May 08, 2013

A Spring Cleaning for Your Marriage: Personal Appearance

A Spring Cleaning for Your Marriage: Personal Appearance

Warmer weather means spring cleaning and sprucing up is not just for houses, garages and yards. Today we’re talking about Spring cleaning your marriage by looking at your personal appearance around the house. 

Just like with a house or garden, our personal appearance can suffer from neglect. We don’t mean to but we all can slip into comfortable ruts which feel good to us but which may not look so good to our partner.  Those shorts that we’ve worn for the past month are starting to look pretty bad and that sweatshirt has so many stains on it that it look more like and artist pain rag than a piece of clothing … but that’s Okay cause they’re comfortable.        

Let’s face it, we would never have gone out on a date looking like the way we do at home.  And while it’s not the biggest crime, when we stop trying to look good around the house, it can send the wrong message to our mate. Messages like: I take you for granted  or I don’t desire you anymore.  These kinds of emotional memos can kill romance and discourage partners. It’s no mystery why so many couples report that the zing has gone out of their sexual relationship.

Fortunately, just a little awareness and effort can pay off big relational dividends. Today we are going to show you how.  

Common Myths                                                                                                                                               Part of the problem of not looking good around the house stems from some common myths that are widely believed:   

1. How you look isn’t important after you’re married.  Many folks underestimate the psychological significance of a pleasing physical appearance. It is not about looks. It is about communicating that you care and providing reassurance that we all need that we’re still desirable to one another.                              2. Being comfortable and looking good don’t go together.                                                                                                                                                                    3. Paying attention to how you look means having to look good all the time.                                                    4. Looking good means that that you have to “dress up”.       

Paying attention to our appearance doesn’t mean that we have to wear something that’s uncomfortable or always look great or put on a tie. It does mean that once in a while you think of your partner and try to look nice to please him or her,     

Tips for Improving Personal Appearance around the House 

We know that being comfortable and looking good don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  What’s wrong with having both? Likewise, improving the way you look around the house doesn't mean that you have to “dress up” or always look great, but it does mean paying attention and not falling into the always wearing the same old clothes rut. Here are some simple suggestions that can make a big difference.

Be Aware:

1. Take a look in a mirror and ask yourself:  How do I look?  Do I find myself attractive? How does my hair look ?  Have I shaved or trimmed recently? Would I have looked this way when I was dating?

2. Inventory what you wear around the house (including what you wear to bed). Do you wear the same thing day after day?  Are they clean ? Are they torn? Are they way out of style?  What message does your attire send to your mate ? 

Do something Different

1. Go through, Review and Toss out those old sweatpants or that ratty T-shirt   (As Rick Gary used to say, knock around clothes should be required to have an expiration date.)

2. Go shopping with your partner. Make it fun! Try out some new styles together. Be bold.

Personal appearance is not the most important thing in a good relationship, but the consideration being shown for the other partner is what’s important.  It doesn't take a lot effort to be aware of small things that can make a big difference. When you take the time and make the effort to  look nice around the house, you tell your spouse, “I’ll never take you for granted”.                                                  

Rev. Michael Heath, LMHC prepared these remarks for “Life Smarts” on Bridge Street   5 08 2013.    

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