The Mrs. Potato Head Problem

I find some men want a Mrs Potato Head wife – one where they can pick and choose from all options and build their own wife just the way they want her.

The Mrs. Potato Head Problem

I’m not talking about the body here, although I see that too on occasion. It’s more about wanting a mix of personality and thinking that can’t all exist in a real woman. He looks at all the women he’s known, and some he doesn’t really know, and wants bits from each of dozens of women.

The reality is we’re all a package deal, and every package contains good and bad and things a man will like and others he won’t. This is how people are, and the desire for a Mrs Potatohead wife makes life difficult for the man and the woman he marries. 

If your hubby is doing this to you don’t let it make you feel bad about yourself. The woman he wants doesn’t exist, and if he found one with some of what he wants you to “add” she would be missing some of the things you have that he likes.

And of course, this isn’t a male only problem. Plenty of women want a Mr Potatohead husband!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I got a great package deal in Lori!

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10 Comments on “The Mrs. Potato Head Problem

    • A related thought…I think sometimes we look at our mates (and especially potential mates) and see ourselves through their eyes.

      Clear as mud, right? Think of it this way: a woman who grew up in a strict and structured family might be very attracted to the laid-back surfer dude for the clarity and freedom he represents, but a part of her will likely always be kind of uncomfortable without structure and a framework of ‘house rules’.
      Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 366 – A Patient’s ResponsibilityMy Profile

      • @Andrew Budek-Schmeisser – Looking for someone to balance us is not bad, and can work out well. But it can also work out very bad. Depends on how honest we are about the whole thing going in. If we’re not, we end up hating our spouse for things that attracted us to them!
        Paul Byerly recently posted…Light Up Her LifeMy Profile

  1. The title of this post made me automatically think of how I cannot compete with all of the heavily made up, photoshopped, and surgically enhanced women out there. And men want the perfection, and a real, natural woman just can’t keep up.

    And my husband wonders why I don’t believe him when he says “you look pretty” or “you’re beautiful.” I look nothing like those perfect women, with their perfect bodies and flawless skin and hair. And I see where his eyes linger. It’s not on me! And I totally get it, I cannot compete.

    What’s sad is, for most men, a real not-so-perfect woman is all they can get. But many men, like I suspect my husband does, they long for that “perfect” woman – even if she’s not real – thus making their own wife seem so ugly in comparison. And he wonders why I’m so sad and do not believe him.

    • @B – I can’t speak for your husband, but most men really don’t want that perfectly done up woman because they understand the cost of that. Not the $$ cost (although there is that too) but the time and energy cost. When I see women who do that, I always wonder how many hours a day they spend maintaining that look, and what they don’t de because of that time commitment.
      I see the Mrs Potatohead things way, way more often in the emotional than the physical.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Who’s the Rude Dude In My Past?My Profile

    • @B I don’t remember a lot about your situation from other threads, but has your husband actually said he finds these “ideal” women attractive, or is it his eyes, or maybe other actions that belie his words? Maybe he really means it when he says you’re beautiful. You say you “suspect” your husband really desires someone else, even if it’s a fictitious woman. How valid are your suspicions?

      Case in point. Today is our 37th anniversary. Not a great day. Had to work late. Wife had a disappointing doctor appointment. She also felt sick most of the day. Didn’t get to go out for the nice dinner we’d planned on. No sex, even though we had planned on making love tonight. She said she was sorry, she always messes things up. In my mind, however, I was thinking that the disappointments of the day were far outweighed by 37 years with the love of my life. She’s not perfect, but I’m no knight in shining armor either.

      B, I hope you and your husband will recognize that in this fallen world, nothing is going to be just as it should be, including (maybe especially) our marriages. What we have is two individuals, broken and scarred by sin, brought together by God. He can turn any broken marriage, and they all are broken to one degree or another, and turn them into displays of His power and grace. I pray that you will find it possible to trust your husband when he says these positive things to you, and that he will also support his words with his actions.

      And any man who is still seeking that unreal woman, needs to open his eyes to the woman God put into his life. If all you can see are the imperfections, first look in a mirror. Then ask God to open your eyes to the special characteristics that make your wife the perfect woman for you.

  2. So true, Paul. B, to be honest with you, I don’t think as many men want that perfect woman as we sometimes convince ourselves they do. Yes, some men do, but I think they’re the exception, not the rule. I think mostly when we think stuff like that, it’s our own insecurity lying to us. And I know it lies quite well. On the flipside, I know a few women who want that buff, handsome, perfect man they read about in all their romance novels. The perfect man or woman does not exist, whether in looks on the outside, or personality on the inside. only perfect one is our Savior. I think most of us know that, and don’t look for perfection, including most men. I know my tone won’t cary in writing, so I hope you can hear this with the compassion I mean it with, not as anything bitey or sarcastic. Consider asking God to help you take your man at his word, instead of listening to the lies of the Enemy.

  3. Thank you, everybody. @Alicia, yes, I do have a lot of insecurities. They are impossible to ignore.

    @Bobthemusicguy, no he doesn’t SAY he finds these women “ideal” women attractive, but I see where his eyes linger. The women who make him sit up and take notice look nothing like me. It saddens me, and I’d like to believe him, but he doesn’t get that look of interest in his eyes when he looks at me. I’ve only seen that look when he’s looking at other women.

    I think if he could select the parts he likes about these women and exchange them with my imperfect parts, thus creating a perfect potato head wife, he’d be much happier. Perhaps I’m being unfair. But yeah, my insecurities don’t just whisper, when I see him fascinated with better women, my insecurities scream.

  4. @B. A few more thoughts on this. You say he has that “look of interest” when he looks at other women but not when he looks at you. But do his actions show interest in you? Is he affectionate? Is he sexually aroused by you?

    I think I can speak for many men when I say when I see something I’m not necessarily attending to it. Same thing with the difference between hearing and listening. If I see a shapely woman , it doesn’t mean that’s registering in my brain other than as a fact, just as I might notic that she is wearing blue or that the sport car next to her is pretty cool. It’s a bit of information that has no real effect on me.

    There is another thing to be considered. I just read on Shaunti Feldhahn’s blog a great post about wives filling up their husbands’ mental Rolodex. She meant that if a visually wired man has lots of images of his wife stored in his mind, he is much more able to be unaffected by other women he sees. When I was in a long period of sexual refusal by my wife, I had real problems and it was a daily battle to honor her with my eyes and mind. Now that our sexual intimacy is back on track, it really is no problem. Anytime I see something that might lead me at ray, I have plenty of “thought food” provided by my wife to fill my mind instead. I’m very visually wired, and having lots of visual memories gives me the ability to not just avert my eyes but fill my mind with wonderful memories and exciting expectations.

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