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I recently discovered my husband's emotional need for physical attractiveness. I was very surprised by this need. My husband had an affair a few months ago, and it was at least partially because he was no longer physically attracted to me, and he felt like it would hurt me if he told me. He has since ended the affair, and told me the things he finds unattractive in me. I understand his frustration, particularly with my weight gain. I have already lost 23 lbs and am having lap-band surgery in September. I am wearing makeup, fixing my hair, wearing perfume,and trying to dress better. My friends have noticed the difference, but he doesn't seem to. I admit that I still have a long way to go. But does anyone have any advice on how I can attempt to meet this need while waiting to loose the weight? I feel like I could still loose him because it will take many months if not years to get back to the weight I was when we met. I appreciate any advice you may give!!!

Last edited by LewSully; 08/03/12 03:28 PM.
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Hi, Lew,

In marriage we should certainly try to meet the needs of our mate, and that includes physical attractiveness.

But unmet needs is not the cause of your husband's affair. There are plenty of ways to address unmet needs besides having an affair. Talking about it, counseling, even filing for divorce or separation may all be appropriate ways to address the issue of unmet needs in some situations, without an affair.

Have you read over what Dr. Harley has to say about how to recover your marriage after an affair? It is going to take a lot of work on both his part and yours. I will link some resources here for you on that.

But one important thing I think you need to understand, right off the bat, is that according to Dr. Harley your husband needs to take extraordinary precautions to ensure he never has another affair. He needs to break off all contact with his affair partner for life, tell you everything about the affair including who it was and how they contacted each other so that you can make sure this person is never around again and those circumstances never recur.

Here's the problem: due to the way the Love Bank works, if your husband is still letting other women make love bank deposits in his Love Bank, there is no way you can compete. Your account in his Love Bank will be closed, and no matter how well you do on meeting this emotional need, his emotions will let competitors win.

You shouldn't have to be in a situation where you fear you will lose your husband if you don't meet this emotional need fast enough. If he is talking to you like that, then he is abusing you, and is likely still involved with other women and feeling the contrast effect that Dr. Harley describes.

So we are going to ask you a lot of questions about when and how the affair occurred, and to what extent he is involved in recovery. He needs to understand that he must make changes if he wants to recover his marriage, and those changes are going to involve not ever setting up a situation where there are other women waiting in the wings.

Welcome to Marriage Builders; we are sorry for what brought you here, but we hope we can help you build a marriage with love that will last a lifetime!


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Here is Dr. Harley's video about infidelity:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi6806_inf.html

Here are Dr. Harley's articles about what it takes to recover from infidelity:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5525_qa.html

And here are Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3000_intro.html

Please take a look at these, so we can take a look together at your marriage and make sure both of you are doing what it takes to recover.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Lew Sully, welcome to MArriage Builders. I am sorry for the reasons that brought you here. I concur with Markos that your husband did not have an affair because of your appearance. He had the affair because he has poor boundaries around women.

A few key questions:

1. has he ended all contact with the OW?

2. is she married, and if so, have you personally informed her husband?

3. has your H been completely open and honest about his affair?

4. have your family members, including children, been informed of his affair?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Hi Lew,

Melody Lanes Qs will prob be far more effective than your efforts trying to meet his needs flat-out like this.

Meeting needs IS important but it will not prevent an affair!

If you were in a coma, you wouldnt meet many needs either, but he wouldnt have an A in that situation if his boundaries were good.

TRYING to meet a need, usually works. It's strange he doesnt see what your friends see. Even stranger that he is blaming the PA need instead of his own weaknesses.

Is the A definitely over? Are you snooping to make sure?


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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To answer your question.....

Buckle down and get it done. Depending on your size, 23 lbs. may be nothing, or maybe something. If you want to meet this need, do it aggressively and with conviction. I too had let myself go so to speak, and recovered quickly. It sounds as if your approach is acceptable, ask about your makeup, what perfume he likes (have him buy it for you), what shoes ( have him go with you), etc etc etc. You should be losing 2-3 lbs. per week - yes per week. It is done all the time. If you are doing 1 pound every other week, you are not serious. As Larry says, "get 'er done". Good Luck !


H (me) = never wayward; age = 51; occup = attorney
W = never wayward; age = 49; occup = law office admin
Faith = Lutheran
S = age 20
S = age 19
D = age 17
Married 1990, first for both
Prior User Name "dec810" Marriage Builders 2001
"Evil will flourish, when good people do nothing"






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Originally Posted By: dec
To answer your question.....

Buckle down and get it done. Depending on your size, 23 lbs. may be nothing, or maybe something. If you want to meet this need, do it aggressively and with conviction. I too had let myself go so to speak, and recovered quickly. It sounds as if your approach is acceptable, ask about your makeup, what perfume he likes (have him buy it for you), what shoes ( have him go with you), etc etc etc. You should be losing 2-3 lbs. per week - yes per week. It is done all the time. If you are doing 1 pound every other week, you are not serious. As Larry says, "get 'er done". Good Luck !


dec, be careful! She is having surgery, and has lost 23 pounds. She sounds very serious to me.

The problem is that she is doing all this, and her husband is still not seeing it. The first possibility here is that he has never ended his affair and appropriate steps have not been taken to protect the marriage, in which case no matter what she does regarding his needs she can't win.

I would certainly encourage her to get to a healthy weight regardless, for the sake of her health, but it sounds like she's doing that just fine.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Her needs meeting efforts are fine. Its his reaction that sounds off.

Originally Posted By: markos
if your husband is still letting other women make love bank deposits in his Love Bank, there is no way you can compete.


This could well be the issue.

Originally Posted By: MelodyLane

1. has he ended all contact with the OW?

2. is she married, and if so, have you personally informed her husband?

3. has your H been completely open and honest about his affair?

4. have your family members, including children, been informed of his affair?


These are the steps needed to correct his poor boundaries and allow recovery to begin.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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LS

Please take note of what the vets are saying because the weight is only part of the issue. I had the Lapband (here in the UK we call is referred to as simply gastric band) a year ago and it's not a quick or an easy solution and infact it added alot of extra stress on the marriage. I am not saying it isn't a good idea all I'm saying it's that it is not a quick fix solution and will only help so much in your situation.

I didn't loose any major weight after the band until I came accross a very informative article by one one the vets (MelodyLane) regarding a weight loss book explaining food on the MB forum in the general discussion part and then understood food better leading to major weight loss in the past 6 months.

My H had an affair but it wasn't related to my weight (infact his affair partner was twice my seize) but I had the op for me, for my health and for my energy levels.

You have a small window of time before the op where with the advice of the vets here you can truly get to grips with the A and your WH lack of boundaries before you take on a life changing operation that on its own wont help your marriage.


BW 36(Me)
WS 38
Married: 2000
DD1November 22 2008 - DD2 October 2014
PA Duration September 08 - November 08
Second discovery- 6 online affairs 4 sexual one emotional. October 2014.kids: DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DS 10 . Baby after divorce DS 18months

Divorced

Was misled into thinking we were in recovery for 6 years.

If you were shocked reading any of this, that this is the consequence of not following MB to the LETTER.

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Originally Posted By: LewSully
I recently discovered my husband's emotional need for physical attractiveness. I was very surprised by this need. My husband had an affair a few months ago, and it was at least partially because he was no longer physically attracted to me, and he felt like it would hurt me if he told me. He has since ended the affair, and told me the things he finds unattractive in me. I understand his frustration, particularly with my weight gain. I have already lost 23 lbs and am having lap-band surgery in September. I am wearing makeup, fixing my hair, wearing perfume,and trying to dress better. My friends have noticed the difference, but he doesn't seem to. I admit that I still have a long way to go. But does anyone have any advice on how I can attempt to meet this need while waiting to loose the weight? I feel like I could still loose him because it will take many months if not years to get back to the weight I was when we met. I appreciate any advice you may give!!!
Lew, welcome to Marriage Builders.

Question: How much did you weigh when you got married? How much do you weigh now? Your husband has told you that your weight makes him unhappy, so you know that you need to address that.

But understand that he didn't have the right to have an affair because of your weight. That poor choice is totally on him.

Having said that - he's made it clear that your appearance is important to him. Hence my questions.

ETA: What has happened that would cause you "years" to lose the weight?

Last edited by maritalbliss; 08/03/12 07:22 PM.

D-Day 2-10-2009
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Thank you Marriage Builders!

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Originally Posted By: indiegirl
Hi Lew,

Meeting needs IS important but it will not prevent an affair!


Originally Posted By: markos
Hi, Lew,

But unmet needs is not the cause of your husband's affair. There are plenty of ways to address unmet needs besides having an affair. !


Dr. Harley states in "His needs, Her needs"

"Once a spouse lacks fulfillment of any of the five needs, it creates a thirst that must be quenched. If changes do not take place within the marriage to care
for that need, the individual will face the powerful temptation to fill it outside of marriage."


Seems to me a person would have to be incredibly strong to resist when our most desperate needs are not met, especially if they are not met for years on end.
Dr. Harley clearly says that if our needs are met in marriage, it is far less likely that we would stray.

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Hi, 4tomorrow,

You mentioned yesterday you'd start your own thread. Looking forward to it. smile

Dr. Harley states that unmet needs do not have to lead to an affair; someone with unmet needs could certainly file for divorce, for example. That would be much less destructive to everyone's life compared to having an affair.

Dr. Harley also recommends that those who have been unfaithful in their marriage start their reading with his book Surviving an Affair, rather than his book His Needs Her Needs, so as not to form the conclusion that unmet needs cause affairs.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: 4tomorrow
Originally Posted By: indiegirl
Hi Lew,

Meeting needs IS important but it will not prevent an affair!


Originally Posted By: markos
Hi, Lew,

But unmet needs is not the cause of your husband's affair. There are plenty of ways to address unmet needs besides having an affair. !


Dr. Harley states in "His needs, Her needs"

"Once a spouse lacks fulfillment of any of the five needs, it creates a thirst that must be quenched. If changes do not take place within the marriage to care
for that need, the individual will face the powerful temptation to fill it outside of marriage."


Seems to me a person would have to be incredibly strong to resist when our most desperate needs are not met, especially if they are not met for years on end.
Dr. Harley clearly says that if our needs are met in marriage, it is far less likely that we would stray.


You are correct, but the only thing that will protect you are your boundaries around the opposite sex. My needs were not met, and I did not go out and commit adultery.

Dr. Harley also states there are times in a marriage when needs cannot be met, illness, pregnancy, deployments, so does that give the spouse free reign to go find another to fill those needs?

If you value your vows, and are committed to your marriage you will protect your temptations by making sure your needs are not met by the opposite sex.

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Originally Posted By: 4tomorrow
[
"Once a spouse lacks fulfillment of any of the five needs, it creates a thirst that must be quenched. If changes do not take place within the marriage to care
for that need, the individual will face the powerful temptation to fill it outside of marriage."

.


Yes, but that "temptation" cannot be acted upon unless one has pisspoor boundaries. Lots of people don't have their needs met in marriage and they don't have affairs. Not having your needs met is NO EXCUSE to have an affair.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: LewSully
I recently discovered my husband's emotional need for physical attractiveness.


Originally Posted By: LewSully
I understand his frustration, particularly with my weight gain. I have already lost 23 lbs and am having lap-band surgery in September.


Originally Posted By: LewSully
I admit that I still have a long way to go. But does anyone have any advice on how I can attempt to meet this need while waiting to loose the weight? I feel like I could still loose him because it will take many months if not years to get back to the weight I was when we met.



The other persons who have responded on your thread focused on your husband's infidelity. I'll choose to focus on the question you raised about meeting the EN of "physical attractiveness", and in particular weight gain.

First of all, from a man's point of view, I can say that some of us can be pretty turned off by any significant weight gain by our spouse. In my case for example, my spouse gained just 15 lbs at one point and it was an immediate turn off for me. I'd go even further and suggest that it can even be a love-buster of sorts if we bring up the subject and nothing happens. From your comments above, it sounds like you gained signficant weight since your M, which was likely a great turn-off for your H. Did he ever mention it before his A? How did you respond?

The good news is that, something can be done about excessive weight gain in most circumstances, and you usually don't have to go all the way back to your pre-M weight to make a positive impact in your spouse. The bad news is, like you suggested, it will take some time. The good news again is that, even though he might not be paying much notice now, he WILL start to pay notice as the effects of your weight loss become more noticeable.

On another note, while makeup and perfume is nice, becoming a "high-maintenance" spouse could be a turn-off for many men, including your H. My W looks great with makeup on, but I actually prefer she keep it as light as possible, and only when we're going out. In fact, that was one of the attributes that I found really attractive about her when we first started being a couple. Happily she agrees with that approach.


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Originally Posted By: Godgivmestrength
Dr. Harley also states there are times in a marriage when needs cannot be met, illness, pregnancy, deployments, so does that give the spouse free reign to go find another to fill those needs?

If you value your vows, and are committed to your marriage you will protect your temptations by making sure your needs are not met by the opposite sex.



Thank you, that is very true.
I would like to ask a question about that but will go to my own thread for it.

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Besides working the path for recovering from your WH's affair here is a radio clip on physical attractiveness.

Radio Clip on Physcial Attractiveness


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Thanks for all the responses, guys! I'll try to answer all your questions and give you more details over the next few days.

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LewSully,

My xWH and I had the joy of speaking to Dr. Harley concerning my xWH's leaving our family and subsequent divorce. It was a real eye opener. Dr. Harley's thoughts on my WH's need for PA are posted below.

My xWH left me and our many kids for a very athletic, beautiful whore. This was a devastating blow to me because I overweight (quite fat actually) and breastfeeding two of my kids at the time. When I saw what he abandoned us for the rejection is forever etched into my brain. IT was a terrible blow.

That being said so much has come out of this and speaking to Dr. Harley was pivotal to my healing. Here is what the good Doc told me ...

First off my WH has a very very very high need for physical attractiveness, and a woman who is athletically fit. This EN ties into a strong emotional need for recreation. The whore filled both of these EN's with buckets of dumps into his lovebank. She was beautiful and she enjoyed working out with him. (This is exactly what attracted WH and I went we dated 18 years ago. I was physically fit, beautiful, and he and I enjoyed lots of recreational activity together). Dr. Harley said this combination is the key factor in loading up my WH's lovebank. He will continuously choose these kinds of women no matter what else they have going for them.

I asked Dr. Harley what I needed to do in Plan B to wait it out for my WH. He said, "If I was to attract my WH back, then I needed to become this athletic, beautiful woman (the woman he married, i.e. wife of his youth). I had to lose the weight, get into athletic shape." Dr. Harley believed WH, when he comes out of the fog in (2-5 years), would likely return to me and the kids because of the extra caveat of my monetary contributions and my domestic support. Dr. Harley said if he and I were to get back together, then no matter what I would have to remain physically attractive (the way WH needs) for my marriage due to this very high EN.

Dr. Harley actually finds quite a few men have this very high PA need and he does not fault them for it. It is their EN and when it is filled it can dump massive amounts of love into their banks.

That being said, Dr. Harley went on to explain to me that my WH was still very wayward. He suggested he would be nothing but an anchor strapped to my neck if he returned AS-IS, and all women in his life will soon realize how he is nothing but an anchor. His need for PA and RC cannot compete with his belief in unconditional love, his extreme selfishness, and his waywardness. My WH believes a woman should unconditionally love him no matter the expense to the woman.

That was last Winter ... where am I at today?

I am divorced, very thin, and extremely athletic. I took Dr. Harley's words and ran with them. The difference is today I WILL NOT take my xWH back. I have let him "go" as they say on this forum. I will admit his need for PA and RC was my motivation. At first I was doing it for him, and I will not lie there will always be a part of me that is saying to him and his whore, "Up Yours...who is fat now!!!"

The greatest joy out of this is how I feel about myself. Losing the weight and gaining my youthful self back was originally done for my xWH, but today I reap the benefits for me. I didn't realize finding me was actually the key finding happiness. I was holding onto WH because I thought to my fat self he was the best I was ever going to get. Now I realize from HNHN I am the full package of wife. Whatever man I choose will be a man who gets a HNHN woman. To top it off my gazillion kids get a healthy, active mommy who is teaching them what PA means in a marriage.

As for my xWH ... he was just an anchor strapped to my neck for 18 years. Today ... xWH continues to drown and I am swimming to victory. My skinny self and I ... I am almost 40 years old ... but I feel 20 and I am living life youthful, vibrant, and strong. Honestly I cannot imagine going back to fat. I am proud of my hardwork. It was hardwork. It took every ounce of discipline, motivation, and strength to lose the 80 pounds. The best part about this is this is all mine. I own it. I cleaned up my side of the fence. I made life happen.

ETA: Sorry your post had me thinking all day... more thoughts added

LewSully ... Something to keep in mind concerning physical attractiveness.

It isn't about you ... it is about him. He feels good when you look good, and that may seem wrong to the outside world, but to Dr. Harley he can see the value in this. It is a reflection of a man's need for admiration. You can fill his lovebank when he can feel good about himself, and when your physical attractiveness complements his looks it helps him feel admired.

To the outside world looking in that may seem shallow, but when you live it it isn't shallow at all. The one thing I regret terribly about my marriage is my failure to see this important emotional need, and how it links itself to a man's intimate emotional needs (RC, Admiration, and Sexual Fulfillment).

It has taken me a very long time to forgive myself for getting fat, and remaining in that state for many years. My choice was about me and my lack of proper care for my xWH and for myself. I did not fully grasp its true importance until I read FILSIL along with HNHN and Lovebusters. I am just thankful I have the opportunity to know this now, and although it isn't by my choice, I can take this learned knowledge and apply it to new relationships with men.

Today my health reflects a spiritual place I have allowed myself to grow. I treat my body as a temple of Christ. I feed it with God's given nature and try to accommodate it with rest, little stress, and peaceful actions. I found a way to eat that I can live with daily, and I understand as I age I will continuously have to reduce my calorie intake to stay properly fit. My body is 80% food and 20% exercise. Not sure why ... but it is just the way I am.

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Not to make my post above too long ... there is something I encourage you to ponder ... how is the current state of your marriage contributing to your weight?

I chose to get fat for a number of reasons, but mainly because food became my coping mechanism. I will fully admit. I ate my marriage for years. I blame myself for developing this terrible bad habit.

On my third read of HNHN along with Lovebusters a light bulb went off and I spent an entire night writing down all the bad habits I developed in my marriage.

It was a daunting list ... filled with anger, disrespect, binging (never purging), laziness, too much sleep, too much work, and too much TV.

Then I wrote a list of everything my WH had done to build resentment, anger, and hurt. It took me a week of thought, but I realized none of it mattered. He was gone. It was too late.

A week later I was served with divorce papers. I had two daunting, depressing, and crappy lists of shoulda, coulda, wouldas.

I wrote both lists in October 2011. I was only down 30 pounds since d-day. I was either going to crap or get off the pot. I decided it was time. It was time to stop being the victim. It was time to really grasp what was happening to my life, and how I planned to make me the best I could be. That was it ... my mind was made up to become the best me.

You say you may lose your husband in the meantime. I don't think that is necessarily true. Demonstrating to him you understand his need for PA will demonstrate to him your thoughtfulness in caring for him. All you can do is apologize for not realizing PA's importance, and then show him how you understand it now.

Negotiate with him how you both can work together to meet this need. He can give you feedback on how your PA fills his lovebank, and you can work to make sure you are making the changes that fill his lovebank.

As long as he understands the importance of protecting his boundaries around women of the opposite sex who meet this need for him, then that EP will help you over time trust your PA changes will be all he is desiring. This will have to be a very strong EP for you. Otherwise you may never feel safe. Pornography is one place I would make sure his need for PA is not getting met. Your WH is likely to have a great contrast effect due to his PA need. If he sees this kind of woman over and over again, then you have a very tough battle because as you age you will never be able to compete with the young whores in porn, strip clubs, or in places he can have a contrast effect in his mind.

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