How Marriage Works

I took this past week off from my day job to get some writing done on a long term project, and decided, during this time, to start on a beard.  My new beard was popular with 75% of the household, but it didn’t have the support of the one whose vote mattered most. “We do not live in a democracy,” the wife reminded me.  She liked the look, but loathed the feel.  According to her, I have exceptionally coarse and jagged facial hair.  It never gets soft, or at least it never did in the past.  It grows straight out and stays unfailingly at attention.

We had agreed that I could keep the beard for another week, but I got rid of it this morning instead.  I knew that doing so would make my wife happy, and I was growing weary of the grimaces she would give me before and after each kiss, as if I were some overly-eager repulsive great uncle.  Once she even placed her hand before her lips as if we were in middle school.  I think she was semi-joking.

So now the beard is gone, the wife unit is all smiles, and she no longer hesitates apprehensively before each peck of affection.  I kept inordinately long sideburns.  That’s the compromise.

Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp is a freelance writer who blogs about culture, philosophy, politics, postmodernism, and religion. He is a contributor to the group Catholic blog Vox Nova. Kyle lives with his wife, son, and daughter in North Texas. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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11 Responses

  1. Alex Knapp says:

    My wife does not like me with a full beard, clean shaven or a mustache with no beard. So basically I always have a goatee and only shake things up by deciding whether to have a mustache.

    Current status: no mustache.

  2. Jaybird says:

    Did you try conditioner?

  3. Plinko says:

    My experience is the opposite. I’ve had a beard since shortly after the first date with Mrs. P.

    I shaved it off at Christmas following word around the office that facial hair is no longer a desirable feature for leaders (and that for a while baby girl wouldn’t accept a kiss good-night). My wife was so bothered by me without it I started growing it back within a month.

  4. Will Truman says:

    I shave off my beard once a year, when it gets warm in the summer (I suppose I’m due…). She strongly prefers the goatee look. So I keep it around more often than not. On the one hand, it’s my face. On the other, she has to look at it and kiss it (well, she doesn’t have to, but you get the idea).

    • Jaybird says:

      I’ve shaved my beard maybe 3 times in the 14 years we’ve been married. Whenever I do, Maribou smooches me and says something like “oooh, it’s like kissing a stranger!” and wants to have a makeout session.

      • Maribou says:

        I also get excited when you do the summer just-a-trim. But, I know how much you love your beard, and you put up with me growing out my hair for that mohawk…

  5. James Hanley says:

    I normally have a goatee, and my wife likes it, although my kids complain it’s scratchy when I kiss them. Every once in a while I shave it off, and my wife goggles at how much younger I look. I shaved it off last week so I could grow out the full beard evenly. So yesterday on skype she was goggling about how how hairy I am.