My Hot Husband and the Compliment Deflector Shield

April 1, 2013

My Husband is Handsome, okay?

In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I worked at rival schools. He was an assistant band director, and I taught high school English. So, when our two schools both performed at the same marching contest, my students made a big deal about pointing him out to their parents.

Anyway, when I got to school on Monday, one of the teachers who attended the contest came up to talk to me (We’ll pretend her name is Diana).

Diana: “Your husband. Was he the guy who stood at the end zone and directed during the show?”

Me: “Yes. That’s Tyler.”

Diana: “I had no idea your husband was so good-looking.”

Me: “Um.”

Diana: “I mean. He’s incredibly good looking. I was. I was. [fans herself]

{No, really, she actually fanned herself.}

I just had no idea.”

Me: “Well. Yes. I think he’s handsome too, so ….”

Diana (interrupts, putting her hand on my shoulder): “No, no. I don’t think you understand. He’s INCREDIBLY handsome. I j-just. I just had no idea.”

Me (shifting my feet, awkwardly glancing around): “Yes. I’ve always been attracted to him. What are you trying to say?”

Diana: “It’s just that, well, you know. He’s a band director, and you’ve never mentioned that he was so handsome.”

Me: “I’m not sure how his job relates to this, and I don’t normally say, ‘Yes, my husband is a band director, and he’s super hot.’ Normally, I just say his name is Tyler.”

Diana: “Well, I mean, I just couldn’t stop staring at him during the show because I just couldn’t believe that he was your husband.”

Me: “WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?! MY HUSBAND IS TOO HOT FOR ME?! IS THAT IT?! Also, please stop staring at my husband.”

Diana: Backpedals.

I Stink at Compliments.

My husband and I have been married for almost eleven years now. We’ve both added pounds and gained a few wrinkles. I still think he’s handsome. I forget to tell him that. In fact, I forget to tell others about him, too. Bragging about my amazing husband doesn’t come naturally to me.

Tyler is complimentary to a fault. Any time his colleagues meet me for the first time, they almost always say, “Wow. It’s so nice to finally meet you. Tyler talks about you all the time.” He brags to everyone about the things I do: writing, cooking, mothering. When he’s conducting a band concert, he always makes me wave or stand up while he talks about me. I get incredibly embarrassed, sometimes even annoyed with him for this. Why?

I’m a natural compliment deflector.

I do not like to draw attention to myself, and I don’t ever, ever want people to think I am bragging. I purposely choose clothing that’s non-descript. I even get embarrassed for other people. I’ve learned how to accept compliments over the years. I mean, how hard is it to just say, “Thanks,” and smile? Not that hard. But I still have trouble knowing where to look or what to say next.

Because I deflect compliments so much, I do not make enough of an effort to brag about my husband to other people. I never know what to say, and it’s harder for me to pinpoint what makes Tyler so great. Unless people know him, they don’t understand, “Well, he’s Tyler. That’s why I love him so much.”

Actually, I find that it’s easier to complain about my husband: how he’s super stubborn and opinionated, how he leaves his dirty socks everywhere, how he gets annoyed when we have to go shopping. Those are tangible things people understand. Those are things we can joke about. (See how that list just rattled off like that?)

Somehow, I don’t want people to think that I’m bragging about how great Tyler is. Because, in my warped brain, having a good husband who loves me and thinks I’m amazing, that might seem conceited to others. So, since I deflect so many compliments, I forget to build up my best buddy and bacon bringer to those around me to avoid sounding cocky.

My compliment deflector shield has a self-destruct button.

Anyone else have this problem?

PS. Tyler, You’re handsome and loving. You’re the best dad ever. You’re incredibly, mind-blowingly talented, and you make me laugh until I wheeze. And all that other gushy stuff. I’ll try to let other people know all that more often, and really, the sock thing is okay.

Kelly Wiggains

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Kelly Wiggains, a high school English teacher turned homeschooling mom, likes to surround herself with good literature, beautiful things, and big ideas, and she wants her home to reflect those things, too. Here at she talks about everything From Literature to Living., 5 eBooks for $7.40!

10 responses to My Hot Husband and the Compliment Deflector Shield

  1. Love it! I can relate to having a compliment deflector & it is for the same reasons as you, I don’t like to brag.

    Btw, you & your husband make a cute couple & you are beautiful too with lots of wonderful qualities!!! You totally deserve to be bragged about! Oh, and that “Diana” girl was crazy!

  2. Connie Hughes April 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Well, there’s the whole “awkward compliment” category that is difficult to respond to. At the Blissdom blogging conference, someone went on and on about how they didn’t recognize me because I looked SO PRETTY! SERIOUSLY! They didn’t even KNOW it was ME! The beauty confused them, I guess.

    …awkward thank you… I think…

  3. I remember a time when you couldn’t STOP complimenting Tyler :).

  4. Hahaha, that story is the BEST.
    But I’m similar. I don’t deal well with compliments myself, and so I forget to compliment Noel as often as I ought to!

  5. That story is hilarious and I love your response to “Diana”! I also have to totally agree with the awkward compliment thing. The one I used to hear fairly regularly was along the lines of: “Wow! Your sister is BEAUTIFUL! …You know, you two really look nothing alike.” I never knew how to repond but I think the Kelly Wiggains direct confrontation may be the way to go.

  6. Sweet. Love this story.