Q: My wife is naturally beautiful. But when we go out she wears too much makeup and hides her innate beauty. I’ve tried to drop subtle hints that she’s prettier with less, but she’s not “getting it.” Do you think I should keep my mouth shut or be more direct?
A: You’d be wise to tread lightly here. Matters of appearance are highly personal decisions for both men and women and are closely tied to our sense of identity. And while honesty is essential in a marriage, so is respecting boundaries, and the feelings and preferences of your spouse.
When dealing with delicate issues, it’s important to first determine what the real issue is. In your case, it means you need to carefully examine your motives. Is the energy here about your own preferences or how your wife’s appearance makes you feel? Or are you truly seeking her best interest: trying to encourage her in how she feels about
If you conclude that this is just about you, then we’d strongly recommend you keep your opinions to yourself unless your wife asks for or invites them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make your preferences known. But that should be limited to expressing appreciation for those things about her appearance that you delight in.
On the other hand, if she’s shared with you some doubts or insecurity about her clothes or makeup, you might gently offer some suggestions along with affirming the things she already does that you find attractive. You may even want to offer to fund a session with a beauty consultant as your gift to her if you think she’d be receptive. Bottom line: value and guard the beauty of her heart above all else.
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