Husbands affirming their wife’s physical appearance
Do you regularly affirm your wife’s physical appearance – ie. tell your wife that she looks good/hot/beautiful/etc?
If yes, WHY do you do this? Do you feel obliged to do it (perhaps because you feel it’s expected, or maybe you want to build her confidence), or is it just a natural result of how you really feel about her physical appearance?
If you DON’T regularly affirm your wife’s physical appearance, can you say WHY this is the case? Is it because you don’t really find her physically appealing? Or maybe you just don’t think to say that kind of stuff, even if you do find her attractive?
If a husband DOES NOT make any positive comments to his wife about her physical appearance, what would you surmise about that? How should the wife interpret the lack of verbal affirmation of her body/appearance? Does it necessarily mean he does not find her physically appealing?
Any wives out there who do NOT receive affirmation from your husband about your physical appearance? What do you think about this? How does it affect you?
I’m asking because I’m wrestling with my own situation. Would appreciate people’s thoughts.
My DH is a man of very few words. I rarely, if ever, get told I am beautiful or sexy. I likely haven’t heard those words in the last year. However, I believe if my DH heard me say that, he would be shocked. Than again, maybe not. A couple years ago, we were walking into church with my uncle and aunt. She complimented me on my new outfit and said it was beautiful. She than made the remark, I’m sure your DH noticed and told you how beautiful you were. I said no, he never notices. Later, he asked what do you mean by that? Of course, I noticed! In his mind, he was complimenting me or with just a word or 2, that I didn’t comprehend what he meant.
He told me a couple weeks ago, he does not think of saying I Love You, unless he is out working late and I text him that I am going to bed.
It has bothered me for many years. However, I know without a doubt he loves me and my body, he thinks I’m beautiful and sexy. His love language is Acts of Service. And everyday, many times, I am shown his love by what he does. Lately, he has been sending me a romantic little picture and saying, morning and evening, by text, from an app on his phone. He puts time and effort into that. Now that I understand this about him, I’m a lot more appreciative of it. Lol but I’d still take the compliments rather! One time, I did mention that I would rather have a hug or compliment every day from him and gas up my own vehicle for the rest of my life, than have him keep the gas tank full. It almost seemed to hurt him. So, I am learning to accept love the way he gives it.
I tell her almost daily…and not just “you look beautiful”… but I give her specifics… “those pants fit you perfectly” or “your eyes are sparkling” etc… I tell her almost daily because I’m the reason her ability to believe any of those things are true. Because I stepped outside our marriage and covered an adulterous relationship for nearly three years. After it was all in the open, she of course assumed I thought the OW was somehow more beautiful. This is not the case… and now, I ensure that I tell her often so she feels as beautiful as she is…that she feels comfortable in her body and knows that I desire her always. I’m afraid before the affair, I didn’t do it enough… and if I did, it was for selfish motivations (I. E. to get sex)… but in my maturity I know the beauty my wife has is from God and was made just for me.
I think personality could be at play. What’s your husband like naturally? Is he very verbal and a big talker? Is he naturally affectionate? Is he expressive? Does he easily show and express his emotions? Has he ever been an open book with you?
If I only looked at how my husband is, I would think something is seriously wrong with your husband. For my husband, I can answer “yes” to all of those questions. A huge part of his job is talking and communication. But if I also take into account me, I am a totally different story. And if we go off Meyers Briggs personality types, we only represent 2 of the 16.
For me, I know one of my greatest weaknesses is encouraging him and giving compliments. It’s not natural for me. Being repetitive drives me crazy, so I know that plays a part. I fit more the stereotypical male, where there are only so many words to use a day, and once used, I am done. Actual talking, literally takes energy from me. There are times I am so exhausted, it’s a fight to audibly express anything. It’s similar to being really sick and the effort to lift your arm feels impossible. That’s what it can feel like to me to have to talk the more drained I am. (100% introvert here)
My point in all of this….look at this logically and look at your husband as a whole. This is very likely just part of who he is naturally. That doesn’t mean he can’t or shouldn’t do some changing for your sake so that your needs can be met, but it also may mean there’s nothing personal in it against you.
Lack of compliments doesn’t mean he isn’t attracted to you. It just means he communicates that attraction in different ways.
I, too, have wrestled with this. My love language is words of affirmation. My husband’s is physical touch. He very rarely compliments me on my appearance. I work with men who occasionally do compliment me, in very respectful ways. It’s both flattering and confusing for me. I like hearing the words, but in a troubling time in our marriage, hearing them from other men caused problems for me.
It took time and a lot of conversation with my husband to realize that he thinks he does compliment me. Every hug, every touch, every time he reaches out for me… all of that happens because he looks at me and thinks I’m attractive. It doesn’t make sense to me, but he conversely doesn’t understand why I don’t see his touch as a compliment.
He’s tried to change, but he is by nature not a man of many words. He hasn’t changed as much as I need him to. So I had to die to self a bit and become more understanding of what his actions mean.
I also had to learn to take the compliments of others for what they really are – pretty little words with no meaning apart from simple kindness. Those men are all more talkative than my husband. One of them saying, “You look lovely today,” does not have the same meaning as my husband ‘s reaching for a hug or patting my shoulder (or bottom, or breast) as I walk by him. I’ve learned to adapt to his ways, and to value his “hidden” compliments more.
Yes, I compliment and commend and affirm her daily – many times!
Why? There are several reasons: She does so many things well and she looks so good! But also, I know that doing such has a positive impact on our relationship and marriage. And, I have learned that she needs positive feedback. In addition, my “love language” of “words of affirmation” is fairly high – so I desire those and naturally give them out. Not being super talkative, I tend to notice things and then respond to what I see!
I think many DHs don’t realize the high value of positive comments for their DW. Others haven’t learned how to do it. Or they just assume because they have said something once before, it doesn’t need to be repeated lol! They need to learn, be made aware, and even trained how to do it!
It is a gift that I was seriously lacking for most of our marriage. It felt fake coming from me, because it was not natural to me. I comitted to change that, and I try to regularly speak to her in ways that are affirming addressing her as “hey gorgeous” or “hey sexy” or something like that. As I said, it does not come naturally to me and it actually required me to be deliberate about it. It has brought about a change in her, sometimes subtle, and sometimes very obvious. She has been more affirming and more confident in her own appearance, and to a large extent has even changed her appearance, dressing up more often.
For anyone who tells themselves, that’s not me, or that’s not how I talk, I would say that it is something you can learn and in my experience, it has been worth the initial discomfort.
The only time my husband comments on my physical appearance is during sex. During daily life, he is just not observant. I once got new glasses and he didn’t notice until I said something 6 weeks later. I’ve changed my hairstyle many times during our marriage and he has never once noticed. I guess when it’s naked time, he opens his eyes? 🤔
I could get mad, but what good would that do? It’s just the way he is. I don’t let it affect me, but I’ve always had a very positive self-image to begin with and am happy with the way I look.
@MQ I don’t think it’s the norm, really. I know of very few marriages in real life where it happens regularly. I think there is a certain demographic on boards like this that lends itself to paying compliments. We’re all here to better our marriages rather than accepting the status quo. So many of us are more inclined to give answers that are not the norm, and to many questions.
I agree though, that your question should be, “Why?” But ask it with this second question in mind – How does your husband show love? Several here have talked about the love languages, and there is so much truth there. He may think he doesn’t need to pay you compliments simply because he doesn’t value them as highly as you do. It’s well worth it to talk with him to find out. That conversation will help you ask for what you need in a positive light.