When couples fall in love they love the partner for who they are, how they make one feel and not just for how they look. But unfortunately, sometimes with time, couples start putting pressure on their partners to either change the way they look or to stay the way they looked when they first met.
In both the cases, there is a sense of resentment, stress and even a certain negativity that creeps in whenever the partner makes such demands related to the partner’s appearances.
Take the case of Rashi and Vidit. When they started seeing each other, Rashi was little on the plump side but not heavy enough to be called fat. That’s how it was even when they got married.
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But with time when Rashi put on a little weight, Vidit started asking her lose some of it. “He made things very difficult for me. He would ask me not to eat more, join a gym, go for a jog and he even started monitoring what I ate, which made me feel really angry. I love him and I know he wants me to look good, but that doesn’t give him the right to make me feel so bad about myself. My appearance is my business, not his,” she says.
Experts say that such controlling attitude towards a partner can cause severe damage since it’s directly related to the partner’s self-esteem. If pushed too far, it can cause irreparable damage.
It was a similar case with Radha and Aviral. Radha used to be a model and a health freak and that’s where she had met Aviral who used to be there to exercise. But in time, a few years into their married life, Aviral got busy with his business and found no time to go to the gym. That’s when he developed a paunch, which Radha detested. She would keep pestering him to join a gym and watch his diet. But things came to a point when it blew out of proportion.
“She began to get on my nerves, constantly asking me what I ate and when I was going to the gym. She would keep making faces in bed, telling me I was not attractive to her anymore. I started feeling really demotivated and low, and that’s when I started questioning myself – if I really wanted to be with someone who loves me for how I used to look than the person I was,” he says.
Counsellors say that couples, instead of motivating and inspiring each other to look good and attractive, end up pressurising each other to the point that appearances become a sore point, which may end up eroding the love between the partners.
Even in the case of Megha and Gautam, the issue of appearance created a wedge in their relationship.
When they started dating, Megha was the usual no-makeup, simple and casually-dressed girl and he liked her just like that. But now that they were married, every time they had to go for a family function or family weddings, Gautam would put immense pressure on her to dress up in the way his family did.
“People in his family would dress up in loud, ostentatious and gaudy clothes, but I was just not comfortable in those. What I felt really hurt about was that Gautam knew I never had taste for such things and that it was just not me, and yet he would pressurise me to dress up in the kind of clothes that were acceptable to his family. I felt really cheated and betrayed by him,” she said.
Experts feel that while appearances should not be neglected or taken for granted, they should not be made the bone of contention between partners. Being controlling when it comes to your partner’s appearances, can also end up conveying that you are not ready to accept your partner for what and how they are. That can have serious ramifications on the relationship.
According to counsellors, people will change physically with time and so will their energy level with regard to keeping up their appearances. Accepting that your partner is more important to you than how he/she looks, will work better for partners than putting pressure. Remember, loving your partner for what they are, is the recipe for happiness.