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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: How do I feel self-confident about my looks?
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 8:57 AM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The facts:
-I have always been very confident when it comes to my personality, achievements, "smarts", outgoing nature, etc.
-I am an only child so the closest I had to siblings were my cousins. I don't remember if it was said once or a million times, but either way it SEEMS like it was said a million times because of its impact...
I remember my cousins saying "You're ugly". In kindergarten, I was also diagnosed with a "lazy eye" and not only had to wear glasses, but a patch over my right eye, so you can imagine the teasing I got about that at school too.

Ok, that being said - like I said - always confident in every area of my life except my looks. Hard to be objective with this stuff ingrained in my head/heart for my entire life (I'm 48)but if I were to look at myself objectively - yes, I'm overweight but I'm not hideously ugly. A few guys in my life have told me I'm good looking or showed it by their actions, but not that many.

My H and I met when we were very young - 14 and 15. He was a very immature 14 too - not sure how in the world we've lasted 33 years but where many who meet that young grow up and change and grow apart, we have rallied to work through it, grow together, etc.

Anyway, when he was 14 he was the gushy 14 year old boy who told me I was beautiful, etc. But as he grew up...

He is very quiet and shy. And he doesn't express his feelings very well -never has. Improved after we had split up for those 7 months and almost D'd (4 yrs ago) but still does not ever offer me verbal compliments.

While we were S'd, I saw a guy for 3 months who constantly told me I was gorgeous, sexy, good looking, etc. You cannot imagine how great that made me feel - after all these years of feeling "ugly". Now mind you, hindsight is 20/20 and that was basically the main reason I went out with this guy while we were S'd...altho I thought my rebound was my true love... He was a trainwreck and I did break it off with him to try again with my H only 3 weeks before our D was to be finalized. And that was 4 years ago and it has been wonderful... But even telling him that I need to "hear" things like that, he just can't bring himself to say it. He shows me he loves me and my friends tell me he just has a look to him when he looks at me, but I just need to hear it and he just can't verbalize it. (and don't 2x4 him - he has tried...he just can't get it out of his mouth - he does not do it "on purpose"...it is just who he is.)

Except I don't feel beautiful or hot or sexy or attractive anymore. I know you are supposed to get your self-confidence from inside yourself, not as external validation, but here's my problem...

I can't trust myself to tell myself I'm even "okay looking". I just can't. No IC is going to be able to figure this out for me because it is just who I am. I have all the confidence I need in other departments (maybe too much sometimes ) but I just can't get it when it comes to my looks.

I know I need to lose weight and tone up. Starting to work on that again and I know losing weight would help me feel better about myself, but even when I had lost weight in the past, it helped but...still...

Anyone else have a stubborn self problem like this? Thanks for hanging in there with me through it all...


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
Knowing
♀ Member
Member # 37044
Default  Posted: 10:54 AM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It seems that you're starting from a point where you don't believe your WS can change and you don't believe you can either. Not a good place to start from, but I'm going to offer my experience anyway.

There is nothing wrong with asking your WS to give you verbal validation (compliments, etc). It's all in The 5 Love Languages book. There is a free online quiz you can both take, if you haven't done that already, to find out what your main Love Language(s) is/are. Maybe by seeing that his needs will also be met may motivate him to meet yours.

If your WS can't meet your needs you might want to get honest with yourself about your future with your WS. That being said, all the validation and verbal stroking you crave can't all come from him. Some of it has to come from you. But you're right the premise of M is that we choose a person to whom we entrust the care of meeting our needs.


Me: BW, Him: fWH
Together 12 years
My EA (?) 2005-2011
His STA/PA: D-day: 19/09/12
TT: 08/12/12

We are in R.


Posts: 697 | Registered: Oct 2012
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks Knowing but way off base, really.

He meets all my other needs. He has become a much better husband, father and man since we R'd 4 years ago.

It's not that he "won't" do it, it's just not comfortable for him. If I ask him how I look, he says "Good". And I have seen light in his eyes when I've worn pretty clothes, lingerie, etc. but he is just not a verbal feelings kind of person.

I know he loves me. I have read the 5 Love Languages and although I think I need all 5 (lol) I think Quality time and verbal confirmation are probably my biggest. His would probably be "Acts of Service" and "Quality Time".

I try to look at it through his eyes and see that him cleaning my car windows of snow/ice when he is tired and trying to leave for work is one of his ways of showing love. And he is always thoughtful of my feelings - he just doesn't talk about it much.

I may have asked the question wrong - I want to know how I can get it through my OWN head/heart that I am not hideous looking????


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
meplusfour
♀ Member
Member # 38958
Default  Posted: 11:24 AM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It might be helpful to change your perspective. Instead of focusing on losing weight or the number on the scale, try new activities that focus on how well your body functions. Try a yoga class. I find that yoga to be very calming and forces to me focus on how well my body works. The fluid motions and poses in yoga also helps me relax. There is also an element of meditation which I find helpful on bad days. Yoga is a good workout and helps to tone muscles. Or try a running class and set a goal for yourself, such as running a half-marathon or charity race. The focus is on building a stronger body and endurance. I also find that when I run, I focus on my breathing and the rhythm of my legs which is soothing. Both of these activities have helped me feel with my self-esteem and accept my body and looks for what they are.

Hope this helps.


BW (me)42
WH 44
3 daughters, 1 son
Married 10 years, together 13
DDay 3/14/2013, four year PA
In R
"Sometimes you have to accept the fact that certain things will never go back to the way they used to be."

Posts: 349 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Canada
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I like that idea - the getting fit and showing myself how awesome my body can be in action. I used to do karate but my knees and feet (flat) have gotten much worse. Therefore the running and walking are out, but I used to ride my bike a alot - lost alot of weight doing so and alleviated alot of stress too. I am going to have my H get mine down from the rafters in the garage and ride for just a short time tonight and work my way back up. The nice part is H likes to ride, too, so it's something we can do together too.

But what has been ingrained in my brain for all these years is the TRUE problem.


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
Knowing
♀ Member
Member # 37044
Default  Posted: 12:49 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"...but I just need to hear it and he just can't verbalize it. (and don't 2x4 him - he has tried...he just can't get it out of his mouth - he does not do it "on purpose"...it is just who he is.)"

"No IC is going to be able to figure this out for me because it is just who I am."

These 2 statements indicate that
A) you don't believe your WS can change
B) you don't believe you can change

I'd venture to say if he loved you he'd do it. BTDT, my fWH gives me the occasional compliment now after 12 years of not being able to give a compliment to save his life.


Me: BW, Him: fWH
Together 12 years
My EA (?) 2005-2011
His STA/PA: D-day: 19/09/12
TT: 08/12/12

We are in R.


Posts: 697 | Registered: Oct 2012
anv5
♀ Member
Member # 39217
Default  Posted: 2:28 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I may have asked the question wrong - I want to know how I can get it through my OWN head/heart that I am not hideous looking????

As silly as it may sound & as hard as it may be (esp at first) look at yourself in the mirror minimum once a day and tell yourself you are pretty. If you can't start off that way (or if you are having an "ugly" day) then find something, anything you like about how you look that day.
Sometimes the only thing I can come up with right now (roller coaster ) is that My eyes look pretty because they had purple flecks in them the other day, or hair looks beautiful today.
Sometimes it can be hard but try everyday & say it Outloud to yourself
It should help & the longer you do it & more often you say/hear it from yourself the more you will be able to believe it & truly see it
Hope this helps!


BS(me)30
WH 29
1 Child
Married 11 yrs
D-Day: 4/9/13 he cheated in '08 & now + trickle truth & tons of lies 6/27 Found more, swears I really do have the whole truth now.
2/2/14 found out more...it seems the TT never ends.
Trying to R

Posts: 71 | Registered: May 2013
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'd venture to say if he loved you he'd do it.

Gee, Knowing...thanks for that...

I asked for help in trying to NOT need external validation in the way of verbal compliments from my H or anyone else. I am the problem here, not him, and I recognize that. His love language is different from mine and he tries and I am very happy with him in all other aspects of our marriage.

It's ME that I want help with...and yes, it's been ingrained in my being my whole life so I'm not sure if I can change it but I sure want to try.


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 4:02 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But what has been ingrained in my brain for all these years is the TRUE problem.

It's *your* brain. You do have the power to change.

No IC is going to be able to figure this out for me because it is just who I am.

Well, an IC will give you a new perspective ... but you refute outside help.

I know I need to lose weight and tone up. Starting to work on that again and I know losing weight would help me feel better about myself, but even when I had lost weight in the past, it helped but...still...

Physical activity and new, healthier behaviors will give you a new perspective ... but you refute the idea.

I think a professional would call that a "double bind."

I think Quality time and verbal confirmation are probably my biggest. His would probably be "Acts of Service" and "Quality Time".

Can I change your perspective about Quality Time? How about if both of you walked together after dinner? How about if you and he biked together on weekends? How about if you both took turns planning nature hikes? I don't care what you do ... just *do* something!


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There are 5 stages of change:
1. Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware or underaware of their problems.
2. Contemplation is the stage in which people are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action.
3. Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. Individuals in this stage are intending to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year.
4. Action is the stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy.
5. Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action. For addictive behaviors this stage extends from six months to an indeterminate period past the initial action.

What stage are you in, FeelsSoRight?


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. Individuals in this stage are intending to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year.

I would say this is where I am. I have started taking small steps. Can't make a big turnaround all at once with my workload, school load, family committments, etc. but taking small steps to do better.

And as I said earlier, going to get the bikes down tonight and ask H if he'd like to take a short ride with me.

Thanks for the ideas, everyone.


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
BostonGirl
♀ Member
Member # 33930
Default  Posted: 4:39 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Improving your fitness is probably a really good step at changing your internal dialogue. When you feel amazed at what your body can do now, that it couldn't do before--that's an awesome feeling and it lights a person up from inside. That sure is attractive!

I notice you mentioned flat feet. I have those too and would be crippled (literally) without custom orthotics. With them, though, I am a me to do just about anything. I've even taken up running, which I NEVER thought I would do (see paragraph 1). Have you considered getting those? Might open up lots of possibilities....

Other things you can do to make yourself feel prettier---

How are your hair, makeup, clothes? If you haven't ever put much thought or effort into them, or haven't for a while, putting effort in can make a huge difference. If you have the money it is totally worth it to find really top notch professionals in these areas to help you. I'm talking a personal stylist or a personal shopper or image consultant. Do a little digging in your area or nearest big city and you can find people who do this professionally. I grew up poor and there was a LOT I didn't know about how these services work. Now that I'm a grow up making good money I think they're worth every penny. And holy moly, do I feel like hot stuff when they're done with me! So maybe find out about good people in your area and budget for some consultation, an excellent haircut, a makeover, and some sharp clothes. I bet that would go a long way, even if you have to save up a good chunk of change!

[This message edited by BostonGirl at 4:40 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]


It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.

Posts: 133 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Boston
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 5:10 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BostonGIrl - I am make-up, skin care, etc. junkie. I think that stems from the looks-inferiority thing. I can't afford the expensive brands but I will try new things often and won't accept sub-par. I will just keep trying until I find what works/looks good. I get alot of compliments on my make-up/hair/clothes so I am ok in that dept.

I also like clothes and don't just run around in dumpy looking clothes. I always have just the right jewelry to go with outfits, etc. So, no that is not the problem.

I have tried orthotics and they just hurt my feet even more. Did the specialist kind and the cheap kinds - nope. I just have to really look hard for shoes that I can wear that are comfortable enough to wear. I have found some that feel like I'm wearing nothing at all. And finding cute ones that are also comfy is usually a pretty daunting task. Love them.

I do know the feeling of your body being able to do something it couldn't do even a few weeks before. When I was doing karate, it was a very empowering feeling. Although I can't do the sparring anymore, I still could do my katas on my own - I enjoyed that the most anyway because it brings the whole meditation/mental aspect into the physical.

Again, thanks everyone for the ideas and the votes of confidence (no pun intended)...

[This message edited by FeelsSoRight at 5:12 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Quality Time:

A aerobics, archery
B bicycling, bowling, badminton, basketball, baseball, boxing, board sport
C cooking classes, canoing cheerleading, cross training
D dancing, dog walking, diving, darts
E exercise, equestrianism
F fishing, football
G gardening, golf, gymnastics, grappling
H horseback riding, handball, hockey
I ice skating
J jumping rope, jogging, jai alai
K kayaking, karate, kickboxing, kiting
L lifting weights, log splitting
M meditation, martial arts
N netball
O orienteering
P pilates, paint ball, parachuting
Q quad biking
R rock climbing, running, rowing, rugby
S sex, swimming, shooting, skiing, scuba diving, softball, surfing,
T tennis, table tennis, trampolining
U unicycling
V vigorous sex, volleyball, Video Games (Wii sports, etc)
W walking, weight training, wrestling, water skiing
X xylophoning
Y yoga, yachting
Z zumba


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
Undone1
♀ Member
Member # 37683
Default  Posted: 8:50 PM, July 17th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

FeelsSoRight,

I know exactly how you feel. If you ask yourself how long you have felt this way, it likely stems back a very long time, pre-affair, maybe even teenage years? Most women struggle with this their whole life.

I find that when I feel "out of control" with eating, I start to focus on negative thoughts about my self image (weight etc). I am 125, not overweight, but it's how I feel about myself. My husband giving me all the affirmation in the world (and he does), does NOT change my internal dialogue that I have going. I recognize that it's my thinking.

I feel better when I get back into an exercise routine and stop focusing on the negative, "I need to lose weight and I would like myself" This is a thinking error. It is possible to feel good about yourself no matter what your weight! Taking control means doing the things you already know to do.


Undone1
Married 10+ years to my high school sweetheart
DDAY 10/27/12
Me 55
WH 55
Blended Family: 25, 21, and 20
Married 10 years
"The Universe Unfolds as it Should"

Posts: 301 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Missouri
Topic Posts: 15

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