I don’t think there are many who would be surprised to hear that in my interviews and surveys with over 1,000 men for my book For Women Only, men emphatically stated that it had an emotional impact to see that their wife was making an effort to take care of herself for him.
It makes a guy feel loved because she obviously wants to be attractive to him. They don’t expect their wives to look like supermodels, but the care and effort makes them feel loved – and helps in fighting off the many visual challenges they face in their thought life every day.
But what guys may not realize is that even though women aren’t as “visual” as men are, the effort they put into taking care of themselves and being healthy has a huge impact on women. I know from my research that every man wants to feel desired by his wife – and that feeling desired gives them confidence in every other area of their life.
This is a bit awkward to talk about but in my women’s conferences there have been a lot of women who say, “Doesn’t he get it? That it’s hard to find him desirable when HE doesn’t take care of himself?” Or, even more commonly, “Doesn’t he understand how important it is to me that he stays healthy so I have the security that he is going to be around for a long time and we can grow old together?”
Jeff agrees and says “If we want our wives to find us desirable and provide them security that means we have to make the effort to take care of ourselves too. Most guys wish their wives would be more receptive to their physical advances and more passionate in the bedroom. In our interviews and surveys of women, many of them have privately said, “You know, it’s hard to be receptive and passionate towards a guy with a two-day-old beard and garlic breath!”
And the bigger health issues matter even more – and it’s not just about working out to stay in shape. Believe it or not, women actually feel more love and desire toward a guy who will actually go to the doctor when something seems wrong rather than being stubborn about it!
Guys may not realize it, but when they’re in front of the TV multiple nights in a row with their hand in a package of Oreos, it can register in a woman’s heart as, “It must not matter to him how much I need him.”
And one last plea to our guys: realize that most women are very sensitive about looking good for you, and if she is trying to get in shape or lose weight, it is so much easier if you care about it to. If you will lend her encouragement by using her initiative as a chance to join in, and avoid bringing the junk food into the house it will make her feel really loved.
What’s amazing is that God can use this as such an encouragement to both of you – seeing the other person making the effort to care for themselves—knowing it will benefit their mate. What a great way to be there for our spouse—now and for a very long time to come!
Want to know how to be kind, when you really don’t want to be? My research uncovered three daily actions that will transform your relationships – and you. Check out The Kindness Challenge, now available!
Shaunti Feldhahn loves sharing eye-opening information that helps people thrive in life and relationships. She herself started out with a Harvard graduate degree and Wall Street credentials but no clue about life. After an unexpected shift into relationship research for average, clueless people like her, she now is a popular speaker and author of best-selling books about men, women and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge demonstrates that kindness is the answer to pretty much every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.