Doesn't Like Mate's Balding

Q: I'm married for 12 years to a wonderful man. He's a great father to our two children. I know we're in it for the long haul, so this might sound shallow. He's put on weight and is losing his hair. He's so confident and not concerned. But I go to the gym and work hard to keep myself looking trim. I don't want to be of those wives who keeps harping on her husband to lose weight. It's only about 10 pounds so it's not really a health issue but I don't want it to become one later on. As far as his hair, when I suggest Rogaine he gives me a look. I just want him to look his best. Am I wrong? Isn't this in his best interest? — Beth, 37

Dr. Susan: As many a wife learns, what's in a husband's best interest isn't always what he feels like doing something about. The weight issue: 10 pounds is still minor, but you two ought to have a talk. Weight tends to go up as we get older unless we change our youthful habits. See if he can identify what he's doing or not doing to have put those pounds on, and if there's anything he's willing to do to keep more from accumulating. If he doesn't care, even after you let him know that you're concerned about his long-term health, then all you can do is prepare healthy meals, keep junk out of the house (the kids don't need it either), and ensure that he has the blood tests recommended, in order to catch any negative issues before they get too serious. Men are often especially sensitive about hair loss. I'm sure your husband would prefer if you loved him with or without hair, since in the long run, there are no perfect solutions. Rogaine has to be applied twice daily, is often of limited (or no) effectiveness, and when it's stopped, any new hair will fall out. It can feel greasy, cause itching, and isn't said to work on the hairline. Above all, it requires diligence in applying regularly, and if your man isn't interested, better to leave him alone and love him for his wonderful self.

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