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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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I have a partner who is obsessed with his appearance to the

Customer Question

I have a partner who is obsessed with his appearance to the point I am now feeling insecure. I've always been happy with the way he looks. He says he's going to the gym for himself and me. I think he's not doing it for me. I've never had an issue with his looks. He's been considering hairsurgery. He's started going to the gym since he went back to his own country. We are waiting for our visa so we can be together again. Everytime I get on skype he's got his shirt off. Wants to lift weights while we talk on skype. Stands in front of the mirror. A friend said he's very vain.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks fur using!

It sounds as though you're partner's feelings about himself are strongly tied to his physical appearance. How old is he? Is this a new behavior for him?

I'd be happy to provide some guidance once I have more information. What specifically is your question?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It's making me feel very insecure. He's always been like this. How do I deal with my insecurities.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He is 29 by the way.:)Cool
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My email address is [email protected] . I can't find the accept option sorry. I didn't think you had to log in. I just placed my question in. Paid and then went to put my email address in and it came up with email address already used. Might want to talk to tech support about that option.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
There won't be an accept option until I provide an answer. So far, I've only done an "info request" so it might not have displayed the "accept" button. That piece on the bottom of my post is an automatic signature. Sorry for the confusion! :}

A few things come to mind as for how to deal with your insecurities here... First of all, try to focus on the health advantages of his behavior and any other benefits he may be getting from his gym time. Perhaps he enjoys the camaraderie of the gym, the way working out makes him feel, and the fact that he has more endurance because he exercises. Focusing on those aspects may make it seem less about physical appearances.

You can improve your own self-esteem by spending time doing things that make you feel good whether that's spending time with friends, cooXXXXX, XXXXXcing, or volunteering. Anything that makes you feel like a better person and proud of your accomplishments is a good thing to try. You may even want to try something new just to broaden your horizons and see what else you can do. I'd recommend starting a journal. Write down what you're good at and all of your positive attributes. Reread this when your self-esteem needs a boost.

Your partner's behavior is truly fine for him, but not necessarily something he needs to bring into your relationship. Be honest with him -- Explain that you know this is something that is important to him, but watching him lift weights during a Skype call, talking about the gym, and making major changes to his appearance is making you feel a little insecure. You're not asking him to stop, but making a few changes (e.g., no weights during phone calls -- you want undivided attention) is not too much to ask.