Letting Yourself Go

I was listening to an AM radio station last night and although it sometimes resembled that Saturday Night Live skit that parodies public radio, I continued to listen because the content trumped the dull personalities.  The panel of 3 were in the midst of discussing something that should be of interest to most couples who have been together a long while ~ say, over 5 years. The discussion was about when one or both of the spouses “let themselves go”.

I caught the program right as the gentleman on the panel was remarking that it’s very difficult for men to approach their wives and say what needs to be said when the Mrs. has gray roots starting to show, make-up that  is gathering dust in a drawer somewhere, worn out elastic in their granny panties, chipped toenail polish and belly bulge.  Actually, I think he was a little less rude than that but that’s definitely what he meant. Poor guy ~ that IS quite a dilemna.

Apparently, there was some type of survey conducted and 83% of the men surveyed said that when their wives failed to “take care of themselves”, it was a message that the wives didn’t care enough about their husbands. 83% of these men felt their wives were sending a subtle message that said, “I don’t care enough about you to bother keeping myself attractive for you.” Now that’s interesting. Is everything about you, men?

Women, conversely, whose husbands “let themselves go” were concerned for their own security and future. In other words, if he has a heart attack, I’ll be alone. Primal fear of being alone and uncared for. Women were far less concerned about general appearance for appearance sake. Bald heads? No problem. Love handles? Adorable. Super long eyebrows? Well…no, that’s actually not okay but you get the point.

So I started wondering if my husband falls in the 83%, prompting me to ask. Did he think I didn’t care about him when I was at my heaviest weight ever a few years back? Sometimes his honesty is just plain refreshing.

“I was frustrated because when you don’t feel your best it affects your mood which affects your whole personality.”

I guess he’s part of the 17% who would prefer not having Sybil and her 16 personalities living in his home. Okay, fair enough.

The discussion that I heard on the radio actually did stick with me, though. I wouldn’t want my husband to think I didn’t care enough about him to comb my hair or put on mascara. At a recent Ladies Retreat, one of the speakers told the ladies “When your husband goes to work in the morning, he has a mental picture all day of how you looked.”  UGH. 6am is pretty darn early for me to get it all together for a lasting mental portrait ~ but she was right.

I’m not advocating that all of us men and women rise and shine with the roosters to look our best but it’s not too much to ask that we put a little effort into it, right? This is, after all,  the man or woman we used to spend hours preparing for, once upon a time.  Be rested, get regular exercise, comb your hair (if you have some) and put your best foot forward for the one you love. Remember, they’ve seen you at your worst and love you anyway…that’s incentive enough!

Be blessed!

2 Replies to “Letting Yourself Go”

  1. Wow, who would have thought it all gets turned around! I thought I was looking like crap because I didn’t care about myself. I am lucky enough that my husband has never treated me any different, fat or not so fat! Thank goodness at 46 I realized that it was time to get off my ass and he and I are getting it together as a couple. I think W hit the nail on the head when you feel better about yourself, it shows!!

  2. I find it interesting it was the MEN who took it as they weren’t important enough for their wives to put forth the effort – because my experience was quite the opposite… I felt like I wasn’t worth him taking the time anymore to dress stylishly or exercise.

    I’m with “W” – I don’t like how I feel about myself when I get frumpy, and I know it affects my disposition.

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