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My husband has a beard and I hate it. It is bushy and gross. To answer the obvious questions: yes, I have let him know that I’m not a fan, no, I have not been overly bossy or insensitive and yes, I have tried waiting it out. It’s been six months and I’m starting to resent the beard, not just because it’s ugly, but because what kind of spouse would be so uncaring about the other spouse’s feelings?

Just so we’re clear here—in that last part of your question (the uncaring spouse), are you referring to your husband or yourself I’m pretty sure, it’s your husband, but you see what I’m saying, right? You view his wanton whiskers as a sign that he doesn’t prioritize your feelings, but it’s possible that he could view your open disdain in the same way.

Presumably your hubby has opted to stand by his bristle not explicitly to frost your cookies, but because he likes the way the beard makes him look. Perhaps it makes him feel more distinguished or maybe he thinks it takes the emphasis away from his recessive chin. Not that I’m saying your dude has a weak chin—just throwing out a few possible reasons as to why he has embraced the lumber-sexual look.

He certainly isn’t alone. As scientific studies and walking down the street have proven—the modern male is a big fan of facial hair. Beards are not only normal, they’re downright fashionable and completely mainstream. So even though you are not a fan, it bares mentioning that face fuzz is not some horrible assault to all that is good and decent. It’s not a giant face tattoo or a mock turtleneck, for example.

That does not mean you have to like it. I myself am not a fan of the follicle chin strap. Some five o’clock shadow—sure. A few day’s scruff—fine. But anything that could be died white and used as part of a Santa Clause costume—no-ho-ho thanks.

Luckily my bf went through his billy goat stage a long time ago. We were backpacking in Central America and I’m pretty sure he now associates beardedness with sandy mattresses and sunburns and Montezuma’s revenge. Not that I know this for sure. And not that my tales of traveller’s diarrhea have anything to do with this conversation, except that they segue nicely into my next point about how relationships aren’t all perfect moments and clean-shaves.

You’re the one who decided to marry this guy. And maybe you were thinking the whole “for better or worse” part was about your betrothed contracting a horrible disease or losing your entire life savings or what have you.

Newsflash: Most relationships live or die based on how we handle life’s more minute moments of happiness and despair.

You are entitled to an opinion and you should feel comfortable expressing that opinion. But after that, I think you have to let it go. Definitely you have to let go of this idea that your husband’s desire to keep his beard means he doesn’t care about you. His beard isn’t about you.

If I dressed strictly to suit my bf’s tastes, I would have to throw out all of my rompers, my granny sandals, my cinched pants, my bright-coloured lipsticks, my pajamas-as-daywear and a number of summer time dresses that I suppose could technically be described as mumus. No clue what your favourite man-repelling wardrobe staple is, but there must be something you love that your dude could do without.

And I know, an outfit that comes on and off isn’t the same as a beard. But…well…at least it’s not a one of those ridiculous twirly moustaches that seem to be making a post-prohibition-era comeback of late.

You mentioned that the beard is “gross”, and I’m not entirely sure in what sense. Do you mean gross because—ew, all bears are gross? Or gross like, unkempt and smelly and unhygienic? If it’s the latter, you can certainly request that your husband keep his furry friend in good condition. It’s a whole new world out there in terms of men’s grooming product—there are beard conditioners and oils and special combs and dedicated trimmers. Maybe with the right amount of TLC, old Mr. Beard may even start to grow on you…

Or maybe not. If all of this is just too much to handle, you may want to consider a more down-and-dirty avenue of recourse. Note that I am not endorsing the sex as a weapon strategy. I’m simply pointing out that next time your husband goes in for a smooch, you could tell him that his bristliness is putting a damper on your friskiness…and then see if maybe he isn’t inspired to smooth things over in more ways than one.