THEY say people who have been together for a while start to look alike; they also say that marriage is bad for the waistline — a happy marriage can make you fat. These two descriptions aren't exactly comforting, as neither depicts an image of being sultry, desirable, or any of the traits one would look for when judging attractiveness.
When people settle into long-term unions, caring about appearance is usually among the first things to be discarded, as they take on more important tasks like raising a family and building a home. What may have attracted one partner to the other may become a figment of their imaginations a few years after they settle into coupledom, and it's more love and respect that keeps them together, rather than a craving for ravishing their mates because they're stunningly gorgeous.
Below people in long-term relationships share how they feel about their partners' bodies now, and whether they love or hate the transformation.
My wife has a beautiful face, and because she gave me the gift of our children, I really can't criticise the fact that her body made the ultimate sacrifice for them. Sure, she doesn't look like the woman I fell in love with, but she still has the prettiest smile and the warmest personality, and I see the C-section scar and the stretch marks as a badge of honour.
My wife's body hasn't changed much after having two kids — she may have gained a few pounds, but I don't mind. What I do mind is that she seems to think that being comfortable in the relationship means that she must ask me to do things that no man would find attractive — like scratch her dandruff, oil her scalp, cut her toenails, squeeze the blackheads on her back, and clean her ears. I try to explain to her that when a man is asked to do these things for a woman it's hard to still see her as attractive — I mean, after scraping that gunk off her scalp could you blame me? But when I refuse to do the stuff she says I don't love her anymore, so I just have to grab the comb and hope that no one who is passing by my yard can see me.
I'm not complaining about my husband's body, I mean, you get used to it after a while. But it's hard to even get excited, even though other women tell me that I'm lucky to have him. What makes me look at him differently is his grooming habits — he will be in the bathroom for a long time showering, flossing, cleaning his ears, then lotioning his skin with cocoa butter from neck to feet. And then he will climb in bed, all soft and squishy, expecting that I should find that attractive, and if I'm too tired to shower, he will crawl to the other end of the bed and stay there all night, shying away from me like I have leprosy. It's good that he's not ashy, but he spends more time grooming than I do, and that's somewhat disturbing.
What changed was that my wife allowed me to get familiar, and there are some things that God knows, I shouldn't have seen and shouldn't have known, because I'm traumatised. I watched my wife give birth not just once, but three times, and God knows I tried to be mature, but each time I had to drink to not remember the horror. And then if that wasn't enough, after my mind was finally forgetting the trauma after the kids were getting older, my wife keeps asking me to squeeze ingrown hairs in all the places I don't want to see —– some places I have to use a flashlight — and then she wonders why there's little to no romance anymore.
I like that my husband has gained weight, I feel much safer and comforted when he hugs me. The doctor says he should lose some of the belly, but I love it — he's my own personal teddy bear.
My wife has gained some weight since she had the baby, and she wants to do lipo, but though I have the money, I would never pay for it, because I don't want her to get her body done, then find another man and leave me!