Poor Shakira started a firestorm the other day when she confessed that she had to ask her boyfriend, Gerard Pique, for permission before shooting a sexy music video with Rihanna. What’s a grown woman doing asking for permission before making decisions about her career? Well … maybe she’s just being a good girlfriend?
Hey, someone had to say it! If there is one thing I’ve learned in the 13 1/2 years since my wedding, it’s that marriage is a partnership. And at the risk of being labeled anti-feminist, sometimes that means giving my husband the chance to say “eh, please don’t do that,” before I make a decision.
Take a week ago when I decided — last minute — to once again shave my head to fight children’s cancer. Before I signed up, I first went to my husband and asked, “Do you mind if I shave my head for St. Baldrick’s again this year?” It’s my hair on the line, but I’ll have to fundraise and show up the day of the event, plus someone needs to keep an eye on our daughter while I’m sitting in a chair having clippers buzzing around my head. He didn’t say, “no,” but if he had, I’d have respected it.
Really, it comes down to common courtesy. He’s not being “controlling;” he’s having an opinion … and as his spouse, you’d want him to respect your opinion, right? So why not respect his?
Don’t see yourself shaving your head any time soon? You’re not off the hook, hon.
If you want to stay on good terms, you might want to keep him in mind and ASK before you do any of the following:
1. Throwing out his ratty old t-shirts. I have seen many a wife prattle on on Facebook about how she’s finally gotten rid of his stash of awful tees from college. My husband has his own fair share of those holey t-shirts, but I won’t touch them for one simple reason: I know I’d be annoyed if he ever dared throw out MY “I swear I’ll be skinny enough for these again one day” jeans.
2. Planning a girls night. I don’t care who is going out, frankly, but it’s common courtesy to check in with your significant other before setting up a night out. Who knows if he has to work late that night? Or was planning to take you out (hey, it could happen!). The point is, if he’s got to plan to stay home with the kids, or find a sitter so he can do his own thing that night, he should at least get a heads up.
3. Hitting up the joint account to buy something for yourself. Now, now, I don’t mean you should have to check in with the hubs every time you want to go grocery shopping. But if you have a joint account, the idea is that the money will be used on things that benefit both parties. If you’re thinking of splurging on something that’s for you and you alone, do what you’d hope he’d do in the same situation.
4. Planning a family vacation. My husband hates Disney World with a passion. We’ve gone twice, anyway, because we wanted to do something nice for our daughter, but you’d better believe I made sure he was on board first! Family vacations are for just that — the FAMILY. All adults involved should have a say in where you go and when.
5. Wearing his clothes. Some folks may disagree with me on this, and I’ll be honest, I’ve grabbed one of my husband’s sweatshirts from the dryer without asking his permission. But I stopped doing it after he spotted me in one and said he’d actually been planning on wearing it himself. Oops!
6. Inviting company to the house. What if he wants to spend a nice Saturday in his PJs on the couch? Not the best time to invite your BFF and her whole family over, huh? (P.S. This goes double if it’s your parents).
7. Pulling the goalie. WHY oh WHY oh WHY do some women think it’s OK to just not use birth control without telling their partner? That’s one of the most low down tricks in the book, ladies, and your partner deserves better.
8. Throwing a playdate. If I’m taking my daughter out of the house, I usually don’t bother to ask. But if he’s having a tough day at work, he deserves to weigh in on whether some strange kid will be sitting on our couch, talking his ear off, when he gets home.
9. Eating the leftovers. Ever had a major craving for the rest of last night’s dinner (or dessert!) only to come home and find someone ate it all? Just ask first, OK?
10. Starting an extreme diet. Now, I’m not saying you need his permission to get healthy. But if you’re going to suddenly ban all carbs from the house, it’s best to make sure the other adult in the house is ready to bid bye bye to bread.
11. Buying new sheets. Can he sleep on flannel or does he find it to be insanely irritating? Worth finding out if he has to sleep on them!
12. Painting the walls. What if that pretty purple gives him a headache? Just saying … it’s a lot cheaper to just ask first.
13. Hanging out with an ex. He’s a jerk if he forbids it, but if he asks to go along, well … isn’t that within his rights?