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)