I recently decided I want to have a tattoo on my left forearm - small, round, and pretty. The design’s meaningful to me, and I want to look at it often, even when I'm old and wrinkled.
When I told my husband of ten years, he was very upset. He said it’ll make him very uncomfortable and he won't want to have sex with me.
He compared it to stickers on fruit about which he has a phobia. (I can't even joke about it.)
In the past, however, we talked about getting matching tattoos of our beloved dogs, so I don't get it.
When we met, he wore glasses, and I grew to love him and his "nerdy" look. When he decided to get laser eye surgery, I expressed that I'd miss them, but supported him anyway, knowing he had a lot to gain.
I still miss the glasses "look," but so what?
I'm afraid to go through with getting the tattoo because it may become a wedge in our relationship.
But then I’ll risk feeling resentful at not being able to decide things for myself. If I do go through with it, it’ll become a symbol of independence… but isn't that anathema to marriage? Am I being selfish?
Between Rock and a Hard Place
What matters more – a relationship or a tattoo?
There’s no point comparing apples and oranges, the glasses “look” vs. permanent body art. Also, his “phobia” and the sexual turn-off he immediately mentioned are strong negatives.
This isn’t an issue for flag-bearing and going to the ramparts. The meaningful design can be transferred onto t-shirts, mugs, turned into wall art for your bedroom, etc.
BUT, if you feel you’re often blocked in one way or another from deciding things for yourself, that’s a true relationship issue. You need to confront it with dialogue and couples’ counselling, not with a motto on your forearm.
Before I met my current boyfriend, I was an early-starter who hooked up with lots of men.
When me and my boyfriend started dating, he asked me how many partners I’d had. I said five, but actually it’s five times that.
I get myself checked regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.
I’m wondering if I should tell him or leave it. Some of the guys I hooked up with are his friends, but they and I pretend as if nothing happened.
Is it his right to know the whole thing, or will it hurt his ego? He did forgive me for cheating once.
It’s not a “right” for one person to know another’s past sexual history, but it IS a trust issue to find out a partner has lied. However, if he learns just how many hook-ups you had and that they included his friends, the reaction could be stronger and cause a breakup.
That’s why I discourage the “numbers” game. The only answer that should’ve been given is that you’ve had sexual experience before, just as he likely had.
But there’s still time to salvage this mistake. First, stop worrying and focus on the positive things between you (besides sex), the interests you have in common, and plans for fun activities and going places together.
It’s about having a real relationship, not an extended hook-up.
If his friends ever reveal your past to him, you’ll have to be honest then. But hopefully you’ll have built a strong enough connection that you’ll be able to simply say you were young then, smarter now, and only want him.
FEEDBACK Regarding concern whether a wife’s massage was sexual (Nov. 8):
Reader – “If the male practitioner was a registered massage therapist, he’d have undergone, generally, three years of intense schooling.
“He’d paid to undergo licensing exams, had a clean criminal record check, buys insurance and annual license renewal.
“If the wife got a receipt, the husband could easily verify credentials by looking up therapist’s name on the professional website for that locale.
“He’d find any complaints against the therapist or if his license isn’t valid.
“The massage includes a sheet and heavier blanket on top. Back draping allows for the client to be uncovered to the level of the hip bones, with the sheets tucked in around the client to prevent any slippage or accidental exposure.
“We’re also taught how to tuck the sheets around and under the leg to prevent accidental exposures.
“It’s a professional health care industry unrelated to sex other than feeling good afterward.”
Tip of the day:
Consider whether tattoo is the issue or it’s relationship control.