I want to not need this validation.
February 22, 2013 7:55 AM Subscribe
I think I have a problem with self esteem. Objectively, I know that I am a physically attractive person. This has been confirmed by plenty of people throughout my life. I want more than anything to be told by my husband that I am beautiful in certain ways, but he can't or won't. I don't want to need something from him that he is unable to give. How can I either stop focusing on this, or learn how to validate myself without his input?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
We have a pretty great relationship, and I think we communicate our needs well. There's no question that I turn him on - he has no problem saying so and showing it. Even as I'm formulating this question in my head, I realise how silly and petty it sounds, because here's the thing: on a fairly regular basis, he will make comments like, "You look good." But through further discussion, it's become clear that he's commenting more on my clothes and body rather than on my face when he says that.
I have explicitly asked him in the past, "Do you think I'm beautiful?" and his response is always, "I'm really attracted to you," but never, "Yes, you are beautiful." I don't know why I'm so hung up on him confirming beauty, but it's just that all the times he's commented on my looks, it feels like he's using weasel words or going out of his way not to say "beautiful" (or similar level words). The closest he may have come is saying, "I think you're pretty." If it were anyone else in the world, them saying that would be a really lovely compliment, and I would accept it with grace and feel good about it, but for some reason, from him, it doesn't feel like enough.
For a long time, he never said anything, and I had to (several times) explicitly ask him to give me compliments before we got to where we are now. He has said in the past that he feels nervous and awkward making such comments, especially making them too soon after I've prompted them, because then they're not "real." I feel shallow and petty for getting worked up about this, and I realise that I'm totally splitting hairs with this pretty-or-beautiful bs (and also realise that constantly badgering your partner for validation is the complete opposite of attractive).
But I'm obviously craving this from him, and I don't want to feel so bad when I don't receive it. How can I get the fuck over myself, or work on validating myself?