Let me start by saying that I am a very affectionate person. I always have been. I always want to hold hands, kiss, hug, etc. I also issue MANY compliments to my female counterpart throughout the day. In addition I say “I love you” quite frequently. I’ve always been very open and very vocal with my feelings. What good does it do to keep quiet?
My wife is a bit different though. She will frequently tell me that she loves me, throws out the occassional compliment, and will show some affection in public, but not nearly as much as I would like. I’ve talked to her about this before and have told her that I’d really prefer if she was the one initiating some of this contact, and that an extra compliment or two couldn’t hurt either.
Typically we hear of men who never compliment their wives and the resulting loss of self esteem on the woman’s part, but men suffer from the same problems with their self image. I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with an abnormally large amount of self confidence but that doesn’t mean that the occassional compliment would to unappreciated. So I told her this, then again, and again, and again. Each time it would result in changed behavior for about an hour.
I’d like to go on record as saying that I’m completely confident that my wife is very attracted to me. That’s not what this is about. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear…fuck, I sound like a woman.
Anyway I got the feeling that my wife didn’t get where I was coming from. She’s been showered with compliments for the last nine years and I think she has forgotten what life was like prior to that. I needed to remind her of what it was like to be on the other side of the fence.
So I hatched a little scheme. The plan was to go 24 hours without my usual routine of compliments, affection, and “I love you’s”. I would only do these things with the frequency that she would do them.
So the next day came and of course she was wearing some sexy little outfit and was looking amazing, but I couldn’t crack. I would only tell her she looked good if she asked, only tell her I love her if she said it first, and only return affection that she showed first.
Halfway through the day she was asking me if something was wrong. She could tell something was off. I held strong though. Finally I made it to the end of my 24 hours and told her about the whole thing. It worked better than I had expected. She completely got it and explained how in the last 24 hours she had felt fat, unattractive, somewhat embarassed, and very self concious. Not at all sure of herself or beautiful.
Of course I’m not happy that my wife had to feel this in order for me to make my point but it was necessary. I quickly reassurred her that she looked amazing and that NOT telling her that was one if the hardest things I’ve ever done. Hopefully I’ll never have to do this again because it was awful for both of us and I hate hurting her. Sometimes a little pain is necessary if we are to evolve and grow.