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julie portrait3BW[From Julie]

Can I just say that mirrors are not my friend?  The scale and I aren’t even on speaking terms and don’t get me started on swim suit shopping.  It’s a struggle.  Amen?  I could give you a comprehensive list of all the things I don’t like about myself and I have been known to share said list with Noel from time to time.  Usually this ‘sharing’ produces a deep sigh from my beloved’s mouth followed by some appropriate response designed to make me feel better.  He’s a good man.  I appreciate his efforts.

Girl at Mirror

We’ve been together for 27 years and he has spent much of that time telling me I’m beautiful.  Repeatedly and in detail and often totally out of the blue.  Not just on the outside but on the inside too.  Have I mentioned that he’s a good man?  He tells me what he loves about my character and what he thinks I’m good at.  He asks my opinion about what he’s thinking about or what he should do because he trusts my instincts.  He calls me his emotional rock because he can count on me to be solid when he is feeling overwhelmed and he can pretty much predict how I will respond to something.

While the inside of a person is what really matters I can’t deny that I love to hear what Noel loves about the outside of me.  When I met him at the tender and influential age of 16 I didn’t feel attractive in any way.  Believe me when I say that Noel has spent all of our 27 years together trying his best to change my opinion of myself.  He has succeeded for the most part, however there are times when I can hear the old voices shouting louder than his voice.  Voices that say I don’t measure up.  This is a size 00 world and that size doesn’t really work for me so obviously I’m not attractive.  When I look in the mirror I see stretch marks and to much extra ‘stuff’.  The last time I thoughtfully brought this observation to Noel he gave me his best response to date.  He said “You’ve had four people in there.  Of course you have stretch marks.  I love your stomach.”  Okay then.

Ladies, don’t you love to hear your man tell you that you’re beautiful?  When he does say it, be thankful and then chose to believe him.  That’s the part I’ve struggled with over the years.  Letting Noel be my mirror.  After all, Noel’s opinion about the way I look is the only one that truly matters.  His constant encouragement gives me comfort and confidence that he will find beauty in me no matter what.  I’ve gone up and down the scale more than once in our married life and Noel was supportive every step of the way.  No matter what the number was he delighted in how I looked.  I have no doubt that his opinion won’t change despite the addition of (gasp) newly spotted wrinkles or bizarro hair growth.  Again, good man.  How did I ever find this dude?

This may all be very trivial and surface.  Shouldn’t we be concerned with more important things in our marriages?  There is definitely more important things in life and beauty is fleeting after all but it is a joy to know that the most important person in my life likes to look at me.  For that I am thankful.

Husbands, I hope you are doing the same for your wife.  She’ll love you for it.

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JW

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