Relationships are all about the give and take.
The dance that happens between different people with, sometimes, completely different needs is truly one of the beautiful aspects of human relationships.
Of course, sometimes we can’t quite agree on a good compromise, or really there isn’t a middle ground to be had, and one person ends up losing out.
How we deal with that loss is often a great indicator of where we’re at with the relationship overall.
So, what happens when someone digs their heels in, refusing to give an inch on something that might not even be their business in the first place?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster ThisIsYourAltAcct when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“WIBTA (Would I Be The A**hole) if I asked my dad to cut my hair?”
OP began with the background.
“My husband (35 Male) and I (34 Female) have talked several times about me cutting about 6 to 8 inches off of my very long hair.”
She moved quickly to the problem at hand.
“He agreed I can cut it, but every time I try to schedule it so that he can be home with the kids, something always comes up.”
She gave some usual reasons for the difficulty.
“(Because of the pandemic and most people we know not vaccinating, we are uncomfortable with babysitters, and I am a stay-at-home-mom.)”
“This has been going on since before Thanksgiving, and he just had to leave, with very short notice, for a month for a school for his job.”
“Before he left, I again tried to schedule getting my hair cut, and he just couldn’t work it into his schedule.”
OP did confront her husband about the scheduling issues.
“When I asked him how it can be so hard to have one day where he can get out of work on time, he finally admitted he doesn’t want me to cut my hair.”
“He likes it long and doesn’t understand why I want to cut it. For the record, it would still be long, almost to my waist, even with 6 to 8 inches off of the bottom.”
“I explained that my hair is dead at the ends and needs to be trimmed. I haven’t had a haircut in at least 3 years. I explained it would still be long, but it seems there is no compromise.”
“Now my husband has had to leave for this school last minute, and my dad was already scheduled to visit us before the school.”
“My dad is still coming, because he hasn’t seen our kids much (pandemic) over the last two years.”
“Last time we were supposed to see him, he fell ill and our visit had to be postponed.”
“My dad (64M) always cut my hair when we were growing up.”
“It’s a simple, straight across trim.”
“I am considering asking my dad to just go ahead and cut my hair while he is here. I ran it by my husband yesterday and he said to do whatever I want, but he likes it long.”
“He’s going to be back in a month from school, and I could wait to keep playing this scheduling game, or I could just let my dad cut my hair while he is here.”
“(That eliminates needing a babysitter or needing my husband to get home early enough from work.)”
“For clarification: I am not asking him to take off of work for me to get my hair cut, I’m just asking him to leave on time and be home at a predictable time while a salon is still open to get a scheduled hair cut.”
OP was left to wonder.
Having explained her quandary, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some were direct.
“Preferring your hair long is one thing. Deliberately making it impossible for you to get your haircut is another.”
“He’s being a complete jerk about it.”
“It’s your hair and your body and ultimately no one gets a say in how it looks but you.” ~ carolinediva
“I’m petty as f*ck and if my husband told me he was preventing me from cutting my hair like this I’d cut it down to a pixie just to spite him. F*ck that.” ~ Beckylately
Of course, bangs are a whole different conversation.
“Conversations regarding haircuts with my husband go like this:”
“Me: Getting a haircut”
“Husband: As per my promise.* Don’t cut bangs. You’ll hate them and be angry later that I did not talk you out them.”
“Me: Thanks for that.”
“*16 years ago, after an incredibly heinous haircut that involved baby bangs, I made him promise that he would talk me out of getting bangs if I ever thought it was a good idea again.”
“He brings up the promise every time I mention getting a haircut. *edit a word” ~ pigseye75
There were suggestions to change the verbiage she uses.
“Call them all ‘appointments’. Don’t dither with him over whether it’s ‘worth it’ or not. You have an appointment at this time.”
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a doctor’s appointment, a bank appointment, a manicure, a coffee date with a friend.”
“You have an appointment. He needs to be home so you can get to your appointment.”
“They’re all appointments, equally weighted. Your hair appointment is just as important as your doctor’s appointment. He just needs to know you’ve got an appointment.” ~ HistoricallyLurking
“Don’t ask, tell.”
“It’s not his hair and he doesn’t ask you for permission to cut his hair.”
“Please evaluate if you have to get his permission to do anything other mundane things and see if he is controlling over other parts of your life. This was honestly alarming to read. ~ Acrobatic_End6355
And, of course, there were stories of commiseration.
“I understand where you are so much.”
“It’s like reading this transported me back 10 or more years to when everything required so.much. coordination and effort.”
“I also have a husband who has always had…opinions…about the style/length of my hair.”
“And I always more or less indulged his preferences because I didn’t really care all that much one way or the other, and it was a small thing that made him happy.”
“But the person above is 100% correct in saying it’s time to stop asking or even gently requesting that he come home early enough for you to go.”
“Tell him. ‘You need to be home at x time because I have an appointment to keep.’ It’s not an unreasonable expectation, but this kind of disregard will continue as long as you continue to allow it.”
“As to your hair (not that you asked), there’s nothing wrong with taking his preferences into account, but ultimately it’s your hair.”
“Do what you want with it.”
“My husband hates – HATES – bangs. So for 25 years, I’ve avoided any hairstyle that even hints at them.”
“But I’m in my mid-40s now. I’ve got the start of wrinkles and a bigger forehead than when I was in my 20s.”
“I hate the way I look with my hair pulled back. (and it’s always pulled back because, kids) So the next time I get a haircut, bangs are on the agenda and he’s just going to have to find a way to deal. lol” ~ BitterHelicopter8
There was also concern that Husband was taking advantage of OP.
“I get that you’re the stay-at-home parent, but anytime your husband isn’t working, child care shouldn’t automatically fall on you.”
“He doesn’t work 24/7. In the evenings, you should both be doing the childcare.”
“On the weekends, you should be able to take a few hours and do what you want.”
“Go shopping, see a movie, get a haircut. In the meantime, your husband would be caring for his children (fathers don’t babysit).” ~ SmartFX2001
The comments did make OP aware of some underlying issues.
“Honestly, before these comments, I never thought of it as permission.”
“I just thought it was something he got input on.”
“Another comment said does he ask to cut his hair, and no, he doesn’t. He goes and gets it cut on his lunch break or on the weekend.”
“And he doesn’t need me to watch the kids so he can go, but he has just disappeared a couple of times on the weekend over the years to get his haircut, and then when I called him asking where he was, he would say he’s just getting his hair cut.”
“I can’t just disappear though.”
“I have 3 kids who depend on me 24/7.”
“Before now I don’t think I thought about how much freedom he gets by not being the stay-at-home-parent.”
Relationships are all compromise and mutual respect.
I respect you enough to give when you need, and you respect me enough to give when I need.
Be careful that the respect isn’t one-sided.
Be cautious of those who take but never give – or worse, who insist on what and how you give.