This is a post I want to have ‘go viral.’ Why? Because for the first time in a really, really long time, I finally understand what my husband sees. After years of being anxious and depressed after the birth of my son, I’ve just started to feel better. Routinely, my husband has sent me articles to read about zen, being calm, anxiety, breathing, love and parenting. Most of them I read in a sleep deprived haze, taking some of the information in and leaving some of it on the page.
Last week he sent me a post about how women need to look after themselves to be themselves. Women were said, in this article, to lose themselves to motherhood and struggle to regain themselves, thereby leaving their husbands wishing for the woman that was. For years, I’ve told my husband, “It’s never going to be the way it was,” because I really thought that I’d never be the same again.
He also sent me an article about how guys don’t see the same things women see. We see lumps and bumps, marks and scars, that they, according to the article, don’t see. I’m not overweight, but my body has changed after having my boy. When I look in the mirror, I see a fuller tummy than I used to have, puckered skin that used to be taught and bits that are bigger than they were before I had my son.
This morning, as my husband prepared for work, I hugged him the bathroom. His back to the mirror, he said the most important words I’ve heard in a really long time, through countless appointments with social workers, psychologists and counsellors. The conversation went like this:
“You’re so beautiful.”
“Am I? All I see is fat.”
“Then you’re not looking in the right places.”
Let me repeat, “Then you’re not looking in the right places.” Simply: look elsewhere for what makes you beautiful.