This is part of my online book on Healthy Boundaries Made Simple.

Cousin Joe1 wrote,

I love my wife, but the short hairstyle just doesn’t work on her roundish head. How do I convince her to grow it out like when we were dating?

Let’s guess how this will play out. You say, “Sweetie, I hate your hair. How about you grow it out?” (I know you’d be more diplomatic, but the message is the same.)

How will she feel about herself? And about you? How will she feel in two days, two weeks, and two months? Is this a road you want to go down?

Now let’s turn the tables: Do you want your love badgering you about your receding hairline and exploding waistline?

Here’s my advice: Don’t. Say. Anything. Your wife is an adult and responsible for choosing her hairstyle, just as you’re responsible for your appearance. Even though y’all are married, you have no business dictating how she looks. Now read Boundaries Made Simple and stop trying to change others.

Furthermore, modern life is chaotic, and the last thing your love needs is more criticism. Especially from you. Be the person she can depend on for support and affection.

Lastly, life is short. You’ll both die someday, and you don’t know when. Do you really want to spend your precious time nagging each other?


  1. Cousin Joe is a stand-in for a variety of folks. Details have been changed to protect the guilty. In some cases, Cousin Joe is me.