You may believe your wife is the most stunning woman alive, but there are a few common things even the best men do that can leave the woman they love feeling unattractive.
Men, this article is not to shame you—it’s to help you steer clear of these things.
1. Fail to compliment her efforts
You are the one person on earth whose opinion she values most. She needs to know you think she’s stunning both during the times she makes extra effort (i.e., takes a shower rather than just using dry shampoo), and the days she’s sick in bed.
2. Praise another woman with words you’ve never used for your wife
If you are referring to a woman as drop dead gorgeous, and you’ve never used such powerful descriptions to describe your wife, it’s devastating to her.
She knows you find other women attractive, and for the most part, she’s OK with that. But when you emphatically compliment another woman, your wife feels like you are comparing her to that woman and she’s the one not measuring up. Your comments may be innocent, but it’s a dagger in your wife’s heart.
3. Look at pornography
Nothing will make your wife feel more despairingly inadequate than you looking at pornography. A study by Fight the New Drug showed that after men were exposed to pornography, they rated themselves as less in love with their partner, and were more critical of their partner’s appearance, sexual performance and displays of affection.
There is never room for this in a marriage.
This is a neon sign to your wife telling her she is not good enough. As time goes by and you continue to look at pornography, you’ll come to believe that about her as well.
4. Not initiating a hug or kiss
Withholding physical affection except when you want to be intimate makes her feel used and undesirable.
Try kissing your wife on the forehead one evening and telling her you love her. If you do this just because you love her, with no expectation of having sex after, she’ll feel beautiful and adored.
5. Do a double take when another woman walks by
We know you’re wired to notice and appreciate beauty, but please learn not to gawk.
Similar to the reasons explained in complimenting another woman, you cannot understand how deeply it hurts your wife to see you check out another woman. (And trust me: She notices, even when she doesn’t say anything.)
6. Peek at your phone while your sweetheart is talking
Make eye contact with your wife when she is talking to you. It sounds simple, but it’s a common problem.
If you’re staring at your phone while she’s talking, she’ll start to wonder what’s wrong with her—even if you’re only checking ESPN for the halftime score. Couples who have a conversation with a phone nearby reported less trust in their partner, and a lower quality relationship, according to a University of Essex study.
Help her feel beautiful by prioritizing her over your Facebook feed.
To be fair, feeling beautiful is complicated, and you alone can’t convince her that she is. Only your wife can develop her inner confidence; but you can do a great deal to damage or build her up in these subtle ways.
**This post appeared originally on FamilyShare.com.