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May 20, 2012

Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat?

It is the question that strikes terror into the heart of even the most stalwart husband.

You have gone shopping with your beloved wife and are waiting patiently while she tries on a few items. Suddenly she emerges from the dressing room and asks, "Does this dress make me look fat?"

Yikes! Most men believe there is no right answer to this question. And trying to avoid answering it will get you into just as much trouble as anything you might say. The only solution is to run and hide. But you're going to have to come home sooner or later, so you might as well stand your ground now.

First, realize that your wife has a reason for asking this question, and it's not just to terrorize you. She wants to know how she looks in the dress. She doesn't want to go out in public looking less than her best. She needs your help.

You don't want to insult or upset your wife, so you may be concerned that, in some cases, an honest answer will cause a problem. Some men are distracted by the fact that they and their wives have put on a few pounds since the wedding day. Maybe your wife weighs a little more than she would like. But that isn't what she's asking about. So if your first thought is something like, "It's not the dress, it's just life," suppress that thought!

Just take a good look at your wife in the dress. Let her spin around once or twice. Ask yourself: Does she look as beautiful as she always does? Or is there something about this dress that seems to detract from her appearance? You don't have to be a fashion expert to know what you see.

If the dress is causing a problem, your answer is simple. "Sweetheart, you look beautiful. But that style is not really flattering for anyone." If the dress is good, then your answer is even simpler: "Sweetheart, you look beautiful. I think you should buy it." Either way, smile.

7 fabulous comments:

  1. Love this! I'm going to print it out for my husband.

  2. Awww, that's a wonderful reply : > It would work for friends, sisters and husbands too!

  3. AnonymousMay 27, 2012

    As a guy, I want to post the bold notion that women should not be subjugating their boyfriends, SOs, husbands to such an impossible choice in the first place. It's a minefield pure and simple, and every woman knows deep inside that she doesn't have innocent intentions when she asks this question. It's setting a trap, with the trigger and lock key belonging to only one member of the couple.
    Every guy has been thru this and most have been burned. A woman wants to hear how good she looks from other women (and from other men for that matter). Your husband has complemented you so many times you are immune to his bon mots. So if we are not clods, and we routinely tell you how great you look and how attracted we are to you, next time let that sink in and find a warm place inside you instead of ignoring it or passing it off. As one woman told me, "he has to say I look nice, I'm married to him!"
    Ask yourself how you would reply to a query from your husband, "Honey, do you think I make enough money?". Think about how complex and thoughtful the reply would have to be to not be hurtful or challenging. This is what you are doing when you ask us if you look fat in that dress. Don't try to simplify it, 'cause it's anything but...
    Twice burned

    1. Dear Twice Burned - I'm sorry to hear you've had unpleasant experiences. But your belief that all women are somehow trying to set traps is a problem I can't address in a simple blog comment. I believe that most people, men or women, want honest communication. I can tell you that my husband has given me the "it's not flattering" response when appropriate and it was exactly the help I needed.

    2. Only SingedOctober 09, 2012

      As soon as someone starts generalizing "every woman" or "all men" as a way to criticize within a relationship you know that a big part of the problem is in their attitude. If you start out suspicious and hostile you are likely to get results that will only confirm your expectations.

      By the way, "Honey, do you think I make enough money?" isn't the same kind of question at all. A bad outfit can be changed in five minutes. If you are having career problems, that really is a complex issue that needs to be discussed in a more thoughtful way.

  4. I think the name "Twice Burned" says it all. His comment tells you more about him than it does about anyone else. A person who starts out with a negative, suspicious attitude is going to have a lot of trouble succeeding in relationships. It's impossible to have even the simplest conversation with someone who always assumes the worst. A person like that will end up getting exactly what he is expecting and then he will blame the other person instead of realizing his own role.

  5. I, myself, have asked my husband this question many times. NOT because I am setting him up to trap or trick him, but because as a woman with issues with my body (and working on them) I truly see every imperfection and flaw exaggerated tenfold. I trust my husband's answers because he and I had a serious conversation regarding this. In the beginning he thought I was setting him up so he would answer with the typical "you look fine" the so called wanted answer. I explained the fact that I see the bad more so than the good about my body and I would really appreciate an honest opinion regarding my attire and appearance. He understands that now, and when I ask him, he is honest. Sometimes brutally so, but Im sorry, if I look like a cow in a dress, the only one I want to see me in said dress is him. I want to look my best for him not only in public but at home as well. By asking his opinion on it, I am reassured in a way that he is not going to be "embarrassed" of me in public because of what Im wearing :) As far as the money comment by Twice Burned, I think these two questions are entirely different. As Only Singed state, one can be fixed literally in minutes while the other is more of an in depth serious conversation. I have asked my husband this question as he has asked me, most of the time it was stemming from the fact that we ourselves were not happy with the money that each of us as individuals was making. We sat down, had a discussion, and resolved our issues. We are now both at better paying jobs and jobs that offer careers instead of just being a "job"


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