LOVE and MAKING IT is a new series on sex and marriage, bodies and souls. It will be candid and sometimes messy. It’s not just about having a great sex life; it’s about having a great body life. I want one of those. Read at your own risk.
I have noticed something about myself. I recoil when my husband touches my stomach or my sides – especially when I am sitting.
I do not like my stomach as it currently is. I would sure like it to change shape, be different, go away. And to touch it… is an act of aggression against me.
So, when my husband makes a loving move towards me… you know the one… The loving one where he is making a move …
It pisses me off. I can actually feel anger rise up from somewhere deep.
“How dare you touch my stomach?!”
That’s not good for our relationship – when my body is a minefield. He’s just happily walking through a beautiful wonderland (known as my body) and **BAM** land mine explosion.
“Get your hands off my belly!”
(I don’t actually say that. If I did, I am pretty sure he would fall over in fits of laughter.)
We have been married for fourteen years, my husband and me. 14 years. I am pretty sure he knows my body better than I do. I’m trying to ignore parts and he’s trying to know all of me. And he still loves me lots. So, what’s my issue?
Even when we have someone who loves us, it can be hard to accept ourselves. And it can be even more frustrating because there’s “no good reason”. I have a partner who loves all of me, so I should just be happy now, right?
But, it never works like that. A husband or boyfriend can be an incredible advocate, support, encouragement, voice of truth… but they cannot fix you (as much as we could all cry ourselves to sleep listening to that Coldplay song). At the end of the day, whether we are single or married, we will not be healed until we accept our whole and always-changing selves.
This is actual self-acceptance I am trying for…
the kind where I accept into my reality a loving ownership of ALL of me.
Most of us struggle to embrace our entire bodies and this really hurts our relationships.
It is a huge obstacle to our making of the love.
How can you enjoy someone else loving your body when you are so completely convinced
it’s not good enough?
There is a part of you that you have trouble with. There is a part of your body that you dislike, try to disguise and ignore at all costs…That part, when your husband or lover touches it… it makes you cringe. Right? Does this happen to you? Is this real for you too? It pulls you, not just “out of the moment” but actually, into a moment of anger or embarrassment.
For me, my days go by with my mind – my consciousness – pulling away from the parts of my body that it does not deem attractive or beautiful. I am hardly aware of them as I wash dishes, go to work, play with my kids, because they cause me emotional pain and I don’t like pain. So my mind does me the favor of pulling far away from any awareness of them.
Consequently, when my husband touches my stomach, it is processed as a negative act – pulling my awareness back to something I am trying to ignore.
If lovingly touching some part of my body is actually an act of violence or embarrassment to my mind, then it is incredibly difficult for me to playfully and deeply enjoy sex.
Magazines may sometimes say to focus on the parts of you that you do love; that is a great first step in a healing story. If you don’t like any of your bits and pieces yet, you need to pick ONE to like today. Pick one. And then in a day or two pick another. BUT that’s not the end of the story. The goal is to be whole people. WHOLE.
This is why I am advocating for accepting our entire selves as beautiful and worth loving. My poor little belly deserves love too. This is grace, you know. Allowing the parts of us we are trying to hide, trying to ignore, wish were different… allowing those parts to be cherished openly and completely, by ourselves, by God, by a lover — that’s GRACE.
This is why I care about believing our own beauty. I am believing in a future where I am full of love and care for my whole self and you for your whole self. It’s not just about sex, but it’s a damn good place to start. In the end, this is about our body lives.
WHERE DO WE EVEN START?
Want to know why your wife shies away all of a sudden when you touch her? I can’t guarantee she is like me, but she might be. She does not like parts of her; when you touch them and remind her, this can make her hesitant and confusingly angry.
Ask her where is a safe, good place to touch her. Ask her what her favorite parts of her body are and place your hands on those.
You need to love the parts you hate. Do whatever it takes. Paint pictures on them. Lay your own hands on them. Pray energy and love into them. One by one, deactivate your body’s land mines.
And then, if you are in a relationship, intentionally ask your Love to put his hands there in a way that comforts and emboldens you. Notice that you do not die. Notice that he is still turned on by the hope of making love to you. The pain you feel at acknowledging the things you struggle with, he does not feel. He feels attraction and excitement at getting to touch your body. Go with it.
If he’s a good man, further along down the road of seeing your beauty than you are… go with it!
Then, have a glass of wine and forget it all. Just freakin enjoy being alive and healthy and able to move.
Your beauty is like gravity. It is factual and powerful. So, at some point, stop thinking about it and let it work.
Love and Grace.