Why Won't My Husband Compliment Me?

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners

 

Dear Chuck
Am I wrong in my desire for my husband to tell me out loud what he thinks about me? It has been so long since he told me he thought I was pretty or whatever he thinks I am. He has no trouble telling me things when we are intimate, but in front of people or even in front of our kids, he only tells me he loves me. Don't get me wrong, I practically think he is the most perfect man alive. He is a terrific husband and father, and he is drop-dead handsome and extremely special.

I have gained quite a bit of weight and feel very bad about myself as it is, so when he never makes a positive comment about my physical appearance, it makes me feel even uglier than ever. I know he has a hard time expressing feelings. But after 12 years of marriage and my prompting him with hints and outright questions about his feelings, when will he be able to feel comfortable giving a compliment? This not only applies to me but to his children and the people at church.

Am I just too insecure about myself or does he really need to tell me and others how he feels?

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note about your husband not being able to give you the compliments that you need. He is typical because most men don't have a clue how to do this. Women bring into marriage everything needed to have a wonderful relationship by God's design. We men bring in very few. This is not man-bashing, and I'm not a traitor to my own sex. I am simply stating a fact. There are exceptions of course, but most women are into connecting while men are into independence. Women are into people and relationships while men are into things. Women are into equality while men are into winning and losing. Women are into details while men are into the big picture. Women are into serving while men are into being in charge. Most churches earn zeroes in teaching men what women need. Our pastors didn't know because they were men. Our dads and grandfathers never said anything. Therefore we men are totally ignorant as to the ways of a woman, and we offend them terribly without meaning to. Since your husband has never been taught what you need, I'd love to send you the marriage books my wife and I have written.* They would come as our gift, and I think he would be helped by what we have learned.

And by the way, I know this is a sensitive issue ... but you need to lose some weight for him. Men are visually oriented while women are focused on relationships. It's just the way God made us. I have to battle my weight too ... and have found the book Protein Power works for me. It's a matter of keeping our protein higher than carbohydrates. It's just a thought for your consideration. Thanks for reaching out.

Chuck Snyder

 

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Contact Chuck: chuck@chucksnyder.org
Updated 05/24/2005