My wife’s clothes leave nothing to the imagination

What you need to know:

However, sometimes, she goes out in clothes where a person with two working eyes can see the colour of her underwear and bra.

My wife is a young and attractive woman and I understand that when she leaves home for work every day, she wants to feel good about herself and as she puts it, ‘look cute.’ However, sometimes, she goes out in clothes where a person with two working eyes can see the colour of her underwear and bra. I have complained about this but she just ignores me. Should she not have more respect for herself and the relationship to know that the colour of her under garments should not be on display for all to see? Please advise


Dear Anonymous,

There always seems to be contention when it comes to fashion and how one chooses to dress. It is said that for some women, fashion is self-expression, and if one is told to dress a certain way, it might sound as though you are telling them to change who they are. It is also true that when people get married each comes with their past learnt behaviour which has been engrained in them since childhood.

Your wife has probably revealed to you why she wears such clothes; to feel good and look cute. It is possible that this is a genuine cause in her own understanding. People do certain things for personal reasons known or even unknown to them.

The dress code is usually corrected much earlier in life. However along the way, especially during teenage years, one’s attention tends to be more about self, how one looks and how they are being appreciated by their peers or those who see them. Unfortunately, if the individual’s esteem is knocked down at this level, they look for other means of getting attention. This can be through the way they dress, the make-up they wear or a behaviour that is easily noticed.

This might not necessarily describe what your wife could have gone through as a child but it can help give you a glimpse of what she is going through so that you decide to be compassionate as you help your wife to dress decently. This is usually better done at the start of the relationship such that your wife or husband-to-be gets to learn what you like or dislike before the relationship becomes serious.

However, when you first see and appreciate an individual but then decide that you want them to change, it becomes challenging.

However, if the behaviour is totally new, you need to find a time when you are both calm and discuss what could have caused the change. Could it be boredom, looking for affirmation, or even stress? You can also find a relationship expert to support you and your wife.

Reader advice

Why are you uneasy?

John Mukisa. Recognise why you are uncomfortable and resolve it. Maybe you grew up in a less free culture and associate her exposure with negative concepts. Maybe you do not find what she is exposing attractive and feel as if she is embarrassing herself. Maybe you feel like she is just doing this to draw inappropriate attention from men. Whatever the source of your discomfort, if you overcome it, her behaviour will stop being a problem.

Do not command her

Jane Mukasa. Stop telling her what to do and start working on getting her to actually want to do what you want. You are trying to impose your will on her so she is resisting. Even if you succeed, she will resent you for it because she is being forced to choose against her will. You need her to want to stop wearing revealing clothing, which means you need her to understand why it bothers you so she can share your discomfort.

Set boundaries

Arnold Woods. She is not going to change; obviously, so it is up to you to change. Set boundaries such as; “Honey, dress how you want, but I will not be seen in public with you that way.” Also, offer to take her shopping to pick out some clothing that you would both feel happy with, in exchange for her giving up the ‘offensive’ clothes? You have choices.

 She is being unfaithful

Julius Namu. It comes down to respect. Whether a husband is trying to protect his wife or not does not matter. If a woman is dressing in a revealing way, she is putting herself out there. That is disrespectful. She is drawing undue attention on herself in a sexually provocative way to get the attention of other men. Doing so against the wishes of her spouse is being unfaithful.

Talk to your wife

Gertrude Nakaddu. It is not good at all but do not get tired of gently talking to her. She is addicted to wearing transparent clothes and does not seem to see anything wrong with it. Keep telling her to dress decently while going out of the house and slowly, she will change.

Blame her upbringing

Dorah Cashgyal Agata. Every time I dress badly even now that I am a grown woman and can whatever I want, I just see my mother’s face and I change immediately. Mind you, she is dead but what is planted in us when we are young cannot leave us. She was not guided well as a young woman.

Find a solution

Donavan Alecs Nyakojo. Your wife is young mentally and spiritually because her mind tells her that it is okay to dress the way she feels. But she is embarrassing you and her children if she has any. She is still setting her traps (kwetega) which means she is not contented with you. Talk to her and if she refuses to change, leave her.

Give her time

Jonah Kyazze. It seems you have just got married. Allow her adjust as you calmly tell her to change.

Evelyn Khorono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation


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