One month ago my wife made a significant decision. She decided to get a drastic haircut. For reasons traceable to her childhood, she carried negative energy with her hair and needed to let it go.
My wife is the daughter of a Black man born in Baltimore and an Italian woman born in Chicago. She grew up under her mom’s careful eye and occasional visits from her dad. As a Black child with hair unlike her mother’s texture, she only learned a handful of styling options.
She wore ponytails to school every day. Her classmates did not tease her, but she felt self-conscious. She didn’t know how to style her hair like the other girls. Her mom didn’t know what to do with it on most days.
My partner’s hair grew to pass her butt. Every few days, she combed it, cleaned it, and then returned it to a ponytail. For years, she felt bored by her long and curly hair.
On January 6th, she decided she had enough. She told me she was ready to have it cut. I agreed to help her find a local stylist to schedule an appointment.
Finding a local barbershop or salon was not part of her plans. My wife wanted me to cut it for her. Without any experience as a barber, I said, “No, you need a professional.” She reminded me of the liners and clippers I have used for years to shave my face. With some reluctance, I agreed.
I took my clippers and cut it all off. If you can envision Sanaa Lathan’s character in the Netflix movie, “Nappily Ever After,” then you can picture my wife’s haircut. After I finished, my wife looked in the mirror and lit up. She felt liberated from the negative energy carried in her hair for so many years.
Without formal training, I thought I did a great job on my first hair cut. It looked even on all sides, and it was lined-up straight. After posting a picture to Facebook, my wife received several compliments.
Since that initial haircut that turned out good, I have cut her hair three more times. I made some improvements in my approach and corrected some mistakes. Last night, I made a part in her hair that did not come out straight.
I could tell my wife was upset. She stayed calm, but the sigh gave it all away.
It was not the first error I have made cutting her hair. I reminded her that I always do my best, but I am not a professional barber.
My goal as her partner is to support her in various capacities. Support in marriage includes encouraging your spouse, working together to raise children and, in our case, it also means providing haircuts. Sometimes, I get it right, and other times I don’t.
Similar to other life’s challenges, I aim to take a step back and examine my performance first. My wife’s haircut is not perfect. I should have looked at YouTube videos or tutorials online, before grabbing the clippers to cut her hair. Barbers make mistakes, and they are licensed professionals.
I hate to be at fault for making her upset. It’s my understanding that a husband should add joy to his partner’s life. I don’t like being the one who hurts her. To maintain happiness in our home, I am going to ask that she got to a barbershop for her next cut. I don’t believe that the wait for me to improve is worth her happiness.
With this post, I want to encourage you to make the time to do a self-assessment. What are your strengths and weaknesses in your romantic relationship? Acknowledge you are not Superman. There are occasions when other resources are needed to help avoid conflicts. In my case, I need a barber!
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