We recently posted an article offering guidance to men who feel frustrated because their wife is shy about letting him see her body. What they most want to view—what they were intended to see—is the beauty of their wife’s body. And when she avoids being seen by him, it creates frustration on his part. So we promised a follow-up article for all the wives who are feeling challenged by this issue in their own way.
So wives, I know we often feel pressured to meet the unrealistic body standards we see in the media. Our bodies change with the seasons and we don’t necessarily look like we did when we walked down that aisle. But instead of focusing on how we think we look, I want us to start seeing ourselves through our husband’s eyes.
And this is the challenge: Consider leaving the lights on during sex and letting your husband enjoy seeing you in all your glory. I know the idea is scary for many women! But in my years of social research, I’ve uncovered many truths that men wish we knew, but they don’t know how to tell us. I heard the heart behind this wish that men have—and I discovered five surprising reasons for you to take the risk.
Reason #1: When He Knows You Want Him, It Increases Intimacy
A husband is powerfully impacted by knowing his wife desires him. And few things signal “desire” more than when he sees his wife fully engaged during their time together. Men secretly feel so vulnerable when they approach their wives for intimacy: Do I measure up? Does she want me? Am I enough for her? Sometimes a man will keep his guard up to avoid the sting of inadequacy if he senses his wife may not truly be “all in.” So if he sees that you’re engaged, he can set all concerns aside, let down his guard, and take the risk of opening up emotionally. And that vulnerability leads to much greater intimacy.
Reason #2: When You Trust Him, It Leads To True Oneness
Vulnerability works both ways. We feel so vulnerable at the idea of turning on those lights . . . because we too wonder: Do I measure up? I don’t look like I used to. Will he be satisfied with me? Turned off? Those extra pounds or our least-favorite features loom large in our minds. But nearly all the men in my research told me they loved their wife’s individuality and aren’t expecting or looking for the cover model. That is our hang-up, not theirs! We need to trust that our husband loves us as we are. And when we let down our guard and trust, we reach mutual vulnerability and true oneness.
Reason #3: He Is Visual
Yes, this has been stated many times. I discovered just how much in my research for For Women Only and further researched it in Through A Man’s Eyes. But it’s worth repeating: a man’s emotions are tied to his eyes. He drinks in and savors those images of you in your intimate time together in a wonderful, emotional way that you as a woman may never fully understand. But when those visual memories come back to his mind, he feels a rush of affection and love for you. And they are a bulwark and ammunition against the impact of all those other images that confront him out in the world every day.
Reason #4: He Delights In Knowing He Has Delighted You
Did you hear that? Your husband delights in knowing he has delighted you. The vast majority of men I’ve interviewed and surveyed have confirmed it: your man is most pleased when he pleases you. Three out of four said that for a man, sex is empty if his wife isn’t satisfied—or if he can’t tell that she was satisfied. The men said it makes an immense, delightful difference for a man to be able to see his wife’s reactions in some way.
Reason #5: You May Find It Isn’t As Big A Risk As You Think
Have you ever resisted something out of fear, only to try it later and wish you hadn’t waited so long? Many women have told me this was like that for them: it took courage, but it was one of the best things they did for their marriage. Because they as women saw something too: they saw that their fears were empty. They saw that their husbands really did love them and delight in them just as they were. These women gained confidence they never expected. And they found themselves unexpectedly moved by their husband’s almost gleeful delight in this new experience together.
So give it a try. Let your husband see you and delight in you—just as you are, with your own unique and matchless beauty. I’m guessing that the response you get from him will provide the best possible incentive to continue!
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Shaunti Feldhahn loves sharing eye-opening information that helps people thrive in life and relationships. She herself started out with a Harvard graduate degree and Wall Street credentials but no clue about life. After an unexpected shift into relationship research for average people like her, she now is a popular speaker and author of best-selling books about men, women and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her latest book, Find Peace: A 40-day Devotional Journey For Moms, focuses on discovering biblical direction to become a woman of serenity and delight in all seasons – and have impact for generations to come.
Visit www.shaunti.com for more.