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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Boyfriend isn't cool with the tattoo I want.

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Author Topic: Boyfriend isn't cool with the tattoo I want.
libertatissacra
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So, I've been wanting this tattoo. I haven't had it done yet mostly because I've been waiting for my good friend to get the money to do his tattoo, so we could do it together (the tattoos we want are totally unrelated, but we'd like to go in together). We went around to a few places to talk to some artists and get price quotes today, found a place where we'd really like to get it done, and were planning to make appointments for this weekend.

Thing is, I'd sort of left my boyfriend out of the loop with this, which may have been a bad call on my part, but now that I've told him...he's really, really against the idea. Not just the idea of me getting a tattoo, but he's also specifically against what I want and where I want it.

I was planning to get a sort of stylised depiction of Romulus and Remus as infants with their wolf "mother," across my chest above my breasts. The idea for the design came from a mosaic found in the ruins of a Roman house, and the artist is willing to work with me to tweak it slightly to look just how I want it, and I was really excited that this is finally going to happen. But, I tell my boyfriend this, and he says "So you're defiling your boobs." Then he goes on to say that he finds the whole story of Romulus and Remus "vulgar" and refuses to make any attempt to understand why I want this on my body because it's a symbol of something that I've been fascinated by for my entire life. All he does is continue to nay-say not just the fact that I want this tattoo, but my entire interest in Roman mytholgy and history. He was sure to say that he knew he couldn't control what I did and wouldn't actually try to stop me, but also made it painfully clear that he more or less thought I was an idiot for wanting it.

So, I'm torn. I still really want the tattoo. But, I also really love my boyfriend, and we honestly do have a really good relationship. I certainly don't think that, were I to get it, it would end our relationship. He'd probably be pissed for a while, get over it, and possibly even come to like it (or at least accept it) over time. And on the one hand, yeah, it is my body and my interest and my choice, so I should do what I want and screw what anyone else thinks. But, on the other hand, relationships are a two-way street, and I'm not sure it's right for me to tell the man I love and live with to just shove it and deal with and not at least take his feelings on the matter into consideration.

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"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
-Oscar Wilde

Posts: 115 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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A few years ago, I was planning a new tattoo, and when I finally had the design all worked out I talked to my partner about it, and he was really apprehensive. Not about me getting tattoos (I already had one at that point, which he liked, and he knew I was planning more), but about this specific design. It turned out that an ex-girlfriend of his had a similar tattoo, and he just did not want to have that association in his mind every time he saw my tattoo. While I was upset and disappointed because I really had my heart set on that design, I could understand his apprehension, and waited a little while longer to design a different tat.

The point is, it IS your body. But you are also sharing it with a partner, so there's a balance to be struck there. Has he been able to explain what bothers him about the tattoo? Does he have an issue with tattoos in general? Is it the location that bothers him? Something about the symbolism of the design? If it's one of the latter, you might be able to talk about it and find a compromise that works for both of you. If it's the first, then you'll just have to think about how important this tattoo is to you (and know that I don't think it would cruel or unfeeling to want the tattoo - I understand how meaningful and important they can be!).

There's one thing that makes me a little uncomfortable about your post, and that's the fact that it sounds like he doesn't take you very seriously when it comes to your interests in hobbies. His reaction sounds immature and disrespectful. How does he usually behave when it comes to interests and hobbies of yours that he does not share? Is this just a big exception, or is him not taking you seriously in this respect something that happens more often?

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
libertatissacra
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Part of it is that he's sort of squicked by the ideas of tattoos in general. Not so much how they look so much as the process by which they're acquired. He has a thing against pain and needles, which is understandable. Also, probably because of his personal dislike of the process, he has trouble understanding why anyone would actually want to go through the process of getting a tattoo, no matter how cool the end product may look.

Also, he just finds the story of Romulus and Remus rather grotesque and prmitive. Which, admittedly, it kind of it. Two brothers abandoned at birth, raised by wolves, and then one kills the other and goes on to found a country that continued a fairly bloody and violent tradition. I find it fascinating, he finds it disgusting.

We have talked more about it, once our emotions cooled down (and he cooked me a delicious dinner as a way of apologising for being a total ***), and he's said that while he's still not crazy about the idea, he's totally okay with me getting it if I really want it and if it will make me happy, but he'd like it if I didn't do it as soon as this weekend, just to give him some time to adjust to the idea. And, as I said before, it really was probably a bad call on my part to just come home waving a piece of paper in his face saying "Look at the tattoo I'm getting this weekend!" out of the blue.

He's not usually so disrespectful of my interests and hobbies. I mean, he'll make jokes in good humour about me being a book worm, but he also knows that most of my hobbies and interests were held close to my heart long before I knew him, and he's respectful of that. This is a pretty isolated incident. I think I mostly just caught him a little off guard, so he reacted more immaturely than he normally would have.

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"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
-Oscar Wilde

Posts: 115 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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