Apples and Bandaids » a teacher and a doctor turned global migrants

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  • Welcome to the story of a woman in complete recovery from her loud, overwhelming, extroverted self. I'm a Southern girl with the hips to show for it living in the land of petite people...Southeast Asia. My hunk of a husband and I have a precious little girl, and are in the process of adopting a son from Lesotho, Africa. OUR LIFE IS NUTS.

    A teacher by trade, I gave up my career in education to refocus my skill set to community development theory and practice. I'm passionate about social justice {specifically sex trafficking and adoption}, empowering women to be HIS alone, french press coffee and a good curry.

    I have trouble settling down. I like the challenge of the unknown. Meeting new people is where I draw my energy. I believe in absolute Truth. I also believe in gray areas. I continue to be humbled by how my Redeemer works in Mighty ways. Thanks for following this hot mess of a story and for sharing your lives with me in return.

    Also, I haven't looked like THIS since I lived in the U.S.
    Flat hair and sweaty face every day for life.

    -lauren

My Husband Doesnt Need to See Your Boobs

my husband doesn

I can’t believe I’m writing this. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I can’t believe I used the word boobs in the title of this post.

I got enough purity lessons in high school to invoke a gag reflex any time I heard the word modesty. I remember wanting to crawl out of my skin when my Bible school teachers discussed appropriate *touching*. Ugh, that still makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

Growing up, my father carefully examined everything I wore out of the house. There was a stack of clothes in his closet that I was never allowed to wear, even if I had just ripped the $54.99 tag off. If it was too short, too tight, too low-cut, or too anything, it went in the pile in his closet.

Once I came home with this beautiful pair of khaki-colored stretch pants. The making of such a thing should be a sin to begin with, but I loved them all the same. I wore them out of the house one time, felt super hott {yes, with two ts} and into Dad’s closet they went.

Being the insightful teenager I was, I decided my father clearly didn’t want me to be happy. So I snuck into his closet, grabbed the pants, and double layered them with jeans on top. Once at school, I went into the bathroom and shed the outer layer, leaving my khaki stretch pants and all my glory to be seen.

On the way to my first class, after three Dang, girl! comments from {ahem} fine, upstanding young men, I realized why Dad had hidden those suckers away.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever confessed this to him. Hey, Daddy—ummm, sorry.

I’m not writing to tell all the teenage girls to respect their bodies. It’s a must, but plenty of people are saying that.

I’m not writing to chastise you for posting your bikini pics from your lake outing. I suppose we all have enough criticism via blog spaces.

But I am writing to share the perspective of a woman who is fighting for her marriage. And for that reason, I want to tell you that I don’t need my husband to see your boobs.

If I was skinny with rock-hard abs and legs from here to Mexico, I’d want to take lots of pictures of myself. Mostly naked. I would want to post them with a nice filter on Instagram, and share them with whoever might see.

By the grace of God I’m forever bound to the granny tankini with a built-in skirt. File that away with #thingsIneverthoughtI’dsay.

Anyways, what I’m saying is I don’t fault you. 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.

When I scroll through my news feed, my thumb moves in a continuous circular motion until something catches my eye and I want to look closer. And then I tap on the picture and make that little swipe with my thumb and pointer finger so I can zoom in just as close as I can to capture all the details.

I’m especially bad about this when there is a line of bathing suits in the pic. AND I’M A GIRL.

Mostly I’m looking at your legs asking myself, How are there seriously people without cellulite????

And then I continue scrolling through my feed until something else seems interesting.

I doubt my husband is so lucky. Actually, I know it’s next to impossible to take in images like those and erase them from his mind. Because our men are much less emotional and are much more visual. And as quickly as I can forget your picture, it is filed away in his mind, ready to be pulled back out whenever he so chooses.

Again, I am not faulting you. And by no means am I faulting him. This man of mine diverts his eyes from whatever questionable images flash on the screen before him. But sometimes the temptation is too much.

After Memorial Day, I noticed so much skin on social media that I half-yelled a warning to him as I ran out the door one morning. It’s summertime, honey! Beware the beach pics and half nude girls on Instagram! And like that, he was in solitary confinement from all virtual community for the next two days.

Protecting his eyes, protecting his heart.

I know you don’t mean anything by it. But I need to share one more thing with you.

When your bare shoulders and stretchmark-less bellies and tanned legs pop up, I not only worry if my husband will linger over your picture. I worry how he will compare me to you.

As I wrap myself into his arms at night, I wonder if he is seeing you there instead of my mess of a body left over from pregnancy. I wonder if he thinks I’m lazy and that I don’t take good care of myself. I wonder if he wishes I looked more like you than who I really am.

And then the insecurity monster comes back to bite at our relationship again…me, begging for affirmation, and him tiring from saying the same thing over and over.

So, I get it. You’re on vacation and you want people to know. You’re hanging out with your girlfriends and want to remember the moment. You had so much fun at the lake and you love your new *modest* bathing suit.

Can I say it one more time? I’m not judging you.

But would you, could you, keep your boobs out of my marriage? You can have your memories, and we can have our sacred hearts. And we can all get along in beautiful harmony.

Thanks, love. I think we’ll all be better for it.

-

In the six short hours it took for the people of the internet to show *just how kind* they can truly be, this comment space has become source of debate, hatred, and discouragement. As much as I {uh, appreciate?} your suggestions that I go to marriage counseling or hit the gym, can we stick to the subject and use words that edify? You are just ever-so-loving. 

Autumn Cookie RaperJune 11, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Well said!

Amy ThomasJune 11, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Amen,Amen, Amen, I wish this could be printed and given to all. Churches included. Sorry but true.

Kristi 'Jackson' RoqueJune 11, 2014 - 4:46 pm

This is so amazing. I feel like you jumped in my mind and took out these words. Everyone. Lauren seriously you are amazing and gorgeous! Love

Pamela Glenn BrownJune 11, 2014 - 4:54 pm

Thank you! How many times Ive said the same thing, but in my head. Thank you for saying it aloud!

Bridget Doyle HurstJune 11, 2014 - 5:06 pm

Love!!!

Mary KateJune 11, 2014 - 5:12 pm

I always love reading your blog, but this post got an Amen from me because you were bold enough to say what everyone else is thinking. Its hard enough not to compare ourselves to those perfect bodies on our newsfeed.. We shouldnt have to be hoping we are the only one making the comparison.

Doris Ann Harris FittsJune 11, 2014 - 5:32 pm

I agree with Amy! We have allowed way too much skin in publications and TV

Meg GuerrierJune 11, 2014 - 6:35 pm

I dont even have my boobs out or belly out. But if I did, its my responsibility to protect your husband from viewing me when hes holding you at night? Come on. Seriously. Its not his responsibility to, oh I dont knowControl himself? Lets take all responsibility off of men, treat them like uncontrollable sexual beings and have another woman who may not know your husband at all, control his thoughts through her dress.

Natalie Eubank DillJune 11, 2014 - 6:52 pm

While I am all for modesty keeping our bodies as God’s temple, I do not think you should blame the immodesty of others for insecurities within your marriage. Social media has plenty of problems, but a beautiful part of it is that you can control a lot of what you see. If you follow people who post things that would make you stumble, unfollow them, same goes for your husband. A few things could seep through the cracks, I’ll admit, but you can easily choose the “I don’t want to see posts like this” option instead of clicking the photo and enhancing for further study. If God led you to your husband and he chose you as his wife, you should feel confident enough in God’s and your husband’s love and faithfulness to overcome your physical insecurities. No matter how many times you say you are not judging people for posting immodest pictures, this post does just that, exemplified by the fact that you had to write multiple times that you were not judging others. Please attempt to take control of removing the boobs, and any other social media stumbling blocks, from your marriage, and focus your energy on loving and sharing God’s good news instead of backhanded judgments. You are beautiful and God loves you. Give you insecurities to Him and become unburdened.

Brianna Lee DanielJune 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm

Im definitely going to agree with Meg on this. The only person who can be held accountable for what your husband looks at is your husband. If you do believe that he is comparing you to the other women he sees then maybe he should be responsible enough to not follow the women who supposedly lead him astray.

Brianna Lee DanielJune 11, 2014 - 7:04 pm

Honestlythis whole post screams, Im insecure so please dont let my husband look at your body, because he cant control himself nor can he regulate who he follows on social media!!

Romana DianJune 11, 2014 - 7:06 pm

So really, this is an artical on slut shaming? I have to dress more modestly so your husband wont get dirty thoughts? Im all for modesty BUT no one should ever make ANY girl feel guitly about how her body makes other people feel. Your body, your rules.

Jessica Noel HickeyJune 11, 2014 - 7:07 pm

I just had this conversation with my husband and a few girls we mutually share on fb. Some of them however are seeking attention and could care less if they get it fr a married man. In fact, they enjoy that more! Its about guarding ourselves and if someone cant guard their own body and have respect for themselves, they certainly wont for you. So delete button it is!

Patrick GrayJune 11, 2014 - 7:10 pm

As a man I can understand where your coming from. However to me it sounds like there are some insecurities in your marriage. Sorry if you take offence to that or Im out of line for saying it.

Kelly FrenchJune 11, 2014 - 7:29 pm

I really respect your honesty in not only addressing (not judging) those who feel is necessary or think nothing of showing off their new summer skin, and at the same time acknowledge the struggle us wives feel between being us and wanting to be that beach body dream.

Michelle CoxJune 11, 2014 - 7:33 pm

This is crazy, he holding you at night not my boobs All men are going to look. If they say they dont theyre lying. What is wrong with looking??? A womans body is an art work. meant to be admired. Please forgive me if I offend anyone, as I have kids, stretch marks, and some extra curves I am happy with my body and dont mind showing off what I was blessed with. (Tastefully) Ladies if ur insecure do something to change it, be happy with urself. How can the man u love, love u if u dont love urself? Be happy with who u are. U ate beautiful to someone Him Hes holding u remember!!!! Ladies if your man is comparing u to another girl, he does not I repeat does not deserve u.

Shauna BakerJune 11, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Im sorry so many comments have attacked you, your husband, and your marriage. If comparing my body to other womens bodies means I have an insecure relationship, then I guess Im at the top of the list. Amen to every word you said.

Maegan Alan RothrockJune 11, 2014 - 7:35 pm

I guess you should also talk to your local grocery store and have the magazines at the checkout line removed? That or maybe get a gym membership and get motivated to have a body like your peers are posting?

Kea WatsonJune 11, 2014 - 7:37 pm

Amen!!!!

Valerie Gilliam SpeedJune 11, 2014 - 7:41 pm

Completely agree! Well, said. Respect for all those around.

Lauren Cupples LoeffelJune 11, 2014 - 7:44 pm

I rolled my eyes this entire blog post. I never comment negatively on anyones posts ever, but this is ridiculous. So do you cover your husbands eyes while walking past Victorias Secret or ANY bra section in a store? Im not the most secure in my body either but Im sure as hell not gonna wear a granny suit to swim in to keep others from looking at me. Men will look and oh my God that is okay.

Amie TolomeoJune 11, 2014 - 7:44 pm

Is it only the thin, pretty women that you have issue with? What about the girls you dont find to be competition. Or guys. Or children.

If you are wondering if your husband doesnt find you beautiful, or isnt committed to you, or cannot appreciate beauty elsewhere without leaving you, perhaps you should be asking him these questions instead of the women you covet. Or if not him, at least a therapist. Theres quite a few issues radiating from you here.

Ill admit that Im a little irritated by your article but overall I feel bad that you are insecure. You could look into something as simple as positive affirmations. I know it sounds silly (theres an old SNL skit about it but so what! It works :) ) but even something as simple as saying to the mirror every day that you are Beautiful. Worthwhile. Loved. Loving. etc. -does- actually help.

And that feminist voice in the back of my mind is shouting, If he doesnt appreciate you, then to h with him! Theres somebody out there who DOES. (Thats for any woman doubting her man, or woman/woman not personal against yours.)

Crystal FreemanJune 11, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Sounds like you need to stop being so jealous and insecure. Accept your body and embrace it. Your husband should do the same. If not then you have more issues within yourself and your marriage then a picture of a girl in a bikini.

Russel LeeJune 11, 2014 - 7:49 pm

My wife and I have been talking about this, and weve come to a unanimous conclusion: youre an idiot.

This article, which is judging, despite the fact you saying youre not (think about the phrase Im not racist, but), only reinforces anti-feminist rhetoric that results in women tearing down other women because youre expected to fight among yourselves instead of being a way to elevate each other.

This is an attack on your fellow women for your own insecurities or your blatant distrust of your husband, whom you do not hold accountable for anything in this regard. You lift the mantle of burden and blame onto all women like modern Eves and Delilahs instead of holding men accountable for their actions.

What the hell is wrong with you that you cant even see this?

Chris Evans CallawayJune 11, 2014 - 7:52 pm

Im going to have to agree with the other commenters here. Sex and immodesty is everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I know my husband notices things. And I can honestly say I have no concerns. He may very well notice a girl in a bikini has a great body. The reason this is no threat to me is I know how my husband feels about me, and no one in a bikini compares to me. I agree with modesty, but I cannot control whether someone elects to abide by this. I also cannot control whether or not my husband looks. I do have faith in him that he knows what he has right here at home, no matter how many boobs are in his face. My suggestion is for the two of you to work on trust, and how you value yourself. Id love to look great in even a one piece bathing suit, but the fact that I dont, and likely wont, doesnt make me feel any less important to my husband nor does it make any other woman on this earth a threat to my marriage.

Anna IngleJune 11, 2014 - 7:57 pm

Thank you for writing what I feel!

Jen TuckJune 11, 2014 - 7:57 pm

The point is, I think, that it does not do anyone any good for pictures of us in bathing suits that cover less than our under garments (in some cases) to be put out there where anyone can view them.

Taylor Paige DanielJune 11, 2014 - 8:02 pm

This kind of blog post is a legitimate problem. Im sorry if you get offended by whatever you might call immodesty but your marriage and insecurities fall under the responsibility of you and your husband, not the people you both CHOOSE to follow on social media. Every Im not judging in this post only says I dont mean to judge, buuuut that is definitely what Im doing.

Don LindsayJune 11, 2014 - 8:07 pm

I love the beauty God created. I believe there is some beauty, like my wifes body, that is made for my eyes only.

Jon SharmanJune 11, 2014 - 8:13 pm

And as someone who introduces your husband as a hunk rather than as kind, caring, sweet, generous, thoughtful, youve got quite a nerve bemoaning the glorification of physical attributes.

Sarah Lees HydeJune 11, 2014 - 8:32 pm

Wow this blog is a bit much.. all women are insecure in one way or another but this is just silly. Shes a beautiful girl that seems to have some demons she should work out instead of attacking ALL women.

Katie Beth McCarthyJune 11, 2014 - 8:33 pm

Thank you, Lauren!!! Love this.and you! I agree totally.

Rebecca EakesJune 11, 2014 - 8:44 pm

The only person who can solve your insecurity is you. No one is going to do it for you. The only person who can control your husbands thoughts is your husband. You cant do it for him.

Brian EusticeJune 11, 2014 - 8:47 pm

So let me get this straight. because you are insecure, you want to censor everyone else. If you get worked up that easily (bikini pics), you dont have any trust in your marriage. You should be embarrassed.

Jaide WardlawJune 11, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Sorry, but you need some sort of counseling. The only people involved in your marriage are you and your husband. Men are going to check women out even if theyre happily married and think their wife is the hottest thing on the planet. Honestly, you need to get over it because there is nothing as unattractive as someone insecure. Also like someone else mentioned, your line of thinking is getting dangerously similar to the same line of thought as the rape culture. Men are unable to control themselves, so its up to the women to dress or act differently so as not to incite a man. Its always the womans fault.

Christie StrattonJune 11, 2014 - 9:23 pm

All of these hateful comments are exactly what is wrong with this world. Every where you look simeones boobs or butt are hanging out. You can be attractive, sexy, beautiful, etc. Without letting it all hang out. Men are very visual and no matter how great of a marriage or how passionate a marriage you have ALL men get images stuck in their head. For some men its not a big deal but for alot of men it is a big deal. I cant control social media (I unfollow those things I dont want to see) but it would be nice to go out to eat, shopping, to the park, etc with out all the skin. I dont want to see it, I dont want my 6 year old son seeing it, nor my daughter or husband. Be confident in your body, but save the skin for your home!

Susan KibreJune 11, 2014 - 9:24 pm

This blog post is more of an indictment of being raised in a modesty environment than anything else. You equate your worth with your looks. If a sacred wedding vow doesnt reassure you that your are more than your physical appearance to your husband, then nothing will. I truly think you could benefit with talking to a therapist I mean that sincerely.

Brian VanDeMarkJune 11, 2014 - 9:30 pm

As a man, I find this utterly insulting.

Melissa FloydJune 11, 2014 - 9:44 pm

Your insecurities are seriously clouding your judgement. Your insecurities are your problem, not other women. You dont live yourself so you assume that nobody else, like your husband, could possibly love you and respect you enough either. So, another woman is proud of her flat belly and cellulite free legs. Good for her! Bet she works her ass off for that hot bod! Dont want to see it? Unfirend her. But YOU need to be proud of your stretch marks! They are a reminder that your body, your amazing body, grew a human being!!! Your cellulite? Yeah, instead of spending hours at the gym, you chose to dedicate that time to reading your child an extra story or spend extra time snuggling with your husband. That cellulite is testimony to your dedication to your family. That jiggly midsection? So, you enjoy cake. Who DOESNT enjoy cake?! A life of nothing but kale and celery sticks is a life half lived if you arent enjoying all of the tasty pastries!!
Live yourself. Trust your husband. And dont blame anyone else of your husband has a gander at beauty.

Gibbitt Rhys-JonesJune 11, 2014 - 9:59 pm

If you are so concerned that your husband is going to see me, in a bikini, a) what are you doing allowing him to be on the internet, because, obviously you dont trust your man to be a major have a healthy sexual appetite, or b) did you forget the saying the internet is for porn? You keep saying Im not blaming you then you turn around and say please keep your half naked bodies away from my marriage no. Those two statements dont fit together. So,quit your shaming, and realize that your husband is a man, and treat him like one. Maybe THATS what is wrong with your marriage.

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