Life of Liz

Captain and 1st Officer

In Authentic Life, Out of the Comfort Zone, Punishment, Red Pill on January 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Marriage is hard; maintaining a fulfilling marriage is even harder.

One of the ways I get off track is switching roles.  I’ve found it is really hard for me to switch gears from Leader to follower.  It is especially evident now, with the addition of Grandma into our home.  I can say with confidence, I am making the transition less and less gracefully and it is taking its toll on the progress Henry and I have made in the last 8-10 months.  It is mostly in little ways, but he notices it (and so do I).marriage

When submission entered the picture it bridged the gap and gave Henry and me a framework that we could structure our marriage within.  In the early months, when it was all fresh and fun – it was easy to be a submissive, respectful wife.  And the pay-outs were HUGE.  I now had the dominate leader who was pouring both time and energy into leading our marriage.  He had an adoring fan whose main desire was building him up and ensuring his happiness.  We were able to maintain this glow for close to a year … BUT

Enter Grandma.  And then Xmas.  And then bring our 2 college daughters back home.  Oh and stir in some budget tightening and a dash of end of year work crunch.   All of a sudden it is not so fun and exciting to be a follower.  To stay emotionally connected to Henry is hard for me when life gets unmanageable.

My natural response to stress is to isolate myself emotionally.  I’ve always known I like to control situations.  Lately I’ve discovered I like to control other people’s expectations too.  Oh and I like to control the outflow of information too.  During the past 19 years of marriage and motherhood, it had been easy to hide the ugly two headed control monster and instead rationalize WHY I needed to control this or that.  After all, I ran our house; I ran the lives of our kids; I ran our finances (into the ground).  Henry was just another person in our household.  We’d argue, we’d sulk, we’d pretend things were going well at times – but the two headed control monster was SO power hungry she continually tried to provoke Henry until he took whatever measures necessary to keep clear of her tsunami.

If you gave me an evaluation to gauge my success as a submissive wife over the past 6 weeks, I would fail.  I would not get a C-.  Not even a D-.  Nope, I would get an F.  Is that why the phrase, “two steps forward, one step back” is so common?  Our talk yesterday revealed how much real work will be required to keep us headed in the right direction. It will require a conscience decision on my part to follow his lead and to compel myself to switch gears when he is around.

Does anyone else have this struggle in relinquishing the reins when the true leader enters the scene?  I know it is not because I doubt his ability to lead; it is more an internal inability to accept our house cannot tolerate 2 Captains when I am just so good at playing captain!

I’ve found myself questioning our dynamic, which Henry was quick to pick up on.  I guess there is a part of me that is uncomfortable admitting my need to feel the ramifications of relinquishing my personal power.  It takes an enormous amount of trust to submit; to say it is humbling is an understatement.

elderlyYesterday Henry expressed why our dynamic is working from his perspective and as he did I saw just how far we have come since starting down this road.  As he spoke, I saw who was unequivocally leading and directing US and who was really in control.  It’s not that I need the gushy feelings of submission, but it does help out and yesterday accomplished just that !

My goal for the time being is to see my marriage as a journey – and not a contest and to relax a little and let Henry steer this ship over the bumpy waters!  Gotta go, Grandma can’t get the toaster to work …

btw, I like to think H and I will get to take this picture someday.  Don’t they look happy?

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  1. I’m struggling right now too. I totally understand. It’s so hard to give up control and trust that the Captain is actually being the Captain sometimes.

    • Henry tends to be an all or nothing type of leader and that at times drives me crazy … and it makes handing over the reins that much harder. Keeping our lines of communication open helps, but a lot of it needs to happen within me. Sorry you are struggling now. Maybe it’s the let down after all the running around to make Xmas etc ‘perfect’. Hugs to you.

  2. Yes, they do and it is possible. Good luck on your journey.

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