The power of good leadership in a marriage

This post started out on the subject of money...but the more I wrote, the more it meandered and found its way to the real point.  Forgive the "stream-of-consciousness" nature of this post, then.  I've tried to label the parts, to provide some semblance of structure and order.


It drives me insane.  And it makes me cranky.  But, I have this thing about being in control of it. Unfortunately, with the way I obsess about things, it can cloud most of what I do - always at the back of my mind...the worry, the concern, my need to plan ahead and organize with spreadsheets and budget programs. I can spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with our finances.

This presents 2 possibilities.

1)  I should keep doing it.

Maybe I need to be in control of it because, while I may have a lot of faults, planning and organizing seem to be two of my talents.  I've also been doing it for the majority of our time together - mainly because I've hoarded the responsibility (because of my addiction to "knowing" where all of our money is and what it's being used for).  Sure, I make mistakes from time to time because, ironically, though I'm good with planning and organizing, I'm less than amazing at math.  And even though "doing" the finances (creating the monthly budget, balancing the checkbook, and paying the bills) makes me crazy (and usually a bit pissed off), "knowing" where we stand calms me (even if it's bad news).

Finally, I don't think you like doing it.  So, you may prefer that I do it as a service to you, so you don't have to worry about it.

I hadn't really thought about whether you would rather be in charge of it.  Which brings me to possibility 2.

2)  I should stop doing it, and let you take control of it.

It is a huge part of our world, unfortunately.  And while, I may have it micro-managed down to the penny, maybe your way would be better.  Plus it would take that stress off of me, freeing me up to stress about work or the color of my hair.

I'm not even against having some sort of allowance, so I don't overspend.  If I don't have it, I can't spend it - and maybe that would help in more ways than one.'s just a thought.

The Pensive Sigh - (and What I Need from You)

It came to me as I lay beside you last night in the dark, trying to fall asleep to the vibration of your snoring.  I thought about what makes me feel safeprotectedcared for, and happy.

When you take control of things (not in a mean way, but rather a "taking care of business" way), I feel all of those things.  I feel like "I don't have to worry about things, because Daddy's got it covered."

So think about it (who controls the finances).  Of course, I'll keep doing it, if that is what you'd prefer - because I can totally see how it would be a burden that you would rather not which case, it would make better sense that I retain that obligation as a, like I stated before, service to you.  But, I can see the other side as well, where it is a very big part of our life that you don't control, and that it would bring me some serenity if I didn't have to do it.  I can see, however, that it would initially bring me panic...the not knowing...the fear of not manically planning how we spend every cent.

Letting go of that control...well, I'm thinking it might feel something like last night.

Remember that "pensive" sigh?  The one you inquired about.  You were right that I was thinking.  It just wasn't really a well-formulated thought yet.  Now it is closer to being one, so I'll try to explain all that went into that sigh:

Last night, when you reasserted your control, it immediately restructured my brain.  It's like all these little pieces of me float around all day - without direction.  And when I don't have direction, I get stressed, and cranky, and moody because I feel sort of "lost".  When I have direction...when you are in control of things and make that control known in every aspect of my life, I feel like the puzzle has been put back together. That means less stress, because I can let go of it.

The power exchange is a very real part of our marriage, not just our sex life.  It's easy and makes sense in the bedroom.  And the behavior modification also makes sense, because it's helpful to have someone "forcing" me to improve in areas I need to.  I think you could take that further, though.  And I think it could go beyond behavior modification - into the rest of our daily life.  It puts a lot more pressure on you, though, to be mindful of our roles.  You often remind me that I should never forget my place...but I think that goes both ways, and that, in some regards, you forget yours just as much as I forget mine.

Having you as a Daddy isn't about having someone to punish me when I'm "bad".  It's about feeling safe and knowing that someone has my best interests at heart.

It takes strength and motivation - because if I rely on you to help me improve, it means you are always aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

Some weaknesses we share, and that's where you have to be even stronger - because you have to help me improve in areas where you might also need improvement - which means digging deep to find motivation for both of us.

For example - working out.  Neither one of us wants to - and both of us give each other excuses.  But, we need to go.  I talk myself out of it continually, but if you required it of me...well then, I wouldn't have a choice, would I?

I can also be lazy about housework outside...weeding, watering, cleaning off the deck.  Problem?  So can you.  So, in order to demand it of me, you would need to demand it of yourself.

I also drink or smoke when you do.  Just saying.  I'm easily influenced by your behavior.  But, I can be influenced more by your words and clear expectations.

Knowing that you have all of these things under control, that you have a plan, that the house maintenance (I know how much you love that stuff), cars, our health and security is taken care of would add to my sense of peace and safety - freeing me to focus on serving you and taking care of your needs.

It is very much a vintage concept.  I can certainly understand why women wanted the same opportunities as men and equal treatment in the workplace.  And taking care of all of my needs when I first left home did give me a sense of pride and accomplishment.  But see, I know I can do it now. And for me, giving that up to you is actually an act of choice and strength.  I don't have to.  I choose to, because I trust you with my life, my financial security, my health, our family.

When I have to ask you to do things over and over, it makes me feel unsafe.  It makes me feel guilty to ask you repeatedly, but it also makes me worry that you don't have everything under control...that you might not care enough to control it...that you might be too lazy and I'll have to do it all - which stresses me out and makes me angry.

Wow...this post is digging deep.  I didn't realize it was going bear with me as I follow my own tangent.

My sense of security is all tied up in order and completion and planning.  I'm not spontaneous and I don't like surprises. Knowing what to expect, being provided with clear expectations and explanations is far better for my peace of mind than being kept in the dark.  And while pushing my boundaries may entail a bit of upset to my sense of security, it shouldn't be the basis of my "training".  I know that pushing me to try new things and do things that might make me uncomfortable can make me a better person, but I hope you keep in mind that my sense of safety should always be at the center of it. When I feel safe, I'm a lot more likely to do things that test my inner strength.

Okay, that was out of context...but it came to mind as I was considering how your taking control of things makes me feel safe and happy.  And last night (back to the pensive sigh), I felt like my head was being put back in order.  I giggled nervously a bit when you told me to present, because you haven't done that for awhile.  In a way, I didn't take you seriously.  Warning - serious honesty coming (so please don't discipline me for it -- or get angry).  In fact, I often don't take your authority seriously, because I know you'll bend and that I can manipulate the situation in my favor.  It isn't anger, or cruelty, or punishment I'm suggesting.  It's consistency.  When you take control of my body like you did last night, I feel your power and strength and intention course through me and it's like a giant weight is released from my shoulders.  I sigh, let out all of my fears and concerns, and just let you take over.  It's impressively freeing, to the point that I shed a happy tear of relief and felt contentment at your side.

It's like a drug, really.  It's like continually being under the influence of something that makes me feel calmer and happier.  Your benevolent leadership and control is that powerful.  When you wield it, I am whole and content.  When you slip, I lose my footing and begin to mistrust my world.

Does that make sense?