Bookstore | Courses, Seminar and Accountability | Videos | Coaching Center | Questionnaires | Marriage Builders® Radio | Radio Archive
   Home | Tax-deductible Donation | Site Tour | Meet Dr. Harley | Basic Concepts | Q&A Columns | Articles | Guidance Forum
Q&A Columns
How to Meet Emotional Needs
Meeting the Need for Affection #1
Meeting the Need for Affection #2
Meeting the Need for Sex (Part 1) #1
Meeting the Need For Sex (Part 1) #2
Meeting the Need for Sex (Part 2) #1
Meeting the Need for Sex (Part 2) #2
Willingness to Desire #1
Willingness to Desire #2
Willingness to Desire #3
Willingness to Desire #4
Willingness to Desire #5
Willingness to Desire #6
Willingness to Desire #7 & #8
Pain During Intercourse #1
Pain During Intercourse #2
How to Overcome Sexual Aversion
Addiction to Pornography #1
Addiction to Pornography #2
Conversation is Boring
Together When You Are Happiest
Recreational Companionship is Boring (Part 1)
Recreational Companionship is Boring (Part 2) #1
Recreational Companionship is Boring (Part 2) #2
Not Enough Time Together #1
Not Enough Time Together #2
Physical Attractiveness #1
Physical Attractiveness #2
How to Overcome Love Busters
How to Resolve Conflicts (Part 1)
How to Resolve Conflicts (Part 2)
Preparing for Marriage
How to Survive Infidelity
Free Newsletter
The Marriage Builders®
Newsletter

Your Email
Privacy Policy

Marriage Builders®
Radio

FREE
BROADCAST
Marriage Builders®
Radio

Live Program
12:00-12:45pm CT
Monday-Friday


Rebroadcast
Every 45 Minutes
until the
Next Broadcast


All times Central Time.

DOWNLOAD MP3 FILES NOW!

More radio information...


Click here for
iPhone

Click here for
ANDROID

Click here for
KINDLE

Click here for
BLACKBERRY


A D V E R T I S M E N T
Click Here!


printer version | email this article | send feedback

Meeting The Emotional Need For
Physical Attractiveness

Letter #2

Dear Dr. Harley,

After many months of struggling to lose weight and look nicer, I've come to the conclusion that what you have written is hurtful, hateful and belittles women. While I have failed miserably to lose all 80 pounds, I have changed my eating habits (no more than 15 grams of fat a day) and exercise 5 times a week. I have lost a grand total of 35 pounds. All this to try to lose some weight so my husband would continually accept me. I have come to the conclusion that if my weight means so much to others that they are encouraged by people like you to shun me, they are not what I want. I can't help my looks as they were given to me by my mother and father. You ought to be ashamed of yourself to think that marriage is only of value when the wife is thin.

Before I read your book, I was fat and happy. Now I am a little thinner, and angry. I am sending in my membership to NOW as people like you who are so immature as to rely on a woman's outward beauty need to be exposed!

Sincerely,

R. J.
Michigan

Dear R. J.,

Everything you say about the need for physical attractiveness can be said about any other emotional need. It can be applied to the emotional needs for affection, admiration, conversation and all the others. I have counseled men and women who ask, "why can't I be accepted for who I am? Why does my spouse expect me to change?" There are spouses who are unaffectionate, have no interest in sex, don't like to talk, would prefer not to earn a living, refuse to pick up after themselves, lie about everything, can't say a complementary word ... I could go on and on.

Why should physical attractiveness be any different? It's not easy to meet most emotional needs, and physical attractiveness is no exception. Of course it's hard to lose weight. If you found a way to lose weight without any suffering, you'd be rich in no time. Those of us who are predisposed to be overweight (I am included) fight hunger all our lives. Why do we do it? I do it for a host of reasons, health, for one. But another important reason for me is that I want to look as good as I can to my wife.

You want to be loved for who you are and not what you do. So do I. We all do. But the reality is that you have not loved your husband for who he is, but rather for what he does. If he did not meet any of your emotional needs, your feelings toward him would have changed considerably from the day you said, "I do." You married him because you loved him and you loved him because he met your emotional needs. If he were to stop meeting those needs, your love for him would fade away.

You may feel that being overweight is a trivial matter--that there are far more important considerations in marriage than physical appearance. But I leave that judgment up to each spouse I counsel. It's not for me to tell them what should or should not be important to them. They tell me. And many tell me that it's important to them for their spouse to lose weight.

If your spouse tells you that your loss of weight would meet one of his most important emotional needs, you have a choice. You don't have to lose weight. In fact, you can choose to gain weight. He will probably accept you no matter what you weigh. It's not a matter of acceptance, its a matter of whether or not you're meeting his emotional needs. What I suggest in His Needs, Her Needs is that, in exchange for your spouse meeting your emotional needs, you meet his and lose weight.

You've lost 35 pounds. I know you are very angry, but what you've already accomplished is terrific. Losing weight is one of the more difficult challenges of life, I know. I hope you'll build on your achievement, lose the rest of the weight, and in spite of the sacrifice, be happy you did it.


Most Popular Links
The Marriage Builders� Discussion Forum
How to Survive Infidelity
The Most Important Emotional Needs
Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts
Coping with Infidelity:
Part 1 - How Do Affairs Begin?
A Summary of Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts
Love Busters
The Emotional Needs Questionnaire
Q&A Columns
The Policy of Joint Agreement

  

Worth Looking Into

The Marriage Builders® Home Study Course | Fall In Love, Stay In Love

CUSTOMIZED PLAN with Marriage Coach, Steven W. Harley, M.S.

   Home | Tax-deductible Donation | Site Tour | Meet Dr. Harley | Basic Concepts | Q&A Columns | Articles | Guidance Forum
Bookstore | Courses, Seminar and Accountability | Videos | Coaching Center | Questionnaires | Marriage Builders® Radio | Radio Archive
|  Feedback  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |
© 1995-2012 Marriage Builders, Inc. All rights reserved.