Question: I know I love my husband, I think I forgive him, I want to stay and I want to make it work. We are getting along fine. But I feel like I’ll never be able to enjoy sex with him again. I hate the way I look and I find myself thinking about the other woman every time he approaches me. I can’t help thinking he compares my 40 year old, 4th baby body and face to his 35 no children blond beautiful lover. I don’t know how my marriage will survive without sex. I had a nose job and a face-lift and I still don’t feel likeable or lovable. I’m going completely crazy. Your husband’s lover was your same age and not prettier than you but that’s not my case and it makes it all so much more difficult. Am I Sexy? What is the Role of my Appearance in my Spouse’s Affair? By Anne Bercht - September 30, 2013
This is something I struggle with daily. Always have. I have always been self conscious about my looks. Big deal you say, so does every woman. I guess but i am not pretty and I know it. I am attractive mostly because I am tall and thin. But my nose is somewhat pronounced, my chin is pointy, my eyes are large and my forehead wide. If I had to say I looked like a celebrity it’s usually Uma Thurman, see, she’s not traditionally pretty. So I strive to find confidence in my intelligence and personality.
I have had guy friends tell me that “I would love to marry a girl like you. Smart, supportive, kind… ” then it trails off because they don’t want to say anything about my looks. One time it was a very good looking friend, Rick, at a wedding who was drunk at the time, he’s so sweet and is a good friend to Green and I, and he had been dumped by a very nice and beautiful girl who found him to be too immature for marriage. So at the time, in his heartbreak he said the same thing to me, about wanting a girl like me and then said, “Well look at me. I can pretty much get any girl I want. She has to pretty. But nice, funny and smart like you.” We laughed at the last bit and he said, “You know what I mean.” And I did. I get it, I am not pretty in the way that girls in LA and Orange County are… believe me its tough out here! But if I was, well then I would be the perfect girl to marry. I still laugh when I remember that sloppy romantic yet pretty rude comment. Stupid, sweet but pretty Rick.
I am embarrassed to admit that as a very skinny, very poor (I had out of style clothes) and very shy college freshman, I was invited to a pig party. Like a naive idiot I fell for it. I thought I was being invited to a party with the cool fraternity kids. Hah! Luckily for me my roommate knew what was up and she let me down gently. She took me bowling instead and showed me how to wax my eyebrows. I thank her every two weeks when I get them redone, now.
One time, when I was 15, my dad was sitting at the dinner table… and for whatever reason he leaned over to me and exclaimed as if by surprise,” Wow. You are so ugly! I mean really ugly! How did you get so ugly?!” And then he just laughed and laughed. I’ll never forget that day. I am my the only daughter in a family of sons – you’d think that would make me beautiful to my father. My mom said nothing. Let’s just say she wasn’t a great mom at the time. I can’t even imagine saying something so cruel to my daughters. Instead, I always greet them each morning by saying, “Good morning, pretty!” even when they are grouchy and covered in snot. I’ll never forget what it felt like when my dad said those hateful things to me.
Anyway, when this hit my inbox today it was pretty timely. I turned 40 a week ago, I didn’t want a big celebration because of well just everything, but we did go out dancing this weekend to celebrate and it was fun but I was tired early on. Gone are those days of dancing all night! I feel like sometimes my age and my ugliness caught up to me. Green is 6 years younger than me. It never really mattered, I thought. When we first dated it was a thing that we got teased about because I was 27 and he was 21 because it wasn’t serious and dating Green was just a fun thing to do at the time, I really had no idea we would go on to date for several years, get married and have kids.
I remember, too, when we first started dating Green once told me, “You know when we first met I didn’t find you attractive. You’re just not my type. But I love how you make me feel. You make me feel smart and important. You talk to me about things that matter and I like how I feel when I’m around you. You’re my get pretty girl. You look good to me and I think your beautiful.” Another backhand compliment? Back then our sex life was very fun, active and invigorating. But of course that cooled… and then having kids, work and life. Well that cooled it even further. My looks I thought were OK, hell Green is no super model either. Yet, I figured after we got married that I didn’t get fat after having the kids and often times people tell me I look great for my age so I thought I was doing ok. But still very rarely am I told that I am pretty.
So odd that I would even care about something so shallow at all. I mean I am a feminist who works in politics. I work in a world dominated by men who work for other men. What matters is your toughness, your ability to push people to your side… to wield power. But if you follow politics you know the saying, “Politics is Hollywood for ugly people.” I tend to agree but I usually work behind the scenes, I shy away from media work and publicity, I leave that to the pretty girls and boys on the Communications team. Still there is no way to get around it. Beauty matters.
So when Green cheated and said all of those mean things about me being old, ugly and boring. Well of course I believed them . I still do. I know has nothing to do with Green anymore really, its my own insecurities that are constantly eating at me. Should I get a nose job? A chin lift? After nursing two babies my left boob is bigger than my right. Should I have them fixed? When I discovered the sexy photos that Maria the whore was sending my husband I was further convinced. She IS tiny, petite, pretty and 15 years younger. Her boobs were small but still perky (no kids) and she was his type she was petite, I am nearly as tall as Green and certainly taller than him in heels. Had he secretly disliked that about me all this time? Maria was just plain pretty in the way that all 20 somethings are – small features, button nose, always styled hair… she looked always ready for a date night.
Of course in that space in my fractured opinion my lack of attractiveness made Green’s affair legitimate, somewhat. And the sexual confidence in my self and my desire for sex was gone. Somewhere in the pain of emotional rejection and physical infidelity I lost my mojo. But unlike Elle @ Betrayed Wives I can’t to find myself back to that sexy trail. The affair has been over for a year but I still have no sexual desire. We never had the sexual highs of hysterical bonding. I am not on medications so that’s not it. I just don’t like it, I can’t get into sex anymore, its repulsive to me. I can’t turn off the mind movies, I can’t turn off the horrible words, I can’t find myself appealing to Green at all. My mind is filled with the notion that when we are having sex he is fantasizing about HER. Thinking of her. Wishing he was with her.
Green now tries to tell me that I am pretty. He compliments my long legs and fit figure. His cards always have some note about me, his super sexy wife. But I know the truth. I know its just his way of making things up to me. He knows his words cut deep. He admits he said them to hurt me. He said he was angry at this life and he blamed me. So to hurt me made him feel better. Validated his pain. I can understand that – his pain, acting out, self destruction, etc. I can even forgive it because I saw it. But the lingering pain of being attacked for what Green says I lacked, an attractive appearance, and given my history about my looks, is something I struggle with.
I don’t know that I found any resolution out the blog post at the beginning, Am I Sexy? What is the Role of my Appearance in my Spouse’s Affair?, by Anne Brecht. It left me feeling a little unsettled. If only the OW had been ugly, old and lame maybe I could feel more confident in the whole thing being just a whore with no self-esteem. But when she was pretty, young and fun to be with? How does that make me look and feel? Hell Green took her to concerts, NBA games… he ditched me for her on New Years Eve! How the fuck am I supposed to believe that I am pretty and fun? Anne writes,
Husband’s who genuinely love their wives and are fully committed to them, say the biggest reason why they love their wife more than any other woman is because she is his wife, his best friend and the one he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with. In this no other woman can compete with you, not because you have to be better than other women, not because you’re prettier or younger, but because no other woman has shared “x” number of years with him, you are the mother of his children, and no other woman is the one that he has CHOSEN to spend his life with.
Ok, yeah I agree. But mine cheated. Forgiven or not it still hurts. And it still makes me feel really really ugly. So the sex, yeah for me its just dying a slow painful death. I fear where this will take my marriage, as Anne writes as well,
… a marriage will not survive without sex. Sex is essential. In the same way that wives connect with their husbands through talking (communication), men connect with and feel close to their wives through sex. It’s not optional.
So yet again, I am not really feeling resolved about how I feel about how my insecurities about my looks have anything to do with being a wife who got cheated on. Am I just wandering, falsely feeling that I working on forgiven Green for his infidelity but knowing that one day… he’ll face the shallow demons that that turned his head in the first place? Sure she sent him the selfies that glorified her looks while I sat next to him on the couch wearing my tank tops and yoga pants. A slob, me? Hardly but when I didn’t know I was competing against a push up bra and fishnets… Now I know. Is this a battle I need to win? Or should I believe that, in my case, cheating doesn’t reflect on my appearance or lack of sex appeal?
If the security of your marriage and your husbands love for you is based on your physical appearance, than your marriage is too shallow.
There are many beautiful women in the world, and even many beautiful talented, kind-hearted women with great personalities. If the security of a marriage is based on being the best at all times, you’re fighting a losing battle. No woman or man can always be the best. Even beautiful, young super models are cheated on. Think of Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Anniston, and Jennifer Lopez. Being young and beautiful is no guarantee for keeping the love of a shallow man.
If your husband were to leave you and marry his young lover, he would cheat on her in a few years too, if this is all his character and morality are based upon.
So yes… pretty girls get cheated on too. And my husband is a shallow stupid ass. Whoopty-fucking-do. But no one tells them they got cheated on because they are ugly. I have no idea what this long confusing post means. Maybe its just a case of the Monday’s or just me being bummed about getting older.
I do think I’ll get my boobs fixed though… I hate feeling lopsided.