Wife is miffed that him not wearing his hair system undermines their business and relationship.
My husband "Phil" has been wearing hair for over ten years. We are a real estate team, so looking sharp is important, not just in our photos but when we interact with the public. Well, Phil has decided he doesn't want to wear his hairpiece anymore. He's "over it," he says. Mitch, I like him with hair. He looks younger and handsomer to me. He looks more professional and capable to our clients. He insists it is his decision alone and has turned this on me. Not only are our clients mentioning that he doesn't look like his photos on our website and brochures and cards, but also we've lost a few of our clients in the middle of the process. I think it’s the hair. It makes that much of a difference. I say Phil is being selfish and shortsighted. As his wife and lover, I think my opinion counts. As his business partner, I think my opinion counts. I can live with his not wearing hair. But his stubbornness makes me feel like I'm "over it." What do you think?
Westside Realtor, South Florida
Dear Westside Realtor –
Whenever one person in a relationship makes an abrupt change -- be it in appearance or behavior -- it can indeed be shocking and upsetting to the applecart. Decisions or coming to a conclusion about a particular issue are best shared and discussed rather than immediately declared and acted on. Any relationship is a partnership, a team, and the two of you have a responsibility to yourselves and each other to act accordingly. You also have blended your personal and professional worlds, so it becomes that much more important to behave in this way.
I would imagine if Phil came to you and said, “Here’s what I’m thinking about and wanting to do,” the conversation might have turned into a more fruitful discussion. If he goes from hair to no hair, then the pictures on the website would need to be changed, understanding there are time and cost factors that have to be considered. Matters of your brand and image would need to be taken into account by both of you.
On the personal side it sounds as if you’re less attracted to him without hair and more so when he’s with hair. That is reasonable and also needs to be brought to the table. Just remember that even though you’ve blended your business and personal worlds, the challenges you’re having in each need to be separated out. He needs to know how you feel in all of this -- and make sure you’re completely honest about it. Don’t say you can live with something when you would prefer not to. That doesn’t mean he’s back to wearing hair; it just means that everyone’s feelings, thoughts, ideas and wants have an opportunity to be shared before reaching any definitive conclusions.
It will be critical for you to have two separate conversations. One is business related, the perceived pros and cons of hair versus no hair and coming to an agreement on how you plan to proceed as a team. Then switch gears, preferably not on the heels of one conversation but allowing a break before addressing the personal side. Those are two different energies and need to be respected as such. At the same time there is no order to follow, just the allowance of a break before the other is addressed.
One last suggestion is to get really clear and present about what you want to see happen in contrast to how you may be feeling when you’re triggered and upset. Nothing will be accomplished if your approach still has upset written all over it.
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