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Why it’s okay to ask for your husband’s opinion

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By Liz Pulo

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When telling an old friend I was going to get a nose piercing at the belated age of 25, I had expected a reaction… but not this one.

She wrinkled her nose and looked at me as though I’d just announced I’d be voting for Tony Abbott at the next election. “So let me get this straight: when you got married, your husband suddenly took control of your body?”

My husband took control of my body?
I thought I’d just said “I’ve just got to let Jarod [my husband] get used to the idea, then I’ll get the piercing”, but based on her response what came out of my mouth must have sounded more like:
“Jarod has me under lock and key. It was really nice of him to let me out of the house today; usually I’m just stuck inside doing womanly things like baking and cleaning.”

At the time I’d managed to change the topic, unwilling to open that can of worms with my friend, but I’ve been left thinking about it ever since.

Feminism is great. I love it. Rock on, sisters.  Julia Gillard pulling up Tony Abbott in parliament? Highlight of my year! Equal rights for women? Hell yeah! Rape is bad? Damn straight!

I am a strong, independent woman. I am in a wonderful relationship with my husband, one built on trust and respect. I consider him my best friend, and I married him because I really would like to spend the rest of my life with him.

What confuses me is that according to my proud feminist friend, if I want to support women’s rights, I shouldn’t take his opinions and thoughts into account when it comes to anything about my body. And that includes putting a piece of metal in it.

When I got home I posed a question to Jarod.  “If I got a nose piercing without even telling you I was considering it, how would that make you feel?” His answer was simple: a little hurt, a little left out. Would he get over it? Of course.

But to me, the issue runs deeper than that.  Jarod treats me as an equal. We respect each other’s decisions. We keep each other involved in our lives because we want to, not because we feel we have to get each other’s approval before we act. We have shared finances and consider each other when we go to make purchases because that’s the respectful thing to do.

Have I hit the jackpot with this man? Surely I’m not alone in sharing a relationship in which both parties are equal. I can’t name any men I know of who would forcibly refuse a woman the right to do what she wanted to her own body.

Ultimately, my getting a nose piercing will effect Jarod more than it will anyone else in my life. He’s the one who’ll have to spend more time than most looking at it. If I were in a relationship with a woman, I would be asking her opinion as well.

That’s why next time my friend screws her nose up at me, I am going to let her know that this isn’t about ‘men having control’, this is about ‘respecting your partner’.  Something that should come standard with equal rights, regardless of gender.

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Liz Pulo - to view all of Liz's blog post click here

Liz has recently moved to Hobart with her husband Jarod and cat Train. She is a virtual assistant by day and freelance writer by night. She finds the warm glow of her computer screen strangely comforting and refuses to let her doctor check her Vitamin D levels.

Website: http://www.lizosaurus.com/

  • My partner and I also respect each other! And it is wonderful.

  • Me and my husband have a great respect for one another! But I would rarely ask his opinion on something like a piercing or a tattoo or a hairstyle change and most of the time I’d surprise him with it rather than letting him know beforehand.

  • yep. You said “I have to let him get used to the idea” not “I have to ask his permission”. different. completely different.
    when my husband met me, I had jet black hair. I “let him get used to the idea” of me going back to the blonde he never knew me as. It’s not like I wasn’t going to do it anyway, he just needed warming to the idea rather than a shock when he came home one night and there is a blonde in his bed….

  • I often find myself consulting my husband, not because I need his approval but because I value his opinion. That has got to be a sign of a great relationship!! Thanks for sharing, Liz!

  • Marriage is respect for each other and it is a partnership. I agree with you. I would also discuss anything I do with my husband, not for permission but out of respect.

  • I think, personally, that it is common decency to ensure your partner is aware of decisions you make, no matter how big or small. They may not always like what we do, but they deserve the respect of ‘knowledge’ before the fact, rather than after. I agree. I run everything by my partner, whether he is happy with my choice or not.

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