I consider myself a modern, independent woman. Growing up, I was always frustrated by the injustices around me. While cruelty towards children and animals would rile me up the most, I was also disheartened by sexist attitudes and the emphasis placed on the physical attractiveness of women.
Even at a very young age, a part of me thought that I may never marry and own a pack of dogs instead. Then I met the man who would become my husband at the tender age of 19. Suddenly, there was someone who thought I was beautiful; someone I never wanted to be away from.
My husband loves me for who I am. He never makes demands concerning my appearance, but I have done something for him that sometimes feels out of character for me. I have kept my hair long for the better part of the 14 years we have been together, simply because he prefers it that way.
My husband often tells me how much he loves my hair and that it’s one of his favorite physical traits of mine. Any time I mention going in for a haircut, he will raise his eyebrows and plead with me to not have “more than a couple inches” cut off.
It’s a little ridiculous, honestly, but then I ask myself: If it makes him happy, then why not?
Marriage is challenging and just like with parenting, sometimes you have to pick your battles. I’m not keeping my hair long because my husband demands it. I am keeping it long because it makes him happy. It’s a simple, mostly effortless way to show him that he is important to me.
A woman should never be made to feel like she needs to look the same way she did when she met her partner — and neither should a man. My body has changed in the 14 years that we have been married and so has my husband’s. Keeping my hair long is one thing that can remain the same, for now.
There have admittedly been a couple of times I cut my hair short for damn good reason. The months after giving birth left me with no patience for my long hair — especially when my babies got big enough to grab at it with an iron fist. My husband understands this and knows better than to complain (or beware the consequences!).
In the end, I know that my husband would love me and find me attractive even if I had no hair at all. While it is often a powerful physical connection that brings two people together, we all know that it doesn’t keep people together. Our love is much deeper than what is on the outside, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Marriage is about compromise, and yes, sometimes sacrifice. If keeping my hair long is more for my husband than me well, so be it. After all, he’s the one who will be getting it all out of the drain when it’s clogged.