Minor issue in the skew of these boards, but important to me

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2000
Minor issue in the skew of these boards, but important to me
Tue, 05-27-2014 - 8:15pm

Help me to get over a disrecpect, distrust, bad judgement call from my husband. 

Our second marriage (10 years) 6 kids between us and LOTS of ups and downs with the exes, kids, parents, etc.  Bottom line is our marriage is good but there is one sore spot... his 24 year old son.  He walks on water to my husband.  Can do no wrong and growing up, was a HUGE sore spot for me and my kids.  We weathered the storm for 11 years, but still the kid can push the buttons.  Step Son visits for a week.  We blew through $1200 taking him places, flying him here, feeding him and entertaining him (and his buddy).  SS was supposed to be here to visit the hubby but can't come alone so it always is a costly visit.  We live paycheck to paycheck and have the last two kids at home. 

SS decides he wants a tattoo.  Not just any tattoo... a LARGE ONE.  Not only did he get it, but he talked my husband into getting matching ones.  I am DEAD SET AGAINS ANY TATTOO's or PIERCING ON MY KIDS.  Hubby knows my strong conviction and conservtive upbringing.  He comes home with SS with matching LARGE tattoo's in everyday public place (his calf on his leg.  All I did was cry. Hubby tells me it is his body to do what he wants. (which I guess is true) but you have to understand,,, we are a "We" we NEVER fight (unless his kid is getting 110% and mine is getting 30%).  I have taken the stand that if this tattoo was there when we met, it was a deal breaker and I would not consider a relationship.  Hence, this new tattoo needs to be removed.  Well the grand total os $5200 for treatments to remove... which we don't have available, 

I have sence found out family friends and neighbors have known of the tattoo plan for weeks.  He kept it from me until the deed was done and that it could not be taken back.  Please someone tell me something to put it in perspective for me to get over.  Seems like he has hit his mid life crisis.  Wants an earing like the son, tattoo like the son and now has started smoking a pipe.  I am a Respiratory Therapist with a mother fighting lung cancer and he knows how I feel about smoking... but it is his body he says.  WOW. 

I realize my issues are so small considering the other posts that are here, but this is huge to me.  Can anyone get thru to me to make it better?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Is the issue really the tattoo or the son?  What I mean is, if your DH had just gone out one day to get a tattoo on his own & had nothing to do w/ his son, would you have been just as upset?  I know large tattoos aren't cheap so if you were short on money, I'd be upset at him spending money on something like that if you couldn't afford it--on top of spending all the money on his son.  And it seems to me that spending $1200 in ONE WEEK on entertaining his ADULT son is kind of crazy in and of itself.  My DD is 25 and lives out of state and works full time.  When she comes home, she pays for it herself (whether she drives or flies) because right now I am short on money--I would love to be able to pay for her plane fare (which would be less than $200) but I can't right now.  I surely wouldn't pay for the plane fare of a friend--how did that come about?  I think that's really the big issue--I can even see him helping his son w/ plane fare if he can't afford it and you can if that is the only way he could get to see his son, but not adding on a friend and paying to cart them around and entertain them--why isn't his friend, who is presumably an adult also, not paying his own way?  

Now as far as the tattoo, I think you should drop this issue unless the picture on the tattoo is somehow offensive.  It was obviously a bonding thing between your DH & his son so you know you aren't going to win this one.  My 2nd DH had a bunch of tattoos when we met and I don't like tattoos at all, but I liked him so I learned to just ignore them--and he got more after we were together even though he knew I wasn't fond of tattoos.  But this wasn't the hill to die on as they say.  I would be more upset that he started smoking when you know it has health consequences.  I'm sure that right now he just feels like you are telling him what to do and he's fighting back--if you put it more of concerns like you are worried about his health and don't want him to die, then maybe he'd be more receptive.  Maybe you could bring home some brochures from work--I'll bet some people think that pipe smoking isn't as dangerous as cigarettes.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

IMHO, if this would have been a "deal breaker" in a potential relationship, then you are very shallow.  Your opinions about tattos and piercings are fine for YOUR OWN underage children, but once they are self supporting, it really is none of your business.  The fact that your husband had planned this escapade for weeks, tells me your husband is rebelling against YOU, your demands, ideologies, dislike of his children, etc.  Your behavior is emasculating.  His statement that it is HIS body is undeniably correct, and unless he walks around in shorts 24/7, it is NOT in a public place.  A public place would be on his face....  If this is truly a "deal-breaker", perhaps that is exactly what your husband was hoping for. 

If I were you, I'd shut my mouth, accept his children and their lifestyle, and stop telling my husband how to live life.  Perhaps if you got a job, you would not be so financially stressed, and it would also give you some cushion if he finally reaches his breaking point.  Couples and individual counseling would also be a good idea.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

You say you have a good marriage.........BUT.........!  You obviously have never discussed how money will be spent if you live paycheck to paycheck, yet he can blow money on not only his sons plane fare, but a "friend", and then both get tattoos, which one would think in a good marriage, he would know you don't approve of.  He obviously DOES know you disapprove, because he told neighbors, but not you!  Which says to me he not only doesn't give a darn what you like or don't like, what you probably wouldn't "approve" of, and certainly is showing his disrespect to you by telling neighbors about his plan....and telling them not to tell you! 

Getting a tattoo isn't the end of the world, and it could be on lots worse places than his calf.  But there is the financial aspect of it,  Again, this "good" husband doesn't care if you or your children go without something, he's going to spend money like he has it.  So, I think you need to re-assess your "good" marriage.  Of course, there is also the issue of who "earns" the money.  Do you work outside the home?  If so do you pool your finances?  If you have an income, and you pool your finances, then you need to set up your own accounts so that you can spend YOUR money as you see fit, and he can do the same.  If you do NOT work outside the home, then maybe you need to look for a job so that you're not living paycheck to paycheck.  As for his "pipe smoking" you have every right to not allow it IN the house.....let him sit outside to smoke.  Everyone knows it's not healthy, and it stinks up the house.  The two of you probably should get some marriage counseling because you both seem to have your own agenda, and that does NOT make a healthy marriage.  Get over the tattoo.  He could do lots worse things!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I also just want to add--think about what you would do if one of your kids grows up and decides to get a tattoo.  For kids today, tattoos aren't a big deal and comparable to having a hairstyle or pierced ears.  I was pretty surprised when my DD, who is a kind of conservative dresser and very girly and only has one piercing on her ears, decided when she was in college she would get a tattoo.  she got 3 pink stars on the top of her foot.  Now my son is 18 and he is talking about what kind of tattoo he is going to get.  These are both honor students by the way and she is a nurse and he wants to be one too.  I told him it was up to him about getting a tattoo--I just won't pay for it.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  The issue is your need to control.  Of course he hid it from you.  Only when he is with his son does he get the gall to stand up to you.   The issue are he is under a great strain.  And realizes his mortality.  I suggest reading greek mythology these are common themes. 

   Yes I know you are under a strain too.  However,Going up against the son is a losing battle.  My children problem is classic.    It is normal.  It happens in every society.    No, the tat does not need to be removed.  it sounds like he allowed you to be dominate and now he  is feeling mortality and rethinking his life.  He only gets one life and when itis filled with regrets it is not  good.

  As far as the pipe smoking get over your self.  It reads like a jailer and  her inmate. or  slave.  Some males are so taken that they allow this and then come to their senses. 

   Little story:  My father wanted a brand of car (it has a connotation) but my mother and I were against it.  Many years later it dawned on me what that meant to him.  By then my parents were dead  6 months apart(i was stil in college).  If I could go back that is one thing I would change.  If I was rich enough I would buy it for him.  


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2014

As someone coming out of a 13 year old relationship where my husband had felt the same as you regarding my middle son. Our marriage didn't last, he felt I was always putting my son above him and his wishes. So what if your husband and his son went and got tatoos. It is a bonding experience, and your husband is a grown man. To be quite honest, I am surprised the two of you have lasted with the feelings you have towards his son.  I think the two of you have issues to work out if your marriage is going to last.