Married With Benefits™

1: How Long Until My Wife Believes She’s Beautiful?

with Brian Goins, Shaunti Feldhahn | May 16, 2020
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Research shows that many women struggle with hidden insecurities and find it difficult to believe that their own husbands see them as beautiful. Brian Goins and Shaunti Feldhahn explain what drives a woman's feelings of inadequacy. They explain what to do and what not to do to overcome her fears in love. Discover practical ways to put her heart at ease and prove how much you truly do delight in your wife.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Brian Goins

    Brian and his wife Jen love building into families and eating great food together. They have three children who all want to move to Montana. Brian serves as Sr. Director Special Projects at FamilyLife. He is also the executive producer on an adolescent-focused documentary series called Brain, Heart, World ( aimed at helping change the conversation about pornography in our country and has written Playing Hurt: A Guy’s Strategy for a Winning Marriage.

  • Shaunti Feldhahn

    Shaunti received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher, best-selling author and popular speaker. Today, she applies her analytical skills to investigating eye-opening, life-changing truths about relationships, both at home and in the workplace. Her groundbreaking research-based books, such as For Women Only, have sold more than 3 million copies in 25 languages and are widely read in homes, counseling centers and corporations worldwide. In 2020, Shaunti, together with her husband Jeff Feldhahn, released Thriving in Love & Money. Little did they know just how timely this book would be as the world suddenly changed and couples needed to be able to talk about money more than ever. While most money books deal with surface issues of budgeting and debt, many couples struggle to even talk about money and it creates tension and a barrier to true oneness in their relationship. This is the money book that’s not about the money. It uncovers the issues that cause money conflicts and provide couples with truths that are relationship game-changers. Because you need a better relationship, not just a better budget. Find out more at Her book, The Kindness Challenge, continues to catalyze a much-needed movement of kindness across the country and beyond. Dozens of prominent organizations and leaders are coming together to do The 30-Day Kindness Challenge, and encourage their followers to do the same. Shaunti’s findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show and Focus on the Family, The New York Times and Cosmo. She (often with her husband, Jeff) speak at both live and on-line events in the U.S. and around the world. Shaunti and her husband Jeff live in Atlanta with their daughter and son, and two cats who think they are dogs.

Many wives struggle to believe that their own husbands can see them as beautiful. Brian Goins and Shaunti Feldhahn explain these feelings of inadequacy, and show how a husband can overcome them in love.

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1: How Long Until My Wife Believes She’s Beautiful?

With Brian Goins, Shaunti Feldhah...more
May 16, 2020
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Brian: From the Podcast Network at FamilyLife®, this is Brian Goins, host of Married With Benefits where we’re committed to helping you love the one you’re with and discover the real benefits of saying, “I do.”

Last season I was joined by Harvard-trained researcher and best-selling author and dear friend Shaunti Feldhahn as we answered Questions Every Wife Is Asking. I don’t know that we imagined it would get as big—

Shaunti: I know.

Brian: —and we got great feedback on it.

Shaunti: It’s very exciting.

Brian: I’ve never had anybody come up to me and go “I binge listened” that—

Shaunti: But you did.

Brian: That’s serious. I did

Shaunti: Yes, I did too.

Brian: Which was kind of cool. So we had a lot of wives that were going, “When are you going to actually—[Laughter] —when are you going to actually do this for my husband? He’s got questions and I can’t answer them.”

This season, husbands, it’s our turn. We’re going to have a season called Questions Every Husband Is Asking. This all comes from where the Bible talks about in Peter, where Peter says, “live with your wives in an understanding way.” Notice that he never said, “Understand your wife.” I think Peter knew even that was impossible.

Shaunti: Hey, hey, hey. We’re going to disprove that this season—that you can understand your wife.

Brian: Well, the good news is that we do have Shaunti with us. She’s going to help us to understand “How do we do this? How do we do this well? If this is something God expects of us, how can we grow and learn and develop in this?” So, we’re glad you’re back with us, Shaunti.

Shaunti: Absolutely, and can I tell you how excited I am to be back with you and how excited I am that we get a chance to help men with this? Because in my experience and all the research we’ve done, men care about this just as much as their wives do. They just didn’t know it was possible.

Brian: Right. We hope to give some “Aha!” moments for the guys. Equal opportunity here—that’s why we’re here on Married With Benefits.

Shaunti: Yes, absolutely—and then maybe shorter because you know. [Laughter]

Brian: What are you saying? I feel like you’re saying something with that.

Shaunti: Because we know that guys want to get to the bottom line.

Brian: Well, let’s get to the bottom line then. In this first episode we’re going to tackle one of the most important and common questions—maybe not most important—but definitely one of the most common questions that we’ve gotten.

Shaunti: Definitely.

Brian: It’s going to be submitted—all these questions or most of these questions—are going to come from other guys—from real husbands out there and this voice actually might be familiar to you.

Bob: Hey, my name is Bob. I’ve been married for 40 years. Here’s my question: when I tell my wife that I think she’s beautiful—I find her attractive—she sometimes seems like she’s annoyed and she dismisses my compliment. So I’m thinking, “Okay, well I don’t want to annoy her, so I’ll just quit saying that,” but I think that doesn’t seem right. Do I keep telling her that I think she’s beautiful even if it seems like I’m annoying her when I do that?

Shaunti: Oh, I love Bob.

Brian: Yes. You know that voice.

Shaunti: Absolutely.

Brian: Our FamilyLife Today® host, Bob Lepine, came on. So it’s good to hear that even Bob has got issues that he’s got going on.

Shaunti: Absolutely. We all do.

Brian: So, are you ready for that question?

Shaunti: I love it. I get that question all the time.

Brian: Okay. So we’re not messing around this season and we’re excited to talk about this question. Help us out, Shaunti. How often do we need to say—is there a quota that we’ve got to fulfill every day just to say, “Hey, honey, you’re beautiful”?

Shaunti: The confusion that men have is basically, “How often do I need to tell her she’s beautiful before she’ll believe me?” And what Bob was talking about is he’s getting this kind of—sort of sense of annoyance and the issue I think for a lot of women is that we’re—first of all, we’re not necessarily hearing that from our men as often as our hearts are kind of longing for—I need to explain what’s behind that in a second.

But also, I think that there’s a principle here under the surface of there’s never going to be a point where she really doesn’t want to hear that, so there’s something else going on behind that annoyance.

Brian: Yes. So it’s not about just saying it—because I think some guys are going, “Give me the amount! Do I have to do five a day? So if I’ve hit the end of the night and I’ve done three, do I just need to right before we turn off the lights say ‘Hey honey, you’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.’ Boom!”

Shaunti: “Boom.”

Brian: And that’s it.

Shaunti: Bad timing; it doesn’t work that way.

Brian: Does it fill up the tank?—Like when my gas is low, I can just fill up the tank and I’m done.

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: It’s not just simply saying that. What’s going on beneath the surface? Why does she need to hear that?

Shaunti: She needs to hear that because, believe it or not, your beautiful, attractive wife that you find so desirable and wonderful really questions whether that’s the case. Not that you would find her beautiful, but that she questions whether she is beautiful—whether it’s possible that you could possibly find her to be pretty.

I mean we see all the flaws in ourselves and there are so many things that can cause issues where we even view ourselves more negatively—and we should probably get some of that—some of the things that even wonderful husbands might be doing that makes us question that even more.

We’ve got this intrinsic question in our hearts: “Am I beautiful?” That was the case—we’ve done all the surveys from age 15 to 75 with the women, and it doesn’t matter. It’s the same for these beautiful 15/16-year-old girls as it is for somebody who’s been married for 50 years. It’s just a, “There is no way somebody could find me beautiful.”

Brian: And it’s just—it sounds like it is a nagging question.

Shaunti: It is.

Brian: It’s one of those heart-level questions. Last season in Questions Every Wife Is Asking, we were talking about that latent insecurity that every guy is asking, “Am I strong enough? Am I powerful enough? Can I make it through?” So are you saying this is one of those latent insecurities that every wife is feeling?

Shaunti: Yes. Here’s what’s going on under the surface—is that in general, most women—and this is about 75 to 85 percent of women depending on the survey—there’s the question under the surface—and “Am I beautiful?” is only one piece of a package. The package of insecurities is basically: “Am I lovable? Am I worthy of being loved? Am I special? and Am I beautiful?”—is a whole big piece of that and it’s essentially: “Am I appealing in any way? Am I worthy of being loved by this amazing man?”

That question doesn’t go away. One of the things that a lot of guys don’t’ realize is it doesn’t go away just because you got married. I mean there’s a lot of—I think a lot of men out there who truly resonate with that horrible joke—that it’s sort of a joke: “Why do I need to tell her I love her? I told her when we got married. If anything changes, I’ll let her know.”

Brian: I think it was Homer Simpson that said that first.

Shaunti: Yes, absolutely.

Brian: So if we’re getting our advice from him, we may question your discernment.

Shaunti: Yes; absolutely—just what you’re saying. I literally had someone come up to me at an event last year who said on her wedding day her husband said that and just said “Listen, I’m just telling you right now. I love you. You’re beautiful. You’re awesome. I’m just telling you that now.”—Kind of a, “so you don’t need it again.”

Brian: Right. I signed the agreement. [Laughter] We’re set.

Shaunti: We’re set. So the thing that a lot of guys don’t realize is that’s you as a man. That is how you feel—like, “of course my wife loves me. Of course, she sort of finds me attractive. Of co—like we’re married; right?” The issue for you as men to know is that question: Am I lovable? Am I beautiful? It doesn’t go away just because you got married. It just sort of morphs in marriage to: “Does he really love me? Does he still find me beautiful? Am I enough for him?” And that will never go away. She has that question every day and she’s looking for the answer to that question every day.

Brian: So part of Bob’s question was like, “Does she believe me?” Because I say it and it seems like it’s almost like, “Yeah, yeah.” It’s like when I tell my kids, “you’re great” and they’re like, “You’re just saying that because you’re my dad.”

Shaunti: “You have to say that.” Yes.

Brian: Is there a sense of, “Well, you’re just saying that because you’re my husband?”

Shaunti: Well, that to me is yes, but there’s a reason for that—which is that it’s not being seen as real. So, how do you make it real, guys? What’s sort of under the surface? To me there’s two things that will make it real in your wife’s life. The first is that you have to recognize there may be things you’re doing that are actually making her question that and probably one of the ones that is an issue for some men—not all—but some men is you don’t realize that your wife sees you affirming the beauty of other women.

Brian: Really? Like in what ways do you see that? I mean I can think of a dozen ways that guys probably do this that aren’t ones that we really want to brag about, but it’s the second glance I would think.

Shaunti: Yes; yes. It’s the second glance. It’s the—listen, there are plenty of women out there. There are images on the television, in movies. We tend to call them eye magnets. One of the things I spent a lot of time talking about—which we talked about last season, is that there is a sort of a biological stimulation that’s going on in the man’s mind that he has to fight; right?

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: It’s very difficult. I mean, I get that. Even though I don’t have the male brain, I do understand that that is a temptation that is something that has to be fought. The problem is I think most men assume that their wife has the same kind of brain that they do. So they think, “She knows that the second glance—if my head is on a swivel sort of accidently—she knows that doesn’t say anything about how I love her—how I care about her.” Uh, no. She doesn’t feel that way because if it was her that would be a very meaningful thing and she doesn’t understand that intrinsic temptation that you have.

So, for you—as a guy—recognize that if you’re walking down the street and there’s an eye magnet walking in front of you wearing not much; okay? There’s two things you need to know. First is, your wife will notice—in general—if your attention is on that woman. It may not be like every time or whatever—she’ll notice that. And you also have to recognize—guess who else sees the eye magnet? Your wife sees the eye magnet too—and knows she doesn’t look like that.

She sees the covers of Cosmo—or whatever the other magazines are—and she knows she doesn’t look like that. She sees the actresses on television and in the movies and she knows she doesn’t look like that. We see those eye magnets too and every single one of them screams to us, “This is the standard you have to meet and since you don’t meet it, you’re not beautiful!”

So there’s two things for a guy to be aware of, I think, in this sort of case—recognize that there is a huge, loving, amazing feeling that comes over your wife when you see the eye magnet and you look away. Like you purposely make an effort to honor her by looking away.

Brian: Which is counter intuitive. I mean a magnet by its nature attracts. We talked about how we’re visually stimulated as men, and we’re recording this incidentally right after the super bowl—

Shaunti: Yes. Oh my goodness.

Brian: —halftime show.

Shaunti: Oh my goodness.

Brian: That’s the culture we live in. That’s what we praise and put out there. We can’t deny there are attractive women. That’s why they put them out there—and they’re scantily clad. Are you saying that—in the moment of that—that that happens—we almost—do you just almost go: we all know what’s happening, I’m going to look at my wife and say something or say, “Honey—”

Shaunti: Absolutely. Here’s the thing. This requires—depending on where you are in your relationship with your wife—this requires the ability to talk about it or to have talked about it, because there are women who don’t understand this. This is one of the reasons we spent all that time on Questions Every Wife Is Asking last season helping women understand what is going on in the male brain and what’s not going on.

Understand—what are biological temptations and what are choices? To have had the ability to sit down with her and say, “I need you to understand what it is like to live in a male brain. I need you to know that this is something I want to honor you in,” and to be okay with that conversation.

Then if you’ve had that conversation then it makes it even better when you see the Superbowl halftime show or you see the commercial or you see the woman walking down the street and you look down. Like in our household with my husband and teenage son, Jeff would start going “eyes down.” You know, when he was young, “eyes down” and trying to train him to look away. It’s fascinating to me.

My hope—my prayer—is that as he grows up—as he hopefully falls in love and gets married someday—that his wife will see him look away from the Superbowl halftime show and go, “Oh, he cares about me. He loves me.” That is more effective as a tool of showing love and care when your wife knows that’s what you’re doing—but even if you haven’t had that conversation, do it anyway. She may notice. She may not. But it preserves your ability to keep your eyes for her.

Brian: I think one of the things I loved about what we did in the last season is that we were really trying to help the wives step into the husbands brain and to pull back the curtain on, “How does this male brain work?”—which is not that difficult really. There’s a few switches, okay?

Shaunti: Hey, hey. No, this is something that a lot of women are like, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much there that I didn’t realize!”

Brian: So what we want to do this season is—How is your wife thinking? What I’ve heard you say already is that number one, that we don’t realize there is a latent insecurity. That I long to feel beautiful and to know that I’m valuable and that there’s something about saying or communicating that value through words, through your actions. Then secondly, a lot of us guys don’t realize what we’re doing.

Shaunti: No. Exactly.

Brian: When—not that we don’t know what we’re doing—we don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to this, whether it’s eye magnets whether it’s porn—and we’ll talk about just how that affects—but when I think about that, where do we go with the positive side of that? How can we then go, “Okay, train me now to say, ‘What do I do now that I know that about my wife—”

Shaunti: What do I do?

Brian: Yes, to show her that she’s beautiful—to show that she’s valuable.

Shaunti: There’s a couple of things that are I think important for guys to recognize. One is she may act like Bob was talking about; right? She may act like, “Oh come on!” You know what? Say it anyway.

Brian: Say it anyway.

Shaunti: Say it anyway. And make it a purposeful decision in your own heart that this is something that you know that she needs and you are going to lavish her with this understanding, and you’re going to break through that wall that she has put up because of all the Cosmo magazines and all the eye magnets out there that tell her that she is not beautiful and certainly could never be beautiful enough for you, this amazing man she’s married to.

She’s got a wall up. Make it a purposeful thing—you are going to melt through that wall. You’re going to do it by telling her how special she is, how beautiful she is, how much you love her. You’re going to send her text messages—little comments that, I promise you guys, I promise you—if you will make it a point to, in the middle of the day to just randomly send her a text message that says something like, “Gosh, this has been the most difficult day. My boss is all over me. I was just thinking I cannot wait to see you tonight. I’m just so blessed that you agreed to marry me 17 years ago. I cannot wait to see you later. I love you.” She will screenshot that text message—

Brian: Right!

Shaunti: —because it’s a overt statement of something she doubts. She doubts it and she’s longing to hear it—and from a telling her that she’s beautiful standpoint—yes, you might find it awkward. “You’re so beautiful.” I mean like that’s a phrase you don’t usually—

Brian: I like how you even phrased it in the sense of think about different ways to do that, because I think like anybody, we all like variety. We all like things that are a little different and if we just say the same thing over and over again—and yet what the other thing that I’ve heard is in you saying this is like training yourself for this—because it does feel counterintuitive.

It doesn’t come natural as a guy to do this and I had somebody do this for me when I was younger. I was in high school, my youth pastor—I don’t’ know if I’ve told you this story before or not—I don’t know where he learned this from—but when he started dating this girl, Leslie, he would introduce her always as, “This is Leslie, my girlfriend, the most beautiful woman in the history of mankind.” Just a little phrase.

Shaunti: That is awesome!

Brian: Right? We’re like, “Come on, Jim. This is going to die out. This is kind of cheesy.” Then they got engaged. “This is my fiancé, Leslie, the most beautiful woman in the history of mankind.”

They got married. I’m out at—five years later—I’m out at a Dillard’s or someplace shopping and he’s buying something for her. He’s a pretty good-looking guy in his 20’s and the girl across the counter is definitely flirting with him. I’m picking up on it. He picks up on it and he—at that time it was like a trapper keeper organizer—I don’t know if you remember those but it Velcro’s out—and let me show you who I’m buying this for and flips around and shows the pictures and said, “This is for my wife, Leslie, the most beautiful woman in the history of mankind.” It wasn’t just a cursory, when we’re dating, in the height of our romance.

Shaunti: That’s awesome.

Brian: I saw a Facebook post. They’ve been married now they have four adult kids.

Shaunti: Wow.

Brian: He said, “Hey, I just want everybody, I want the whole world to know this—it’s my wife’s birthday today. She’s not just the most beautiful woman in the history of mankind but in the history of the galaxy.” Now when I say that story—

Shaunti: Every woman who is secretly listening to this is going, “Awe!”

Brian: —now and every guy is going, “You jerk”—like, “I haven’t been doing that.” Whenever I tell that story at a conference you can see the ladies are almost crying because they are so anxious for that—they long for that. Every guy is just looking at me with—just wanting to shoot lasers out of his eyes. But I just say, “Guys, you’re saying something to your wife. It’s either ‘Hey this is my wife, my old ball and chain’ or ‘this is the most beautiful woman in the history of mankind.’”

If you know—and just what you said—I don’t think we realize how insecure our wives are feeling. If I could just think of one or two things daily to help fill that tank.

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: So, if you don’t have a phrase, maybe you can come up with one. Or maybe you think about if you’re a planner, plan it out through the week—something along those lines.

Shaunti: Yes; something! I’ll tell you something that Jeff has started to do that I am pretty sure he started to do because he realized that this was important to me, because he never used to do it before we did the research.

Brian: Oh really? [Laughter] So he changed!

Shaunti: Oh, totally!

Brian: There’s hope for us.

Shaunti: I mean remember we’re not psychologists; right? We’re just the average semi-confused husband and wife. We just happened to do a lot of this research and go, “Oh!” and start applying it. The thing that Jeff started to do that I’ve just noticed in the last few years is I’ll be trying on outfits because I’ve got to go to do a marriage conference or something and I’ll be trying to figure out what to wear because, like all women, I have nothing in my closet.

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: One of the things that I would do is I would show Jeff and I’d say, “Okay, how does this look?” He’d look me up and down and go, “That looks fantastic.”

Brian: Alright.

Shaunti: And if—

Brian: But did he mean it—like is he really saying it?

Shaunti: He did—he is—that’s the thing I didn’t realize—that, as guy he thinks I’m technically asking for, “Does this look presentable to walk outside?” Okay, yes, that’s a piece of it but what I’m really asking—and this is—guys this is, you don’t know this is what’s in your wife’s heart—is she’s really asking after 20 years of marriage and two kids—“Do I still rock your world?” That’s what she’s asking. You answer that question, you’ll always be golden. I don’t think Jeff—it took him a while, I think, to recognize that to literally not to say, “Oh, it looks fine.” I mean fine—

Brian: Take “fine” out of the equation.

Shaunti: Yes! And for him to be able to say, “That looks fantastic.” Now, okay, I know we’ve been married 25 years. I have had two kids and I know that I don’t look like the Cosmo model but hey, my husband thinks that this outfit looks great on me! For the me that I am, it looks awesome and that is so special to the average non-Cosmo cover woman.

Brian: Okay, for the hyper like honest guy that’s out there—

Shaunti: Okay.

Brian: —that’s wanting to go, “Well, there are times I want to say that outfit doesn’t look all that great on you.”

Shaunti: Yeah!

Brian: But the question behind the question is what I’m hearing you saying—it’s not about the clothes—it’s about, “Do you find me looking beautiful?” How could he say that to say, “Gosh,”—I’m just thinking in my own brain right now, I’m going, “You know what? I’ve seen you look far more fantastic in other clothes,”—or how would you say something like that?

Shaunti: No, that’s actually—listen, that’s actually kind of what Jeff does. Like there are occasions when I’m trying on—I’ve got two or three different outfits or I’m trying on something—and he’ll look at it and he’ll say, “You know, it is interesting. I think the green shirt looked better.” He’s being honest which I do need. I don’t want to stand up on stage and look idiotic, you know, but he will be honest if it’s necessary.

But if it’s like, “Yeah, that looks fine. That looks great.” Don’t just use it as an opportunity to state a fact. Use it as an opportunity to tell your wife how special she is to you.

Brian: So guys, the question has nothing to do with the clothes. It is really—

Shaunti: It has a very small amount to do.

Brian: —very small. As I think about this—and you’ve done a great job, Shaunti, in helping us get inside our wives’ minds and what they’re thinking and their hearts, really, what they’re feeling. It made me think about Ephesians where Paul is talking about husbands, I want you to love your wives like Christ loved the church and you’re to nourish them. He uses the word nourish and cherish and that word nourish actually is a word that I don’t know that he would use at a men’s conference where he would say—because it was about breastfeeding.

Shaunti: Oh my goodness.

Brian: It was just this picture of a mom nursing a child—but he’s saying this to the husbands. I just have to think that for us as husbands to have the constant idea that I’m supposed to nourish her heart.

Shaunti: When is she going to need this next? Like it’s—

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: —It’s not going to be in four weeks.

Brian: You never talk to a mom and ask her the question, “Hey, when was the last time you fed your child?” and she goes, “It’s been a week or so. I don’t know.” [Laughter] She is constantly attuned to that child’s needs—for us as husbands to be constantly attuned to the fact that this is a need. You’ve just uncovered a need for them—for wives—to know that I need to know that I’m valuable to you, and that I’m beautiful.

So today we really talked about really opening our eyes to—number one, of just saying “Hey, we don’t realize how much this need is in her soul.” We also don’t realize that some of our actions are really hurting that. We talk about the eye magnets and looking away and pornography and those types of things, but then—three, what I feel like you’re giving us tips on is you don’t realize how powerful you are to meet that need.

Shaunti: Correct. Yes; correct—and to recognize that only you can really meet the need in the way she is longing for it. We saw a comment from David Robinson. This is like, you know, 1990’s.

Brian: San Antonio Spurs?

Shaunti: Yes, the Spurs, yes.

Brian: The Admiral.

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: Look a sports analogy here. I’m liking this.

Shaunti: Hey, this is for husbands. This is a guy thing.

Brian: Okay. Good for you.

Shaunti: It was really interesting because he was a well-known follower of Jesus and it was fascinating how he would respond when the cheerleaders were on the floor. He would be sitting there in his chair looking down at the floor. Obviously, professional basketball players—like any sport—they have women throwing themselves at them and he’d have people giving him their phone numbers, inviting him to their room, and he was really rude to those women.

He was brushing them off very bruskly and there was an article in, I think, Sports Illustrated that the interviewer—the reporter said, “How do you justify—you’re well known as a kind person, you’re a religious man—how do you justify being so rude to these women?” He said, “If any woman is going to get her feelings hurt, it’s not going to be my wife.”

Brian: Wow!

Shaunti: That is something for a lot of guys to keep in mind is if any woman is going to get her feelings hurt, it’s not going to be your wife. And if you show her how much you prioritize her—that is going to nourish her heart.

Brian: That’s good. I know we’re going to wrap up here in a second but it made me think—just even hearing that story—it reminded me of a story of a good mentor friend of mine who I was asking—he is in his 70’s and they counsel a lot of couples. He’s getting a little hard of hearing and they would counsel like newlywed couples at restaurants. They would famously talk about their sex life—

Shaunti: Oh gosh. [Laughter]

Brian: —and he could not moderate his voice and so he’d be talking about orgasm—I’m just being honest—and people around the tables are looking and so it became well know that this couple in their 70’s are still having a good time!

Shaunti: That’s amazing. That’s awesome.

Brian: Which I think is every husband’s desire.

Shaunti: Absolutely.

Brian: I remember asking—Jen and I would go out and just mine them for gold. We asked questions—which if you don’t as a husband have a mentor couple in your life regardless of how long you’ve been married, you need to find one. I would just ask him “Don, you’re in your 70’s and you guys are still having great sex. Like what’s the secret?” And it was Sally his wife that piped in quickly and she said, “Because Don says I’m beautiful even though I know what I look like in the mirror.” That was her first response.

Shaunti: Wow.

Brian: It’s like, “he is my mirror.” If we as guys could realize that power that we have, it might change the way we treat our wife and it not be a “to do list,” like, “Okay I’ve got to get my ‘beautiful’ quota in,” but it’s, “Okay, I have the opportunity—and the privilege—to nourish their hearts and to satisfy that deep longing.” I think every guy would sit here and go, “I know my wife could satisfy that deep longing in my insecure heart.”

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: I could have the privilege of doing that for her. So, Shaunti, any last words that you’re thinking about for us as we’re getting ready to close here this podcast.

Shaunti: I just love that story—and guys, listen—I want you to know that is so, so true! She will know as days pass, she knows what she looks like in the mirror, and she doesn’t think she’s enough for you. For you to be able to show her how much you delight in her is a huge thing for not just showing her that she’s beautiful but a huge thing for filling up that place in her that God has designed for you to fill. Because you might think, “Well, she could get her filling up from Jesus.”

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: Absolutely. But guess who Jesus has put in her life in order to be able to speak to that place. Yes, guys, that is really true.

Brian: Well if I had four tips that I could pull from this conversation. Number one, I thought it was really brilliant—I don’t know if guys caught this—but you said, “Have the conversation with your wife.” First of all, just to have this conversation with your wife about this topic and maybe even ask her. Be brave enough to ask the question, “Do you feel beautiful in my eyes?” Like just even ask that and go, “What is it that I do that doesn’t make you feel beautiful?” Or, “What could I do more of?” Because you might get the tips right from her.

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: She has a certain way that she feels love. First of all—having that conversation. Then secondly, watch what you do and watch what you don’t do.

Shaunti: Yes; yes.

Brian: And to watch out for the eye magnets.

Shaunti: Don’t send a negative message.

Brian: Right. Then thirdly—is just you continually thinking “What are the one or two things I can do consistently over time to reinforce this need and to nourish her soul?” And then fourth—I think it’s, “How do I continue to see where she—live with her in that understanding way to know that this need is never going to go away.” It’s not like it’s one and done. It’s going to be continually.

So Shaunti, as always, it’s great to be with you. Thanks for answering this question and to help us get into the minds of our wife. I love that we’re flipping the script here from last season to this season.

Shaunti: I do too; me too.

Brian: You’re giving us some great “Aha!” moments, because here at FamilyLife we are consistently and passionately trying to draw couples together in a world that often pulls them apart. One way that we want guys to continue to do this and discover the real benefits of saying, “I Do” is to sign up for this new daily devotional series from FamilyLife called, “I Do Every Day.”

Shaunti: Awesome.

Brian: Yes; it’s really cool. I actually contributed some. We had a lot of writers here that contributed. But it’s quick read easy emails; they hit your box. It’s daily encouragement for all these messy hard and a beautiful I Do’s your saying to one another every day. It’s that reminder, “Oh yeah, I need to move towards oneness when everything in my world is pulling me towards isolation.”

If you just go to, you can sign up, or you can just click the link in our show notes. We’ll have it down there as well.

We wanted to let you know that our podcast network is listener supported. We appreciate all the gifts that have come in from people just like yourself. If you’re interested in donating today, just click “donate” at and it’ll help to continue to put questions like this and get answers like this.

Shaunti: I’m sure there are many out there.

Brian: Yes; we appreciate those. I’d also like to thank our audio producer, CJ3, the entire Married With Benefits team for helping us pull this off. We want you to join us next time for Married With Benefits when we’re going to be answering the question perhaps more husbands are thinking about right this very minute than any other. Do you know what that question has to be about?

Shaunti: Sex?

Brian: Brilliant! How in the world did you know that?

Shaunti: This is not my first rodeo.

Brian: It definitely is not. Well, until then, I’m Brian Goins. Thanks for listening.


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