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Female perspective required...(35 Posts)
...name changed as she'll kill me if she finds out I've posted this...
Simple version: DP is feeling miserable over the way her body's changed since DS (now 3.5) arrived. DP spent some time inspecting herself in the mirror prior to a night out a week or so back, which i think is what triggered it.
I love her and want her, but she's unhappy, & uncomfortable about me getting close. Anyone got any advice on how to reassure a DW who's missing her pre-baby body?
(I appreciate some posters may feel the need to step in with a critique/rant about "why are men so useless at talking to their partners?". Now is not the time.)
Tell her a million and one times that she is a sexy fabster and woo her as if she was a teenage virgin- gentle, admiring and with a constant hard on. As many times as it takes.
Going by my own experience, and that of my friends, I think that this is completely normal.
I would love to have the figure back that I had when I was 25 but I do have 2 lovely children to show for it.
When DS was about 2yo I started goign to Weightwatchers and lost a good bit of weight, some of which I have put back on. It gave me a huge confidence boost, feeling more attractive, sexier.
DH has always supported me, he says he loves me how I am but I know that he would find me more attractive if I were thinner. Not a surprise, as I would too. So, I am frustrated at myself for not getting going and losing the weight.
I think that you have to show her that you still find her attractive, not just at night in bed, but during the day too. Give her a cuddle and tell her that you love her while she is making the tea or doign the dishes.
Was she going out with friends? Was she comparing herself to someone else?
If she is as practical a person as I am... well I would have liked to be offered some help to loose the weight like in "I know you are not feeling well about yourself, is there anything I can do to help? would you like us to start a diet? perhaps some walks? how may I help?"
Now if she is not the practial type... forget it, this aproach would only get her more offended...
But you can still remind her a million times all those tiny little things that make her a special person.
I would be surprise and disappointed if any posters ignored or criticised your sensitive post.
Firstly occasionally saying 'fuck me I fancy you' (with words/gestures/looks whatever) helps. alot.
Is it possible to give her some time to pamper herself. I realise that this is a body image problem but in truth some of feeling crap about how you look can be helped a bit by having the chance to get a haircut and manicure. Damn I know that sounds shallow. But, I think I saying if she feels she looks rubbish a superficial treatment can help.
Obv this works less well than getting to root of problem, but it could help a bit. A chance to spend time alone and feel confident about how she looks and even better an opportunity to spend time with you as a woman rather than a mother with slack stomach muscles from childbirth.
So, could you conspire with her sisters/friends to take her to the spa and in preparation offer to look after dcs while she goes to hairdressers? and then take her out for a fab lunch as well.
You sound very caring. We approve.
Erm, I guess the way to go would be to give genuine thoughtful compliments, reassure her when she confides in you and just generally let her know you think she's still very attractive and you want her.
I think we all do the mirror thing from time to time then feel depressed about how we've changed. If only you could find the specific things that are bothering her, say stretchmarks, sagging boobs, baby belly, general excess weight etc you could reassure her specifically and she'd feel more comfortable being naked around you/intimate with you.
So, in conclusion, you do need to talk, but go easy and don't get angry (as my dp would) if she doesn't suddenly go back to "normal" after a 3 minute chat. These things take time, and her mind is probably telling her that YOU deserve better than the body she currently has to offer, so examine your feelings about that.
Someone, I think it was cod, said that you have to cherish your partner. That's very sound advice I reckon. Lots of hugs and lots of thoughtfulness will really help.
Oh, and when you compliment her say things like, "That yellow dress really suits you, reminds me of the day we went to ..." or "that top makes your eyes look really blue" ie. be specific. Not just, "looking good, babe"
"Was she going out with friends? Was she comparing herself to someone else?"
Trying on pre-child dresses.
"Give her a cuddle and tell her that you love her while she is making the tea or doign the dishes"
I do. Hug therapy seemed the best option.
It's not a weight issue. DP is a wee slim thing (helped by not eating enough ) and when she put on weight in pregnancy I honestly didn't care. She's lost it all now, but she 's unhappy about the weight being 'redistributed', and the fact her tummy never recovered from DS kicking it (and occasionally doing star jumps).
Yeah, the redistribution sucks if you pine for your old figure.
It's not ever really going to go back to before and that takes time to come to terms with I think.
Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Reassurance, compliments, and an ear to listen to insecurities is the best you can do.
Has she been clothes shopping recently?
How was labour/childbirth for her?
Well her body is not supposed to be the same.
Something someone once said to me that stuck, a womans breasts have not matured until she has been pregnant.
It is a fallacy to think that at 18 our growing is done. It is not. Our bodies (and yours too!) continue to change and grow throughout our lives. Her tummy has been doing something bloody amazing it would be a shame if there were no evidence at all.
Pilates is however excellent for regaining tone, rather than weight loss.
Pre-child clothes should probably be burnt as part of the pregnancy process! Even if you "lose the weight" you are a different shape anyway.
Agree, specific compliments are goooood. As are random affection and touching.
It is sooo hard as a woman to get used to the way your body changes after kids. yeah, we have kids to show for it, but so does our other half- minus the stretch marks/ saggy tummy etc!! A lot of it (for me) is about how I am as a person (ie X's mum, as opposed to foxy chick!!)I want to still be that person i was before I had the dc. I look at DH and he hasn't changed. I still fancy him, and I worry that he can't possibly feel the same about me, given that when we first got together I was strong independant, slim, fit etc, and now am sad saggy old --cloth cat-- mummy figure.
Lots and lots of reassurance, backed up with courting-days behaviour should help, I think.
Then phone my DH and tell him how its done!!
So it's stretchmarks and baby belly then? Tell her you love her womanly figure, and remind her those marks are there to show where she carried your gorgeous son. Just keep telling her you love her body, and that there aren't any parts of it you don't like. It'll sink in eventually.
It may help to show her [[http://theshapeofamother.com/ this website] - The shape of a mother.com - real womens bodies after childbirth, no airbrushing, no hiding.
they say if someone tells you something enough you'll start to believe it, so I'd be enclined to big up how attractive you find her (without doing it so much its obvious).
oops, here, have a working link! theshapeofamother.com
Oh, and if you don't already, buy her flowers for no reason! That always works to cheer a woman up.
Don't coincide it with showering more often and wearing new aftershave though, she'll think you're having an affair and bobbitt you in your sleep.
"her mind is probably telling her that YOU deserve better than the body she currently has to offer, so examine your feelings about that."
Good point; I hadn't considered that.
"How was labour/childbirth for her?"
Bloody awful. It's been 3+ years and I'm still getting acid comments about the influence of my genes on DS's large head...
"she'll think you're having an affair and bobbitt you in your sleep."
Thanks for that... sweet dreams for me tonight...
Okay; following on from the suggestions here I'll carry on what I was doing anyway. But with more flowers
It can take a very long time for a woman to come to terms with her childbirth experience if it was particularly traumatic or difficult. It can cause intimacy issues too.
Just a thought. Good luck anyway
Why do our bodies change shape? The redistribution is sooo true. I hate it.
It's obviously a common feeling amongst womwn. We want to be beautiful and we are our own biggest critics. Your DW is lucky to have you.
I don't know why, you prob need mt or ta to answer that.
But I know logically it is true. We change, men too, throughout our lives. As I remind my dp when he angsts over the fact he isn't the same as when he was 18. Well no, now you are bloke not a teen.
And likewise your dw is a woman not a teen. Unfair comparisons.
Because that's what they do solo. I am strangely at ease with my baby belly and stretch marks. They are the mark that I am a mother. They are entirely natural and normal and I dont feel I should hide them away as though they were some sort of eyesore.
if she is happy to do a bit of exercise, maybe helping her make the time for pilates (great for strengthening deep pelvic and back muscles also v. relaxing) body pump (as another skinny one, i ate more and dropped a dress size but gained half a stone. it also had me gagging for sex as everything also tightened up and became more energetic after a month's worth of sessions) or even tai chi. see pilates reasoning.
I was actually having a convo with Dp yesterday...
Women have puberty and we often gain some weight. We then have babies - more weight/shape change. Menopause - more weight...<sigh>
When I was a teenager/in my 20's, I was lucky enough to have a fit size 10 body. In my 30's a fit size 12 right up until I was pg with Dd I was a slim and attractive woman. However, I really didn't realise this until I no longer had it. It's only now, looking back with photo's that I actually see that I was fab. I'm not saying this to be full of myself, I'm truly not that conceited, I just think that we never actually see how great we are. Like I said before, we are our biggest critics and reassurance would be very welcome for most of us I think, whether we are a size 10 or a size 30.
If she wants to lose weight and get fitter, then make it easy for he to do that. Make it easy for her to go to the gym. Be easygoing about looking after the children so she can. You may be already. I don't know.
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