This post is the second in a two-part series. The first is here.
Not long after my mom died, my dad mused that my relationship with my mother had interfered with my relationship with my husband. I knew that was true to some extent, because she really detested T from the moment she first saw him and things really just went downhill from there. I knew her feelings about him caused a multitude of issues for me personally and in my marriage. I didn’t, however, think it was related to anything that I was doing!
But my dad said that when I had a problem that I always turned to her first instead of turning to my husband. My dad has never seemed very traditional (his relationship with my mom was far from it–she “wore the pants” and he rebelled by trying to control other areas of both their lives) so his comment surprised me, but in thinking about what he said, I realized it was true.
I wasn’t raised to believe that this is how things should be–or that it would be good to have this in a relationship. My husband has long turned to me for advice and assistance, which I am always happy to provide. It wasn’t often that I would consult him about my decisions or where I was headed in life. I realize now that I’ve made major plans and decisions without his guidance–of course he knew what I was doing and always made an effort to support me, but he wasn’t really involved in the decisions. The decisions I’ve made without his input? These date back quite a number of years:
2001 – Opening an online business selling cloth diapers and later tie dyed items.
2002 – Enrolling in tax school and later taking a job weekends and evenings as a tax preparer.
2003 – Committing to work 30 hours a week for my parents, for very little pay.
2003 – Agreeing to do my mom’s household’s laundry for $10/load to make a little side money.
2005 – Starting a photography business before I was ready in any way, shape or form.
2006 and forward – Making huge decisions about the business without his input.
2008 – Enrolling in classes to finish my degree.
…and hundreds of little daily decisions along the way.
I’ve struggled with this post because I don’t want it to read like I have decided to become submissive or passive. I’ve simply realized that a marriage is a partnership in every sense of the word. I know my husband wouldn’t dream about changing jobs without discussing it with me–so why do I make similarly huge decisions without his input? It’s a lot for me to think about. I can blame my dysfunctional family for a lot of it but I’m a grown woman and have been for some time–I think it’s time to make some changes.