Bh has never asked me this question, but I relate to what you are saying.
I knew bh thought I was beautiful, didnt see the flaws that I saw, and no matter how big or small I got he still thought I was the most beautiful woman. Even after knowing all that I still didn't believe him because I didn't believe it myself.
Before the A I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks and didnt even know I was pregnant because I was on birthcontrol and it messed up my cycle. I was then told because of previous losses and multiple d&c that I couldnt have anymore children. I felt even more inadequate and ugly.
when my ap contacted me and said all the right words, said I was beautiful, and all that garbage it made me feel better about myself, but it was more of like a high. Did I believe it? At the time yes. Because if someone other than my bh thought that of me it must be true, right? I was so wrong in my thinking and through IC I am starting to "get it" I am taking the steps to love and accept myself for me. I do things for myself that make me feel better about me.
the validation and attention from men was like a self temporary bandaid to the core issue within myself.
I don't know if this is helpful, but this is how I looked at it and started to heal and work on me.
Think of it like an infection. You have to get all of that infected gunk out before you can start to heal. Some infections are worse than others. Some only need a little ointment, others need antibiotics, some of them need to be opened up and cleaned out.
Without being opened up and cleaned out the surface may heal and look better, but it's only a matter of time before it shows up somewhere else.
The process may be painful, it may leave a scar, and it might be scary. In the end it's worth it to be completely healed and healthy again.
For years patched things up, distracted myself, and hoped it would go away on it's on. It wasn't until things got so bad that I couldn't ignore them anymore. Once I started dealing with things I felt a lot better. I wish I could have dealt with things when they happened. I wasted a lot of time and energy patching things up temporarily.