My weight has been an issue since I had my children some 20+ years ago. I never lost my pregnancy weight--instead I have added extra pounds to it. Because I grew up in a physically and emotionally abusive home where a thin body was idealized (along with many other issues), I have struggled with lots of self-loathing concerning my body. The problem is I use food to comfort myself when I don't like my emotions, which has just complicated the body-image issue.
Because of my own contempt toward my body, I have physically hidden from my husband, Vince, for at least 20 years. I have not allowed my husband to see me naked because of the shame I’ve been carrying around. I have always made sure that I was covered during love -making. I would dry off in the shower and grab my bathrobe and put it on behind the shower curtain so he wouldn't see me naked. I spent so much effort trying to keep safe and protect myself from his eyes. I truly believed that if he saw me naked he would reject me and want nothing more to do with me. Many times, I said no to intimacy with him because I didn't want him to touch my body. I really never took into consideration how all of this was affecting him.
Did I ever ask Vince how he felt? No. I didn’t give him a chance to tell me that he loved me despite what I looked like. When Vince did offer compliments, I would push them away and respond with something sarcastic. My belief system about myself seemed more true and became more important than what he tried to offer me. I was putting my comfort above our relationship.
I know he wishes I would lose weight but I have to believe him when he says he loves me for me and not what my body looks like. How well am I loving my husband if I don't allow what he says to impact me? My protective strategies are pushing my husband away. I now know they are hurting my relationship with him. If I want to grow, I have to put down the protective wall, or bathrobe, and be vulnerable and trust Vince to love me like he says he does.
Very recently, I finally allowed myself to be vulnerable with my husband and let him get a quick peek. He didn't reject me! He let me know how much he loved me and something huge changed in me. I realized how much I had been cheating him all these years. The lies that I held so close to my heart had been dividing us and causing me to cheat my husband and me from a more intimate relationship.
It is so wonderful now to be naked in bed with Vince during our intimate times. I still do not prance around naked in front of him but I do not work as hard at hiding. His body is a gift to me and my body is a gift to him. His gift to me is just more neatly packaged--mine has many more lumps.
And now God is smiling over both of us, rejoicing in the fact that His truth has set me free.