Wife overly bothered by her small bra size

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: My wife is small-chested, but, to my eyes, not unnaturally so. She has expressed concerns that her small chest size might be related to our difficulties in conceiving (but, to be fair, we are both in our 40s), and she is visibly bothered by displays of women with large breasts. I want to tell her that she is normal, but I don't really have enough information to say that conclusively. I do tell her that she is attractive, and believe me, she is. People comment all the time about her beauty, and we have very strong sexual chemistry. I find her body very attractive, and tell her so. I do notice, though, that she doesn't do the things that many other women do when it comes to body care. She doesn't shave her legs or under her arms. She doesn't get manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, you name it. I'd suggest those things to her, but I think she would just see it as criticism of her appearance (and she is already very sensitive). What can I do to help my wife?--Love Her

DEAR LOVE: If your wife has a fairly constant preoccupation and dissatisfaction with her body, she might have something called body dysmorphic disorder. People with this become obsessed over a "flaw" that others may not notice. This can have a devastating impact on self-esteem and relationships.

You should lovingly reassure her that she is naturally beautiful and absolutely normal and that you love her just as she is. Many women don't pursue facials, manicures and spa treatments; this does not indicate that she is less feminine than women who do.

She should follow up with her physician (about her fertility, but she should also ask about her breast size). She should also see a psychologist, so she can talk this through to find ways to cope with this preoccupation. If she desires augmentation surgery, this should be discussed thoroughly with her therapist and physician to deal with any underlying mental health issues.