Among the many things I wondered about during much of my marriage is whether I’ve been beautiful. Although I didn’t love the way I looked early in our marriage, I knew I looked good enough and sexy enough.

By the time I finally got around to changing how I approached the sexual intimacy in our marriage, however, it was a different story. After twenty years, three kids, and a whole lot of extra weight, I knew absolutely that I didn’t look good or sexy enough to be sexually appealing anymore. I knew that one of the things my husband wanted was to see my naked body. He would tell me I was beautiful—but I was pretty sure that was only because he hadn’t gotten a good look in a long time. If he had any idea how I looked, he wouldn’t really want to see me.

Through my own eyes

I stood in front of the mirror, naked, holding a blanket up in front of the most offensive parts of my body (tummy and lady parts). Even with those covered, I saw stretch marks, sagging, dry skin, and rolls that I didn’t want. Blech. How can I begin to feel sexy in this body? I dropped the blanket and stared at myself in all my so-called glory. Ew. This is what he is always wanting to see naked? Why? What is wrong with him that this is what he likes? He says I’m beautiful and sexy, but since that obviously not true, he’s only saying them because he wants sex. Ugh.

I knew by looking at my own body that when my husband told me I was beautiful, he was lying. Or he was ignorant of what beauty was. Or he wanted something from me. I would hear, “You’re beautiful,” and I would feel my hurt bubble up inside me.

Big Guy was giving me a compliment, and I rejected it and held it against him. Didn’t he ever see other women who were pretty by conventional standards? I knew he saw them on TV and movies. How could I take him seriously when he said I was beautiful?

How could I learn to deal with this enough that I could get comfortable having him see my body as he wanted to?

Through a husband’s eyes

One of the many things that has changed in our marriage is that now I know, without a doubt, that I am beautiful to my husband.

But how do I know this? How is it possible that I look in the mirror and see the fat, the stretch marks, and the sagging, and my husband doesn’t?

I love the way Paul explains it in Really, You Look Great to Him at The XY Code.

“When we look at the woman we loved enough to marry, we see so much more. We see the woman who cares for us when we are sick. We see the woman who believed in us when we doubted ourselves. We see the woman who shares her mind and body in so many wonderful ways. We see the mother of our children. We see the only woman we want. Because of all this, we see a deep beauty no mirror can reflect.”

My husband thinks I’m beautiful because I am his wife. He looks at me and sees my heart. He sees our life together.  He sees . . . me.

Does that mean he doesn’t see my stretch marks and the sagging? You know what? I think my husband does see them—but he doesn’t see them as faults in the way that I do. He sees me not just in terms of who I am and have been to him, but also in terms of what he has experienced with my body. I see breasts that sag; he sees breasts that have pillowed him. I see stretch marks; he sees signs that I grew his children within my body. I see the fat; he sees the body that has cradled him and invited him in.

His wife’s body is the one with which a man associates extreme pleasure and intimacy. No other woman can hold a candle to a man’s wife, because no other woman’s body is associated with his sex life. Our husbands want to see our bodies because we are their wives, with whom they have shared great pleasure and a whole lot of life.

I am his

I am nothing to look at, really. I would turn no other man’s head–but my husband knows that everything he sees on my bountiful body, as it were, is his. He knows that he is the only one who sees it, touches it, and experiences it. Mine is the body he plays with. Mine is the body that plays with his body. He knows that he is the only man who has seen and experienced me in my full sexual glory as a wife.

When I look at my body, I see stretch marks, rolls where I don’t want them, dry skin, and the effects of gravity. My husband looks at my body and sees this. Other women have perkier breasts than I do–but they are absolutely nothing to the ones he gets to touch–mine. Mine are the best breasts in the world to Big Guy.

You are beautiful

It is easy to question it when our husbands tell us that we’re beautiful. Not only do we know how we really look, we may see that our husbands notice other women who are much closer to our culture’s standard of beauty. A man should choose to bounce his eyes away—but whether he does or not, we find it far too tempting to compare ourselves to those other women.

We wonder, Am I beautiful enough?

You may find it hard to believe, but you are enough to your husband. You are his wife. You are the most beautiful woman in the world to him. And you know what? The more he is able to enjoy your body and see it, the more beautiful you will become in his eyes.

You are beautiful.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you’re seeking courage to let your husband enjoy your beauty, check out these two wonderful recent posts from J at Hot, Holy, & Humorous:

You might also want to take a look at some of my own related posts:

Image courtesy of Aleksa D /

Shared at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum

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28 Thoughts on “Beautiful?

  1. Awesome! Yes he DOES mean every word when he calls you, his wife, “beautiful”!

  2. Your husband is not alone. I too see the most beautiful woman in the world when I look at my wife. Not only is she beautiful but see is very sexy and desired. Father Time has taken his toll; Mother Nature has left her mark, but none of that matters to me.

    Great post.

    Ya’ gotta believe and return the love. We husbands have mirror too…

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  4. What do you do if your husband doesn’t like your body and tells you so?

    • 🙁 This would be a real challenge for any woman. I would suggest to cling to Psalm 139:14 that says, ” I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Being able to see myself through my husband’s eyes has helped me see myself as God sees me–and ultimately, that is more important.

      I would have to wonder what a husband who says this is struggling with in terms of his own insecurity or sin. As hurtful as his words surely are, pray for his heart to be aligned with God’s design for husbands.

      Do you have an experienced Chrisian wife you can share your burden with for some real-life encouragement and support?

  5. This was terrific! Thank you for sharing your personal journey with this.

  6. David on April 9, 2014 at 7:53 am said:

    Spot on. You summed it all up in one post. Sadly, there seems to be a direct connection between low self-esteem about beauty and the ability to take joy in sexual pleasure for my wife. I wish she could understand how beautiful she is, along with all of her wonderful parts, are to me, and how much I enjoy time spent in her garden playground.

    • Yes, I think there is a direct connection for a lot of us. Even now, I often catch myself starting to launch into the “I’m too . . . ” or “I’m not enough . . . ” mental messages. Keep encouraging your wife (and see the tips in J’s post I linked in the comment right above yours).

  7. I was actually going to do a post title What Beauty Husbands See but I believe I will share yours instead of mine. Maybe I will post mine later.

    I wish my wife would have believed me when I told her she was beautiful. I used to walk in while she was taking a shower, open the curtain and say Hello beautiful. Her response always hurt me…where. It just hurt me knowing she didn’t see herself as beautiful when I did. Thank you for being so open and honest. Hopefully with this post more wives will truly believe their husbands because what we see IS beauty.

    • I do hope you post yours at some point. This is the kind of thing that is so much more powerful coming from a man. It’s hard for me to understand how I hurt my husband when I didn’t believe him. I didn’t know how to see through his eyes.

    • It’s hard to believe your husband when you know, in all honesty, you are not even in the same ballpark as “beautiful”. I hate when my husband says I’m beautiful. It’s painful. After all, I have a mirror.

      • You are beautiful! When we look in the mirror, our eyes see the things we dislike and compare us to other women. Our husbands, however, see our bodies so differently. To your husband, your beauty includes all that he loves about you–body and heart.

        I am not beautiful by any of the world’s standards–yet my husband is sometimes dazzled by my beauty. Let your husband be the mirror where your beauty is reflected. Choose to believe him. God designed our husbands’ eyes to see what we cannot.

        • David on May 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm said:

          I make it a point to tell my wife how beautiful she is to me every day. She usually denies that she is expressing displeasure with her allure, despite the fact that she pretty much has the same stunning and youthful figure that she had when we married 28 years ago. I think that she is incredible. In Proverbs God instructed husbands to “rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love.” Why is it so hard for a wife to believe that HER husband is actually entralled with her physical and sexual beauty? For those of us men who are satisfied with our wife and sexually excited by their beauty, it is tremendously frustrating when she responds cooly or negatively, and it actually makes me wonder whether it is my inability to excite HER that is the real issue. Wives – it is sexy for you to act sexy!

        • I wish I could explain why, but my husband’s attraction to me had nothing to do with my own body image issues. I’ve had to work really hard in this area. I still don’t think I’m beautiful outside the bedroom, but I finally believe that in the bedroom, I’m drop-dead gorgeous.

  8. IntimacySeeker on April 9, 2014 at 11:00 am said:

    Kudos to the husbands who tell their wives they are beautiful. My husband has used the word “beautiful” twice in 33.5 years of marriage. I see him light up when Vanna White comes on the screen when we watch WOF, and over the years, he has verbalized his appreciation of other women’s beauty without reservation. So even though I believe him, I know I’m not the only woman he finds beautiful. This is why Chris’ explanation means so much to me. She points out why I am set apart in my husband’s eyes. I am so grateful for this insight!

  9. My my, you are getting it!
    Sexy has so little to do with how the body looks. I realise media tells us otherwise, but they lie.

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  11. Your husband is right! And in this case his opinion is the most important one. If he thinks you are beautiful, hot, and sexy, then you are! Enjoy his view of you! (Besides it is a whole lot better than women who have the other problem, that their husbands want them to look like the girls they see on TV or worse the Internet Porn sites.)

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  15. If we as wives can truly learn to accept this truth, I think it will transform marriages. Imagine the pain a husband feels to see cringing and embarrassment, or worse yet, hear words of denial when he expresses his appreciation of his wife’s body.

    If he says I’m beautiful, who am I to call my husband a liar? I may not agree, but then again, there’s a reason for the old saying that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and no where in life is that more appropriate than in marriage.

    Way to go Chris…I hope this sets a lot of women free.

  16. This is beautiful. <3 I have had similar sentiments to you. To me, my body looks silly. Definitely far from what is a stereotypically beautiful body. My younger self fought it like the plague; yet i still never felt beautiful or sexy. My older self chooses (do my best) to fully accept it for what God made it to be; whatever he wants my healthy body to be. I always used to have trouble believing my husband when he told me i was perfect and beautiful and sexy when in the mirror i have a small chest, a large stomach, weird proportions (and it's probably the best it's getting as i'm in my 20s)… but i believe my husband now and feel comfortable accepting that. And that is beautiful. And he probably wouldn't look like a male model to others, but to me he is the sexiest ever. Sexy and beautiful is so much more than looking a certain way… I think a bit part of it is giving of yourself to someone who loves you and you love them…

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