The approach of my four year wedding anniversary led me to think about the woman I have become since marrying my husband Ben.
Before I met my husband, I thought I had to earn a man’s love by being what I thought he wanted me to be. I was constantly concerned about my appearance. I was so afraid of gaining too much weight, even though I was already a small person, and I obsessed over makeup.
I wanted to look perfect because it was the only way I thought I would be loved. But no matter how hard I tried, I felt like I could never reach that mark, and any negative remark I heard at that time would reaffirm in me just how worthless or ugly I felt I was.
I know what I am worth now. It has helped to have someone who values me, but I also had to learn to value myself. I have to admit though, I dated quite a few frogs before I met my prince!
I can recall one particular guy I dated. My other friends didn’t like him much or the way he talked to me, but I was blind and starry eyed. I recall this particular frog telling me and I quote, “If you get fat, I’ll shoot you!” He would laugh hysterically, and I would laugh too as I tried to brush off his “joke.” But I secretly stored that away in my mind.
That relationship didn’t last long but I proceeded to find another guy just like him. Another guy who corrected and critiqued my appearance. One after another, my significant others fed my insecurity and belittled me physically, emotionally, or mentally.
Then I met Ben. He was different. He was different from every person I had ever been with. Instead of me needing to impress him, he would strive to make me laugh just to see me smile. Instead of belittling me, he would look at me in awe and call me his angel. He made a point to help me heal my insecurities instead of adding fuel to the flame. He made it a point to show me I had value, with or without him. He wasn’t perfect, none of us are. But he loved me for who I am. The other guys made me feel worse about myself; he helped me realize my own worth.
Six years later and a few pounds heavier, he still makes sure to remind me. He tells me no matter how much I weigh he will still want me, simply because I am me. He also tells me no matter what I do, I’ll succeed because he believes in me just that much. I may have had to kiss a few nasty, filthy frogs, but I now know what a prince really looks like.
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