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Tattoo causes relationship rift

John Gray answers readers' questions about their relationships.
BY JOHN GRAY Published: June 14, 2012

DEAR JOHN: I'm 37 and have been in a relationship with Max for 12 years. Although we are not married, we live together. Recently, I decided I wanted a tattoo. Max was against this and told me so several times. In fact, he said if I got one I'd have to move out and live somewhere else. I laughed about it, thinking his overreaction was a joke. The tattoo I got is on my hip toward my stomach. No one can see it unless I wear a bikini and that's not a good look for me!

Turns out, Max is furious. He refuses to talk to me and he won't have sex with me. It's going on two months now. Despite Max's philosophy that life is too short and we should enjoy doing the things we want, when I did this, it was obvious I made a big mistake! His behavior is killing our relationship. What do I do now?

Happily Inked, in San Bruno, Calif.

DEAR HAPPILY INKED: I have no idea why your guy so objects to a little body art, but apparently, he was serious when he told you “several times” not to do this. I would tell you to talk with him about it, but I'm assuming that you tried many times already. Of course, it would have been better if you had an open, honest discussion about his concerns before having the tattoo put on, but now that things are etched in skin, it's too late for that argument.

I'm sure it hurt getting that tattoo put on, and it would hurt just as much to get it taken off. Then again, that might be your only option. In his mind, he drew a line and he viewed what you did as an act of disregard and disrespect. At this point, I think the situation comes down to lose the tattoo or lose him. If you decide to move on, he may decide that he loves you — tattoo and all — and have a change of heart, but that's a risk you'll have to take.

DEAR JOHN: My husband and I have been married six months. I am 23, and James is 27. We are both spoiled, so sharing a life together has been a challenge.

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