I often hear from people who feel a little bit guilty about their disappointment in their spouse. Often, they feel quite superficial and vain for even thinking about it, much less bringing it up. I’m talking about your spouse’s appearance. This can be a very sticky issue for many marriages. Because there’s a perception that it’s unfair to expect a person to have control over time and gravity. And yet, an important aspect of successful marriages is attraction and chemistry. And it can be hard to feel these things when you no longer find your spouse as attractive as you used to. This can be a very difficult situation when you don’t want to hurt your spouse’s feelings or appear to be insensitive.
I heard from a wife who said: “when I met my husband, he was so handsome and so well put together. He was quite the athlete and he was on our college’s football team. He worked out all the time and took very good care of himself. He also dressed in the latest styles. Neither of us were rich, but he always looked well put together and smelled good. I used to love to just look at him and I was always amazed that someone who looked like him was with me. Well, today that feeling is no longer with me. My husband’s appearance has dramatically changed. He’s no longer lean and athletic. He has put on a lot of weight. He doesn’t even try to lose any of it. I know that he has a stressful job and doesn’t have loads of extra time, but I think that your appearance should be a priority. Also, he’s losing his hair. I know that he can’t help this, but he doesn’t ever do anything to improve his appearance. He wears suits to work because he has to. But as soon as he gets home, he puts on ratty old sweats and he stays in them constantly. If I should comment on this, he asks me why he has to get all dressed up to hang out at home. He says he works hard and he deserves to be comfortable when he’s home. I sort of see his point but what he doesn’t realize is that I’m losing my attraction for him and this is affecting our marriage. I’m not even excited about being intimate with him anymore. What can I do?”
This is a common situation, but it is also one that must be handled with care. The last thing that you want to do is to hurt your spouse’s feelings or to come off as overly critical. To some extent, none of us look exactly the same as we did when we were first married. Time and gravity takes its toll on all of us. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t (or shouldn’t) expect for our spouse to take some care about their appearance and to make the most of what they have. Good grooming, careful dressing, and caring for one’s self all goes a long way toward attraction. And the good news is that often you can persuade your spouse to improve their appearance if you go about it in the right way. I’ll outline some ways to do this below.
Know That You May Have To Join His Efforts And Offer Positive Feedback: It would be nice to believe that you could just make a few gentle comments and then watch your spouse spring into action. This rarely happens though. People are generally extremely comfortable in their self imposed comfort zones. And they are quick to become defensive or to have hurt feelings when you suggest otherwise. This is why you will often have more success if you can make this process fun and join him. You could tell him that you want to look your best for him and are joining a gym. Then you can invite him to join you by telling him that he is one of the most athletic people you know and you’d love to see him lean and strong again.
You could also come home with some clothes and proclaim that you saw the items and immediately thought of him. You could describe how nice the colors go with his skin tone and hair color. You could offer to book an appointment at your own salon and make it a fun outing. The biggest thing that you want to remember is that any time he takes some initiative and do what you are trying to get him to do, you must praise him generously. You must tell him how wonderful he is starting to look and how sexy you find it. You could tell him that his new muscles remind you of your early days when things were so good between you.
In short, you need to make him want to improve for you because he knows that the pay off is there. In this way, you are getting what you want and you are improving the relationship. You always want to be very careful not to make him think that you’re no longer attracted to him because then he will shut down and will be very unlikely to make any change. So you need to offer him your company or some incentives in order for him to be enthusiastic about this.