My last article spoke of the The Modern Traditional Woman, focusing on the acquiring of a fulfilling career and family life. This piece is on that same woman from a different perspective. Marriage and being an individual.
“You are one.”. I have never known a phrase to bring me joy and yet grind my gears as much as this one the past year and a half. It seems everyone wants to throw this phrase at me, and not always to be encouraging. There are those that use subtle indicators to remind me that while they are saying ‘we are one’, typically speaking that one is my husband! This is the part that boils my subconscious. I am more than happy to be one with my husband. We are a unique couple brought together, bound and sealed by our extensively differentiating personalities. Polar opposites if you will, and yet when the gravy simmers, comfortingly similar in our mindset, beliefs and values.
I am a submissive wife (or so I believe). I believe I ought to be for the kind of family I desire. For the kind of woman I strive to be. I am more than willing to submit myself to the husband I have. This being quite easy for the simple reason that I trust him. Let me say that again. I trust him. I trust in who he is a person. I trust his sense of right and wrong, his morals, his humility. I trust him as a friend, I trust his strength as a humble person and as such trust that at any given time, his overwhelming sense of fairness brings equilibrium to his decision making process. I therefore trust that in any given situation, he will make the decision that is best for us, for our family, always. It was this trust that allowed me to identify him as a man I want to spend my life with, among other qualities of course. This is why I am secure in my decision to be a submissive wife.My wildly opinionated nature and strong character are my roars tamed to a purr (My zodiac sign is the Leo, can you tell?) by my humble and balanced natured Boobles. (He’s a Libra.)
I get it. Many ‘modern’ women want to take me to the slaughter for even daring to say such a thing out loud. How dare I relinquish my life to someone else for control?! Let me tell you why. I trust him. Because of who he is, I am comfortable my husband will not take a decision that will affect our family without discussing the matter with me first. Voicing his concerns, preferences, suggestions and points of view, seeking mine and then coming to a mutually satisfying decision. The best we can find. Should the decision be unclear to me, I am comfortable in his doing what he believes is best, and vice versa. The submission I speak of does not entail dictatorship and bellowed orders requiring cowering and blind acceptance. I trust him. He is the head of my household and his leadership style is precisely why he holds that position.
I’ve highlighted the above to clarify, I have no problems with being identified as one with my husband. However, to be told we are one as though I have somehow lost my individuality is infuriating. To be told in no uncertain terms, I ought to do things because we are one is really infuriating. To be spoken to as though I am the less important party in our presence is extensively infuriating! To make matters worse, it’s not the people who know us that do this. It’s strangers. They look at us, smile and proceed to look to my husband to speak.
This started on the very day we got married. Even though I chose to hyphenate my surname, not one of our friends and family members bothered to use it that way. No one bothered to use my first name either. It was nice for a week or two during the excitement of being a newlywed, but when I realised that in almost two months no one bothered to use my first name anymore. I began to feel like my individuality was being stifled. I began to feel as though, I was only his wife and not a real life person kicking and breathing. I learned to work out this feeling on my own, without making a sound about it. And then it started happening. The looks when we were out doing business together. The look that would carry eyes to my husband for permission regarding what I said. The expressed questions directed to him while I spoke. The answers being skewed to his direction for questions I asked. The subtle insinuation that a decision made in conversation isn’t final until he is spoken to. As though confirmation is required.
I find my husband actively referring the person back to me when it is done more blatantly or subtly steering the person in my direction for replies. But it burns my womanhood and individuality to see it happen. I suppose I should own being spoiled. My husband usually makes such great representations that I am comfortable a lot simply smiling and being the wife on his arm while he gets things done. I wouldn’t say he’s a people person, but he certainly more adept than I am at talking to strangers. No one looks to me then. Which reiterates that they are fine with him making decisions. What am I? Barbie on his arm? Simply there for aesthetic appeal? (Inserts rolling eyes.)
You are one. Lord I’ve come to dislike that phrase!