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Boobs, Brains, and Blog Posts That Make Me Scream

Just like you, my Facebook newsfeed is filled with link after link asking me to watch a stunning (Really! You have to see it to believe it!) video or read about an amazing kid who can sing the National Anthem backward in five languages. I usually just scroll past them and instead stare at your Disney vacation photos wondering when I’ll be able to get back to the Happiest Place on Earth. But this morning I actually paused and then clicked on a post titled, “My Husband Doesn’t Need to See Your Boobs.”

Now, let me tell you that I clicked through thinking, “AMEN! Quite frankly don’t need to see your boobs,” but was also curious where the author was going with this title. I bristled when I realized that here is where she was going:

“I don’t blame you for being confident enough to let the world see how good you look in front of the waves with your coozie and ballcap and barely anything else. But I want to tell you that it’s a stumbling block in our marriage…

But would you, could you, keep your boobs out of my marriage?…Thanks, love. I think we’ll all be better for it.”

Thanks, love” to strangers, young women, while saying they’ll be better for showing less in their social media postings? It drips with condescension. The repetition of the phrase “I don’t blame you” while doing exactly that was more than my hadn’t-yet-had-caffeine brain could take. I seethed. I Facebook ranted. Then I read it again – two cups of caffeine later – and found that I have to say this…

Ladies, stop asking others to get out of your marriage and instead, get in it.

A quick word about all the perky bosoms popping around social media, the beach, the pool, and Lord have mercy, youth worship services (they’re everywhere, my friends): I don’t like it either. But here is why I don’t like it. I don’t like that my daughter will look at teens and think that’s the appropriate way to dress. Guess whose responsibility it is to tell her otherwise? Me, her mother. I don’t like how uncomfortable these young women look tugging at their strapless whatnot every thirty seconds like a tic. Guess whose business it is if those young girls are uncomfortable? Their mothers. And as for the adults dressing similarly? It is not my business in the least. Period.

Now for those of you who have picked up the modesty flag and are waving it vigorously while sharing the aforementioned boob post, all in the name of Christianity, let me assure you that I, too, am a card-carrying Christian. (Not really. Everyone knows we wear cross jewelry, we don’t carry membership cards) The verse that immediately came to mind when I read about this woman’s concern for her  marriage resulting from his viewing of women in bathing suits was,

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

And this one popped in right behind it because man, His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light onto my path…

For this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.”

No verses asking people to cover up when at the beach popped into my mind.

But now let’s get back to marriages that women are fighting to protect. Here’s where I tell you some truth that is uncomfortable to write and may be uncomfortable for some of you to read.

I’ve gotten an angry phone call from a wife, a woman in tears, locked in her bathroom, screaming into her husband’s phone. I’ve heard the words, “Get out of my marriage.”

In case you don’t know much about me, my social media feed is filled with pictures of puppies and kittens and children and food. Not a boob to be seen.

instagrampics

Putting aside the fact that humans by nature of their humanness are tempted by lust – we’re built that way, y’all - marriages fall apart when we lose sight of the truth that they require work, commitment, and perseverance by both members of that marriage, and that they will not be served in the least when we look outward to find reasons for their distress or people on which to place blame.

Read that last sentence one more time because it’s wordy and man, it is important.

Now I accept the blame I deserve for receiving that phone call. A very wonderful man who was my friend was struggling in a marriage where neither he nor his wife was plugged in emotionally in the ways all marriages require. Our friendship became more important than a relationship between a man and a woman outside of a marriage should ever be. It put a strain on all of the marriages involved.

And yet, again I say, not a single boob was involved.

If you’re not already uncomfortable and you’re still reading, here’s the part where you may squirm. Ladies, I travel for work, I work with men, I have many male friends, and for reasons that defy logic, people like to tell me things that perhaps they should be telling their pastor or therapist. Many married men who to you might seem content in their marriages are actually grasping, desperate, searching for a woman who will offer them a kind word of support, an enjoyable conversation, a listening ear that is not drawn mid-conversation to a screaming child.

I am not discounting the role of lust in the destruction of marriages. I am simply saying that from the point of view of a woman who has been asked more than once to help a man out of an unhappy marriage, brains are just as dangerous as boobs.

Life is complicated and busy, and raising a family is not for the weak of heart. Romances that become marriages can quickly transform into business partnerships, devoid of emotional connection. Lust is a human desire. So is emotional intimacy. And clicking away from an image on a screen isn’t going to prevent your husband from seeking and finding that outside of your marriage.

Perhaps I could have joined the “cover it up” bandwagon and, with my personal experiences in mind, written a post asking women to please dumb it down around my husband and try to be a little bitchier.

Instead I’ve chosen to write this post to remind myself and all of us to protect our marriages by looking within them and within ourselves. You don’t want anyone else in your marriage? Make sure you’re in it completely first.

Comments

  1. 1

    Amen, amen, amen! Our marriages are our responsibility. We have to work, and work hard, to make them what we want them to be. It is absolutely the responsibility of both partners to love and dote on one another. To treat each other with respect. To raise each other up and catch each other when we fall. (And to have lots and lots of sex!) I love this so much. “Don’t want anyone else in your marriage? Make sure you’re completely in it first.”

  2. 2
    Kelly {the Centsible Life}
    Follow on Twitter: centsiblelife
    says:

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you said here.
    Kelly {the Centsible Life} recently posted..Summer Family Fun Party June 18th

  3. 3
    Sheri Watkins says:

    Wow, she needs therapy, Love:)

  4. 4
    TechyDad
    Follow on Twitter: TechyDad
    says:

    I completely agree. I’m lucky enough to have a strong marriage with my wife. No marriage is without rocky moments though. The rockiest moment isn’t when I stumble upon a photo someone took of themselves on the beach. It’s when I feel that my wife isn’t considering me an equal partner in the relationship. (Thankfully these moments are short lived.)

    I’d also call out the “keep your boobs out of my marriage” author on some sexism she displays. She keeps railing against boob photos as if that’s enough to tempt a man to cheat. If that were true, wouldn’t photos of men tempt women to cheat? After all, men aren’t the only ones who cheat in relationships.

    I’m definitely not in the best shape I could be in. By the author’s logic, photos of men at the beach might sway my wife to cheat, right? So why not include that in her rant?

    Of course, the answer is that she’s looking for a scape goat for her troubled marriage that doesn’t involve her or her husband. Ranting against “boob photos” is easier than putting the time and effort into fixing the underlying problems.
    TechyDad recently posted..Battling My Own Brain

  5. 5

    AMEN! Your husband is looking at porn/semi-porn and it is hurting our marriage. The problem isn’t the porn. The problem is your husband. Normal, adult married males may appreciate a perky boob now and then, but they don’t seek them out for entertainment. If your husband is, then he needs to get into therapy because there is a problem.

  6. 6
    Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
    Follow on Twitter: crazyadventures
    says:

    Alright, dammit. After someone else mentioned this post yesterday, I finally read it, and um… wow. She needs therapy for her self-loathing/comparative issues. And if her husband really has the issues she thinks he has, then he needs therapy, too. And couples therapy couldn’t hurt either. But to make a post and shame others for wanting to dress in summer attire simply because she’s self-conscious and thinks her husband can’t appreciate her own motherly body for what it is and instead envisions scantily dressed single ladies when they’re alone together, then whose problem is it really? :/
    Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting recently posted..Happiness is ______ {2014-W24} #happinessis

  7. 7

    I LOVE this. I just spent 15 minutes writing an eloquent (by my standards) and insightful comment on the blog post you’re mentioning above just to have an “ERROR” pop up repeatedly and not allow the comment to be posted. Although I did read plenty of comments claiming the woman is nuts and needs therapy (come on, couldn’t we all benefit from a little therapy?), I am so relieved to know that intelligent women can identify that kind of ranting as destructive and damaging without completely flipping the shame toward the author of the original blog post. I empathize with the other author and I know how insecure I can be as a wife, especially when the hormones do their own thing entirely. But as a survivor of sexual assault (and as a survivor of slut shaming) I cannot sit quietly and keep my mouth shut. I abhor this blame game from woman-to-woman, or man-to-woman. We should be building each other up, rather than blaming others for unknowingly injuring our, at times, ridiculously fragile self esteem.
    So thank you SO much for setting things straight and saying things that should be said. Contrary to the unfortunately popular belief, most men are not these unemotional sex monsters that we as women must shield and guard from all of this temptation; many affairs have little to do with sex and much more to do with emotional issues (as I’m sure you know). I’d much rather encourage them put on their big boy pants, communicate more, and stick to their vows.

  8. 8

    You took most of the words right out of my head. Well written from an excellent perspective. I think it is quite self-righteous and egotistical to write such an the absolutely judgmental post and not expect people to respond with opposing views. That she wrote, “I am not judging,” soany times pretty much emphasized how judgmental she was being, at least for me.

  9. 9

    Thank you for this “rebuttal” of sorts. I feel like the more Christians tell others what they should be doing, the worse the reputation gets!

    My responsibility is for myself and my family. Even among Christian families there are differences. I was allowed to wear different styles of clothing than my best friends as teens. It’s the sense of right that God has placed on us as individuals.

  10. 10
    Jessica Brockett says:

    Thanks, you just saved me about 30 minutes of ranting on that ignorant and incredibly sad blog.

    • 11
      Kimberly Lightfoot says:

      Right?!? Sheesh. I hope she takes some (many) of the comments to heart and seeks counseling.

  11. 12
    Kimberly Lightfoot says:

    Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you!! You took the words right out of my head too. Several commenters have as well. She is so off base that it’s painful to read.

  12. 13

    Yes.

    That is all.
    Linsey recently posted..Everything IS Awesome! LEGO Blu-Ray Giveaway

  13. 14

    Thank you for this thoughtful, and truthful, rebuttal. I feel badly for the author, as she is perpetuating the purity culture that she seems to think she has escaped. Hopefully this topic will continue to generate honest, and practical!, conversation.

  14. 15

    THANK YOU! I was pained by the last article. Pained for her, for her husband, and for the faceless women she shames. As a married woman, I would find it exhausting to be in a marriage where I constantly feel the need to micromanage my husband and his thoughts.

  15. 16

    I couldn’t read the first article. Just. Couldn’t.

    Yours however? A thing of beauty. Thank you Amy. The reminder is powerful.
    Patty recently posted..Mix Up Your Run ASICS Giveaway: Winner

  16. 17

    Amen! See my views on this here: http://respectthyselfie.com/

  17. 18
    Nikita K says:

    Totally lost it at “not a single boob involved”! You’re so right!

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