What Should I Do When My Husband Doesn't Want Me To Get Surgery?

Nicole Karlis on 10 Feb 2013 at 6:00am

There are tons of questions asked on RealSelf each day when it comes to cosmetic surgery, but one head-scratching issue we've heard repeatedly from the community doesn't have to do with medications or the recovery process.

Whether you're undergoing a total mommy makeover -- or just opting for a breast lift -- it's likely your significant other is going to have something to say about it. Unfortunately, a lot of community members have revealed that once they told their partners, they didn't receive the cheery, supportive responses they had hoped for.

RealSelf community member CountryGal revealed in a forum about the topic that her husband was totally against her getting a tummy tuck. "My hubby tried to talk me out of it, or at least to wait and work on my fitness for a year, so I'd just be getting rid of the remnants. I flat out said NO, I was doing it now, and that's that" she posted. Another RealSelf community member who dealt with a similar situation said, "My hubby does not want me to do it because he is afraid for me."

Here, relationship expert Carole Lieberman, M.D., sheds some light on your partner's slightly confusing and irrational behavior. Plus, six tips on how to have that daunting conversation. 


A. When a husband disapproves of a wife's plans to get plastic surgery, it sometimes comes from an understandable fear of the wife becoming hurt, or even dying as a result of the procedure. Sometimes the husband is afraid that the wife will look worse, or won't look like the woman he fell in love with in the first place. But, most of the time, a husband is fearful that, if the wife becomes more beautiful or younger looking, she'll think she can get someone better and then leave him.

A woman should not let her husband's disapproval stop her if something about her looks is truly bothering her. She should explain to him why it bothers her and how it interferes with her being happy and having a more fulfilling life. She can provide him with information about the procedure, even have him meet the surgeon, and can reassure him that she'll never stop loving him.

Dr. Lieberman's tips on how to have "the conversation."

1. Approach your husband in a calm, warm, loving manner - not in a panicky or angry way, even though you may be distraught inside and impatient.

2. Wait until your husband is not feeling pressed for time, but is relaxed and in a receptive mood.

3. Be prepared. It would be helpful to have books or pamphlets that explain the procedure you want since men like to see all the facts.

4. If he is very adamantly against it the first time,  give him time to think it over, pointing out from time to time how unhappy you are about whatever feature you'd like to change.

5. Make him feel a part of the process by inviting him to come with you to visit the surgeon.

6. The most important part is to keep reassuring him of how much he is loved, to diminish his fears of being abandoned.

Have you ever dealt with a disapproving husband? Share your story with us below.