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Ask The Good Enough Guy: I Want My Boyfriend To Lose His Tattoo!

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Hi Will, love the column! I have told my boyfriend about it and we decided that whatever you advise about our problem is what we will do. So here goes. He has his ex’s name tattooed on his chest!  Every time we make love I have to see it.  When he showers I have to see it. When he plays basketball with his boys, EVERYBODY sees it. It is so embarrassing especially since they have a child together and he has to see and be with her. This bothers me to no end. I asked him to get it covered up, but he says he really likes the design and it’s just unfortunate that her name is there. He said he will get my name tatted on his body too, one day, but I don’t care to even share his body like that.  What should I do, Will?

Sincerely,

Hatin’ his tattoo

Hey HHT,

I have a simple fix: how about you don’t look at it? Don’t shower with him, don’t watch him play basketball, and only make love in positions that face you away from his chest. Problem solved! You’re welcome.

Oh, you’re still here? I guess that means that the first answer wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Okay, let’s try something else.

OPTION ONE: LET IT GO. Personally I don’t know what possesses anybody to get a tattoo. I’ve never seen anything that was so fantastic that I wanted to carve it onto my body and stare at it for the rest of my life. If people want to know my kids’ names or what branch of the military I served in, they can just ask me. The things in my life that I never want to forget, I’ll just have to remember. And nothing is original forever. What happens when the Crash Bandicoot in boxer shorts just flat-out stops being funny?

And then there’s your boyfriend’s case. How bad does it suck to have a big brand on your chest that says “I was wrong” ? When he and his ex called it quits, how much do you think he hated having her name on his body? How embarrassing was it to have his friends see it? How embarrassing do you think it was to have his new girlfriend see it for the first time? But he’s past all of that now. And if he’s man enough to have gotten over it, and over her, how about you being woman enough to let it go? I can imagine it probably hurts to look at it but none of us have the right to tell anyone one else what they have to do with their body, right? His body: his choice. So either take it or…

OPTION TWO: LET HIM GO. You asked him to cover it up. For whatever reason, he said no. You can’t make him cover it, but you’ve decided you also won’t put up with it. So pack your stuff or pack his stuff, depending on who signed the lease. Once the door slams, you’ll never have to see his ex-girlfriend’s name again. But before you start splitting up the DVD collection, you may want to ask yourself why the tattoo bothers you so much. I mean, if you thought he still had feelings for her or that he was cheating with her, this would probably be a different letter. If he was calling her name out in his sleep, you’d already be gone. If he had called her name out during sex, you’d probably be in jail. So unless he’s got a bunch of other faults that you didn’t speak of, the only real problem is that he had poor judgment a few years ago that cost him money, pain, embarrassment and left a scar. Now he doesn’t want to go through the pain, embarrassment, and cost of trading it for a bigger scar. If that’s more than you can deal with, then cut him loose and look for a blank slate.

Those are your choices; if you want my opinion, I say LET IT GO! You knew you weren’t his first when you met him. And without assuming too much, I’m betting he isn’t your first either. We’ve all done things in our lives that we’d like to forget. Imagine if you had a few of your more embarrassing fails scribbled across your body. Even if you did want to get rid of them, would you want someone else telling you that you had to or else?

Tell him you’d rather he got rid of it, but if he chooses not to, you’ll deal with it. If he finally gets the name removed or covered, then great. If not then, whenever you look at it, just think back on that one time… when you had a few too many drinks… at that party and… well… you remember.

More from the Good Enough Guy:

Where Is The Love?

Is My Marriage In Trouble?

I Want A Baby, He Doesn’t!

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1.

16 Comments

  1. Jim Walker

    February 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Good Grief! You are only dating… until you are married i don’t think you have any grounds to make such demands.

  2. Will Jomes

    February 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Jim- that’s a valid point, but she can’t really wait until the honeymoon night and say, “oh yeah, by the way…”

  3. Will Jomes

    February 18, 2012 at 9:31 am

    What the hell! Did I misspell MY NAME? ROTFLMAO!

  4. Daisy Q

    February 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Ive been getting tatted for the past 25 yrs. There is no way im going to put anyone’s name on my body…If I dated anyone that demanded that I remove my ink I would just kick them to the curb…The ink is a part of me. love me for me.

  5. Elizabeth

    February 18, 2012 at 10:03 am

    This is a good one because for some wacky reason, I decided to get a tattoo days before my 40th. And I was sober. I had thought about it for years–like more than 10 years–to be sure this is what I wanted to do. Some friends thought I was nuts. I don’t dispute that. But I haven’t encountered any objection to my tat from guys I’ve dated . . . yet. But it’s not anyone’s name, just a design. I would be open-minded if it really bothered someone. I’d have to hear that person’s reasoning and see if it weighed out with mine–(I really waited until I was sure I wanted it and I have no regrets.) However, I would have to question why someone would want to keep someone else’s name on his body when he’s moved on to other women or it’s years later (unless, of course, that name is “MOM”). I guess the particulars of the tat do matter. I may be bothered having to see an ex’s tat on a guy I’m dating, especially with today’s scientific techniques of removing tats. You are a moderate soul, GEG. I’m going to have to take a poll!

  6. Will Jones

    February 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Elizabeth,

    My wife and I are arguing this RIGHT NOW!

  7. m.e. johnson

    February 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hey Hatin, he probably would have removed it by now if you’d have kept your mouth shut. Some people are mulish (I include myself), the more you try to make them go right the more they head left. For instance, when I see an ad or show touting ‘eat healthy, eat healthy, eat healthy’, I start lusting for pork chops fried in lard.

    If that’s all you have to complain about, you’re pretty lucky (at least he showers). 🙂

  8. April Storm

    February 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    LOL @ “You’d probably be in jail” Anyway, sure the tattoo is annoying, but you’ve got the guy. Why stress?

  9. Will Jomes

    February 21, 2012 at 9:31 am

    As I said, my wife and had anproblem eye opening discussion about this one so we both asked some friends and family. Women seem to be far more possessive of a man’s body than I knew. The men I asked said they wouldn’t like it, but it was’t a big deal, while women were saying, “oh, HELL no.”

    M.E.- As always, that’s a great point! Telling someone what they HAVE to do is a good way to start a tug of war. Even if he wanted to remove it, trying to force him gives him more of a reason not to. That’s the point I was making with the pro-choice statement: we don’t have the right to tell anyone what they have to do with their body. I’m always glad when you chime in. Save me a pork chop! 😉

    April-Also a good point! Would it be better if it was her name in the tattoo and he was sleeping with the ex?

  10. Will Jomes

    February 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Daisy- so who do you think is right in this one; the girlfriend or the boyfriend?

  11. Leslie

    February 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I wouldn’t want to look at another womans name on my man. That’s like him having his ex’s picture hanging on the wall. Since it bothers her and if he loves her, he should think about maybe covering it with another tattoo (if that can be done).

  12. Will Jomes

    February 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    But if she loves him, and he doesn’t want to cover it, how come the same doesn’t apply. He had it when they met, so why try to change it now?

  13. Leslie

    February 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Why wouldn’t he want to cover it?

  14. Tiffany T

    February 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    If he wants to cover it, he’ll do it without being asked. My dad got my mom’s name tattooed on his shoulder. After they divorced, he got some little design tattooed over the name part to cover it up & he swore he’d never put a woman’s name on his body again. He did it for him. It’s got to be the same for this boyfriend. If he does it, he’s got to do it for himself & not because it bothers someone else. His body, his choice.

  15. Will Jones

    February 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Great point, Tiffany.

  16. jackie

    November 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I have a bf that has his ex lip stick tat on his shoulder and we had complain about it and he does tell me he will get it removed but sometimes I feel like it’s just talk so one day I told him I want a tattoo and he started to argue that he doesn’t want to see me with any tattoo… I told him that he had 3 two of his kids names one on the chest and the other on his Shoulder with the lipstick .well I told him he has 3 why can’t I get one and I don’t understand him but any guy out there knows why he doesn’t want to see me with a tattoo or so .. ?

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