I am very much in love with my girlfriend and I want to marry her. Recently, she got a tattoo on her left wrist that I do not like whatsoever. I am trying to get over it but the idea of looking at it the rest of my life is not thrilling.
I keep telling myself it is not a big deal but why do I loathe it so? She did not get it behind my back. Due to some miscommunication she got it anyway. We have had several conversations before about how I do not like them.
Do you have any advice for me to try and get over this faster?
We’re not crazy about answering questions with our hands tied behind our back. That is what you’re doing by asking us to help you get over this. Perhaps that is the direction in which you should go, but we would be remiss if we didn’t suggest that the depth of your loathing (your word) demands that you rethink your premise.
We know that people often write their questions quickly. We may be reading more into what you wrote than is necessary. However, perhaps your letter reveals more than you intended. You say that you had many conversations about your dislike for tattoos, but that is was simply a miscommunication that your girlfriend got one anyway. Sorry, but that doesn’t add up.
In every marriage, there are times that husband and wife disagree. Being able to resolve those disagreements is essential to harmony. We suspect that the issue here isn’t the tattoo, but that deep down you see getting the tattoo as your girlfriend’s statement that she doesn’t care what you think. You are so invested in the relationship that you can’t face that possibility.
Our advice would not be to work on getting over this, but instead to get relationship counseling. Sometimes pre-marital counseling should actually be pre-engagement counseling and we do suggest that in your case. Either the two of you will emerge with a stronger relationship and the tattoo will become less important or you will realize that, despite how you feel, there is not a happy future in the picture.
Wishing you the courage to face reality, wherever it leads,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin