Out-shined yesterday by the article by My Husband’s Wife’s (at 2536), I nevertheless boost my spirits and continue with this series. As easily concluded from MHW, submission is merely a tradeoff for harmonizing a relationship. Men may demand it exclusively, but that makes it no more right that they are right about everything else. But women have to teach them the difference between submission and submissive, competition and cooperation, discord and harmony. Leadership by example is always the best teacher. It means the relationship expert must submit at times in order to teach her man to recognize, respect, and hopefully submit to her ways in domains for which she is responsible.
I continue with situations that make women more aware of what’s happening mentally between the sexes.
11. This should be on her premarital checklist. Whether she and he are Christians or Bible believers or not, she can still ferret out some answers or spot red flags. She explores and discusses how each feels about each other relative to these passages and their present and future relationship: Ephesians 5:22-33. From what he says but mostly what he does, she should be able to determine—over a lengthy courtship—much about his worth to her.
12. With no CEO, families flounder from lack of leadership. With one CEO, they can thrive on effective leadership. Two CEOs invariably disagree, dispute, or fight over leadership issues and confuse each other and the kids. More importantly, spouses too easily succumb to blaming each other when things do not turn out as agreeably planned, expected, or predicted. Finger pointing both cripples leadership and injects sour notes into family harmony. The most acceptable and effective assigning of blame is the finger that points inward by the person responsible. (You can’t blame someone if they’re not clearly responsible and endowed with sufficient authority to do what they should. Also, they lack sufficient authority if their decisions are questioned or criticized. That is, their spouse fails to submit.)
13. People have to submit all the time. Children to parents. Parents to God. Employees to boss. In effect, submission is a natural function of two people’s authority relationship. Authority exists to provide the essential influence in one’s domain to fulfill their responsibility. By clearing up lines of responsibility ahead of time between man and wife, authority becomes clearer. Submission of one to the other in the domains for which they are responsible can lead to reciprocity and freedom from debate, resistance, and resentment. Examples: 1) Mother is chief child-raiser, nurturer of pre-schoolers, and disciplinarian for pre-pubescent kids. Father is her main provider/protector, supporter, and backup in her domains. 2) His domain is the home as chief executive. Her domain is how everyone will live in it as she is the chief operating officer. When push comes to shove, each submits to the other’s decisions in their domains. (Advice to wives: Always indirectly, in various ways keep impressing husband with this thought. When you make his castle in your home, he loves it. But don’t tell him that when he makes his castle in your nest, you can’t live with him doing that. Caution: If you make it your castle, he may not stay around very long.)
14. Aggressively or too assertively playing the power struggle game is dangerous to a marriage. Eventually destructive forces lead to split up. Without each spouse having a submissive spirit in the other’s domains, constant turf battles ensue. Prevention being better than cure, distinctly different domains for which each is responsible and has authority to control it helps clear the air for who submits on what issues. For example: Wife determines menus for home meals. Husband determines where they eat out. Although unstated, both yield in the other’s domain to encourage rather than expect that each please the other. IOW, mutual acceptance of domain assignment generates cooperation. Avoiding competitive situations helps prevent disagreement and stifle resentment.
15. The natural form of marriage works as a power game with a husband presuming himself to be on offense and wife on defense. Her best defense is to not lose whatever influence she has, which challenges her to fight back, which happens frequently in the early years of a marriage. If she loses her influential ability, it neutralizes her interest and de-energizes her spirit to cooperate. Her second best defense is to gain greater influence, which comes through patience, indirectness, and submission as appropriate for peaceful negotiation.
Can you use some more wife-promoting situational awareness? Come back for next posting.