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A Husband Talks about Our Body Image and Attraction

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A Christian husband explains about men, attraction and imperfect wives – and answers some tough questions.  GREAT STUFF here, ladies!  Be greatly encouraged!  I can’t say that he speaks for ALL husbands.  But I think he speaks for many of them.

HOW OUR SELF IMAGE AFFECTS OUR HUSBANDS

We (men) are fixers and we hate it when we cannot fix something. When you criticize yourself about your appearance:

  • we feel helpless.
  • it calls into question who we selected as a mate.

After all, we thought you looked pretty darn good when we married you. :o) Think of it like this: does your husband have an old hat, shirt, or pair of jeans that he loves? You can’t understand why he likes them – to you they are old and worn out, good for only rags. But to him, they represent everything that is good about clothes: comfort, familiarity, memories. Sure he sees the tears and the stains, but he doesn’t care. Those things fade in importance to the sentimental value that he has attached to them.

Same with our wives. We see the wrinkles, the extra… umm… padding, but we don’t care. We still see that amazing woman that we fell in love with in the first place and now we have added all the great memories too. You see wrinkles, we see laughter. You see fat, we see all the great meals and conversations we had. So take pride in yourselves, and rest in the comfort that we love you just the way you are.

A WIFE’S QUESTIONS ABOUT TRYING TO STAY ATTRACTIVE FOR OUR HUSBANDS

Christian men don’t help make it better. You read about the importance of taking care of your appearance, but I read almost nothing about the (if any) supernatural attraction that takes place when you’re married. It’s like if you’re a 4 because you’re busy and not taking extra time, you’d better step it up and become a 6 or it’s disrespectful to your husband. What about the person who is a 4 after putting in the effort? The message clearly isn’t “you’re beautiful and accepted the way you are” even among Christians. It’s discouraging because the demise of your beauty is inevitable. And how hard do you work? 1000 squats a week, no food after 3 pm?

At some point I want to relax. I just wish the body of Christ was somewhere a wife could be beautiful just for being her.

THIS HUSBAND ANSWERS HER QUESTIONS

It is true that we guys really pride ourselves on our wives appearance; we are driven primarily by sight after all.

However, it is not the same type of sight that you see. Understand; we know when you are trying to look your best and we love that, regardless of whether or not you think those efforts are a success. We see the women we fell in love with, the one we decided to spend the rest of our lives with; and while it’s great that you want to honor us with trying to make yourself look nicer (not to mention, it’s rather attractive), it’s not the lipstick, the eyeliner or those high heel shoes that we find attractive; it’s you.

I know it sounds corny, but it’s whats inside that counts.

Sure, we LOVE the outside, but we understand that the shell will eventually grow old and grey, and we’re ok with that. We’ll always see that person who took our breath away the first time we saw you, the woman we couldn’t believe would talk to us, the one that surprised us when you said yes. So don’t fret when those lines start to show, the grey hairs suddenly appear, and you just can’t hide those stretch marks anymore;

We don’t judge you like that. What we see is the most beautiful woman we ever laid eyes on, aged to perfection. 


Oh, and to the disrespect: is it disrespectful to not look your best for your husband?

Personally; I think that you are asking the wrong question. I think that the question should be: Is my husband grading my worth based on my appearance? If that is a yes, then he is objectifying you, not loving you.

If you are trying to be your best (and you are the best judge of that) then no, it is not disrespectful. By the way, this goes both ways too. A husband must show respect and honor to his wife, especially in this area. We as husbands know that you are insecure in areas and are constantly trying to cover up, work out, or disguise those areas that you don’t like about yourself. We get it, even if we don’t understand it. It is our job to lift you up and praise you, not in spite of your faults, but with them. You see your “faults” as you see them are the “quirks” that we love about you. We are privileged that you cover them up for the rest of the world for it means that we are the only ones that you feel comfortable with sharing them with; and that is honor and respect on a whole other level. 
Oh, and one more thing: if you get a compliment from you husband on how great you look; take it at face value. When he says “You look great!” know what he means? He means “YOU LOOK HOT!” It’s true, take it from me, I’m a guy. :o)

FROM PEACEFULWIFE

My husband says that if you only used your body to attract your man, you may have to worry about not looking perfect all the time eventually. “Whatever you use to attract him is what you will have to use to keep him.”  But he says he believes if you attracted your husband with your personality, your soul, your heart, etc… that husbands don’t expect perfection and are still attracted even when there are some flaws.  Interestingly, the things I always thought were huge flaws in my figure – my husband sees as beautiful.  I think sometimes we hold ourselves to impossible standards that our husbands may not even care about.

Ladies,

If your husband gives you a compliment – SMILE, say “Thank you SO MUCH” and accept that gift, ladies!

I don’t have the ability to do mass statistically accurate surveys of husbands.  Sometimes I am so jealous of Shaunti Feldhahn! 🙂  But I believe that this Christian husband’s explanation on this topic is probably pretty close to how most husbands feel.

I know my husband feels this same way about me! 🙂

Yes, there are some husbands who push their wives to lose weight and to dress up more often.  But sometimes I think that we believe our husbands want us all to be size 2 and look like swimsuit models.  I don’t think that is usually the case.  I think they want to see a little bit of effort sometimes – ie: that we are not always wearing old sweats and old t-shirts with stains and holes everywhere.  I think it is a gift we can give them to fix our hair and wear something pretty sometimes.  

But I don’t want ANY wife to feel pressure to conform to the world’s impossible standard of external beauty.  I hope that this post might be a huge encouragement to you in your marriage and that you might be able to joyfully accept the body you have – take decent care of it – and allow your husband to enjoy your beautiful body, too.  I don’t know ANY husband who expects his wife to starve herself or become bulemic or anorexic or obsessed with exercising for hours per day.  Those things are SCARY – and there are thousands of husbands who live with wives with eating disorders who would probably do almost anything for their wives to NOT make weight or being fit an idol.

Other husbands are welcome to comment constructively!

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