Hey, guys – you already know your wives want and need lots of verbal affirmation from you, right? That’s pretty much Marriage 101.

But, as a wife for more than 2 decades and a girl for a few more decades than that, I have to tell you that you still might have this one all wrong.

Yes, we want to hear that you think we’re beautiful. But we also need you to realize that telling us won’t convince us to feel beautiful, especially if we have body image issues. That kind of insecurity runs deep.

We’re really different from you guys when it comes to how we see ourselves. Studies show that about 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance, while around 50% of men are totally great with theirs. That means it’s not what we’re seeing in the mirror; it’s how we’re framing it up in our minds.

So keep the compliments coming, but be patient with us.

It’s also unbelievably important that you compliment us on other aspects of who we are. Whether we’re struggling with self-confidence or not, we need to know that you see and respect what we’re doing in our parenting, our careers, our characters, our homes, and everything else we set out to accomplish. We need to know that we fascinate you in much more than just our appearance. And if you have a daughter, she needs to know that men love women for reasons other than how they look.

And we also need you to never assume that we know all those nice things you think about us. Say them out loud, please!

All of this comes with a caveat. Sorry! We’re complicated, what can I say? If you have underlying disrespect for your wife, no compliment can make up for that. If you don’t truly and deeply respect her intellect, her abilities, her drive, her accomplishments, and her love for you and your kids, you’ve got an impenetrable barrier between the two of you. If that’s the case, you need help in your marriage and your mindset.

What it boils down to is this: You can’t fix larger problems with compliments, but we still desperately want and need you to love us, to respect us, to think we’re beautiful – and to tell us so, out loud, on the regular.

Written by UNCOMMEN Contributor, Deb Mitchell

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