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'AITA for not being excited about my wife’s tattoo?' 'It’s just a visceral gut reaction.'

'AITA for not being excited about my wife’s tattoo?' 'It’s just a visceral gut reaction.'

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"AITA for not being excited about my wife’s tattoo?"

So a bit of background; I don’t like tattoos. I find them off-putting and unattractive and I don’t think they look good on anyone, man or woman. It’s entirely 100% a “me” problem.

Intellectually I know that there’s nothing wrong with tattoos, and they’re a great form of self-expression and they can be moving and meaningful and all that jazz. I know that. It’s just a visceral gut reaction I have that causes this particular hang-up.

My wonderful wife of 13 years wants to get a tattoo. She knows I don’t care for them and she asked me what I thought about her getting one. I said tattoos weren’t my favorite but it was her body and her business and I would love her just the same if she got one. Maybe not super well-phrased answer but she grumpily accepted it.

Now she would like me to help her design the tattoo, and/or make it a tattoo in my handwriting maybe? I said I wasn’t sure I was super comfortable with that and that she should do what she wants to do but that I didn’t really want to be involved in the process. She didn’t like that reply.

She is upset now because she says that I’m making her feel like she can’t get a tattoo and she’ll never get one now even though she’s always wanted one. I feel like she wants me to be excited about this and I really want her to do what she wants, but I’m NOT excited about it and I just don’t know if I can pretend to be. That’s not a permanent lie I care to commit to. So AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Illuminator007 said:

NAH. You expressed a preference when asked, but are taking no direction or action from stopping her from doing what she wishes. You're also declining to participate in a process that doesn't interest you.

But once piece of advice: Like you, I don't care much for tattoos. My wife has several. You know what I do like though? Confidence. If those tattoos help her feel confident, help her feel bold, then I'm calling it a win; even if I don't care for them aesthetically.

oliviamrow said:

NTA. I am your wife in this situation; my husband dislikes tattoos but did not attempt to dissuade me from getting one, which I did. But I'd kind of always been interested in one and finally committed after I had an idea that I'd liked firmly for a year or so.

I told hubs what I was thinking so it wouldn't be a surprise or anything; he nodded and smiled and that was it and that was all I expected. (Going through a similar thing now as I'm adding some color to it.)

If your wife was DEAD SET on a very specific thing that would be important to her that required your involvement, like "I want my tattoo to be our signatures tied together so I need your signature" I think that would be an okay ask, but still up to you to do it or not as you see fit.

But if she wants a tattoo it's not YOUR responsibility to come up with one she likes and you don't owe her your creative labor on something you're not even into. TBH if she can't come up with a tattoo idea she likes herself she might not be ready for a tattoo?

But if she's really determined to get one without having something in mind, she could always just find a local tattoo artist she likes and go through their books to pick something. Like it's fine if she wishes you liked it more, but she shouldn't take it out on you (which is how I'm reading your statement that she's "upset"). You feel how you feel.

Nihlys said:

NTA. The people here saying otherwise are being absolutely ridiculous. You clearly told her you not objecting to her getting a tattoo. You're not trying to talk her out of it or trying to infringe on her right to do what she wants in any way.

Saying you're ok with her getting one, but not comfortable being involved to the point of helping design it is very reasonable and she's being an AH by trying to manipulate you.

If a woman was on here talking about how her husband was pressuring her into doing something by trying to guilt her into it with phrases like the ones you mentioned.

("She is upset now because she says that I’m making her feel like she can’t get a tattoo and she’ll never get one now even though she’s always wanted one") people would be saying he's gaslighting, toxic and she needs to get away from him as soon as possible.

divinanity said:

NTA. Your response has been pretty much the most reasonable way someone who doesn't like tattoos could handle this situation. You're not obligated to be involved or pretend that you like something that you don't.

It would be very different if you were covertly trying to pressure her not to get a tattoo or if you continually tried to suck the joy out of it for her if she actually gets one, but that doesn't seem to be happening here.

6felt9 said:

NTA. It seems like this whole thing with the handwriting is her way of getting your tacit approval or blessing for the tattoo. You were involved therefore you have to be ok with it or like it, whatever.

You were honest about your feelings when she asked. You did not insult her or demean her. You are not telling her not to do it for your sake. Therefore, NTA.

DoobieKeebler28 said:

NTA. She wants you to participate in something you don't care for. You aren't telling her she can't have one, but that isn't enough for her. You have to enjoy it, or she won't be happy? How would she feel if the roles were reversed and she was against something permanent that you wanted to do, but allowed you to do anyway, but you insisted that she also be happy about it and participate in it happening?

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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