Last week a female blogger friend sent me a message asking, “Any plans for an XY Code post on wives’ beauty?” The same issue came up in the What Your Husband Wants You to Know survey results. I summed it up by saying “When we say we like you, what you do, and how you look, please believe us!”
I often hear from men wanting to know how to convince their wife they think she is beautiful. Most of us have learned telling her we like the way she looks is sure to result in disagreement. A few poor fellows have even been accused of lying!
I understand how difficult it is to be “normal” in a sea of photo-shopped beauty. It is easy to lose track of reality. Honestly, I think women buy into this far more than men do. I also think women drive this craziness. Look at women’s magazines, commercials aimed at women, and books, television, and movies made for women. The level of physical perfection in those things is higher than what men view. I have a friend who watched his wife get ready for a woman’s luncheon. There would be no men there, and yet she spent more time getting ready than she ever spent getting ready for a date with him. She was putting on a look for other women!
The cultural side of must-be-perfect beauty is obvious if you travel much. I have friends in Southern California who feel an extreme pressure to look perfect. What would be very nice in other places is not even passing in their world. I see the opposite in friends from other countries where the female form is not worshipped.
Most men have not bought into this cultural mind-set nearly as much as most women have. Most of us have learned the cost of a woman looking so physically perfect. We have all met a woman the world calls a ten with a personality no one can stand. Frankly many of us learned to shy away from the “perfect looking women” because the odds were good she was not someone with whom we wanted to spend time. (Yes, that is unfair, but it is more common than you think – especially when a man is looking for a wife.)
Am I telling you it does not matter how you look? No, I am telling you most husbands do not buy the cultural definition of beauty. When we look at someone we do not know, the physical is all we have to go on. When we look at the woman we loved enough to marry, we see so much more. We see the woman who cares for us when we are sick. We see the woman who believed in us when we doubted ourselves. We see the woman who shares her mind and body in so many wonderful ways. We see the mother of our children. We see the only woman we want. Because of all this, we see a deep beauty no mirror can reflect.
The next time your husband says, you are beautiful, please know he honestly thinks you are. Thank him for saying it, and feel good about yourself. You will both feel better for it.
By The Way: J of Hot Holy and Humours recently had a post that goes well with this – check out Getting Comfortable Being Naked with Your Husband.