Again, the titles to my posts here on my wife’s blog are an attempt at the amusing.  I don’t classify myself in this way.  I end up with this position, though, because I have a submissive wife.  She adores actions from me that give her submissive feelings.  I think this is because she is a take charge type of girl in every other aspect of her life.  I’m sure she was sometimes downright scary to work for during her career. Intense, that may be the word for her.

People who know her in her day to day life would be shocked, I think, to find out that she likes me to wear the pants around here, but she does.  Boy, does she.  During our slow transformation, her submission to me drew out her feminine side like I had never seen before.  It’s beautiful.  She wanted a peaceful life where there was no power struggle.  One in which there was a leader and a follower.  I think we have just about achieved this.

So today I want to talk about disagreements because you have asked much about them.  Does being the leader mean my wife never gets her way?  no.  NO NO NO NO NO.  In fact, when any struggle for power, any struggle to come out on top is removed, I’m MUCH more inclined to listen better to her, to really understand her and then to make a decision that is best for US.  Before, I wanted my way, would shout my side, would fight to win.  Life is easier this way even if she gets her way more often.  Now that there is no struggle, winning doesn’t matter, what’s best for us matters.  The problem is, she’s so smart that she’s often right.  Before, admitting it meant I lost, now admitting means We win.

In this new relationship we have, she is OK with me having final decision because she knows she is heard without the sideshow of winning and losing.  If it ends up that I decide against her wishes, she is able to let it go because she knows I must really think it is best for our family.  Well, most of the time.

The other times are when I may have to step up.  Sometimes, rarely really, things don’t go just like that.  Sometimes, she may really just  want her way.  Or sometimes, I may decide I have my mind made up before hearing her thoughts on something.  Both are equally wrong, but because of our type of relationship, she is the one frustrated.  Being the strong woman she is, she can’t just walk away.  She is going to be heard one way or another.  Things escalate.  Before,  I would rise to her volume, if I wasn’t the one there first.  Now, things are different.

Now, I don’t get loud or out of control.  With the responsibility of head of the household, I had to give up my “right” to escalate an argument.  As leader of this relationship, it is my job to get things under control.  When she gave up her right to any final say, I gave up my right to lose control of my emotions.  This was not easy at first, but I think it has been two years since I’ve reverted back to my old ways of yelling, arguing, or dare I say, namecalling.

I can understand completely why someone without the ‘power’ in the relationship might sometimes become emotional and disregard guidelines we have established. I would not do well with her role in our marriage.  Even though I understand why she is doing what she is doing, it does not mean I tolerate it. 

Here is where today’s advice begins.  If you are established as the head of the household in BOTH of your minds, then what do you when things start to get out of control?  You take control.  It’s your job.  How do you do this?  You stay calm and you enforce guidelines you have established within your marriage.

 If she is being disrespectful, as NEITHER of you should be, it is completely within your rights to stop that behavior immediately.  “You will not talk to me this way” or “that is enough” should be said in a way that she knows you mean business.  Sitting her on the floor in front of you as discussed in Part 1 is often helpful.

It is my experience that my wife escalates an argument when she feels I am not “hearing her out” on a subject before making a decision.  Once I have control of the situation, I let her know that I will listen to anything she has to say once she calms down. I may ask her if she can calm down right now, or if she would like me to hold her for a few minutes or perhaps she may need a few minutes alone in our room before continuing.  I respect whatever she chooses and then I hear her out completely without any patronizing.  If she says she can calm down right now, but doesn’t and tries to keep an argument going, there are a few things that have worked.

   One thing is to make one of the other decisions for her, that is either hold her tight, even against her will, or send her to our room for a while to calm down.  I go to her when I feel she is calm so that I can hear what she has to say.  Another thing that has worked is for me to tell her to listen while I remind her of  how she has asked that these situations be dealt with. I’ve had to say “you Will be quiet” and “close your mouth now” to her before.  This only works if I have managed to stay very calm.  If I am upset and yelling then none of this will work.

  Before, I did not have the power to say such things to her. In fact, I didn’t think it right to do so.  Therefore, we often went back and forth, getting louder and louder, each pushing for their own way.  Fights would last for hours.  Nothing was accomplished and we felt horrible about each other and our marriage.

  Now, things are over quickly.  She knows even if she is upset and acting a bit badly, I will hear her out when she speaks respectfully of me and our marriage.  She has my focus, is not yelled at and is even free to express herself however she needs to knowing that I will not let it escalate the way it did before.  Before we know it, we are back to our very happy selves again and she often thanks me for steering the situation with my calm demeanor.  We feel better about our marriage instead of worse.

You may remember she did NOT thank me for trying to keep a fight from happening the night of her “AHA moment” (see post titled Just For Men) but things are different now with a new level of respect for my control.

  This post may seem like there is not much new information in it, but if you can master staying calm and showing your strength and leadership when things get heated, it will do wonders for your relationship.  Your wife has asked for your leadership in the marriage and if you can keep it together in these times, it will certainly strengthen the new relationship you are trying to build.