Marital Tug of War
"love is a decision. you have to be open to it. you have to be accepting of it. love isn't always able to break through a bricked up heart. if you want love, put your armor down and let love take you. it's an empty life without it." --Treka L. House
I was raised up by my super independent, no nonsense great-grandmother. She raised me to pursue my dreams without a man in mind, because a relationship isn't guaranteed. Honestly, I had never witnessed a woman so strong and sincere in her thoughts and opinions. Let me tell you just how resilient and serious she was about being self-sufficient. Her husband got up one morning pretending to go to work, as she proceeded to work. She just happened to come home early and guess who was home? He was and she had questions. One thing about her, she rarely held her tongue, if ever. He confessed that he had lost his job and was pretending to go to work so she wouldn't know. She didn't forgive him or give him the opportunity to find a new job, she simply dismissed him. She packed his stuff that day and told him never come back. When I heard the story, I thought, "Jesus, she doesn't play." She never gave a vulnerable explanation as to why she didn't try to work it out, but she did remember the type of father she had. She explained that her father was a provider and he took very good care of her mother and their seven daughters. I assumed that her father's example alone was enough for her to feel confident enough to give him the boot. I can't say I understand the situation my great-granny had with her husband, but I do understand that no one reacts or acts without a specific cause. Even her no nonsense attitude was molded from something. Though I will always appreciate her strength, being married for over a decade; I've gained a desire to understand my husband. I wasn't always this way though. The things my great-grandmother taught me were embedded in me. I couldn't bare a man thinking I needed him for anything. I was my own woman, like she taught me to be. It reflected in the things I did and said. I didn't get attached to anyone, especially guys. I would like them today and one wrong move, I didn't like them anymore; until I met my husband. Everything that we learn from those we love aren't always conducive to our lives. Everyone has different expectations and reasons for why they do things, it doesn't mean they should be your expectations too. Oftentimes, in marriages when there are two strong-willed individuals. No one wants to fold and someone feels like they have to walk away feeling as if they were right. This seems like a small issue I know, but it can grow into something ugly really fast. Many men and women believe that the term submissive means the relinquishing of a woman's voice. That is a misconception. God wouldn't have given both men and women a brain, thoughts or a voice, if they weren't intended for use. It's what the married couples do with their brains, thoughts and voices as a united front that count the most. It is declared that the man is head of household; however, the woman is the help meet and she is that for a reason. Both parties in a marriage are given gifts, strengths and weaknesses. Being as one, one is to help the other as they fall short and require uplifting. It is important not to get caught up with the thought of who is trying to run who or who is wrong, that you lose the intent and potential growth of the marriage. So many marriages fail based on the social pressure to be independent. If you love your independence so much, why do you want or need a partner? In any relationship, partnership is available to relieve 100% pressure from one person, it's sharing responsibility with someone you trust to do so. You have to be willing to release some control to someone else so that responsibilities are fulfilled as you replenish who you are, so that you are able to keep thriving. If you are not able to do that or even willing to do that, it's a strong possibility that the task will not be handled appropriately. Some of us are control freaks and we don't trust others with our needs, though we want to. Partnership requires trust and a sense of understanding between both parties to have our needs met, if that's not possible, the relationship will falter.
If you're married and you find yourself in a tug of war, you need to look within yourself first. Do you really want someone to share your life with or do you want a marital placeholder? You shouldn't play tug of war with someone that you decided to share every part of your life with. In life you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them, marriage is no different. You shouldn't have to play manager everywhere you go, especially in marriage. Allow your partner to play the role in the marriage that they play best. They will be great at something that you weren't designed to be great at, that is what will make you better as a partnership. If you look at marriage from a place where you both win, where you both are combining your strengths and eradicating your weakness; you'll always find yourself on the winning team. Marriage is suppose to be beautiful and fortifying. If you can clean yourself up and you're honest with yourself, with your partner in mind; your union could be a beautiful connection. Don't waste valuable time and precious energy going to war with someone that you should be fighting the war with.
Give to your relationship, what you expect to receive. Don't worry about what other people have to say about how you operate in your situation.