Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Wife Wore Makeup During Her Affair But Won’t Wear It For Me”

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I’ve been married to my wife for six years. Last year she had an affair and almost divorced me. Long story short, we worked out our issues, saved our marriage, and are pretty happy together now. I’m a pretty romantic guy, and I always tell her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. I do a lot of housework, leave her special notes, cook for her, surprise her with flowers at work, etc. I’ve even asked her if she could attempt to be a little more romantic with me because it feels kind of flat in that department. She never does any of that stuff for me but tells me she loves me very much.

One thing that I noticed while she was having an affair is that she was doing her hair and make-up and wearing nicer clothes to work. Well, we’ve been back together for about nine months, and, though she says she is in love with me again and I believe her, she won’t wear any make-up or do her hair (she just wears it in a ponytail) and never tries to be sexy for me. I haven’t said anything, but it kind of hurts my feelings that the man she wants to spend forever with is not the one she tried to impress most. Any thoughts? — The Forever Man

I understand why you feel hurt that your wife doesn’t seem as interested in impressing you as she did in impressing her fling. But, hurt feelings aside, surely you understand that wanting to make an impression on someone is different than loving that person. Wanting to make an impression on someone is even different than caring for that person. Think of the person who spends time and energy looking polished for a job interview — choosing an outfit, ironing it, finding shoes that go with, doing the hair, and adding all the finishing touches (makeup, jewelry, a tie and pocket square). The interviewee doesn’t care about the interviewer. Oh, sure, she or he cares what the interviewer thinks. But that’s because the interviewer in a position of granting the interviewee something he or she wants (a job).

For your wife, her fling represented something she felt she didn’t have in her marriage — something she very much wanted (like attention, affection, or excitement, for example). She wanted to impress this other man not necessarily because she cared about him, but because she cared about what he might give her that she felt she was lacking. Now you and she are back together, and she says she’s in love with you and you believe her, and that’s wonderful. Whatever was lacking before that prompted her to cheat seems to be filled. She is not wanting for the things she sought elsewhere because you are already fulfilling those needs. She doesn’t have to try to impress anyone — you included — because she has what she wants now.

And that brings us to your wants. Nowhere in your letter did you say you actually prefer your wife with makeup done and hair styled and looking sexy. You say that it (understandably) hurts your feelings that she put effort into appearance for someone else but not for you. You say you’ve asked her to be “a little more romantic” with you. Is wearing makeup what you consider being romantic? If so, tell her that. Tell her you like the way she looks when she wears makeup and does her hair and wears fancier clothes and that it would mean a lot if, for the occasional date night with you, she’d put extra effort into her appearance. Tell her that the effort is a romantic gesture to you; it shows you she cares. But do so with the understanding that impressing you is not the same as loving you. Meeting your needs, however, is.

Be clear about your needs. Telling your wife to “be a little romantic” obviously isn’t clear enough. Beyond wearing makeup — if that’s even the romantic gesture you’re looking for — what else can your wife do to illustrate she cares for you? Better yet, what is she already doing that you’re overlooking because it isn’t expressed in your own love language? You cook for her and surprise her with flowers (acts of service and gifts), but maybe her way of showing love is through spending quality time with you and using words of affirmation (i.e. telling you she’s in love with you).

This isn’t really about makeup. This is about wanting to know you matter and that you’re loved. Acknowledge and appreciate the love your wife expresses in her way (which may be very different than the way you express your love) and be clear about what needs of yours are still being unmet and what concrete things your wife can do to help meet them. Tell her you want to know you matter and that for you, at this time (which is still close to a period of infidelity and sadness in your marriage), you need more than words.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

56 comments… add one
  • avatar

    keyblade November 2, 2015, 8:30 am

    I really liked this kind, compassionate advice. This letter writer has really been thru the ringer in the last year. It’s not surprising coming back from an affair that nearly ended his marriage would leave him sensitized to details and a bit insecure about his wife. Wendy’s suggestions about being specific about his needs to feel more secure and connected are great.

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    • avatar

      ktfran November 2, 2015, 9:05 am

      Agreed! LW, your understandably still a little weary of your wife and her intentions. I think you need to clearly communicate what it is you need/want. Don’t expect her to read your mind.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 9:41 am

        And if what you really want is for her to make an effort in the looks department for you, the best way to get that is to give her a reason to make an effort. Like Wendy said, she had a reason before (advertising) and that reason is gone. In a long-term relationship, women don’t tend to focus as much on their looks, because it takes a lot of time and is annoying (my opinion, others may vary). But, if my husband wants to go on a date, THEN I will do it. Because then it’s an occasion, a reason beyond “today is another day”.

        Basically for everything you want, you have to give something. I realize you feel you’re giving a lot, and it sounds like you are, but maybe she a) doesn’t realize how much you really do and b) doesn’t respond to the specific things you’re doing (as in, they’re not her “love language”). Talk about that with her, too. Tell her what you do and ask her if that’s what she wants. And tell her what you need and discuss how she can do that. On both sides you will probably need compromises, but overall being aware of what the other person appreciates will help you to strengthen your bond.

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      • avatar

        Essie November 2, 2015, 10:47 am

        So well put. LW, these encounters with the other guy were dates. Women love to dress up and fuss over their makeup for dates. Your life with her is, well, life. I don’t fuss over my makeup to make dinner and go to the grocery store.
        .
        Take her out on some dates. Go to a nice restaurant. Go dancing, if you’re both into that. Or to a show, or a concert. Something that calls for a little dressing-up.

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  • avatar

    Anonymous November 2, 2015, 9:43 am

    If my husband’s response to being cheated on was doing the laundry and dishes, I would not be chasing him around the bedroom either. She does love you but if you want her to be hot for you, forget the flowers and work on restoring your own dignity.

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    • avatar

      memboard November 2, 2015, 9:53 am

      You should be happy that your husband`s response to your cheating isn`t to take you to the cleaners…

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom November 2, 2015, 9:54 am

      Maybe he has always done the laundry and dishes and I don’t see how there is no dignity in taking care of your own home. What would you consider restoring dignity?

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      • avatar

        keyblade November 2, 2015, 9:58 am

        @ Skyblossom- I agree. I take pride in the work I do around my home and for my family. Anonymous’ comment feels like its based on some false idea that women naturally respect and are attracted to men who act like angry, alpha apes.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom November 2, 2015, 10:00 am

        Or that cooking, cleaning and laundry are women’s jobs and so aren’t respectable or take away from your dignity.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh November 2, 2015, 11:46 am

        Agree. Who does what chores does not affect how attracted I am to my husband.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 2:24 pm

        In fact there’s been research to show that if the man takes on more chores (assuming the woman did more initially), then the woman becomes happier with the relationship because she’s not constantly exhausted from having to handle a job plus all the work at home.

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      • chief10

        chief10 November 3, 2015, 11:10 am

        I was once seeing this girl informally, weren’t bf/gf, I wanted to be though. I’ve always been an old school gentlemanly guy, open doors, flowers, show respect etc. but after a few dates she told me it wasn’t going to work because I was too nice. She told me girls don’t like nice guys, she said a girl should always think in the back of her mind and be fearful that if she get’s out of line he’d “slap it out of her” and I didn’t make her fearful/do it for her in that regard.

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      • avatar

        Kicia November 3, 2015, 12:06 pm

        Um, this girl sounds really messed up in the head. I hope you continue to be a gentleman and completely disregard what this girl said. Normal girls do not prefer potentially abusive guys.

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      • chief10

        chief10 November 3, 2015, 12:16 pm

        Oh I completely did Kicia, this was several months before I met my now wife, and I’ve never had any complaints. I got my dream girl and that other girl got a guy she can be just “a little bit afraid of”

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  • avatar

    Fyodor November 2, 2015, 10:55 am

    “For your wife, her fling represented something she felt she didn’t have in her marriage — something she very much wanted (like attention, affection, or excitement, for example). She wanted to impress this other man not necessarily because she cared about him, but because she cared about what he might give her that she felt she was lacking.”

    I love the automatic and reflexive attempt to paint this woman’s infidelity in the most sympathetic light. You have absolutely no idea why this woman cheated or whether she “cared more.” Maybe his wife is just an asshole? Maybe she’s not attracted to her husband and wanted someone else. Maybe she wore makeup for that guy because she did in fact want him more. I don’t see anything in the letter that suggests that the wife feels bad.

    I’m fairly sure that if a female LW had written in to complain about her cheating husband who romanced his mistress but never did anything for his wife you wouldn’t be coming up with sympathetic sounding justifications.

    LW, the reason that your wife wore makeup is because she cared to look good for her extramarital partner and doesn’t care to look good for you. She knows that there’s literally no treatment that you won’t accept. You are a comfortable fallback for her that she doesn’t have to worry about.

    I don’t see any point in keeping this marriage. His wife cheated on him and doesn’t seem particularly regretful. He doesn’t feel valued in the marriage. Since it doesn’t sound like they have kids he should walk away now before more of his life is wasted.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 11:09 am

      The possible reasons you gave match up exactly with what Wendy said. She’s not attracted to her husband and wants someone else, she did want the other guy more… those are things she wasn’t getting in the marriage (a guy she’s super-attracted to). Where did Wendy say she feels bad? She said it “wasn’t necessarily” because she cared more for the other guy, which is true. Wearing makeup isn’t a sign of caring for the majority of women.
      .
      I thought her advice was very sympathetic to the guy, and took into account the fact that they’re back together as a couple. It wasn’t sympathetic to the cheating wife, except to the extent that Wendy didn’t bad-mouth her, because why would she do that when the guy took her back already and says they worked it out? Advice like “she’s a bitch, dump her” doesn’t really apply to his question, does it?

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      • avatar

        anonymousse November 2, 2015, 11:25 am

        Agreed. He’s asking why she doesn’t do romantic things and wear make up for him, not whether they should split up. And he’s pretty particular about the phrasing. She almost divorced him, and they worked it out and are happy now.
        I agree with Wendy in that the issues are probably related to how the LW and his wife give and receive love. I really don’t think buying flowers is romantic. It’s a nice gesture, but it doesn’t take much thought or effort to buy some flowers. Doing housework or making dinner are things everyone who is alive has to do, one way or the other. Simply because those things are seen as traditionally women’s work doesn’t make him some kind of martyr for doing it.
        He needs to specifically tell her what he wants. From what he wrote, if I’m going to infer anything, it sounds like perhaps he was neglectful and now he’s trying extra hard, while she isn’t. I’ve seen that a lot in marital cheating.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor November 2, 2015, 11:30 am

        Wendy said that there was an emotional component in terms of attention or affection that wasn’t being met in her marriage. There is no reason to say that this wasn’t happening. Maybe she just liked the other guy more. Maybe she’s just a crappy person. We know nothing about her motivations.

        My point is that the fact that the wife doesn’t feel bad or regretful is a pretty big problem for the marriage. This isn’t a communication problem. It sounds like something much more fundamental.

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      • avatar

        ktfran November 2, 2015, 12:15 pm

        How do we know she isn’t regretful? The only thing that indicates that is she isn’t putting on makeup.

        As for cheating, I think a lot of the time, especially if it’s a one-time deal, that it happened because there was something wrong or missing in the marriage. Yes, it’s better to work that out with your partner and communicate, but people are human and make mistakes. So, I do think Wendy’s statement about the dressing up is valid.

        FWIW, I’d say the same thing if it was a male or female who cheated. I can honestly say that.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 1:12 pm

        You’re reading a lot into it. No one here has any idea of whether she feels bad or is regretful. I’m not sure why you’re even bringing it up. The LW has made his decision based on what he knows (which is way more than what we know), so there’s no point in Wendy trying to convince him to dump her when she has so little information about that part of it. Instead, she answered the question he actually asked.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse November 2, 2015, 2:37 pm

        People cheat because a need of theirs isn’t being met. They aren’t getting something from their partner that they need. Validation, attention, affection, sex, it can be a whole lot of things.

        You read the same letter we all did. Nowhere in the letter does he say she isn’t regretful. He does say they’ve worked out their issues and are mainly happy.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse November 2, 2015, 11:28 am

      I love how you can see she isn’t regretful by the two paragraphs he wrote. He said they worked it out and are mostly happy now.

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    • avatar

      keyblade November 2, 2015, 11:28 am

      Fyodor, I don’t sympathize with the cheater wife at all. I honestly don’t think I could come back to my marriage if my partner was unfaithful. But this letter writer has decided to try to forgive her and work things out. There is a presumption that there were things about the marriage that were unhealthy before. It’s entirely possible the wife is a narcissist, incapable of living up to the terms of her marriage, or other. But I think the letter writer is choosing to move forward giving her the very generous benefit of the doubt. So I think it makes sense to give advice that is generous to the motives of both partners.
      ”I haven’t said anything but it kind of hurts my feelings that the man she wants to spend forever with is not the one she tried to impress most.”
      I think that Wendy is correct in advising the letter writer to communicate this to his wife. He feels he is making romantic gestures and has requested more of the same from her. She hasn’t so far given enough in the specific ways he would like. I think he should talk to her about it. Maybe she thinks she is being romantic in other ways and they are just out of synch on this issue. There is no reason for this letter writer to continue to try to make something work if it can’t meet his needs. But he is committed to seeing if they can still learn ways to make this happen and learn to trust each other again. I do think it will be an uphill battle, but that is based on my own projections of how I would feel in the letter writer’s shoes.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh November 2, 2015, 11:44 am

      You don’t see value but he may. And there is nothing wrong with that. Vilifying his wife in the advice isn’t going to help him get the answers he needs. I can’t recall every letter Wendy has ever written but she never treats female vs male cheaters differently in her advice. The only differences come in on the advice asked for.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 1:14 pm

        Also, she often tears female cheaters a new one. It’s not like she’s specifically going easy on this one because she’s a woman. She’s matching the conciliatory tone of the LW.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom November 2, 2015, 1:57 pm

      @Fyodor Dr. Willard Harley covers this in his book “His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage.” He has found that most affairs occur because of unmet emotional needs. He tries to help both husband and wife identify their emotional needs and then find ways to meet those needs within the marriage to prevent affairs. I don’t think Wendy is being sympathetic to the cheating wife but factual. If the husband wants to work on the marriage then that is his choice. He already made the decision. I think that if he wrote in to ask whether he should stay after catching his wife in an affair we would say to move on.
      .
      He has an unmet emotional need and he needs to explain to his wife what he needs. Wanting a spouse who looks good is often one of the top five emotional needs for men. He needs to be more explicit when he talks to his wife. Telling her that he would like her to be more romantic may not in any way come across to her as wear more make up and do her hair. I’m not sure that I’ve ever considered those things romantic. In my mind they are must do to go out in public things, nothing romantic about that. I think that many women feel that home is the one place where they can relax and not need to be perfectly made up. I think that generally, when talking to a spouse, you must be specific and the word romantic isn’t specific. It is a general term that can mean lots of different things. He needs to tell her very specifically what it means to him.

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    • avatar

      anon November 2, 2015, 3:17 pm

      Fyodor, how do you know if the LW was not a beer gulping, belching, sports watching with his friends while expecting his wife to cook and clean asshole in his pre- affair life ?
      May be that was the reason the LW took some blame and changed himself to help with work at home and became a better husband.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy November 2, 2015, 5:11 pm

      The whole “I’m sure if the sexes were reversed, the advice would be different” argument is SO BORING.

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  • avatar

    Unwanted_Truth November 2, 2015, 11:01 am

    I’m with Fyodor on this one.

    “I’m fairly sure that if a female LW had written in to complain about her cheating husband who romanced his mistress but never did anything for his wife you wouldn’t be coming up with sympathetic sounding justifications.”

    Exactly

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie November 2, 2015, 11:31 am

    But the LW has already stated that they’re working on the marriage and they’ve recommitted. So we have to take this from the point that he doesn’t want to be angry or get even or leave the marriage – so how do you help from that point on? And that’s why Wendy’s response is as good as it is – because it refocuses attention back to what the letter writer’s needs are.

    My grandmother (a staunch feminist) has always said that a woman should come to the breakfast table ready for the day so that her husband wants to sit and talk to her and not hide behind his newspaper – meaning dressed and in makeup. If you don’t wear makeup – fine – but whatever it is that makes you ready to be outside. Hair combed, chapstick on, whatever your routine is.

    My mother has never come to breakfast without being dressed and madeup. It’s important to her to show my stepdad he’s important. She doesn’t use the toilet in front of anyone. She tries to keep an air of mystery around maintenance. She changes her look (hair, makeup, whatever) to suit her preferences, but if she’s going to put on makeup and do her hair – she’s going to do it when she wakes up and not subtly tell her husband that others get the best foot forward her.

    And my mother has never viewed herself as “just a wife” or “just a mother” my mom indoctrinated me to feminism. I had no idea that the story Little Red Riding hood had a woodsman until I was in high school. In the version she told, Little Red Riding Hood kicks the wolf’s ass and frees grandma.

    I don’t know if this is making sense but I agree with Wendy’s advice.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse November 2, 2015, 2:33 pm

      Women don’t need to wear make up to show anyone that they find them important.
      The idea that women only look presentable when dressed and wearing make up is not what feminism is about.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 November 2, 2015, 2:42 pm

      A woman shouldn’t have to look put together in order to be taken seriously by anyone. The way I look doesn’t show my boyfriend that I’m important. And the way he looks definintely doesn’t show me that he thinks I’m important.

      Looking a certain way can be a tactic and a tool (for both men and women) to be taken seriously in certain situations, but it is definitely a gendered concept that relies more on women dressing a certain way to get a certain response.

      It’s not to say your mom and grandma were not amazing feminists, but I don’t think it works to equate feminism to this concept of looking a certain way.

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie November 2, 2015, 3:45 pm

        I don’t think you understand what I’m saying – I believe that a partner (man or woman) should put some effort to be appealing to their spouse. Of course things don’t stay the same as when you met – we age, we spread, we get ill. I don’t believe any man or woman needs to wear makeup – but if you put it on to go to work or go to the market, why is your office or grocery store clerk the benefactor and your spouse not the person you “put on your face” for? Why does the outside world get the put together person and the love interest get the bad breath, stained clothing, unkempt version of you?

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 3:55 pm

        Did your mother and grandmother work full time? I don’t know about other people, but personally I find I have to prioritize things. For me to do makeup and hair every day, I’d have to get up about an hour earlier than I do right now (my hair is thick and takes forever). Which means I’d have to go to bed an hour earlier. Which means my quality time with my husband is minimized, since we really only spend time together after our toddler is in bed. We get an hour or two per night, max, and part of that time is spent doing chores. I’m pretty sure if I asked him which he’d prefer, me being “done up” every day, or me having an extra hour to spend time with him, he’d choose spending time.

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      • avatar

        Seriously? Seriously! November 2, 2015, 4:22 pm

        You guys are missing her point! She isn’t saying “spend an hour on hair and makeup to show your man you care”; she’s saying ” if you spend an hour on your hair and makeup to look ‘presentable’ to the people at the office, make the effort to be equally ‘presentable’ during time with your spouse as well.”
        For me, its the difference between going into the den to see my fiancé before i change out of my cute work clothes or keeping them on until he gets home, or taking my pants off immediately as I walk through the door and slip directly into yoga pants. He likes seeing me put together/dressed up. Just like I like seeing him dressed up. I think that’s her point.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 4:29 pm

        Well personally I work from home and I generally spend the day in my pajamas. If I get done up at all, my husband gets to see it just like everyone else. But it rarely happens, outside of dates with him or other special occasions.

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      • avatar

        Whatever November 3, 2015, 11:03 am

        It seems like a lot of commenters are going in on the wife for not wearing makeup and are citing feminist role models’ advice on why one should always look presentable for their husbands (which is fine if that works for some) but…. is the husband trying to look his handsome best for his wife? I mean, it sounds like he’s doing chores around the house (as a man should do anyways) and getting flowers (which is nice) but I don’t understand why women should have to wear makeup and do their hair but men aren’t held to the same standard. I didn’t catch anything about the husband making sure he’s fit and has his hair and style on fleek yet he expects his wife to look fabulous? I don’t know. I personally wouldn’t want to be married to someone that doesn’t find me hella fine barefaced and ponytail and expects me to spend money and time on dolling myself up. That’s just me tho.

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      • avatar

        keyblade November 3, 2015, 1:41 pm

        Hmm. I think it was only one commentator (LisforLeslie) who cited “feminist role models’ advice on why one should always look presentable for their husbands”

        The husband didn’t shape up his pecks and darn his finest garbs for his extramarital affairs. The wife did. So that’s why people are focused on her and what it all means.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse November 3, 2015, 7:32 pm

        “Pretty isn’t the rent you pay to exist in the world as a woman.”
        I just hate the idea that it’s a woman’s duty to look made up and in sexy or nice clothes at all times just because. Men don’t have that pressure. I like to wear makeup and do my hair, for my own confidence, really. My husband honestly prefers me makeup free. You would not hear of a man spending hours doing his makeup and hair and finding the perfect outfit for…a normal day.

        I also think the husband owned that he played a part in the marital problems. She was going to divorce him, is what he wrote. And they worked it out. who knows what part he played, but he obviously did.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse November 2, 2015, 5:07 pm

        I don’t see how your comment said that at all. You focused on women, not men and women and it was all about wearing makeup so your husband feels he is important at the breakfast table. So that he’ll sit and talk to her, not hide behind his newspaper. It wasn’t even about women feeling more confident with a “face” on. Your comment was focused on women wearing makeup to be presentable to their husbands.

        He doesn’t say she’s unkempt, wears stained clothes without basic hygiene. Not everyone puts on a full face of makeup to go grocery shopping or even to work. Just because you don’t wear makeup doesn’t make you less presentable than anyone else.

        If your point was both partners need to make an effort, there I just said it in a few words.

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  • Mr. Cellophane

    Mr. Cellophane November 2, 2015, 1:10 pm

    LW, I’ve been where you are. My wife had several affairs. After years of counseling, we are slowly piecing it back together. I hope you are both getting the help you need, both together and seperately. My wife’s affairs were based on a feeling of missing emotional connection with me, and a lack of impulse control on her part. I am not a very emotional person, and she is. When she met a man who tripped her emotional switches……bam!
    .
    When she was in the midst of her affairs, which were mostly emotional, the sex was never better and never more frequent…it was awesome! Now that we are back together, the well has run (mostly) dry. She has said that the guilt she feels from the sex during the affairs prevents her from having sex unless she feels a deep emotional connection. Unfortunately, this has been the primary struggle of our relationship. She has difficulty separating the feelings of guilt caused by the affair sex, and our married life.
    .
    Could it be that your wife is trying to separate her “affair self” from her “married self”, and that the act of putting on make up, doing her hair, etc. is triggering some deeper feelings of guilt, remorse, or regret?
    .
    Just a thought

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    • avatar

      Light37 November 3, 2015, 7:28 pm

      That’s a good point. Maybe she feels like she should drab herself down as a kind of self-punishment. “I don’t deserve to look good because last time I hurt my husband.”

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  • avatar

    dinoceros November 2, 2015, 1:25 pm

    People try to look nice for crushes or in the early stages of dating and less so when they’ve been with someone for a long time. Part of that is, like Wendy said, because they need to win them over. Part of it is that they’re seeing that person in a different context — dates and events, versus seeing them at home or running errands. Putting on makeup doesn’t mean the person cares about the crush or new date more than they do someone they’ve been with for a long time.

    That said, if she’s not willing to put any effort into being romantic, then I see why you are annoyed. I think you need to figure out if she’s gotten over whatever led her to cheat. And typically people who have cheated are willing to pay their dues to earn back the trust of their partner, so the fact that she’s not even trying to be romantic is a little disappointing. Communication is going to be important either way — getting over the infidelity AND making a life that makes you both happy.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy November 2, 2015, 3:10 pm

    So, I have a slightly different view on this. Your wife felt something was missing, and she went for it somewhere else. I am not saying this is okay- it isn’t- but something made her want to pursue this other man, and she went out of her way, based on what you were telling us, to impress the other man.
    Now that you are back together, you want her to pursue you, and make you feel wanted. I don’t know why, LW, but I don’t get the best vibe here. She isn’t trying to “impress you”. She isn’t being romantic enough for you. It sounds possible that she settled for the safe choice, and now lacks the desire to really make you feel wanted. I could be totally wrong and off base, I don’t know your wife at all, but I do know this- I make an effort to look nice for my husband from time to time. I do make him feel special, and I do care About his wants and needs. That’s what you do when you love and want someone. Your wife’s actions speak very differently.

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  • avatar

    SailBobo November 2, 2015, 3:59 pm

    I generally agree with Wendy’s response, if you want something specific ask for something specific.

    But, it also looks like he is more invested in this relationship than she is. She almost divorced him, romance is lacking, he doesn’t feel she’s willing to make herself sexy for him. Time to get with a counselor to see if she is as invested as he is.

    I think it’s also true that people think men cheat because, “They’re low down horn dogs that will chase anything in a skirt.” … But women cheat because, “Their needs aren’t being met.” … Poor things ….

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      ktfran November 2, 2015, 4:13 pm

      I actually think that in most cases, it’s because their needs aren’t being met or there is something off in the marriage. I don’t think it’s a good excuse to cheat, but I also recognize that most people aren’t great communicators and things happen, mistakes are made. Then there are some people – both men and women – who are complete a holes and would cheat no matter what. I think if it’s the former, the marriage can be saved if both parties wish to do so. If it’s the later, MOA already, unless you don’t care your husband or wife cheats.

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      RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 4:14 pm

      To play devil’s advocate, how many times have you hear a guy say “We can’t help it! We aren’t meant to be monogamous! It’s natural for us to want to sleep around!”. I mean, guys aren’t exactly falling over themselves to say that they can easily be monogamous if their emotional needs are met. You can’t have it both ways.

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        ktfran November 2, 2015, 4:20 pm

        I would actually consider that person to be an a hole and MOA, like yesterday. Actually, I wouldn’t have to MOA… I’d not have engaged in the first place.

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    • Monkeysmommy

      Monkeysmommy November 3, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Sailbobo, I actually think it runs both ways- some men (and some women!) cheat because they are soulless assholes- but truthfully, there is usually a need that isn’t being met. That excuse isn’t just for women.

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    aon November 2, 2015, 4:06 pm

    You sound skeptical ? Do you also not agree with men are visual and women are emotional psychological theory ?

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      RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 4:15 pm

      Exhibit A right here.

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        anon November 2, 2015, 4:22 pm

        Sorry, that was meant to be a response to the above comment. That commentator seems to be sarcastic about LW wife’s reasons for cheating.

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    SailBobo November 2, 2015, 4:30 pm

    I think that there is more than one double standard, and that most stereotypes are oversimplifications.

    I also think the tone is, that women have to be driven to cheat, but men just cheat because they are men … And, this from people that would prefer gender stereotypes to disappear …

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      RedRoverRedRover November 2, 2015, 4:43 pm

      I’m not sure where you’re getting this “tone” from. I don’t see anything here that implies that people here think that. Wendy’s being accused of it, but can you find anything in her archives that shows that that’s the way she thinks?

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark November 2, 2015, 7:48 pm

    Eh, I could get over my partner having an affair… but always looking like SHIT for me? FUCK THAT. MOA. Seriously.
    .
    “I love you so much and want to be with you forever and forever! So get used to me looking like a fucking train wreck and with a god awful mantail too boot!”
    .
    Um, no. God no.

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