April 13, 2011

Spring Cleaning Your Marriage: Personal Appearance

Spring Cleaning Your Marriage: Personal Appearance

Warmer weather means Spring cleaning and as those of you who watch Bridge Street know, Spring cleaning is not just for house, garages and yards. Today we are going to talk about Spring cleaning your marriage and focus on an area which gets pretty rusty over the winter: Personal Appearance Around the House.

It is ironic that folks who look so good at work can look so bad once they change into their "comfortable clothes" once they get home. While it might not seem like a big deal to some, the lack of attention and effort paid to one's personal appearance can send a negative and unintended message to our spouse. Fortunately, a little awareness and small effort can make a big difference and change a negative into a positive. Today we are going to explain and show you how.

In case you're not clear what we're talking about, here is a list of :

Common Complaints

  • Poor hygiene,
  •   Unkempt or unshaven
  •   Wears same clothes over and over
  • Wear out of style or ugly clothes

Are you or your partner guilty of any of these appearance faux pas ?

Why looking nice is important

For those who wonder , "What's the big deal ? What's wrong with a comfortable pair of sweats " Of course there is nothing "wrong" with dressing casually but sometimes it can go too far. If we are honest we know that being comfortable and looking good are not mutually exclusive. What is wrong with having both ?

Dressing nicely at home is a lot like saying "I love you". It's not necessary but it is nice to hear. Just as guys tend to see saying I love you as superfluous, some men also don't get it why they have to "dress up" around the house.

Psychologically, the point that is missed is that, even though a couple is married, individuals are insecure. They need to be reminded that they are still loved and that they are still attractive. When partners stop trying or don't put effort into how they look the messages " Since we're married I don't have to try." This message can be heard and lead to feelings like "You don't care or find me attractive."

Looking nice around house is a matter of consideration which can send the message:

"Even though we are married, I I want you to know that I still find you very attractive and that want you to find me attractive too."

Tips for Improving Personal Appearance around the House

Improving the way you look and dress around the house doesn't mean that you always have to look great, but it does mean just because you're home, you don't have to look like a slob. Here are some simple suggestions that can make a big difference.

1. Realize you appearance makes and impact on and sends a message to your partner. Ask yourself What message do I want to send ? "How much time and effort do I put into my personal appearance for my spouse ? Do I think about how I look to my wife/ husband ? Do I wear the same clothes over and over ?

2. Take a look in a mirror. How do I look Do I find me attractive ? How does my hair look ? Have I shaved or trimmed recently ? Would I have looked this way when I was dating ?

3. Take a look at your wardrobe, including what you wear to bed. What message is your attire sending ?

4. 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.)

5. Go shopping with your partner. Try something new or something different .

Personal appearance is not the most important thing in a good relationship, but consideration is. It doesn't take much effort to be aware and take care of smalls things that can make a big difference and send a positive and reassuring message to your wife or husband.

Rev. Michael Heath, LMHC prepared these remarks for Bridge Street 4 13 2011.

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