Dear Tell All: My husband has always had a say in how I looked, starting when we were dating. He made it clear he liked my hair long, my skirts short and my shirts tight. We had fun shopping for my clothes together on State Street and beyond.
We’ve been married for about five years now, and he still passes judgment on almost every outfit I wear. He also forbids me to get my hair cut shorter than shoulder-length, even though it’s a pain to take care of. Well, maybe “forbid” is too strong a word. But he’s made it very clear how unhappy he’d be with a shorter hairstyle.
I want my husband to like the way I look, of course, but I don’t always feel like being super-sexy, especially in my 30s.
A friend recently told me I’d look good in shorter hair, but I’d be worried to even bring that up again at the dinner table.
Should a man have so much influence on his wife’s appearance?
Dear Barbie: There’s no correct answer to this question when it’s phrased in the abstract. Some women enjoy dressing to please a partner, and some do not. I’ll stay out of that larger argument; to each her own.
But in individual cases, there can be a correct answer. And in your case, the answer is: Stop dressing just to please your husband. I know it’s the correct answer because your frustration is evident.
Once upon a time you liked wearing short skirts and taking care of long hair. Now you like it less, and hubby will have to deal with it. You’re not a mannequin, Barbie, and you’re ultimately in control of your own appearance. Hopefully your husband values you for more than just your looks.
If he doesn’t, pack your bags and buy him a subscription to Playboy. It will make a lovely parting gift.
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