I was five months pregnant when I discovered that my husband was hiding a secret addiction to pornography. Many women assume that their husband’s relationship with porn has something to do with the way that they look. This was especially true for me. It was impossible for me to compete with the models featured in adult videos and magazines. Especially during pregnancy. I convinced myself that he wanted to look at these women because he wasn’t satisfied with me or my appearance. I was devastated.
Before I learned about his addiction I had been very comfortable with my body and who I was. Knowing that my husband had looked at images of hundreds of other women changed that for me. I became almost obsessively self conscious with my appearance. This continued even after our son was born. I did some incredibly unhealthy things in an effort to return to my pre-pregnancy weight but no matter how many pounds I shed I still felt awful about myself. In addition to becoming obsessive about my weight I became very private about my body. It had gotten to the point where I wouldn’t even change into pajamas if my husband was in the room. I have never felt so unattractive in all of my life. Ever.
In my mind sex appeal became strictly physical.
In reality sex appeal is just as much (if not more) a state of mind as it is a product of physical appearance. Even if I had been able to instantly lose all of the baby weight, and added about four inches to my legs, I never would have felt good about myself at that time. I certainly can’t image that I would have felt sexy.
Feeling sexy is a state of mind.
Song of Songs is such a passionate book in the Bible. It’s all about a young couple pursuing each other in their courtship. This couple is incredibly attracted to each other. And even though the woman isn’t totally satisfied with her physical appearance (Song of Songs 1:1:5,6) she feels attractive. Her relationship with her Lover is one where she is pursued, esteemed, and nourished. Within the safety of that relationship she feels sexy despite her physical imperfections.
When my husband and I began seriously pursuing recovery and restoring our marriage the image that I had of myself was restored as well. I started to feel ok with who I was. As my husband began to heal and he became more affirming of me that level of comfort with myself began to increase even more. And even though I never got back to into the jeans I wore before I had our children, I started to believe that I could feel attractive again.
Sexy is my current state of mind.