Facial Hair as Trigger

My husband and I fight mostly about two things: his (adult) kids and his lack of attention to grooming. Tonight, I will discuss the latter. Firstly, he hates shaving. As a woman I shave the relevant bits almost daily so I don’t really get the gripe. It’s kind of like Nike says, you just do it. Now I don’t mind the light beard that he adorns, however I do like some attention paid to how long it gets and overall presentation. I get that the hipster men have made beards the new zeitgeist, though don’t get me started on that. I just think it is a cover for lack of real manhood… oops, did I say that out loud!

Back to hubby. So every 10 days I am usually subtly suggesting he goes for the trim, tidies up a bit, and he nods and agrees but days later, it is just growing fiercer by the minute. And now, I am starting to get obsessed. The pattern is, we are travelling along great, madly in loveĀ and I think he is beautiful and funny and sexy and I let my guard down and then I do some therapy work and the memories or emotions creep in and all of a sudden some protector parts are out and we go home and we start looking at the husband more objectively and all of a sudden he isn’t that beautiful or funny or sexy and his clothes are starting to hang and he looks like a hobo. Shite, they think, who the hell did we marry?! This guy doesn’t take care of his appearance, he is scruffy, he doesn’t care about himself, let alone me (or us). So I mention the hair again and he says he will do it, but this time is acting a little aloof and there is a tone there I am reading that perhaps he thinks I am trying to control him… again… mmh… so I get resentful and narky and this time a little more insistant and passionate with the pleas. I may even come across threatening. ‘I won’t shave for a month’ I think, or I tell him that I aim to please him by looking good, doesn’t he want to do the same for me? It seems like he doesn’t, and I start thinking that I have attracted someone who thinks their worthless, which of course makes sense, because I am worthless and I get what I deserve. The stinking thinking sets in and I am all alone in my head and it is not pleasant and I don’t like this man and I don’t want him to touch me or look at me, I just want to run and be free from all this bullshit and trivial stuff and I am embarrassed this is happening, and I just wish he would solve it all by actually shaving and trimming his freaking beard. That is it. That is all I need. And then finally, after smoke is coming out of my nostrils, he does it. And he does an average job mind you and I have to fix it up, and I get angry again because I am not a barber and I just wish he would do it properly. At 54 years of age, I mean come on people!!!

So I go to bed angry and I give him all I got. ‘One thing’, I yell, ‘One thing I need from you and you cannot give it to me. Why, when I tell you it makes me feel worthless and like a piece of shit, do you procrastinate and not do it?’. ‘I did it two weeks ago’, he defends himself. ‘People do it every single day’, I am fuming. ‘I am not like other people’. ‘No’, I say, ‘no, you are terminally unique of course’. He ignores me, he thinks I am in parts. Well I probably am, but he is not helping. Dammit, why can’t I let go of this resentment and fall madly in love with him again. I have to wait a few days or maybe weeks and I am not sure what it is that eventually gets ‘me’ back to ‘me’…. until the next cycle.

Infuriating I know. If I apply the AA 4th step way, then this is how it looks:

I am angry at my husband because he doesn’t take care of his personal appearance. I don’t want him to be some Nancy boy or look at himself in the mirror more than I do, but I do want him to trim his beard once a week and brush his teeth twice a day and shave his hair every fortnight ideally.

It affects my self esteem, personal and sexual relations, pride.

What did I do to get the ball rolling? I am not letting him be who he wants to be. I am being prideful and vain. (It makes me angry just to write that by the way).

Character defects: Fear, shame, guilt, self centred.

Taking this one step further now and using this to connect with my parts… What does this trigger in my inner world?

I am scared of him when he has too much hair, we don’t like it, it makes us scared and we think he will hurt us. We think he is more friendly and young when it is short and nicely kept and he doesn’t look scary.

Sometimes I wish my husband would understand what a drama his procrastination creates inside me, but then I feel selfish and embarrassed for making such a big deal about facial hair. Blah!


2 thoughts on “Facial Hair as Trigger

  1. One of my girlfriends is a fashionista. Since she joined the family she has dramatically changed my wife’s wardrobe so that she can look pretty for me and for herself. She’s never ugly about her desire to look good or her wish for me to look nice, too, but she’s infectious in her attitude and it has started to rub off on me. The other girlfriend and her little sister like to rub cheeks with me instead of kissing me, but they like it best when I am smoothly shaven. The girls do NOT like it when I have a beard either, so I understand your triggers with it. So I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. But maybe you or the others could find a positive way to approach the subject like some of the girls in my wife’s network have. From your brief description it sounds like it’s becoming a contentious issue. Maybe someone can ‘reframe’ the subject. Wish I could be more help. I’m sorry for the distress this is causing you.


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