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How to Help Your Wife Get Naked

After writing last week on Getting Comfortable Being Naked with Your Husband and Tips for Confidently Baring It All for the Hubby, I decided talk directly to the hubbies…those ones who want to see more of their wives.

See, I get it, husbands. You men are in a precarious position. Here’s the set-up:

  • You want to see your wife naked.
  • She’s not that comfortable with her body.

So you start thinking, “What can I do to help her feel okay about her body?” And the problem-solving begins . . .

Maybe you can tell her to just get over it. Maybe you can tell her she’s pretty…once (that should do it, right?). Maybe you can sign her up at your gym. Maybe you can remind her that many women who’ve given birth have extra fat. Maybe you can suggest she skip dessert. Maybe you can even suggest a weight loss program.

Don’t do it! I’m warning you like the movie audience viewer who sees the girl armed with a hairpin entering the serial killer’s lair. Don’t. Go. There.

In fact, here’s a peek into the female brain: Oftentimes when we complain or vent about something, we don’t want a quick fix. We’re not looking for a resolution. We’re looking for your reassurance.

So what can a husband do to help his wife get naked?

Husband starting to unzip wife's dress

Tell her she’s beautiful. Often, sincerely, deeply. Be consistent and specific, even stating which specific parts of her body you find particularly appealing and why. She may have a hard time accepting the broad statement that she’s “hot,” but tell her you adore the way her hips curve and fit perfectly into your hands? That’s specific enough to mean something.

Want an example? Check out Song of Songs 4 and 7, where the husband wonderfully describes the beauty of his wife.

Tell her what seeing her naked body does to you. And no, I’m not talking about the erection, men. You don’t have to say that. We see it.

Express the arousal, emotion, and satisfaction you experience when you get to see and touch the one woman in the world you’re allowed to, and deeply want to, see and touch. Tell her why it means so much to share your body with her and have her share her body with you. Say why you love having that view, that access, that just-you-and-me feeling. I don’t need to give you the words. You men express yourselves pretty well when you need to. Just make it a priority.

Allow her time to prepare. She may not want to just yank it all off and jump into bed buck naked. It’s a vulnerable thing for women to remove their clothing, and your wife may need time and practice to feel comfortable baring it all — even for you. Suggest she take her time, maybe starting with a bubble bath, putting on lingerie she likes (you can like it too, but make sure she’s good with it), and turning on relaxing music.

Give her a chance to run through whatever routine works to diffuse the pressures of her day and help her get into a let’s-get-naked mood. The more you can help her through the initial jitters, the more likely she’ll grow used to this nude thing and get undressed more readily and easily.

Focus on more than the super-sexy parts. Yes, we wives know you like breasts and lady bits. It’s actually pretty awesome how awesome you men think your women are. However, your wary wife may assume you don’t like the rest of her body so much if you’re always racing to the erogenous zones. I mean, who claims a film is their favorite movie when all they ever watch is the climax scene?

So hang out at other parts of her body. Spend time touching, caressing, complimenting, kissing, fondling…her face, her arms, her legs, her torso, her neck, her whatever. Let her know through your full attention that so much of her body is beautiful to you, that every part of her matters. You can still get to the climax scene, but pay attention to the rest of the show.

Watch your words. Your opinion really matters, and she’s especially sensitive to how you view her body. She figures that out by what you say, how you say it, and even sometimes what you don’t say.

Consider this scripture: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Your words have to build her up according to her needs. What does she need you to say? And what does she need you to refrain from saying? I’m not trying to put you guys in a eggshell mine field, but simply watch your words and your tone and make sure you’re building her up with what you say.

Don’t talk about other women. While you shouldn’t lie to your spouse, you needn’t share every single thought that crosses your brain. If my husband notices a beautiful woman during the day (I’m not talking about lusting here), how does that help our marriage and my confidence for him to share how she looked when he gets home?

Wives who recognize how visual their husbands are are all too aware of how many beautiful women are out there for your viewing. We know some ladies surpass our beauty and could capture your attention. Then we look at ourselves and wonder what you could possibly see in this body that would excite you so much. So avoid lusting after other women (Matthew 5:27-28) and don’t always point out who else you find physically attractive.

Encourage her toward health. If your wife is extremely overweight, frumpy in appearance, or let herself go in some other way, don’t point at her flaws from the other side of the room. Get on her side and become a supporter of her health. And don’t just talk weight loss. If you simply focus on weight, she might go on yo-yo diets and screw up her metabolism and health and appearance even more. Talk health. If she’s healthy, she’ll look and feel better.

Suggest walking together. Suggest taking cooking classes together. Keep the kids while she exercises with friends or goes to the gym. Encourage her to update her wardrobe. Schedule a spa and makeover day for her. Make her health and her feeling good about her body the priority, and you’ll both appreciate the results.

Helping your wife feel better about her body will encourage her to feel comfortable and confident enough to share it with you!

And now let’s ask some wives and husbands, how can a husband help his wife feel more comfortable and confident getting naked in the marital bedroom? What’s worked or would work for you?

Tips for Confidently Baring It All for Your Hubby

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.)

Woman taking off robe - head & shoulders only

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?