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AIBU: To ask my fiancé to get a tattoo covered up / removed ?

104 replies

leopardfish · 23/08/2022 10:25

The tattoo is his ex wife and her kids names.

When my fiancé was 19, he married a 30 year old woman who had two kids of her own. As a wedding present to her, he got her and the kids names tattooed on his back. 5 years later they divorced as he wanted kids in the future and she didn’t want anymore.

My fiancé hasn’t seen / spoken to them since the divorce 8 years ago. Last we heard, they had moved abroad. He said he was young and stupid and regrets wasting those years. I’m not jealous or anything, I know he had a life before I came along!

I’ve mentioned the tattoo a couple of times before - he said he’s had it so long, he forgets it’s there / it doesn’t bother him because he can’t see it anyway!

It was a little awkward explaining to my family on holiday last year. I’ve asked him if he ever thought about getting it removed / covered up and he said he would rather spend the money on us, the wedding or a nice holiday. I think he maybe scared of the pain? He hasn’t said this but he is not very good when it comes to pain!

I’m sure if I told him how much it’s bothering me then he would do something about it. I just wanted to check if I was being unreasonable as it is his body so his choice at the end of the day.

what do you think?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

phishy · 23/08/2022 10:27

YABU. He is not bothered and you knew about the tattoo when you decided to spend your life with. It's very controlling behaviour to ask him to remove it.

Your insecurity is not reason enough to force him to undergo removal treatment.


Clymene · 23/08/2022 10:29

I think you need to stop pretending he wasn't married before. And there's no reason it should have been awkward with your family


Justcallmebebes · 23/08/2022 10:30

I disagree. It's not controlling at all to ask if he would mind covering it or whatever it is you do with tattoos.

You can ask him, but if he doesn't want to, that's his prerogative. It's not controlling to ask though


Newusernameaug · 23/08/2022 10:31

It’s up to him, yeah I wouldn’t like it either but you’ve tried to speak to him about it and he clearly isn’t that bothered.

also tattoos are expensive, especially a cover up as generally it’s better to go much larger and have the focal point not on the covered up area - so if he’s not flush with money I can understand stalling it.


NoMichaelNo · 23/08/2022 10:31

Of course YABU, he's not bothered about it so it's your issue to deal with.


Bumbers · 23/08/2022 10:31

YANBU Obviously you knwo he was married, but yu should have to look at the name of another woman on his skin. He might not have to see it, but you can. I would hate that!


dreamingbohemian · 23/08/2022 10:31

Of course it's fine to ask him. You're not demanding it, and I'm sure you'll respect his feelings.

If you get married and have children, I do think it would be weird for him to walk around with a tattoo of what are now strangers.


VeridicalVagabond · 23/08/2022 10:33

I have to agree with him, tattoo removal is a hideously expensive and long-winded process, surely that money could be better spent elsewhere?

Tattoos are just a visual map of someone's life and history - and yes some of them are regrettable. But if HE doesn't regret it or think about it or want to remove it, it's not something you can really force. You can ask, but avoid guilting him - making someone feel bad about something on their body, even if they put it there, is pretty unkind.


JoanCandy · 23/08/2022 10:33

I don’t think you’re being controlling but, his body his choice I’m afraid.


dreamingbohemian · 23/08/2022 10:33

Its not controlling to ASK him, come on


IceStationZebra · 23/08/2022 10:33

YAB slightly U as removing or covering tattoos is explensive, painful and difficult to do well.

I understand why you don’t like it, though. If you only have to see it when he’s topless then try to find ways to work around it. I’d rather wear a T-shirt on holiday than upset my partner.


Atmywitsend29 · 23/08/2022 10:35

You can ask him, but he can also say no.

Depending on the size, style and colour of the tattoo it can be difficult to cover, he may end up needing a much larger/darker piece to cover it. Which can be expensive.
Laser removal is drawn out, painful, and expensive.


leopardfish · 23/08/2022 10:36

Thank you everyone for your replies!

Obviously I’m not going to force him to cover it up / remove it, I was just wondering if it was too much to ask? I will stay with him either way because I love him. It doesn’t bother me that he was married before, I just can’t help feel a little sad when I’m lying next to him and that’s all I can see. I’m pregnant and already wondering what to explain to little one when they’re old enough to read. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it

OP posts:

10HailMarys · 23/08/2022 10:36

Hmmm, tricky one. I can see why it bothers you but ultimately, his point that the money could be better spent on something else is a reasonable one and it's his body. Depending on the size and colours of the tattoo, laser treatment could take several sessions and prove to be very expensive, ditto a cover-up job. I don't think either of you are being unreasonable really.


WendyAndDave · 23/08/2022 10:38

Yanbu. I’d absolutely hate this.


MintJulia · 23/08/2022 10:44

I think I'm probably with him on this.

Such Tattoos are stupid for just this reason, but why waste money having it removed? Why cause pain and risk infection for something that has no meaning. It is literally superficial and irrelevant. Just get him to put a t-shirt on if it bothers you in public.


chillipenguin · 23/08/2022 10:45

Urgh I don't think I'd have got to the first shag!


ComtesseDeSpair · 23/08/2022 10:59

It’s not a hill I’d die on. Loads of people have daft and ill-considered tattoos they had done when younger and now simply laugh off. Unless you’re awash with spare cash then I think he’s being pretty reasonable to prefer to use the money on something to do with your actual lives now. Particularly when the reality is that even with removal or a cover up you’re still going to look at the blurry remnants (because removal doesn’t fully remove it) or the tattoo done in its place and know what’s under there, so how you feel isn’t going to disappear.


ComtesseDeSpair · 23/08/2022 11:02

And actually, I wonder if you’d find it worse? He’s still going to get people either saying “ooh, did you have a tattoo removed?? Was it really embarrassing??” because people are nosey like that, or ask about his new tattoo and what it means and you’ll have to listen to him make up some story about it all which you know isn’t totally true.


BishyBarnyBee · 23/08/2022 11:02

Not a serious suggestion but I am picturing a weekly session where you use Sharpies to transform it into an artistic masterpiece. A different theme each week. Could be a new hobby for you.


justaladyLOL · 23/08/2022 11:12

Must say I hate any tattoo just think they look awful but it is his choice


SunnyD44 · 23/08/2022 11:24


If I was him I’d want it removed or covered but it’s his body he can do what he wants.

It sounds like you’re more concerned about what people around you think which is just silly.


StanleyStanleyStanley · 23/08/2022 11:31

YANBU to ask. If he says no or isn’t keen that’s his choice but there’s nothing controlling about asking the question.


vroom321 · 23/08/2022 11:35

Would anyone on here really want to see their partner have an ex's name tattooed on their back. No they wouldn't. It's not about jealousy but once they break up it's stupid to keep it.



CalistoNoSolo · 23/08/2022 11:38

Yuck, I wouldn't be in a relationship with him in the first place. How did you manage to shag him again after seeing his back? But you are being v U to expect him to remove it.

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