Ah, but you seem to underestimate the power of love!
?Love?, you say? What does love have to do with physical attraction?
My response: EVERYTHING!
I get the impression by the way you have asked this question that we
are trying to establish someone?s level of honesty here. Since this
matter is an issue of personal preference we cannot prove or disprove
either theory. It?s possible of course that the husband you are
referring to really does find his wife attractive and it is just as
likely that he is trying to be kind in his insistence that his level
of desire has not changed because the wife?s physical features have.
What we do know is that love often has a way of blinding us to the
imperfections of our significant others. If we are really committed,
our priorities naturally change to accommodate our physical changes,
be they natural or accidental.
People well into their golden years, when youth and beauty have long
since deserted them, still find each other physically attractive;
perhaps on a different level and in a variety of ways. In spite of the
stereotypical womanizer that men have fallen victim to in portrayal,
many men are physically attracted to women who are attracted TO THEM ?
no matter how they look (or once looked). In addition, at the risk of
sounding cliché, many men find a woman?s mind to be one of the most
attractive features about her. Even in youth some men overlook certain
attributes if they must n order to appreciate a woman?s mind, her
heart, he warmth and her personality.
Still other men appreciate a mature, full figured woman ? or learn to
appreciate them ? as the years go by. You see, most physical changes,
related to age and weight especially (in both sexes), are subtle and
at the same time you are longing for your youthful figure the man is
experiencing his own battle with gravity, waistline, receding hairline
and other lovely tricks of nature that only time can measure. Even
when age is not the demon here and a sedentary lifestyle or pregnancy
for example is to blame, these things normally don?t happen overnight.
Men learn to flow with the changes.
Now, I am assuming, by the way your question was asked, that this
?caring and committed husband? (or hypothetical ?caring and committed
husband?) has denied finding his wife unattractive. He insists that he
still finds her pleasing sexually and says that he is still drawn to
her in that way. There is no reason to doubt the man unless he
indicates otherwise. Is wandering eye evidence that he finds his wife
unattractive? Not at all. If she notices him noticing others its just
evidence that he is insensitive and has extremely bad manners ? this
housebreaking error sometimes evolves over time too, unfortunately.
Take a look at this survey:
?About 59 percent of men between the ages of 45 and 74 say the phrase
``physically attractive'' strongly applies to their partner, while 62
percent of those over age 75 agree. About half of women in both middle
and old age said physical attraction to their partner was strong.?
AGE DOESN'T DETER SEX LIFE OF OLDER AMERICANS
You (and I will say YOU from now on just for simplicity sake) may not
be in this age group and your ?problem? might not be age related at
all, but my point is this: If, as a rule, people who have been
significantly affected physically by age still find their partners
sexy after all those years, certainly a few bulges around the belt and
a higher number on the scale is not going to dissuade a truly ?caring
and committed husband? BEFORE he gets that old.
In a survey women said their closest relationship provided their
greatest sexual satisfaction. With men it seems that their greatest
sexual satisfaction does not always result in their closest
relationship. In other words, despite what has been said of men, they
DON?T always measure a woman?s worth by her physical attractiveness
and they DON?T always consider ?Barbie? to be wife material. In fact,
most of us initially succumb to our attraction to a woman who actually
HAS some physical imperfections, because we ALL have them ? some more
prominent than others. Statistically speaking this MUST be true
because very few of us are on the cover of Sports Illustrated or doing
toothpaste commercials, if you see what I mean. In the long term,
women and men alike value the emotional experience much more than the
physical experience, but women tend to verbalize it more.
OLDER WOMEN TALK ABOUT SEX
As a committed relationship matures (not necessarily ages, but grows
and flourishes) the lines between physical attraction and emotional
attraction tend to blur - they often become one. Its not uncommon for
a man (or a woman) to ?not see? those things which were obvious
prominently attractive features in the beginning. Physical attraction,
in the literal sense, no longer becomes a prerequisite to being, or
becoming, physically attractive. A introspective man?s physical needs
can be driven (and successfully met) by his emotional needs. Unlike
his youthful physical needs, a man learns over time that his emotional
needs are PERMANENT and he will crave to fulfill them throughout his
lifetime. With many couples, especially those who have matured or aged
together, their mutual sexual attractiveness can not only be measured
by how well their partner meets their emotional needs, but it can, in
some instances rely almost entirely upon it. To some people this
physical change may be more of an issue than it is to others, but in a
committed relationship the imminent loss of our youthful figures and
other physical attributes are merely a consequence of something beyond
our control. My wife laughs at my thinning hair and shifting torso,
and (no, a gentleman never laughs at HERS??out loud?) I just laugh
along with her. Beyond that, nothing has really changed in how I see
her or how she sees me. After all, what more can we do? We?re alive
and we?re healthy ? and we?re doing it together just as we hoped and
planned we would!
Take Chang and Eng Bunker, for example. They were Siamese twins who
married and fathered 21 children (Eng had 11 children, and Chang had
10 children) by their respective wives. By all accounts these were
loving men who cared deeply for their families, doted on their
children and provided immeasurable emotional support to them. Also
consider noted physicist Stephen Hawking, bound to a wheelchair by a
chronic systemic affliction and unable to even speak without the aid
of an electronic device. He is married and has three children and one
grandchild. Now obviously these men had crippling disabilities and
they were so afflicted when their wives met and married them, but the
point is that they too physically changed over the years and yet their
emotional contributions to their spouses clearly outweighed any
imperfections they certainly had. Their spouses continued to find them
attractive (apparently enough to procreate many times over). How much
more then are you to be concerned about your physical appearance when
these men (and women) suffered far greater with undisputedly great
success in their marriages?
You really said a mouthful when you said the husband was a ?committed?
and ?caring? person. This is actually the key to it all. Even in the
animal kingdom a female often demands commitment before consenting to
sex. Males who fail to show commitment often lose out in the mating
game. It?s not the fact that one female has prettier feathers or that
she struts about in a way that lights his fire, it?s the stock of
individual that she is and fact that she is compatible that makes all
the difference. Feathers eventually molt but even in the wild (read:
ignorant wild animals that don?t know any better) that stay mated for
life, this never seems to matter. The original committed selection is
far more important that the eventual physical outcome. So it is with
humans. If you lose an eye or an arm, a committed husband will still
love you, cherish you, and value you physically, emotionally and yes,
even sexually in spite of it. Add a few pounds? No problem (as long as
it?s not life-threatening, of course), such is life.
From a scientific standpoint, clear unwrinkled skin, bright eyes, red
full lips, and glossy hair are all external indicators of youth, good
health and reproductive capability. It is true that males assign far
greater significance to physical attractiveness than do females but an
intelligent (committed, caring) husband is smart enough to know that
these latter three characteristics all fade over time and with them so
goes the physical indicators. On the other hand Darwin said:
?"It is certainly not true that there is in the mind of man any
universal standard of beauty with respect to the human body".
So, ?beauty IS in the mind of the beholder? and is not ?skin deep?.
What one man sees an imperfection another sees as a fine wine. For
those who don?t favor fine wine, well, wine is an acquired taste that
only a refined man can learn to fully appreciate. Sex is certainly
intimate but intimacy is not always sexual. Like women, men continue
(often until they cannot physically do it anymore) to be mentally and
physically stimulated by and to pursue intimacy with their wives no
matter how much both of them changes.
Unlike most men, some women have significant self-confidence issues
that can become so pervasive as to interfere, or even create, the
thing they fear the most. Lagging confidence can lead to depression,
which in turn can lead to overeating or a sedentary lifestyle. This
can add on extra pounds, which in turn compounds her self-confidence
problems. As you can see this is a never-ending cycle of destruction
and it can have a serious impact on her relationship not to mention
her health. It goes without saying then that one solution is to
address the self-confidence issue, to try and get a handle on the
thing that worries you most thereby resolving the perceived problem ?
because perceived problems (even unjustified ones) are ?real? problems
any way you add it up.
In answer to your question (take a badly needed breath of relief here)
yes certainly, a man CAN (and many, many do) find their wives very
physically and even sexually attractive in spite of a few pounds and
bulges. Not to be too personal here, but my wife and I were never
swimsuit models to begin with and we are no longer the youthful,
exuberant creatures we once were, but I assure you (from my own male
perspective, which is really all I can offer) she is just as lovely
and enticing today ? if not more so ? than she was the day I met
her?and I will continue to find her so without fail for many, many
years to come. Is our attraction to one another still relative to how
attractive we ARE? No. Are we still clawing at one another after
raising all those kids and eating all those Twinkies? No. But after
all these years, no matter what changes might have occurred, the magic
between us is still magic, only now we know how the tricks are done.
Below you will find that I have carefully defined my search strategy
for you in the event that you need to search for more information. By
following the same type of searches that I did you may be able to
enhance the research I have provided even further. I hope you find
that my research exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions
about my research please post a clarification request prior to rating
the answer. Otherwise, I welcome your rating and your final comments
and I look forward to working with you again in the near future. Thank
you for bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher
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Clarification of Answer by
11 Aug 2004 18:56 PDT
I wish I could help you there but the fact of the matter is that while
I can easily explain the bitter taste from where I sit, I cannot rinse
your mouth for you. I might only suggest that you exercise patience
(and caution) and try to establish an open channel of honesty and
confidence in your relationship. Try communicating your fears (and
that?s what these really are) to your wife. It seems that you are
afraid that you might be drifting away or at the very least, falling
out of ?lust? in your relationship. In order to first address the
problem, grab yourself by the shoulders my man and shake briskly. It
this does not work, repeat often and as needed. You cannot hope to
resolve your wife?s physical and emotional issues if you are part of
the problem. Be supportive, seek outlets to help counsel your issues
(together and singularly), and stop looking in vain for a light at the
end of the tunnel when instead you could BE the light.
There are far greater things that beauty in this life and far more
horrific things in life than becoming unattractive or coming to the
realization that your mate is becoming unattractive. Consider how
relatively healthy and otherwise happy you both are and how small an
issue this would seem if one of your were to fall victim to some major
catastrophe, accident or illness. Consider the past and how fruitful
or memorable it has been and how this, almost entirely alone, has
shaped you both into the people you are today.
If you are a high-energy fitness freak and she has become a lethargic
couch potato maybe this is just an issue where the two of you have
gone in different directions. On the other hand, you may be
experiencing something that millions of spouses are experiencing and
that is having to bear the burden of a loved one?s depression.
Literally millions of people suffer from depression that is often
written off as middle-aged crazy, over-the-hill syndrome, change of
life, overweight and a host of other names that really seem to make no
sense. I cannot diagnose your wife but I do know this, as the bearer
of the burden it is incumbent upon you to recognize it (when the loved
one often can?t) and seek desperately to address and defeat it before
it defeats you.
Can I help you? I must be totally honest here ? No, I cannot.
Can you help yourself? You are the only one who can ? initially at least.
I highly recommend you try and persuade your wife to see a physician
and at least talk about the health situation. Present this to her in a
way that makes her understand that you adore her, you do not want to
live without her, and you do not want to see anything terrible happen
to her as a result of her weight gain and associated illnesses that go
along with it. Here?s a little something you can tell her: Take the
names of all the females who died yesterday from ALL the illnesses,
accidents and homicides in the US and put them in one column. Now take
all the women?s names that died yesterday in the US from heart disease
(one of the primary diseases resulting from obesity and a sedentary
lifestyle) and put them in the next column. Stand back and take a
good, long look at them ? you will clearly see that the list of those
who died from heart disease alone will be longer than the list of ALL
OTHER DEATHS COMBINED no matter what they died from. The fact is that
heart disease is the leading cause of death in women today.
?It kills more Americans every year than cancer, cigarettes, war,
criminals and other diseases combined.?
# 1 Deadliest Killer of Americans
Unfortunately this is one of those rough spots in the road that you
chanced when you espoused your willingness to have and to hold for
better or worse. Be sincere (committed and caring) in your insistence
that she seek a medical opinion about her weight gain as well as her
self-esteem issues. Tell her that you insist because you want HER to
enjoy life to the fullest (you obviously want that for yourself but
I?m sure you really do want that for her too). If the two of you find
out she does have a form of depression, this can, in most cases be
successfully treated and perhaps your other problems might see some
significant results as well. If depression is not the problem some
counseling and deep self-examination can do no harm.
I appreciate your generosity and I SINCERELY wish you both the very best.