Wife, do not refuse your husband’s compliments about your beauty

woman and manLadies…correct me if I’m wrong…you want to be found beautiful in the eyes of your man.

Am I right?

So if that’s true, let me play out a common pattern I’ve seen during my ten years of marital and premarital counseling.

Husband sees wife. He’s struck by her beauty. He comments.

“You’re beautiful.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yes. You are.”

“No.” Then some variation of you’re wrong, or you’re crazy, or it’s not true.

one directionWhy would she respond this way? There are several possibilities. Wives may not want to appear conceited or vain. It may seem more honorable to deflect such attention. It’s possible One Direction’s mantra has sunk in deep (you know, you don’t know your beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful).

But, honestly, what is a husband to do with that?

Consider this: your husband is the target of a daily tsunami of sexual beauty. Their goal: his consumption of that beauty (often in unhealthy ways). He resists. He fights. He kills the lusts of his eyes and flesh.

At day’s end, he returns home. He walks through the door to a million pressing needs. None of it matters. He sees her. He sees only her. And she’s rocking it. In those jeans. With that hair. Typing away on her laptop. He desires her.

“Babe, you look great.”

“What? Why?”

“Those pants.” “That hair.” “Just you.”

“Whatever.” “No.” “These pants?” “I haven’t even done my hair.” “You. You’re weird (or fooling with me or wrong or crazy).”

Wives…could I – as directly and respectfully as possible – ask you to reconsider this type of response? Let me explain why.

He sees you. He sees only you. Let him be attracted to you. Did you hear that? Let him. Give him permission.

a woman needs to be told she is beautiful uplifting loveHe made vows to love you. Not others. You. He is, in part, fulfilling marital vows when he says such things. Do not refuse that. Receive it. Accept it. With a smile. Or a “thanks.” Don’t return it to sender. “Wrong address.” “That person doesn’t live here.” You do live here. He knows who he is saying it to. It’s you.

“But I just feel gross.” Or “ I don’t feel pretty.” Or “I got baby spit up on me, haven’t taken a shower, and still need to brush my teeth.”

He didn’t see those things. He sees you. It honors him when you receive these compliments rather than deflect them. He is loving you right now. He’s showing this. He’s telling you that he thinks you’re beautiful. Trust him.

Questions: What do you think? Why do women tend to deflect, rather than simply receive, compliments on their beauty? And how might this deflection of compliments negatively impact your relationship? Please, share your thoughts in the comments section below.

**Thanks to my wife for her helpful insights and edits to this post.**

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Posted on by Cor in Sex and Relationships

8 Responses to Wife, do not refuse your husband’s compliments about your beauty

  1. Mary

    If there was ever a time I needed a brick upside the head, it would be now. Thanks Cor, for providing that needed brick! All the points you brought up never even crossed my mind. I make a vow today, to always say thank you to my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful, no matter how I feel! :)

  2. Anonymous

    I’m sure there are a lot of reasons a woman would turn down compliments, but I think a major factor is the same/similar onslaught of images that men are dealing with. These images tell her that she is somehow less, not enough, that she couldn’t possibly be what her husband actually wants or thinks beauty is.

  3. Angela V

    Oh this strikes such a cord! But not in the context of a husband complimenting his wife, but in the general ability of people in our society to graciously accept compliments. I think that society (and I’m generalizing here) has not done an adequate job at teaching how to accept praise well.
    I believe that people are afraid to accept compliments because it seems vein or perhaps they truly don’t believe it about themselves. Also it’s easy to think that the person giving the praise has some agenda or is not speaking in truth. A compliment well taken is a compliment happily given. Or in other words, by putting down the compliment, you’ve just given the person offering the praise space to doubt what they are saying (and thinking of as truth) and that, in turn, can cause a negative reflection inwardly of themselves.
    The idea of accepting compliments is so contrary to how we naturally think; it really does take time turn those negative thoughts about ourselves into grace-filled thoughts. In my life, I’ve been able to turn, “No, I’m really not that great of a singer.” Into, “Thank you. I appreciate you saying so.” Perhaps we put ourselves down because we are intimately aware of our deepest sins, and therefore punish ourselves by not thinking that we don’t deserve any praise. BUT: isn’t that what Christ came to Earth for? To take our punishment for us? Hallelujah! We can be set free from that negative way of thinking!

    • Angela V

      correction above* “and therefore punish ourselves by thinking that we don’t deserve any praise.”

  4. David Elliott

    Awesome Cor!

  5. Anonymous

    It would be interesting to know if there is a correlation between inability to accept a compliment from your boyfriend/husband and readership of romance/paranormal teen romance.

    If the narrative of a romance novel is extraordinary guy falls for unremarkable/emotionally crippled girl. Accepting a compliment about her beauty puts a woman in the position of the villain. The guy is supposed to overlook the beautiful woman for the plain one.

    I haven’t figured out how to date a woman that won’t accept that I find her attractive. Do you not mention it? Agree with her?

    I understand that one can feel unattractive. But, your feelings are not reality. It would be healthier to work on changing your feelings towards what others are perceiving, rather than trying to change their perception to match your feelings in this case. And, maybe skip the next twilight book.

  6. Anonymous

    It’s also hard on girls because of all the fake friends they have. They go around saying the girl with the horse-face has a beautiful face, when the girl knows she has a deformity. How can you trust what anyone says when most people won’t tell the truth because they’re afraid to hurt their friend’s feelings?
    But yes, that comment on the teenage romance novels made me think quite a bit. Good theory.

  7. Brian

    My last girlfriend dumped me and said I never told her she was beautiful.

    If I tell my current girlfriend she’s beautiful she says, “you better find something else that you like ’cause beauty doesn’t last forever”.

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