I don’t even know what to call this. But it happened – FOR REAL.
I’m married – 5+ years – to a wonderful husband and father. I’m pregnant – 5 months now – with my second child and I’m an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve been natural – almost 1 year – and, although it took some time for me to feel this way, I LOVE my curls.
My husband works from home and has watched our 2-yr old daughter from birth (SN: She has curls too and he washes and styles her hair very well during the week). About a month ago, he sent me a text at work saying we needed to talk when I got home. So, I come from work on my lunch break like I normally do. We decided to leave the house to run some errands. In the car, I asked him what he wanted to talk about. Then he said the six words that literally threw me into an immediate emotional breakdown: “WE NEED TO SPLIT UP.” Huh? What? Where is this coming from? Instant flood of tears and hyperventilating.
He never wanted me to go natural. He doesn’t like “nappy” hair. He likes straight hair. He felt that I had totally ignored his feelings by going natural in the first place, but the fact that I’ve stayed natural, despite his disdain, is even worse. It doesn’t matter that everyone else around us likes my hair. He is my husband and his opinion should matter most. When he married me I had long, straight hair. He’s not attracted to me anymore because of my hair, and therefore he felt that the best solution was to split up, instead of being disgusted with the sight of me daily. But if I straighten my hair (it doesn’t have to be a relaxer), then everything will be ok and go back to normal. Blah, blah, blah. SN: Just the week before, his close friend’s wife chemically relaxed her hair after a year of being natural because she couldn’t stand the negative feedback from her husband.
Ok, ok, ok. He probably didn’t use those exact words. But I’m pregnant, so that’s what it sounded like. I emailed my boss from my phone and said I couldn’t come back to work for personal reasons. After running our errands, I dropped him and our daughter back off at the house and drove off to clear my mind. I won’t go into all the thoughts that led me to my next actions, but I will tell you what happened.
I LOVE THIS MAN. I CANNOT IMAGINE MY LIFE WITHOUT THIS MAN. I WILL NOT LOSE MY HUSBAND OVER HAIR. But I felt this was a deeper issue than hair, and I also felt that some information was missing from his little rant. So I went back home. I grabbed a pen and paper and went straight to our bedroom. I got in the bed under the covers and started writing. Right after I jotted down my last thought, he came in to check on me. He gave me a big hug, and waited for me to speak. Here’s what I wrote/said, and his answers.
My response was: Then I cannot, WILL NOT get a chemical relaxer. So what is your REAL problem?
His response was: Well, it’s just that all the “different” styles you have been doing have been “nappy” styles. Can you please do some straight styles, and do them more often?
Of course! Why didn’t you say that in the first place boy?!
Ever since then, we’ve been back in love like usual. He touches my “nappy” hair and tells me I’m beautiful. And I still haven’t done a straight style yet, although I do plan to keep my promise – to prevent another childish rant.
Turns out, he just did a really horrible job of expressing his feelings. And I did a really horrible job of acknowledging his feelings. We will not lose our love, our marriage, our life together… OVER HAIR.
This article was originally published on CurlyNikki on October 25, 2011. However we feel the issues are still very much alive today. Have you experienced this in your relationship? How did you deal with it?