I just noticed a wonderful side effect of our relationship that I had not anticipated. Since online dating (or surrendered, as Laura Doyle would say) I have let go of control of my husband and his ‘stuff’ that does not concern me. Going a step further, I have given my husband control of me and my ‘stuff’ that does not concern him.
One of the things that I have found is that since I have let go of control over him, I have been able to let go of trying to control other things that I simply can not control. This includes other members of my family and situations which are simply beyond my sphere.
For example, I used to spend large amounts of time trying to plan things and figure out how things would work in every conceivable situation. I believe now that this was my way of feeling in control of something that I simply have no control over: the future. Yes, one should think about different courses of action when a decision needs to be made but what I was doing is well beyond this by any means of measurement. I could get obsessive. I find I don't do that a tenth as much as I used to.
| 3. My husband's leadership|
I think that, before, controlling everything was how I felt secure. I needed everyone to know that I was capable and in charge and that I didn't need any help. Yes, even my own husband. I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that if anything happened to him or our marriage, I would be okay. One of the things I realized is that relying on him doesn't mean that I would dry up and blow away if he was gone. Now I have started to feel secure in my husband's leadership.
I think I am just one of those people who will try to take care of everything if I let myself. That's how you get points in my world: the least selfish, most giving person wins, right? Well, that doesn't leave anything for me. I am now learning to let my husband take care of me and I am learning that leaning on him doesn't make me weak. I mean, if I can't lean on him, if I don't want to rely on him, what the heck did I marry him for?
| 5. An exchange that benefits both|
Good to hear this, Otter. On another thread, I was talking about the exchange of 'burden' but I don't think I made myself understood. You have explained it neatly, though. If your husband is like me, he doesn't feel you have transferred a burden to him: on the contrary, you have relieved yourself of a burden and given him authority that makes his responsibilities easier to handle.
| 6. The money and feelings|
My husband said almost that same thing to me. One day I was asking him if having all the responsibility wasn't too much stress for him as it had been for me. We were talking about finances but then broadened it. He said that it was so much better for him now that he had the responsibility. He said that all his stress came from not knowing what was going on with the money and feeling like I did everything right and he did everything wrong.
| 7. Decision needs to be made|
I think there is so much that I have to take responsibility for just by virtue of my role in the family (caretaking the kids and the house and him) and my very involved and constant presence, that even in this "power exchange" type of relationship, I still have plenty to be going on with. Another factor I think is that women (or at least some women, and I know I do this) are so focused on details and that it is easy to just get wrapped up in everything. Then even while I am making dinner or chatting on the internet or whatever, I am still thinking about the finances or the bill that hasn't come yet or whatever decision needs to be made.
In contrast, my husband thinks about the bills when he is paying the bills. When he is at work, he thinks about work. He may be "thinking" about a number of things, but the main focus of his mind is on what he is doing. So he only stresses about one thing at a time and then he moves on. I stress about everything at once and all the time.
Now that we are taken in hand, most of those things just don't enter my mind anymore. "Not my job." What a beautiful. There was a time when I thought *everything* was my job. My husband never thought that and he was all too happy to take most of that burden.