I came into my relationship with my husband already having three tattoos. He does a lot of photography in his spare time (as well as being a brilliant writer; he’s very multi-talented!) which is how I first came to know him; as a model posing for him. His style of work tends to attract a lot of “alt”-looking girls; girls with lots of tattoos, brightly colored hair, very strong senses of personal style.
While I first assumed that his openness to the look of his models would be reflected in his feelings on how his partner looked, I realized that that really wasn’t going to be the case. He would never, of course, tell me I “couldn’t” get any more tattoos, but every time I bring up the idea of adding another one to my collection, I can just see him inwardly cringing at the thought.
Why he feels this way, I’m not quite sure, although I suspect it has something to do with growing up in a family where tattoos were seen as “bad” things. The tattoos I’ve considered since we have been together have all been of the inspirational kind; something I can look at on really bad days to help motivate me forward.
In the span of our relationship, I have developed moderate myalgic encephalomyelitis (which is sometimes confused with both fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the US, where we are). The point is, it’s stopped me from working a regular job, and the last six years have been a nightmare of health problems. I’ve also been clinically depressed since I was about 15.
Between the two of those things, there are a LOT of days when it seems easier to give up than keep going.
And that’s where the “inspirational tattoo” would come in. My therapist even has encouraged me to get one.
When I told my husband that, he was clearly swallowing a lot of objections and said that if it would help me, I should get it. Seeing all the objections he wasn’t voicing took all the fun and good vibes I was feeling about the tattoo out of the process, so I still haven’t gotten one. What I’d really like is for him to see the new tattoo the way I do, as something very positive, which would encourage me and help me get through the awful parts of life.
Even though I know it’s my body, my choice, he’ll eventually get used to it, etc… I still can’t muster up the will to have the new ink laid until I feel like he’s on board with it.
How do you reconcile your tattoo needs with that of your partners?