Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“He Thinks His Ex is Hotter”

I’ve been dating my guy for six months, though we’ve been seeing each other for about nine months altogether. We have an amazing relationship now, but before we became official we went through a tough time together. It’s a kind of complicated story, but basically I found out he had a serious drug addiction through some message board posts I discovered through links on his computer (I wasn’t snooping, just looking for some dirty German porn or something to tease him with, I swear). I’m 10 years clean myself, so I told him immediately that I couldn’t be with anyone who was using. He asked me for help quitting, and since I definitely didn’t get clean by myself, I felt it only right to help him. We grew a lot closer during that time which is how we ended up together officially. He’s been clean almost five months now and he’s doing so well. I’m really proud of him.

Anyway, that’s pretty much just background for my real issue. The message board I found his drug addiction posts on was one he visited frequently, had internet friends through, etc. Kind of like the frequent commenters on your site, but with more heroin and less love advice. The board had a section for “off topic” discussions, and I found one he’d written about me. Basically the post said that I was amazing and he liked me a lot, but I’m not hot enough for him. His last ex was hotter, and while I have a pretty face my body just isn’t as good. It was very hurtful but at the time it wasn’t the biggest problem by far, so I ignored it until after things were less insane.

I did bring it up to him again a month or two into our relationship, and he got very upset that I’d read the post and that it had hurt me. He told me he thinks I’m hot and sexy and beautiful and everything, and he only said what he did because he was looking for a reason not to be involved with me due to how complicated the situation was becoming (with his double life and all). Since then he’s done nothing but reinforce that he finds me attractive. He compliments me all the time and we have a great sex life. But sometimes I think about that post and it just ruins my self-confidence. My boyfriend is very traditionally attractive: tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, great swimmer’s body. I’m not unattractive by any means, but I’m more on the curvy side and could certainly stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds. Basically, what he wrote plays into every bad thought I’ve ever had about my appearance, and I don’t know how to get over it.

Aside from this issue our relationship is near-perfect. The problems we went through early on could have torn us apart but instead made us stronger, and we get along so well in every way. It’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in. I love him and I want to believe that he’s genuinely attracted to me, but sometimes I look in the mirror and think about that post and it just seems completely impossible. Talking to him isn’t likely to help, because he’ll never say anything other than he loves me and thinks I’m the hottest girl ever. I still can’t get over the feeling that the post was what he really thinks, and he’s just telling me what I want to hear.

— At (A Pretty) Face Value?

I can definitely understand how discovering those comments by your boyfriend must have made you feel hurt, betrayed, embarrassed and mad. But those feelings are really about you and what you think and not about what your boyfriend thinks. Looking at it logically, if your boyfriend truly thought you weren’t “hot enough for him,” he wouldn’t be with you anymore. If something isn’t “enough,” then it won’t do. The lack of whatever is desired is a dealbreaker. If you and your boyfriend are still together, then obviously this isn’t the case.

I know, I know. Small comfort, right? He still said that you aren’t as hot as his ex and that your body is just OK. I mean, ouch. And, unfortunately, even if he didn’t mean what he said or even if he’s changed his mind since then, you can’t “un-know” what you learned by reading that message board. You can’t just turn off the hurt his words caused no matter how many kind words he’s said since.

So, what are you to do? You can’t just dump a guy you have an otherwise amazing relationship with over something he said on some anonymous message board months ago when he was all messed up on heroin. I mean, you could, but God, if you didn’t dump him for being a junkie, it seems silly to dump him over this. No, you should stay with him and see where this relationship goes. But you should work on your self-esteem in the meantime.

One of the reasons you can’t talk yourself into believing your boyfriend didn’t mean those things he said or that it isn’t a big deal if he did is that he unintentionally confirmed your insecurities. You look in the mirror and think it’s impossible for your boyfriend to love what you see because YOU don’t love what you see. That’s what you need to work on. And it is work. It won’t come easily. You have to either change your mindset or change your body. Or both. If you feel like you could “stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds,” how about losing five or ten pounds? Ten pounds is usually a whole dress size and it’s a goal that’s reachable and noticeable on most of us. Even if no one else notices, you will and that will go a long way in changing your mindset and making you feel good about yourself. I’d also suggest taking some fitness classes that encourage body-awareness and appreciation, like yoga or belly dancing (where being curvy is a plus!). And as counter-intuitive as this may sound, a boudoir photo shoot could be a great way to feel good about what God gave you. With the right lighting, makeup, clothing and photographer, the human body — imperfections, extra pounds and all — is the most beautiful thing in the world. Valentine’s Day is coming up. What a perfect excuse to look into booking a boudoir shoot. One day when you’re old and wrinkly, you’ll love having sexy, professional photos from way back in the day to remind yourself what a hot young thing you used to be.

Don’t wait decades to appreciate and love the current you. Get to work on loving what you have now.

P.S. “Dirty German porn”? Really?

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

126 comments… add one
  • Budj

    Budj January 11, 2012, 3:06 pm

    Great advice. Exactly what I was thinking when reading.

    If he has done nothing since then to make you question your attractiveness then I would try and leave it in the past…and Wendy’s suggestions are a great way to do that.

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      Mel January 11, 2012, 3:22 pm

      “If he has done nothing since then to make you question your attractiveness then I would try and leave it in the past”

      That’s what I was thinking. He said something stupid once. Once. He acted (and continues to act) like she’s hot a crapload of times.

      When a letter’s like “He says he loves me but he cheats on me and hits me and so on” we tell the LW to judge a man by his actions, not his words. I think that advice also applies here. Especially when a stupid comment in the interwebs written when he was doing drugs is the one single thing that’s bothering her in the relationship.

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        iseeshiny January 11, 2012, 5:21 pm

        Yes! And it’s not like he said it to her. He said it in a place he thought she would never find it. That’s like dishing with your girlfriends about how your ex had a bigger dick only to find that he followed you to the bar (to see if you were watching dirty German porn) and overheard.

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        Jay January 12, 2012, 4:33 am

        Hahaha!! Right on! That’s exactly what the LW should read.

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    MissDre January 11, 2012, 3:17 pm

    I’m actually hoping to do a boudoir photoshoot for myself in the near future! So, I say this is an awesome idea 🙂 I’ve really struggled with insecurities about my body for at least a decade now if not more. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve begun to accept myself and realize that yeah, I am beautiful! It’s a hard road but the biggest things that helped me were:

    #1. I stopped dieting! No more yo-yos of starving and then bingeing. I guess seeing a shrink about other mental issues really helped me stop the emotional eating.

    #2. I stopped weighing myself. Ever. And once I stopped, I slowly stopped obsessing.

    #3. I listen to my guy when he tells me my ass is sexy. Yes, my big size 12-14 ass that boys in high school told me was nasty. Well you know what boys? My MAN loves it! And now, so do I!

    Girl, get all dressed up, get your nails and your hair done, buy a new outfit that flatters your figure and you feel great in, and tell yourself everyday that you’re beautiful and amazing. It takes practice, but eventually you’ll really believe it 🙂

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      honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 3:38 pm

      Excellent advice 🙂 I have often tried “dieting” but now am just making healthier choices. Choice #1 – I gave up soda all together (I fell off that wagon after about 3 months, but now only drink 1 per day or less and am working on making it go away again). In 3 1/2 months from doing nothing different but getting rid of soda, I lost 17 lbs. I also just try to replace some junk with good foods. Instead of grabbing that bag of doritos, I grab some grapes or an apple or carrots. I still weigh myself occasionally but not as obsessively as I was (about 1 time a month).

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        bethany January 11, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Try giving up juice next! That stuff is LOADED with sugar! At first it was pretty hard, especially not having OJ in the morning, but we’ve been a water only household for about a year now. After a few months you don’t even miss it.

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        honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 4:05 pm

        When I first quit drinking soda, I replaced it with juice until I realized it was just as bad, so I switched to water only. The holidays ruined my no soda for me. I was going to family events and everyone kept waving the soda in front of me and I broke down, so now I have to start all over. But at least now I know I can do it.

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      • katie

        katie January 11, 2012, 9:01 pm

        i dont know what it is about myself or my upbringing or whatever, but i cant ever drink soda or juice or whatever. i drink water. if i do drink a soda, its like those little baby cans. i cant even finish a whole soda if i wanted to! and the same with juice. it is very odd….

        but, what i wanted to say to you was to treat sodas like dessert! when i do have a soda, it is in the same setting that i would have a bunch of dessert too, like a party or whatever. so dont beat yourself up that you “broke down”, just recognize that it was the holidays and you deserve a soda during the holidays just as much as your deserve pie and cookies! that is my take on sodas, anyway.

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        bethany January 12, 2012, 12:06 pm

        I slip up every now and then and have one (like last night at Burger King!), or if I’m at my parent’s house. The key is to keep it out of your house! If you don’t buy it, you don’t drink it! We only buy soda if we are having people over and we know they’ll drink it. Other than that, we don’t keep soda or juice in the house anymore.

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        6napkinburger January 11, 2012, 4:26 pm

        I’m so jealous that you have a vice that is so easy to swap out. I don’t drink soda. Or juice. Or coffee. So no 17 pounds for me.

        My problem is candy. Apparently today is admit my addictions day so there it is. Not in a jokey way. Not in an exaggerated way. I am quite literally addicted to sugar. Ive tried to go cold turkey. I’ve tried to go not cold turkey. I’ve tried not having any in the house,a nd that just means 2 am runs to the 24 hour cvs feeling dirty. I’ve tried macrobiotic-like diets, I’ve tried using a glycemic index to evaluate everything I eat. I can make it a couple of days but then the withrdawal gets to be too much. I get headaches and incredibly irritable and can’t fight the cravings. It sucks.It’s also why i’ve never tried drugs. Way too risky. (and yet, I am a totally normal social alcohol drinker, with no alcoholic tendencies. so go figure).

        I think I’m going to try the macrobiotic-type diet again and try to use fruit to feed the cravings. Then at least I’m getting nutrients, even though the calories are the same. IF I could cut out candy, like, skittles, actual candy, I think I could lose a good amount. I just can’t seem to do it. Anyone tried hypnosis?

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      • Budj

        Budj January 11, 2012, 4:33 pm

        I too suffer from many addictions…haha…I find when I stay busy my mind gets off it…I was on a no candy related sugar run for almost a year, but then the holiday grazing really blew that one….trying to get back off the sugar kick….if you can make it a few weeks it should get easier.

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        honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 4:48 pm

        I love candy. I try really hard not to keep it in the house, but that never works. I have a drawer full of it at work (and if I don’t, I know who does). That is my next step after getting rid of the soda again is to lay off the candy. One thing that got me thinking was when I was sitting here eating cordial cherries and I looked at the nutrional stats (bad idea) and there’s 150 calories in a serving and a serving is 2! I can eat the whole damn box easily. Jeez.

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        6napkinburger January 11, 2012, 5:11 pm

        The only thing I’ve ever been able to manage was to stop eating all processed food. As in nothing that comes in a package or needs to have a nutrion label . I did that for 3 months and was actually post-candy when something I don’t remember caused me to stop. I do well with hard and fast rules. Moderation is something I can’t do, because I can convince myself that I will be moderate tomorrow. But rules have no wiggle room.

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        LSD January 11, 2012, 5:10 pm

        I was having a similar problem and I now eat Honeycrisp apples at lunch to get the yummy sweet sugar and to help me think that I am getting a dessert. They work well because they are really sweet. Try that.

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        6napkinburger January 11, 2012, 5:15 pm

        I’m allergic to raw apples. And he latest book says that inflammation is a huge reason why it’s hard for some people to lose weight and to never eat foods that you are at all allergic to. And I’m allergic to everything. THe reason I started eating candy was hat it’s the only thing that didn’t give me bellyaches as a child brought early twenties. My stomach has toughened but the habit remains. I can only eat berries and melons, both which are heavily seasonal.

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        lk January 11, 2012, 5:27 pm

        i keep berries in my freezer & buy TONS when they’re in season & cheap : )

        i add them to yogurt or eat them plain & frozen with a bite of 90% dark chocolate or a few nuts when i want a “candy” snack – they taste like candy !

        or brie & jam instead of candy ? buying organic/no-preserve/healthy-sweetener jam ?

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        mcminnem January 11, 2012, 6:16 pm

        Yes yes yes. Frozen blueberries go down like skittles, they are so tasty.

        Also, try making treat bars with granola and dried fruit – my mom does one with granola, corn flakes, and dried cranberries, held together with a mixture of peanut butter and rice syrup and with just the teeeeeeniest bit of melted chocolate drizzled on top. They are TO DIE FOR.

        Of course, something like that isn’t exactly low-cal, but it’s full of good nutrients and real foods instead of processed sugar, and to be honest I find them so sweet that I can only eat one or two pieces before I start finding it too much. Kills sweet cravings dead.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 12, 2012, 7:57 am

        I don’t know if this will help or not but hope it does. Both of my kids have incredibly sensitive stomachs. My son would vomit over all kinds of foods. Trying to find a solution I finally found that the lining of the gut is made almost entirely of the amino acid l-glutamine. Most people make all of the l-glutamine that they need but a few individuals don’t. Both of my kids take l-glutamine every day and both can eat anything when they do. You would probably need about two to four grams per day, depending on how much your body made (if that was your problem.) My daughter also had the wrong gut flora and so she also takes a probiotic chew everyday.

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        Elle January 11, 2012, 6:18 pm

        @6napkin, I’m a smoker, so I know it’s hard to quit something. I’ve been trying for a while. Right now, I’m at a place where I smoke half of what I used to. Sometimes, when I would have only 4 smokes left, I would tell myself I’ll get a new pack tomorrow, so those 4 smokes have to last me for 24 hours. I can go 10 hours during the day without a smoke now. I admit, I smoke in the morning – it’s good with coffee, and before I go to bed, ’cause I’m really bored.

        so, do you know how much candy you eat in a day? Put it in a ziploc bag at the beginning of the day, and only eat from that ziploc bag. No cheating! (that ziploc bag would be like my pack of smokes, ’cause there’s only 20 smokes in a pack). A week later, put one less (or two) less candy in that bag. I have a feeling that if you eat 20 candies a day, if you eat one less, you won’t miss it that much. Maybe, if sometimes you have candy left in the bag at the end of the day, you reward yourself with something nice?

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        bethany January 12, 2012, 12:10 pm

        This will be a sucky time of year to give fruit a try (January Strawberries- Ick!), but try to stick with it!

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        Honey April 17, 2014, 1:05 am

        Replace candy with loads of fruit an you will be fine. eat strawberry banana smoothies. watermelon. pineapple. grapes. Whatever works for you. Just eat fruit its better than sugar. Fruit can be just as fun as candy. I love watermelon and especially smoothies made with orange juice, strawberries and frozen bananas. Sometimes I put in a handful of spinach for extra ( you wont taste it I promise) energy. Dates are nice alternatives too. Especially when they are rolled in coconut..mmmm
        Good luck luv

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        AKchic January 11, 2012, 4:35 pm

        I dropped 17lbs in 10 days thanks to a stomach issue. Now I’m on this bland “diet” for a while until my stomach settles back into a normalcy. I’m hoping to drop another 20 or so pounds and get down to 140. I know I’m only dreaming, but it would be nice…

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        SpyGlassez January 12, 2012, 1:42 am

        For me, giving up salt – not cooking with it or anything – and not using oil in cooking (using water or a tiny bit of white wine) lost me 12 lbs in about 3 months. I cut back on soda during that time too. It isn’t much, but it was noticeable and I FELT better. My metabolism is shot to shit and I won’t ever be the 120lbs I was in college, but just dropping below 200 felt WONDERFUL.

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      Anna January 12, 2012, 3:04 am

      You are so right. High school boys don’t know what’s sexy. I am size 14 and my man loves my curves. I do work out but he tells me not to get too skinny!

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  • Tracey

    Tracey January 11, 2012, 3:21 pm

    “Dirty German Porn” – the new euphemism for “I wasn’t snooping, I swear….”

    Wendy’s advice is spot on, LW. Now please stop looking for trouble where there isn’t any. It’s going to erode the trust you two have in each other.

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      Mainer January 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

      It’d be too bad if you were “just looking for dirty German porn” and you actually ended up finding dirty German porn, because, I mean, you can’t really get upset – you were looking for the stuff. And it’s tough to back out of that situation. “No, I swear, I was really just snooping. I wasn’t looking for it, I promise. No, please. I really don’t want to watch that. I’m not being coy, I think it’s weird.” Next thing you know you’re indulging a fantasy that involves a third party member named Bertha, who recently finished third in a truck pulling competition, while all wearing traditional Oktoberfest beer outfits and utilizing the ‘ol glass boot, but not for footwear ifyaknowwhatimean. So let that be a lesson. You’re not fooling anyone with the old dirty German porn bit. It’ll just come back to bite you in the ass.

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        lets_be_honest January 11, 2012, 3:42 pm

        I hope I’m not offending anyone but…JESUS! That is some scary sh*t right there Mainer. I will forever heed your warning.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 3:44 pm

        What happens when one “looks for german porn” and finds… other types of porn? Like tentacle-rape, Bible Black, or some other creepy hentai? Or that freaky Spongebob porn? Or a weird scab-picking fetish? Or bukkakes?

        …Holy shit why the fuck do I know about all that.

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        honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 3:45 pm

        Spongebob porn????

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 3:48 pm

        Ah, the sweet, blissful ignorance of one who has never been to 4chan.

        Yes, Spongebob porn. Don’t look it up. Don’t go to 4chan.

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        honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 4:06 pm

        Well, now I’m going to have to look it up. But I’m thinking I should wait until I get home and not look it up at work.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 4:13 pm

        It doesn’t come up if you just google “Spongebob porn”, I just checked 😀 it’s just… regular spongebob porn. Not the freaky one.

        Still, don’t google “Spongebob porn” at work, please.

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        lets_be_honest January 11, 2012, 4:28 pm

        Do I really live in a world that includes Spongebob porn? I’m scared.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 4:37 pm

        Not only it includes Spongebob porn, but it has more than one kind of Spongebob porn. And I just realized I’m drinking from a Patrick glass I got at Universal Studios. I don’t know how to feel about that.

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        iseeshiny January 12, 2012, 11:48 am

        It’s called Rule 32. It’s the worst rule ever.

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        iseeshiny January 12, 2012, 12:41 pm

        Oops, 34. Rule 32 isn’t so bad actually.

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        Britannia January 11, 2012, 4:28 pm

        Seriously, DO. NOT. GO. TO. 4CHAN.

        It cannot be unseen.

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        honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 4:49 pm

        That makes me want to go more. I really think someone needs to invent brain bleach. It would help a lot.

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        fallonthecity January 11, 2012, 10:11 pm

        Truth. *shudder*

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      • Tracey

        Tracey January 11, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Is is wrong to say I kinda want to see that? (What? Don’t look at me like that…you’re curious too…admit it….)

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        Eljay January 11, 2012, 5:36 pm

        Oh I know, right!? MUST. SEE. NOW. I can’t “not” see it now. You all have pretty much guaranteed that I won’t be happy until I do. Thanks for that. 🙂

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 5:47 pm

        Dude, you will be anything but happy once you’ve seen it. And I’ll repeat myself, googling “spongebob porn” won’t get you to the freaky spongebob porn I was talking about. Googling “freaky spongebob porn” won’t get you to it either, so my guess is you’re all safe 🙂

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      • Budj

        Budj January 11, 2012, 3:47 pm

        Creepier than sponge bob porn are the ads where the simpsons and family guy families are all having incestuous sex with one another…wtf…

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        mcminnem January 11, 2012, 3:56 pm

        “Are you making weird porn again, Germany?”

        http://satwcomic.com/how-to-keep-friends

        WHY DO I REMEMBER THESE THINGS

        (don’t worry, SFW.)

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      • Lili

        Lili January 11, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Tis True. I can’t watch Family guy anymore ever since that one ad with Meg and Lois in a lesbian tryst. TOO. DIRTY. Its incest, even if they are cartoons.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 11, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Brian porking Lois is even worse, imo tbh.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 4:09 pm

        I’ve seen worse things that included the family guy characters. Way worse. Meg and Louis specifically.

        Rule 34.

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      • Lili

        Lili January 11, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Not gonna lie, a creepy part of me is curious. I’m sure after one too many vodka sodas on a night by myself I’ll be googling those terms.

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        lets_be_honest January 11, 2012, 4:29 pm

        Its all fun and games til your boyfriend sees your browsing history and shows up in a spongebob costume one night. Yikes!

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      • Lili

        Lili January 11, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Good thing I’m single then–no worries about browser history issues…Yet. And I do love spongebob’s optimism, can we please make sure he has that in this scenario. I would totally drunkenly bang my imaginary but incredibly hot future boyfriend if he were wearing a spongebob costume. As long as he didn’t call me Patrick.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 4:31 pm

        I can’t help but want to feed the creepy parts of people. Look up the origin behind the meme “what is this I don’t even” when you’re feeling especially creepy and you’ll know what I was talking about. You’ll (most definitely not) thank me later.

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      • Budj

        Budj January 11, 2012, 4:34 pm

        Thanks for tempting me…I hope I forget about this thread between now and when I drive home.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow January 11, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Ouch.

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        Taylor January 11, 2012, 5:00 pm

        Eww.

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      • Tracey

        Tracey January 11, 2012, 4:26 pm

        Mainer, I’m laughing so hard, I can’t breathe. So funny…so true….

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        AKchic January 11, 2012, 4:37 pm

        *sigh* By “dirty German porn”, I know exactly what she meant. None of you want to know. Seriously.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 4:38 pm

        I do!

        (What?)

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      • Lili

        Lili January 11, 2012, 4:59 pm

        I totally wish I wasn’t at work right now. Um Wendy, can we get one of those delete right away threads on a weekend where we can link and discuss weird porn links. Like German porn, spongebob porn and whatever this 4chan thing is.

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        Mel January 11, 2012, 5:08 pm

        First rule about 4chan is you don’t talk about 4chan. The second rule is you do NOT talk about 4chan. But I totally just broke then both so who cares. I’ll tell you all about it if you promise not to go and it’ll get deleted soon.

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        AKchic January 11, 2012, 6:30 pm

        *laugh* If I was at home, I would write up a post detailing some of the very disgusting things I know about the sexual perversion realm. From fetishes, positions, and anatomy to very personal (and degrading/scarring) experiences. For now, I’m at work, and believe me, it’s not safe for work (yours), and for some individuals, it’s not safe for the psyche.

        Of course, it would explain my warped personality…

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        Lindsey January 11, 2012, 6:38 pm

        Just wanted to say, there’s a dictionary of sexual fetishes. Yea, talk about eye opening (and I write porn). My favourite one is about licking eyeballs. Yep, eye opening indeed 🙂 🙂

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      • Budj

        Budj January 12, 2012, 12:02 pm

        That is sooo unsanitary.

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        Daisy January 12, 2012, 2:06 am

        I think I live on the other side of the world from a lot of you, so by the time I get to work in the morning there are usually already about 100 comments. In regard to this particular chain, let me just say WOW. Well done, folks, well done 😛

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      • rainbow

        rainbow January 12, 2012, 7:38 am

        Where do you live?

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        AKchic January 12, 2012, 12:49 pm

        I feel the same sometime, living in AK. By the time I get to work, some folks have already had a few hours with the first letter of the day (it’s noon on the east coast at 8am in AK). When I’m leaving work at 5pm, it’s 9pm for Wendy.

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    Sistine January 11, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Awesome advice, Wendy.

    LW, I also want you to pay attention to the fact that he actually told you he said those things as a way for him to distance himself from you during the rough time in your relationship. He may have been looking for a way to sabotage it because of what was going on. He might have been trying to nit pick apart your relationship or find an issue with you to form some kind of denial about coming clean, or getting serious, or putting you through his rehabilitation. Basically, he told you he didn’t mean what he said. If this one post is the only incident where you have any inkling he doesn’t find you attractive, it’s best to try and move past it. Obviously he loves you very much and finds you attractive. Work on your own self esteem and feel good about yourself.

    Once my boyfriend got really drunk and we got into a fight where he said something very mean to me. It was downright cruel. We had been together for years and I had never seen any kind of behavior like this ever before. The next day after he was sober, he apologized profusely and told me he didn’t mean what he said. What he said really hurt me but I do believe him when he said he didn’t mean it and didn’t know what he was saying. We’ve moved past it and things are great between us. The point is, everyone is human and makes mistakes. Everyone at some point in their life will say something they don’t mean out of anger, exasperation, drunkenness, or whatever reason. Your boyfriend said what he said before he was clean and before you both overcame it together. He told you he didn’t mean it and just said it in the moment. And if he’s never shown anything to you other than that, I think you should believe him.

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      mcminnem January 11, 2012, 4:04 pm

      I totally agree.

      The reason he gave is not a pulled-out-of-one’s-ass excuse sort of reason. It takes time and thought and self-examination to even realize why you may be doing certain things when you’re in a bad place, and it takes maturity to own up to it to someone else.

      LW, he’s admitting to you that he said what he said as a form of self-sabotage – trying to come up with things that were wrong so that he wouldn’t have to do the hard work it took to stay with you. That is a tough, tough thing to admit. And when you get down to it, he obviously cared and loved you enough to get over his issues and DO that hard work for real, because he’s here now.

      I’d say you can take him at his word.

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        Sistine January 11, 2012, 4:18 pm

        Yes, “self sabotage.” You put it into words better than I could.

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        6napkinburger January 11, 2012, 4:39 pm

        I’m sorry, but I kind of disagree. I don’t doubt that he loves her and don’t doubt that he thinks she’s sexy. But I feel this is the kind of rationalization that led to “he’s just not that into you.” Even if he was trying to distance himself, I bet he thinks the ex has a better body. It doesn’t change the fact of that. Which is what the LW knows and why it makes her feel bad.

        That said, I totally think that LW should take his attraction to her at face value– at what she sees on a day-to-day. It hurts knowing that your SO thinks someone is more attractive than you. But all of ours do. Either its beyonce or elisha cuthbert or keira knightley or the entire VS angel fleet. There is someone who your person thinks is hotter than you. But so what? He’s with you! He loves you! He thinks you’re hot! He gets hard for you, thinking about you!

        I totally agree with Wendy about making changes to feel better about yourself. I am trying to try to do that. That’s pathetic, I know, but I am trying to try. I know how much better I felt. Be the person you want him to see, within healthy and realistic reason!

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        Robin January 11, 2012, 7:37 pm

        Totally agree with this. My boyfriend made a thoughtless comment once and I was feeling really bad about it. But when I thought about it, I realized other guys I’ve dated have been better in one way or another. Guy X was smarter than my boyfriend or Guy Y had a sixpack or Guy Z was taller… but I don’t like any of them as much. Because they’re not the whole package. I love him because he’s him, because even if he doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s funny and makes me smile and has nice eyes and we have such a good time together. And he feels the same about me. Realistically, yes, my stomach isn’t as flat as a previous girlfriend’s or my thighs have more cellulite or whatever, but they were lacking other things that I do have… and he’s chosen me now and makes it clear that he loves me the most.

        I find this helpful to think. I’m not the hottest woman in the world, but in the eyes of my boyfriend, I’m the best, and that’s what’s important, right?

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose January 11, 2012, 3:32 pm

    We hear it all the time, but it’s so true…how can anyone love you if you don’t love yourself? If YOU start to believe good things about yourself, not only will you love yourself a heck of a lot more, but you’ll be a lot more inclined to believe in and bask in his compliments.

    Wendy has a lot of excellent suggestions. Start with small changes and build from there. Focus on 5 pounds, then 10. Write down a list of things you like about yourself, physical and otherwise, and add to it as time goes by. Get some self esteem books from the library, or buy a self esteem workbook (they do exist!)

    And finally, a thousand times yes to the budior pictures! I got pin-up pictures taken in November, and I legitametly can’t stop staring at pictures of myself. Me, flaws and all, looking that good? It’s pretty amazing. I got a print of my favorite one and it’s on my dresser where I see my hot self every day.

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    ReginaRey January 11, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I agree with Wendy! Despite what your boyfriend said on an online post, your confidence needs a boost no matter what.

    There are so many ways to go about learning to embrace your body and your particular brand of attractive. A new haircut and color works for me, as does buying clothes that emphasize certain assets while skimming over those I’m not as pleased with. I’d also suggest going to a makeup counter and having someone give you a demonstration – Just pick someone whose makeup you like and would want to wear on a daily basis. You may have to buy a few items, but hey, it’s worth it to get a nice demonstration AND walk away with some new goodies!

    And yes, if you don’t feel great about your body, there are always ways to feel better. Personally, I’ve started eating organically and taking daily whole food supplements, which have done wonders for me and the way I feel. Still, I never feel *as good* if I don’t include exercise in that routine. If you can afford it, seeing a personal trainer even once a week (they can usually build you a plan to follow on the days you don’t meet) for even just a few months can help get you into a good exercise routine (and teach you good ways to work out to target your problem areas) and help you lose the first 10 pounds or so – which will motivate you to keep going, if you want.

    I’d also recommend daily affirmations, as lame as that may sound. There are certainly some things you like about your body, so remind yourself when you look at in the mirror: “I have long, pretty eyelashes.” Or “I was blessed with a round butt.” We tend to focus on the things we don’t have, or the things we want to improve, rather than be grateful for the beautiful things we already have. Remind yourself of that!

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      honeybeenicki January 11, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Yes to all that, but especially the affirmations. I recommend having them written down. When I quit smoking (I’m good at quitting things like soda and smoking but always start again – maybe I need to leave the affirmations up longer), I had little posts everywhere I frequented – in the bathroom, bedroom, doors leading out of the house, fridge, on my steering wheel, on my desk, on all of my books and notebooks (I was in grad school) – everywhere. They all said something different and either referenced why I was quitting smoking or something I loved about myself to remind me I could really do it. A tiny post-it can go a long way.

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      Addie Pray January 11, 2012, 3:46 pm

      First, I agree. Second, this made me think of “Jessica’s daily affirmations.” So cute. “I like my haircuts!” I am pretty sure this has been seen by EVERYONE and maybe was even posted here before… but here you go! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

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        rangerchic January 11, 2012, 4:11 pm

        I just watched this and it is so cute! I had not seen this video yet. I wish I could feel like that everyday!!!

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        Elle January 11, 2012, 6:27 pm

        it just so happens I saw this other video of Jessica:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7Ygcl_DQ-Q4
        hard to believe, and yes, it’s the same girl!

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        Addie Pray January 11, 2012, 9:57 pm

        that’s hilarious. you fine, you fine, you fine.

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    Francine January 11, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I think the way you feel about yourself is the key to this issue too. If you were confident about yourself and read that, your thoughts would’ve probably been closer to “He doesn’t know what the eff he’s talking about!” And when you heard his explanation it wouldn’t be difficult to believe. But because your self esteem sits on shaky ground it’s left you wondering.

    I’d say work on your self esteem. And that’s not something that can be solved with compliments from your boyfriend or others. It has to do with your own feelings about yourself. Sure, the compliments are nice but if you need them to feel good about yourself you aren’t there yet.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar January 11, 2012, 3:47 pm

    My dear, your “very traditionally attractive: tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, great swimmer’s body” boyfriend loves and wants to be with YOU. Why do you suppose that is?
    Mel is totally right – judge him by his actions and not his words. You owe him that.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 11, 2012, 4:07 pm

    “My boyfriend is very traditionally attractive: tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, great swimmer’s body. I’m not unattractive by any means, but I’m more on the curvy side and could certainly stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds.”

    LW, I hear you! You described my guy to a tee. We’re both attractive people but he’s lean, fit, and has the kind of looks that people are always commenting on (“Yes, he’s cute! Thanks! I get it!”). AND, in our time together, I have gained a little extra…. I could totally stand to lose 10 lbs (I’m gonna! I swear! In the Spring…..) Sometimes I feel like “chopped liver” because, as far as I can tell, people aren’t gushing to him about my looks. I think that’s partly because MOST women maximize their looks, dress well, etc, so there are lots of pretty girls around but maybe not as many notably attractive men. Plus, as we age, his looks “refine” and mine as no longer “fresh” (or so it feels).

    (wow, does that make any sense? I don’t know)

    Anyway, point is that I have the same insecurities and I DIDN’T read any comments questioning my appearance. So I can only imagine how YOU’D feel.

    Great advice from Wendy. I may just follow it myself.

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      AKchic January 11, 2012, 4:40 pm

      Some people age like a fine wine… others age like a rotting apple or molding bread… ’nuff said there.

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    Ktfran January 11, 2012, 4:15 pm

    I agree with what everyone else has said. I would also like to add, once you start believing you are a hottie, your boyfriend will think you’re exponentially hotter. I say exponentially because he already thinks you’re pretty darn cute.

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    heidikins January 11, 2012, 4:17 pm

    “With the right lighting, makeup, clothing and photographer, the human body — imperfections, extra pounds and all — is the most beautiful thing in the world.” Um…is this supposed to inspire self confidence in the LW? Because even WITHOUT the lighting, makeup, clothing, and professional photographer the human body is pretty damn amazing.

    LW, you are beautiful, just as you are. And it seems that you have found a man who sees that, who sees YOU. Hang on to that, hang on to him. If you were strong enough to help him through a heroin addiction, perhaps he can be strong enough to help you through some of these insecurities, but–and this is the important part–you have to WANT to change your opinions of yourself, and you have to LET your boyfriend help you through it instead of pushing him away or always believing he is lying to you when he says he thinks you’re beautiful. Take him at his word and stop putting yourself down.

    xox

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet January 11, 2012, 4:30 pm

    This is a perfect example of why snooping is always a bad idea. Even unintentional snooping, like the LW claims, can wreck relationships. When people take the time to write their thoughts down, it is usually because they are searching for clarity. It sounds like the boyfriend was doing just that. Venting his frustrations with his current situation. He was writing anonymously in what he felt was a safe-haven. It’s understandable that he doesn’t want his words analyzed… especially since he has proven that he finds the LW attractive in many ways. He never expected her to read that. It might as well have been a private journal.

    Of course this is a self-esteem issue, but I encourage the LW to think about it from her boyfriend’s point of view.

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    ForeverYoung January 11, 2012, 4:32 pm

    LW,
    It would help if we got this out of the way right away so that we can get to the bottom or your question quickly – NEVER believe or trust anything that someone on drugs says. Ever. Most addicts (as i’m sure you remember) don’t even know what the truth is anymore because they are so used to living a lie that they believe their own bullshit. It’s this vicious cycle. So you should take comfort in the fact that he might not even know why he said that. Maybe his ex did drugs and so he wanted to think she was hotter and better for him than you. Or maybe he does know and it really was a self-sabotage type thing. But the good news for you is that you don’t have to care, you can just assume that he didn’t mean it, or at the very least he had extremely self serving reasons for saying that. I hope that helps.

    So moving on… I agree with Wendy that the main issue here is about how you view your own body, not how your boyfriend views it. I can relate – I too have a love/hate relationship with my body. I know I am a normal weight (I am kind of obsessive about weighing myself and staying within my BMI range). That does not stop me from thinking my stomach is too big and my arms are flabby. I am going through a period of body hatred right now actually. I have to make a concentrated effort to remind myself of the good things about my body: Now that I am on the upper end of my healthy BMI my boobs are bigger. (I really just want to not care about that and just remind myself that my boobs are bigger because EVERYTHING is bigger). I remind myself that I have curves. I’m softer.

    But most importantly, I remind myself that if I am unhappy with my body, I should change it. Not for my husband, because like your boyfriend he loves me the way I am. But I want it to change. I am not as comfortable wearing tight clothes because my stomach hasn’t been flat since the summer. So, just yesterday I started going to the gym again. Last time I brought groceries I bought a lot of ready-to-eat healthy snacks. I am making an effort to change my own perceptions of myself. When I am doing something about the way I look I feel more in control. And at least for me, when I feel like I am in control of my own body I feel empowered, not insecure about it.

    I know it’s cheesy and extremely cliche, but when it comes to my relationship with my body this prayer always resonates with me: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    I can change my eating habits. I can work out more (at least I can do some work outs more often – hello hot yoga, you are my friend). I will always be top heavy. I will always gain weight first in my arms stomach and boobs.

    If your relationship with your boyfriend is amazing, don’t let your insecurities destroy it, because you will be insecure about your body whether your boyfriend is around or not. Work on changing your body, or at least work on changing your perception of your body.

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      heidikins January 11, 2012, 4:37 pm

      “you will be insecure about your body whether your boyfriend is around or not.” This is dead on.

      xox

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    Turtledove January 11, 2012, 4:45 pm

    I’m going to add to Wendy’s advice– if you have even a smidgen of drawing ability, I highly recommend taking a figure drawing class, or if not, modeling for one. Not so much to gain skill at drawing, although gaining skills is also a great way to gain confidence, but it forces you to really look at the human body and how it’s put together– and it teaches you to find beauty in all bodies.

    Figure drawing teachers only choose “perfect” models when they can’t find anyone else because perfect people aren’t really very interesting to draw. Modeling for a class or sitting for an individual artist is also great because all of a sudden you’ve got a group of people who are talking about how beautiful the curve of your knee is or the play of light and shadow across your shoulders. I think it’s a great way to learn that there are other types of beauty than the one that the media thrusts at us on a daily basis.

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    OneSpiritEternal January 11, 2012, 5:02 pm

    LW, yes, he posted that comment you found hurtful on a message board. He never verbalized the comment to you, and he’s horrified you saw it. Don’t keep making him pay for that one mistake that was more about him than about you.

    Your dilema isn’t what your boyfriend wrote, your dilema is that you’re pinning your happiness on an external factor. If you could stand to lose 20-30 pounds, give yourself some REALISTIC goals around weight loss. Get more active, eat less, get a physical from your doctor that tests for things that could impede weight loss (thyroid, fasting insulin test, etc.)

    Look at yourself in the mirror every day and find ONE THING that you like about your appearance. After a lifetime of self-esteem issues, believing in yourself is so much easier said than done. Are you loveable? Obviously – there’s someone out there who loves you. Are you going to demean his love for you by saying you’re not worthy of it? If one person out there thinks you’re worth it, work on how you feel about yourself. You’ve made mistakes in life. Show me anyone who survived high school and HASN’T made misteakes.

    Whitney Houston once sang “The Greatest Love of All”. Listen to that song. Reach out to the child inside you who wants to keep hiding in the dark, and embrace her. Love her. One of my favorite songs is one you’ll probably never hear on the radio (lyrics below):

    How could anyone ever tell you
    you are anything less than beautiful?
    How could anyone ever tell you
    you were less than whole?
    How could anyone fail to notice
    that your loving is a miracle?
    How deeply you’re connected to my soul.

    Search for the core of your beliefs that you aren’t enough. Stop being a victim of your own thoughts. Again, easier said than done, and it takes a SERIOUS amount of soul searching and journaling. But I promise you, the YOU that you find is worth it, and the you that you are now deserves to be healed. You deserve love. You deserve happiness. And you deserve to believe in yourself. No matter what anyone else says.

    Good luck, LW. You are in my thoughts.

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  • rubyroo

    Ruby January 11, 2012, 5:07 pm

    When people really fall in love with one another, it’s not because they think their partner is ‘hot’. It’s because two people connect on all different kinds of levels. It’s easy to be attracted to someone because they are good-looking, but being REALLY attracted to someone and connected to them goes way deeper than just what’s on the outside. It may be cliche but it’s true.
    LW, even if his ex girlfriend is physically ‘hotter’ than you (and attractiveness is subjective anyway), who cares? He’s with you right now, not her. Maybe you’re funnier than she is, or more intelligent, or maybe you just click with him better than she did! Maybe your chemistry together is stronger than it was with her! There’s so much more to a relationship than what your body looks like.
    I agree…if you can learn to love your body more and feel hot, it doesn’t matter what his ex gf looks like!

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    atraditionalist January 11, 2012, 5:23 pm

    I get where you’re coming from LW – things like finding an ex hotter are really hard to get out of our heads and once they’re in there they’re stuck. You’ve got to do what’s right for your own peace of mind – whether that involves breaking things off or not. if you just can’t go back then don’t force it – let the relationship go. And in the future don’t keep clicking through sites. I don’t believe that you weren’t snooping when you found his postings on a forum.

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    lk January 11, 2012, 5:37 pm

    i don’t have time to read other comments.. but i don’t believe you that you weren’t snooping : / sorry… i mean, you may have *thought* you weren’t… but you were. going through browser history or recently-visited is Looking for Something – no matter how vague your imagination is about Something.

    also, you say you’ve been official for 6 months & he’s been clean for 5 ? what were you doing for the 4 months before he was clean or the 3 months before you were official ?

    aren’t addicts supposed to be clean for a year before they start dating someone ? not replacing the drug with a new crutch (you) ?

    if things started getting sour & you got into a fight with him & you went in & found him using, how would you feel ? about your boyfriend & about your own drug history ?

    i feel nervous for you.

    all those things said, i agree that you don’t have to worry about him saying anything about your body. he said it, riffing on an anonymous-ish forum, just playing around with his feelings out loud. he was probably surprised to find himself so attracted to you (as he clearly is) when you are different than what he’s used to. i remember being shocked at how attracted i am to my 5-6 cutie after never dating anyone under 6-3. you heard it here, first, though: i’m cr8zy about him. & i enjoy sex with him INFINITELY more & have a million times more passion towards him than with any guy i was with before. so…. that’s not a problem. but, like i said, i still think y’all might have issues.

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    Sarah January 11, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Oh hi. Remember a while back when I talked about reading my brand new bf’s journal and finding something that said, “I think Sarah is great or whatever, but then why does my heart do this . . . thing, when I think of [x]?” X being the girl he hooked up with while we were in the dating/sleeping-over/not-yet-had-the-exclusivity-talk stages. (And also the girl who had previously begun dating a boy I had hooked up with and had a crush on. Insult, meet injury!) HOO BOY. I FEEL YOU LW LIKE WHOA.

    (Also because just this past weekend? While bf and I were shopping for eyeglasses for me? Who should we run into but X, whom I’ve never spoken to, ever, and whom neither of us has seen for nearly five years at least? Oh, it was so horrible.)

    Okay, so I’m going to analogize to my own situation now!
    1) the reason why you still feel like garbage is because you’re not completely convinced that he feels lucky to be with you. After all, people stay in crap relationships all the time–even boys: sex on (relative) demand, stasis, mortgages/leases, etc. So that would explain how he could have a relatively low opinion of you/your hotness/your character etc. and still stick around. (In the past, I’ve enjoyed testing this hypothesis by behaving badly, just to see where the line is. Don’t do this.)
    2) His reason doesn’t feel good and convincing, necessarily, it feels like the kind of thing a good liar would come up with to make you feel better about the statement which he knows you saw and he can’t erase from your memory. (That’s what I would think. That’s because I’m an excellent liar and I assume, until evidence shows me otherwise, that other people are too.)
    3) Part of the problem is that mass media (specifically ladymags) are devoted, utterly, to this narrative of, “He’s so insanely hot for you that he can barely think straight! When you walk into a room, his tongue falls out of his mouth! He thinks you’re a goddess and worships the ground you walk on! ‘Cause you’re hot, girl! And he’s so insane for you he doesn’t even NOTICE if you gain 10 pounds because he just thinks you’re the hottest person he’s ever seen, etc.” And I don’t know whether this is some, like, confidence-boosting thing for the readership? But anyone with a brain knows that this is not the case. See 1). People, even dudes, stay in relationships with people for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes these reasons might even override not thinking that your ladyfriend is the hottest. Or even hot.
    4) But we’re conditioned to think that that’s HOW a relationship should look, that that’s HOW your bf should think about you, and we feel inadequate and substandard when confronted with the reality that maybe he doesn’t think you’re the hottest woman alive. Shouldn’t I get to be with someone who really, really wants to be with me?, we think.
    5) Okay, sure, everyone’s boyfriend thinks Keira Knightley is hotter than his girlfriend. The issue, of course, is that the bf will not get the chance to be with KK. Whereas an ex-gf? Or X, in my situation? Always an option for him. (Barring unusual circumstances.) So, you sit there thinking to yourself, whenever he decides he wants someone hotter, he can just go and get her. He has all the power here. He doesn’t want to be with me as much as I want to be with him. And then there is a power imbalance and it feels HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE. And you just sit there and wait for the other shoe to drop and for him to confirm that you are ugly and unlovable and substandard. Yay!

    Okay, commenters. That’s the set of issues here. I don’t think “boosting one’s own self-esteem” is the quick fix some might think it is.

    LW, I feel like the only thing I have to go on is actions. I feel like it’s easier to blow smoke up my a** verbally than by actions. And given 1), of course, one simple action, or even a course of actions, won’t convince me easily. I just have to wait, and let the actions accrue enough to be a solid body of evidence I simply HAVE to take into account.

    (Oh but then? Last weekend after we saw X and we had to go home immediately because NO, and then there was copious crying by me, and I finally, finally asked him the most-embarrassing most-central question that’s been brewing for seven-plus years (“I know it didn’t then, but does your heart ever do that thing NOW when you think about me?”), THE SITUATION IS NOT HELPED WHEN YOU, DEAR BF, ANSWER, “Sure, sometimes.” Fuck me, are you kidding? Jesus. Anyway. It’s a process. LW, I wish you the best of luck. This has gotten way easier–I’m just going through a lot right now and it hit me at a really bad and vulnerable time. We don’t have this conversation very often anymore. But it helps that he’s patient when we have it.)

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    • Lili

      Lili January 11, 2012, 6:05 pm

      I really liked your comment and could relate to all of your feelings, except the x in my picture was just a girl from the gym who was SUPER attractive, like she’d been in workout videos attractive, and she would eye fuck my then boyfriend and hit on him every time he went in. I mean he was pretty cute too and I couldn’t help but thinking he belonged with someone like her way more than with tubby ol me! I am single now and still struggling with the whole nagging feeling of why even bother dating, I mean he can always leave me for someone ‘hotter/nicer/younger/better etc’ but its a process. I have good days and bad.

      My story has a funnyish ending…After my breakup with him, I ended up joining that gym (hey its the closest gym to me too!) and even facebook friending her-yes i am THAT stalker… According to it now that girl is now dating a model looking guy. I actually go to spin with her now and still can’t make eye contact with her other than a casual hello.

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        Sarah January 11, 2012, 6:47 pm

        Agh, my X isn’t even that pretty (although we have different coloring, inasmuch as that’s a “type”). So I guess she’s just got a FUCKING WONDERFUL PERSONALITY.

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        lk January 11, 2012, 7:36 pm

        LOL but at least it sounds like your BF is honest

        if he wanted to just blow you off, he wouldn’t have said “sometimes” he would have been like “oh baby my heart does triple back flips when i even think about thinking about you” lol

        i know what he means, that little jump, & yeah, i hear him – it only happens sometimes – even when your cr8zy about someone : )))))

        sounds like he’s good & loves you : ) so RELAX lol !

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      moonflowers January 13, 2012, 12:07 am

      It’s not particularly helpful when people say “be confident!” – it kinda feels like when you show up at work/school after a few days out sick and there’s a huge backlog and someone has the gall to say “don’t get sick!” As if that’s all that it took.

      Insecurity is a tough nut to crack because it’s a negative feedback cycle – you don’t believe you’re good, so you refuse to believe it when others say you’re good, so you never fully absorb any validation from either yourself or others, and that makes you feel like you’re not good enough…

      There are a few ways to fix this:

      1) Fight irrational thoughts with rational ones. Look up “cognitive distortions,” or even better, “Feeling Good” by Dr. David Burns. The basic idea behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that the thoughts that really bother us are always intimately linked to a fear of abandonment or death (in the bad ol days, abandonment WAS death). Nothing can seriously bug us for a long time if it isn’t being fueled by that deep primal fear of abandonment. And the only way we can tie a particular incident to that abandonment threat is if we’ve somehow linked it all up in our minds.

      For example – “I’m upset my bf thinks his ex was hotter than me” may really be linked to “I’m worried my bf will leave me for a hotter girl like his ex,” which is basically “I’m scared he will leave me” which is that root fear “I’m scared of being abandoned (by my bf)” at its core.

      The way out is to see where you made the links between these ideas, and to figure out if those links are rational or not. Usually those links are subconscious ones, so you sometimes have to dig real deep to question them, but they generally don’t hold up once they’re exposed to daylight.

      Ie the worry “my boyfriend will leave me for a hotter woman” is powered by the idea “people always go for hotter people and seek to maximize hotness over all other traits”. That’s not only kinda ridiculous once you realize it, it’s also powered by the word “always” – a cognitive distortion flag (overgeneralizing, in this case). Have you yourself ever felt more drawn to someone who wasn’t as “hot” but just clicked with you? And what about other traits that make people great partners like supportiveness, patience, and empathy? Are they really all insignificant compared to hotness?

      You can keep doing this – identify the irrational links, figure out which cognitive distortion is linking them, and blast the links to pieces with rational thoughts – until the whole misery-making thought process is gone. 🙂

      2) Let the good soak in. Sometimes people have been told so much to be humble and not let pretty words go to their heads that they block out all of the good. While it’s good to be humble, humility is meant to be polite, not rude, and if you think about it, blatantly rejecting and refusing to believe in someone else’s kind feelings about us (“You’re totally wrong. I suck”) is actually really rude. To the person who is simply trying their best to love you, it tells them you don’t have faith in their generosity and their better feelings and you think they’re totally disconnected from (your messed-up) reality to boot.

      As soon as I realized my insecurity could be hurting others, I realized I had to stop it. I had to choose being happy over being right, being loving over being in control. Oddly enough, admitting I was wrong for feeling so “humble” and “insignificant” actually made me less demanding on the people closest to me, because that meant that I wouldn’t fall apart into an insecure mess and need comforting quite so often. Not that it never happened again afterward, but I know how to remind myself to let go and stop insisting on being right in order to be happier and more loving when I see stuff like this coming on.

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    jaybro January 11, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Maybe this is just me, but I find that people’s “taste” in bodies can change depending on who they’re with. Or they can find someone who they like, but who isn’t their “type”, and so they tell themselves that it would never work because they’re not their type. And it’s not for awhile that they open themselves up and find that hey, she is hot, isn’t she?

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an inkling of a crush on someone who wasn’t my “type” (runner’s body), and I told myself that I wasn’t attracted to them. I would say ehhh he’s okay or ehhh handsome face but this guy is hotter blablabla… Until I continue getting to know them, and find other bits of them attractive (their kindness, their humor, what have you) and then BAM I suddenly find the lanky guy hot as hell!

    So maybe this applies to your boyfriend as well. He had his “type”, and was insistent that that was what was attractive. And you didn’t fit this, so while he liked you, you weren’t as “hot” as the “type”. Because you weren’t his type YET. But then after all you’ve been through, he began to find himself attracted to you in a non-physical way, and then the physical attraction came and now YOU are his type.

    If you asked him, he may say that you’re hotter than his ex, because you’re his type and she’s not anymore, and it’s not even a lie to make you feel better. It’s the damn truth!

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    • avatar

      lk January 11, 2012, 5:49 pm

      i hear this

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      AKchic January 11, 2012, 6:41 pm

      I dunno… my taste in “body type” is a pair of nice, well… breasts. Doesn’t mean I want my male partners growing them.
      I’m sorry, but I prefer the sensuousness of the female form over the male body any day of the week. Doesn’t mean I don’t like guys any less, I just am not attracted to their physical looks. I mean, seriously, have you ever watched a guy do a strip tease? All thrust, no substance. A woman knows how to flaunt and gyrate and MOVE those curves. Much more pleasing to me.

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      mcminnem January 11, 2012, 6:42 pm

      So true! I am sometimes still amazed when I think back to the first date I had with my now-boyfriend, when my friends grilled me after and I was like, “mmm, he’s average.” and they were like, “what, not hot? just average?” Yep, average. But I wanted to keep seeing him because he was sweet and nice and he totally got my nerd-ness, and a month later I was so hot for him I could hardly think. It took getting to know him to turn me on. Now it’s almost two years later and I still get flipflops in my stomach when I see him. Hotness.

      Maaan, now I’ve gone and gotten myself in the mood. Jeez.

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      • avatar

        meg January 11, 2012, 10:26 pm

        I think this is largely a female thing. I too was pretty meh about my “average” looking bf at first, then with time became madly in love with/attracted to him. I don’t think guys are willing to give girls they’re not attracted to from the start the same chance, for the most part.

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    *HmC* January 11, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Um, do you ladies really know what “dirty German porn” is? I mean, it’s probably a lot dirtier than many of you are thinking. Those Germans get super freaky in their porn… I can’t even get myself to type what German porn is known for. :O

    (And no I don’t know this because I actually watch it! Guy friends, I blame my loud mouth guy friends!)

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      Jiggs January 11, 2012, 6:26 pm

      I once had someone return dirty German porn to me accidentally when I worked at a video store. I think I got the gist from the DVD label (very graphic!) So in my case, yes!

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      mcminnem January 11, 2012, 6:34 pm

      And again, I say:

      “Are you making weird porn again, Germany?”

      lol.

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      AKchic January 11, 2012, 6:42 pm

      Yes, I do know. And I’ve warned the “ladies” that they don’t really WANT to know what this is. *sigh* Curiousity kills more than cats, my friend.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 12, 2012, 3:28 am

        ARRRRRGH!!!! I wanna knooooowwww

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    • rainbow

      rainbow January 11, 2012, 6:48 pm

      Scheisse porn?

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        *HmC* January 12, 2012, 12:04 am

        So you guys are kinkier than expected. Not sure if that’s good or bad. 🙂

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    Jiggs January 11, 2012, 6:25 pm

    For body-appreciating exercise I will also add any martial art. I practice mixed martial arts and although I’m not totally over my body hangups it has done so much for me in terms of viewing my body as an instrument and a tool, not something inherently decorative. It put a little voice in my head that turned “Waaah these ill-fitting pants don’t fit because I’m gross!” to “Fuck these ill-fitting, no-hip, prepubescent boy pants. I can roundhouse kick someone in the face motherfucker, I need pants that accomodate muscle.”

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    • katie

      katie January 11, 2012, 9:09 pm

      ahh i love this!!

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    Meredith January 11, 2012, 7:22 pm

    My husband’s ex girlfriends are all prettier than me. Every one of them. About six years ago, his brother, while in a fight with my husband about our relationship said, “I don’t know why you’re even with her, she isn’t that pretty.” Freaking killed my self esteem for a long time, bc that comment confirmed to me my husband always dated girls hotter than me. But you know what? That’s ok because we have other things that make our relationship better than any other we’ve ever had. My husband thinks I’m hot, he is very attracted to both my looks and my personality, and we have a great marriage. It seems like you, LW, share the same things with your boyfriend. Maybe he didn’t initially think your body was as hot as his ex’s, but he still thinks you’re beautiful and sexy, and you guys sound like you have a great relationship now. He obviously didn’t have that with his ex or they wouldn’t have broken up. A great sex life is pretty sound proof that your boyfriend is very attracted to you.
    I’d venture to say most people date at least one person “hotter” than the person they eventually end up falling in love with and getting married to. Most don’t get confronted with evidence that this is true, like you unfortunately did, but you will have to try your best to move past what you saw and gain the confidence that you, flaws and all, are beautiful and the right woman for your boyfriend.

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      lk January 11, 2012, 8:00 pm

      my last boyfriend literally looks like a celebrity (like, the whole time we were dating, every time we went to a restaurant, someone asked if he was X or X – like, ridiculous) but i wouldn’t trade his dumb sexy hockey body & perfectly chiseled cheekbones for the sweet man i have now with his softer body & glasses & full beard & …. gah i can’t i’m getting too turned on LOL

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        Meredith January 11, 2012, 8:33 pm

        My husbands ex fiancé has been on the cover of two magazines..one I happened to see at the grocery store while nice and pregnant (and very round lol) ughhhhh. But I still believe he is more attracted to me than he was to her 🙂

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      • Lili

        Lili January 12, 2012, 12:34 am

        Can I ask your secret? Or what advice you have to deal with those insecure feelings. IS it really as simple as meeting the right guy…and what about that pesky thought that girls throw themselves at my hot man all the time…what if he succumbs?!

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        mcminnem January 12, 2012, 2:07 pm

        I think it does have to do with meeting the right guy. As to the idea that other women might be throwing themselves at your dude, I taught myself a while ago to stop thinking of it as a threat, and more like a compliment – like “dude, what I’ve got is so awesome that everybody else wants it. Awwww yeah.”

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      • Lili

        Lili January 12, 2012, 6:13 pm

        Thanks for your response. I guess I should re-examine how jaded I’ve become regarding cheating and ‘good guys.’ I’ll def work on it since the mental place I am at right now can’t let go of the insecurity and deep down pesky feeling that of course he’s gonna cheat. ALL men do. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t even been cheated on. Just seen too many examples in my friends.

        Hopefully once I can shift my mindset, Mr. Right will just appear 🙂

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        Meredith January 12, 2012, 11:45 pm

        I’ve had to work really hard on my confidence and just trusting my husband. Its always a work in progress! He married me for a reason, I just try to remember that. Ms Model ex fiancé might’ve been gorgeous but apparently was a total snot..which brought her attractiveness down several notches. My husband’s told me as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown a lot more confident and comfortable in my skin and he thinks it’s really sexy. Knowing that helps keep me motivated to keep up the positive attitude.

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    Jubietta January 11, 2012, 7:45 pm

    I see one other place where this discussion could go and it’s about not expecting perfection from human beings. I get how the people we love and hold in high esteem have the biggest potential for disappointing us, but those are the people it’s the most important to give a break , even when we get hurt. People make mistakes and do things they live to regret, that’s life and understanding it is a part of growing up and being in an adult relationship.

    I wrote in my wedding vows to always give my sweetie the benefit of the doubt. If this LW’s situation is anything, it’s a situation of doubt because there’s no way to ever know for sure. The LW can choose to believe what she read online (isn’t there a commandment about avoiding that yet?) or she can believe what he says and does in real life. Giving him the benefit of the doubt means to assume the best of him and believe the best of him. Reality says you can believe either way, but believing the comments on line means personal pain, damaged trust and unnecessary stress.

    BTW, it’s also my belief that benefit of the doubt never stands up to repeated messages from that little voice inside that niggles and niggles that there’s something wrong, or in cases where there’s no doubt left because you have evidence to support the reality of the situation whichever it might be…in those cases my message would probably be wake up and smell what’s being shoveled. Only the LW knows the situation well enough to decide.

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  • katie

    katie January 11, 2012, 9:12 pm

    i think that wendy is right on!

    i think that this should be treated just as any other offense your boyfriend could have done to you. you have to face it, and then either decide if it is something you are willing to move away from. you either MOA from him because you cant forgive it or you forgive it and MOA from the it.

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    sweetleaf January 12, 2012, 9:41 am

    How is dirty German porn different from other dirty porn? Just curious.

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    Jessibel January 12, 2012, 10:47 am

    I had a very, very similar situation with my now-fiance when we first started dating (minus the drug habit). I accidentally saw a message board that his hockey team writes on (he left it open on his computer and didn’t close it out before he let me check my e-mail on it. I shouldn’t have looked at all, but I saw my name and naturally was like “wait, what?” I didn’t really like what I saw, so lesson learned about reading others’ stuff, and have never done it again). One of his teammates had run into us at a restaurant and posted on the message board “hey guys, saw Charlie’s new girlfriend and boy is she hot! Good job, Charlie” to which he responded back “nah, that’s just a piece I’m tapping, but thanks man!” I was crushed! I was just a “piece” to him?! But I figured we didn’t really know what we were and how far we were going to go at that point, so I figured he must have just been showing off for the guys’ benefit, and it being his hockey team, this was essentially locker room talk. I think that the LW is spot on in thinking he was just making excuses at the time. People aren’t always fully truthful on those message boards anyway. My fiance’s comment definitely played into my insecurities about what we were, and my worries that he didn’t really like or love me, but four years later he likes to tell me that I’m the one who taught him what love really was.

    Wendy’s advice is absolutely perfect, every word of it. If you want to lose those 10-30 pounds, do it! But you have to put the work in. If you feel like you don’t need to lose those pounds, then work on changing the way you think about yourself. It’s tough, but if you shake yourself out of that thinking each time you start to go down that thought path, you’ll eventually work your way out of it. Not only that, but it seems as though your BF is now pulling out all the stops to make sure you know he thinks you’re sexy! And, for what it’s worth…he got clean for you (and himself). That’s huge. If he didn’t think you were worth it, he’d still be into his drug habit and not you!

    Oh, and boudouir photos…? Best thing I ever did. I want to do it again! I felt like a sexy beast for days afterwards and felt very, very free of any body image issues. Inside every girl is a pin-up girl waiting to get out!

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    Jessibel January 12, 2012, 10:53 am

    Also, for what it’s worth as well, when I first met my fiance I didn’t think he was that cute, and if he had asked me then, he would have been disappointed. But now? Now I’m in love with his face and every day when I come home to him I get flutters in my heart just opening the door and seeing him; although that could also be the agita I get when I open the door after a 12 hour day to find him sitting on the couch playing video games with nothing clean, no dinner ready and the dog not fed…kidding!) So yes, it’s possible at the start he was “meh” about you, but now he’s seeing you as “MeeeOWWW”, because he LOVES you.

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    pixie January 21, 2012, 3:38 pm

    If you are having difficulty coping with your partner’s past relationships try reading I HATE HIS EX by Alex Cooper. I had loads of issues with my fiance’s ex and I have now resolved them thanks to the advice in this book! You can get it on Amazon! Definitely worth a read! 🙂

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    Nyxalinth December 3, 2012, 8:02 pm

    The advice is sound overall, but you didn’t take into account that some men really DO stick with someone they have no real sexual interest in, because they can’t find better, and they to badger who they’re dating into becoming what they want. I did have a boyfriend almost 20 years ago who was like this, and he really damaged my self esteem with his bullcrap. I finally moved on after a few weeks because I’d had enough of it. Thankfully it’s rare, and now I know the signs and have learned to avoid shitheads like this.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark December 3, 2012, 8:38 pm

    Lose the weight. Seriously. Go on a diet. Hit the gym. Work out.

    I am so both weary and rather bored with people yammering on and on about how insecure they are about their looks when they do absolutely NOTHING to change them. Don’t want to feel fat and dumpy next to your hot boyfriend? Put a little effort into NOT being fat and dumpy. I dunno. Seems simple enough to me.

    PS: Your German Porn excuse for the snooping is among the worst I’ve ever heard…

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