HOW to Feel Sexier

As a follow-up to this morning’s post, here are a few ideas for what you can do to feel like a desirable woman!!

I hope you guys will think of some ideas to add, too…  🙂  🙂  🙂 

1. DON’T RELY ON YOUR SPOUSE TO MAKE YOU FEEL CONFIDENT, BEAUTIFUL, OR DESIRED. My dear readers…..this is the most important thing I could pass onto regarding this subject. I’ve learned this the very hard way…..but I now know that this stuff is only real & lasting if you own. it. for.yourself. Now, it’s wonderful if a spouse does offer reassurance to you….but it’s best if you don’t put the pressure on them to be the sole provider of your confidence! 🙂 Be accountable for this. Learn to feel good about yourself with or without the reassurance of others. Take any compliments as icing on the cake. 🙂

Don’t get sucked in. You set your own standard! 🙂 Don’t get preoccupied with comparing yourself to magazines, movies, or social media friends. You are a woman. You are beautiful. You are enough just as you are.

3. GET READY.  Just a clean outfit and mascara can do wonders for the way you feel about yourself.  When you’re dressed up, you act different.  It changes how you feel and what you do.  You’re willing to get close.  

4. WEAR PERFUME!  This is a quick way to just do something extra.  And since I’m crawling into bed with vinegar on my face these days…well, the perfume or hand lotion comes in handy.  When you’re not worried about how you smell, you’re a little more comfortable in your own skin!

5. EXERCISE.  I am telling you, walking fast, running or exercise of ANY kind can make you feel sexier & more vibrant in just one or two days.  I know I’m always talking about it…but it really works.  Try it.  And, I think feeling athletic even a tiny bit can improve your coordination 🙂 🙂

6. BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE YOUR HUSBAND’S WOMAN – After years go by and women age, have kids, etc…it may be easy to start to believe that you no longer fit the bill.  But, he’s with YOU.  He likely works hard everyday for you.  He likely gets dressed and takes care of things for you.  He maybe has had children with you.  YOU are his woman.  So feel desiredBecause you are….

7. SMILE– this is probably the quickest way to feel desirable & radiant & good about yourself.  You can do this instantly.  🙂

8. MAKE YOUR HOME LOVELY –  One’s sex life usually takes place in your home, right?  So make it a place you feel good about.  For me, I love it when our home is clean and I love the feeling of crawling into crisp, clean sheets.  So whatever does it for you…..make your home & bedroom inviting & fresh.

9. DO THE INNER WORK – Take this seriously.  Learn to be happy & to feel beautiful REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES!  And that means even if you need to lose some weight or if you lost your hair, etc…. FEEL BEAUTIFUL RIGHT NOW.  Because you are! 

(Photo Source:  popartuk)

Now for your turn….What makes you feel sexy/confident/beautiful??  I’d love to hear!  As women we need all the help we can get….there are just way too many influences that can make us believe we aren’t sexy enough.  LET’S TAKE BACK OUR WOMANHOOD!!  🙂 Anonymous comments welcome 🙂

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  1. eliza jane February 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    this is a really great post with really good advice. it is important for women to focus on themselves and be selfish just a little bit, and really OWN themselves!

    • Lysa Torres October 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm - Reply

      do you guys have any advise to lessen fats in the tummy ? it look awful 🙁

  2. Petie February 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    I think you hit it out of the park with number 6. I have been married for 29 years, and believe this more and more. What a great post. Love your blog and all your thoughts.

  3. Rik February 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Sometimes I don't feel sexy with my extra skin, curves, and stretch marks (I swear there are millions!! :)) from having a baby. But my husband loves it all! He chose me, he loves my body and my "imperfections". The trick really is to love yourself the way you are.

    I feel sexy with a clean face, brushed teeth, shaved legs, and perfume. If you want the best sex, give your best self!! (Same for husbands… nothing is worse than red blotchy marks all over from his scruffy face on my body!)

    • mara February 28, 2012 at 3:12 am - Reply

      Rik – I always love your thoughts…thank you…

    • Rik March 1, 2012 at 12:02 am - Reply

      Thanks, Mara. Sometimes I feel silly commenting a lot because I don't want to come across weird or arrogant. It's hard communicating expression through the internet! Anyway, I'll keep commenting anyway because I just love you two!

  4. Someone In Mind February 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    This is a FABULOUS post.

  5. brooke February 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Loooove this post and I agree with all of your tips especially exercise. I also would add that it is okay to spend money on new jeans, get your hair done…anything that makes you feel better about you will translate to feeling sexy and better sex!

  6. The wife of a porn addict February 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    My husband is a porn/sex addict. I read your post as well as the one previous. It's difficult to understand how to feel sexy regardless of my current circumstances. I feel ugly and unwanted when I think that my husband chose to look at porn throughout our marriage and hide it from me. Number 6 -believe that you are your husbands woman. That has not been the case in my relationship. He has thousands of others that are more physically attractive than I am. I have followed your blog-read that it's possible to feel worth, love and happy under any circumstances. I am trying to do that-but feel like I am fighting a battle every day and I feel like I'm losing that battle. At the end of the day I feel worthless, like I have failed, and unattractive as I try to wrap my head around my own insecurities as well as what my husband has done as a sex addict. There is so much pain. That can't just be buried under-"I'm going to be happy and stuff all the yuck." The pain-it is healed through the atonement-but not quickly. Where is the place in hour posts for pain, for agony of soul when circumstances hurt? You speak of learning of better days of what you have learned, but it seems that you discount those that are searching for peace in current circumstances and struggling to find it. That readers need to figure out how to be happy in what they are dealing with in life-no matter what. I ask again-what about the pain? What about the circumstances that don't follow the 9 steps you listed for feeling beautiful and sexy? You have a strong faith-and you teach/write about true principles. You and Danny both do a good job. Sometimes though I read your blog-have read about your past and your marriage struggles-and read about what you write now. And it seems that for you the pain has passed and you are able to write about the beauty in the present. It seems that empathy for those struggling in present pain is lost in the lists. I also understand that someone struggling to find peace in circumstances less than ideal will tend to feel overwhelmed by lists-even when those lists are intended to help replace pain with peace. Just my thoughts.

    • Nora February 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      All these thoughts resonate with me, so much. It's amazing how much someone else's choices for adultery, pornography, and selfishness can burden us and weigh us down and almost break us. I was where you are, and remember so freshly the thoughts of feeling less than dirt, of knowing my husband didn't care about ME, or about anything but his own desires for escape, for things that ARE NOT REAL.


      And that makes you powerful, even when you don't even want to open your eyes in the morning because your day will be hellish and tedious and full of pain. I KNOW THAT PAIN. I know it nags at you, takes everything away and makes even breathing hard. You can rise above it. His issues are just that: HIS ISSUES. His desire for porn and darkness are HIS PROBLEM. They are NOT your fault. I cannot emphasize that enough. Once (after years and years) I realized that, I felt FREE. It took a long time, and it was a serious emotional effort and process, but I realized NO, THIS IS NOT MY PROBLEM. I can love him anyway, and be supportive, but I don't have to make his burdens mine. I started doing what I loved, spending time with people that lifted me up, and working to create emotional distance from his problems. I chose to be happy because I remembered who I was, and who I was had nothing to do with my husband's addictions. You are amazing. The fact that you're loyal, that you can FEEL the pain is a miracle in and of itself. My husband got so into it that he stopped feeling. Be glad that you can feel. That pain resonates with so, SO many people. I know how you feel, even though I don't even know your name. Feel the pain. Don't bury it. It can free you. Rely on God. Say little prayers all the time for help feeling strong, beautiful, capable, and important. Like it says in The Help: "You is smart. You is kind. You is IMPORTANT." I am rooting for you to move forward and find beauty in the pain you feel. Sending love your way.

    • danny February 28, 2012 at 12:39 am - Reply

      Wife – you've given me a lot to think about. Please know that we have you in mind when we write, but as you said, we also have in mind others whose current difficulties aren't as raw as you've described. There are some posts that are largely directed to the most amount of people – this post is probably one of them – then there are others that are written in an effort to discuss the very real pain we too had to overcome to feel the way we do now. You'd probably find some of those posts when we speak of infertility, and some of Mara's earliest posts. I'll be the first to admit, not every post we write can deal with the heaviest of burdens we are all called to bare.

      That being said, maybe I can share a few brief insights. We may now have a wonderful relationship, a great partnership, shared visions and goals, etc…but infertility is still something we have to choose how we will respond to, each and every day. Take a look around the internet at what most people write about Infertility. It's not always too pretty, for very understandable reasons. Infertility, especially for women, strikes to the core of a human being's identity, of what they thought life would be like and how they'd be defined, and the stark reality that they may not be able to do a dang thing to change their current situation (I imagine that sentiment rings true for your circumstances as well). So many women don't even feel like real women because of infertility (or their husband's porn use). Couple that with what many have shared (fortunately no one in our circle has said this)…that their church friends tell them they just need to have more faith and they'll get their desired children (or that had you had more faith you would have known not to marry such a man…which even if others don't say it, too often we say it to ourselves). Individuals drown in sorrow, and families crumble in the face of infertility (and porn use).

      Yet, you've noticed that is not how Mara and I deal with infertility. That we don't respond that way doesn't mean the problem isn't current and present and DAILY, and doesn't change the fact that it may be totally unchangeable (much like your situation). So every day we have to decide how we'll respond. There is no question that our previous experience with pain have prepared us for this current experience, such that much of how we handle infertility is now more like muscle memory than a daily battle.

    • danny February 28, 2012 at 12:40 am - Reply

      Continued –
      But that's the point…what we try to emphasize on this blog is the building up of muscle memory. Each of us needs to start where we are, not where someone else is. That's why even though you may not think this post applies to you, it has echoes (as do all of our posts) of the PRINCIPLES that do apply to you, and anyone else. 1) Identity – you set the standard for your worth, not someone else. 2) You choose how you will respond to people/events, even if you can't choose the actual circumstances. 3) Those choices are summed up in the battle of fear vs. faith, self doubt and insecurity vs. hope and confidence, and bitterness and anger at others/God/yourself vs. love/compassion/patience with all (including yourself).

      That's what I LOVE about what Nora wrote above, and Punky below (by the way, if they hadn't written what they did, I probably would have started there instead of where I did go). I'm glad they said it because their experience seems closer to your own, especially Nora's. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how Nora chose to respond, every single word of it.

      If you need additional sources, check out this blog and this blog from readers of ours who have written with circumstances very similar to your own. They are very much IN the pain instead of past it…and yet you'll find that there moments of comfort come from the same places ours came from. They, and you, are learning to build muscle memory to solidify what has worked for them into consistent behavior, just like we had to do.

      I wish you all the best in the world! Every word of encouragement Nora and Punky gave I echo (I'd rewrite it but this is already too long).

    • christina February 28, 2012 at 1:40 am - Reply

      So, the idea of "feeling sexy" isn't something that I personally struggle with. So I was able to enjoy this post without any feelings of resistance. But there are definitely topics on which I, too, am not open to receiving extremely positive, rah-rah advice. For example, I have a hard time with the countless "Take Charge of Your Career!" articles that are targeted to my demographic (twentysomething women). I'm always like, "But I just want to be a stay-at-home MOM! I don't even want a career, so how can I possibly 'take charge' of this stupid thing that I don't even want?!" And then I get angry because the article is a sore reminder that my "career" is a total waste of my time and that I'm nowhere near ready to have babies. This is just to say: I HEAR YOU.

      Have you heard of Abraham Hicks (a spiritual teacher)? Abraham teaches about the "emotional guidance scale." At the top of the scale is "Joy" and "Empowerment." At the bottom of the scale is "Despair" and "Powerlessness." Guess what's in the middle? "Insecurity, "Jealously," and "Rage," among other negative emotions. Abraham teaches that people cannot actually go from "Despair" to "Joy" without working their way through the emotional scale. In your case, it seems like you feel pretty powerless about your husband's porn addition. Maybe try exploring your feelings to see if there is any rage there? If there is, you will have moved up a notch on the emotional scale! You'd be one step closer to feeling joy (joy is still pretty far away though, so there's no "pressure" to feel anything resembling joy!) It's sooo important to avoid suppressing your feelings – which we women have a tendency to do seeing as it's not considered ladylike to experience certain feelings (e.g. rage).

      OK, I could go on for another 5 paragraphs, but I'm going to make myself stop. Please just know that everyone here wants you to feel as good as possible, but don't beat yourself up for just not being there yet : )

    • danny February 28, 2012 at 1:50 am - Reply

      Beautiful! Love your input Christina. Along with everything else you wrote, I agree that it is important to not beat ourselves up if we're not there yet. Beating ourselves up is just another form of self doubt, and self loathing. One by one, the negativity must be shed to reach a state of higher and fuller joy. I love what you described as a scale…though you may be able to move beyond despair, you may find yourself now dealing with rage. And when you're done with rage, it may be bitterness, etc. Each of them must be removed to find something resembling joy, but even joy. Thanks.

    • Creole Wisdom February 28, 2012 at 4:41 am - Reply

      I want to reply to Christina. I'm the 25 year old single woman who never thought she would have a career, and now, thank God, has one. I was the college freshman who was supposed to marry before graduation and have a few kids by now, never spending hours over re-doing my resume or living with four other girls or getting dressed for job interviews. I'm so thankful for God's plan. I know the He has a divine purpose for me, and right now that's a photographer for a lifestyles magazine. I kind of joke that Heavenly Father gave me a dream job because He knows how much I'd like to be a stay-at-home-mom. Life never goes as planned, so while many of us (women in the Church) plan and hope for motherhood right out of college it sometimes doesn't happen. And that's okay, so yes, I think it's good that you take charge of your life right now. We are not living in transition.

    • Mac February 28, 2012 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Wife–I thought of you when I read this. I know you're going through a lot more than just the porn. Just wanted to send my love. I know you're working hard to uplift yourself in your situation. One step at a time, friend. Keep it up.

    • christina February 29, 2012 at 1:05 am - Reply

      Hi Creole Wisdom! I really enjoyed reading about your experience. In a strange way, it's comforting to hear that in some communities, becoming a young, stay-at-home mom is expected. It feels validating. Because living in a liberal, overly-educated, non-religious community, I am definitely expected to want anything BESIDES becoming a young, stay-at-home mom! In any case, I agree – we are NOT living in transition. For right now, we are where we are, and it's good to fully embrace the present. In fact, I have the Serenity Prayer taped to the wall next to my work computer in an attempt to remember this!

  7. Anonymous February 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Any advice for a lady whose happy with her body, yet still doesn't feel like having sex?! I'm completely (well, OK, 90%) confident about my body, and I'm lucky enough to have a boyfriend who (1) expresses appreciation for my body every day, and (2) is fantastic in the sack. But I pretty much never DESIRE sex on my own accord. I'd be very happy just cuddling for the rest of my life!

    • Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 4:28 am - Reply

      It wasn't until I'd been married for 12 years that I truly had an orgasm. Then I started to enjoy sex. Maybe read a few books (I read And They Were Not Ashamed by Laura Brotherson-a religious perspective) or consider a sex therapist. Experiencing the fuller connection that occurs with your partner during sex might change your mind. But getting professional help might be a good idea if you can't find your way there on your own.

    • Mac February 28, 2012 at 4:58 am - Reply

      I don't think you're alone. I like sex, but could easily go long periods without it. But I've noticed that when I do initiate it, I end up having lots of fun. So even though the initial desire isn't always there, it ends up worth it. So for you, I'd say just get into it by getting into it. 🙂

    • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 12:47 am - Reply

      This is Anonymous replying to Anonymous : ) I definitely have an orgasm every time my boyfriend and I make love. But it's reassuring to hear that it took 12 years for you to have an orgasm with your husband. It took me 2 years with my boyfriend and I kind of felt like a freak that it didn't happen more naturally!

      Likewise, Mac, thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. And I totally agree – I enjoy myself more when I initiate sex. I think it's because it doesn't feel like a chore (something else to check off my list) when I'm proactively giving it as opposed to fulfilling a request from my boyfriend.

    • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      I can't figure out how to have an orgasm during actual intercourse. Any tasteful books out there that might help?

    • Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 12:04 am - Reply

      I loved the Marriage Bed by La Haye. Christian authors but not afraid to talk!

    • Anonymous May 13, 2012 at 12:09 am - Reply

      I am in the same boat….im 22 with 4 kids and have NO desire for sex whatsoever…..I love my husband but when he tries it makes me not want it even more

  8. thedomesticfringe February 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Love this post! Great advice. So needed by all of us women today. We need to hear the truth and you told it to us today. Thank you.

  9. Punky J February 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Mara, great post. I agree whole-heartidly with all the tips you have provided here.

    In scrolling through the comments, I was touched by the above comment from the "wife of a porn addict." I'm sure you, (Mara & Danny) will provide a warm and compassionate response to this woman, just as fine, probably much better than I intend to here. But I did want to say to said woman this: My heart goes out to you and I can completely understand where you are coming from in saying it's not that easy to just read a post about "Feeling Sexier", "Feeling Happier", "Being your Husband's Woman"…. and being able to apply those wise offerings and see results delivered swiftly among ALL circumstances. There's so much that is EASIER SAID THAN DONE. This is one of the truest truths I know. I agree that Mara and Danny do an incredible job, along with many other bloggers out there, sharing their stories and passing out what they have learned through their trial and errors. For many of us who have had struggles in the past, we read and nod our heads, singing, "Yes, this is so true." For those of us struggling now, we read and feel hopeful, thinking, "Yes, this is a great reminder." or "This is some really inspiring stuff. Just what I need today." But for others, some of this can seem hard to wrap our minds around or easy to grasp, in situations that are beyond complicated or incredibly dark and lonely.

    Fact of the matter is, some people struggle more greatly than others to feel any sense of hope or positivity, period, regardless of how rough or not so rough things may be at any given time. I know for me, personally, I have some sort of huge inner strength that has allowed me to overcome a lot of things. And sometimes in my endeavors to offer up advice, support, and mentoring to others who are hurting, I have come across as insensitive. Of course not intentionally. But sometimes it's just hard to realize how easy it is speak from a brighter place to someone who is in much darker place, who may or may not have the same kind of inner strength that I have managed to harbor throughout my young life so far. If that makes any sense.

    Furthermore, some people are living in situations that seem so far removed from what others can understand at the moment, that it's just hard to hear, "stay strong" or "things will get better". You look at those people and you think, "Easy for you to say. You're not me, living in this situation. You don't understand what I'm going through." And maybe they don't. But in many cases, I think they do. Maybe not in the same exact way, but everyone in every life is going to hit some very low points. They may not all be identical to one another, but the feeling of "lost", "sad", "lonely", "unworthy", "helpless", we all experience them. ALL OF US.

    All I can say (as if I haven't typed up an essay already) is that the best any of us can do is shed light as bright as we can from what we have learned. We may be speaking from a better place in the moment, but it's important to remember that we can only speak at all now because we were hurting then.

    I think clicking onto a blog like this and others of the like, is a great source for fueling inspiration, but it's only a small part of the journey to better days and quicker healing. I do believe in the power of prayer and the power of patience. Time is the greatest healer of all.

    My love and prayers to the woman who commented, and all my love always to Danny and Mara for sharing what you have learned with others.

    Sorries for the long respsone :-/


    • danny February 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm - Reply

      Punky – This is truly wonderful! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You seriously stole the words from my heart/brain/soul that I was thinking about on my way home after I read this comment at lunch. In case you haven't noticed, I too tend to be quite verbose in my responses, and so something like you posted above is ALWAYS welcome, I thank you for adding what you did.

      Your ability to empathize with "wife of a porn addict" is beautiful and speaks volumes about your soul. Thank you for also understanding where we come from. It's true, what we've learned and speak about comes from going through pain similar (though not identical) to what you and "wife" described. It is universal to us all, and that even one of us is able to overcome it should not be considered as an exception to the rule…but the exception that proves the rule…that there really is deliverance available.

  10. Camille February 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Love this post so much Mara! The longer I have been married (which is not long in the grand scheme of things.. 2.5 years), the more I realize how important this is. I can do so much PERSONALLY to feel sexy, which only makes everything better between my husband and I. These were great reminders, so thank you!

    • mara February 28, 2012 at 3:11 am - Reply

      Camille – so glad you can see there's things you can do on your own… 🙂

  11. lisset February 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    I'm going to risk sounding like a broken record (since Mara, you already know how much I love yoga!), but nothing makes me feel sexier than being on my mat. When I first started practicing I was a black belt in self loathing, but then things started to change. I was baffled at how strong my body could be, how much power I held within myself even though I wasn't super model thin, didn't have Michelle Obama arms, etc. I love that yoga teaches me to tap in to my strength, to "stay on my own mat" as my favorite instructor calls it and not make comparisons, and to recognize the light I hold inside me. That just makes me feel sexy, and strong, and worthy all over. And then there's the whole bit about being insanely flexible…. 🙂

    • mara February 28, 2012 at 3:09 am - Reply

      Lisset – – LOVE this idea. haha 🙂 🙂

  12. Elizabeth February 28, 2012 at 2:22 am - Reply

    May I add one for singles? (It works for married people too but I think it's a great tip for singles): Make yourself dinner-sans microwave- often while listening to Edith Piaf, this song and other french music (YES IT MUST BE FRENCH AND IT MUST ALL BE FRENCH) (Guys: listen to Girl Groups for the 60s – The Crystals, The Shirelles, The Ronettes – and if you like sass, The Shang-ri-las). Set your table and eat there – enjoy your own company. And know that there are plenty of other times to host.

    Remove any ironic anything from your home. Call me – I'll bring the matches.

    • mara February 28, 2012 at 3:10 am - Reply

      French music! Yes, yes!

  13. Alison February 28, 2012 at 4:17 am - Reply

    I love this post! It is so wonderful! great suggestions. xo

  14. J February 28, 2012 at 4:24 am - Reply

    Chiming in here… 😉 This doesn't relate to the 'whole' of the readers but it might help wife of a porn addict.

    When I went through my life changing experience of my husbands infidelity, I felt like crap. Suddenly all of my confidence went down the toilet. Gone.

    I had been told over and over and OVER again that it had nothing to do with me… but it didn't take away the pain and those feelings of feeling flat-out undesirable.

    I desperately wanted to feel sexy again. Then came making it happen- the only way I knew how at the time. Tanning beds, hair extensions, new clothes all the time (became a habit), breast implants, laser hair removal, eyelash extensions etc. This wasn't all at once mind you, but over the course of 18 months probably.

    Everything I thought would make me feel sexy… I had…

    Crazy thing is… after all this work.. all the money spent… I still felt unsexy and undesirable. It didn't really help all that much. I just felt fake in a sense (no offense to anyone who has these things… it's okay, just in moderation I think)

    I knew there was a problem when my friends boyfriend said "J, you look like you're trying to be the very people your husband was infatuated with… it's not as sexy as you think"

    Ouch. I was trying to cover up my hurt by becoming someone I clearly wasn't.

    I have cheese on my legs and bum… I have stretch marks… my stomach isn't toned… I'm about 110 lbs but I'm very soft all over.

    So, I decided to pull the reigns and re-evaluate.

    Since then, I joined a gym… I'm trying to eat better and more healthy… I'm trying to keep a cleaner more tidy house… I'm working on myself and the issues I have (due to the infidelity) so that they don't define me anymore… I'm trying to become more secure of myself and believing in my worth.

    Nothing is more sexy than confidence, in my opinion!

    Great tips Mara. I appreciate them very much!

    It's a work in progress 😉

  15. Natalie Jane February 28, 2012 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Ooo, I love this. Especially not demanding your husband be responsible for our confidence is genius.

    And hard.

    Though #6 is a thinker. One thing I'm confident in is my marriage. I feel like we are doing it right. We are so happy together and focused on each other. We fit and we make it work. Our marriage is our number one priority.

    I'm not sure I believe in having confidence in yourself just because your husband is still with you. I wish (I WISH) that could be enough. But tell that to my friends whose husbands sleep beside them for years while straying. Husbands who are addicted to porn while pretending their wives are enough. Being married is making yourself vulnerable to all of that risk. No matter what, his option of you will dictate so much of how we think of ourselves. His one breach of that trust is enough to ruin confidence completely. I'm watching this unfold for a friend right now, and there is nothing I could say to make herself believe she is of value. That it isn't her fault.

    We are putting our confidence in our spouse's hands. I know my husband could crush mine in one blow. That's part of the thrill and terror of marriage. My confidence, self and heart would have to be completely rebuilt, if my spouse decided to topple our life together. Not every husband is thrilled with his wives changing body, laugh lines and graying hair. Not every woman gets to stay "Her husbands woman", even if he stays faithful.

    Oh, if there only was a way to ensure that we could.

  16. Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 6:46 am - Reply

    I know Danny and Mara, and to protect my husband/family, and because I respect/love my husband and want to give him room to grow, I chose to comment anonymously.

    To The Wife of a Porn Addict –

    I too am a wife of a porn addict. With all the seemingly unscalable challenges that I have had in my life to date (I would name some but again don't want to give myself or my husband away), of which there have been many, living side by side with pornography has been my greatest.

    My first several years of marriage I felt consumed by it. I felt that it was eating me up from the inside out. I obsessed, as I'm sure you have too, about catching my husband. I spent hours searching our house, his computer, sites I thought or once saw him visit to see if I could piece together what went on when I wasn't home. I felt like to help my husband I could never leave (but I worked, that was impossible). I pushed everyone away because I didn't want them to see what a mess I was and what was really going on inside. I felt like I had no where to turn. I lived inside my own head. What a dangerous place to be. I thought it was my fault (even though this had been going on years and years before I entered the picture). I wasn't pretty enough, engaging enough, or just plain enough… and it hurt.

    And then, several years into marriage… I remember having the 100th argument with my husband over this. I told him how unhappy I was and perceived him to be. I remember saying maybe we'd be better off apart. He again told me he was trying, and startled me when he said that he didn't think I was. I realized, I wasn't. I'd given up on myself, and him. I became the porn police, and my only hobby was to worry. My life revolved around pornography.

    I LOVE what Nora said and went through the same thing myself, where I realized THIS IS NOT MY PROBLEM. I am ONLY in charge of ME!! How liberating!!! And, as Danny and Mara often say, I realized I can CHOOSE to be happy!!! In the end, Heavenly Father will ask what I did with MY time, and I don't want to tell Him I spent it looking for signs of porn in my home. Lame!! So it scared me, but I chose to LET GO. I chose to not make it my problem any more and trust that Heavenly Father LOVES me AND my husband enough that I can turn it over to Him and get on with my life. It's been a daily struggle for us, but one that I no longer think about on a daily basis. It has drawn us closer together. It has helped us to help others. We understand the atonement in a way only going through such a challenge can help you to understand it. It has helped us with other challenges that came later in our life.

    I love my husband, who continues to struggle with himself, and I know that he loves me and our children more than anything. He is an amazing, amazing man. The more I truly show him I believe that, the more amazing he becomes (and vise versa). I am lucky to have him. I am so happy I decided to not be angry any more. To let it go. To give the weight to Christ, who already paid for it. I know you've already spent many hours on your knees, but it made all the difference when I started asking Heavenly Father to change me and my heart.

    Just some thoughts. My heart and prayers go out to you Wife of a Porn Addict.

    • mara February 29, 2012 at 3:05 am - Reply

      Anon, my dear friend, whoever you are…I love you. My heart is so full. This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story of faith and love here. How happy I am that you have been able to feel such peace & liberation by letting go and handing it over. It's a miracle to me every single time to see that the potential to change our hearts is REAL and available to us in each and every trial…it's the most difficult but also the most triumphant thing a human could ever choose to do. Thank you for choosing to change your heart…it is the greatest gift anyone could ever offer each other, our children, and the world. Thank you for sending so much love and goodness out to each & every one of us. Much love, Mara

  17. LM February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    There have been lots of serious post on this topic, but I am going to stay on the lighter side;
    a) never read another beauty magazine; you pay for them to make you feel ugly so that you will buy the product advertised in their pernicious pages which is probably only of any clinical effectiveness at concentrations that are not even reached in that expensive little designer bottle.
    b) dance, to what you like with who you like, where ever you like.
    c)eat sensual fruit (mango, papaya, juicy red berries). I especially like to do this in the cubicle at work. Such luxury in the midst of institutional grey walls.
    d)learn how to have an orgasm.
    e)take an interest in the wider world, develop a talent and watch your self-confidence blossom. Sexy is a mind thing.
    f) visit an art gallery, music performance, or place of natural beauty, so stare at a starry sky. Expand your idea of beauty beyond what mainstream media feeds us.
    g) enjoy water in a long hot shower, the swimming pool, the lake, ocean or a babbling brook. There is a reason it has been a metaphor for life and sensuality for thousands of years.
    h) light a fire! (maybe using those beauty magazines) It brings people together.

    • mara February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      LM – – this was an A-W-E-S-O-M-E list!!! I should have had you write the post 🙂 Such creative & good ideas… thank you for sharing them.

    • danny February 29, 2012 at 5:08 am - Reply

      Thank you LM…I agree with Mara, these ARE awesome! I especially loved a) – and that was totally on my personal list of things women should avoid! Don't have much of an opinion on the products, but boy did you nail it with "buying something that makes you feel ugly". Seen that all too often.

  18. Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I am happily married to a wonderful husband. Something I really struggle with is our sex life. My husband does everything he can to make it nice for me and never wants to make me uncomfortable…emotionally or physically. I don't know why but I grew up with a horrible attitude/vision towards sex. The idea made me feel terrible and sick. Nothing ever happened to me to cause this so I'm not sure where it comes from. It has been frustrating to me because I feel like I'm doing all the right things…living my life the best I know how, I got married in the temple, my husband is loving and understanding and faithful. I have to be careful not to feel angry with God because I am dealing with this. This is supposed to be a good thing that blesses our marriage and makes us happy…but instead I feel like it's something I just "should do." It has caused many hurt feelings and arguments between my husband and I. I know this is personal but I can orgasm (although not during actual intercourse) and my husband "takes care of me" first. I still am not interested in sex most of the time. Sometimes I will just go along with it and it's not bad but other times I feel like screaming inside. I wish someone could understand why I feel this way and help me. This isn't how God intended things to be, so is this just a trial I was given? I like to feel beautiful and for my husband to think I'm attractive. I guess I struggle with feeling "sexy" though. Is there anyone out there who can relate? I decided to see a therapist and LDS family services and then I got pregnant. It was hard to make progress with my hormones changing and getting messed up. Now I'm breastfeeding and still feel messed up. 🙂 I'm afraid that I will just have to struggle the rest of my life. I could try going back to the therapist (it was a little helpful) but it is expensive and I honestly feel kind of hopeless. Sorry to be such a downer!

    • Jess February 28, 2012 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Yes, both my arms are raised and in my head and heart I am screaming hoping from across the internet you can hear me I can relate to you. I feel the same pain that you are expressing.
      So talking and reading your comment over with my husband we both decided that I should share what we have been going through as well. If only to help you and others as well. I also think Mara and Danny have such a wonderful blog that puts a voice to all those who are struggling and allows us to have an outlet.
      My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we have struggled with sex. As the same with your husband, mine also has always put more of the spot light on me. Making sure that I am comfortable, and taken care of. He has never done anything of distaste either. But still no matter what it is I still view sex has being this dirty thing that I should not partake in. I have mostly done it more out of obligation than for the freedom of loving making. Its hard for me to even get to the point of even wanting to do anything sexual because my mind goes right to its dirty, you shouldn't do that. We have gone months without doing anything and it doesn't even phase me, but I do it because I know my husband needs it. We have also never had full out intercourse , because it hurts and also my body tenses up to much and then I get turned off after trying, which then we don't do anything sexual after that. I wish I wasn't so turned off by sex but I am. I wish that it wasn't such a dirty thing to be but more of a loving expression. Although that does come and go. It really depends.
      We did go to counselling together after I had a bit of a breakdown and a friend of mine suggested it to me. And because of that our relationship has gotten better. We were able to express ourselves vocally with out having feelings hurt. And also my husband was able to get to know me more than what he thought he did and he was able to understand me better from where I was coming from and with the help of our therapist as well. And I was also able to voice myself and what I was wanting and what I didn't want and it made me feel stronger and more confident in myself. I have also taken it upon myself for this year to be all about me. For this year to be selfish and to work on myself what ever that is. To be more daring, work on making myself healthier and stronger. And being more daring. I have found when I am more open to loving my self I have more love for my husband and it has been a little easier to say let some of my walls down so that he can be let in. Are we at that point of having intercourse no, will we be this year, I don't know. I have stopped putting time frames on that and have just allow myself to be me.
      I hope that you go back to counseling and that your husband goes with you. I think the only way for us to heal to work through this is by talking about and opening up. Its a work in progressive that can be managed or be able to find your own healthy sexual relationship.
      Good luck to your and your husband. If he is anything like my husband( and he sounds like it) he will be by your side as a support system as you work through it and learn.
      Also congratulations on your baby. I hope he/she opens many doors for love in your life.

    • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 12:14 am - Reply

      Jess- THANK YOU for your support, wherever you are. I know this sounds dramatic but all the time I feel so alone with this…like nobody in this entire world understands how I feel. I don't feel so crazy or messed up, knowing I'm not the only one. I don't know about you, but I've been told my whole life sex is a good thing, not dirty, and so forth. How interesting that I (you too!) have developed this sense that it's dirty and wrong. I used to almost have panic/anxiety attacks in the middle of intercourse with my husband. I know what you mean about obligation…even if your husband doesn't make you feel that way, I do it to myself. I could probably go months but usually feel too bad/guilty/selfish so I just go along with it when DH is interested. I still say "no" probably far too often. It's funny because I am a romantic and used to be a major daydreamer growing up. I love passion and romance, but not when it turns sexual! Anyway, we will have been married 5 years this May. My husband works a lot (technically has 3 jobs) and while I would love to go to counseling and have him come this time, I don't know when that would be. He's just so busy. I know that if it comes down to it he could make the time…if it was that important to our marriage. Sometimes I think he thinks I should just "try harder" to get into it. Not saying he thinks I've made up feeling this way, but he is very much the type of person to think people have more control over their feelings, emotions, and reactions than they think they do. I think it's hard for him to understand where I'm coming from although he tries. I might try bringing up the counseling and see what he thinks. I'm afraid he'll say that he doesn't think it helped much when I went before, that it's not worth the money. I don't really want to ask our bishop for financial help when technically we can afford it.

    • Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 1:26 am - Reply

      I don't have any advice, but I just want to tell you that I relate to what you said! Especially about feeling that sex is something that you "should do" and wanting to "scream inside." While I don't have negative feelings towards sex, I'm just totally, 100% neutral about it. And since I'm so freakin' busy, I'd rather spend my time doing something else 10 out of 10 times. Unfortunately, if my boyfriend had his way, we'd have sex every night. So EVERY night it feels like a dreadful task that hangs over my head until it's over.

    • Jess February 29, 2012 at 6:13 am - Reply

      I know how you feel about feeling all alone with it. For the longest time I thought I was the only one that was going through this, no one else in our culture talks about it. I at first I would try and talk to friends who had gotten married when we did and it didn't go anywhere. My family is not LDS so when I would talk to my cousin or mom they didn't understand, my mom a little more than others. They are still perplexed by it. I think it really started wearing on my husbands and I's relationship, plus a few other things as well. That I finally broke down to a couple women from church on a mother/daughter outing I went to (when all the young girls where off to bed) after they asked me if I was wanting any children or planning on having any soon. I finally couldn't take it and just bursted into tears and told them everything. That's when one of them told me I should go to counseling, that we both should go together. I felt drained and consumed with all of it just inside of me. For me at least a major part because of not having intercourse and not talking about it with my husband openly and on a serious not I felt distant from him and I don't think either one of us felt like we could really talk to one another. We were more like roommates. The counseling helped us to be able to learn to talk more to one another and to open up more. We still don't have intercourse and I still feel like any or all sexual experience is mostly dirty but we are at least closer than what we have been. And that has helped us and me to be more open in the bedroom. For me I have a lot of distrust towards men so that's where my distastes for sex mostly comes from.
      I used to be a romantic and I was always daydreaming, still do. But I'm not as much as I am any more, mostly because I know its all going to lead towards sex. So even when my husband wants a kiss or to touch I turn away from it.
      I think that if you feel more empowered by going to the Therapists you should go specially if you feel like you are getting control of it you should be going. Go talk to your Bishop about it to get financial help. We didn't only because we were able to get free counselling through my husbands school. If you pay your tithing that's what it is there for. The Bishops put money aside for the ward family's for assistants. I also think it would be good for your husband to go because then you can have free space to really open up with out any one getting upset. Its a controlled setting where you can relay what is going on inside you and your therapist can help you through that. Also it Your DH will be able to learn more about it as well. The facts and how many women, more than we realize are in this same situation. We just don't hear about it and so we are left thinking that its our own problems to work through and to get over. When we really can't just turn the switch off. We have to learn it with all the help we can get. Its the Good-girl syndrome the more we learn the better we can teach our own daughters when we have them and to teach them as well so they will be more prepared upon their own wedding nights. Good luck Friend.

  19. Anonymous February 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    I should add, we had a miscarriage and then struggled to get pregnant. With my cycles so messed up we had to have sex frequently to try to catch ovulation and it felt like such a chore. Infertility is another touchy subject; our religion is centered on the family and so many people struggle to have children! I try to just have faith and know that God has a plan for each of us. I try to carry this over to my personal struggles and know that God loves me and is aware of me. While God himself designed sex for "pleasure" and bonding, and it's how we reproduce, I need to remember that it's a good thing.

  20. Her North Star February 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Such great advice! Little fixes can add so much confidence. Sometimes women get into such a rut that they forget to simply take care of themselves.

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