Not too long ago some girlfriends and I started talking about our marriages over lunch. One of my friends shared that she feels like her husband is never satisfied with the frequency of their sex life, and she is frustrated because she feels insecure with her body.
“I mean, I’ve had a bunch of kids. I don’t look anything like I did when we were first married. I just don’t feel sexy.”
The more we talked, the more the women in our group agreed that they also deal with a lot of insecurity with their bodies.
Can you relate? I certainly can. There have definitely been times when I’ve felt pudgy and unattractive, and sex was honestly the last thing on my brain. So, I get it. However, the truth is that the less often we have sex with our spouse, the less DESIRE we have for sex. And, we fall into a terrible cycle of having little to no sex and both spouses find themselves extremely frustrated and even bitter toward one another. That’s why it’s important that we do our best to overcome these body issues and work to cultivate and maintain a great sex life with our husband.
Here are some practical ways to do that.
1. Choose to embrace your body as it is currently, and don’t stress that you don’t have your personal “ideal” body at the moment.
This can be hard, but it is a game-changer when it comes to enjoying sex. We can’t fully engage in sex and be worrying about our stretch marks or cellulite at the same time. In fact, it totally stresses us out. According to a recent NBCNews.com article, stress kills a woman’s libido.
Laura Berman, Ph.D., director of the Berman Center for women’s sexual health in Chicago, says, “Stress makes you tired, distracted and unmotivated to do anything, much less have sex. When a woman is stressed, the hormonal changes in her body trigger a chemical reaction causing sex hormone–binding globulin to bind with testosterone cells, so they’re unavailable for libido and sexual response.”
In other words, the stress we feel when we think about our body not being what we think it should be ends up killing our desire for sex altogether. So we need to intentionally shift our thoughts. The next time personal body-shaming thoughts start to fill our mind, we must SHUT IT DOWN and replace those with positive thoughts. For example, let’s see our few extra pounds as curves instead of cellulite. Odds are your husband really loves those curves anyway. As women, we tend to hold ourselves to crazy standards based on air-brushed, photo-shopped models that don’t even exist. Ladies, let’s stop torturing ourselves and embrace the body that we have NOW. Let’s choose to love ourselves.
There is nothing sexier than confidence, and this confidence and intentional self-acceptance will also help us to destress and be more in the mood for romance.
2. Start having sex more frequently with your husband.
At a recent conference, a friend of ours shared that she had extreme anxiety about having sex with her husband after having their first child. She felt exhausted and totally insecure about her “mom-bod” to the point that she dreaded the day when the post-partum six-week waiting period was up and she and her husband could make love once again. When the day arrived, her husband was patient with her, but she completely froze up and all she could do was cry. Weeks went by. A month passed and her husband patiently waited. She could feel a distance growing between them, even though her husband was being so understanding and tender with her. Eventually, she realized that she had to do something.
When she shared her predicament with a close friend, her friend looked in her eyes and plainly said, “You need to have sex with your husband today. Stop dreading this day and just go for it, or you’ll just keep feeling anxious about it and frustrate him to no end.” My friend knew that this was the truth that she needed to hear and live out. So, she went to her husband, and they made love. Then, they did it the next day and the next. As my friend recalled this story, she said that something happened that she never expected. The more she and her husband made love, the more her desire for sex increased and her anxiety subsided.
Friends, sometimes we just need to go for it, regardless of our hang-ups. This doesn’t mean that we discount our feelings or our husband’s feelings. Sometimes, we may be facing deeper issues that we need to address with a Christian counselor or doctor. Whatever the circumstance, we should be willing to do whatever it takes to get to the root of why we aren’t having sex. And, we should do our best to make sex a priority in our marriage. The more frequently we make love with our spouse, the more we will desire it and the less stressed we will be.
3. Invest in some sexy lingerie.
I used to think that lingerie was kind of ridiculous because the whole point of wearing it was for it to end up on the floor. Right? But, over the years, I’ve seen what a turn on it can be for both husbands and wives.
Most men love for their wives to wear lingerie because they see it as sexy gift-wrapping with all the lace and bows. And for most women, the very act of wearing lingerie can make them feel sexy and in the mood. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or get something uncomfortable. In fact, there are so many styles and sizes available these days. So give it try. Go shopping for a pretty bra and lacy panties, and surprise your husband with your findings when he gets home. You’ll be surprised at how sexy you’ll feel, and your husband will LOVE it!
Bottom line, we all have insecurities about our bodies, but we can choose whether we allow these insecurities to negatively impact our sex life and marriage. Ladies, let’s choose to overcome. Let’s choose to see our bodies as beautiful and sexy just as they are. Let’s choose to be confident and make sex a priority in our marriage. When we do this, we will enjoy a thriving sex life and a stronger, more connected marriage.
Dave and Ashley Willis have built a strong following, reaching millions of married couples through their blogs, books, and videos. Get Dave and Ashley’s most popular resources for couples and groups. Their mission is to create resources focused on building Christ-centered marriages and families. They have four young sons and live near Augusta, Georgia.