Carolyn Hax: Seeking support for cosmetic surgery

Carolyn Hax
Columnist June 18

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997, after five years as a copy editor and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. The column includes cartoons by "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis -- Carolyn's ex-husband -- and appears in over 200 newspapers. View Archive

I’m 31 and I have wanted a nose job since I was a little girl. My nose isn’t big or bent but the tip is a little wide and I want a slight adjustment. My boyfriend of 10 years is against it and said I will look like a different person and regret it.

If it wasn’t for him, I would get it done. I now worry that if I’m not happy with the outcome he won’t support me. How do I let him know that I’m me regardless of my nose and that his job is to support me?

Nose Job?


(Nick Galifianakis/The Washington Post)

You don’t. It’s not your place to shape his opinion to your liking or tell him what his “job” is, any more than it is his place to tell you what you will and won’t regret.

You can want support, but you can’t make him give it. And he doesn’t get to say what you’ll regret.

You can only decide which is more important, his support or your nose, and proceed accordingly.

He, meanwhile, can only express his concern about the possible result of the surgery, or worry that he won’t like your post-op face as much as he likes the pre-.

Meaning, both of you need to stay on your sides of the line here. You get to decide what you do with your face, how you feel about it and how you feel about your boyfriend. He gets to decide how he feels about your appearance and how he feels about you. Both of you do get to air concerns about the after vs. the before, you do both have to live with any consequences, but the priorities behind each choice are for each of you to determine, act on and own.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband of a year and a half has yet to tell one of his female friends he is married. She lives in a different state and they once had a fling in undergrad. She texts him constantly at all hours of the night asking for relationship advice or whatever else. I’ve asked him why he hasn’t told her and he says it would change their dynamic. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

What Would It Hurt to Tell?

Needed to be, a year and a half ago-plus.

Apparently your very own Ward Cleaver hasn’t figured out that hiding his marriage from an ex who is in constant contact with him is likely to “change” the far more consequential “dynamic” he has with his “spouse.”

It is, right? You have put up with this for 18 months, so I don’t want to make assumptions and impose my values on your marriage.

I mean, if I’m the only one making forehead-to-keyboard contact here, then my advice should probably just be, “Mazel tov.”

Re: Texting Hubby:

Hasn’t the texting hubby any idea that marriage is SUPPOSED to change the dynamic of his other relationships? Especially with his ex-girlfriends? Some old-fashioned phrases like “forsaking all others” come to mind. What does he think marriage means exactly, if not a change in relationship dynamics?

Anonymous

Your mind is as boggled as mine.

Write to Carolyn Hax, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or tellme@washpost.com. Get her column delivered to your inbox each morning at http://bit.ly/haxpost.

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