Regarding Scars and Stretch Marks (Amanda)

Pregnancies/Births: 2/1 (girl, 18 mos)

I anguish over my loose skin and stretch marks. I have not gotten to a place of comfort or acceptance of my body, much less a place of pride over the story my ravaged body tells. I don’t understand how my husband can love such damaged goods, or how he could ever want to be intimate with me.
Something important occurred to me today though. My husband happens to have a ravaged body as well. At 22 years old and with a congenital heart defect, he has had 2 open heart surgeries and 2 angioplasties. He has a long, wide “zipper” scar on his chest. Another huge scar on his back. 2 more on his side from chest tubes. Both sides of his groin from the angioplasties. Many stretch marks from periods of weight fluctuation from medications.
And would it surprise any of you if I said I find him sexy? That I desire him? That when I see his scars, I see strength and a survival? Of course it wouldn’t. If anything, his scars make me love him a little more. And even if your partners don’t have scars such as these, everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, something that chips away at their self confidence. But we love our partners just the same, whether they are physically different from what is widely considered to be the ideal, yes?
Anyway, my husband sees the same in me that I see in him. He sees beauty in every mark on my body. Every one of them. Stretch marks are not a sign of weakness or failure. They’re a testament to the resilience of our bodies and the pure love it takes to physically grow and harbor another human being for almost a year. A mother’s body is so amazing, it is almost not even fully comprehensible to me. My husband knows that, and it makes me the most beautiful woman in the world to him.
So why do I still beat myself up do much? Why do I find myself so disgusting? Why do we all have so much trouble accepting and loving ourselves when we readily accept and love our partners, family, friends, even total strangers (like on this website)? I guess it just takes time, or life experience. I don’t know. I’m only 23, I don’t exactly have years of wisdom to shape my ideas and opinions. I just hope that we all find peace with our bodies, sooner rather than later. I think the women on this site are incredible and brave for posting. And I hope my ramblings help somebody out there feel better today :)
Photo #1 is at 5 mos pregnant, #2 is my Adalia :)

10 thoughts on “Regarding Scars and Stretch Marks (Amanda)

  • Monday, March 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

    If we could all learn to think that way… If we could all realize that beauty is not what is in the fashion magazines and celebrities we would all learn how beautiful all of our so called “flaws” are. You have those stretch marks, scars, etc because of the life you have lived and what you have gone through. Your husband, in part, is alive because of his scars. Your child is alive because you gave your body to be a mother. Life is not perfect, nor is the human body. You are beautiful. Your daughter is beautiful. <3

  • Monday, March 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

    my hubbie has stretch marks too and i always thought that if i got them who cares because he already had them. i still hate mine though. i’m fine with who i am and the size i am but the whole purple zebra stripe thing sucks. this is a thought provoking post. thanks!

  • Monday, March 15, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    My husband also has stretch marks and I love him regardless. He didn’t have him before I met him, but I fell in love with him, not his body. I love your positivity. I too am 23 with 2 kids and a very marred body, but I have grown to accept my new body. Thank you for writing something positive about accepting our bodies the way they are now. It’s taken me almost 3 years, but I have and I hope others can.

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I commend both you and your husband for seeing the beauty within! I am sure you two have a beautiful relationship because you are both able to focus on whats important and look past the superficial. I think that scars are in a way a representation of your strugles or accomplishments and mark the history of your life. Although they can be bothersome and dont always look nice they tell a story and with that comes memory. My younger brother has a few similair scars as your husband due to heart problems and every summer when i see them ( swimming or whatever) i remember just how lucky i am that hes still with us! bless you both and congrats on the beautiful baby!

  • Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 5:51 am

    This is such a good point! I often wonder why my husband can find me attractive (I mean, I look okay with clothes on but not so okay without). I often don’t believe my husband when he says I look good (I think I just feel like he is being polite) but as you had pointed out, I wouldn’t feel less attracted to my husband if he had scars or stretch marks. My husband’s body hasn’t changed much in the decade we have been together (okay, well maybe he has a few extra pounds) so I never really thought about how I would still love him even if his body changed. This made it much easier to see his view point. Thank you!!

  • Friday, March 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I love your post. My husband is very down on himself about some pounds he’s put on on his belly since we started dating 6 1/2 years ago, and I constantly tell him I still find him sexy. Your post makes me realize that men can be just as self-conscious as women can. Neither of us is “perfect” but I still find him very attractive and he thinks I’m sexier than ever, so I guess that’s all that matters, right?

  • Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Your post made me cry. Thank you for such a beautiful point of view.

  • Friday, November 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    i love your post– scars are sexy :P and my husband has stretch marks on his thighs; he’s never been overweight, his skin is just like that. I’ve always had stretch marks on my thighs and hips (since i was 11 or 12) even though I’ve never been overweight either. I wasn’t particularly worried about getting stretch marks where I already had them– I’m more worried about the 5 or 6 I now have on my lower stomach. Although, I live in friggin’ Washington where I’m never really going to bare my belly anyway…
    My husband always tells me, when I’m getting down on my cellulite or stretch marks:
    “Baby, skin isn’t perfect. All skin has little flaws. And since everyone has them, they’re not really flaws, it’s just how we’re made.”

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I’ve had so many body issues lately. I’m dieting, lifting weights to tighten my loose belly skin which is covered with indented stretch marks. I feel so undesirable all the time. My husband is constantly trying to make me see through your point of view. Now that you mention all that you have, I feel stronger and I feel better. I’m on my road to recovery. Thank you for your wisdom and words of strength.

  • Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I had a heart op when I was one years old. It was life saving and I view the long scar that I have from my chest area to stomach as something worthy and beautiful. I ignore and refuse to think like those including my own mum who feel it should be covered up ie by always wearing high necks. I also have had significant weight fluctuations so I’ve got stretch marks on my bottom, again I’m not bothered by those. Because I just can’t let myself get upset. And so I’m expecting more marks and scars after I give birth and lose the baby weight ( not in a rush, I don’t listen to society or read magazines) but my husband who has loved me I know will continue to do so. After all attractiveness comes from within.

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