Should You Allow Your Partner to Tell You What You Can and Cannot Do? The Truly Rich Lady Weighs In

In a relationship, you should welcome a challenge, but reserve the right to say no.

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

I am newly married and I feel so wonderful! I wake up every day next to the love of my life. He still introduces me to people as “my bride,” which just makes my heart melt. And our combined assets have put us in the realm of very, very comfortable (not as Truly Rich as you, but I’m working on it).

There’s just one thing. Recently, my husband told me to stop wearing skirts. It wasn't a request. Normally, I would deny such things (he is no fashion expert and I love the breeze), but I complied. I thought I should just do as he says because I am now his wife.

But I’m not okay with it! What do you think? 


Frustrated In Pants

Dear Ms. Pants,

Rejoice for you have something in common with this person called Meghan Markle. Do you know her? A weekend report from the Daily Mail says that the Duchess of Sussex has been denied the wearing of suits by her new husband, Prince Harry, who prefers that his wife dress more like a royal.

That means skirts and maybe that head contraption that Kate Middleton wore to Prince Louis’ christening. According to the news bit, Meghan, allegedly, “has been expressing frustration with some of the monarchy’s archaic traditions.” I'd be frustrated, too, if someone told me I can not wear slingback kitten heels!

Men are weird. Or are we, women in skirts or pants, the ones who are weird? Let us now look at both sides of the argument regarding, not just fashion, but also the idea of allowing your man to tell you what you can and can not do.


He is right. I have to be an obedient wife.

I have no additional information about the kind of skirt your husband dislikes. Is it an Angelina with a slit up to the heavens? Is it too short as to make Mary Quant blush? Is it sheer? Is it ugly? I don’t know, but I am guessing that his skirt ban is because he wishes you to be more demure.

In the world of the Truly Rich, there are roles to be played. These roles usually require that you behave, because many people in the community are still very traditional. Many of the women are homemakers who expect you to give your 100 percent support to your hardworking husband, because that's what they do. Be, as Bette Midler sings for Beaches, the good wind beneath his flabby wings! If that requires a ban on skirts (weird!), so be it. You will wear pants or maybe cullotes and stand behind him like a well-behaved and supportive specter.

Or perhaps the skirt ban is because he wants to protect your modesty from the leery old grandpa he spotted salivating over your gams. Maybe he is taking you to dinner with delegates from a country with a culture that is averse to skirts. Actually, have you had a semi-serious discussion about this? Or are you the kind of couple who avoids confrontation, preferring to stew in annoyance rather than talking things out?

A universal truth (not just in the glittering world of the Truly Rich): In relationships, there are times when you have to bend to your partner in order to make it work. I’m sure he has also adjusted some of his habits to adapt to yours now that you are living together. Does he still leave a trail of saucers all over the house? Not anymore. Consider the skirt. Actually, talk about it first.

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Oh, hell no. No man, not even a prince, can tell me what to do.

Eh, I must've not been too convincing earlier because I don’t want you to become a pretzel, a misshapen human woman, a shadow of your former self.

Let me tell you a secret: In a past life with a true love, I did the very same thing. I willed myself into the form of who my man wanted me to be: “Si-si, you should reconsider painting. It will not lead anywhere.” “Si-si, you should wear this perfume.” “Si-si, you should be more gentle. You’re not a man.”

I thought, “These requests are outrageous—ha, ha, ha—but he loves me so! I should just do them!” And then, we lived happily ever after. In fact, he is currently beside me, the gentle pretzel woman who wears stinky perfume and is still not painting.

I lie.

All that yielding weakens the spirit and, if never addressed, dissolves love. Barbra Streisand, in Funny Girl (the Broadway musical, not the movie) sings, “Who are you now? Now that you're mine? …Are you someone better for my love?” She is asking if her man has become better or worse since being with her, and I think this should be a litmus test in every relationship.

Will his skirt ban make you a better person? Er, I think not. I think you will slowly become a grumpy wife in pants.

And why should we even follow everything that a man wants? After all, Queen Elizabeth, who has been the leader of her royal tribe for what seems like an eternity, as well as countless female leaders, presidents, and CEOs, who have led their organizations, countries, or companies to success, show that women can lead the way.


That's not to say that husbands should be docile. Fool is the man who believes the maxim “happy wife, happy life” translates to slavishly doing whatever she wants. Ditto for the woman who thinks this, too.

In a relationship, you should welcome a challenge, but reserve the right to say no.

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C.C. Coo
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