Last week, I addressed Getting Comfortable Being Naked with Your Husband — particularly our attitude and approach. I promised specific tips this week on how to get over your trepidation and share your body more freely with your husband.
How can you grow more comfortable and confident baring it all for your hubby? (Because yeah, he wants you to. He told me so.)
Focus on what you like about your body. We all have especially good features and less appealing “flaws.” (Although “flaws” isn’t the right word.) We ladies tend to focus on what we believe is wrong with our bodies. Perhaps we think it keeps us humble or something, but it’s not boasting to recognize your best features and revel in how God made you. You are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
So take stock, girlfriend! Check. You. Out. Stand in front of the mirror, consider past compliments, and/or think about your own perspective, but figure out what you like about your fabulous body. Be specific. For instance, my list would include the texture of my hair, the dimple that appears on one cheek when I smile super-big, the color of my eyes, and my navel (hey, we all have a preference for outty or inny, and I happen to like what I got).
Then look for ways to display those features to your husband and rehearse the list in your head when you disrobe. You’ll feel better knowing what unique and beautiful traits you have to offer for your husband’s viewing.
Stop comparing. Stop comparing your body to someone else’s or to the body you had once upon a time (or could have if Spanx would make a beneath-the-flesh product). This is tough because advertisers are on a near-rampage to have you feel “less than” so you’ll buy their product to feel “as good as.” Want to look as good as [insert hot celebrity’s name]? Buy our [diet pill, home gym, clothing, plastic surgery, etc.]! Don’t get sucked into comparison games.
And don’t wait for perfection to bare your body. Your husband’s likely not comparing you to anyone else. I hear from hubbies all the time who essentially say about their wives, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:7). Are their wives objectively perfect? I doubt it. But they believe it.
So stop holding yourself to an impossible standard. The standard is who you are, the best you can be today, and your husband’s affirmation.
But the even better, higher, truer standard is God Himself — how He sees you. God doesn’t lie, and He thinks you’re amazing. Beautiful. Stunning.
Take care of your body. Now I’m going to be frank with my girlfriends here. We know why some of us wives aren’t confident baring it all: Because we’ve let our bodies go. We used to eat better, exercise more, dress nicer, style our hair, get out of pajamas at least once during the day. Whether you’ve acted clueless about your transformation from beauty to beast (no, it’s not that bad), or you beat yourself up so much you’re craving another pint of Ben & Jerry’s to feel better, you know who you are.
I don’t want to add another straw of shame to the camel’s back. By no means! I’m on your side!!! I’m a writer, for heaven’s sake, so it’s ever-so-tempting to have my wardrobe be all yoga pants and oversized tees. My hair adores quick-and-dirty ponytails. I haven’t been to my exercise class in . . . no idea. And believe me, something happens after age 40, and suddenly lettuce leafs seem to add as much to my waistline as a dish of chocolate mousse. Yes, it’s an ongoing challenge.
But when we attend to our health and grooming, we look and feel better. You know you do! Moreover, the Bible encourages good health with warnings against gluttony (calls it sin), says our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit, and gives the example of the well-clothed and hard-working wife in Proverbs 31. So let’s take care of ourselves! Now don’t sweat the number on the scale or go in search of some unrealistic, useless beauty ideal (see point above); simply get healthy and be the best you! Then you’ll feel better about the body you have to bare for your husband.
Prepare for the unveiling. So you’re still nervous about getting naked. Totally understandable. With the exception of that junior high communal dressing room for physical education [insert bad memories here], you don’t generally get naked in front of other people. Your nude body is none of their business. Except it’s your husband’s business — it belongs to him too (1 Corinthians 7:4).
So how can you calm your nerves and put your best foot (body) forward? Prepare: Take a bubble bath. Set the scene with favorite lighting, like candlelight or a low lamp. Choose lingerie that highlights your assets. Turn on calming or intimate music. Take Lamaze-type breaths. Use meditation techniques. Go to your “happy place.”
This isn’t the time to Go Big or Go Home — more like Go Slow. Take your time, take deep breaths, take it easy. You. Can. Do. This. Like anything else you’re afraid of, it gets easier the second time and the third time and the fourth time… Recognize it will get better — but only if you take that first step.
Consider his reaction. Most hubbies look like a kid in a candy store when their wife bares it all. Or like they’ve opened the best Christmas present ever: “For me? It’s exactly what I wanted!” We wives can get so caught up in thinking about how we look or staring at our “problem areas,” we don’t attend to hubby’s reaction. Which could be the reassurance we need.
If you can’t tell what he likes by facial expressions, speak up and ask! Many guys don’t think to enumerate what they find so appealing. Look, I’m married to a guy who seems to think words are on a rationing list somewhere. So if I need to hear something specific, I’ve learned to ask. Once I throw out the question — like “What are your favorite parts of my body and why?” — he’ll answer with a list resembling the husband in Song of Songs.
And then believe your husband. If he says your breasts are “like clusters of fruit” (Compliment. Really. Song of Songs 7:7) — accept it! Tell yourself again and again and again it’s true: He really thinks you’re sexy.
Now what’s your advice? How have you become comfortable with your body and baring it all for your hubby?