It's Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!
Have you ever noticed how good looking forensic scientists are? I was unaware of this remarkable fact until a recent stay in a hotel allowed me to catch a few episodes of CSI (we don’t have a television at home). And while my initial thought was, “boy that’s graphic,” my take-away was, “Wow, they’re all gorgeous.” Were I at a murder scene, I doubt I’d be wearing heels and a designer suit, let alone look like I just left the hairdresser’s. Apparently, though, when examining a corpse for foreign substances, mascara is a must.
I’m not sure if men truly appreciate how insecure we women are about our appearance. Sure, they'd like six-pack abs, and a full head of hair would be nice, but that’s nothing compared to all the hype we have to meet. It starts as a little girl, when we’re presented with our first Barbie. For those of you who did not have the opportunity to become intimately acquainted with her, she’s a mutant. Were she life size, she would be 44-12-22, and certain anatomical features, prominent on the upper half of her body, would prevent her from standing upright.
For the last few months I’ve been pounding out a manuscript for a book that’s coming out next year called The Good Girl’s Guide to Sex. And in writing it, I took surveys of a few thousand men and women. One of the things that saddened me in reading through the answers was how many women are berated by their husbands for not losing weight. Their husbands tell them that they’re not attracted to them anymore because they’re not a size 4. Or they question their menu choices at restaurants.
I can see both sides of the story here: I know it’s hard for men when their wives let themselves go, because men do like to appreciate women’s bodies. But here’s the thing: it does men absolutely no good to harp on their wives about it. In fact, it makes things worse. Many women want to lose weight but they can’t seem to motivate themselves to do anything about it, which leads us on a vicious spiral downward. If husbands then start withholding affection, or questioning menu choices at restaurants, we'll feel even more insecure. And that’s not going to motivate her to try something as life altering as losing weight!
Two things, I think, help a woman actually get motivated to lose weight: feeling closer to God and thus more aware of her role as a wife, and feeling sexually confident. When we are sexually confident, we want to be MORE sexy. When we are sexually scared, or feel as if we’re pretty pathetic, we tend to retreat even more. If guys would just listen to me about this, here's the advice I would give them:
Spend lots of time wooing her, trying new things, talking about what plus sized lingerie you like, and pursuing her. And give her a budget to buy clothes that make her look dynamite! (Lots of clothes are out there for large women). Doing so doesn’t mean that you’ve resigned yourself to the extra 100 pounds; doing so means that you’re saying, “I want you to feel confident, and I want our sex life to be great”.
Then make sure you’re leading the household: in devotions, in prayer, even in menu choices. As you do these things, and grow closer to her, I think you build communication so you can talk about it, but you also build her confidence so that she is now empowered to change. But above all, love her as she is. It's acceptance that helps people feel motivated to get better, not rejection. Rejection causes insecurity, resentment, and defeat. Acceptance makes one feel confident.
Unfortunately, I don't think many men would listen to me on this, as is evidenced by the number of women describing how much their husbands put down their appearance.
So here's what I would say to you women who are struggling with how you look: go out of your way to look amazing, even if you are 100 pounds more than you'd like to be. Dress well. Put on makeup. Get an attractive hair style. Take care of yourself. So much of "sexiness" is all in attitude, anyway. And as you feel more confident, you'll likely feel more energetic, too. Looks should never define us, but let's face it: in marriage, they do play a role. Men are visually stimulated. So do all you can to stimulate your man! When you feel more confident, it will be easier to make pretty much any change you've been wanting to.
Now I want to know: how do you handle it if your husband puts you down because of your weight? Has this ever happened to you? What did you do? Maybe your experiences can help someone else!
What advice do you have for us today? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!
Labels: appearance, beauty, marriage, wifey wednesdays