He Tattoos Women

Q: Here is the situation: I've been with my hubby for 4 years and we have a son. My husband is a tattoo artist. It used to be an occasional hobby, but now for the past year he has been tattooing 6 days a week 75 miles away and never gets home before 12 at night. Almost every day he has hot women, mostly nude, laid out on his tattoo table. He takes pictures and puts them on his Web site. He never tells me about any of this, but attempts to hide it, and he's offended by me wanting to know the details. I feel it's inappropriate for him to be around a naked woman for hours. You have to wonder what kind of girls these are who show their all to some stranger. I feel so degraded and cheated. Every day the thought of these things just kills me inside. I love him so much and leaving him isn't an option because my son's needs are more important than mine. I don't know what to do. I've asked him to tell me about this stuff when it happens and to have the women be more modest but he will not share this with me. I know he hasn't had sex with them but I feel just as betrayed. On top of that my body isn't that good since I've had a baby, and I feel he gets his satisfaction with the sexy women. He also doesn't give me the attention I need. Please help. I am going crazy!!!! -- Rosie, 21

Dr. Susan: Not too many insecure women with post-baby bodies would be thrilled to have their husbands apply tattoos to naked women, even if only occasionally. Your husband must have one heck of a thriving practice to be away from home so much, neglecting both you and your son. Was this his lifelong dream, to make a living tattooing women? If so, and you knew about it, then it's a somewhat different story than if he suddenly changed his life's direction without at least discussing it with you. Regardless, if this is what he insists on doing, you'll have to find a way to get your needs met. I'm curious about something: You're sure he isn't having sex with any of these women, yet you feel he's getting his "satisfaction" from them. Um, that's not quite the way it works with most men.

His unwillingness to share details with you is a concern. I mean, if that's what he does all day, every day, the least he could do was tell you what sort of tattoos he did that day. Then again, can't you look at his Web site to get all the details you need? If he loves you, the fact that there are sexy naked women around him all the time won't necessarily mean trouble. For him, these women may simply be bodies he works on to make money and ply his art. Sure, he's enjoying it, but if he's trustworthy, it may have nothing to do with you. Sit him down on his next day off, put your child down for a long nap or a video, and tell your husband how miserable you are and how you'd like to see your relationship change for the better. Don't tell him you don't like his job. Focus on the things you do want, like having him home for dinner two nights a week, or whatever. If he can't see things ever changing, and soon, start looking into how you'd make it as a real single mother, rather than whatever it is you are now. And meanwhile, see a doctor or a therapist for ways to cope with your very anxious and jealous feelings.

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