Elizabeth’s recent e-mail is a perfect example of what healthy sexual submission can look like in marriage.
I had a bit of a breakthrough with my husband recently, and I know it’s thanks to your book, The Sexually Confident Wife. Will (my husband) has asked me several times to paint my fingernails, and specifically to paint them red. I’ve never wanted to, and always just declined to do it without really thinking about it.
I recently asked Will what intimate stuff he’d like me to be more open to, and he brought up the red fingernails thing. Immediately I felt my emotions recoiling at the idea, but for the first time, I decided to figure out the exact reason why I didn’t want to do it rather than just decline automatically.
Get this: I realized that the reason I don’t like red fingernails is because the only woman I knew who typically had red fingernails was my maternal grandmother. So in my mind, red fingernails = my bitter, materialistic, and emotionally removed Grandma! What a reason to deny my husband an extremely tame fantasy of his pretty wife caressing him with her red fingernails! And I didn’t even know that was the root of my aversion to them! Once I did realize it, I was able to let it go, and I painted them red the very next day and Will has been enjoying them immensely ever since! While I’m not “there” yet as far as feeling sexy about them, I certainly like what they do to my husband, so we’ve found common ground.
As far as what Will thinks of all this, I asked him if he’s noticed any differences in me lately, and he said that he’s noticed I’m a lot more forward about sex, and that he likes it because there is less “hinting around,” which has often only lead to disappointment and confusion.
I’m now looking more deliberately at why I do or don’t do certain things sexually. I’m trying to look at the things I’m uncomfortable with from a removed, analytical perspective, and it’s helping me to examine where I’ve gotten some of my “sexual beliefs” over the years. In doing that, I am finding that once I put aside prior bad experiences that happened to involve a certain sexual act, and put that act in the context of loving marital intimacy with my husband, some of them have actually been appealing to me for the first time in my married life!
Bravo, Elizabeth! What an example you are to all of us as we sift through sexual tensions and strive to get on the same page!
Are there things that would delight your husband or wife that you’ve been hesitant to try, but never really understood where the hesitancy came from? If so, press the pause button on your “no” and take time to give some serious thought to the matter. Like Elizabeth, you might find that you have a lot more to gain by giving in than you do by standing your ground.
PRAYER: Lord, help us examine the “why” behind our “no,” and change our hearts to “yes” whenever we have something really positive to gain.
See the previous post and the next post in this series here: