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When attending a friend's wedding last summer, I was talking to one of the bridesmaids. She was very short, and very intense, like she was running the show. (Cue a Minnie Jackson MMM-HMM) She mentioned a conversation she had with the groom earlier that day. It went something like this, "I told Dan today that this was the last day he would ever be in charge of anything." She laughed and giggled at the notion that men could ever be in charge of anything in the home. Not only did her raging personality scare me, but the far reaching implications of what she had said. Do women always have to be in charge to be happy as a wife?
I have thought about it ever since that hot July night. Every marriage and home is vastly different, no doubt about that. Things can be great no matter who is "in charge" or more clearly stated "in control", as the psycho bridesmaid was referring. Sometimes it's a nice balance between the husband and wife, and other times it seems as if no one could be in charge but the husband, or the wife, and it will never change. Some couples you can observe for 5 minutes to figure out who is "wearing the pants" in the relationship. Not that this is necessarily good or bad, but it's not 1965 anymore, and I don't see why it necessarily has to be that way for every marriage or home. Maybe I am naive in my experience with relationships, but I don't think their should be an imbalance of power, it should be equal, as marriage is a partnership.
As someone hoping for marriage someday, I don't want to be a bride-zilla or wife-zilla, and I don't need things a certain way 24/7 to be content. I'm a very laid back person. So why do some personalities come together in marriage, and only one gets all of the power it seems? I've observed so many couples in my neighborhood, even my friends parents, and noticed different patterns. These are extreme examples, but I think it's worth bringing up.
With some, the wife is the dictator, and orders the husband around like a dog, do this, or finish that, and it seems like it has been this way from day one. I shudder at the thought of being this woman. I've met this woman many times, and I just don't see myself being this way. Usually the husband may be quieter and seem more kind to me than the abrasive wife, but something inside me wants to talk to them and ask "Does this really make you happy? Does your spouse just drive you crazy? I'd slap her in a heartbeat!"
The opposite example is the husband being the general, with the wife agreeing with whatever he wants. Now this may seem like an outdated description, but if we take a drive around Davis County, I can give you more examples than you can imagine. Whether they are Baby Boomers, and some even younger than that, this style is still around. My dad even spoke of a not so distant past where women would receive frontal lobotomies in order to be pleasant all of the time. Woof.
But what I've discovered in my short time observing, is that it really depends on the personalities and characteristics of those involved. Perhaps the husband likes a wife who dictates his every move, so he's aware of what is expected of him, and what he needs to do for things to work well in the home. Also, maybe the wife is satisfied doing what the husband wants constantly because that makes her happy. It's just the style they have adopted and are comfortable with.
I may not be experienced in relationships, but I like to think the people my age are changing things up in this department, and I want to be one of those people too. I want a partner, not a general. It's funny, the more you try to be in control of your life or situation, the less you end up with. I think this is true for marriage. I know full well I can't control another person, let alone myself when there's Nutella in the house. But I know that I love to make others happy, and that's a big part of what marriage is.