Please realize this. You didn't just tell the truth to a no win situation type question [I'll agree with others that was a no win type question] BUT you handled it horrifically. What you said to that woman is insulting. You cut her to the quick.
Wow, this thread has been insightful. Look, I get the sense that the answer he gave was how he really felt. As another poster said, we spend all this time on here talking about "honesty" and "transparency" with the BS, that's exactly what he did. I question if that's what we really want though, I know it is what I want, but it seems like other people say "honesty" but really mean "politically correct answer".
However, at least my husband hasn't been hurtful enough to tell me I'm less attractive to him because of my weight, but hey, he likes my smile.
If you don't want the answer, don't ask the question. I don't ask my W if I looked better before I started losing my hair, I know the answer, yes, I did, and I deal with it, but I don't need/want to hear it from her, and I also don't want to put her in a position where the "right" answer is a lie. Of course I was more attractive with more hair, and of course I was more attractive at 6% body fat than the 10 I have now. But if I did ask the question, I would want my wife to answer honestly. She wouldn't/won't, so it's not even worth asking, I know she'll lie, but man, would I respect her and appreciate it if she said something like "6% body fat didn't do much for me, but I do miss your hair" so I know what to focus on and work on. I can get more hair. I can also workout harder. Once you start lying about this stuff, you put the other person in a corner, the only thing to do is assume they are lying about everything and do it all, and that's a fool's errand. Lying is, or SHOULD never be the right answer, ever. And "obscuring" the truth is lying with a fancy name, she asked a question, he answered it; from the sound of it, truthfully. That would go miles upon miles with me.
How would you feel is she said that as you aged your [ahem] endowments were only SLIGHTLY less than before but hey - you can still get it done. But don't worry, you still have a handsome face.
I'd be happy she found my face attractive and thrilled I was with someone who would tell me the truth.
Have you asked her what she finds physically attractive in a man?
Sometimes its good to hear both sides. Maybe it might be a shock to you how she actually feels? If she is brave enough to tell you.
This is a good idea, IMHO. And she might be brave enough to actually tell you because you were honest with her. And it might be a shock, I know it was for me. As my W and I enjoy more sexual activities together, we've started watching porn, and I often ask her if she likes that guy, or that one over there; I want to know so I can share in her fantasy. No, I'm never going to be hung like him, and I'm probably not in as good shape as him, but I'd much rather share the fantasy and have her share her deepest thoughts with me. That, to me, is intimacy, it's sharing the truth, sharing the desires, sharing the hard things to share, the dark thoughts, the scary thoughts and the things you'd never tell another soul. Speaking for myself only, but that's what I want; a real conversation without the PC bullshit and so many masks that you're not even sure who you are anymore.
The hard thing is, this question is just a setup. If I asked my wife "Do you wish I made 10X as much money as I do today" and she answered anything other than "Yes", I'd know she's lying. And answering "yes" means "I'm not a good provider" and "Can't take care of her" and a whole lot of other negative things about me as a person. There's no reason to ask because the choices are "lie" or "hurt me". Neither is a good outcome. It's obvious why she did ask, and, I continue to think you handled it the way that I would want it handled but it's an awful thing you did to her to make her ask this question in the first place. Work on trying to show her she matters the most to you so that she doesn't feel the desire/need to ask these kinds of questions anymore.
That would have been a far better answer.
My goodness, we are all so different. GuiltAndShame, I strongly suggest you listen to the women here because of what I said above; we're just all so different and on this issue, I think they are right and I am wrong. The response you gave would infuriate me, I asked a direct question, I want a direct answer. But I suspect Dee is right, that's what your W wanted to hear. So listen to them, try to be as honest as you can be and when you're not sure, defer and come ask them for help.