I’m in an 11-year relationship and my partner is talking about getting a matching tattoo with her two daughters. I’m totally against it but she’s very insistent and this is her first tattoo - unlike her daughters.
I’m afraid that it’s going to ruin our relationship for my fear of AIDS contracted through infected needles.
How can I tell her that if she insist on getting it, it’ll probably be the end of us as a couple. I feel she loves her idea of the tattoo more than me.
- Torn Apart
Bigger than any tattoo, are the issues – Her bonding with her daughters; your fear of AIDS; your insecurity; her lack of response.
My take on them: 1) People with children from previous unions often have ties beyond their partner; this is natural and rarely meant as a threat to the relationship.
2) You can express your fears and ask that she attend a reputable tattoo artist and insist on sterilized needles. Given the current popularity of tattooing, the search won’t be difficult, nor the request from the artist denied.
3) Weighing her love for a tattoo against that for you is a silly, ineffective guilt trip that won’t stop her.
4) Ending a relationship over a tattoo reveals 11 years without anyone learning to compromise.
If all else is worked out, a small tattoo in a discreet place shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
If it’s large, and highly visible, then that’s her sub-conscious signal that the relationship was already in trouble.
At the beginning of our one-year relationship, my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend told him not to date me because I “looked like trouble.”
Until recently, she’d call at all hours, crying over her sick cat, begging him to come comfort her, asking for rent money, etc.
I was irritated by her; he didn’t give into her (he’d politely decline). She stopped calling.
But lately, reminders of her are everywhere - pictures of her on his computer, he always wears a sweater she gave him, I discovered she and I have many mutual friends.
These reminders stir so much anger in me! It’s starting to wear on my perfect relationship, which is the last thing I want.
How do I let go of this anger towards her?
Look in the mirror - you’re your own enemy.
Your boyfriend’s proven his disinterest in her… but likes the sweater. Get over it.
Most people have old photos. You could organize some pictures of the two of you and ask him to use those as his screen saver, but avoid any accusations about the others.
Mutual friends? Too bad, and too foolish of you to worry about.
If you isolate yourself from friends, it’s your loss. Pick up your self-confidence from the dumps and enjoy your relationship.
If anger persists, this is a reaction having more to do with you and likely some problems from the past, than about this girl.
In that case, try to get past it yourself, or get individual therapy.
I thought that being in love means that you’re supposed to be happy but I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t want to hurt him but I don’t want to be in a relationship where I’m not happy.
- What to Do?
Communicate. This email is so lacking information I wonder if it’s how you deal with feelings. Does he know you’re unhappy? Or why? Have you asked for something more or indicated what’s missing? Get talking.
I’m divorced, (11 years) working for a large company and recently called on a CEO in my territory.
I felt that he expressed personal interest in me. When I asked about his family, he said he’s a single dad. I let him know I’m a single mom.
My business dealings end this month; once the deal is signed, my calls on him will be more of a maintenance/social call.
Would it be inappropriate of me to invite him for dinner?
His interest may’ve been social… OR, just establishing business rapport. It’s unknown whether there’s a girlfriend in his life.
Professionally, it shouldn’t be you making the next move or future dealings might become uncomfortable.
When “maintenance” time comes around, call, and ask if he’d like you to visit the office for further discussions, or meet elsewhere (don’t specify dinner or drinks, that’s too direct). His response will determine the next move.
Tip of the day:
When a tattoo can end a relationship, it’s a symbol of greater differences.