I saw it in his eyes. A bit of shock. A lot of hurt. A pinch of “what the hell?”
I hurt my husband’s feelings.
It was a few years ago when my husband and I were choosing a movie to watch, and I described the female lead. I said she was something like gorgeous, to which he replied “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I kept blathering on, about her beautiful body, her face, etcetera etcetera to which he looked at me and said again, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. The person you’re describing is you. You’re the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.”
Yes it's cheesy, but he meant it. As that kindness sunk in, and I realized he wasn't joking - I recalled that I described men in movies based on their appearances and that my descriptions probably made him feel like less than he is. Describing men by their muscles, their striking faces, everything but their acting and what other movies they may have been in. His reply to my description of a female lead changed everything for me.
The light turned on.
Husbands have feelings too.
I am so lucky to have a man that truly cherishes me. Doesn’t crane his neck out the window when a woman on the sidewalk is dressed scantily. Turns his face from a movie if a breast should appear. Whether or not he turns away when I’m not in the room isn’t the point here, the point is he goes out of his way to make me feel like no one else matters. No one else can hold a candle to me - and boy oh boy does it feel magnificent.
Ensuring your significant other knows that you are their one and only is something that every relationship needs.
And I messed up.
I was thrift shopping with the kids on a rainy day in our favourite little town, Bancroft Ontario, when a police officer came in and started to chat with the kids and I. He was tall, thick, with a full moustache, and was so kind to the kids and I. And he wore a uniform.
When the family was tucked back in to the car, I made a comment or two - and there was that look. That “seriously?” look. My comments weren't lewd or perverted - it was just excessive praise for another man. Just enough to hurt the man I love.
My husband is a beautiful man. Seriously. I married up. He’s no more insecure than any other guy, and feels pretty good about himself most days. That is, until his wife gushes on about someone else and chops him down.
Don’t tell me your self worth shouldn’t come from others, blah blah blah. I know that. It’s true. Very true.... BUT, long term relationships have the ability, the power, to either wear someone down and widdle them into a fraction of who they could be; or it can build them up and empower them to be more than they ever thought possible.
Why not choose to build your partner up? Let them know that they are your everything, so on the days when they feel like dirt - they know you’re in their corner, loving the heck out of them.
I haven’t made a mistake like that in a long time, and as I try to build his esteem back up I am reminded that we live in a world where it is commonplace to drool over attractive people
with our significant other right there. The practice is equally participated in by men and women - we both do it. Women gush over Johnny Depp or Ryan Gosling or that Channing fellow who always has his shirt off. Men are almost taught to act this way, whistling and cat calling, group lunches at the strip club, commercials loaded with bikini clad women selling beer. Just because it seems as though “everyone is doing it” doesn’t mean everyone needs to join in.
If you love your partner, and cherish your relationship - it’s important to understand they need to be the top of your list. No matter what they look like. My body has never (and I mean never) leant itself to wearing a bikini, but my husband has convinced me I am his dream girl - bikini or not - and he follows it up with so many actions and inaction that I believe him.
This inaction, this conscious refusal to participate in the collective “drooling” is so important in our relationship. It’s so important, that I’m sharing this story of my being a total jerk so that if you are participating in this social norm, you can recognize it and choose if you really want to or not.
I have the absolute best partner for me. I don’t think there is another single human being on this entire planet who could co-exist so happily with someone as difficult as me. For the most part I do my darndest to make sure he knows he is the bees knees. Now that I've messed up a bit, I thought I would take the opportunity to share one of our marriage tips - and although it sounds ridiculous, just remember...
Husbands have feelings.
(Please insert all alternative options where necessary - boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, life mates, conscious uncouplers, etc)
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It was even an article in Brantford's gem of a newspaper, The Advocate!
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