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Why I will never regret getting a couples’ tattoo

One of the worst things you can do for your relationship is get a tattoo together. At least that’s what popular wisdom would tell us. After all, if you break up after getting a couples’ tattoo, you are stuck with a permanent reminder of a bad breakup. I get it. But I don’t regret my tattoo with my husband for one minute.

When my husband and I decided to get our first tattoos for our seventh wedding anniversary, we were well into adulthood. We’d been together a decade by then and were pretty confident in everything about our relationship. Obviously.

We decided to get two halves of the same tattoo, a design we made ourselves out of the letters in our names. The second we did it, the jokes started rolling in. “Uh-oh! You just jinxed your relationship!” “How long until you break up?” “Better not get divorced now!”

People were kidding, of course. Rob and I have one of the strongest marriages of anyone we know. But even so, I did start to wonder. Had we ruined a good thing by getting it tattooed on our forearms?

See our tattoo below:

Image: Sasha Brown-Worsham

It is now six years later and I have two more tattoos (my husband has one) and not for one minute have I regretted any of them. Now, obviously, this is, in part, because my marriage is still very strong. But there is more to it as well. My tattoos make me myself. I chose them as an adult and knew exactly what “permanent” meant when they were inked on my body.

My husband is my entire world. Yes, our children are part of that mix as well, but when it comes down to it, he and I are the sun. Our marriage is what draws our little orbiting children in close. There is nothing in this world I hope is more permanent than us. A wedding ring can be removed, but these tattoos? Never.

I got the tattoo with the certainty that we would never divorce. I am even more sure of that now. Of course, that doesn’t mean two people will be lucky enough to be together forever. There is the horrible possibility that something could happen to one of us. But even then, I would want this tattoo. It’s a reminder that what he and I have shared is permanent. It gave me my children. It gave me my life. The physical circumstances around us are always changing. This tattoo is a reminder of him, yes, but it is also a reminder of a point in time.

We got these tatts on our annual solo trip to Cape Cod. There is no place on Earth we love more. We’d been staying at our favorite bed and breakfast, the smell of spring lilacs in the air. We’d had some wine and raw oysters and woken up to sunshine and pancakes. It is our happy place. So when I look at my arm, I see not only our marriage — the foundation for all the happiness in my life — but also that week (and all the Cape weeks that came before and after). Those memories are precious. My husband is precious. No matter what comes after, this tattoo is a permanent reminder of those facts.

Regrets? Hell no. I want more.

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