Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose body stays exactly the same throughout the years? NO ONES.
Unfortunately, the notion that our bodies change can be hard for us to come to terms with. I mean, we are a very vain society. If you turn the television on for at least ten minutes you’ll be bombarded with diet programs, plastic surgery suggestions and photo shopped models. And honestly this sucks for us. We’ve literally trained our brains into thinking that the unrealistic standards we’re constantly forced to digest are real and attainable, but for the average person, they just aren’t.
Here comes trouble.
In my opinion, one of the most harmful things we can do to our partners is lay said beauty standards at their feet and expect perfection. Feeling inadequate and unappealing to the person you love has serious consequences and does a great deal of damage. This also means giving ultimatums and/or strongly “suggesting” they make certain changes to their life in order to present in a way that is more physically appealing to you isn’t okay. Especially if it is something they are truly uninterested in doing. For example, your partner shouldn’t ever feel forced to go to the gym every day in order to drop weight or regularly dye their hair to get rid of the grays. Nope. Not your decision to make and not your place to encourage.
Ground Control to Major Tom– Lets put it into perspective…
We change. Our bodies are on loan to us. We experience life which leaves it’s mark and that’s something that not everyone is lucky enough to have. So if stress takes it’s toll and you gain some weight or you’re laughing so often it leaves lines on your cheeks, so be it. But if you can’t accept that in your partner, I’d wonder how much more of your relationship is fulfilling? What is beyond the superficial? If you lost your eyesight tomorrow, what would keep the two of you together? And are those things enough? Because at the end of the day, your partner’s body is theirs and they can do with it however they please. If you can’t accept that, then maybe it’s time to move on.
Sometimes our preoccupation with our partner’s appearance stems from deeper issues. Maybe you have real concerns around their health (ACTUAL concerns, not health trolling), or maybe you are experiencing stress/anxiety due to an experience in a previous relationship or childhood. If you are committed to your relationship and are struggling to move beyond more superficial obsessions, reach out to a individual and/or couple therapist. Relationships are complex and ever evolving, kind of like our bodies! You’re going to need support and guidance sometimes, which is totally normal and can make all the difference.
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