So you’re newly married–and with marriage comes a fantastic sense of freedom. Finally, the two of you get to cultivate the intimacy you’ve been dreaming about during all these months and years of dating and engagement. It should feel liberating for both of you…but what if it doesn’t?
Oftentimes, the introduction of physical intimacy in a new marriage can feel sudden and invasive, especially if you’re a new wife. For many women, exposing themselves completely to their husbands–no matter how long they’ve been married–is an uncomfortable, tense experience.
In today’s blog post, we’re sharing tips to help you increase physical intimacy while honoring the specific needs that each of you have.
To the Wives
For most women, sex is about the experience you’re immersed in. You want to feel completely comfortable, but that’s hard to pull off when you’re feeling self-conscious about your physical appearance. Naturally, you might find that you’re most comfortable when the two of you are plunged into complete darkness–easy, right? You can’t see each other, and now you don’t have to worry about what your body looks like.
Unfortunately, this is probably going to be a letdown for your husband (and for you, even if you don’t realize it yet!). Men are hard-wired to be visual, and he wants to be able to see you in all your beauty.
If he’s asking to see your body, that means he is attracted to you. He isn’t going to be looking for physical flaws; he wants to appreciate you fully. Gifting him with a generous visual is just going to add another dimension to his pleasure. And you may not realize it at first, but it’s going to add to yours, as well.
Of course, when it comes to fully revealing yourself to your husband, you can work together to compromise. Let him know what is comfortable for you, and gradually take steps in the direction of being more intimate and less guarded. Don’t feel like you have to take the plunge in a way that makes you tense, anxious, uncomfortable, or more self-conscious.
Meet in the middle and set the mood. You don’t have to turn on all the lights…but maybe you can dim them or light some candles. Create a romantic atmosphere where you can be relaxed, laugh together, and allow him to love you completely. The payoff will be huge for both of you, and before you know it, you won’t feel this anxiety any more.
To the Husbands
If you’re a new husband, maybe you’re chomping at the bit to start your marriage off with a bang…but your bride is feeling uncomfortable and ashamed of her body. What gives?
First, know that it’s totally normal (and common) for your wife to feel this way. The two of you can work through this together, and soon you’ll both be much more comfortable with physical intimacy.
It’s important not to pressure your wife, because this situation is very delicate. The two of you can definitely reach a balance that works for both of you, when it comes to the lighting and atmosphere during your times of intimacy. If you’re feeling impatient, just remind yourself that it may take her some time to become fully comfortable with being naked in front of you…but when she finally is, the wait will have been worth it. Plus, she’ll remember and appreciate your patience and understanding (which could definitely help your case).
To help your wife gradually become more comfortable with physical intimacy, prime her with a little romance every day. Let her know she is beautiful, and that you truly cherish her. Become intimately familiar with her on other wavelengths, besides sexual intimacy–get in tune with her interests, the things she loves, and little details about her. Let her know how much you appreciate who she is.
Prize her uniqueness, continue to court her, and shower her with romance. Putting forth the effort to help her feel truly loved for her entire being could help her feel more comfortable with physical intimacy.
For Both of You
Remember to keep your lines of communication open as you work together to heighten the physical intimacy in your marriage. Check in with each other regularly about where you’re at in your sex life, and where you’d each like to be. Continue to patiently compromise with one another, maintaining a generous spirit as you give and take on both sides.
Be honest about each of your needs and enjoy the journey. If you need professional counseling to help you deconstruct limiting or unhealthy beliefs about sex in marriage, seek it out. The investments you make in your marital health and intimacy are worth every bit of time and effort, and you’ll reap the benefits for the rest of your lives.