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#2 Concerned about husband's looks / Withholds in the way of truth


Dear Ann Landers: I have been married for 11 years to a terrific guy. "Chad" is a devoted husband and wonderful father. He is also a hard worker and a kind loving person. One thing about him disturbs me—he's not very good-looking.

I realize this makes me seem shallow, but I can't help it. Chad has a nice build, but his face isn't attractive. He is not ugly by any means, but he is not handsome, or even cute—just average-looking.

When I first started dating him, I loved his personality and thought he would become more appealing to me, but it hasn't happened. In fact his looks have started to bother me a lot. I analyze his face all the time to see if there is some particular feature I dislike, but I can't find one.

Why am I so obsessed with his looks, Ann? I want to stop feeling this way and accept him as he is. Please help me. — COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA

Dear Council Bluffs: After 11 years of marriage, you are suddenly bothered by the fact that your husband isn't very good looking? Something else about him is bothering you and I suggest you see a psychologist. —Ann Landers

Gabby's Response:

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Gabby’s Response:

Hi Council Bluffs: You've happened upon the foremost cause for ugly divorces, pardon the pun. It's called withholding thoughts, especially the embarrassing, too uncomfortable to deliver kinds of thoughts—always for good reasons. It begins with withholding thought number one, most often on the first date, followed by another, etc.. Usually the withholder lies about why they withheld a thought. Often they believe it's because they don't want to hurt the other but underneath that is the truth, the fear of losing them. The lie compounds the consequences.

Your preoccupation is called an incomplete. In your case it's caused because you're withholding one or more thoughts from your husband. Not to worry, this judgmental mind-stuff comes up in all magnificent relationships. 

What's so is you have become stuck doing your imitation of communication which results in breakdowns in communication such as this; you're left with the concept of loving him but the experience of love hasn't "happened" for a long time, perhaps not ever.

To create/recreate the experience of love, to cause the experience at will, simply requires genuine communication. For you it appears you didn't tell him up front, "You're not my number ten" which most likely would have prompted him to say, "Same here. Glad we got that consideration out of the way." This all-important communication usually creates space for the experience of love—a person who tells the truth is beautiful.

Your consideration has nothing to do with his looks, it's about your integrity. You can't yet be trusted to communicate spontaneously, to tell the truth, to share your experience in the now, and so you don't get the grand prize—satisfaction and happiness. I guarantee that if you sit down, opposite him in a chair, and look him directly, unwaveringly in the eyes, with the commitment to communicate verbally every single thought that comes to your mind, and then he does the same, your considerations about his physical looks will disappear. If your intention is to have the relationship expand that's what will happen. What will be left after the "Couple's Bewith Process" will be the experience of love. His true beauty will reveal itself. You must also be willing to discover that you have been unconsciously masterminding a divorce; we'll know in a couple of years.

Also, withholders always hang around withholders. It's impossible for someone committed to open, honest, and spontaneous communication, to hang around a withholder for too long except that it detracts from his/her aliveness. Their aliveness (their vibrancy, their energy, their attractiveness-aura) decreases in direct proportion to their integrity; eventually it effects their health. He's withholding something equally significant from you. In brief, your withholds are slowly killing him and his you. Thank you, Gabby

PS: You might enjoy this letter about a mother who wasn't in communication with her daughter.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 2/8/15)

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