Men can be just as insecure as women about their bodies and aging; they just don’t shout it from the rooftops.
Could you be emasculating and battering your husband’s self-esteem in your confidence of “men don’t mind these things?”
Because men are generally raised to be macho and brave especially in these parts of the world, they will tell you they have better things to worry about than a potbelly, shaver bumps on the jaw, or a receding hairline.
But that is not true; in hair salons, the dash for black hair dye is very much a men’s affair these days, as more women actually embrace their grey hair in more stylish ways.
I have seen others hide their grey hair and bald patches behind the more fashionable and youthful clean shave. And when you go to the gym, you will not miss the guy who flexes his biceps and pecs with a 10kg dumbbell for a few repetitions and immediately checks himself out in the mirror for results. As if it is magic.
That is called suffering in silence. We, women don’t know much about that. We will call our girlfriends over and show each other the disturbing cellulite, the love handles that have grown bigger, or whine about our menses that have gone crazy after a certain age.
And because of how vocal we are about our body insecurities – possibly to annoying proportions sometimes – the wise husband has learnt to keep his opinion to himself.
But because men do not voice their insecurities about aging and bodily changes, you will just notice that your husband who has never ridden a bike his whole life, just bought the loudest Yamaha off-roader, or stocked up on ridiculously baggy shorts and sleeveless tees at his tender age of 50.
That is him screaming out his own insecurities. But how will his wife most likely react? By pointing the insecurities out mercilessly.
“You know, honey, the way your elbow skin sags these days, you really shouldn’t be wearing the sleeveless!”
“Haa, now those shorts and the bald head, baby… no!” On and on.
And your husband loses self-confidence, slowly by slowly; he psychologically reduces in penile size inch by inch. He has mastered the art of making you feel good about your stretch marks, the dimples in wrong places, etc; why can’t you do the same for him?
“Carol, believe it or not, some husbands cheat in search of validation and praise, because all you hear at home is a list of your physical flaws and financial failures,” one friend once told me.
And I believe the ‘other woman club’ has also mastered the art of fanning disgruntled husbands’ egos by saying differently the things a wife would ordinarily approach with sarcasm, nagging or mockery.
As a result, as the sexless marriage epidemic spreads to more homes, there are women in an extended sexual network getting all the ‘sugar’.
Wakey-wakey! Be sensitive. Deliver your criticism in a loving way that does not emasculate your husband or leave him feeling inadequate in bed. Better still, be part of the solution. Take over shopping for his clothes if you feel a midlife crisis is running your husband crazy in the wardrobe area.
Exercise together. Do his grooming at home to make him feel better about himself. A low self-esteem does not batter just women’s sexual responses and performance; men’s too.
“My husband had been ‘beeping me’ [ejaculating prematurely] for months that I got disgusted by the idea of making love with him. But after a rare full-length performance that left us more bonded and lovingly talking to each other, I asked him what had brought on the change,” Dina (not real name) said.
“He said I had been less angry and harsh with him lately and my words had been more guarded and less accusatory. That he usually was afraid of me and that gave him anxieties during sex!”
Compliments, praise, ego-fanning are not meant to be received just by you the wife; give as much as you take.
And keep those compliments and praises coming even during lovemaking. Self-confidence is a huge aphrodisiac.