Life of Liz

Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Click Worthy 4/18/2013

In Links on April 19, 2013 at 11:20 am

So many good posts this week!  Enjoy

 

gabrielle_reece_02

An accomplished athlete who is also a submissive wife

and brave enough to write about it?  gabrielle_reece_01

Now would you call Gabrielle Reece… Meek?         

Love Is An Action Verb – love = commitment, not feeling!  Why?  Feelings  change – but commitment is an act of your will.  The Society of Phineas explores the subject further ” When emotion and feel-goodism cloud reason and logical thought, you have problems”

Lovestruck … “In our new view, romantic love makes sex moral, and the purpose of marriage is to publicly declare that you are experiencing the highest form of romantic love”

But we were in love … have we conformed to this world?  Are we teaching and practicing chastity before marriage? Commenter Frank sums it up, “How about it’s best to save sex for marriage because to do anything otherwise is to disobey God’s word?”

Who rushed in to help?  Yep … once again it’s the MEN pushing to the front of the line!

But just because MEN are decent and dependable doesn’t mean their wives should owe them anything just because not having sex makes men depressed, suicidal.

Being a man DOES mean you can expect special attention at work … that no one else will notice or care it is being paid to you.

Never one to mince words … or give an opinion  or maybe just a little rant

to help you see the light! 

But if you are feeling reflective, I dare you to accept this challenge:  30 Days Of Truth

And finally thank goodness Ian posted this long after I secured a ring on my finger  … I’ve been told I can be just a little Bat Shit Crazy at times …

 

Some things need Re-examining

In Authentic Life, Goals, Out of the Comfort Zone, Red Pill on April 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

Having sent two of our six daughters off to college, we have learned a few things.  So before the younger four are to follow, we’ve been making several adjustments in the ways that we are parenting and preparing the next group for college and the world.  However, we may also be facing some bigger changes, that while possibly necessary – at least initially they will cause discomfort and will be uncharted roads for our family.

The older two didn’t have the benefit of our red pill world view.  Personally, I think I did something’s okay … Married for 20+ years, encouraged personal relationships with God, encouraged community involvement, tried to instill a sense of modesty.  I home-schooled them through 5th grade, (imparting a love of literature) and then continued to be involved in their education by volunteering at their schools.

But some things need re-examining:

In high school, the 2 oldest spent nearly 95% of their free time either playing a sport or studying so neither left for college very well rounded.  I was too discipline orientated and often didn’t understand this method didn’t allow them to develop the self control tools they would need to be successful once my barriers disappeared.  I didn’t facilitate Henry’s leadership in our home – but instead challenged him and diluted his role pretty consistently.

I had bought into the notion that today’s man would want a strong and independent woman.  I didn’t think much about feminine/masculine attraction and I definitely wasn’t thinking about marriage as the end goal when planning out at least the immediate future for my older girls.

But now, our second daughter is struggling to navigate the hook-up culture on her campus.  It breaks my heart to hear her explanation as to why so many girls stay plugged into the cycle.  Essentially they’ve bought into the lie, a mix of everyone is doing it and if you’re not doing it there must be something wrong with you.   And don’t forget they’ve been told their entire lives that meaningless sex is the prize that we’ve been fighting for so they had better seize the opportunity! The first girl to step away and even hint at the idea that hooking up is neither enjoyable nor beneficial would be quickly ostracized by the group, declared a prude (definition “displaying sound judgment in practical affairs”), or a loser or any other term that would accomplish the purpose of keeping everyone in line!  18-22 year old girls might be unashamed and reckless but they are probably not going to reject the status quo when all they really want is to fit in and be accepted.

My self reflection comes on the heels of my college aged daughters coming home for spring break.   There visit started me thinking “if I believe being a wife and a mother brings fulfillment to a woman and if this is the ultimate end goal – what did I do … what am I doing … to raise daughters who are able to attract, fall in love and then marry a man?” – And taking it further, wouldn’t it seem logical to plan their days to allow time to teach them how to present themselves to the world in a way that would accomplish said goal?

It is not hard to find entire blogs written by men exploring how they were lied to by well meaning but clueless adults (usually female) who held steadfast to the mantra “just be nice and you’ll find a nice girl” – they were nice and they are alone.  What are we, adult women, teaching our daughters and will it enable them to become fulfilled wives and mothers?

I think the answer is No!  I am starting to realize that everything that I thought was ‘right’ is actually ‘wrong’ … and the first thing that comes to my mind is the role of sports in the lives of my daughters.  In our house, playing sports takes up a huge amount of time.  Could that time be better spent if they played at a lower level?

And then I overheard this conversation last week between Daughter #2 (who is attending college on a full basketball scholarship) and one of her younger siblings:

Daughter #2:  “if you are good at both sports <basketball and soccer> then concentrate on soccer”

Sibling: “why?  I like playing both and you play basketball and you love it, right”

Daughter #2: “because basketball is the least feminine sport there is and boys have a preconceived idea of what a female basketball player looks/acts like and I hate it – given the chance I would have concentrated on either volleyball or soccer…

She continues:  and so many of the girls playing college basketball are gay so boys are constantly making jokes about it.  Even the coaches are mostly gay so we have to wear pants and dress like boys even though I see the soccer/volleyball/softball girls looking all girlie at team events.”

I had no idea she felt this way!  Is her experimentation with the hookup culture a rationalized way for her to be accepted and to express herself as a woman?

The second area that requires meaningful reflection is how and why we encourage certain educational goals.  Daughter #1 graduated high school with a 4.3 GPA and is now studying at a top tier university. But … getting her there took its toll.  She was miserable in high school.  She didn’t have time to attend many (most) extra curricular events (other than ones that complimented college applications) and developed poor coping techniques, that thankfully I clued into and navigated her through.  She’s doing well in her 2nd year of college – she joined a sorority (yeah, girl power) and is excelling academically, but to what end?  What is the goal?  Is it to compete with men until she is 32-35 and then start looking for a husband?  I know my preparation doesn’t have her focused (or even considering) marriage and family as worthwhile goals at this stage of her life.

How many, if any mothers are purposely training their daughters to take womanhood seriously?  And if we are not investing time in training them in true womanhood, then why are we so surprised when they so easily reject being a stay at home mom and instead buy into the lie of “we can have it all” only to become disengaged 3-5 years after the wedding ceremony?

So where exactly does our parenting go from here?  That is the million dollar question.  What happens if we were to have the 14 and 12 year old free up some time by playing sports at a lower level?  Or what happens if we don’t place quite as much emphasis on excelling academically? What is the right answer?  I guess it will be back to the drawing board and time spent with God, seeking His wisdom.

And on a lighter note … assuming the answers will only come with much time spent in prayer and reflection, then WHERE am I going to get the needed time?  #notimetoaskGod#gottagetthingsdone#wronganswer!

Click Worthy

In Links on April 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

Thoughts On Happiness, Love, and Finally Meeting The One  mysoulmate I bought it hook, line and sinker!!

Why do we encourage college, but punish marriage? – I just found this blog and love it!

“College improves your earning prospects.  So does marriage.  Education makes you more likely to live longer.  So does marriage.  Yet while many economist vocally support initiatives to move more people into college, very few of them vocally favor initiatives to get more people married.”

Sexual Harrassment and You – Saturday Night Live – The 3 Keys to workplace romance:  Be Handsome, Be Attractive, Don’t be Unattractive.

This great advice can be found here – as can a lot of other great clicks!  “We rebelled against our wise parents who tried to protect us from the poor choices we might make while young. In our rebellion, my sister ended up in exactly the situation our wise parents tried to protect us from. When, while still in a state of continued rebellion, I tried to force my parents to save her from her own rebellion they treated my sister like an adult capable of agency, just as we demanded they treat us. How dare they treat us like adults when we demand to be treated like adults.”

Worthless

I bought 2 copies of Aaron Clarey’s book – one for me and one delivered to my college freshman daughter who “deserves an exciting job, not a boring drain like her dad has working in an office everyday” …

I am keeping my fingers crossed she’ll get curious enough to read it!

I haven’t read a lot here, but Henry has … Phase Frame Workout Plan

50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) dangersous

The home-schooling mom writes … “I picked up this book after hearing about it from my friends at Toadhaven – who are always doing something really fun!  Some things are more interesting/fun/daring than others, but we’ve committed to try them all and post about it.  Maybe we will make up a few of our own in the end.”

Here’s a sampling …

•  Cook Something in the Dishwasher

•  Find a Beehive

•  Cross Town on Public Transit

•  Deconstruct an Appliance

•  Go to the Dump

•  Learn Dramatic Sword Fighting

•  Make a Slingshot

•  Climb a Tree

•  Climb on the Roof

•  Squash Pennies on a Railroad Track

•  Spend an Hour Blindfolded

•  Bend Steel

•  Break Glass

It started last Friday night…

In Authentic Life, Out of the Comfort Zone, Shit Test on March 21, 2013 at 11:07 am

Shit test: A test that a girl performs on a male by saying or doing something to judge the reaction from him OR when a woman gives a guy a hard time, usually for the purpose of seeing how he will react.

Batshit crazy: Extreme to a degree bordering on complete insanity. The state in which one makes decisions which make the exact opposite of logic OR speech or behavior that is over the top, unhinged, self-destructive, or a threat to others.

I was in the midst of a particularly difficult series of interchanges with my 90 year old, never happy, always complaining Grandma and I called Henry to vent and to receive comfort.  It was around 4:30 and since I have an expectation (it’s important to recognize it is MY expectation) for him to leave the office around 5 on Friday we chatted and I vented and then we hung up and I assumed that he would be heading home shortly.

It wasn’t until close to 8:00 that he finally arrived home… Are you effing kidding me?  Here is the way things began to connect in my head:

math

I was completely distraught at 4:30 and I needed you + You know how important it is to me that you leave at a reasonable time on Friday’s = You must not care about me/us/our family AT ALL since you so easily made the decision to work late TONIGHT of all nights.

So the shit test began and then it spiraled out of control before my own eyes until I was legitimately Bat Shit Crazy.  I screamed and yelled and tried my hardest to pull apart what we’ve spent the better part of a year and a half building!

The funny thing about married life Shit Tests is how they can start off with a legitimate argument or complaint, but judging from how he reacts (this is very fluid, by the way) all the anger and hurt feelings inside seems to overflow and try to destroy everything within reach.  After a point, the Bat Shit Crazy takes over and finds a way to make him pay for me feeling not in control of a situation – Grandma and his work/life balance to start.   As hard as it is to write that sentence, that is exactly where things went.

Henry handled things well for the initial avalanche that I launched at him, but then he’d had enough…but the hamster kept spinning and used up the better part of the weekend.  It was only when he began to take away a part of himself; when he started to withdraw and actually extract himself from within my reach that I was knocked into my senses and was able to realize the damage I was doing.  I was using my own stress to shake the foundation we’ve been building over the last 18 months.  I recognized that I had two choices and neither one was going to be comfortable. I could continue down the road of destruction and put our marriage, our family and kids at risk OR I could just stop.

I chose to stop.  Being the coward that I am, I sent him a text that read “I was wrong.  This is my fault.  I am sorry”.  That was enough to at least get us civil again.  When a few hours later he told me to “go and prepare” I knew what he meant.

I went to our room; I changed into something appropriate and I used the remaining time to reflect on the past 48 hours.

UGLY:   morally offensive or objectionable

or unpleasant in any way or sense

That is the only word that comes to my mind.  When he finally came into our room I was curled in a ball, crying.  I don’t know how long we lay in our bed or how long I wept.  When it was over, we were healed.  There was no need for discipline.  The objective had been achieved and I was able to mourn the UGLY that I had produced.

Monday morning came with battle weary scars.  Yes, we are moving forward but I now know and understand that there is a limit to how much SHIT you can create during a SHIT test and how BAT SHIT CRAZY you can go … because once you’ve reached TOO MUCH SHIT – you end up in a really bad place.  I felt it important to write this post if for no other reason than to remind myself how much can change in the blink of an eye.

Post 1/3…The Red Pill

In 1950's wife of Today, Authentic Life, In the Beginning, Out of the Comfort Zone, Red Pill on March 12, 2013 at 6:26 am

redpill

A year in review:

It’s been about a year or so that Henry and I had a choice to make – we could boldly swallow the newly discovered Red Pill that we had begun to uncover, though that would mean gaining the ability to see clearly the painful truth of our failing marriage.  Or we could maintain the status quo and stay in our blissful (painful!) ignorance of an illusion; one that we could never seem to get right and which was marching us farther and farther apart.   This Red Pill dilemma came about six months after trying our hand new dynamic.  The one was an easy segue into the other (red pill reality) so we forged ahead. 

Simply stated, out of the 20+ years of marriage, it’s been about 18 months that Henry has been actively leading our marriage.  Imagine that!  For about 1 ½ year I have not been in a contentious power struggle to be the HoH (though until recently I did not even know what that meant: Head of Household).

Initially it felt as though we were both play-acting – sort of a ‘fake it til you make it’ approach.  We spent a lot of time reading established blogs and trying to digest the information.   Looking back, I did several things that significantly contributed to establishing my new identity.

     pre-Red Pill 

  • Dress – comfy, non-threatening to other women.  Some examples include non-fitted sweats or lounge pants, sloppy-sweatpantsboxy t-shirts, Bermuda shorts, Peter pan collars, Uggs, Sperry’s, ballerina flats, flip flops etc.
  • Appearance – comfy with very little time or energy given to what image may be projected.  No make-up; hair is worn up in a messy bun or pony at least 60% of the timedyke
  • Hair – Typically shorter and for a stretch really short
  • Smell – None, unless going out for a special occasion or for a girl’s night.
  • Attitude – selfish and demanding.  An acceptance that my ways are preferable and his ways are flawed.  Inflexible.  Demeaning and humiliating when I didn’t get my way. A dependence on him to create happiness for me/us.
  • Countenance – hostile and distant.  Also, inhospitable.

post Red Pill

girly

  • Dress – feminine and representative of outfits that Henry has previously complimented me on.  Items that make him look good while also making me feel like his wife.  Examples include fitted jeans, moderately sexy dresses, v-neck T’s, mid or high heeled shoes or boots.  Also included are summer sandals and other kitten heeled shoes that are girly.
  • Appearance – pulled together, which includes at least a minimal application of make-up (powder, eye liner and mascara), hair worn down and styled on 90% of occasions.
  • Hair – long, healthy and maintained.
  • Scent – a daily spritz of a scent that Henry likes.  A refresher just before he arrives home in the evening.
  • Attitude – appreciative, respectful and deferring (as applicable).  Consideration given to his opinions, desires and needs.   Flexible.  A realization that the world does not revolve around my wants and an acceptance that I am accountable for my own happiness.
  • Countenance – pleasant and easy going.  Also, agreeable.happy

At first glance the above lists may come across as superficial – but looking closer I can see very distinctly that “pre-Red-Pill Liz” put an emphasis on personal comfort and my own individual wants whereas “post Red-Pill Liz” has gained an appreciation for what Henry finds attractive and how his wants can be appreciated and respected.

I also started asking Henry’s permission to do things that I would NOT need his permission to do. This is a way of giving him power over my daily decisions and reminding me that his wishes should be considered.  That may sound extreme, but it was and is necessary to keep me in the correct frame of mind and it is a way to establish and remind myself to keep him in charge.kiss

Asking permission is a very difficult thing for me to do, especially in front of our very perceptive daughters.  Probably the only reason I am able to force myself to ask his permission is because the payoff is so apparent.  For both of us!

One of our early rules was for me to meet him at the door and give him a welcome home kiss; sounds easy, but it was hard to do with those seven sets of eyes watching my every move.  It also shows how distant we had grown that getting up and kissing my husband was a hard thing for me to do!

Preparing dinner and having it ready for him; noticing his glass is empty and refilling; noticing his shaving supplies are running low and replacing them.  These things are daily reminders that help me keep Henry in the forefront of my thinking.

Some days it would be easier to be comfy.  Sometimes I just don’t want to be reasonable or consider his needs/wants/desires.  It’s a process and not something that comes easily for me.  Truthfully, I often fail, although thankfully some things are becoming a habit and fitting themselves into my normal routines.  Hmm, after a year of making a conscience effort to be “post Red-Pill Liz” and after spending many hours devouring blogs and trying to glean any insights I can garner AND after seeing so many positive results in my marriage I can only say, these are things that have helped me, and … It’s a daily battle decision to make the effort to be “post Red-Pill Liz”!  …  

up next is Post 2/3… “put THAT in THERE?  Wait… what?”

And finally, Post 3/3 “Make no mistake, this is Henry’s House”

Submission is not a feeling, it is a Choice

In Authentic Life, In the Beginning, Out of the Comfort Zone, Wisdom on January 16, 2013 at 8:03 am

I found this article very interesting.  I became a Stepford wife and saved my marriage. I’ve pulled out some key parts, but I encourage you to read it in its entirety.  It drew a lot of parallels to my own life/marriage and how we’ve been able to incorporate the philosophies of ‘surrender’.

Ellen says: ‘More and more women are working, becoming CEOs of companies and gaining status in the work world. It is very hard for them to come home and be a feminine person and a wife, and be loving and soft and caring – they just come home with this boss attitude instead.’  

No, I have not worked since we have had kids, but the transition from being the CEO running a large family into Henry’s wife is similar.

When I first began surrendering to Henry, in seemingly small and insignificant ways, our 17 yo daughter was visibly uncomfortable.  The contrast between Liz pS (preSurrender) and Liz PS (PostSurrender) is night and day and her reaction both amazed and saddened me.

But I didn’t actually realize just how much my behavior had affected the whole family until I gave in to Ali for the first time, and both he and Yasmin started to cry because they were so happy and relieved.’

Our house, our kids have benefited numerous ways from my shift into a Surrender Wife. A great thing about kids is when you start missing the mark, or more simply, when I slip back into Liz pS, they are not afraid to say something, even if it is painful to hear!  Last week our 5 year old son said “Mommy, if wives always yell at the dads then why do the dad’s want to come home?  Why don’t the dad’s go play instead of getting in trouble?”  Hard to hear, yes.  But it showed how far we had come because a year ago, me yelling at H would not have anyone batting an eye.

So it is not for lack of compelling positive reactions that make the Surrendered Wife road the right choice for me, but   Karen says it well;

‘I have been raised as an independent woman and the Surrendered Wife movement goes against everything I’ve stood for.

Yep!  And everything society tells us we should want.

‘But, incredibly, it has saved my marriage.

Mine too!

I don’t do more housework – I do less, because Ali is so amazed to be thanked so nicely for every small thing he does that he has started loading the dishwasher for the first time in years.

‘Before, I would just have criticized him for putting the dishes in the wrong way. He is so thrilled with the “New” Karen that he even told me to sit and watch a film the other night so he could do the ironing.

As I willingly defer to Henry’s leadership I too find that he is self motivated to do the small things that I probably nagged him about NOT doing for years.  pS Liz was very concerned in making sure H did ‘his fair share’ and it caused many hurt feelings and unfulfilled expectations.  Post surrender, we’ve even had an occasional tiff when he’s tried to clean up the kitchen after dinner and it only serves to make ME want to see HIM relaxing after HIS day at the office.  What am I to do?  Well, I am not sure of the correct answer, but once I insisted I would clean up; and once I submitted myself to his desire to bless me and he cleaned up.  Either way, it turned out as a win-win.

What has become apparent to me in the chaos of the last 6 weeks is Henry’s willingness to engage and lead US back onto solid ground.

‘He appreciates there is a closeness between us that we had lost.’

Liz pS used to be the one trying to fix our marriage with whatever ideas Redbook or Self suggested.  Now looking back I realize I was trying to change Henry into my version of who I thought he should be.  The problem with that is I really didn’t know who I wanted him to be and in hind sight – the man I married 20 years ago, the man who could run his own life and handle anything – the man I tried to beat out of Henry is the man I NEEDED him to be and Redbook offered no advice to get HIM back.

Ali himself – a husband so henpecked he still bears mental scars – agrees his wife’s change of character altered the dynamics of their marriage dramatically

I guess this post is more about reminding myself to make the internal choice to stay focused on what is really important for me, our marriage and our family to live in harmony.

Just as I believe ‘Love is not a feeling, it is a Commitment’ going forward I want to remind myself that likewise “Submission is not a feeling, it is a Choice”. Because in the end, it is all about the choices we make.

 

 

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?

The LIBERATION of LIZ (or Why I am sexier at 40 than 20!)

In Authentic Life, Out of the Comfort Zone, Red Pill on December 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm

It’s hard to pin point when I became 100% comfortable with my own femininity.  As a teenager, I was very, let’s say top heavy.  I was (and am) thin; I had (and have) narrow hips and thin arms.  BUT – back in the day I also had very full D cups.  My ‘friends’ caused me considerable discomfort because of the amount of male attention I attracted in high school. So I did the obvious thing, I dressed to conceal my blessing.

College was pretty much the same; I had a long term relationship with a very non-manly man who was also uncomfortable with my ‘friends’; he once commented (after I had spent considerable time finding the most modest swimsuit top available for a D cup’d woman) “maybe you could just wear a T-shirt or something” … thankfully that relationship fizzled!!

And then marriage…finally, score!!  You see, Henry is attracted to thin women.  He likes long thin arms and big breasts.  Imagine that?  As for my attraction to Henry – he is tall and I like tall.  Henry is thin, I like thin.  And although HE liked my feminine form, I had not yet embraced it.

The physical part of our marriage has never waned; I have never considered withholding sex from Henry.   Baseline we are attracted physically to each other… you can likely now understand our 7 kids!

And then we changed the dynamic of our marriage and established Henry as the leader and me as the follower.  That has had a profound effect on my ability to be a WOMAN in the truest form.

Previously, I was indifferent to Henry’s opinion of how I dressed.  I dressed to please myself or more aptly, other women.  It mattered what the b*tch at Starbucks might think if I wore a tight sweater and skinny jeans with boots (a look Henry likes) so instead I wore ballerina flats and a chunky sweater with boot cut jeans.  Many times I chose loose instead of fitted, or long instead of short or flats instead of heels.  Over the years I had various lengths of short to medium hair even though H commented many times that he preferred medium to long hair.  “Who cares” … My way of thinking was along the lines of “I mean my girlfriends like my clothes and my hair, so who cares if my lover doesn’t”!

Today I place more emphasis on what Henry finds attractive and less on what I perceive others might think.  A feminist response might be “I dress for myself, not a man” – but that is a lie.  No woman dresses for herself.  She either dresses to attract men or she dresses to impress other women.  I rarely did the first, but often did the later.  Dressing to please Henry means I do not care what other women think, nor do I notice when men turn their heads.  I am able to see myself through his eyes and that brings a freedom that I had never before experienced.  Aware of Henry’s preferences, I frequently choose to wear clothes that flatter my body.   I let my hair grow and flow down my back.  Presto!  The inner and the outer reach equilibrium and results in a 100% confident, feminine woman.

It’s hard not to see the irony!  When I was battling, challenging, belittling, __________ (fill in your own adjective) Henry for the headship in our marriage I was uncomfortable with my femininity.  It wasn’t until I willingly accepted the supporting role that I am free to be the sexy WOMAN I was always afraid to let out!  Who would have thunk it??

Have Men been SUBMISSIVE to Women?

In 1950's wife of Today, Authentic Life, In the Beginning, Red Pill on December 2, 2012 at 9:36 am

I have a lot of rambling thoughts; please bear with me as I try to write a cohesive post.  I am going to use Henry as my reference point, but to a large degree ‘Henry’ could be replaced with the name of any man – or ‘Men in general’.  Likewise, when I reference myself – you can easily replace your name – or “Women in general”. This post was easier for me to write in the 3rd person.

Henry is reasonable.  He is not quick to react and does not act in haste.  He is not prone to display his emotions during a heated debate.  Adjectives used to describe him are logical, practical and level headed.

Liz is volatile.  She likes to get things done quickly and has often jumped in before examining all the mitigating factors.  She is emotional.  Adjectives used to describe her are impulsive, unpredictable and unstable. 

Every time ‘Henry’ is referenced think of the above and do likewise for ‘Liz’ references.

For the first 19 years of their marriage, Liz was the de facto leader of their union.  Liz won her position by exploiting Henry; by using the essence of his Manhood against him.  Translation …  She flipped his strengths and turned them into weaknesses.  Take Henry’s nature to not act hastily.  Liz was able to convince Henry his thoughtful nature was a fault.  She used convincing arguments to support her POV, the loudest being “you’re not leading us the way I think it should be done” translation “you’re not a man”.  She countered Henry’s logical and level headedness with unpredictable and emotion laden outburst.  Henry resented Liz and over the course of 19 years many power struggles ensued.  Being an alpha male by nature – Henry won a majority of the battles.  And then Liz played her trump card.   She countered with unrelenting determination every effort by Henry to live in a logical, practical environment which in turned forced him, in an effort to save himself, to seemingly SUBMIT to her de facto leadership.

Synonyms for the word Submit:   abide, accede, acknowledge, acquiesce, agree, appease, concede, defer, give in, give way, go with the flow, grin and bear it, humor, indulge, kowtow, lay down arms, obey, put up with, quit, relent, relinquish, resign oneself, stoop, succumb, surrender, throw in the towel, toe the line, tolerate, truckle, withstand, yield

Still, Liz was not satisfied.  She wasn’t leading Henry; he had simply removed himself (not physically, but definitely emotionally) from her 19 year reign of terror.

And then it happened.  Either through Divine intervention or basic human survival Liz was able to catch a glimpse of what she had spent 19 years creating.   She saw a contentious marriage to a withdrawn and resentful man.  She saw her 6 daughters grow up as good students (or maybe she was a very resourceful teacher?) already mimicking her Total Domination Relationship Management techniques in their relationships.  Liz knew she was unfulfilled as a wife and mother.

I wish I could write that things immediately ‘fixed’ themselves.  They did not because it takes more than a realization to bring about permanent change.  Permanent change requires time and patience.  Please re-read the words used to describe Henry, which is pretty incriminating for Liz.

Definition of Submission: the action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another.  Humility, compliance.

I am ending with the definition of Submission because without Liz accepting her role within the marriage it is impossible for Henry to be the leader he is called to be.  This is not to imply his leadership is dependent upon her submission, but rather a belief that a logical person will naturally shy away from an unpredictable situation.

Men have the innate qualities to lead women if we believe men are logical, practical and level headed.  Today, Liz is able to see Henry for who is has been all along.   And that is where we end out story for today.

Authentic Life … part 2

In Authentic Life, In the Beginning, Out of the Comfort Zone on November 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

I’ve been guilty of presenting the appearance of success while the truth of failure lurked beneath the surface.  Like Thanksgiving dinners from my past, my marriage looked successful on the outside but it was very close to failure.  The kids appeared successful, but beneath the surface was a different story.  Our oldest daughter had adopted my attachment to perfection and as the stresses of her junior year in high school escalated, she engaged in self harm as a means of coping when it became apparent to her  .… no one is perfect.  I was fortunate; I clued into her secret and helped her find more productive ways to cope and accept herself.  A year later when others heard she was accepted to ‘XYZ’ universities they would have never imagined what went on below the surface which lead to those acceptance letters.  False Appearance …

Our third daughter, Maggy at 17 is doing well in school and is active in extracurricular activities … No one would ever suspect the struggles we encountered before I could even consider writing the above sentence. The truth is she had a lot of difficulty in school, which we wrote off as her ‘not applying herself’ until she was 15 years old and her math teacher challenged our logic.  She had to fail a lot before I would even entertain that there might be an explanation other than she wasn’t applying herself.  False Appearance …

In the case of Elizabeth, Maggy and my marriage, I am glad I see things much clearer today.  I like the reference to the Matrix films – the metaphor of the red pill, which refers to waking up from an illusion and suddenly realizing that everything is quite different than how you always thought it was…

To a large part, the shift from my Über controlling former self is directly related to a daily dose of the Red Pill.  Because before taking the Red Pill, everywhere I looked reconfirmed on a daily basis that husbands (men in general) are inept and in need of a strong (controlling) women to help them through life.   My Mom treated my Dad the same way my friends treated their husbands … with very little respect and often with contempt.  Now I look back and see why the men in my world couldn’t be our leaders — I (my Mom, my girlfriends) wouldn’t let them.   We challenged, shamed and humiliated them at every turn.     And it is in reminding myself daily of the illusion of my past  – and of authentically accepting how wrong my views were –  that keeps me anchored in my desire to be a submitted wife.

On a daily basis I am mostly happy to have the clarity to see what is really going on with my kids and my marriage … although there were periods when dealing with Elizabeth’s self harm that I questioned my ability to help lead her to a safer place.  It crossed my mind (in passing) “ wouldn’t it have been more comfortable to sit back, have a glass of wine and not notice the little clues she was leaving for me?”  That is what many of my friends do with their teens; the turn a blind eye to behavior they know is taking place.  Maybe their teens aren’t self harming in the way Elizabeth was, but many use drugs or alcohol to numb their reality.  It was an equally daunting journey when we began to address Maggy’s ADHD.  It would have been a lot easier to continue blaming her for being lazy or unmotivated but once I knew the truth, I felt compelled to act accordingly.

The red pill analogy correlates so perfectly well to my marriage.  Submission to Henry is my red pill reality; he is the leader and I am the follower.  Believing a married couple can live as equals and co-lead the marriage is not reality but instead a fairy tale that I bought into for 20 years.  My illusion.

Saturday night I tried to block my Red Pill vision and hide behind BLACK OUT GLASSES;  pretend the concepts of my marriage were unclear to me.   Henry (who has advanced red pill vision) recognized how much I needed a reminder of my place in our marriage. But because I refused to submit, the ‘reminder’ turned longer than anticipated.  Henry did a couple of things  – first, he challenged my attempt to go into the ‘isolation bubble’; he told me in no uncertain terms that it would be HIM and I together as we move closer to Grandma’s move-in date and my stress escalates.  He also refused to let me dictate how the night would unfold.

Later when we went to bed I tried to explain to Henry why I had so much trouble submitting to him when it was obviously needed.  As I at first tried to justify myself I instead began to realize the truth behind why I was unable to let go of my fears or my pride and submit to his leadership.  At first I thought it was a step backwards and I was surprised and a little (a lot) disappointed with myself.  However I now think it was a step forward because even though I wasn’t willingly submitting to Henry’s leadership – but because of Henry’s determination I was able to recognize the ‘line in the sand’ that I instantly draw that allows my isolation bubble to wind tightly around me and in turn keeps me from living an AUTHENTIC life, which is the life I desire. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense?

When I use red pill vision to look back over the last 20 years, it has not been easy nor does it look very pretty.  And then there are the days where I see clearly how my behavior or attitude is not becoming of a submitted wife and also does not lead to a harmonious family life – I see clearly what effect a comment will have but sometimes still choose to make the comment. That is where Henry comes in … paddles a swinging to help me get back to my base and not ever fall back into the illusion and the appearance of success while the truth of failure is lurking.  ~Liz

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