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 Post subject: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
It has been helpful to see how many of us have been so devalued about our general attractiveness, desirability and femininity. Also, many of us were denied sex from our partners. I know my husband really wants women (lots and lots of women) to find him sexually desirable. My desire wasn't good enough.

But, what about us? How do we feel better about our desirability? How do we do this and keep our values? I think we had much more real damage done to us than the imaginary damage we did to our partners. I was objectified from the start; then devalued; then rejected. So, I am painfully aware of this now and not in denial. I am detaching; working on my vision; getting better at boundaries and taking care of myself. But, I'm at a loss on how to feel better about my attractivness.

Do you all have any ideas?

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:59 pm
Posts: 127
Hi
Confidence in your self, is attractive in a women . Not how we look but how amazing we know we are :-) a confident woman lights up the room . Knowing there is no one else in the world like you . Celebrate your life who you are . Dress as you want to not how you think you should .live life as you would love too not what others expect of you . Be faithful to you . Wear bright colours and always lipstick :-) ( it makes me feel as if I have kissed me . smile all the time , complement others about how there eyes shine etc . Love yourself , be proud of who you are :-) from here you look fabulous :-) know you are special . Attractiveness comes from the inside . Remind yourself of who you are , a priceless one off .
NDT. X x


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
I am detaching; working on my vision; getting better at boundaries and taking care of myself. But, I'm at a loss on how to feel better about my attractivness.
I understand how you feel. My H liked young women whether an actress from a movie (old movies as well as current), young women in bars or at concerts who caught his eye and his imagination, or real relationships with young women who entered his life from his female barber, an art student or art model - all of whom were a good 20 years younger than he or myself. I felt rejected because of my appearance and my age. Wrong. I had nothing to do with his preferences. Nothing. Nonetheless, it took my becoming my own cheerleader to change my perception about myself.

I recall reading a post on RN (a good 8 months after DDay) that was a game changer for me not only because it was true but it was funny. Humor always helps. The post went something like this: I wouldn't trade my wisdom, intelligence, or body for all the perky boobs and peachy bottoms out there. I remember laughing out loud when I read it. I realized that I had to take charge of how I felt about myself by actively telling myself how great I was. When I caught my reflection in a window while walking to work, I would say to myself, "now there goes a good looking woman." I would talk to myself in the mirror noting my great eyes, smile lines, gorgeous white hair that fell into deep waves. I worked at stopping those dark feeling from creeping in the moment I felt them by singing an upbeat song. I learned what worked by paying attention to myself. And it is work, too. Over time, I cared less about my old age creeping into my face, my tummy, my legs and focused on my inner beauty which others were attracted to as much or more than my physical beauty. I learned to accentuate the positive actively.

Now then, in all honesty, I still wince a bit when the face of a young actress who was in my H's stable of beauties (internet oggling) appears on the TV or shows up in a favorite old movie of mine. My H, to his credit, will say if you want to watch this movie, I'll go upstairs and read....which I don't acknowledge overtly but know that he knows that there's still a crack in the mended me. I watch the movie, enjoy the dancing, the acting, and treasure this classic for just that - it's a classic.

The bottom line, and I know you know this intellectually, is that your H choices had nothing to do with you. Nothing. So start figuring out what you can do for you that does make a few inroads toward your accepting yourself for the beautiful woman that you are. Become your own cheerleader.

Hope this helps.
Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
Posts: 420
It is very natural to experience self doubt when you discover SA in your primary partnership. In a relationship, we bounce so much of our reality off of our partner - and trust their feedback to shape our perceptions. Without my husband, I might never have known my "I don't know what to say to that" face looks like I'm thinking, "you are a stupid idiot." :e: That is part of why we partner up to begin with, to see the world through a second set of eyes is supposed to enrich our vision.

But often SA means that instead, our partnership has skewed our vision. Our feelings of desirability have naturally become intertwined with our sense of being desired by the one person who we have pledged to arouse. I know you know this, but I just feel like it needs to be reiterated, lest we fall into the trap of feeling bad that we feel bad. Questioning your worth when your life partner has, by his behavior, indicated you are of less worth than you thought, is a very natural reaction, so don't berate yourself for feeling this vulnerability.

As another counter argument - many women who society has deemed very desirable, from Tiger Woods' wife to Tea Lioni and so on, have dealt with SA in their partnership. It has absolutely nothing to do with your attractiveness.

Finally, just for the sake of practicality, a suggestion...I sometimes need to stop the critical voice and look the woman in the mirror in the eyes. I look at her like a beloved friend. I treasure that she has lived richly and made it thus far. I take time, now and then, to look past my reflection and appreciate the story my body tells. I have smile lines by my eyes, because I have laughed so much it made an imprint. I have the same color eyes as my sweet daughter. I have stretch marks from bringing my girls into the world. I have a loving compassionate soul - one I can see looking back at me when I stop and make eye contact with that woman in the mirror. I don't compare myself with the hot bodies my husband pursued, because they have nothing to offer, compared to what I have. I have more than a body; I have a kind, loving soul. If I think about the deep love I have for others, I find it much easier to be content with how I look and offer that same, deep love to myself. When I see love looking out my own eyes, I see in myself what I actually want to be desired for - and am desired for - my ability to see and value others.

Your husband's inability to desire and value you is not a reflection of you - it is a reflection of him. It is one of the things my husband was most ashamed of - to realize how pathetic he was to miss out on me in pursuit of shallow trash.

I have every confidence you will see your sense of worth increase, as you heal from the trauma and live more and more through the values that matter to you. How you look has so little to do with how much you matter.
thebagholder


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:05 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
These are helpful responses. Thank you. I know what you are all saying, and at the same time I don't "feel" it. Sigh. The good news is I am thinking about myself and what I need. The not so good news is that I am still struggling and not feeling as confident as I should. On the other hand, I am giving myself a break about not feeling on top of the world right now. Sheesh.

I realize that in accepting the distortions of SA, I am mixing up some important concepts: what is desirability? what is attractiveness? what is self worth? what is beauty? I do NOT want to look through a sexualized lens at all of this and, there is the spooky damage to my values, I think I do somewhat. Ugh. Got to stop that right now. So much about my self worth is damaged and also distorted. I am working to change that. I am getting better. I have a ways to go.

Here's a sad but revealing story that happened early on after discovery: I was in the grocery store (don't get me started on grocery stores...I hate them and I hate going to them with my husband, but that's another topic), and I was feeling invisible, and ugly, and worthless, and a man my age (late 50's/early 60's) came down the aisle with his cart. I smiled at him, he smiled at me (in a nice, normal, friendly every day look), and I burst into tears. He must have thought I was nuts. But, it was so...nice....so...normal. I knew then and there that I was in trouble. The good news is now if a man my age smiles at me, I don't burst into tears.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
It is a complete shattering when the person we chose as enough, or more than enough, for ourselves, shows us we are not enough for him.

Even though we know, logically, SA is about them, and it's truly their problem and issue, it affects us. No getting around that, especially in the beginning after discovery.

Dnell, maybe it could help soften things for you to accept where you are right now. To accept that the words written here, while true and helpful, don't immediately change your internal feelings. That's it's ok you still feel, right now, unattractive. And you are working on growing from that.

Here in Asia, where I have lived and am leaving soon, men don't really stare or even acknowledge another person in a warm way. Now, given what we see in other cultures (e.g. The video circulating the internet of the NYC woman who was catcalled, harassed for hours) I could see this as a good thing. But when I was less stable, (and in light of my husband's choices, combined with living in a culture where, simply put, I do not meet the cultural norm for attractiveness), it hurt. I felt unseen, unrecognized, discarded.

So what helped me is to work toward internal validation. Like the stuff nellie james and thebagholder mentioned. Deriving worth from ourselves, from our values, from our wisdom and experience. Giving ourselves the validation and love we wanted from our partners.

Shifting toward the belief that the best love affair is the one I have with myself taught me to love who I am. Because I -- and you, and us all -- have so much worth. That our partners have neglected to see that intrinsic worth in favor of peachy bottoms :s: truly is a reflection of their skewed value system.

We all age. Gravity has a party with us. As we lose skin elasticity and our bodies change, we also gain so much. Maturity, experience, grace, poise, wisdom. It is up to us whether we will choose lives with others who see and value those traits, or not.

The older my mom gets, the more beautiful she becomes to me. I want to spend my life and time with those who see people in a similar way.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling attractive
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
meepmeep, thank you. Your post really touched me deeply. Yes, I am giving myself permission to not feel wonderful about myself on lots of levels. I know I don't want to get stuck here or wallow, but I do need to feel these feelings. I have started indivdiual therapy with a wonderful therapist who is doing exactly what will help: she is helping me love and validate myself. She wants me to be the primary caretaker of me. My marriage counselor is going to help as well.

I feel for you, meepmeep, having lived in a different culture that also is invalidating. I am relieved you will be leaving it.

I so value the compassion, support and understanding of all of you on the partners site. What a beautiful community that none of us wanted to join. But we are here and you all help me in so many ways. You are helping me heal.

dnell


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