In our marriage, my husband is very masculine and I am incredibly feminine. Though I believe my husband has always been a masculine man, I would say that I have not always been this feminine.
Growing up I was quite the tomboy. I enjoyed wearing my brother's clothes in elementary school, played rugby and held the women's back squatting record of 300 pounds in high school, and went into adulthood as a strong and independent woman in leadership positions. I could take care of myself and I wanted to until I met Brent when I started to embrace a more feminine role.
Being feminine was never forced on me or even consciously decided upon. Rather I fell into the natural role of being feminine because I found a man that was more masculine than I was and we had fallen in love.
He treated me like a lady. And in return I wanted to treat him like a man.
Every marriage is different so I am not saying that your husband needs to be incredibly masculine and you need to be ultra feminine. But rather I believe that we as women need to allow our men to be men. We need to allow them to be leaders and we need to encourage them to have a voice in our home.
I am going to go out on a limb and assume that most women, like me, to be in control of their homes and lives. I am pretty controlling and I get a sense of this from many other women I know. But in order to encourage our men to take on their masculine roles I think that we need to let go a little bit. We need to stop trying to be the ones who call all the shots, who are the only ones who do everything the "right" way, and who are the ones who make all the decisions in our marriage and with our children.
We are smart and capable women. If we had to, we could do this whole thing on our own. But we don't have to. And honestly, I don't want to.
I struggle with this as much as the next person. But I choose to allow my husband to make decisions. I trust him with certain areas of our marriage and life that he knows best to make the final decision. When he offers to help with the dishes, I don't breathe down his neck telling him how he is doing it wrong. Even if it is easier for me to open my own door, I wait and allow him to open it for me instead. I cook for him. I listen to him and respect his opinion. I allow him to take the lead and trust in his insight for our life together. I do this not because I am dumb or incapable of doing any of these things on my own but because it helps make our marriage work.
And in return he cherishes me. Takes care of me and protects me. I worry very little about big life stresses because he takes them on as his responsibility.
Though some of these traits and responsibilities may seem like we have divided up a list under traditional male and female roles doesn't mean we never work together or compromise. We are a team and talk about everything. I make many demands and decisions for our life while still submitting to his authority as the head of our home. I can be very controlling but choose to fight the temptation to take total control of our entire relationship.
His masculinity brings out my femininity and my femininity brings out his masculinity. And it makes our marriage work. I have a great amount of control of the health and happiness of our marriage by allowing my husband to embrace his own natural amount of masculinity in our marriage. When I do so he can thrive at who he is and so can I. There is no competition of who is in control or that one is over the other. Instead we have a clear understanding of the roles we have in our marriage and compliment each other as a result.
An interesting read on this topic can be found at The Challenge of the Modern Day Woman by Mastin Kipp (written for a community that is much more less traditional than this space). It fully embraces the movement of feminism while at the same time addresses a concern for where it is taking women in finding a thriving relationship with a man.
"Just because being masculine at work rewards you with financial power does not mean that this same energy will reward you with Love.
For the women’s empowerment movement to come to fruition, there is a slight adjustment that has to occur.
Women must remember that being feminine and free is not weak. Vulnerability and intuition is not weak. And even though they don’t “need” a man, wow – wouldn’t it be great to have one anyway."
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