I was feeling a little frisky the other day as I stood over my husband Ron while he sat on my desk chair. I leaned into him and started to rub his arms and chest. After a few minutes of some light caressing, I let my hands trail down to his belly (yes people, belly. Sorry, but for this one I’m keeping it PG, well maybe PG-13). I then traced small figure eights near his bellybutton. Out of nowhere, Ron quickly moved my arm away from his stomach.
“What?” I asked confused.
Ron responded, “I dunno. I’m just feeling fat and don’t want to be touched there. I get embarrassed.”
This seemed really weird to me because for one, I don’t view Ron as fat, and two, wouldn’t me touching somewhere he didn’t feel sexy make him feel sexier?
Ron’s thought process got me thinking… When Ron and I make love, he rarely touches my stomach and thighs (which do have what I would consider some extra fat and fluff on them).
I said, “Wow. Okay, so do you not touch me on my stomach and thighs because you don’t want to embarrass me?”
“Yeah kinda. I’d never want you to feel uncomfortable.”
After 15 years of marriage – 15 years of Ron not touching me on my stomach and thighs I was stunned. I felt relief but also sad compassion. I internalized his lack of touching. I thought he didn’t find those parts of me sexy. I thought I was the problem and that he avoided those parts of me because they weren’t a turn on. But all this time, he was just trying to be nice.
Ron and I kept our talk going and we continued to learn more about each other. I realized he projected his own shame onto me, while I assumed his inaction was a message of displeasure. Talking through it was enlightening for us both.
If you haven’t connected the dots yet, I’m telling you this story to remind you to openly communicate with those around you – especially the ones you love. Hundreds of times I felt less Marilyn Monroe than I should because I thought something that wasn’t true. If I had just spoken up and asked the hard question (“Ron – why don’t you touch me there? I wish you would…”), I would have learned that Ron, in his own special way, was showing me love and respect.
Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friends. The greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.
PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you speak your truth, “Today I express myself honestly and with grace.”
PPS – Communicating what you want to say isn’t easy; it takes more than just courage to say it and say it well. Grab a pen and journal. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 being awesome) on the following communication necessities: self-confidence, active listening skills, body language, and having an open mind. Once you’ve rated yourself for each one, comb through your ratings and reflect. Is your communication style working? If one or two ratings are lower than others, it may be a sign to start working on YOU.