Dear Inside His Head guys,
My husband made a comment the other day that I can’t stop thinking about!
I was walking across the room minding my own business when he tells me, ”Babe, you look really good for somebody that has had three kids.” I thought, what?! Why can’t he just tell me I look really good? Why did he add “for somebody that has had three kids?”
I spoke to him about it and while he promises he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings and meant his statement as a compliment, I am having a hard time. Since we already talked about it once, I hate to bring it up again, but it really bothered me. Should I just let it go or should I talk to him about it again?
My wife and I have three children as well, ranging in ages of just over a year to nearly seven years old. My wife doesn’t look like the mother of three and I’ve said this in nearly those words to her and her response was exactly the opposite of yours. Why? When I said this to her—on more than one occasion mind you—it was a complement and taken as such. There was no “hidden meaning” in my comment, just as there was none in your husband’s. Truth is guys are not that complicated. After approaching your husband about his comment and your reaction to it and he explained that he truly meant it in a complimentary way, then he did. If you still are struggling with it then it’s not a question of what he said or what you think he might have meant: It’s a question of self-esteem and rehashing your conversation with your husband over this won’t eliminate these feelings you have.
Building self-esteem is not something that happens with one conversation. It will take time and deliberate effort on your part. Perhaps a therapist could be involved if it’s really hitting you as hard as it seems that it is. BUT, it’s not an issue that another conversation with your husband on the same thing will miraculously solve. He SHOULD be a partner in helping you work through things though. After all, he loves you. You are and always will be beautiful in his eyes.
That brings me to another point: Men are solution seekers. If there’s a problem, we want to find the solution and fix it. We don’t have a need or desire, nor simply care to talk about it and talk about it some more and…well, you get the point. So take this problem-solving focus and leverage it as part of your work to lift your self-esteem. Enlist the help of a professional if you need to and let your husband be involved in helping fix it. He IS your partner in everything, right?
Let it go. While he definitely could have phrased it better, I’m sure his sentiment was sincere. As a guy there is nothing more frustrating than attempting to compliment your lady (I’m unmarried) and having your words twisted. You did the right thing by letting him know that your feelings were hurt, but it’s time to move on. He still thinks you’re hot, how do you think you got those three kids?
In his mind, he meant it in a very nice way. It was supposed to be a compliment with an added emphasis on the fact you lost your baby weight and worked harder to look that good than someone who hasn’t had children. So when he makes a compliment, take the compliment for what it is.
You look really good and he wants you to know it. The fact he added that qualifier at the end shouldn’t bother you. I can see why you questioned it, but I can also see that what he meant and how you took it could be completely different. Poor communication is still better than no communication and you shouldn’t overlook the fact he complimented you and was trying to be nice. The fact you get mad that the compliment wasn’t worded they you would like, seems petty. I could see myself becoming more and more afraid to compliment my wife, if every time I did, she took it the wrong way and it caused problems. Obviously guys are bad about making comments before they think it through and they often times stick their foot in there mouth, but that’s just one of the things that makes us different.