Wife's bad hair days has her husband pulling out his own hair in frustration.
I was searching the Web and came across this site, and to tell you the truth, I am not sure this is the place to be complaining. I trust you will advise me otherwise if I seem off base, and I surely don’t want to be insulting anyone who finds support here. But here is my dilemma. My wife is not suffering from hair loss. So, how is that a problem? Every day she spends a ridiculous amount of time working on her hair. Hair dryers, flatirons, curlers — it seems nonstop. Fine to say that some women do this type of thing; I can live with that part. The part that drives me insane, and really her too, is that how her hair looks each day determines her mood. Bad hair days mean unhappy, and this, quite frankly, leaves me open for target practice. I am done telling her that her hair looks great. She apparently sees something or someone I am not seeing. Is this normal ? Am I making a mountain out of a full head of hair? Help!
— Pulling My Hair Out in LA, CA
Dear Pulling My Hair Out –
Let me give you the short answer and work my way backward: It’s not about her hair.
It’s never about what we think it’s about as long as the person’s peace is upset and he or she is at the mercy of thoughts and emotions. With that said, there is no easy solution to what you are looking for — sanity — unless you can re-frame the experience as you relate to it. It sounds as if her hair never looks good enough or she can never get it right or that some piece of the hair puzzle is just not going to cut it. If that’s the case, you need to ask yourself — in what areas of your own life does not “enoughness” or never just right or just not going to cut it keep showing up? You would go a long way toward your own healing by looking deeper into your own upset. I would venture to say you energetically play into this game with her and perhaps engage in dialogue that allows her even more wiggle room to grow the problem. But I will tell you something that will take you toward where you want to go. A funny thing happens when we heal our own stuff. Not only do we feel better, but also we become a catalyst for our partner to do the same. And if her healing still seems a long way off, you not buying into “the story” goes a long way to starving hers.
She may always have been prone to excessive flatirons, curlers and hair dryers. The difference could be that she is either happy or not happy with her hair and doesn’t let it impact the rest of her day. I would encourage you to share your feelings with her in a moment of connection and “lightness” between the two of you. I would talk about your feelings and what gets stirred inside of you when you see her upset. In reality, you’ll never have to call her on her stuff; she will naturally figure out her part once she sees you owning yours. That is the beauty behind personal responsibility. In a solid relationship it usually takes just one person to initiate the process. Give it a try and let me know.
Dear Mitch is written by “The Relationship Coach”, also known as Mitch Newman, M.A.. Write Dear Mitch at DearMitch@hairloss.com or follow this link to fill out a form. Every letter is carefully reviewed but because of the large numbers of letters we receive, not every letter can be answered.
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