One meaning behind the tattoo of a rose entwined in barbed wire is that loving someone is not without risk, that love hurts. The rose itself often symbolizes inner beauty, while barbed wire on its own symbolizes imprisonment, either physically or figuratively.
The color of the rose sometimes has its own meaning in a tattoo. For instance, white roses symbolize purity and spirituality, while black roses symbolize death. Barbed wire also has religious meaning for some people, such as the Crown of Thorns Jesus wore during crucifixion. Combined with a white rose, the barbed wire Crown of Thorns may signify the wearer's devotion to his or her faith.