Hey there, I just had a questions about relationships and alopecia. I’ve been seeing my girlfriend for over a year now, and she still hasn’t told me about her alopecia. Every month or so she tells me she is going to go dye her hair, but I know she’s actually going to put her new wig on that she has ordered to her mothers house. I’ve known since we started dating, my sister used to be good friends with my girlfriends sister and she told my sister years ago about her condition so when I started dating her my sister told me about it. It doesn’t matter at all to me, she could walk around without a wig on at home, or where ever. She won’t shower with me, and would rather sit in her soaking wet wig for the day after showering rather  than dry it off on a wig stand. Is she ever going to tell me? Should I not bring it up that I’ve known the entire time?? She gets extremely mAd when I touch her hair and I just want to move on from all of that and make her know that she has nothing to worry about with me. We are having a kid after all.

should I just leave her be?

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My situation, was my husband knew about my alopecia.  It didn't happen until several years into our marriage.  His sister, whom i've only met once, was quite jealous/envious when we first met.  Basically, her husband was openly flirting/making passes the whole time we had to be around them after we were introduced.  Instead of her talking to him about it, well, she blamed his ardent behavior on me. My husband, who doesn't know how to deal with other men intruding on his wife, pretended it wasn't a "big deal", and stayed quiet. Thus, i immediately put distance between myself and the in-laws for my own protection. 

During that time, the alopecia set in.  I was devastated. Year after year after year.  My hair/face/body was one of my jobs/careers.. (Sportsmodeling/Bodybuilding).. I also worked in the medical field which damn near killed me.  And due to stress, lack of sleep (being on-call 24/7), more stress, adrenaline fatigue, plus braided hair styles, extensions - which i  thought were a convenience, my hair repeatedly fell out every single year.  Traction alopecia + Alopecia Areata..

Whelp! Last year, my sister-in-law decides she wanted to spend Xmas with us.  She divorced her (gorilla) sorry, husband.. But she still had deep seated issues. I knew her type of personality, and still wasn't ready to share with her about my alopecia.  My hair was growing back, but i still had a few bald spots, thus, i still wore very natural looking wigs. I asked my husband, if he would NOT tell his sister about my alopecia, until i was ready to divulge that information, myself.  He isn't known for the ability to keep his mouth shut, and i explicitly asked if he would promise to keep our secret. He said he would.  

She met me, and was really nice.  But i didn't know that behind the scenes, she was looking for some "damning" evidence that i wasn't a "total package".. And my blabber mouth husband delivered. She was talking about my looks, physique, and how it must be hard to have to deal with other men trying to intrude in our relationship and BOOM!! He told her.

I don't know if it was out of jealousy due to what he considered "male competition".. but he just had to tell her.  

When she walked back into the house with him?  She had this gleam in her eyes and a strange smirk. She began talking about my hair, and repeatedly looking at my husband, then back at me.  I was mortified.. 

I asked him, the moment she left the room - and he finally came out and said he told her.  He just volunteered the information without her being direct about it.

I felt betrayed, i felt hurt, and most of all, i felt pretty darn exposed. I don't mind being vulnerable to a friend.  But that female was definitely not the "friend" type.

I will say, that if your girlfriend asks "who told you?" well, as long as she knows it's someone who cares and has a good heart?  She should be okay.

If she feels "betrayed".. let her know that it was people that care about her. 

Thanks for sharing your story.  Your girlfriend is in very good hands. :)

Oh my gawd! What a terrible situation. I feel so bad for you. That was just so...shitty! What a crazy story! I hope you and your husband got through this. I can sort of relate so I wanted to share my own "in-laws" story with you.

My entire life (living 40+ years with Alopecia Universalis) I told people about my condition when I got close to them. Been married more than once...and all the relatives/new family ALWAYS knew about it...Never a problem for me. I am very open in general. Very kind, very accepting...until I married my current husband. His family is "clannish" and uptight. Although I will say that after twenty years they are still growing and getting a bit better, but to this day I have NOT told them about my alopecia, which is actually quite UNLIKE me at all. It is because my sister-in-law was jealous of me from the beginning. We just never got close, and she was a gossipy mean girl. I stayed away from her drama, but I was always respectful and nice

A few years in to our marriage my husband's older brother got married. Immediately after the ceremony I was halfway out the door with the kids (wanted to get them to the babysitter's on time so we could go drink at the reception) and my husband comes running after me..."Wait! We need to get pictures!" I am not from a big family and we never went to formal weddings, so this whole photo thing was new to me. I was very happy to oblige, however. So I bring our two kids (mine from my first marriage) who are four and six years old at the time over to where the photographer is lining up everyone. We are all just beaming and happy...taking photos...and then boom!

At the reception NO ONE is talking to me (other than the priest and my own husband). My husband and I were flabbergasted. I had to get him to ask what the hell was going on. So a few days later he tells me that, according to his sister, who had made her own personal choice to not bring her two small kids to the ceremony, I was now an "opportunist" who took advantage of a photo op, because my children (my husband's step-children!!) were in "The Family Photo", and her children were not! In fact....it gets better...(read: worse). Because of the commotion she caused, she involved my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, plus my brother-in-law and his new wife! Everyone was so upset WITH ME (???) that my own mother-in-law refused to allow the photographer to even print any of those photos!!! Can you effing believe this sh*t?!?!

So I called my sister-in-law on the phone, you know--like an adult would. I asked her to talk with me....and then she begins to "kitchen sink" every little flaw she found in me and in my relationship with her brother (my husband). She actually complained to me that when we are at family gatherings he "holds my hand"....and she didn't think that was appropriate. I mean---what a crock of sh*t. Yup. She was pissed that we are in love!!

My husband must have been dropped by the stork, because he is not one of them. It's nuts. Needless to say I have NEVER trusted any of them, which means my private life is off limits to them., although I do carry on and am very civil with them to this day. They think it's water under the bridge all these years later, and it is.....but it was so severely damaging and hurtful at the time and I deserved NONE of it. And neither do you!! So I truly hope that your husband has got your back. It took my husband a while to see how damaging they were being. I can understand how hard it can be when you love your family. It is confusing who to be loyal to. Seems like a no-brainer to me, but then, I was not raised in a big, Catholic, Italian clan. He might need a little slack.

Whew!!!  

Wow.. 

Now THAT would have "fried my chicken McNuggets." Susan, i am sorry you went through this. I really am.  "In-laws" can be annoying as hell. But here's what i like about your strength.

You still remain an individual, and did not compromise who you were in order to be "accepted into the clan".

I've seen a lot of people, like yourself, just re-shape themselves in order to be liked.  Folks don't seem to realize, that when you remold yourself, there are usually bones that are broken. (Usually, the back-bone. They learn to throw that out to be what others want.).. Their dreams, individuality, hopes, and goals are set aside, for the sake of acceptance. What a bargain!! (sarcasm)  I can tell you some stories about people who settle/compromise themselves in order to be "loved by the in-laws".  And what's even more astonishing?  THEY wind up not only being the victim, but the "manipulator" "leader" and "controller" of the clan.

Your sister in law sounds like one of those types.  Just like mine.  Trust me on this one, they might "feel okay with themselves" as long as everyone else has the same "mind-set".  But when someone upsets that apple-cart, like yourself - all hell breaks loose. And instead of people thinking as individuals, well, they "neuro-couple" with the leader.

If you were a "people pleaser" and asked "What can i so you can like me?" That would have been the nail in your spiritual coffin.  That mental sadist would have had you jumping through hoops for her friendship and criticizing everything about you from dusk to dawn.  Because you pose a threat to her,  you can't be friends, unless it's on her terms.

It would be so nice, if you could trust the in-laws.  And yes, my husband, is so blinded by love for his family. He didn't realize the damage until after the fact. He says he's LEARNING to be more considerate in what he tells people about our marriage in general?  After 18 years, i found out, the "in-laws" weren't the only ones. Thus, i figured it's best to be discriminating in what i share and don't share with him.  And yes, I definitely had a chuckle. My husband, was also raised in a Catholic, Italian family.. :)

Interesting similarities! I think we are with our husbands to help them grow, and that takes time. Of course, mine teaches me kindness and patience through his example,  so we are learning from each other.

I sort of disagree with this.. I've just noticed many comments here that refer to telling her that you want to "see her head", and that you cant wait for her to "show you" etc etc..This is not relevant right now. I think talking to her and letting her know that you know is the important thing.

But I would not say anything about asking to see it! That is SO much pressure. Its going to be a big deal for her just talking about it and for her to hear you admit that you know, without you asking to SEE it.

In the past, most of my partners knew about my alopecia for a long time before they actually saw my bald head. And I hated it when they would try and convince me to walk around the house bald, or shower with them and let them see it. You need to let her decide that on her own time. 

Just maybe consider omitting that from your initial discussion. Just talking about it and acknowledging it together is a huge step.  

Yesssssssss!!!!!

I’m really surprised you haven’t gotten mad.  I feel if she can’t be honest about her #1 insecurity what next?

I would come right out and say, “We need to talk”,, I almost feel guilty for

not saying something sooner and giving you the impression that you need to hide

hide who you really are around me.  I love you for who you are and that means

with or without hair. Then let her know you never said

anything because you were afraid of losing her

I disagree!! He would have no right to be mad at her for her insecurity. I'm sure she's wanted to tell him many times but just hasn't been brave enough to. For all you know, maybe she's had experiences in the past where she's told someone and they DID reject her. Fortunately this guy sounds compassionate, but you can't help your irrational fears sometimes.

I think Laina was really making this about trust...not about being angry because the girlfriend is insecure. I do think there is a difference. While it is unfortunate (and certainly her right) to feel insecure about her condition, I can see why a man might feel upset that his own girlfriend doesn't trust him enough to tell him something so deeply personal about herself. Especially in light of the fact that they will share a child.

So really, they both have that right to feel insecure. Her for her hair loss, and him, for possibly feeling like he is not worthy enough to be trusted and told about it, DESPITE what her reasons are for not telling him (her insecurity).

While she has a right to keep things to herself, her partner also has the right to his own feelings of rejection, and this is a prime example of that. In other words, he has feelings, too.

So, I've had Alopecia for 50 years and I'm 58 now.  When I was younger, It was extremely painful and difficult for me to tell men about my baldness.  I tried everything from sleeping in my wig, telling them I had cancer, not going to certain outings( roller coasters or swim parties), and everything else you can imagine.  As women, we inflict self induced shame when it comes to hair and beauty that are reinforced by societal norms.  Hair is supposed to be a woman's crowning glory.  But the reality is this.  Although Alopecia is not a death sentence it can promote emotional psychological, and societal decay.  We start to define our sense of self, self worth and self image by our baldness.  May I suggest that you write her a letter and use it as an icebreaker.  Tell her how much you love her, and that you don't care about the alopecia. Let her know that you've researched it and that you understand the condition and want to learn more.  Stress how much the lack of disclosure is preventing a level of intimacy that you would love to have with her and reassure her that you can take it slow. Remember that intimacy is not sex.    Let her know that she's beautiful to you and at you can't wait for the moment that she's ready to show you.  Good luck my friend.

This is so good! Yes.

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