Life Advice



Ask Amy: Poorly placed tattoo causes grief

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I know this is permanent. I am just going to have to get over it, but I don’t know how to explain my feelings to my husband, because I am struggling to understand them.

I know that if he’d had this tattoo when I met him, I would have never gone on the first date — I just find it so unattractive.

Right now, I do not want him touching me and we are barely speaking to each other. My husband is a very vain man. I know I have wounded his pride/ego with my reaction to this.

What should I do?

– Teary

Dear Teary: You say you don’t want to wound your husband’s ego (you are not in charge of protecting and placating his ego, by the way), but, if that is your goal, then days of silence punctuated by crying will be worse for him, his ego, and your relationship, than the truth.


This is his body. He has the right to adorn it. But the thing about a tattoo on the neck and down the breastbone is that others will look at it more often than he does. And you, arguably, will see it more often than anyone.

So, tell him: “I’m not really sure why this has upset me so much, but it is the placement of it that is triggering my emotions.”

I could guess that the ink’s presence so near to his pulsing jugular, heart and lungs might remind you that this physically brave man (whose job is to save people, after all), is actually extremely vulnerable.

You are vulnerable, too – and it’s time to be honest about that.


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