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How to Ask the Husband to Manscape

by Maura Banar

Good grooming habits aren’t just a matter of looking good, they are also a way to reduce and prevent the overgrowth of bacteria that can lead to offensive odors. Some men however, prefer to let nature take its course, which can be easier for them but can affect their spouse. If you’re the spouse, you may find it difficult to ask your husband to manscape, even though you’ve had to endure excessive hair in the shower or sink or odors that just can’t be ignored. Manscaping can be something both you and your husband enjoy and appreciate and in some cases, can accomplish as a couple.

Share with your husband, your feelings about his current grooming habits. The most effective way to encourage someone to change their behavior is to let them know how their current behavior affects you. This is best accomplished by prefacing your explanation of your feelings with the pronoun “I,” explains psychologist Susan Heitler in the Psychology Today article, “How To Express Feelings…And How Not To.” You may feel like blaming or otherwise inferring your judgment by saying something like, “You never take care of that hair on your back,” but your husband is likely to become defensive. Instead, saying, “I have been feeling disappointed that you don’t trim your body hair to enhance that handsome man I married” can explain how you feel and why.

Ask your husband to join you in a relaxing or erotic shower or bath, followed by some one-on-one pampering. Manscaping doesn’t have to have a negative association for your husband as yet another thing he has to include in his already-busy life. Instead, having a couples afternoon or an evening at home and spending the time bathing together can feel like a date. After drying off, take turns taking care of excess hair, trimming nails or performing other grooming activities. Your man may be more receptive to a shared activity rather than having to manscape himself alone. You also might arrange a regular date with your husband for this activity, with each of you maintaining the grooming in the days between your dates.

Buy your husband a special razor or grooming tools. Even mundane tasks can be a bit more tolerable if you have new tools to accomplish your goal. Put together several of these objects, wrap them in a gift bag or box and give the present to your husband. Include a note that lets him know he’s handsome and you thought he might like some new items to bring out the best in him. When he does manscape with your gifts, reinforce the desired behavior by complimenting him.

Give your husband a consequence if he chooses not to manscape. Once you ask your husband to take care of his excess hair, it’s up to him to decide to comply. You do however, have the ability to add a consequence to your request. The consequence shouldn’t be a threat nor should it be something unrealistic. Consequences have the greatest effect when you remove something that your husband enjoys, such as preparing his favorite meal. Clearly state to your husband that “I am asking you to please trim back your excess hair or I will no longer be cooking your favorite meal. Avoid punishment, which is the use of something aversive to force someone to do something you want. If your husband does manscape, provide him with positive reinforcement in the form of sharing a movie or watching a sports event with him.

About the Author

Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.

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