Before I married R, I told him I was afraid I'd walk all over him. His reply was, “if you think you can!”
The ensuing years were submissive ones for me. I let him be the man, make the decisions, start new businesses, while I home-schooled and housekept and was the social instigator for our life. I used to command all the finances, but felt I was becoming a shrew when I wouldn't let him spend our money. I turned them over to him. All was well. By the recession of '91, it was obvious that one income could not sustain our little family. I went to work.
I am a workaholic, competitive, and responsible to a fault. He is unable to work for someone other than himself. I scrimped and scrimped, cut my own hair and never bought a thing for myself. He bought every toy and gadget that he fancied. After 23 years, I realized that I was very angry at him. He never thought of me, but assumed I was still sitting behind him on the "bitch seat" (biker's term) happy to be along for the ride. Was he ever surprised and threatened when I woke up to my own dreams, too long on hold while waiting for him to find himself and get happy. But, he's a good man, and he got it.
Girls, Guys, there are no shining knights who come along and make everything right. There's just yourself, and what you do with that. It's been a bumpy adjustment, but I took my life carefully into my own hands, freed myself from expecting anything from my husband, and made a life for myself. We're still adjusting, but he's happy because I'm no longer angry with him. And I like him a lot more since I'm spending my money on what I want to see developed, the work I want to do (not a bloody office job forever!) and I've been encouraging him to do what he loves and not worry about me. We're adults, after all.
It's a kind of separation that has made us both stronger. He realizes now how much I've contributed to his comfort and goals. He appreciates that I want to spend my hard-earned money on my own business investment. It's hard to see him financially uncomfortable, since I had previously dedicated my life and income to making him happy. No more. I'm making me happy, and it's helping us both. He's being pushed out of his nest a bit, but it's making him remember what it was like to be competitive, alive, moving forward. Personal growth is messy and uncomfortable, (just look at a teenager!) but growth is a sign of health. Will our marriage survive? I'm not sure yet. But a better relationship has arisen from all the chaotic changes.
Get healthy, get happy, be yourself by yourself. If it's just about sexual gratification, spanking can be a part or not. If it's about mutual respect and personal growth, then the sex will be hot, whether you spank or not.
I have been reading this site for a few months and have enjoyed it immensely. I am still exploring my needs and desires.
You questioned whether your marriage will survive the latest upheaval. I have been married for 30 yrs this year. If I have learned anything in that time, is that long marriages have a tendency to keep on going. In my marriage we survived the loss of a child, an affair (his), and several points where we seriously considered divorce.
At the point, as my husband now says, no matter what happens we can resolve it. The most important thing is to keep talking. As long as you can meet his top priority needs and he, yours; the lower level needs will not be a major problem.
It is strange but I found I have changed dramaticly over time. When I met my husband I was intensely shy and quiet. As I grew in my career and gained confidence, I lost my shyness and quiet demeanour on the outside. People I work with, do not believe I could have ever been that way. This also affected my home life. When I became unhappy with my husband's parenting skills, my new agressive attitude resulted in our marriage taking a change where as my almost grown children and friends note - I run the marriage.
Of late, I have felt that many of our current issues are related to that. Because, I run everything, I am also responsible for everything and I am tired. My husband does nothing, takes ownership of nothing. Ironicly he is an assertive person - naturally so - I just argue and debate better - so he says - "I will lose - so why bother"
I recognize that for the health of our marriage and happiness - something needs to change. There has much to thing about and this site has certainly helped. I have not just yet had the courage to tell my husband that I know after all this time want to take a more submissive role in this house, that I want him to be head of the household.
Ain't this the truth! My expectations of what would come from surrendering control and what I got from it were quite different. Same-same for my beloved and his taking control.
Benefits derived by both of us were greater harmony, self awareness, and mutual respect.
But we are still the people we were before. He still tends to run late for every appointment, I still tend to be ready early. We have learned to live with these differences a whole lot better than we used to.
I am a neat freak and organised to a fault. He can turn a room upside down just by walking through it and would never have clean clothes if I didn't perform laundry fairy duties. Again the change in us (after Loveawake) is how we deal with these seemingly incompatible qualities.
Yet I have seen posts from women at sites like this saying if only their man would take them in hand then they would lose that last ten pounds, they'd be better housekeepers, they'd keep their phone bills under control, they'd finish their university degree....etc.
Well maybe a dominant relationship is a kind of make over program for a lot of people but the one thing that worries me about that is once you have corrected the original roster of faults, what does he move on to next? Having exhausted the first fix-up list will he then attack underlying aspects of personality because he's a man who likes a 'project'?
The other side of that coin is women who do finally get their partners to take control - do they think that those men will be vested with every desirable leadership quality?
It doesn't happen - not permanently. There may be room for improvement in all of us but I am doubtful whether deep and lasting personality changes are possible.
Can the leopard change its spots? Or is waiting for that to happen a one way ticket to chronic disappointment?
Get healthy, get happy, be yourself by yourself.
I agree. It seems to me that a fulfilled and happy partner brings much more to a balanced relationship than someone who is hanging on needily to someone else's strength, vigor, and sense of purpose.
The one thing I've found that seems to hold true is that whilst something works, keep it. - and when it stops working, change it.
Absolutely - the only thing we can count on in life is change. We have to be flexible enough to accept changes when they roll over our lives, often uninvited and unwanted, and brave enough to know when it's time to instigate changes of our own, often difficult and challenging.
'course - the challenge can be finding what to change to...