Wives and moms are expected to look like the bride their husbands married no matter how long it's been. It's time to stop tolerating that narrative.
As women, accepting our bodies can be difficult. Ever since we're born, we're told we have to look a certain way. It's likely that you've been told to feel a certain way, too. As we grow up, we harbor a particular kind of resentment towards our bodies and look for validation from external places. Places such as the people we date, the size on the tags of our clothes, the kinds of clothes we think we can wear, how much — or how little — we look like the people we see in television, movies, and magazines. Places that we shouldn't have to seek validation from. Once we find our life partners and get married, it's difficult to unlearn all those years of body-shaming we've had to internalize. So much so, that we might look for validation from our husbands. While that's problematic if he doesn't absolutely adore your body, I'm sorry, ladies, but it's probably time to let that man go.
Of course, it's one thing to want to get fit together. Whether that's hitting the gym and doing a workout together or finding a sport or class that the two of you love to do in each others' company, staying fit and feeling healthy is just so much more fun when you're with the person you love. But if his reason to motivate you to do so comes from a place of negativity, he's not the man for you. This might look like him saying, "You've gained a few pounds since we first got married. You're not attractive to me." He could compare you to other women, chide you, or call you terrible names. Or, it could be even subtler. If you find yourself triggered by the statements he makes about your body, then it might be time to have a little conversation with the man who promised to love you no matter what.
After all, there's no problem with feeling good when he showers you with compliments or makes you feel sexy — as long as that's not where your self-love and confidence stem from. Too many wives and moms especially are forced to endure relationships that feel like they've fizzled out because their male partners believe that beauty comes in one pre-packaged size zero. This, obviously, is not the case. So why stay with someone who has such a narrow view about what constitutes beauty and attractiveness? You are more than your size or what you look like — and you deserve to be with someone who loves you no matter the dress size you fit into.