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home : columns : dear harriette November 20, 2018

2/20/2018 9:09:00 AM
Future husband wants matching tattoos

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently got engaged. We have a wedding date picked out, and we are so excited to finally get married.  

My fiance is constantly talking about tattoos and wants us to get matching ones of our wedding date. I already have a couple of tattoos, so it's not the idea of the tattoo that is freaking me out, I just always thought couples who got matching ones were corny. I don't want him to think the reason against his idea has something to do with him, or that I don't think our marriage will work out.  

How do I politely tell my fiance that I don't want to get a tattoo of our wedding date without him getting the wrong idea or hurting his feelings? -- Fiance Wants Matching Tattoos, Newark, New Jersey

DEAR FIANCE WANTS MATCHING TATTOOS: Step back a moment and reconsider your current tattoos. What were your reasons for getting them? Are those reasons as significant as your marriage? I ask because, on the surface, shared wedding tattoos may seem corny, but you should ask yourself if it really is. Being tough is fine, but being committed is even more powerful.  

If you are attracted to tattoos, you may want to reconsider your position. If you cannot stomach it, tell your fiance what your reservation is. Be completely forthcoming so you two can discuss it. Your honesty is essential to what happens next.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-husband and I have three children together. Our kids are grown, so in a sense it is a little easier on them that we are divorced. During the divorce proceedings, we agreed that we would alternate holidays having our children. As the kids get older and have their own lives and schedules to deal with, it has become harder to keep to the alternating schedule. The past two years my children have spent with their father due to schedule conflicts and the fact that I live farther away from my kids. Without putting any pressure on my kids to "pick a side," how do I convince them to spend the next holiday with me? -- Divorced Mom Misses Kids, Honolulu

DEAR DIVORCED MOM MISSES KIDS: Here's where planning is essential. You need to create new rituals for your family. That includes helping your adult children to know your expectations and to inspire them to be eager to participate. Think of what you can do to attract them to visit you. What activities will be of interest to them? Can you help pay for their travel? Think big and discuss it with them if you think it will engage them. Do not pit them against your ex. Instead, encourage them to want to spend time with you every other year. Create a list of reasons that will keep them coming back!

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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