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 ComplimentsIt is important to not let a day end without complimenting your wife’s beauty.
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. 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.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “Do you know why I think you are beautiful?”