it. Never mind what a talented cook I am. Never mind that he is lucky to have a wife like me, instead of hey, if you’re done with her, throw her my way.

          I’ll be honest, too, knowing that my husband occasionally indulges his eyes and lusts, the pain of it is so great I sometimes wish he would just leave me and spare me the agony.

          I can always tell when he does, too, because he starts treating me like crap.

          If he leaves me or I am widowed, I have no plans to remarry. No man is worth this amount of hurt.

          Reply
          1. J Post author

            What industry is he in? Because I absolutely cannot fathom my husband having a conversation like that with other men. I don’t believe that’s all that common. Guys? Thoughts?

          2. Todd

            Listen, I can only speak for myself, and the men that I would call my friends, but I can tell you unequivocally that there’s not a man among us that would tolerate being asked about our sex lives with our wives. Furthermore, any remarks made about her physical appearance, good or bad, would be countered with an uppercut.
            Now that may not sound like a Christian response, but I’d argue that point if necessary. My wife, and my Mom, most definitely are women of honor, and you better believe I’d die defending it.
            There is no accounting for someone being classless, but to let a bunch of Neanderthals effect your spouse’s self image, and the level of trust and intimacy that God intended for both of you to have, is beyond comprehension to me.

            There are always two sides to every story, and I just can’t help but suspect that there are more, and deeper issues, than what has been shared.
            I pray that Christ will illuminate the dark places where I fear those issues remain hidden.

          3. Debi Walter

            I’m interested in knowing what industry your husband is in as well, because I don’t believe this is the norm. I understand your hesitation to trust men when this is what you’ve heard. It is a sad culture we live in where women are made to feel unsafe about how they look. All the more reason to dress modestly so we don’t give them an opportunity for temptation. Let your beauty be for your husband’s eyes only.

          4. libl

            He is in a laboring industry. He tried another career in a trained industry within a union and the guys were even worse!

          5. B

            Oh I agree with libl. This absolutely happens. A lot. My husband shields me from most of it, and being one of the bosses he has laid down the law about his own wife, and most of his crew respects that (they value their jobs!)

            My husband is also in a labor industry, but he is in a higher position. He deals with both white and blue collar men on a daily basis. Often the white collar guys are worse. I don’t know why. A sense of entitlement, maybe?

            This is by no means to say it’s all guys, but yeah, it happens – and way more than you’d think.

          6. libl

            Seriously? Your answer is dress modestly? It was winter. I was in a winter coat And knee high insulated rubber boots when this went down!!

            How I dress is NOT the issue. Modesty has become a red herring.

          7. J Post author

            I don’t believe that comment was directed at you, libl — rather an encouragement for women to simply take reasonable care. That said, it is NOT our fault if a man chooses to lust.

    2. Anon. Wife

      I see that J has already answered your question, but I do want to agree that not all husbands must “stop in their tracks”. For example, if my husband is already in bed for the night and I’m taking my clothes off, if he is reading or on his phone he won’t usually look up or notice/say anything. If I wear lingerie-type underclothes sometimes he notices and says something, and sometimes he doesn’t. I know that he loves me and is attracted to me…it’s just that our life and marriage is not about sex and sexy stuff 24/7. I love it when it does happen, but I’ve learned to also be thankful for the friendship and cuddling and other aspects of our love, as well.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        I actually mentioned this to my husband, and we talked about it. He said that I don’t see all the times he looks at me, so I probably don’t have a full understanding of his reaction — and we’re in a pretty good space. Which made me wonder how much we really see…and can conclude…

        Just throwing that out there.

        Reply
        1. B

          Interesting. I’ve told my husband a zillion times that I don’t care if he notices a pretty woman, but it would be nice if he’d notice me – even once! He claims he notices me all the time. I dunno. I don’t ever see it. Never.

          So I find this interesting, what your husband said to you. I should believe my husband more often, but I’m so sure he’s just telling me what he thinks I want to hear, or what he “should” say. Maybe my husband really does notice me once in a while. It would be so comforting if that were true!

          Reply
  10. MH

    Having had a conversation about this with my husband, we’ve discovered that more often than not, the reason for going to porn is little to do with sexual arousal/intimacy, but more to do with comfort. Sometimes, the outward/most obvious reason for looking at images/reading romantic novels/erotica, watching rom-com films, is actually looking for comfort, but not having a healthy way to express that need, because it puts us in a vulnerable position. He’s most likely to go to porn because he’s not happy in himself, I’m most likely to want a chick flick, or romantic novel when I’m the same! I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it may be worth considering.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I get all that, and I think there’s real truth to it. But watching a chick flick and viewing porn aren’t in the same ballpark, as far as I’m concerned. Porn is specifically about sex and confuses the male sex drive, arousal, and satisfaction. If we’re making comparisons of his/hers, I’d suggest porn and erotica — neither of which is good for you or your marriage.

      Reply
      1. e2

        I think MH has a point. I think that men get a rush of oxytocin from porn. I think women get the same hormonal release from romantic novels/erotica and chick-flicks. Its just that, with men, these other outlets (many of which are socially acceptable) don’t produce the oxytocin release. But either way, both husbands and wives are substituting something else for their marriage relationship.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          I totally agree, but I think degree matters too. It’s like playing with fire versus an inferno: Neither is good, one causes more damage.

          Reply
  11. Debi Walter - The Romantic Vineyard

    I’ve been extremely busy and just now checked in on this discussion. Wow. Such passionate opinions about this issue. Thank you to all who have offered their perspective, it makes the post that much more relevant. We are all in different places in our marriage. My prayer is that you will take the part of this post that applies to you and allow the Lord to use it to bring growth and change. Marriage is a process, and we’re all in different places.
    I’m grateful for each and everyone of you who took the time to comment. You’ve made this post better by far.
    Thank you,
    Debi

    Reply
  12. Charlie O

    For several decades my wife and I have ministered in a very multi-cultural city. This has taught us to expand our horizons in a number of areas of life. Those that can only see things in a very limited way are small-minded. They can’t appreciate other cultures’ foods, dress, customs, or ways of thinking. In addition, they even think that the things listed are dumb, inferior, strange, etc. Because they can’t understand and appreciate, they reject. Ladies, don’t be small-minded in matters relating to marriage and sex. You will never understand a man ,and if, by chance you think you do, you are more deluded than you can ever imagine. You can’t imagine how much your husband loves to see your body! Here are some considerations: (1) He loves you. Unbelievably this makes flaws disappear. (2) You look at your body as a woman would look at you. You look at your husband’s naked body and it doesn’t excite you, so maybe you wonder how yours could do anything for him. He looks at you as a man would, and does he see some wonderful things! (3) Men’s taste change as they age. Middle-aged women look good to middle-aged men, etc. Don’t try to understand–you can’t and never will. Don’t be small-minded. Accept his appreciation of your body and bask in it.

    Reply
    1. Todd

      AMEN! Wow, you absolutely nailed it with this comment. As a man, I view my wife’s 47 year old, 2 children surviving, lovely body, as being my ideal of perfection! I am hopelessly unable to not drink her in if I see her preparing to take a shower, or get dressed for work, or a dinner date, etc… When we started dating, and then married 25 years ago, my wife’s body would have rivaled a super models too thin frame, and the world would love for her to think I long for that, but its patently false!!!!
      I was an immature, selfish, prideful dolt when I somehow convinced this gorgeous lady to marry me. It took far too long for me to learn, through resources such as HH&H, what intimacy, and marriage could, and should look like.

      There is nothing in this world that I am aware of, that could ever convince my wife, and I suspect any wife really, that I wouldn’t trade her body now, for that 20 year old body, for anything!! It’s the very things she thinks are imperfections that make her irresistible to me! She’s my gift from God, and she is beautifully and wonderfully made! BUT,

      She judges herself by People magazine, and Cosmo, and Glamour etc… And, most importantly, she sees herself through the eyes of women! There is no possibility of ever measuring up when the standard you compare yourself to is unrealistic.

      If wives, and women in general understood how profoundly accurate the comments that Charlie O made above truly are, there would be a seismic shift in the area of body image, and probably a population explosion!😉

      Ladies, if he says it, odds are he’s tried to prove it. But your insecurities caused you to assume he couldn’t possibly be telling you the truth. “He must want something if he’s telling me that!”
      Yeah, he does. He wants YOU!!!! After being basically called a liar who will say anything to get sex, we finally quit driving ourselves crazy by gazing longingly at what we so deeply adore, but can’t have without being made to feel kind of wormy for wanting it.

      It’s pretty simple in the end… Continue believing that we, all husbands, are lying con artists who just want one thing, or that we actually mean it when we say you are truly the only woman in the world that we want to experience true, God blessed lovemaking with.
      Your standard is what the world has created. Our standard is what God created specifically for us, and that creation is our wife. And she’s one of a kind…

      Reply
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  14. Jarrod

    I constantly tell my wife if only she could see herself through “my” eyes, rather than through “her” eyes. God has blessed our marriage immensely by changing what I think is beautiful. Regardless of the current shape of my wife (20 years of marriage and two sets of twins), I find her so very beautiful and attractive. I am always steeling glances at her (or ogling if appropriate), finding excuses to “interrupt” her in the shower, etc.

    Does it hurt when she dismisses my compliments? Yes, but I try not to take it personally. As much as she says she believes me, she still allows what she “sees” to influence her. I explain to her that, like a fellow from an earlier post said, beauty is so much more than just her looks. It is the whole package. Unfortunately, growing up she was always shamed by her mother as to her weight. She says that she is over that, but I can see that she is not. It hurts me deeply to see her look at herself in the mirror and sigh and frown.

    Thanks for keeping this thread going!

    Reply
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