Monday, May 19, 2008

Being attractive for our husbands

If you haven't read this excellent post already, go ahead and take a look. Mrs. Parunak describes in a beautiful way the importance of being attractive and seductive for our husbands, just as it is important to express modesty and chastity towards the rest of the world.

I've been married less than two months, and love my husband dearly, but sometimes I'm completely wiped out from daily work. In addition, my husband works very hard and there are days when he comes home so late at night that we both need to struggle to keep ourselves awake and spend some time together - which, we both realize, is a very important habit to form if we want to achieve long-lasting closeness and intimacy.

Our media paints men as hardened and insensitive, but in my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. A husband takes off all defenses with his wife, and constant rejection or neglect from her part might eventually make him feel bitter and unappreciated.

Life isn't a Hollywood movie, and there are many things that can make you feel anything but sexy. You might be, for example, pregnant and suffering from nausea and a low energy level; distracted by the demands of small children and running a household; simply feeling unwell, physically or emotionally; or all of the above.

I'm not a mother yet, and I realize older and wiser women might have more to say from their experience, but I'm convinced there is a way to keep the fire burning and fall even more deeply in love with our husbands. How come? God intended us to be mothers and homemakers. But He also wants us to be lovers to our husbands ("rejoice with the wife of thy youth") - and since He wants both, and He wouldn't ask us to do the impossible, it means this can be done - only we need to work hard for it.

For me, it means first and foremost keeping focus: my husband is the most important person in my life, and our marriage is the most precious gift the Lord has given me. Anyone or anything that tries to convince me otherwise, or pull my heart in a different direction, is a dangerous influence and must be avoided.

When I come home, one of the first things I do is take off my head covering and let my hair fall free. I might also take off something I'm wearing (I often wear layers), and leave something shorter and/or tighter I would allow outside. I know my husband loves and enjoys it.

A godly marriage shouldn't be boring. It can be exciting, romantic, and filled with joy. There are many women out there, young and beautiful and unburdened with children and keeping a home, yet because they give bits and pieces of themselves to different men, they are unable to fully enjoy intimacy. We have an advantage of the very special freedom in the security of being wives. Let's make the most of it.

31 comments:

MrsFranklin said...

Excellent post Anna,

I've been on all spectrums of this topic and let me tell you, its been a learning experience! What amazes me most is how we can often put on our best to step outside our home and yet look like hags for our husbands. We show the world the beautiful things our husbands work so hard to provide for us to like nice in, yet wont take the time to wear it for him! How crazy is that?!

Here is another little tidbit. I've noticed that when I started taking better care of myself, my dh reciprocated!

Elizabeth Sue said...

Very good post. This is something I am working on myself too. All the best to you and yours!

Tracy said...

Wonderful post, and YES! Although we have been married for nearly 19 years and have children that are teenagers, we make them go to bed between 9-10 PM so that we can spend time one on one before retiring to the bedroom.

Another thing I've learned is that I need to let my husband catch glimpses of me, even though we have children, so I wear very little in the bathroom while I'm fixing my hair for the day, or while making our bed. (With our bedroom door closed and locked, of course. )He's free to gaze at what is only his to see, in the confines of private areas in our home.

princess said...

hi anna

i saw your blog from homeliving and since then, you get a visit from me at least once daily. i am a homemaker too and your blog is one of the many that keeps me inspired and encouraged in this calling.

this is off topic but i would like to request for your opinion regarding this msn article about a homemaker's worth.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/CollegeandFamily/P46800.asp

thanks!

CurlyGirl said...

Great entry. My husband and I have been blessed with 17 years of marriage, and one thing that has really kept us close is protecting our time together every day, no matter how tired we are.

Good thoughts on looking beautiful for our husbands. It is crazy that sometimes we look our best for strangers, but not for the love of our life!

AnneK said...

"There are many women out there, young and beautiful and unburdened with children and keeping a home, yet because they give bits and pieces of themselves to different men, they are unable to fully enjoy intimacy."

What did you mean exactly? I am totally confused. Did you mean single women who sleep around, or women who work outside home?

andrea said...

I can't wait to be married and enjoy this aspect of a relationship! I loved the analogy as a garden.

My fiance bought a little necklace for me, and at first I never wore it (even though I like it)--well, he noticed and called me on it! Needless to say, I'm more concious of how I look to him, and I know he appreciates that! We're not married yet, so I still have to be modest for him as any other man, but look forward to when we are married!

Anonymous said...

Just a little bit of background for perspective, I'm 31 and I've been happily married for 10 years, we have 3 children and hope for more soon. I love my husband and find him very attractive. We have a great relationship and have a lot of fun and friendship. Having said that, I would say that at this point in my life I don't *feel* like being intimate about 75% of the time. This is always due to fatigue. For a couple with children out of babyhood, almost all of the chances for intimacy happen late at night. But here is the good news: I have found that if I choose to receive my husband with joy anyway, I may be staying up a bit later but the sleep I enjoy is much more deep and restful - there is honestly nothing like it. Now I'm not trying to say that I'm sleeping better because my concience is clear (although I'm sure that could add to it) but I'm actually referring to a physical happening. The release of stress before going to bed, I feel, makes for better rest. I can say that this became more true for me as our marriage has grown and our intimacy deepened. In the beginning, even though things were wonderful and new, I didn't experience the kind of deep release that years of marriage can bring. But I do think that coming together frequently can speed that along. Just like many things in life, this does require effort but the rewards are more than worth it.

Blessings,
Beth

Anonymous said...

I agree that a woman should strive to keep the fire alive (although it require more effort after 16 yrs, but it's possible!)

I want to mention something though that your link hints at. It seems to imply women should reverse their efforts, and put more effort into getting ready for their husbands than to go out.

A home is a woman's haven too. Most guys probably look better in a 3 piece suit than in their sweats. But you'd probably want your husband to don the sweats when hanging around the house.

Most women look best all made up, with panty hose and heels. That effort is appropriate for the outside world, the official, formal realm. Most husbands want their wives to look lovely when going out, so they can feel proud.

But home is for snuggling together, in comfy 'home clothes', sans make-up and heels and all the other efforts a woman puts into making herself beautiful for the outside world.

Put on nice (even sexy!) comfies, by all means, but it's only natural a woman put more effort into getting all dolled up for the judgmental world out there than for her own hubby.

Tammy

EllaJac said...

Would your habit of 'dressing down' a bit at home (for your husband's eyes) change at all if/when you have children? I have 3 young daughters, and haven't found a way to balance 'dressing for him' with 'setting a good example' of typical clothing for my girls..

Thanks for any response. :)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Annie: I meant unmarried women who give themselves to different men. Studies have shown, and common sense, as we know feminine nature, suggests that women don't really enjoy intimacy with strangers. Only in the blessed bond of marriage we can truly be ourselves and enjoy intimacy with the man we love.

Ella: when(Lord willing) we have children, I think I will have to revise my home outfits a bit, but I still intend to keep my hair down at home.

Catherine R. said...

Re: Tammy's comment

I think sometimes we may have some skewed ideas of what men think is beautiful. I don't know that it's necessary for us to wear full make-up, pantyhose, stiletto heels, a push-up bra and dance like a stripper while we're preparing dinner at all times when in the home. That would be extremely tiring for one and also, I think husbands can appreciate a kind and loving face, even without make-up, hair that is clean, an attractive fragrance and maybe some revealing gym shorts even...those are comfy.

I'm just thinking we can still be comfortable and attractive...it's not as hard as we may think.

A Pretty Home said...

This was a great post Anna :)

Ive been married 13 years as of tomorrow! Yay, Happy Anniversary to us :) hee hee

ANYWAY ;) I think a husband likes especially likes his wife dressed up when they are going out. I know my husband always seems proud of me when we go out to visit friends or family or just go for a walk. Ya know, I just think its important to guys that the lady around their arm is as pretty and cute as she can be.
Inside the home, I also think she should be as pretty and cute as can be. We are being flooded unfortunately wit television shows, movies, commercials!!! magazines and even just people around that are wearing revealing clothes and trying to distract our husbands and make them have wandering eyes. This is true: if you want your husbands eyes to be only on you, then we have to try to keep cute and pretty even at home! Of course not all guys are interested in glimpsing at other women but ya just want to make sure he's happy and he feels proud of his pretty and cutesy wife.

I cant imagine my husband coming home from work and seeing me just looking blah.
If your a full time homemaker and even have kiddies around your feet all day long, and no time for much of anything, you can still look cute and adorable in your "home clothes" or sweats if thats what you wear. Just add some pink, add some lace, add some lipgloss, do your hair and just try to add a bit of feminity to yourself..ever bit counts and your husband will appreciate it.
And of course, besides your clothing, hair and make up....smile lots and make eye contact and bat your eyelashes if ya have to hahaa and its ok to flirt with your husband :)

Your right, a godly marriage should not be boring! Far from it!!! :)

AnneK said...

Thanks Anna for clarifying that. I was not sure what you meant. I thought maybe you meant women who work outside who have male bosses "give a bit of themselves to them." THAT idea well...to put it very mildly...was nauseating.

As for the rest, I do agree mostly.

Sammybunny said...

This is such an important topic to remember to address in one's life! It is essential that we make ourselves attractive and seductive for our husbands! We truly ARE our husband's gardens!

Emily (Unfurling Flower) said...

What a great perspective you have, Anna. This is so true. I hope you and your husband continue to protect and guard each other in this area, and to have a long and intimate marriage!

Abigail said...

Amen!

I firmly believe that if I continue to keep myself looking (physically and spritualy) appealing to my hubby he will not have the desire to look for something else. And that is just the way I want it to be:D

Michelle said...

I love that my husband still finds me sexy after 15 years of marriage. He works in a hospital with mostly women 40 hours a week and I am very careful that the one he comes home to is just as attractive as the ones he has been with all day. Sometimes I call him before he leaves to let him know I won't be greeting him at the door because I will be wearing something "inappropriate" for our children to see. He comes in, greets the children and the dog :) and hurries to the bedroom where I rub his feet as he tells me about his day. It may take some preparation (get the kids busy with something that doesn't require your help) but it is worth the extra effort to see how excited he is to come home! (why make him wait until bedtime when you are both too tired?) He often brags that none of the guys he works with get to go home to that kind of treatment. Of course, then I feel free to put on something comfy to spend the rest of the night hanging out at home in.

Shelley said...

Thank you for the gentle kick in the butt that I needed. It's really easy to get into the sweatpants habit after a few years, my husband deserves better than that. Once again you've opened my eyes, thanks:)

Anonymous said...

I just want to add something...I'm afraid my previous comment may be misunderstood.
I don't think a woman should 'let herself go'. Cozy and comfy is good, slob is not.

I've been married 16 yrs but do not walk around in anything revealing, ever. Too many kids!

BTW, I think orthodox Judaism is simply brilliant when it comes to keeping passion alive. A man and wife are allowed to touch for only half the cycle; once a woman gets her period and for 7 days following, touching is off limits (developing intimacy in other ways is encouraged).

This allows the emotional bonds to grow, allows for a different type of relationship, allows for 'space', and for a renewed wedding night every single month.

Tammy

MrsFranklin said...

I dont suggest walking around the house in heals and full facial armor (makeup). I simply say that if we can make the effort to dress for strangers, we can do it for our husbands. Its the same as being super kind to total strangers yet treating our family like crap. Our family deserves our best.

My husband does not require me to walk around the house dressed to the "9's" when we're at home, but he does appreciate coming home to a clean, sweet smelling wife who took the time to comb her hair and tidy her appearance just for him. He knows how my day has gone so he appreciates the effort all the more when I look nice for him.

I use to do the reverse and get really pretty to walk out the door but when I came home I got "comfortable" aka, sloppy, so thats what he saw. THAT is wrong. Now I wear what I wear throughout the day so he can see what I look like!

Being too comfortable can eventually cause complacency and laziness when it comes to our appearance. This in turn can cause us to become unconcerned about our appearance and before you know it, things have gone so far from where you started that you find yourselves trying to do complete make overs, loose weight and such because when you've finally awakened to reality, your spouse may no longer be physically attractive to you (didnt say stopped loving you, big difference) or you've lost your self confidence.

Best to keep the fire burning than to try to reignite dampened embers.

Gothelittle Rose said...

AnneK, I think she meant, not necessarily women who sleep around or women who work outside the home, but women who walk around, working or not, dressed sexually.

I've seen it myself.. the difference between the businesswoman in a neat, pretty suit, and the one whose blouse is low-cut and slightly see-through wearing the pushup bra and stiletto heels with enough beauty products to kill her if she was in the 1990 movie Batman. ^.^

Cindi said...

A lot of people get confused when they become mother's also. They give everything to their children and having nothing left of their energy and time to give to their husbands. The best advice I was giving at my first baby shower was to remember that your child will grow up and leave you to start a home of their own, your husband will not. We often tell our children that we come first in each other's lives because we are raising them to grow up to leave home and we don't want each other to ever leave. It's healthy for them to see their parents love for each other even in playful ways. I have teens and they get "grossed out" when we kiss in front of them. They have admitted to being glad to know though that our relationship is still strong, it makes them feel secure.

Lisa S. said...

This is a topic that's been plaguing me incessantly for the last 10 or so years of our nearly 18 years of marriage.

With kids in the house....a wife is greatly limited in what she can wear that her husband would find attractive.

And as far as privacy in the bedroom....Well, we have shallow walls and doors - we can hear everything, they can hear everything....and the kids, now teens, don't go to sleep right away even if we all go to bed at 9pm.

So, eventually, we will remodel and they kids will move out and this won't be as much of a burden.

I have a SIL who is very very worldly and walks around her house in her bikini, and then when she does put shorts on, they're about 5 inches long.....and wears a tiny shirt to show off her plastic surgery.....Her H requires that she be a "thing" to show off....

But he's not Christian at all....so I'm thankful that's not my burden. My H's more reasonable (and long suffering)

God Bless,
Lisa

Celestial Freak said...

"For me, it means first and foremost keeping focus: my husband is the most important person in my life, and our marriage is the most precious gift the Lord has given me. Anyone or anything that tries to convince me otherwise, or pull my heart in a different direction, is a dangerous influence and must be avoided."

That is so precious! It's true, and I think it's a wonderful testimony that you CAN see your marriage as a gift from the Lord. I think all too often people just look as marriage as one of the steps in a dating and romance part of life, and it truly is so much more. Having a partner who is a best friend and having each others best interests at heart, even before our own is truly a peaceful life that I believe honors the Lord.

I pray that over the years you continue to love each other in such the same way, that no person or thing of this world will tear you down and apart. That you can continue to love as an example of how love should be.

Blessings,
Crystal

Ways of Zion said...

Even though our days here at home are crazy busy with a 5yr old, 2 yr old & newborn, I still try to get ready for D coming home.

Usually I'll run upstairs (with the baby ofcourse) and throw on a clean t-shirt, brush my hair & teeth again and spray some perfume on.

It is nice to be able to great your Hubby in clean clothes rather then the spit up ones that usually happens during the day!

Mrs. C. said...

Dear Anna,
I was introduced to your blog a few months ago and have been blessed by your wonderful insights and wisdom from the Word of God.
Congratulations to you and your new husband! :-)
Thank you for this post which reminds me of my resposibilites and great privilege of being a wife.
I have been married 11 years this year. For the first 9 years of our marriage I struggled with intimacy with my husband because my past is riddled with abuse and promiscuity.
God is faithful; through prayer, trust, submission, and obedience, my marriage is now more beautiful than I ever thought it would be.
I now enjoy "preparing" myself for my husband and making myself attractive to him, knowing the marriage with which God has blessed us is sacred and beautiful.
Thanks to the ladies who commented because I have also learned something from them.
You are a lovely woman Anna and I am thankful for your blog.

Most Sincerely,
Mrs. C

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

I haven't read all the previous responses yet (I will when I submit my comment), for I wanted to share my thoughts on this.

If there is one thing single guys fear it is THIS. We've not only heard the horror stories of how wives let themselves go and absolutely REFUSE to look good for their husbands; we've SEEN this for ourselves! As a 46 year old man, I am not as handsome or thin as I was when I was younger; if I were married, I wouldn't expect that from my wife, either. Human beings get older, and as we age, we get uglier-end of story.

Having said that, please, please, please do NOT wear sweats all the time! Please do not cut your hair short; if we wanted to marry a man, we'd have done so, ok?! And, don't get so big that Goodyear would be demanding you give them their blimp back! Some weight gain due to age and childbirth is understandable, if not inevitable; packing on 100# or more is not, nor do we find it sexy-ugghh! All most decent guys want is for their wives to make an HONEST EFFORT to look as good as you can; do that, and we'll 'rejoice in the wives of our youth', just as God intended.

Lest anyone think I'm shallow, lest anyone think I'm hung up on looks, body, etc., I'm not. They say that beauty is skin deep, while ugly goes clear to the bone; it's true. However, I and most single guys are fearful of being married to someone we barely recognize after years of marriage. Thanks to the lopsided laws regarding divorce and marriage, women don't have any need to look good for their husbands; if he doesn't like it, he can get a divorce, and she'll get the house, the car(s), and children.

When a wife does this, she's saying to her husband that he doesn't matter. I don't have to look good for you; I don't want to look good for you. Your thoughts, desires, and feelings do not matter to me. Don't like it? Tough noogies, Pal! It's like, now that we have you, we don't have to put forth the same effort we did to CATCH you. We can take you for granted; we will take you for granted; and you will like it! That's how neglecting your appearance comes across to us men. I'm glad that Anna and her fine readers don't practice this, though... :)

While I'm at it, I'm going to tell a personal story with respect to this. Though I've never been married, this sort of thing affected me; though there was no malice whatsoever involved, it hurt nonetheless...

Though you may not know it, back when I was 21, I met a great gal when I was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I was in the Navy then; I had a chance to go to Pearl Harbor, so I jumped on it. I had a good time there; now, all these years later, I can hardly believe that I actually spent TWO YEARS there!

I met this gal while riding my scooter. I saw this gal riding an identical scooter, so I asked her if it was hers. Since I could see bushy, blonde hair bursting forth from the helmet, I thought she might be a tourist, and that she might be renting the little motorbike. We hit it off, and we spent the rest of the night together. We rode out to Hanauma Bay that night; I'll never forget how we sat on a ledge overlooking the bay (a popular snorkeling/tourist spot that I often visited back then) beneath the bright, almost full moon! We went to see 'Firefox', the new hit movie that summer, afterwards. We spent hours talking, and I connected with her like I never had with anyone before or since.

Anyway, to speed things up, we were friends for months; for months, we weren't at all physical; we didn't have that 'instant chemistry' that so many singles, especially women, seek these days. Even when we became boyfriend/girlfriend, we didn't go beyond kissing; we'd talked about doing so, but we never actually did it-engage in petting or sex, that is. Though we never said it, I think we both knew that sex WOULD change the relationship, a risk neither of us were willing to take. We had something sweet, genuine, and beautiful; we had REAL intimacy, and we didn't want to mess that up. If you ever saw "It's a Wonderful Life" and the relationships that George & Mrs. Bailey had in the movie, that's what I had; that's the best I can describe our relationship with mere words anyway...

Unfortunately, I got transferred back to the mainland. Lynn (not her real name) was in the Navy too, but she worked at the Admiral's HQ, CINCPACFLT. She hadn't been in Hawaii for long, either, so there was no prospect of her getting transferred. We talked on the phone every week, and I flew out for a visit a few months later. During that visit, when we were discussing our future, we tearfully agreed to break up with one another. I'll never forget that night as long as I shall live; just writing this is bringing tears to my eyes as I revisit that conversation...

I flew back to the mainland a few days early. When I checked in from leave (at my duty station in San Diego( a few days early, the Chief Petty Officer on duty said I was nuts for coming back from Hawaii early; I mumbled something in reply to him, but I cannot remember what I said. I think I said that I had my reasons, and I wanted to leave it at that. I'll never forget that day, the tearful flight back, any of it.

As you may have already figured out, it took YEARS for me to get over Lynn; shoot, it was 2-3 years before I could even listen to certain songs without coming unglued! That was hard sometimes, since this would often happen while on duty with one or more guys; no man wants to cry like a woman, especially in front of the guys! I'm old fashioned that way, and I don't believe a man should cry in public; it shows weakness, which, if it's not an unforgivable sin for a man, it's awfully close. While I didn't cry in front of the guys, I lost the battle with my tears more often that I would like to admit. Even so, certain songs would just hit me, and they'd hit me hard for 2-3 years after Lynn and I broke up.

About 3-4 years after we parted, I found Lynn; I called her, and we started talking again. I flew out to her native California for a visit. I was now out of the Navy; I'd returned to college, and I flew out during one of my vacation breaks. It was good to see her again, but we couldn't recapture what we'd had a few years before. Perhaps that was an unrealistic expectation, but, given our history, I guess we couldn't help ourselves. We both had shared something so wonderful, and we wanted to have it again. Even though we didn't recapture that old magic, we left as friends for life, and we would remain in touch with one another through the years.

Fast forwarding to a few years ago, Lynn was able to come out to New Jersey; she lived and worked here. Unfortunately, she'd put on weight over the years, as I had. She had put on more than I had; she definitely didn't wear her extra padding as well as I did...

That said, I didn't want to say anything to her about her weight. I knew from her comments that she was not only aware of it; I also knew that it was a very tender, sensitive subject with her, as it is with most women. Since I've never been known for diplomacy or tact, I sought my brother's advice as to what to do; he was always better at 'people stuff' than I ever was. He didn't disappoint me, either; he gave me great advice, advice which I put to use immediately.

He recounted how he and his wife, Joan (not her real name), used to smoke. He then told me what he did when he quit smoking before she did. Rather than badger (or nag) Joan about quitting cigarettes, he'd occasionally let her know how his progress was going; when she started making an effort to quit, he'd compliment her and provide positive reinforcement to her. They're both non-smokers now, BTW. That was just what I needed! I started doing it myself.

What I did was resume exercising regularly again; I mainly rode my bicycle (I have four: a mountain bike, a hybrid, and two, old-school road bikes), since it had kept me thin as a boy. When I was a teenager, I couldn't afford a car right away, so I used my bicycle to go everywhere, including work. Since it had worked then, I figured that bike riding would help me shed the pounds once again at 36 years of age. It did; I lost like 25-30# that summer, and I looked better than I had in years; I felt better too.

When I'd see or talk to Lynn, I'd let her know how my bike riding was going; if I'd lost a few pounds, I mentioned that too, not in an arrogant way, but just in passing. Lynn tried to make an effort to lose some weight; when she did, I complimented her, let her know what a good job she was doing, etc. Unfortunately, she could not, or would not, stick with it. In the end, she not only put the weight back on; she weighed MORE than I did! I was no lightweight, either, nor have I been for years. I weighed in around 245 or so back then. Though that's far above the 190-200# I weighed for years as an adult, it was still better than the 275 I'd been just recently; 245 is much better than 275 any day of the week. Though I'm not hung up on weight (in fact, I prefer women who aren't skinny; thin women turn me off), though I'm not a jerk about a girl being overweight, I do draw the line when she weighs as much, if not more, than I do! That is disgusting to me, and that's what Lynn looked like at this point. She also smelled the way some fat people do; that was a turn off too, as you can imagine.

When I started my weight loss in hopes of spurring Lynn to follow suit, I never, ever, ever expected her to look like she did when we were 21. For one thing, we were both LONG past 21! We also knew that, because of aging's effects on human beings, that there was no way, regardless of how much we tried, we could look like we did when we first met. Secondly, when Lynn was in her early 20s, she'd had the body and build of Marilyn Monroe; she had some meat on her frame, and boy, it had been in the RIGHT PLACES-ow!! Sorry, I couldn't help myself there. Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and other classic actresses of that era were, and are, my ideal for woman's beauty; that is what a HEALTHY woman should look like! I do not find today's actresses attractive at all; give me more than skin & bones, damn it!

That said, I knew that there was no way Lynn could, at 35, look like she had when she was 20 when I met her-especially since she had been built like Marilyn Monroe! I didn't expect that. However, I was hoping she could get enough weight off so that her bustline was bigger than her waist line. I would have been more than happy with that result; not only that, she would have looked as good as any woman in her 30s can look. I would have been happy with with a lesser amount of 'extra padding', as it were. When Lynn could not, or would not, even get down to that, I was CRUSHED! I was hurt. Not only had the wind been knocked out of my sails; my mast had gotten chopped off! She moved back out West, and we've gone on with our lives since then.

I know I've gone on a LONG, long time, but I wanted to furnish enough background; I wanted to let you try to see things through my eyes. In so many words, I've tried to say that I would have been more than happy with an HONEST EFFORT on my old girlfriend's part. If we had married all those years ago, I wouldn't have left her because of the weight issue; I would have stayed. That's a BS reason to leave someone. That said, I wouldn't have found her sexy anymore; I would have also been hurt too. I would have been like, I don't matter enough for you to even make an EFFORT?! Come on!

No, what I wanted to show is how I look at the subject of weight. I don't think that I'm unreasonable about this. I think that most decent guys would have similar views on this matter.

Unfortunately, thanks to feminism and the way it has POISONED relationships between men & women, wives no longer feel obligated to do this; they no longer feel as is they have to look good for him. One, doing ANYTHING nice for your man is considered week; it's considered 'oppressive'. Two, women have been taught to think, feel, and believe that a man's desires, thoughts, feelings, and wishes do not matter; indeed, men don't matter, period. So, what we have are a majority of women who not only let themselves go, but do their level best to look as BAD as they can for their husbands! By doing so, they're 'proving' to him that they're strong women, and they won't be pushed around; they'll show Hubby, damn it! That's the attitude too. As a single man, there are many things I can find in that train of thought; I can find many words for it. What I do not find is any appeal whatsoever; I do NOT find it sexy, alluring, or even appealing. I find it disrespectful in the extreme! I'd also be hurt, since my Wife, the woman who's SUPPOSED to love me more than anyone else in the world, has essentially told me to kiss off; she has told me that what I want does not matter, and that she'll make no effort to make me happy. If I don't like it, tough crap. Is it any wonder that, when single guys like me see this sort of thing, that we find marriage less than appealing?

In closing, if you ladies married a good man in the first place, his views on this matter (of his wife's appearance) will probably be similar to mine. He doesn't look as good as he did when he met you, so he knows that you cannot, and will not, look like you did when you met him. He also knows that, as we get older, getting weight off is harder than it was when we were younger; he damn sure knows it's harder to KEEP weight off as we get older-ha! So, he doesn't expect you to look like you did @ 22. However, he wants you to look the best you can; he wants you to take care of yourself. By doing so, you're telling him that you care enough to look your best for him; by doing so, you're telling your DH that he MATTERS to you. Do that, and he'll do anything for you-anything at all, even laying down his life for you. And, he'll be EAGER to do these things! Even if he had to lay down his life for you, he'd jump at the chance to do it! You see, when you treat your man well, he'll look past the fading outer beauty, and see the wonderful woman he fell in love with; she'll still be the most beautiful woman in the world to him; even if she's old and wrinkled, she'll still be the most beautiful woman in the world to him. Ladies, by treating your man well and looking the best you can, he WILL respond, and do so in a way that you like!What woman wouldn't want that? Thanks for reading all this, and good day...

MarkyMark

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

Though I just left a LONG comment, I didn't say this; I was so focused on my main points that I forgot to tell you this: i.e. not only does your wisdom blow me away (even though I'm twice your age, I've learned things from you); your DH is one LUCKY SOB! He has my congratulations for finding someone wonderful like you; he is truly blessed. I also think he knows this, and he treats you accordingly. As a result, you both have a sweet, wonderful marriage; you two have achieved what so many miss: a little taste of Heaven on Earth. For me, that was always the ideal of what marriage should be, and it sounds as if you found it. My hearty congratulations to both of you. A part of me will forever be sad, knowing that I'll never find that which I'd dreamed of...

Then again, you two went about things in the right way, so you got a good result. In flying, pilots are always told that a good landing is almost always preceded by a good approach; if the approach is nice and smooth, the landing will be too. Your approach to marriage was good, so your marriage is good; not only that, it'll be better over time; what you two will have in 5-10 years will BLOW AWAY what you have now...

As I look at things objectively, as I look at things in their totality (not just at feminism and the destruction that it's wrought, as I tend to do), I think that part of the reason we have so many divorces is because people are having sex WAY too soon! Couples get so hung up on the sex that they either ignore or gloss over critical issues; they never really understand where each of them stand on money, children, child rearing, etc. When the inevitable impasses on these matters come, they often doom the relationship.

The aforementioned issues are what I like to call 'make or break' issues; I call them that because, if there's too much difference on these issues, then the marriage is doomed.

It's one thing to have different tastes in food; this can easily be dealt with by a couple. Even if a couple isn't in exact, total agreement on a 'make or break' issue, they can make it work; as long as there is some agreement, they can find a way to work through the issue. For example, if Hubby believes that spanking should be used more often that Wifey does, then they are in basic agreement; all that differs is the details. Therefore, that couple has a reasonable shot at doing all right. Though these couples may have their differences, they agree on enough things that they can, if they're committed to one another, remain together and have a decent marriage.

However, it's ANOTHER thing to have serious differences on money, having children, or on RAISING children. For example, if Hubby thinks that spanking can and should be used for disciplining children, and the wife thinks it's always wrong, then that couple is headed for T-R-O-U-B-L-E. There's no question that they'll reach an impasse on this issue; it's only a question of when and how badly they fight over this. If there is no WILLINGNESS to compromise on these issues (a possibility since our views on these issues are a result of our core values), then the couple will often be at loggerheads with one another. There's a good chance that this couple will end up in divorce court.

Now, if a couple restrains themselves, i.e. they refrain from intimacy, then they won't be focused exclusively on the physical; since the physical is not an option for them, they need to work on building the mental, emotional, and spiritual connections that will REALLY help them through the tough times that will sooner or later come. They'll also be detached enough to really see and understand the other person's values on these things; i.e. they won't be blinded by the sex. I really truly think that this is one of the reasons why many couples split up; they never really KNEW one another well enough to know whether or not they were compatible in the first place!

For me, what's worked well, what's helped me find genuine intimacy is this: being friends first. I don't readily open up to people in general; I'm extremely reticent about doing so with a woman. I don't say that to slam women; I'm simply saying that opening up my vulnerabilities to a woman is hard; I also know that, if I'm not careful, then my vulnerabilities can be used against me. Many people today will say that, if they don't feel 'the butterflies' around someone, then they cannot see that person as boyfriend or girlfriend material. For me, if I feel those butterflies, I run! I'm serious; I run away.

Being friends first allows me to see the girl's inner qualities; it allows me to view her character in a more objective way that would be impossible if premarital sex were involved. It gives me the chance to feel comfortable, open up a little bit, and see what happens. If the worst happens, then I haven't left myself too open for major heartbreak; if the best happens, then I feel comfortable to proceed a little farther, and open up a little bit more. Finally, I want to see if I and the girl can do nothing but talk, yet have fun doing it; could we spend five hours talking, but have so much fun doing that that the five hours felt like five minutes? For me, that's the acid test; if I can't have that with a woman, I cannot have a relationship with her-end of story.

On a more practical level, it's axiomatic that, when a couple marries, that the romance will either die, or it will take a back seat once the realities of everyday life assert themselves after the honeymoon ends. If a man and woman aren't friends; if they do not have GENUINE intimacy, then what DO they have? What do they have to see them through for the next 30-40 years or more?

One thing I've noticed is this: among the good marriages I've seen (granted, they're only a handful, but I have seen them in action), I've noticed that, more often than not, the couple was friends first; they didn't hop into romance straightaway, nor did they become lovers at first. They waited; they got to know one another, and to make sure that they were TRULY compatible where it matters. If they have what so many people want but never attain, then we must ask ourselves this: what are they doing differently from me? What are they doing to have a good marriage? What did they do to get what I would like to have? Too few people ever clue into the fact that if they're not getting good results (in this case, a good relationship or marriage), that maybe, just maybe, that they're doing something wrong. I've heard it said that if someone does something the same way over and over again while expecting a different result, then that person is insane. I don't know the CLINICAL definition of insanity, but, in the real world, that works for me; that's a good manifestation of insanity.

I remember when I was a new Christian, I wanted to learn about this stuff; I wanted to know what the Bible REALLY said about sex, marriage, all that good stuff. I remember reading something (written from a Christian perspective) about sex before marriage, and I thought it was a good example of how INSANE most people are about this.

The author said that fireplaces not only look good and add to a room's ambiance; he said that they provide safety and protection too. IOW, as long as the hot, burning log is left in the fireplace, you're fine. However, if you pull that burning log out onto the floor, that's something else; that's dangerous! He asked, rhetorically, what would happen if we saw someone in the room pull a burning log out on to the floor. After we got over our initial shock, we'd put the log back in the fireplace, and get that person OUT OF THERE IMMEDIATELY! We'd rightfully wonder what the HELL was he thinking?! No sane person would even THINK of doing something so crazy, let alone do it, i.e. pull the burning log out of the fireplace.

The author concluded by saying that having sex outside of marriage is like taking the burning log out of the fireplace. As long as we have sex within the confines of marriage, as long as we follow God's instructions on this matter, we'll not only be safe; we'll be blessed. However, if we have sex outside of marriage, then what we're doing is just as insane as pulling a burning log out of the fireplace, and rolling it about on the floor. In either instance, the results are both predictable and tragic. If we play with fire, we WILL be harmed as result; because we did not do things God's way, because we did not do them in the right way, at the right time, and at the right place, we'll be hurt. That analogy made a LOT of sense to me; it shows us what can happen when we do or do not do things God's way.

Though I've asked this before, and though you've answered it too, I'll broach the subject again. Even though you grew up in the same society everyone else did, how was it you were able to see a need to change? Why did you figure out that you needed to change your approach to men, relationships, and marriage, whereas most young women don't? I know you read Wendy Shallit's book; though I haven't, I am familiar with its general message, and I think that it's a good book for everyone, especially young women, to read it. That said, I know that there has to be more to it; many people have either read that book, or they read one like it, yet they didn't change their viewpoint, approach, or anything else. I think what you've done is wonderful! I tip my hat to you, Anna; you are to be commended for making changes in your life, difficult as that is (I speak from experience here!). I only wish tens of millions more women would follow your example; then life would be great-for themselves and everyone else, life would be great! Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. I guess what I'm asking is this: why, in your opinion, will most women never do so much as acknowledge their NEED to change, let alone actually do so? Why are a majority of women, in your view, likely to keep doing what they've been doing? I simply cannot understand their reluctance to so do; I just can't.

For me, it's just COMMON SENSE that, if my life isn't going the way I want it to, then I have to take a look at what I'm doing (or not doing). If I've been doing X, and I keep failing to get Y, then how can I NOT, at some point, take a look at X? How can I not wonder if I'm doing something wrong, since I've failed in finding or getting Y? After all, the only common denominator in my failure to get Y is me, myself, and I.

Those are my thoughts. I didn't expect to go on like I did, but you make me think; once I do that, look out! I get on a roll, and I find it hard to stop. I'm not repeating my past questions to give you grief, either; I'm genuinely curious. After all, if you can do it, so can millions of other women, right? Furthermore, since their personal lives aren't what they want them to be, why would they keep doing what's brought them heartbreak every other time before? If we can figure that out, then maybe there IS some hope for humanity! Have a good day, and I'll visit again...

MarkyMark

Kittee said...

Excellent post. Even for me its hard to follow the basic ideas set forth and discussed here. All too often I find myself "too tired" for any nighttime "games." I really appreciate the poster above with 3 children posting about how "75% of the time she doesn't feel like it but does it anyways and always feels better afterwards." Working just takes it out of me plus I am on prednisone which makes it worse. This post has motivated me though to try harder and be more receptive no matter how tired. As to appearance, I always try to tidy up and look nice for my hubby. As in the article you linked, I try to keep a modest wall and a lovely garden at all times. *smile*

Blessings to you!
-Kittee

Rebecca Grider said...

As a secular unmarried woman, I find myself pleasantly surprised when your viewpoint and mine are on the same page.

I only see my boyfriend on the weekends right now as he works temporarily in another city. I always make an effort to "get pretty" for him when he returns on Friday night. I shower, do my hair, put on the perfume he gave me for Christmas, even donning some nice earrings and the necklace he gave me. I even try to pick clothes that I know he'll like - I'm lucky that I don't have to dress conventionally provocative with short skirts and plunging shirts. He finds me most attractive when I'm dressed modestly but in a way that highlights my best features - sweater sets and long, slim skirts or a crisp shirt with only one button undone - he likes the proverbially "library" type, which is how I feel most comfortable.

I always put away what I'm doing when he comes in, whether it be working on the computer or reading or watching a movie or even talking on the phone to family or friends. I run into his arms and make sure to let him know how happy I am to have him home with me.

On the other hand, once we return home after having gone out (to show me off, he sometimes teases) we both climb into the pajama/sweats/comfy clothing. We run around in socks and I might throw my hair into a ponytail and scrub off my makeup. He still thinks I'm beautiful and attractive and is careful to let me know how much he loves me, no matter what I have on.

I think that one aspect of physical attraction, intimacy and being attracted to our terrific men is the real fact that when you are looking at the love of your life, you only see them in the best light. I never notice that he has gained a few pounds nor has he noticed it in me. We see each other at our most attractive because we see each other through the eyes of true love.

He never lets me forget that he appreciates my striving to be attractive for him. He knows that while I work during the week and have plans with friends, that I don't "up" the image I present to those people. I keep my prettiest moments just for him. I know that's not the same as covering your hair and I know that the fact that we're not married isn't something which you and your other readers would approve, but I thought you might be interested in knowing that even some "worldy" women also strive to take care of our loving men in the same way.

I think too many "worldly" women feel that it is being subsurvient to a man or falling into a 1950's Stepford Wife role, but I think being a feminist is being cognizant of who we are as women and part of what we should celebrate about being women is our ability to add beauty to the world in a way which men, no matter how adorable, cannot. And the best way to honor our love for that one special man in our life is to offer our best selves to them and them alone.