Over the past month I have asked questions about whether or not your partner should tell you that you don’t look your best, including if they should mention that you don’t look as young as you used to. Needless to say, there was a lot of chatter going on about this…
Unless you’re married to Dorian Grey, you and your partner are going to change physically as the years progress- aging is inevitable. No one’s hair is the same color, or the same amount. Bodies shape shift. Lines appear out of no where. Should you mention the aging process to your partner? Probably not.
But…what about taking care of yourself? Do you have the right to tell your partner that they should take better care of themselves? Can you expect your partner to make an effort with their appearance?
What do I mean by this? Cleanliness- body and clothes. If you decide to take a helter skelter approach to bathing, does your partner have the right to say anything? Can we expect someone to be clean?
How about weight? Assuming it’s not a health issue, can we say anything to our partner about their weight? What if one partner is carrying an extra 10 pounds, but the other has gained more, and it is due to nothing more than overeating. Can we ask a partner to change their diet or watch what they eat? Is this open for discussion? What if one partner stops exercising? Is exercise part of self care?
Hair. Should you ask your partner to color their hair? If a man is balding, should you tell them to change the style? What about styling and cut? What constitutes effort as far as hair care? What if your partner stops cutting their hair?
And while we’re thinking about hair…what about those odd, unwanted hairs that start appearing on our bodies. I have a thing against ear hair- drives me crazy. Do I have the right to tell my partner to banish ear hair? Or nose hair? Am I allowed to follow him around with a tweezer?
Shaving. Should we tell our partner to shave or not to shave? If you don’t do anything about facial or body hair, does this show a lack of effort?
Clothing and style? Can we say to our partner “Where did you get that jacket? 1980?” or “Is that blouse from the “Little House on the Ugly Prairie” collection?” Is it right to expect our partner to dress from this decade, or adopt an appropriate style?
I guess in my roundabout way, my point is: Should we ask our partner to take care of themselves in a certain way? Or should we just accept their maintenance schedule as it is? What constitutes effort? What defines taking care of oneself? How should/does it affect one’s partner?
It’s Wednesday, and I’m back into thinking mode…