This is the last thing I'd ever thought I'd be saying, but, ever since my husband and I consciously adopted the sub relationships philosophy, it seems he is treating me better, and strangely, more as an equal. Am I imagining this?
For years we fought a lot, because I always tried to rule the roost, be the dominant one, because I felt afraid to let the real me show. I don't know why I was afraid, I certainly didn't care what other women thought of me, so why was I so afraid? Did I think if I let the real me show, I'd be seen as weak? I've always been a strong-willed woman; I was a tomboy; I equated strength with not showing my true feelings. But now that I have shown my true feelings, I feel.... STRONGER! What a paradox, yet it seems to be true!
And my husband said to me as he left for work this morning, “I was in love with you when we first met, but for many years, due to all the arguing, etc., I still loved you but was not IN love with you. I'm IN love with you all over again, it feels like when we first met.”
And I notice he goes out of his way to help me with little things, that he overlooked before.
This is so odd, because online dating (if you listen to society) is supposed to make a woman feel weak. But I feel stronger than ever!
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You wrote "For years we fought a lot, because I always tried to rule the roost".
What do you think were the reasons for that?
Could it be that you felt a duty or responsibility to take care of a lot of things? Perhaps too many things?
I don't know your life's history but I suspect that you, like many women, absorb the idea that they should be responsible for their families. This is just the current social norm and we all receive direct and indirect pressure to conform.
Men absorb a different but related set of expectations in much the same way.
We all wind up trying to live up to the expectations of some abstract "they" instead of realizing what we really want from our intimate relationships.
It is like the old Bob Dylan song My Back Pages where the refrain is "Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now". The song is about gaining wisdom by giving up your youthful preconceptions.
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I have thought about this a lot, and I think I was that way because of my upbringing. My father raised me to be a tough, no-nonsense girl/woman, and because of my dominant personality, I suppose I felt I'd seem weak if I became submissive (even if only in private).
I was watching the John Wayne film, McLintock earlier (again)....it struck me how much like Kate (his wife) I used to be (ok, maybe not AS bad as her, but sometimes!)
But yes, I think I also felt I needed to be the one to "get things done", and it feels so good to have all of that taken from my shoulders!
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You wrote "But yes, I think I also felt I needed to be the one to "get things done", and it feels so good to have all of that taken from my shoulders!"
I am sure you still get a lot done, the difference is more in attitude.
You probably don't feel the same pressure to "manage" your household. It is an important, but subtle, difference.
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This was totally me when I used to try to "rule the roost". I was taught to never need a man, I was fine all by myself. I tried to prove that by doing everything , to show that I would be fine without him. The only thing he did was bring home the money and anyone could get a job...
Then I read The Surrendered Wife and I thought, "hmm. If I don't need him, why the heck did I marry him?" Then I found Loveawake and that added the idea of him "taking charge".
I find that I have still have just as much to *do* but there are so many things that I don't have to *worry* about. Also, if something is bothering me or stressing me out, I know that I can just lay it on him and he will take care of it.
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I'm reading a book right now which was last published in the late 1950s, by a woman psychiatrist (The Secret of Sexual Surrender by Dr Marie Robinson, MD) , and her book has helped me so much--she explains WHY I was the way I was, and what to do about it. Fortunately, I was already a bit on the path of fixing the problem before I started her book, but her book is helping me finish fixing the problem.
I saw SO much of myself in her book, and now I know why I felt this need to "rule the roost". Might not have been your reason, but I know for sure it was mine.
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Of course I don't know how you used to behave when you tried to "rule the roost", but I am still stuck on the idea of managing your family. I just think this is something women do because they think it is their responsiblity to take care of the familiy.
My wife is a middle child with 2 brothers and she gets into "managing" mode when there is a familiy gathering. The 'little brother' - a middle-aged attorney - receives special attention. We are both aware of this and laugh about it from time to time, but it is definitely a result of the way she was brought up.
At first it seems like a paradox to find equality by giving up the Mommy/manager role, but the "equality" that you gave up was always an illusion.
You can make a long list of good things you do for each other and a long list of bad things you don't do to each other. It won't be the same list for each of you of course.
In the list of do's and dont's, where do you find "be equal to each other"? That doesn't even make sense in English. (Sort of like this post).
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