Sunday, January 16, 2011

Post 23- Old Fashion Gender Roles

Dear Journal,

Earlier this morning I watched a documentary on domestic violence and it really stirred a lot in me. It made me so grateful for my Corky Bear and the marriage that we have. I am blessed to have an amazing husband. We have a marriage that many people have asked over the years how we keep it going, how we make it work, what we do to sustain it through tons of absences. One of my husband's coworkers asked us last year how we do it, how we have such a great marriage. How he sticks by me when I do stupid things and say the wrong thing as I am known to do, or get involved in things I shouldn't. How we make it work through absences. My husband is gone, a lot. He deploys to war, he goes on temporary assignments, military schools, etc.

We know how we do things is not the way that all people do things. We understand it doesn't work for everyone. That being said, Corky and I have a traditional gender role relationship. Our household is very much a 1950's household. When he is gone I obviously have to do everything. I am also in charge of our finances. I am in charge of finances because he is gone so much and often wouldn't have access to paying the bills. I pay all our bills, on time, every time.

But, when he is home, he does the "guy" chores and I do the "girl" chores. I cook all our meals, except when he is playing with the grill, I clean the inside of the house, do the laundry, organize and decorate. He does the yard work, the dog waste, the trash. He fixes things that are broken, maintains the vehicle.

Corky Bear is the head of the house. I know many people just gasped, rolled their eyes, or are astounded that in 2011 that could be said. Let me explain, it is our belief that in every relationship, whether it be family, friends, work, etc there is a natural leader. There is always one person who takes the lead or sways the decisions. It is never "equal" as some people believe. Corky Bear is the head of our house. He has veto power. He makes all the final decisions. But, I am not a doormat, abused or anything of that matter. He is not controlling but he is in control. He is not an abusive asshole. He is respectful and loving. We discuss everything together, he takes my opinion into consideration and often gives in to my way or line of thinking, but in the end he gets the final say, and I submit to that. I would say our relationship is 55/45.

And it is very amazing to have it that way. Because, I get to relinquish control. At the end of the day if a decision works out he has the pride in knowing it was his, if it fails, he has the consequences of knowing it too was his decision. Now, don't get the wrong impression, it is not like this in all things. I don't ask his permission to do things, it is more about large decisions.

Corky and I only argue maybe once or twice a year. Normally, we have a fun filled marriage. We are best friends, we spend our time together and enjoy it. We love being together and being out and about. It means a lot to us to grow together as the years go by and not grow apart. We have each others back, we play on the same team. We discuss everything in advance. We deal with situations that come our way together, the only way it should be done. If I have done something wrong he lets me know, immediately and we talk about it and move on, I do the same. We try really hard to not let things build up, especially little things, we used to do that all the time and would fight or throw past mistakes in each other's faces. We learned to deal with an issue as it comes up, discuss it, fix it and move on. It is buried and we move on. We have NEVER once gone to bed angry or slept in opposite beds. We sleep in the same bed when he is home. We always kiss each other goodbye and say I love you, no matter what's going on at the moment.

I submit to him and I love it.

And we still have sex darn near daily. TMI? Well the article I just read ( speaks about sex in a marriage .I believe that a woman should never deny her husband sex. I believe it is one of my duties to him, as his wife. The only time I would refuse my husband sex is if I was sick or injured, otherwise, I cant imagine a reason I could possibly justify not having sex with him. It is my job as his wife to meet his needs. If he needs sex, I will have sex. If he needs food, I will cook for him. If he needs clean clothes, I will wash them. He meets my needs and I will do everything in my power to meet his, to keep him satisfied and happy.

Some of my friends get annoyed when I tell them I want to discuss something with my husband. We have a deal that we do not buy any one item over a hundred dollars without discussing it together. When he is home there are some respectful behavioral expectations that we hold each other accountable for. When we go out with our friends we tell the other person where we are going, what we are doing and who we are going to be with. Then we keep each other updated on when we will be getting home. We aren't asked permission, but keeping each other in the loop. He never has to ask if its ok to hang out with his buddies, I like him too, I encourage him to. I don't nag about him begin gone, how much money he is spending or how late he stays out. I do get upset if I don't know when to expect him home. Even if he is just texting a couple times through the night, "Game is still on, another couple hours," or "headed home in thirty."

It works for us.

Open communication.

Active sex life.

Responsible finances.

Common interests.

We have dinner at the table every night. He sits at the head, I sit to his right. We talk together about our days. We discuss current events, politics, work. We joke and we laugh. We make plans together, not separately. 

We discuss our feelings. Dinner shouldn't be in front of the t.v.

I hold dinner for him. No matter how long it takes him to get home, or how late he is. We eat together. I make the meals with love. I cook from scratch, fresh meals. Before he comes home I wash my face, apply fresh make up. I brush my teeth and my hair. I apply a fresh spray of body spray. I take five minutes, walk around the house, and pick up the clutter. I make sure a candle is lit, the floor is vacuumed and he is coming home to a stress free environment. Our home is our safe place, it is our refuge from the world. It is the one place that is his, that he is in control, that is relaxing and loving, that he will never resent. I want him to want to come home to me, not to be worried about me nagging or yelling at him. I want him to feel like a king. So I do the little things that make it that way.

And he loves me. He supports us financially. He rubs my back, he brushes my hair, he takes care of all my needs. And he appreciates me. He doesn't expect or demand it. He appreciates it. He tells me thank you. He loves me and puts me first. He respects me. He communicates with me. He talks to me.

So, while this type of marriage and relationship may not work for everyone it works for us. We have kept the traditional gender roles. We have kept the 1950's way of life alive in our house and applied it to 2011 and modern society.

And we are happy.

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