Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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My Husband Doesn’t Need to See Your Boobs

Before you read, please hear this: I am not in the condemning business. I am for all people, for womens’ self-esteem, for protecting marriage, for all things good. I am also aware that we live in a world where our actions affect those around us. My hope is that as much as possible, we live peaceably with all people, doing our best to help each other out. That is the perspective from which I wrote this post. All of us ladies and all of us men, trying our hardest to make choices for the good of each other, not for ourselves.

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my husband doesn

I can’t believe I’m writing this. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I can’t believe I used the word boobs in the title of this post.

I got enough purity lessons in high school to invoke a gag reflex any time I heard the word modesty. I remember wanting to crawl out of my skin when my Bible school teachers discussed appropriate *touching*. Ugh, that still makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

Growing up, my father carefully examined everything I wore out of the house. There was a stack of clothes in his closet that I was never allowed to wear, even if I had just ripped the $54.99 tag off. If it was too short, too tight, too low-cut, or too anything, it went in the pile in his closet.

Once I came home with this beautiful pair of khaki-colored stretch pants. The making of such a thing should be a sin to begin with, but I loved them all the same. I wore them out of the house one time, felt super hott {yes, with two ts} and into Dad’s closet they went.

Being the insightful teenager I was, I decided my father clearly didn’t want me to be happy. So I snuck into his closet, grabbed the pants, and double layered them with jeans on top. Once at school, I went into the bathroom and shed the outer layer, leaving my khaki stretch pants and all my glory to be seen.

On the way to my first class, after three Dang, girl! comments from {ahem} fine, upstanding young men, I realized why Dad had hidden those suckers away.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever confessed this to him. Hey, Daddy—ummm, sorry.

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I’m not writing to tell all the teenage girls to respect their bodies. It’s a must, but plenty of people are saying that.

I’m not writing to chastise you for posting your bikini pics from your lake outing. I suppose we all have enough criticism via blog spaces.

But I am writing to share the perspective of a woman who is fighting for her marriage. And for that reason, I want to tell you that I don’t need my husband to see your boobs.

If I was skinny with rock-hard abs and legs from here to Mexico, I’d want to take lots of pictures of myself. Mostly naked. I would want to post them with a nice filter on Instagram, and share them with whoever might see.

By the grace of God I’m forever bound to the granny tankini with a built-in skirt. File that away with #thingsIneverthoughtI’dsay.

Anyways, what I’m saying is I don’t fault you. I don’t blame you for being confident enough to let the world see how good you look in front of the waves with your coozie and ballcap and barely anything else.

But I want to tell you that it’s a stumbling block in our marriage.

When I scroll through my news feed, my thumb moves in a continuous circular motion until something catches my eye and I want to look closer. And then I tap on the picture and make that little swipe with my thumb and pointer finger so I can zoom in just as close as I can to capture all the details.

I’m especially bad about this when there is a line of bathing suits in the pic. AND I’M A GIRL.

Mostly I’m looking at your legs asking myself, How are there seriously people without cellulite????

And then I continue scrolling through my feed until something else seems interesting.

I doubt my husband is so lucky. Actually, I know it’s next to impossible to take in images like those and erase them from his mind. Because our men are much less emotional and are much more visual. And as quickly as I can forget your picture, it is filed away in his mind, ready to be pulled back out whenever he so chooses.

Again, I am not faulting you. And by no means am I faulting him. This man of mine diverts his eyes from whatever questionable images flash on the screen before him. But sometimes the temptation is too much.

After Memorial Day, I noticed so much skin on social media that I half-yelled a warning to him as I ran out the door one morning. It’s summertime, honey! Beware the beach pics and half nude girls on Instagram! And like that, he was in solitary confinement from all virtual community for the next two days.

Protecting his eyes, protecting his heart.

I know you don’t mean anything by it. But I need to share one more thing with you.

When your bare shoulders and stretchmark-less bellies and tanned legs pop up, I not only worry if my husband will linger over your picture. I worry how he will compare me to you.

As I wrap myself into his arms at night, I wonder if he is seeing you there instead of my mess of a body left over from pregnancy. I wonder if he thinks I’m lazy and that I don’t take good care of myself. I wonder if he wishes I looked more like you than who I really am.

And then the insecurity monster comes back to bite at our relationship again…me, begging for affirmation, and him tiring from saying the same thing over and over.

So, I get it. You’re on vacation and you want people to know. You’re hanging out with your girlfriends and want to remember the moment. You had so much fun at the lake and you love your new *modest* bathing suit.

Can I say it one more time? I’m not judging you.

But would you, could you, keep your boobs out of my marriage? You can have your memories, and we can have our sacred hearts. And we can all get along in beautiful harmony.

Thanks, love. I think we’ll all be better for it.

  • Autumn Cookie Raper

    Well said!

  • Amy Thomas

    Amen,Amen, Amen, I wish this could be printed and given to all. Churches included. Sorry but true.

  • Kristi ‘Jackson’ Roque

    This is so amazing. I feel like you jumped in my mind and took out these words. Everyone. Lauren seriously you are amazing and gorgeous! Love

  • Pamela Glenn Brown

    Thank you! How many times I’ve said the same thing, but in my head. Thank you for saying it aloud!

  • Bridget Doyle Hurst

    Love!!!

  • Mary Kate

    I always love reading your blog, but this post got an “Amen” from me because you were bold enough to say what everyone else is thinking. It’s hard enough not to compare ourselves to those “perfect” bodies on our newsfeed.. We shouldn’t have to be hoping we are the only one making the comparison.

  • Doris Ann Harris Fitts

    I agree with Amy! We have allowed way too much skin in publications and TV

  • Meg Guerrier

    I don’t even have my boobs out or belly out. But if I did, it’s my responsibility to protect your husband from viewing me when he’s holding you at night? Come on. Seriously. It’s not his responsibility to, oh I don’t know…Control himself? Lets take all responsibility off of men, treat them like uncontrollable sexual beings and have another woman who may not know your husband at all, control his thoughts through her dress.

  • Natalie Eubank Dill

    While I am all for modesty & keeping our bodies as God’s temple, I do not think you should blame the immodesty of others for insecurities within your marriage. Social media has plenty of problems, but a beautiful part of it is that you can control a lot of what you see. If you follow people who post things that would make you stumble, unfollow them, same goes for your husband. A few things could seep through the cracks, I’ll admit, but you can easily choose the “I don’t want to see posts like this” option instead of clicking the photo and enhancing for further study. If God led you to your husband and he chose you as his wife, you should feel confident enough in God’s and your husband’s love and faithfulness to overcome your physical insecurities. No matter how many times you say you are not judging people for posting immodest pictures, this post does just that, exemplified by the fact that you had to write multiple times that you were not judging others. Please attempt to take control of removing the boobs, and any other social media stumbling blocks, from your marriage, and focus your energy on loving and sharing God’s good news instead of backhanded judgments. You are beautiful and God loves you. Give you insecurities to Him and become unburdened.

  • Brianna Lee Daniel

    I’m definitely going to agree with Meg on this. The only person who can be held accountable for what your husband looks at is your husband. If you do believe that he is “comparing you” to the other women he sees then maybe he should be responsible enough to not follow the women who supposedly lead him astray.

  • Brianna Lee Daniel

    Honestly…this whole post screams, “I’m insecure so please don’t let my husband look at your body, because he can’t control himself nor can he regulate who he follows on social media!!”

  • Romana Dian

    So really, this is an artical on slut shaming? I have to dress more modestly so your husband wont get dirty thoughts? I’m all for modesty BUT no one should ever make ANY girl feel guitly about how her body makes other people feel. Your body, your rules.

  • Jessica Noel Hickey

    I just had this conversation with my husband and a few girls we mutually share on fb. Some of them however are seeking attention and could care less if they get it fr a married man. In fact, they enjoy that more! It’s about guarding ourselves and if someone can’t guard their own body and have respect for themselves, they certainly won’t for you. So delete button it is!

  • Patrick Gray

    As a man I can understand where your coming from. However to me it sounds like there are some insecurities in your marriage. Sorry if you take offence to that or I’m out of line for saying it.

  • Kelly French

    I really respect your honesty in not only addressing (not judging) those who feel is necessary or think nothing of showing off their new summer skin, and at the same time acknowledge the struggle us wives feel between being “us” and wanting to be that beach body dream.

  • Michelle Cox

    This is crazy, he holding you at night not my boobs… All men are going to look. If they say they don’t they’re lying. What is wrong with looking??? A womans body is an art work. meant to be admired. Please forgive me if I offend anyone, as I have kids, stretch marks, and some extra “curves” I am happy with my body and don’t mind showing off what I was blessed with. (Tastefully) Ladies if ur insecure do something to change it, be happy with urself. How can the man u love, love u if u don’t love urself? Be happy with who u are. U ate beautiful to someone… Him… He’s holding u remember!!!! Ladies if your man is comparing u to another girl, he does not I repeat does not deserve u.

  • Shauna Baker

    I’m sorry so many comments have attacked you, your husband, and your marriage. If comparing my body to other womens’ bodies means I have an insecure relationship, then I guess I’m at the top of the list. Amen to every word you said.

  • Maegan Alan Rothrock

    I guess you should also talk to your local grocery store and have the magazines at the checkout line removed? That or maybe get a gym membership and get motivated to have a body like your peers are posting?

  • Kea Watson

    Amen!!!!

  • Valerie Gilliam Speed

    Completely agree! Well, said. Respect for all those around.

  • Lauren Cupples Loeffel

    I rolled my eyes this entire blog post. I never comment negatively on anyone’s posts ever, but this is ridiculous. So do you cover your husband’s eyes while walking past Victorias Secret or ANY bra section in a store? I’m not the most secure in my body either but I’m sure as hell not gonna wear a granny suit to swim in to keep others from looking at me. Men will look and oh my God that is okay.

  • Amie Tolomeo

    Is it only the thin, pretty women that you have issue with? What about the girls you don’t find to be competition. Or guys. Or children.

    If you are wondering if your husband doesn’t find you beautiful, or isn’t committed to you, or cannot appreciate beauty elsewhere without leaving you, perhaps you should be asking him these questions instead of the women you covet. Or if not him, at least a therapist. There’s quite a few issues radiating from you here.

    I’ll admit that I’m a little irritated by your article… but overall I feel bad that you are insecure. You could look into something as simple as positive affirmations. I know it sounds silly (there’s an old SNL skit about it… but so what! It works :) ) but even something as simple as saying to the mirror every day that you are Beautiful. Worthwhile. Loved. Loving. etc. -does- actually help.

    And that feminist voice in the back of my mind is shouting, “If he doesn’t appreciate you, then to h— with him! There’s somebody out there who DOES.” (That’s for any woman doubting her man, or woman/woman… not personal against yours.)

  • Crystal Freeman

    Sounds like you need to stop being so jealous and insecure. Accept your body and embrace it. Your husband should do the same. If not then you have more issues within yourself and your marriage then a picture of a girl in a bikini.

  • Russel Lee

    My wife and I have been talking about this, and we’ve come to a unanimous conclusion: you’re an idiot.

    This article, which is judging, despite the fact you saying you’re not (think about the phrase “I’m not racist, but…”), only reinforces anti-feminist rhetoric that results in women tearing down other women because you’re expected to fight among yourselves instead of being a way to elevate each other.

    This is an attack on your fellow women for your own insecurities or your blatant distrust of your husband, whom you do not hold accountable for anything in this regard. You lift the mantle of burden and blame onto all women like modern Eves and Delilahs instead of holding men accountable for their actions.

    What the hell is wrong with you that you can’t even see this?

  • Chris Evans Callaway

    I’m going to have to agree with the other commenters here. Sex and immodesty is everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I know my husband notices things. And I can honestly say I have no concerns. He may very well notice a girl in a bikini has a great body. The reason this is no threat to me is I know how my husband feels about me, and no one in a bikini compares to me. I agree with modesty, but I cannot control whether someone elects to abide by this. I also cannot control whether or not my husband looks. I do have faith in him that he knows what he has right here at home, no matter how many boobs are in his face. My suggestion is for the two of you to work on trust, and how you value yourself. I’d love to look great in even a one piece bathing suit, but the fact that I don’t, and likely won’t, doesn’t make me feel any less important to my husband nor does it make any other woman on this earth a threat to my marriage.

  • Anna Ingle

    Thank you for writing what I feel!

  • Jen Tuck

    The point is, I think, that it does not do anyone any good for pictures of us in bathing suits that cover less than our under garments (in some cases) to be put out there where anyone can view them.

  • Taylor Paige Daniel

    This kind of blog post is a legitimate problem. I’m sorry if you get offended by whatever you might call immodesty but your marriage and insecurities fall under the responsibility of you and your husband, not the people you both CHOOSE to follow on social media. Every “I’m not judging” in this post only says “I don’t mean to judge, buuuut that is definitely what I’m doing.”

  • Don Lindsay

    I love the beauty God created. I believe there is some beauty, like my wife’s body, that is made for my eyes only.

  • Jon Sharman

    And as someone who introduces your husband as a “hunk” rather than as kind, caring, sweet, generous, thoughtful, you’ve got quite a nerve bemoaning the glorification of physical attributes.

  • Sarah Lees Hyde

    Wow this blog is a bit much.. all women are insecure in one way or another but this is just silly. She’s a beautiful girl that seems to have some demons she should work out instead of attacking ALL women.

  • Katie Beth McCarthy

    Thank you, Lauren!!! Love this….and you! I agree totally.

  • Rebecca Eakes

    The only person who can solve your insecurity is you. No one is going to do it for you. The only person who can control your husbands thoughts is your husband. You can’t do it for him.

  • Brian Eustice

    So let me get this straight…. because you are insecure, you want to censor everyone else. If you get worked up that easily (bikini pics), you don’t have any trust in your marriage. You should be embarrassed.

  • Jaide Wardlaw

    Sorry, but you need some sort of counseling. The only people involved in your marriage are you and your husband. Men are going to check women out even if they’re happily married and think their wife is the hottest thing on the planet. Honestly, you need to get over it because there is nothing as unattractive as someone insecure. Also like someone else mentioned, your line of thinking is getting dangerously similar to the same line of thought as the rape culture. “Men are unable to control themselves, so it’s up to the women to dress or act differently so as not to incite a man. It’s always the woman’s fault.”

  • Christie Stratton

    All of these hateful comments are exactly what is wrong with this world. Every where you look simeone’s boobs or butt are hanging out. You can be attractive, sexy, beautiful, etc. Without letting it all hang out. Men are very visual and no matter how great of a marriage or how passionate a marriage you have ALL men get images stuck in their head. For some men its not a big deal but for alot of men it is a big deal. I can’t control social media (I unfollow those things I dont want to see) but it would be nice to go out to eat, shopping, to the park, etc with out all the skin. I dont want to see it, I dont want my 6 year old son seeing it, nor my daughter or husband. Be confident in your body, but save the skin for your home!

  • Susan Kibre

    This blog post is more of an indictment of being raised in a “modesty” environment than anything else. You equate your worth with your looks. If a sacred wedding vow doesn’t reassure you that your are more than your physical appearance to your husband, then nothing will. I truly think you could benefit with talking to a therapist – I mean that sincerely.

  • Brian VanDeMark

    As a man, I find this utterly insulting.

  • Melissa Floyd

    Your insecurities are seriously clouding your judgement. Your insecurities are your problem, not other women. You don’t live yourself so you assume that nobody else, like your husband, could possibly love you and respect you enough either. So, another woman is proud of her flat belly and cellulite free legs. Good for her! Bet she works her ass off for that hot bod! Don’t want to see it? Unfirend her. But YOU need to be proud of your stretch marks! They are a reminder that your body, your amazing body, grew a human being!!! Your cellulite? Yeah, instead of spending hours at the gym, you chose to dedicate that time to reading your child an extra story or spend extra time snuggling with your husband. That cellulite is testimony to your dedication to your family. That jiggly midsection? So, you enjoy cake. Who DOESN’T enjoy cake?! A life of nothing but kale and celery sticks is a life half lived if you aren’t enjoying all of the tasty pastries!!
    Live yourself. Trust your husband. And don’t blame anyone else of your husband has a gander at beauty.

  • Gibbitt Rhys-Jones

    If you are so concerned that your husband is going to see me, in a bikini, a) what are you doing allowing him to be on the internet, because, obviously you don’t trust your man to be a major have a healthy sexual appetite, or b) did you forget the saying” the internet is for porn”? You keep saying “I’m not blaming you” then you turn around and say “please keep your half naked bodies away from my marriage” no. Those two statements don’t fit together. So,quit your shaming, and realize that your husband is a man, and treat him like one. Maybe THAT’S what is wrong with your marriage.

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  • Ali H

    Oh honey. Honey honey. Your insecurities are not anyone else’s problem, nor should they be. You’re giving your man a complex, you do realize that? By being hyper focused on the bodies of others, and anxiety of the impact that may or may not have on your husband’s mind, you’re creating a HUGE chip on his shoulder about you. I know this incredibly well, because I was in his shoes not even a year ago. He loves you – he loves you enough to have chosen you out of the world of women he had around him. He committed to YOU, not what you could be but what you are, and he loves you enough to claim you in front of God and everyone. That *needs* to be enough. It’s not him that puts the internet, full of half naked (and let’s face it, totally naked) women in front of us every day, between you; it isn’t the people on the internet enjoying the sharing of their lives that are getting between you and a healthy relationship with your husband; YOU are putting them between the two of you by allowing your anxiety to flourish. I’m saying this not to judge you – this is me reaching out to help you, as someone whose relationship was decimated over the course of 11 years by behavior like this. Let it go – let all the worries about being inadequate fall away in the face of knowing beyond all else that he chose *YOU*, for you, and because he loves you. When someone loves you, it means they don’t care about what ever parades in front of you in skimpy clothing. It means that you’re worth more than anyone else in this world, and you don’t want to push that love away.

  • A Realist

    wow SMFH
    do you seriously treat your husband like that??? i have no idea how he puts up with you. not allowing him to look at social media like he is a small child? you sound completely crazy, and i wouldnt be surprised if one day he gets tired of it and leaves

  • A Realist

    Ok..after some consideration i may have been too harsh. I do feel sorry for you, so here is some advice. If you feel you are a little bigger than your husband likes, get an exercise routine and eating plan. if you are fine the way you are, go buy some sexy lingerie, send the kids to grandmas house for a weekend, cook him his favourite meal, and give him his EVERY desire! pleasure him like its your last day on earth, and i can guarantee he wont stray!
    acting like a prudish shrew from the 1800s is only going to turn him away from you.

  • Wesley Hurd

    Quick question: why is your husband on Instagram

  • Joey

    “I’d totally flaunt myself if I the sort of body you have, but I don’t, so please don’t do what I would do if I had the body you do.” Get over yourself. Your discomfort is your problem, not theirs, and it is not their job to assuage your insecurity. The fact that you seem to have been continually deleting the comments of people who disagree with you proves that you clearly can’t handle criticism, either real or imagined. I feel sorry for you and your husband that you have such a dysfunctional self-image.

  • Gopher Yourself

    Holy denial, batman! Let’s get one thing perfectly straight- Social media is NOT the problem here. Temptation has existed in infinite forms since the dawn of man. The internet has made these temptations more accessible, sure, but the accessibility of the temptation has no bearing on an individual’s response (in this case, your husband’s). If your husband can’t log onto social media sites without being tempted by other women, then he can’t walk down the street without being tempted, either- and neither of these temptations are the fault of the tempters. Beautiful women are everywhere, and that’s something you’re just going to have to learn to cope with. The problem here is not temptation, the problem is your extremely unhealthy insecurity. And let’s be clear again: that is YOUR problem. Not your husband’s, not Instagram’s. Moreover, what’s especially disturbing is the fact that you seemed to have convinced yourself that the fault somehow lies with the females who use social media to share their lives (the healthiness of our modern social media craze/over-sharing is a topic for another day). Let’s simplify this a bit- if your husband had an affair with another woman, would you blame your husband or would you blame his mistress? Because by the logic you present in this posting, it seems you would blame the mistress. Well, unfortunately that’s not the way the world works. Your husband is the one who made a commitment to you, no one else. The mistress in this example has no obligation to you as a person, and nor should she. If your husband cannot remain loyal through some inherent aspect of his character or personality, then you should realize this and find someone else. However, as it seems your husband has yet to actually be unfaithful, you’re just being proactively paranoid. Although, if you keep up the attitude you display in this post, I’m sure it won’t be long before he finds his way to someone else. It sounds like you are absolutely suffocating him with your self-esteem issues. You mention your “warning” to him over memorial day weekend, that sounds to me like less of a warning and more of a threat, a la your next sentence expressing some type multiple-day social media ban. This mindset seems reminiscent of an over-protective mother sheltering her child to the point of provoking the very behavior she wished to shelter from. Your phrase: “protecting his eyes, protecting his heart” is the most deluded thing I’ve heard in a while. You’re not protecting anyone (as if that were even possible, which it’s not); you’re hurting yourself AND your husband. Oh, the irony. The only thing your husband needs protecting from is your psychotic projections of your own insecurities. It seems as if you wrote this in an attempt to convince yourself that you are justified in your feelings. Unfortunately, I hope that it has become apparent to you that you are not. Your self-esteem is your own responsibility, and if you lack self-esteem (you do) then rest assured that the problem is much, MUCH deeper than your husband browsing Instagram. If you have issues with self-image, maybe you should see a therapist. However, if you continue with this line of thinking then I’m sure you will not have to wait long to watch your marriage crumble around you.

  • Gopher Yourself

    You’re so self-centered that you seem to be totally unaware of the fact that this entire post is about you asking society as a whole to pander to your self-esteem issues. Couple that with your disclaimer which touches on how you “hope we can all help each other out” regarding this issue, and you have pure comedic gold (unintentional comedy, but still). The mere fact of how much negative attention this article has received should be enough to allow you to re-evaluate your outlook, but you apparently would rather remain in denial. I mean don’t get me wrong, I totally understand how convenient and self-serving it would be if we could all blame our personal problems on the society around us. That would be great. Especially seeing as I’m a person with a history of substance abuse issues, it sure would be nice if I could just blame society for all of my terrible decisions and alleviate myself of any personal responsibility. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, at least not in the minds of the sane and reasonable. If you have issues with your self-image then those are YOUR issues for YOU to work on. It is not your husband’s job to babysit your ego. Nor is it his job to be constantly reassuring you of your physical attractiveness (also, ironic that for someone so against superficial judgment of body image you call your husband a ‘hunk’). Also this article is just filled to the brim with the bullshit ‘purity/modesty’ rhetoric; you know about how men are just mindless drooling animals who can’t help themselves but to just go wild at even the slightest scent of a female being nearby- and all that the baby jesus has ever wanted is for every man to have a good strong woman in their lives to censor what they should and should not look at, lest they be met with a marriage in shambles. The irony of this rhetoric is that this line of thinking is probably responsible for an exponentially greater amount of dysfunctional marriages than bikini pics on social media. If your husband has stayed with you through dating, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, etc then chances are he loves you and is committed to you. However, no amount of love or commitment will rival the mental torture he seems to endure due to you projecting your self-esteem issues onto everyone but yourself. You will absolutely drive your husband to the hills if you keep up your pity party. Guess what? If you’re unsatisfied with your self-image, then DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT. Whether that be a mental change to be more comfortable and accepting of yourself, or a physical change via exercise and dieting. But don’t just whine and cry on the internet about how everyone has a perfect body except you, and because of that they should not post pictures on social media! In this article, you have basically said, “If I had a hot body, I would show it off on the internet. But I don’t, so please don’t do what I would do if I did.”

  • Grace Lady

    You may be looking at these half naked women more than your husband. Something would be wrong with him if he looked away. People look at each other and if anyone, male or female, walk by in a bathingsuit, we look. Women compare or admire, men image complete nudity. It’s the natural response. Your husband would be guilty of disrespecting you if he ran up and talked to the bikini woman or openly compared you to her or made a comment that insulted your body. And we all know people can be guilty of verbal abuse. Equally, a women can be verbally abusive by accusing their mate of lusting or looking and may get downright bossy about what that mate can or cannot do. Basically, trust your husband unless he has proven himself to be unfaithful or abusive. Then act in the appropriate way to seek help for a marriage in trouble.