We posted something on social media this week that created quite a buzz. The cause of the buzz was the picture at the top of this post, and more specifically, the message on the picture which says, "Most wives have no idea how much their naked body affects their husband." This is the kind of issue that Tami and I just love because it forces us to communicate our healthy marriage message as clearly as possible and allows us to meet you right where you are with your questions. All of this makes it worthwhile for us to dig into this topic a bit deeper and work through a few details.

We need to make a few assumptions first. Assumption #1 is that you and your spouse have a reasonably healthy marriage free from any domestic or verbal abuse and free from any past hurts to your ability to enjoy the safety of physical intimacy. Assumption #2 is that there are no other things vying for the emotional or physical affection of either you or your spouse. This means no pornography, no infidelity, and no sexual addictions. We will briefly address these situations below.

How it's supposed to be…

Healthy and regular physical intimacy is very important to a good marriage. We always hesitate to use the word sex, since that can refer to everything from one-night hookups to physical intimacy within a healthy marriage. There can be a huge difference between these two. We prefer to be more precise by calling this thing wishing marriage physical intimacy. Physical intimacy is intended to bind us together (heart, body, soul, and spirit) as husband and wife in a way that nothing else can. This happens the best when we truly serve one another when we are more concerned with meeting our spouse's need for intimacy than we are with meeting our own need. Further, sometimes when things feel out of sync in your relationship, it could be that you are not connecting in intimate ways as much as needed for your relationship. Regular physical intimacy will help to keep us more balanced as a couple.

Now let's get back to where we started, the statement that says, "Most wives have no idea how much their naked body affects their husband." If you are a wife struggling to embrace this thought, could it be that you are more concerned with what our culture says your body should look like than what your husband thinks? Could it be that you are more influenced by what Hollywood says is beautiful than you previously realized? Remember that men are much more visual creatures than women are. Men can go from zero-to-passion in about 10 seconds. This wiring in men is what makes them so susceptible to a woman's looks and charms. It is what allows men to be distracted from whatever they were doing to not being able to keep their minds or their hands off of their wives.

Now, a woman should absolutely take care of herself. She should eat healthy, exercise as appropriate, and have good personal hygiene. She should also get dressed up once in a while just the way her hubs likes. This is all part of the primal instinct that we will call the mating dance. This kind of flirtatious behavior can be and should be really fun for both of you.

A husband also needs to take care of himself. He should also be eating healthy, taking care of his physical health, and maintain good hygiene. He should brush his teeth, put on some clothes that she picked out (in other words, she will LOVE how you look in them even more than she does without them), and use that cologne that switches on her pheromones.

If doing all of this is not working for you both, we would suggest that you analyze your visual and emotional diets. In other words, what are you feeding yourselves that has become your standard of beauty or masculinity? Is either one of you viewing pornography? If so, these fake scenarios cannot be competed with by a real person like your husband or wife. Has either one of you been influenced by our outward-appearance-obsessed culture that would have you and I believe that if we don't look like them, dress, like them, and shop like them we are somehow inadequate. Be honest with yourself here. We have likely all been influenced by this to some extent, the goal is to keep these influences to a minimum since they do harm to our marriage relationships. Further, do either one of you hold onto any shame from your past that tries to tell you that you will never be ___________ enough? For the sake of your own emotional health and the health of your marriage, you must work through these issues and hopefully, your spouse will lovingly guard your heart while you do. This is what love does, after all.

Husbands: your standard of beauty should be your wife! Even if you have to train yourself a bit more for this to be true, nonetheless, it should be true. Seeing her with or without clothes should get your heart racing at least some of the time. If it does not, there is something amiss that needs to be identified and addressed. Wives, do you (or can you) feel reasonably confident allowing your husband to gaze at your naked body? If not, you must identify what is keeping you from being able to do this. Working through this will only result in a healthier you and a healthier marriage. There are lots of good counselors and lots of great books that can help either of you or both of you to work through these issues. Marriages do not get better by themselves, they get better when we are intentional enough to work hard on the things that need to be worked on. What are you waiting for?

And lastly, let this serve as a conversation starter between you and your spouse. Ask them to read this post too and be intentional about engaging in conversation after they do. It will only serve to help you know each other more deeply, and this is always a good thing.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2016

Link to: https://tandemmarriage.com/naked