Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Submission and stupidity

My husband recently informed me that I need to blog at least once a week, preferably twice. Because that way there will be more people getting exposure to me, and when my book gets published (if it gets published) I will have a better marketing platform...or something like that. All I heard was that I need to blog more often...and then my brain got fuzzy with overwhelmed-ness. (I do know that is not a word, by the way.)

There is so much pressure attached to blogging that often. What if I don't have anything interesting to say? What if nothing funny, or spiritually enriching, or even remotely entertaining happened recently? How can the man just expect blog posts to magically get written? And is he willing to sacrifice clean underwear, and home-cooked meals, and a family that smells like they know what soap is, just for the sake of a marketing platform?

On top of that, I was ranting to him over the weekend about a subject I found terribly appalling, (and he was staring at me without interrupting or offering any thoughts whatsoever (something he does when he knows I am on my soap box and anything he says will only inflame me further)) and after a while I said "Maybe I will blog about this."(and I was already writing the blog in my head, and feeling relieved that I did in fact have something to write about) and then he said: "That's probably not a good idea."



Son of a gun. That's what I get for giving him insight into my intended posts. Someone remind me not to do that again. Because I don't really like being told what to do. And he almost never tells me not to do something that I actually want to do. He's just not that way. He rarely cares one way or the other. He often tells me I'm being ridiculous, (which is often true) but in our 13 1/2 years of marriage, he has rarely expressed his desire for me NOT to do something.

The first time it happened we were newlyweds. I had just spent my first year living in Indiana, and as I had formerly been a Carolina girl, I was feeling REALLY sun deprived. "I need a tan!" I lamented. "I may go to a tanning bed tomorrow."

His response..."No, I really don't want you to do that."

I sputtered. I laughed. I coughed. I shook my head. I blinked. And finally I managed "Seriously?"


Yes, he was in fact serious, and I was stunned. All the years I spent growing up (with parents bossing me around) I dreamed of what it would be like when I got married and could do whatever I wanted to do. I would be in charge of myself. Except I forgot that there may be something I wanted to do that my husband wouldn't want me to do...

Oh, the internal dilemma.

Are all the feminists howling yet? Trust me, I howled too. I won't go into the details of that particular disagreement, because they aren't important. It boiled down to one very simple thing. I wanted to do something. He didn't want me to.

And so I was very pale when the summer came that year...and every year since.

This particular issue is a rather gigantic hot topic in marriages and in the Christian community. Trust me (trust me) when I say that I have absolutely no intentions of touching the word "submission" (mutual or otherwise) with any length of pole imaginable.

In fact, if I may briefly reclaim the soap box I was recently asked to store in the garage, I think the word submission should be banned from use in marriage discussions. It should be right up there with "courting" in the dating world. They are just two words that cause people to cringe. Like "potty training" and "root canal" and "Calculus."

(Please don't misunderstand. This soap box does not mean I don't think courting and submission are good things. I just think the words are really, really worthy of a few other choice words...)

The thing is, I love that man. Like, I am CRAZY in love with him. And I want him to think everything I do is wonderful. I want him to respect me, and listen when I talk, and be proud of me, and think I'm smart, and funny, and beautiful, and all the rest. And (lucky me) I am pretty sure he does.

But what if I did something I knew he didn't agree with? Or that I knew he wished I wouldn't do?

He would still love me, and he would still think I was wonderful...and all the rest.

But I would feel like I had let him down. Like I hadn't respected the opinion of the one person in the world who I love the most. By my actions, I would be saying "I love you and respect you, but not as much as I desire to do this thing."

So, for me, its not about submission versus feminine rights. Its about a person I love and respect, and my desire to SHOW him that through my actions, by respecting his feelings on a particular issue, even when I sometimes feel like his feelings are silly, or illogical, or just plain grumpy.

And now that I have said what I think on that, I need to stop for a second and laugh. Because that makes it sound like I am a good little wife.


When my sister died, I told Heath I wanted to get a tattoo of her name (which is Joy) on my arm. And he really wasn't a fan of the idea. After several months I told him "I AM planning to do it. So, I'm going to need you to tell me what I can do to make you agree...because I don't want to do it without your agreement, but I am doing it."

 Just throwing that in there so no one reading this rolls their eyes and writes me off for preaching how perfect my submission skills are.

Not. Even. Close.

I think, for us, its about balance. Its about knowing when he just needs a while to warm up to an idea, or when he is really trying to get me to see how NOT OKAY WIT HIM an idea actually is. And sometimes its about not doing something just because I love him, even though I REALLY want to do it. Sometimes its about him choosing to be okay with something because he loves me, and he knows how important that thing is to me. Its give. And take. And making mistakes. And trying hard not to make the same ones again the next time.

And sometimes, its about being smart/sneaky/deceitful enough to not tell him what I plan to do before I do it...so he doesn't have a chance to say "That's probably not a good idea."

Which is possibly what he would have said about this blog post as well.


In closing, I will say this. You may disagree with me about any or all of the above opinions. Let me save you some time climbing on your own soap box to tell me so.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind about anything. I'm trying to say that I love my husband, and I sometimes choose to love him more than I love something else, and sometimes I don't...and he still loves me and I still love him.

Today I chose not to blog the thing I was ranting about (because he didn't really want me to), and instead to rant about something that I am positive is more controversial than the other thing...

I must be feeling brave...or stupid...or ambivalent...or stupid...

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