I’m not really sure how to take this.

After reading several blog posts and comments from around the fatosphere regarding fat women whose husbands actually love them because of their bodies and not in spite of them, it led me to wondering.  Where does my own husband stand?  I really didn’t know.

So about ten minutes ago, I gathered up the courage to ask him.

Me: I need to ask you a serious question, but you’re probably going to think I’m nuts.
Hub: Ooooookaaaaaaaaay………..
Me: You say you love me, right?
Hub: (looking insulted) Yes.
Me: (after an uncomfortable pause) Is that because of the way I look or in spite of the way I look?
Hub: (thought for a second) A little bit of both, I guess.

I just don’t know how to feel.  Part of me thinks I guess it was just too much to ask for him to actually like the way I look.  But another part of me thinks that maybe I’m being too harsh on him and myself.  My husband is not the most communicative of people (okay, that’s the understatement of the century).  In order for me to truly understand what he means by that, I would have to continue questioning him – and to be honest, after that answer, I don’t know that I have the emotional stamina to do that.  Of course, the fact that I’ve been suffering through a flu since Sunday doesn’t help any – I get really emotional and downright bitchy when I’m sick.  So I realize that the fact of me being sick may have something to do with my reaction to his answer.

It’s just that once upon a time, this man used to tell me that he liked the way I looked – that I was beautiful.  But he hasn’t said that in years – and he blames me.  He has said that because of my own nonexistent self-esteem and the fact that I would “argue” with him when he said it (he’d say it and I would say something like “no I’m not”), he stopped trying.  But since I’ve found Fat Acceptance and realized that maybe – just possibly – I might be okay the way I am, I started feeling a lot better about myself.  (Well, until I caught this damned flu, that is.)  And knowing what he used to say to me, I guess I was just hoping that he truly thought of me differently than I always had (although my thinking is starting to change) and he would say something to that effect.

But this?  I just don’t know how to take it.  I don’t know whether I should be hurt or not.

God, this self-acceptance thing sure as hell ain’t easy.

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4 Responses

  1. Well… it seems like he tried to pick a safe (yet hopefully honest) answer. I honestly don’t think there’s any really good answer to that question. Any possible answer i can think of is potentially misleading or offensive.

    It’s not as bad as the “do these jeans make my ass look big” question*, but it’s not great.

    * – the best answer for that one, btw, is “Not big enough”… ideally, this will make them blink a few times, confused… gives you time to run away. lol.

  2. I was just reading about this kind of situation between heterosexual partners in “The Beauty Myth” (near the end of the chapter “Sex”. It was really interesting and I recommend you get your hands on it. Basically, the beauty myth puts a wedge between man and woman so that there is NO right answer; the woman will throw it back into his face either way. And the man knows this, hates it, because he doesn’t understand it. It makes both genders victims. Anyway, I have oversimplifed this greatly, but I think the book might help you came to an understanding.

  3. Lindsay, you’re absolutely right. He definitely wasn’t just trying to say what I wanted to hear – but then again, I’m not really the type of woman that goes fishing for compliments, either. I’ve never asked the “does my ass look fat?” question. Ever. I do, however, ask him “do I look okay in this?” or “how does this look?” — but a lot of that has to do with the fact that the only mirror in this house is about a foot high, maybe a foot and a half wide, and I can only see myself from about my breastbone up. So when I do get dressed – especially if it’s something new or some combination I’ve never tried before, I have to ask him how I look, because I have absolutely no friggin’ idea. It’s not ‘cuz I’m fishing for compliments.

    I just really don’t know how to react to his answer, though. Do I be thankful that he was honest, do I get insulted by the obvious indication that there are things he doesn’t like, or….? You know? I’m more confused now than I was before I asked. And I don’t know how to handle it, really. This whole self-acceptance thing is new to me. Thirty-one years old, and I’m just beginning to get the message that I might be okay. I’ve never “gotten” that before. N-E-V-E-R. There was always something wrong with me, before I even got fat. So I guess my level of self-acceptance is just really fragile, and maybe I shouldn’t have even asked him that question, but I did, so I’ve got to deal.

    I just don’t know which way to turn, really.

    petiteyogini, actually, that book sounds like something I should read, but I think that particular reasoning is wrong – for me, anyway. I wouldn’t throw it in his face – no way, no how. I realize there are women like that out there, but I’m not one of them. Hell, I’ve never even thrown his affair in his face – if I can restrain myself from doing that, I can do it for this. And like I said, I’m not the type of woman that goes fishing for compliments – but that’s mainly because I don’t think I’d catch any. Regardless, it’s not me. It’s more my confused, upset reaction that is confusing me and upsetting me more. I really thought that I would get a one-or-the-other answer to the question, so when he said “a little of both”, it just really threw me. I thought I was prepared to find out that A) there wasn’t a single thing about the way I looked that he liked, but he loved me anyway or B) he pretty much liked everything. I just wasn’t prepared for him to take the middle ground, so when he did, I didn’t know how to deal with it.

    Still don’t, really,

  4. […] wrote an interesting post today on Iâm not really sure how to take this.Here’s a quick […]

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