My Husband Thinks I’m Beautiful. Why Don’t I?

by Heather

Today I have a fantastic guest post for you by Chaunie Marie Brusie of Tiny Blue Lines. She teaches us all a lesson about self-confidence, owning your beauty, and just saying “thanks”.

The other day, I stood in the bathroom, getting ready to hop in the shower before I turned into bed for the night. As I turned to remove my earrings, my husband happened in.

Stopping dead in his tracks at all my naked pregnant glory, he kissed my shoulder and said simply, “Wow. You’re beautiful.”

women are beautiful

Disdainfully, I shrugged him off. “Yeah, right. Stop it.”

Sighing at this all-too-typical exchange, he trudged out of the bathroom, leaving me alone and feeling guilty.

Why is my response to my husband always the same? I am lucky enough to have a husband who tells me, almost daily, that he thinks my six-month pregnant self is beautiful—so why can’t I believe him?

The simple truth of the matter is, my husband thinks I’m beautiful.

But I don’t.

I know it’s bad for our marriage. With every kiss I brush off or compliment I vehemently deny, I am hurting not only my husband, but myself, and my daughters too.

Why is it so hard? Why can’t I believe that he thinks I’m beautiful? I know he is sincere. For some crazy reason, he really thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. I don’t know what he sees when he looks at me, but it certainly isn’t the mess of stretch marks, back fat, and loose, saggy skin that I see when I look in the mirror.

I grew up with a mother with chronically low self-esteem. In fact, I’m pretty sure almost every single female member of my family has displayed the same behavior I now exhibit. My childhood was filled with a litany of bodily complains from my mother and aunts…

“I’m so fat.”
“Oh, stop, no you’re not, I’m the fat one! Look at these rolls!”
“Please. Do you know how much I weigh right now? Do you??”

It was a constant, constant back-and-forth. A sworn oath to diet and exercise one day, a binge and remorseful body bashing the next.

There was never a healthy body image or appreciation for the female form in my household. And while I’ve tried to combat that now as a grown woman and mother, with exercising (I just ran my first 10 mile race this summer!) and introducing fresh and healthy foods to the girls, I still find myself focusing, over and over, on the flaws of my body.

-My arms are too big.
-My stomach, no matter what I do, or how much weight I lose, will never shake its bariatric-surgery-rolls of loose-flesh-hanging look.
-My legs have cellulite for the first time in my life.
-My hair is flat and thin.
-I’m pretty sure I have a double chin.
-I have one black hair that insists on growing right on the bottom of my chin, threatening to turn me into that old lady in the nursing home, sporting whiskers and yelling at people from my wheelchair.

Why can’t I see past the imperfections of who I am?

I am not my arms, or my stomach, or my cellulite-y legs; I am not even the whisker on my chin.

I am more than that.

I am a mother.

I am a sister.

I am a daughter.

I am a wife who is beautiful in her husband’s eyes.

Maybe you’re not like me; maybe you always believe it when someone compliments you. Maybe you don’t push your husband away when he comes home and you’re covered in milk, baby poop, spit-up and the remnants of your toddler’s lunch.

But just in case…

Here is my challenge to you:

The next time your husband, your boyfriend, your partner, or even a stranger compliments you, do not, I repeat, do not, deny, protest, or otherwise reject the compliment. Instead, I want you to try the two following simple tasks:

1. Say “thank you.”
2. Believe it.

Because we all really are beautiful. Whiskers and all.

 

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mother of two (and counting!),part-time labor and delivery nurse, and an advocate for young women facing unplanned pregnancies. She blogs at www.tinybluelines.com.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or chime in }

Traci March 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

Thank you so much for the great reminder! I did this all the time, and my husband stopped complimenting me because he said he just got tired of my response. Thank you for the reminder to say thank you. It goes a long way!
Traci Just blogged…Easter M&M Cookies

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Jessica@AKitchenAddiction March 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Beautiful post!! Great reminder!
Jessica@AKitchenAddiction Just blogged…Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength March 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

What a fantastic post. I committed to no more fat talk a few years ago (and have done well for the most part). It’s so freeing to be able to just take a compliment instead of arguing with the person!
Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength Just blogged…Weekend Warrior

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes March 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Oh I absolutely love this. Very well said.
StoriesAndSweetPotatoes Just blogged…I’ve Been Squeezed…err…Pressed.

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Gia @ rungiarun March 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Wow, that post took my breath away. Thank you so much for this reminder.
I do everything that you listed and I also know that its not good for my marriage or for my children.
I’m not sure why accepting that we are beautiful is so hard but having a reminder like this and talking about the challenge makes it easier … and noticeably important.
Gia @ rungiarun Just blogged…Why should runners race?

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peacebeme March 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Wonderful!

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Bobbie March 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Awww…and now I have tears. Awesome post!

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Dwija {House Unseen} March 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm

You are so right, Chaunie. So right AND so beautiful!
Dwija {House Unseen} Just blogged…Happy 2nd Birthday, Cecilia! { a birth story }

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Fancy Nancy March 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

An amazing reminder!!!

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Emily @FamilyNLifeLV March 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm

This is a fantastic post. We need to say thank you and believe it more often If not for our marriage, for our self esteem, then because if you don’t. If you keep brushing it off, the compliments will stop coming. And then you really won’t be able to believe it.

You do look pretty cute!! Congrats on your pregnancy!
Emily @FamilyNLifeLV Just blogged…Donate Art for Memory Boxes | Matching Donations!

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Nicky H March 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

That’s a fabulous message. Thank you SO MUCH for writing it. :)

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lauren @ sassy molassy April 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think we all have those moments…well I know I do. It’s hard to believe those comments all the time.
lauren @ sassy molassy Just blogged…One Foot in Front of the Other

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Canjie April 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

Love!
My partner always said that even I have flab in my stomach and fat thighs. He insist that I’m still beautiful no matter what happen.
Canjie Just blogged…exercising to get rid of stretch marks

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