Bill is driving home from work when he gets a text from his wife Karen. The text says- “Pick me up some sour cream on your way home- making Mom’s frosting for our dinner party tonight”. Bill stops at the grocery store and hits the dairy aisle. He reaches the sour cream and reviews things. Humm…Regular, low fat or fat-free? He knows that all they have is fat-free dressing in the house as Karen is dieting. So he grabs the fat-free sour cream and heads home. Bill feels good- he saved Karen a trip to the store. Bill gets home and delivers the sour cream to Karen. What happens next? Karen looks at the package and says, “You idiot! Why would you get fat-free sour cream? Bill says sheepishly,” Well honey, everything we buy is fat-free. Remember you are dieting.” Karen fires back, “Not for frosting, what’s wrong with you?” Bill is propelled back to feeling like a 10 year old boy being scolded by his mother. He tried. Yes, probably not well thought out as he looks back. He should have called. However, he was doing a good deed and his response was- you idiot! Karen thinks, “How can this man lead his team at work?” He can’t even accomplish simple tasks that I give him! It’s a good thing that I am here or this whole family would fall apart. Karen wishes she had a “good husband” so she wouldn’t have to do everything.
So what’s going on here? Is Bill really an idiot? Is Bill really a poor husband and family leader? The reality is that Bill leads a multi-million dollar division at work. Bill is a leader at church. Bill also leads a large charity organization.
This scenario is pretty common in the marriage relationship today. Women feel that they have no choice but to lead their household as they see their husbands as weak, passive and poor leaders. Men live in fear of their wives, who dominate the marriage relationship and to keep the peace, they slip securely into the second place position behind their wives. But the most damaging aspect of this is the message that is sent to the children.
We are raising our boys to think that Mom is the boss. They are not being trained to be leaders in the family. They see Dad as a doormat.
We are raising our girls to be independent and dominant which will perpetuate this friction in the marriage relationship. I think we also do this as a means to protect our girls. Make them stronger. Make them be able to take care of themselves.
What we are doing is setting them up to make them miserable.
Dependency is not always a bad thing. In the marriage relationship, you have to rely on your spouse to take care of things for you. By taking responsibilities from your husband you are taking away a part of the core of what it is to be a man. He needs to protect, guide and provide for his family. He needs to lead his family. It is in his DNA. It’s by design.
Ladies- Take your hands off the wheel and trust that things will work out. Relieve yourself of the pressure to control and plan everything. Realize that chasing perfection and putting pressure on everyone around you is not healthy.
If you want a leader in your house, it may be time to step back and let him lead. Your husband is not an idiot- you are likely legitimizing your poor behavior and your desire for control. Realize that he may be so unaccustomed to leading, that it will likely take some time for him to properly step into the role. You will be tempted to jump back in. But just wait. Give him time and encourage him to lead. What you will gain will be the peace that comes from the surrender of the burden of trying to do it all yourself. Your life will be better- I promise!
If you would like more help in this area please visit the website http://www.peacefulwife.com. This site averages about 5,000 views every day from women all over the world seeking to let go!
I am an equal opportunity offender! A follow up to this focusing on men’s marital relationship issues will follow in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
So what do you think? Are we reversing roles in the marriage relationship? Are you struggling to do everything yourself? Please click on “leave a comment” and let me know what you think!
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2 responses to “Sour Cream”
I have a question. Before I ask it, I need to find out how you feel about a husband making all the decisions as you marriage eriters keep saying. Would this be so, even into the areas of her personal female care of her body? Should he submit to her when it comes to the choices that she has to make about female issues? Where do wives draw the line about his dominance. What is your stand on this issue?
I do not believe that husbands should make all of the decisions in a marriage. I do believe that men need to be allowed and encouraged to lead in the marriage relationship. Men are wired to be leaders, providers, conquerors and protectors. If you take it away they will struggle. I believe in mutual submission- both partner submitting to each others wishes and needs. Neither party should dominate the other. The REAL challenge of marriage is unconditional love and unconditional respect. Don’t keep score with your spouse- no conditions. You need to know the heart of your spouse and know that they love you and they want the best for you. YES- They will mess up sometimes but you have to trust them. There is great marriage book called “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs which discusses this balance and freedom. Typically men struggle with loving well and women struggle with respect. Women NEED love and men NEED respect. Once you realize that you don’t need to control everything and quit second guessing and doubting your spouse and let go you will be freed to let your relationship grow and become stronger. Let go of the wheel and let God take over. Thanks for your comments- I hope this helps!