Sunday, October 16, 2016
Need and Security
Some have said that we become the people we are partly because of the positions and roles we hold in life. Our personalities change to some degree when we are asked to lead, follow, teach, help others during tragedies, comfort, etc. I believe this happens with the partners engaged in a relationship. The personalities of both the wife and the husband change – at least somewhat - because of that agreed-upon dynamic. Those living in a vanilla relationship act differently than when single or when a part of a wife led marriage.
Prior to our wife led marriage I would have told you that my primary role-or one of my significant roles - was to provide security for Katie. I viewed her as a precious gift (and still do) and one in which it was my job to make sure she was protected and secure.
Since becoming her submissive and since giving up decision making power and becoming a non-decision making entity in our relationship my role to make her feel secure has changed somewhat. Yes she still wants me to take care of her and yes she loves when I make her feel safe but the perspective about which I am arriving at those same objectives has changed. Before it was from a position of authority.
“Stand behind me and I’ll take care of this.” “Katie, get in the car. I’ll handle this.” Back then I protected her from the assumption that if I told her to do something she’d do it. That was before. Now things are different. Now there is an almost unspoken understanding that she is responsible for me. I do the chores she wishes not to do. I fetch things for her. I ask several times a day, “Is there anything I can get for you Sweetheart?” or,”Is there anything I can do for you Mistress?” As a result of living as her submissive – and what I mean by that is living for several years in a relationship in which we both know she’s the one who makes most of the household decisions – I have come to rely on her more she depends on me less. Should situations arise where I need to protect Katie I’ll still say take the initiative to protect her but my words will reflect who I am to her. “Why don’t you let me take care of this,” or “Don’t you think I should handle this why you wait in the car?”
The results are the same but the attitude in which I am approaching the situation differs. I will protect her but not because I’m the alpha. I protect because I am the ‘beta’ – the submissive - whose role it is to look out for and anticipate her needs. The outcome is the same but way I get there is now different.
I am certain that my need for Katie has grown over the years. I don’t see myself as being any weaker but rather more dependent. I see her as my source of security. I see her as the one who looks out for me. I never viewed her in that light prior to submitting. Because I have stepped back and relinquished leadership responsibilities I have become more dependent. I ask questions reflecting that attitude.
I ask the “Do you mind if I …..” and the “Is it OK if I …..” or the “May I ….. “ questions all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked, “Do you mind if I throw a load of wash in before we head out? Can I turn on the dishwasher now? Do you think I should mow the lawn before putting down grass seed? Do I have time to straighten up before we go? What color shirt would you like me to wear?”
I could go on and on. It all boils down to me being considerate. I don’t want to put her out. I want to do things her way. And after being this way for years, I have become more dependent on my wife. She decides. I usually don’t.
Maybe it is because she controls the finances. Maybe it’s because she decides how our sex life will play out. Maybe it’s because she tells me what chores need to be done this week. Maybe it’s because she tells me what she wants to eat in the week ahead before I plan the shopping list. Maybe it’s because all of this put together has caused our respective roles within our marriage to shift.
Our WLM marriage has also brought about a psychological shift as to how I view her. Although she continually tells me I make her feel safe and secure I would now contend she fills a security need for me that I didn’t have at the start of our relationship. The dependency created because I am her submissive has much to do with that. Like I mentioned at the start of this post, we often assume a personality that fits the role we hold.
Maybe female lead relationships bring out a man's gentler side; or at least a more considerate side. Maybe it forces him to be more vulnerable. Maybe it compels him to wrestle with parts of his personality the average Joe can suppress. So much of our life goes into putting on differing facades when around others. We act ‘this way’ when with our parents and ‘that way’ when with our childhood friends and still ‘another way’ when in a group where we know no one. There is a reason why we change. We do so because we are insecure. We do so because we feel a need to conform. We do so because we don't want to stand out. We do so for a myriad of reasons.
I don't know if Katie would completely agree but since she has become the head of our home she has been forced to be a stronger, more confident, more decisive version of herself. Although she still wants to feel my strength and security she has the added role of being responsible for my security. It’s a role assumed by the head of the household. It’s what a leader does. She decides; she wrestles with my issues; she guides our relationship; she maintains my submission. The result of it all is twofold: I’ve become more dependent because I have to trust and depend more while she has assumed a more independent role as that leader.