Friday, March 06, 2009

Eye Opening

I went on a bit of a reading spree this past week. I read For Men Only and For Women Only (technically this was in reverse, since Women came out first... but whatever).

What can I say? I really enjoyed these books and would recommend them to anyone! While they've been out for a while, I had never heard of them until Pookie brought out Men this past Sunday. Of course, I immediately took it away from him and gobbled it up. We went a couple days later to the bookstore so I could get the one for me. I found the books to be well-written and very informative.

What made me like them so much? I think the benefit of reading Men first was that I could read it and apply almost every "secret about women" to me. That made me realize that the authors had done their research and were doing their best to honestly portray women. And they did a crackerjack job. So when it came time to read Women I wasn't nearly as skeptical and able to read it with an open heart and mind.

My big eye opener came at the end of the book. As evidenced by my past few posts, I've been struggling with my weight. It concerns me. It frightens me. It frustrates me. What I didn't realize, was that my husband has been feeling the same way. That's a lie. I did realize it, but his concerns annoyed me since weight and my looks are a ME issue, right? It's whether I'm happy with my weight, clothes, hair, etc. He picked me--he's seen me at my best and my worst. Didn't he make that vow on our wedding day? That no matter what I looked like, he'd have to love me? Maybe that was only in my version of the vows...

It's not that he doesn't love me because of the way I look (and the book continuously reemphasizes that we're not just talking about weight)! He does and shows me EVERY SINGLE DAY with how hard he works to provide for us, his loving words, choosing to spend time with me over anyone else, being willing to forego his World of Goo or Lara Croft Tomb Raider games to watch a movie with me... all of it. I feel so loved. The issue is in my motivation. Being in a relationship can't be all about ME. It's about US, me and him. And the way I look and take care of myself is important to him. He cherishes me. I should cherish myself, too, if for no other reason than to honor him. I have to keep that in mind when I feel alone in my weight battle. I'm not. I've got the world's best support system with me forever. And he wants me to be the best version of me I can be!

It's a hard idea to swallow. Feminism and self-esteem movements have made it taboo for anyone (much less a husband... a MAN) to have a preference about the way a woman looks. But I really think there's something to why so many women struggle with their self images and all of that... maybe we need to look at ourselves through our husbands' eyes and realize that he loves us AND wants us to be confident and happy with how we look. It's not about being the perfect, ideal woman. It's about being your perfect, ideal self.