October 24, 2012

Learn to Love Yourself

by

Complexions Photography

 

When it comes to loving our husbands, we try our best. We show love in any way we can. We try to keep the house looking fabulous, we work on sprucing up our cooking skills to produce delicious dishes, we work together to help raise our children, and we even try to find the never-ending missing socks when it’s time to fold the laundry! But loving your husband is so much more than that and requires one key ingredient… that you love yourself! Many women struggle with unconditional love (especially in their marriages) because they don’t love themselves unconditionally. I am no exception to this, and spent many of the early years in my marriage missing out on the amazing relationship that I could have had with my husband, because I was too busy loathing myself.

Women suffer from this much more than men, since we are naturally more critical of ourselves, especially physically, and tend to have lower self-esteem. I remember days in my early years of marriage, where I literally cringed when I looked at myself in the mirror. The extra weight from having babies or the signs of aging, these are just a few of the items we add to our “Things Wrong With Me” list. The list can include emotional items too, like baggage from previous relationships or trauma from our childhood. But for the most part, our lists are filled with physical critiques of our bodies.

One day after several years of marriage, the light bulb went on and I finally realized something! My husband would tell me I was beautiful multiple times a day. When he kissed me, it seemed like he was truly attracted to me. I used to chalk that up to thinking that maybe he didn’t want to hurt my feelings or the age-old saying, “Love is blind.” I would wonder – How did he not see what I saw when I looked in the mirror? How could he possibly be attracted to me? But on that glorious day, I realized for the first time that he knew something I didn’t. He knew how to love me unconditionally. He loved me pre-baby weight and post-baby weight. He loved me with or without wrinkles. He loved me whether I was dressed up for a night out on the town or covered in baby drool. He loved me for me and wasn’t caught up on the things I considered my flaws.

From that day forward, I have allowed myself to believe the things my husband says when he looks at me. It is still a struggle from time to time, but I am aware now that I cannot love him like he deserves to be loved, until I let go of all of my faults that I see and love myself. When I’m having a particularly rough day, I go back and read sweet emails he has sent me, old cards from past Valentine’s Days, or simply pick up the phone and call him… his voice always makes me feel better about myself. I may not be perfect. I may be a bit chubby, holding onto a few extra pounds from the last baby (who is now four years old). I may not be the best housekeeper. I may not be the best cook. But I did help create four beautiful children, we have an amazing family, and I AM a pretty intelligent woman – after all… I married him! And that was a pretty smart decision.

Loving myself more has helped me love my husband more than I ever thought possible. Our relationship has blossomed emotionally and physically, and we just celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary! So give yourself a break! Remember that you are amazing! Look past your faults, and love the good inside of you! It will allow you to be a better wife, a better mom, and a better person all around! Check out Corie’s Gratitude Journal idea, and see how you can remind yourself of all the good things your hubby does and is, too!

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Recent Comments

25 Responses to “Learn to Love Yourself”

  1. Thank you so much for this post!!! I have been following you for many months now and an so thankful for everything you ladies do!! This post in particular hit home with me. I just recently got married (june 2012) and my husband and I were not sexually active before marriage, so naturally I am a little self conscious. This post really helped me realize how much my husband really loves me and sees past what I believe are my flaws! THANK YOU!

  2. Melodie says:

    One resource that has been an amazing in helping me realize how beautiful I am is the website beautyredefined.net. It is a great way to learn more and educate yourself about body image issues and help you remember that you are beautiful! It helped me a lot!
    Thanks so much for this post, it is so important to remember to love ourselves and maybe even love the things about ourselves that we used to see as flaws. I hope every woman who follows your blog will read this and take it to heart, because when we realize how beautiful we are, we have the power to do so much more good with our lives, including loving our husbands more! Thanks!

  3. Becca Becca says:

    Love this, Angie!!!

  4. Julie Julie says:

    What a great post. It is something we all need to hear because it is so easy to get down on ourselves over so many things. Hillary Weeks spoke about the power of positive thinking at our last teleretreat which goes perfectly with this article. If anyone didn’t get a chance to hear her, it is on our Online Community. Thanks Angie for writing about such an important topic!

  5. Bruce says:

    This is fantastic, Angie! It hurts to compliment a wife and not have her believe her husband when he tell her she is beautiful. Husbands cringe when she says anything bad about her abilities, her work, her talent, or her looks. I married the _best_woman_I_know_, and I don’t want anyone else. It feels good for her to accept my compliments, and for her to feel about herself the way I feel about her—that she’s smart, funny, and absolutely gorgeous!
    P.S. Thanks for the post. You gave me a great idea for my own blog!

  6. Chelley says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been married for a year and a half and I think my physical dislikes of myself just keep coming. I’m always afraid my marriage will suffer because of it so this post was a great reminder on how I won’t let it suffer.

  7. Candice Candice says:

    Such good reminders!

  8. That’s right! Married women still need to take care of themselves physically.

    Plus having a positive mind makes a happy aura :)

  9. Evan says:

    Very good! My wife has always struggled with this, and it has had negative effects on our marriage. Of course she is the most beautiful woman in the world, that’s why I married her!

  10. Michelle Michelle says:

    I love this feel good message! I work so hard at staying in shape, fixing my hair just so, dressing up every day, and always wearing a full face of makeup. It doesn’t seem to matter how hard I try because I have a bad habit of comparing myself to other women. Of course I compare my faults with their strengths, it’s always a lose-lose perspective. Days when I feel amazing are times when I have felt beautiful from within. I think that’s the key, physical beauty will fade but inner beauty lasts forever! xox <3

  11. Anamika says:

    Awww. I LOVE your article!! And that is so sweet of your husband :) I agree that until we love ourselves first, we can never let go of our insecurities and this will hinder us in forming a trusting and fruitful relationship! Thank you very much for sharing! :))

  12. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for this post… It’s really a relief to know I’m not the only person in the world that feels this way. I think I’m going to bookmark this page and read it everytime I’m feeling down about myself. Thank you again! Love this website

  13. Christy P. says:

    I wanted to thank you for this blog. I have a hard time dealing with my body since having my son. I often wonder what on earth my husband is thinking when he shows affection which is a lot. I know I should accept and be thankful. I am going to try very hard. Thanks again!

  14. Flora says:

    I love you guys for sharing this for I am this ‘wife’ as of now and will work on loving myself for the betterment of my marriage! God bless you guys for sharing this message!

  15. Rhiannon says:

    I feel that another person can only love you (and you can only love another person) as much as you love yourself. It’s so wonderful to learn that you are as worthy of love from yourself as everyone else. Thank you for a great post!

  16. Mai says:

    Thanks for this inspiring words… Wow, I feel beautiful! :) Really feels good.. Many thanks!
    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.

  17. Great post, Angie! I’m so grateful I spent a couple years not dating and learning to love myself before my husband came along so I could truly love him as he deserved to be loved. I shudder to think what our marriage would have been like if I hadn’t taken that “me” time. And that journey never ends. I have to keep focusing on becoming the best me (and his honey) I can be.

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