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Looking Good for Your Husband
Mom with a View

Looking Good for Your Husband

It tells him: you’re the most important person in the world to me.


Plane travel used to be so glamorous. Even when I was younger, I flew very rarely and it was always special. I felt excited and made an effort with my appearance. But plane travel has changed. If anything, it is now the opposite of glamorous. Everyone is flying, in their sweat pants, in their pyjamas. There are long lines and even those who get dressed have to undress at security. It is a different experience.

So when I planned for a recent trip, I took out my old T-shirt and my threadbare skirt. Who cares what I look like? I'm going to be squished beside someone. When I try to eat, the crumbs will probably cover my lap. The whole flight will be draining and unpleasant. Why bother? I packed the clothes for my trip and left the shirt and skirt out for morning wear. I was organized and prepared.

Then morning came. As I was about to slip the T-shirt over my head, I stopped and thought a minute. Who am I traveling with? The answer was not the two hundred and something other passengers on the plane (although I should always try to make a good impression on everyone). The real answer was my husband. On the other side of me (where the stranger is not taking up half my seat) he would be sitting. Do I really want him looking at me in my ratty old T-shirt for the next six hours? Is that really putting my best foot forward in my marriage?

It wasn't about the lack of glamor, the potentially rude stewardess or the garrulous passenger in the window seat. It was about him. And for him, I always want to look my best.

I folded up my old T-shirt and stuck it back (way back) in the closet. I put the skirt on a hanger and did likewise with it. Then I pulled out a nicer outfit and the jewelry to match. I dabbed on some makeup and I was ready to go. Yes, the makeup (what little there was) would be off by the end of the flight. Yes, my nicer skirt would probably still have crumbs on it (and maybe even some spicy mayo from the sushi we brought for lunch!). Yes, I would be exhausted and drained and not looking my best by the time we landed. But that wasn't the point. By changing my outfit I was giving a message to my husband: You are important to me. You are actually the most important to me. I want to look nice for you. It's worth some sacrifice and discomfort to achieve this.

I think he heard me loud and clear (although I did have to mention that I dressed up for him!).

But of course this doesn't apply only when we travel. This lesson applies all the time, day in and day out. I should try to look my best for him, no matter what I looked like ten minutes before he got home. This is my responsibility.

It is so difficult. I know that at the end of a long day, I just want to put on my robe and relax. Clothing can be so restrictive and uncomfortable. But I don't, because my comfort isn't the primary goal here. The message to my husband is. You are the most important to me. And even though I'm tired, grumpy, overwhelmed, I never want to stop telling you that. I never want to stop giving you and our marriage the attention it deserves. (Is it okay if I draw the line at those super long flights from Los Angeles to Israel?)

February 22, 2014

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Visitor Comments: 15

(13) Anonymous, February 26, 2014 11:33 PM

Timing, impecable.

I was just saying to my husband that I am doing this. (I've been slacking) We've hit a rough patch in our lives and Lately, there's little to dress up for. I find that I've got in a too, too casual rut. I've always been good about hanging up the phone or shutting the TV when he comes home, or cooking something he really likes, but lately dressing nicely has been an option not so often taken. Since men are visual it must matter, though in true good husband form, he tells me I look fine, beautiful even. I expect I'll even feel a little better as well. It may sounds silly and a little shallow on the surface but I can see the value of this advice. I have a number of valuable assets, as do we all, but it hits home that we dress for shul, meetings, work, and even errends. Perhaps, I could limit my husband seeing me in a sweatshirt to our trips to the gym together, mostly anyway.

(12) Orthodox Gal, February 26, 2014 7:57 PM

Are You Kidding?

While looking good for one's spouse (and this applies to men and women alike) is a priority, the extent of her concern in this article seems bizarrely misplaced. Plane rides are already long, tedious, uncomfortable experiences, as the writer admits. If she's wearing her nice clothes on a plane, when exactly is she "permitted" to wear a T-Shirt? Is the answer rarely, if at all?

In that case, I'd suggest a deeply problematic instance of valuing a husband's experience (of finding his wife attractive and knowing that she is concerned about his opinion) over and above his wife's actual experiences (physical discomfort, the knowledge that she is actively sacrificing her own preferences for his, etc.). Not a healthy way to build a relationship.

(11) Anonymous, February 26, 2014 5:46 AM

To heck with the outside, take care of the inside

The last thing, the very last thing of all, that I care for my wife to be concerned with when we travel is her looks. She ls beautiful to me whatever she wears. Truth to tell, I would be absolutely delighted if she never applied so much as a dab of lipstick, rouge, powder, eyebrow liner or other makeup ever again (multiply that by a thousand for perfume -- feh!). For fine dining, the theater, a dance performance, a museum show, I can easily live with the little glitz she expects of us both, but for the airborne sardine can? Pooh, pooh, pooh.

(10) Deeski, February 25, 2014 10:15 PM

I Agree / It Works Both Ways

I find myself actually dressing better on the weekends than I do during my work week! I am always impressed that my husband is so much more well groomed than I am. He is clean shaven, freshly showered with a little cologne. I want him to know I appreciate what he does on my behalf, so when I go to grab the old t-shirt out of the closet being that it is a weekend, I get a change of heart. He always sees me like this, let's dress it up a bit!

(9) Anonymous, February 25, 2014 9:51 PM

husband feels neglect

I would like to comment on two issues facing the husband.1) I come home in the evening, walk thru the door. My wife is on the phone." Honey, I'm home" Her response, "Hi. I'll be right down". 45 minutes later, she's still on the phone. They can be talking about her friends ( phone companion) mother-in-law's cat. But that is female bonding. I get a glass of water, sit down on the couch with a sefer or magazine, feeling totally neglected. Why did I rush home? Just to sit alone!
Second. My wife can go out of the house to mail a letter, to go to the makolet, or whatever. I am at home. She will get dressed to "look well groomed". Before she throws her coat on, she looks at me and asks" How do I look?".It's important that she should look go for the postal clerk, or the girl behind the cash in the makolet.
Can I imagine coming home one day, and my wife looking at me and ask "How do I look?" I would ask her why she is asking. She would respond, Darling, I wanted to look well groomed for you".
A friend once commented, " the first 20 years of marriage is learning to care and share. The next 40 years are learning to tolerate."
I accuse the wife for actively making that transition.

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