“Hi Dr. Laura. Thank you for taking my call. I am 29 and my husband is 32 and we have been married for 7 years next week. When we were dating and first married he would call me ‘beautiful’ all of the time – now he only says it sporadically and I want to hear it more. When I tell him this, he will tell me the next day that I am beautiful, but then he won’t say it again for several weeks.”
You would then ask me what has changed and I would begin to defend myself, “Well, I always look cute for him. I am his girlfriend. We are having more sex than we ever have had…” and you would say, “No, what has changed.”
What has changed is that we spent close to $100,000 in fertility treatments, and during that time I was able to stay home and focus on getting and staying pregnant. What has changed is when we finally got pregnant, I went into preterm labor and spent 5 weeks in the hospital. He was there faithfully every morning would come back each night with a delicious dinner and would only leave to take care of our pets and our home. What has changed is when our twins were born at 26 weeks and spent over 100 days in the NICU, without fail he was there before or after work, to spend time with me and the babies. What has changed is that after our babies came home from the hospital, we moved to a new state for a new job that he had delayed because of the twins being in the NICU. What has changed is that every day he rushes home after an extremely stressful day at work, gives me a quick kiss, runs upstairs to change his clothes and spends his evening with our twins and me, reading with them, tickling them and laughing with them. Once they are asleep he still will clean bottles or dishes or do whatever he needs to around the house to be helpful to me. That’s what has changed. Our love has changed. He has matured. No longer am I the 18 year old that he started dating when one of the most important things was if I was “hot” or “beautiful”. He now sees beyond my appearance and clings to who I am and what we have been through.
I can hear you saying, “Would you trade all of who he is and what he has done for the somewhat meaningless phrase, “You are beautiful”?”
And I would quietly say, “No”. Never. I will never complain or pout about him not calling me beautiful “enough”. What he says and does for me and our family is much more important. He may not say it as much as I would like but he shows me that I am on a daily basis.