body image issues

Helping Your Wife Overcome Her Body Image Issues

If someone hurled insults at your wife you would probably be moved to action in some way. You would either have her back, challenge the offender, or help move her away from the firing line. One of the hardest things in my life is when my wife goes on a trip (she’s a flight attendant). Normally she will be gone for three days. When she calls she’ll tell me about the crew, the passengers, and the crazy things she encounters. Most of it is funny or interesting, but occasionally she is confronted with an aggressive and mean passenger. Most of the time she handles it well, but other times she takes it personally and it affects her self image. Either way I’m always ready to go to war.

When it comes to body image our wives deal with an aggressive and mean passenger often, for some it’s every day. The passenger isn’t the culture or the images she sees in commercials, movies, and magazines. Those things just reinforce what the loud passenger is telling her. The aggressive and mean passenger is her internal voice. Every day when she looks in the mirror that voice starts chattering judgement, comparison, and condemnation. That voice affects the way that she views herself and takes in information, including the things you communicate to her. It can cause dissension and disconnection. If your desire is for your wife to have a positive body image then that voice is your worst enemy. You need to declare war on it because it has declared war on her. Here is a tactical plan for how to make your wife feel beautiful by helping her overcome her body image issues.

Consistent, Sincere, and Unsolicited Compliments

Like I said, that voice is loud and aggressive. You need to launch a campaign of positive reinforcement to push it back. It is important to not let a day end without complimenting your wife’s beauty. [Tweet This] Don’t wait for special occasions where she is dressed up. She’s the one that makes her clothes look good, not the reverse. It’s her natural everyday self that needs your affirming voice. Leave her notes or tell her when she’s least expecting it. For example say, “I’m not sure how you do it. How do you make sweatpants and a ponytail look so amazing?” However, it needs to be more than consistent. It needs to be sincere. If you are having trouble then dig deep to those days before you were married when everything was new. Start competing with that voice early and often.

Expose the Lies and Reinforce the Truth

Be prepared. That voice is well ingrained. It has been solidified by years of painful experiences, culture, and maybe even things you have said or done. If that last part is true it will just make this battle harder, but still worth the fight. At its core that voice is a deceiver. It is lying to your wife to make her feel worse about herself. When you hear the lies come out you need to expose and challenge them. When it criticizes her body, stand up for her. It’s important for you to make the distinction between truth and lies. The truth might be that her body is unhealthy or out of condition. That’s fine. The lies are that her body is the wrong shape, unattractive, or not as lovable if it doesn’t meet a certain standard. The truth is that she is attractive and lovable. When you stand for the truth the opposing voice is going to attempt to get louder. It may even lash out. Stick to the plan. Don’t stop until your wife starts to know the truth.

Make Her Know That She’s the One

Focus and be wise with your eyes and your comments. Your words and actions are powerful, and remember that she is going to filter it all through that voice. When you look at or compliment other women her internal voice will jump all over the opportunity to tell her that she comes up short in your eyes. Don’t give it that opportunity. She is the one and only. Let her know with your words and eyes that her body is your favorite and the most desirable. Ultimate victory is achieved when the aggressive and mean voice is replaced by one that is kind, true, and full of grace.

Sound Off

What other ways can husbands help wives with their body image?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • Ben Williams

    Perfectly said. You’re right, identifying the enemy correctly is the first step. I will make more of an effort in this area. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Will R

    I think it is wise for many of us men to understand that there are things we may never understand and that ‘internal voice’ is one of them. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jim Shipley

    I’ve chosen many times in my life to move away (physically and emotionally) from friends who seem to always be talking about and complementing other women who aren’t their wives (or daughters etc). Talking about the attractiveness of other women has never been helpful in any way; ever. Sooner or later our wives hear about it, and then it becomes damaging twice.

  • Scott C

    When my wife became frustrated with her body image, I framed it up as “we need to get healthier so we can be active and keep up with the boys” To me, it was a health issue not a body image issue. We tried the Take Shape For Life plan at the suggestion of a friend of ours who lost a lot of weight. I quickly lost 30 pounds and my wife lost 60 pounds and we’ve never felt better. If you’re interested, check out coachmic.com to learn more as my wife is now a Certified Health Coach trying to help others improve their health!

  • PK

    Prayer…. I don’t do it enough with her in the mornings but, when we do I always thank God for my beautiful wife. I point out all the things that I love about her and none of them are physical attributes.

    Humor… when I catch my wife tearing into herself in front of her girlfriends I step right into the conversation and say, “I’m sorry, have you met my wife?” Or “Excuse me, but that’s my wife you are talking about!” I always get a smirk, smile, or “Sorry, you’re right”. And her friends see how much she means to me right then and there.

    Look into her eyes… For the really tough moments, where satan leans in hard on her figure and her self esteem, I stop what I’m doing and softly lift her head so she looks in my eyes, and I tell her how blessed I am that God gave her to me. That she is the greatest gift that my Heavenly Father has ever given me. And my only desire is to serve Him and her.

  • Paul_Sp

    Appreciate that you said make sure compliments are sincere, boy, they’d better be!

    A problem for some husbands I hear about is that if they don’t find aspects of their wives to be physically beautiful, but many other things are to him, but that isn’t good enough for her, she’s put off that he doesn’t find something about her that’s really inconsequential in the big scheme of things to be attractive.
    Not sure what will help if she’s insisting he not find anything physically unattractive yet he does.

  • Liam Martin

    Amazing article !!!
    Many people deal with body image issues that affect their self image and may cause many health problems due which they suffer a lot. please also read belpw this may also be helpful
    https://askopinion.com/how-to-deal-with-body-image-issues

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