Men Need an Attractive Wife

Some men don’t care about physical appearance… whether their wives are overweight or underweight is not even an issue to them, and that is great.  As I’ve written about before, men and women have different sets of needs (emotionally) in marriage, that should only be met within their marriage.  Most men truly do value having a spouse that is attractive.

The man who needs an attractive spouse is not more shallow than the one who has different needs, it is just that, that their needs are different.

This is not some ploy to get all women to conform to a Barbie-like appearance (gotta love Barbie though), I’m saying that when a man marries you, it is akin to trickery to let go of your appearance and become someone he wouldn’t have married in the first place (outwardly).

Yes, inner beauty and all that, and I do believe in the importance of inner beauty, but men are visual, most of them like to see your beauty and it makes them value your inner beauty all the more.

1) Christianity sometimes overstates the importance of inner beauty, making outward care for the appearance to look like materialism and vanity. 

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain [or fleeting], but a woman who fears the Lord she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

If you take the time to really learn about the Proverbs 31 woman, she does not sound like a woman who let herself go after marriage.  She made beautiful clothes for her family using expensive dyes that were usually reserved for royalty or nobility.  She worked from early morning until late at night – and her husband sat with important men, bragging about her, do you think he would’ve bragged about her had she just let her appearance go?  Obviously, she cared about what her husband liked as far as her appearance and presentation.

Taking care of your appearance, exercising and making sure you look your best as a woman is not selfish, in fact, if you’re married, it’s selfish not to.

2) Many women try to pull the, “He should love me for who I am not what I look like – he is so shallow!”  Listen to what author of His Needs Her Needs, Dr. Harley has to say about that:

You want to be loved for who you are and not for what you do, we all do.  But you didn’t decide to marry your husband for who he is, but rather for what he did.  If he had not met any of your emotional needs when you dated him, you would not have even considered him as a life partner.  And if after you were married, he stopped meeting your needs, your feelings for him would have changed considerable.  Your love would have simply faded away.

If a husband has this need and his wife refuses to change, it becomes very hard for either to have a fulfilling, happy marriage.  The husband understands that his wife simply doesn’t care about him enough to meet one of his deepest needs, and feels trapped at best, and tempted by other women at worst!

3) When a man has an attractive wife, it makes him feel good just to look at her.

After I had my son (who’s now 3 years old), my husband would randomly tell me how thankful he was that I cared about my appearance, that I didn’t let myself go, that I didn’t gain a bunch of weight with my pregnancy, and on and on.  It did take a ton of exercise and eating healthy – a lot of effort on my part to bounce back from pregnancy – but my effort didn’t go unnoticed.  My husband was delighted that I still looked great!  He, like most men, loves to have me on his arm looking wonderful when we go out.

It’s not immature or superficial, it’s simply the way most men were designed.

From the men:

A man wants a woman he can feel proud to have on his arm and who loves only him.  I remember while we were courting that I told her on my arm was where I always wanted her, and that still holds true today.”  Norman

I am embarrassed to say this, but my wife has gained a lot of weight since we married.  Not a little weight.  A lot.  I love her, but I feel insulted that she doesn’t want to take better care of herself for me.  I feel angry at times that she thinks it’s superficial for me to want her to look nice.  I don’t know if she even realizes it’s a struggle in our marriage, but I pray often that I can find her attractive with an extra hundred pounds on her.”  Bill

“The woman of my dreams takes pride in herself and works to maintain her health in order to be desirable and attractive while aging gracefully into maturity, not seeking youth, but wisdom, grace, and inner beauty.”  Tom

“The woman of my dreams understands that how she looks is important to me.”  Bob

(quotes from Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes)

 

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27 thoughts on “Men Need an Attractive Wife

  1. “”Taking care of your appearance, exercising and making sure you look your best as a woman is not selfish, in fact, if you’re married, it’s selfish not to.””

    This is so important. How many women complain that their husband swivels his head 360 to check out the hottie? How many of those women have let themselves get fat? Sure, everyone ages. But getting older does not automatically come with extra pounds.

    I wonder how many of the wives that say “he should love me for who I am” would tolerate a husband who decided that going to work was just too hard. She should love me for who I am. Why do I have to earn a living and pay the bills?

    I would add men’s porn use to this discussion. How many wives have decided that they just can’t be bothered to have sex w/ their hubs, but will complain that he uses porn?

    You have a very solid understanding of what men care about. I predict a long mariage for you

  2. Thank you 🙂 I’m still thinking about your first comment…. I feel for you men in our society… it’s horrible this woman’s entitlement thing. My mom raised me so differently (and she was really a feminist to some degree, so it is strange). But everything I know about men I learned from her.

  3. Pingback: Christianity, Knowledge, and Beauty—My Story | caprizchka

  4. Hi, I just wanted to add that I think a lot of women feel the same way about men — I remember a conversation in particular that I had with a gal pal in college over lunch. She said something along the lines of, Gosh — I hope my future husband doesn’t ever let himself go, and get a beer belly and never shave. I guess in my eyes it seems more personal than having to do with gender, this idea of keeping up appearances — meaning, it varies from person to person how much value someone is willing to put on it. I’m so glad that your husband appreciates your efforts to work out and lose the weight post-baby — yet I can not help but think somewhere inside, that we all get old, get wrinkled, and gravity starts to set in — what will happen then? Also, as far as men stealing glances at other women — I’m not sure this stops even if you’re at your ideal weight and personal best — beauty will still exist and be equally captivating. Certainly it is important to take care of your health and celebrate your unique beauty, but I may be naive when I say why not do it for your own sake, and trust that your partner will love you equally through all your phases of life? Thanks for the thought provoking post. Have a good one! Wren.

  5. It is true that many women value the same thing (their partner not letting themselves go after marriage ( or in women’s case , it usually happens after pregnancy because they use the pregnancy as an excuse to stop taking care of themselves).

    You’re confusing aging with letting oneself go (when asking what will happen to my husband’s love for me when I age). Aging is natural and beauty fades, but aging doesn’t automatically mean letting oneself go.

  6. Also you’re missing the point that for some men ( and women) this is a need in the relationship … it makes *them* feel loved by you being attractive, not you receiving their love based on your attractiveness. You show your partner you love them by meeting their need… not ” you receive their love because u meet their need.”

  7. Hi, thanks for your reply! I see what you are saying to some degree, but it is still hard for me to understand, perhaps because I haven’t met many people who place such value on outward beauty (or people who feel more loved through having a beautiful wife or husband on “their arms” as you say. Since you say letting oneself go and the process of aging are different, may I ask you to provide some specifics as to what letting oneself go might mean to you? Maybe that would help me understand your point. I guess for me, I’d like to think that if a person’s spouse suddenly gained a lot of weight (since you mention pregnancy) — I would like to think that the person wouldn’t feel less loved, but would begin to wonder the underlying cause of such changes. I feel with dramatic weight gain especially, people have underlying causes (food addiction fueled by some emotional or psychological trauma), genetics, health issues (maybe with the thyroid, maybe as a result of medication for something such as depression, or even birth control) — Maybe I am holding people up to too great of an ideal, but I’d hope rather than think solely of their need for a beautiful wife, a spouse would see that perhaps during that time, maybe that’s when they need to give a little more love and acceptance and support. People and life circumstances change, and I don’t think that many people decide to “let themselves go” and gain a bunch of weight. Moreover, not everyone is bothered by weight gain (this seems to be the one example that you have given so that is why I’m mentioning it so often) and if a woman feels beautiful and confident, she can probably wear a paper bag and men will gravitate toward her anyway, regardless of size. Thanks again for your thoughtful reply. Have a nice day!

  8. PS I can agree that we should take care of ourselves to the greatest degree that we can, that health is important and that our state of being has an affect on our family. We should, for example, strive to be our best selves so that we can be role models for our children, and live a healthy and happy life to the degree possible so that we may be around (should we be so lucky) long enough to see our children age and have many happy years with our spouse… I guess I’m just stuck on the phrase “letting oneself go” because it usually is more conflicting than the phrase would have you believe. Certainly I believe one should look within and harness personal power to overcome obstacles, but a support system greatly helps those searching to do so. Does that make sense?

  9. You too!
    And you’re right, most people don’t plan to let themselves go…. I’ve seen two personal examples of this scenario. We knew a couple who got married 3 months before us, and in that first year alone, she gained probably 50-60 pounds. There was no medical reason, but it could’ve been birth control (progesterone-only pills are usually the ones who do that, other bc can be found that works for your body). Either way, she looked like a totally different person by the end of their first year, not even remotely like the woman he picked for his life partner. She stopped wearing make-up, stopped wearing her contacts, and I know I sound harsh, but from a man’s viewpoint… she had “let herself go.” She was now very overweight, acne always showing with no makeup to even try to look prettier, and glasses. I sound harsh but I’m just stating the facts. For a man, that is down-right scary. They have a right to expect their wife will kind of stay the same (to a degree), it’d be like if a woman married a husband and then he decided just to stop working and become a bum. Men (who are EXTREMELY visual)care how their wife looks (this is for most men – but there are exceptions where its not always a “need”). They typically expect their wife to have some respect for herself and in return, it shows respect for her husband… that she thinks so highly of him that she wouldn’t let herself get to that point. This woman was in her early 20’s… but she ended up being mistaken for her husband’s teenage daughter (the acne, no make-up, and the weight).

  10. Thanks for the clarification and conversation! Have a good day and congratulations on your new baby (which is what brought me to your blog in the first place — that cartoon of the couple in bed and the baby nursing was just too sweet). Until next time — Wren.

  11. “This woman was in her early 20’s… but she ended up being mistaken for her husband’s teenage daughter (the acne, no make-up, and the weight).”

    Isn’t that a good thing – a younger, youthful appearance? I mean most white women (assuming she’s white) in their 20s in this country look much older, like 30s. So having a wife that looks younger is a benefit!

    “This is not some ploy to get all women to conform to a Barbie-like appearance”

    Should hope not. She’s weird looking.

    “I’m saying that when a man marries you, it is akin to trickery to let go of your appearance and become someone he wouldn’t have married in the first place (outwardly).”

    The trickery is in the fakeup makeup before marriage. If one has no plan to keep that charade going for a lifetime, then better to go makeup free from the get go and only men who are attracted to your natural beauty in the first place will gravitate to you.

    “She made beautiful clothes for her family using expensive dyes that were usually reserved for royalty or nobility. She worked from early morning until late at night – and her husband sat with important men, bragging about her, do you think he would’ve bragged about her had she just let her appearance go? Obviously, she cared about what her husband liked as far as her appearance and presentation.”

    Obese, unhealthy, unattractive people can wear colorful, royal-like clothing and it won’t help much to make them look better. People in those days worked hard in the sun all day and did not overeat processed fast food so they would not have been obsese, but neither were they shaving, waxing, manicuring, pedicuring, makeuping and fakeuping like women do now. She would have had rough skin weathered from the sun and wind, callous feet and knarly hands, just by the nature of the conditions of working and living back then, if you were not a royal.

    Also the bible tells women not to wear jewelry or fix up their hair so if she was one to do neither you can rest assured she looked plain.

    The only beauty a woman like her would have had back then would have been in her natural beauty, like if she had good bone structure or something.

  12. “but neither were they shaving, waxing, manicuring, pedicuring, makeuping and fakeuping like women do now. She would have had rough skin weathered from the sun and wind, callous feet and knarly hands”

    They were very interested in Beauty and beauty treatments back then. Yes, they had their own forms of “makeup fakeup” like you call it. There is nothing wrong with makeup. And many of the women who were wealthier in back then did not work in the sun so that they could preserve their skin.

  13. The rank and file woman was not pampering herself. Beauty meant bathing and brushing hair. Forget that long ago, look at photos from 100 years ago. Rank and file women were not more beautiful than they are now, in fact they were uglier because of lack of dentistry and other things. But I’ve noticed a “good ol days” nostalgia amongst Manosphere blogs and their ladies auxilery of female beta orbiter blogs wherein the past is romanticised. In reality we see far more good looking people now than we would have back then due to the ease of living and pampering products available.

  14. Perhaps the difficulty that Wren and many others have with understanding the problem with “letting myself go” is that these words are too subtle. The real problem is not that her looks have changed. As girlwithadragonflytattoo mentioned, looks will change and decrease with age.
    The problem is that the man and woman who “let themselves go”, even when their spouse says this is a problem, is that the person is selfish, lazy, and unloving. The problem is not that his/her looks have changed. The problem is he/she is selfish and lazy, caring more for their own comfort and sloth than for showing love by serving and fulfilling the needs of their spouse.
    How is a husband/wife supposed to feel, when their spouse clearly communicates with their actions, “I care so little about you, that I will not make even small choices to bring you joy”? Or, “I know you want this, but that would take me effort or discomfort, so I’ll give you that instead, and you should just be grateful for my choice to give you that, even though you say it is not want you need.”
    girlwithadragonflytattoo subtly brings out this point by mentioning a man who decides he no longer wants to work (laziness), but still expects his wife to feel the same love for him while he refuses to provide for his family. As stated, he is a bum. How is that respectable or admirable?

    girlwithadragonflytattoo, thank you for addressing this point, and choosing to be a righteous example to those around you. (Titus 2:3-5)

  15. “Also the bible tells women not to wear jewelry or fix up their hair so if she was one to do neither you can rest assured she looked plain”
    This is a sever distortion of Scripture. 1 Peter :1-7 says she is to avoid “gold jewelry”, to “jewelry”. The difference being that in a pre-industrialized society, gold jewelry meant “solid gold jewelry”, as in “Expensive”. By wearing [solid] gold jewelry, the person was showing extreme wealth. Buying a set of $10 plastic earrings from Walmart would not be remotely similar. Even wearing gold-plated earrings that cost $40 would be dissimilar. Given that gold costs $1200 an ounce, Peter’s command would apply if you were trying to wear $1200 worth of wealth, seeking to have others approve of you or see you as attractive based on this opulence.
    Similarly, Peter speaks against “expensive clothes” or “fine clothes”, not merely against “clothes”.
    And likewise he mentions “braided hair”, not merely “nice hair”. The only hint I have seen on what was special about having braided hair, was a comment in a Bible commentary suggesting this may have been an indication of social status. Similar to how the Hutterites do not permit a man to wear a beard unless he is married. So the beard means something to those who see it.

  16. Thanks for offering a fresh perspective. I don’t generally let myself go, whether single or not, because my appearance is important. It affects confidence levels and interactions with people in general.

    It’s a trait my man appreciates and, yes, he likes having me around during gatherings with his family and work events. It feels lovely to both of us that he’s proud to show me off.

    I don’t see him as shallow for doing that and don’t think he pursued me for the sole purpose of showing off to his friends and family and gaining their approval. Rather, it’s just his way of telling me I make his life better and he thinks I look good : )

  17. Yes, I agree it helps with confidence and general healthy interactions with people, plus it shows you take yourself seriously enough to take care of yourself.

    Thank you for taking time to comment.

  18. This topic has been a bone of contention around my house. The arguments my wife offers sound similar to the ones I have heard addressed here and on other blogs. The thing is, most of the people who post on this topic (from a positive perspective) are people who have a predisposition towards being feminine and attractive in their appearance. They may have “let themselves go” at some time, but I don’t think it is because they don’t want to be attractive. Most women don’t seem to think it is wrong to be attractive.

    A man whose wife has let herself go is apt to think that she just doesn’t want to spend the effort. She may feel hurt if he brings it up, especially if it is a matter of putting on a significant amount of weight. The husband is already feeling devalued to some degree, but isn’t trying to hurt her or get even in most cases. So the arguments about inner beauty, and loving her for who she is seem to be mostly empty. She is protecting herself and avoiding the real issues. If she doesn’t listen to her husband, some exhortation and encouragement from other women may well do the trick. The arguments that she presents don’t have to be overcome directly because they weren’t the real reason for her actions. ( I may be wrong )

    So my question is about how a woman would address someone who is really determined to refuse being attractive. I Pet. 3:3-4 makes it sound like external beauty is optional, at best. Pointing out that there are beautiful women in scripture doesn’t really show the importance of being attractive. If a woman doesn’t have that common feminine desire to be attractive, then there doesn’t seem to be any way to show or prove that it is still important to God. The foundations that could be built on don’t seem to exist.

    Now, in my case, I’m not so picky. She wasn’t a fashionista when I met her. She didn’t have a size 2 hourglass figure, but I loved her. I really just want to be able to tell that she cares about me. Whatever she’s got doesn’t have to compare to anyone else, but it should show that she is happy to lavish it on me. Looking like a model or movie star isn’t required at all. Sometimes she has been willing to do something like paint her nails, but only her fingers (she said doing her toes is too hard), and only for a short time. She is willing to do some things but then “sabotage” the overall attractiveness in some other way.

    I’m not trying to get answers here that I can use on my wife and beat her up. I think there are issues that she really needs to deal with, but may never do so. Still, this perspective on attractiveness where it is built up from the real foundation might be helpful to others who need more than the usual jump-start. Our problems began on our first night, so it isn’t something I can see a change or cause for it all. Therapy would be great, but the problems are usually re-framed and no progress is made. Aside from that, even christian counselors haven’t really got an answer that goes beyond the usual.

    I’ve been told that it isn’t a sin “not to be in love”. Which, of course is true. You can’t make someone be in love with you, either. I think, however, that it is part of the vows to do what you can to maintain passionate love. Being attractive is part of that. I also think it is possible to make yourself be in love with someone (having done it myself). There are limits, of course. Romance and passion are often dismissed in christian teaching about marriage, just like attractiveness and beauty are. I suspect this is partially the cause for the attractiveness issue. Maybe you see a connection between passion and attractiveness, or maybe not. I don’t see biblical commands for either, so I’m not sure how to approach showing how important they are.

  19. Object of Contempt, we’re insanely busy today as well as the next couple of days so I want to come back to comment more on your comment (maybe even make it a post if you’re ok with that) later. But maybe I’ll address just this point quickly:

    “So my question is about how a woman would address someone who is really determined to refuse being attractive.”

    Short answer: No one can help someone change when they refuse to do so. A woman who has let herself go or refuses to be attractive to her husband in the way he appreciates, would most likely not appreciate another woman telling her what to do differently. Women tend to feel insecure when other women give them specific beauty advice about what they should do differently. Their hair and it’s texture, if criticized or suggested to look different is usually not accepted. A woman with frizzy textured hair will normally be resistant to straightening it even if her husband would by much more attracted to that silky gorgeous look, simply because of the hassle she’d have. Women who do this make constant excuses, even ones that aren’t true. Women also tend to feel like they’re in competition with each other, which is sad to me, so they justify things like frizzy or super curly hair, little makeup, excess weight, etc. by saying their husbands “prefer” them this way, when in reality, their husbands are just too chicken to tell them what they really desire to see different, or they’re trying to make their wives feel better about themselves if she has low self-confidence in her looks already. Saying that “yes, I really love it when you straighten your hair” gets them a wife that suddenly becomes defensive about why she doesn’t straighten it often, or the “I thought you liked it natural!” accusations come out. But even beauty suggestions from another woman, are usually strongly rejected if they are already against being more attractive. And it’s sad, but women (especially insecure women) already have a strong dislike towards women who they think are more attractive than them or who look especially different than them or wear more makeup/dyed hair, fashionable clothing, etc. So beauty advice from someone they feel threatened by due to insecurity, will also most often be rejected.

    The only way a woman will ever work to become more attractive *in the way her husband truly likes* is if she’s somehow inspired to seek it out on her own.

    All that said, there are some things that could help, and I think it may make a great post expanding on this post.

  20. Also let me add, I could write a lot about the things you said in this comment 🙂 a lot of positive stuff! So be on the look out maybe tomorrow, or if I’m really fast with everything I need to do, maybe late this evening.

    Let me know if I totally missed your point also….

  21. There is really no need to rush.

    There seem to be very few women who think that being visually attractive is shallow or wrong. I, however, think attractiveness good. I think it /can/ be deep. I think God wants and enjoys visual attractiveness. (Not talking about beauty, per se, but the effort and desire to dress, act, be attractive and encourage desire, passion, romance, etc.)

    It has been difficult for me to find a solid, scriptural support for that, though. I can find support that assumes the woman has a basic desire to be attractive that she has neglected. I can find support that relies on cultural norms. And among christian blogs, Then I find many more posts that make it all about the inner beaty, and tear it all down. These posts quote Peter and sound more spiritual and biblical, but I think they distort the truth by focusing one one verse.

    How would someone show that God thinks visual attractiveness is important? How would someone show that God thinks passionate love is important? Does a woman have a perspective that needs a particular approach for it to be heard? I can read the expository style articles that Larry writes on BGR, and be convinced about a topic. I think that might not go to far with many women, particularly those who think God has no interest in the topic to begin with.

    I want a spiritual foundation. My wife may never accept it, but my teenage daughter needs it (she has no problems with being attractive, btw). I want her to know that there is value in really knowing God’s perspective, even on something that may seem shallow to many christians.

  22. Hm ok! We have so many Christmas things we’ve been doing and focusing on 🙂

    “And among christian blogs, Then I find many more posts that make it all about the inner beauty, and tear it all down. These posts quote Peter and sound more spiritual and biblical, but I think they distort the truth by focusing one one verse.
    How would someone show that God thinks visual attractiveness is important? How would someone show that God thinks passionate love is important? Does a woman have a perspective that needs a particular approach for it to be heard?”

    It really is a balance, but it’s true that the issue is complex – what matters to God. On one hand, when it comes down to it, He loves people right where they are – and every person, no matter what they look like, matter to Him and has great personal value! If a Christian is living their life, and haven’t grown in a certain area, He still loves them and values them.

    But on the other hand, God does want us to be growing spiritually and becoming more complete/mature people, and a part of spiritual growth that Christians tend to overlook is how they are taking care of themselves physically. Making themselves attractive, enjoying that process, nourishing the passionate love and attraction in their marriage are all holy and spiritual pursuits! God wants us to have life and life abundantly – Scripture even states that the reason He died was so that we can have complete joy – joy in it’s completeness. It is very hard to have that kind of abundant life and complete joy when a woman isn’t taking care of her health and fitness, creating a passionate marriage, and flourishing in attraction between her and her mate. So God does care about those things in the long run, but they are of lesser importance compared to a person’s salvation and having “inner beauty” – which is character and integrity. Those things always matter more to God, because they are who a person really is, and beauty eventually fades. In my opinion, real beauty goes beyond skin deep, and is easily seen in the way a woman radiates joy and beauty from within, which has the power to change her outer appearance and have people drawn to her.

    And I do think you’re on to something when you ask if a woman would need a certain approach so that it is heard right. The truth spoken without love is too cruel and harsh, and women are the first to reject it when it’s spoken (or read) that way. So yes, the approach definitely matters – but even then women may reject it due to their own resentment/rejection of spiritual growth or feeling pressured to be a way that they think may take too much effort.

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