Having trouble with the thought of having a Captain...

sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
Hi ladies! I am so curious sbout something & looking for encouragement & experience with this:

I am a joyful, loving & adventurous wife & SAHM. It will be 16 amazing years this month..really it's been, on the whole, good. (Our sex-life is very good too;)
I am always interested in shifting our relationship into something even closer, more intimate & more open.
There is always room for improvement.

Here's where I get thrown~

It gets so confusing to me because I read how women are supposed to 'want' to be submissive & let their hubby lead, etc..

For me, I feel idiotic & foolish when I imagine myself trying to take upon a lesser role than my husband.

For example, if I allowed this dynamic to take a real hold in my relationship, I'd feel like a kid always asking dad if this or that is okay. It just feels so 'off' for me.

I can think for myself. I know, as an adult woman, what I want, (contrary to what many men think,) & can't imagine being happy knowing my husband thinks of himself as more capable/better than me.
Equally capable is more like it.

For me to see someone else make major decisions for me- not an option.
I cannot handle the word 'submit.'
It deteriorates my soul in the deepest way.
I understand many women are fine & good with the Captain, First Officer roles.
In fact, in some little ways we fall into this when it feels right- and it's nice to have that. So I do get it.

I think my problem is that, I need to control things to an extent & to let that go makes me want to run for the hills screaming. It's a helpless, floundering feeling...(btw- I had a normal, happy childhood...was a wild child though, energetic & a bit rebellious..if that helps..)

I understand it comes down to trust for my man & that I have, to an extent.
However when I've tried to be less head-strong & allowed him to lead how he wants, he has, on occasions abused the privilege & acted like a jerk.
In turn, my defenses go up & that's that.
Other times though, I can defer to him on small things that don't mean too much to me & he responds well.
I guess that's how I 'get my feet wet' with giving up control.
Those times are nice because it feels natural & he's cool about it.

My BIGGEST fear is that he'll lose respect for me if I 'submit' & think lower of me...I can picture him talking to his buddies saying- yea, It's fun, I can just order her around & she does it- I have her on a leash...ugh.
(he'd never talk that way, but I imagine him having fun thinking it.)

I also fear falling into a trend that let's me lose myself, forgetting to stsnd up for my own self, letting him be the judge- thus I lose respect for myself.

I am such an independent spirit, so letting another take control is more than tough. Btw- he was drawn to me for that spirit about me..:)

But I wonder, if he never took advantage (in an asshole way) of the alpha male position, would I find it easier to sit comfortably in a less powerful position?
Could our marriage be even better in this case?
Why does he act like that?

Idk- I think this is a partial vent, partial inquisitive post~

Thanks for going the distance & reading to here;)



  • WendyWendy Gold Women Zen Garden Posts: 1,371
    woa, this is a whole lot to discuss. I'll just give it a small crack here. As far as your issue with "submit" and how it "deteriorates your soul in the deepest way." Well, that's a pretty strong feeling. You should not ignore strong feelings, so you are a stand still there.

    As far as your Alpha guy becoming an asshole, if a guy is banging you regularly and having orgams with you and no one else, and is building a home with you for 16 years, and he has a bad moment and acts like an asshole, you pretty much look him in the eye, tell him "you're being as asshole/jerk." and walk away, or further explain "I don't appreciate x,y,z."

    Call me crazy, but to me that falls under the "reasonable request in a reasonable tone" category if you are using a reasonable tone. I can bet you money he will get the message and check himself next time. Unless he is in the habit of just being an asshole around people in general, which means he is just an asshole in general, but doesn't sound like that's the case as far as what you say.

    As far as "could our marriage be even better?" I'll say, If your relationship is not broken, don't fix it.
  • TanookiTanooki NYSilver Member Posts: 503
    Sounds like everything is going great.  Sex life is good, married 16 years.  C/FO doesn't work for everyone, but when there is a problem, many times it is caused by a lack of C/FO.  The woman does not want to be Capt (not in your case), she wants her husband to be Capt so that she can take on a more supportive role.

    You're venting that you don't like the message.  But the message is clearly not meant for your situation.
  • AthenaAthena Member Posts: 438
    I think of us as "Pilot Flying" and "Pilot Not Flying" rather than me as anything lesser than he. C and FO are the terms used in the book, so that's what I use here.

    And each of us had different strengths. Kind of like yin/yang and two halves of a whole. That's kind of eastern, I know. Lol. I don't submit in that he's taking something from me...rather I'm giving him my trust and loyalty and he gives me the same.

  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    Thank you both..that's what I am trying to distinguish- if this C/FO dynamic is supposed to be the basis for solid relationships, then is there something wrong with me or us, because it rubs me in a weird way.
    I can say that because our sex life is hot, that our egalitarian way seems to work for him too..although, in bed, I enjoy being man-handled & dominated!
    Outside of it, it's back to the both of us making decisions together.
    He always has said, don't be a pushover, don't be so nice, etc..if I become so.
    It's like he needs an equal to stand her ground when he hurls the shit-tests, lol.
    Roles may be somewhat reversed here?
  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    Athena~ I like how you put it- giving him trust is so refreshing & something I can only do to an extent.. That's frustrating for me.

    I do completely understand yin/yang..
    we fit together & are empowered by each other in so many ways- we compliment eachother in that manner. That works!

    Contrary to what it sounds like, I am not a control freak, lol. I just fear allowing someone else to take too much control.
    If I fall out from behind the wheel, I usually sit back & observe to see how relaxing about things would be- it's okay for a while, but I'm so much happier 'flying my own craft.'

    Since hubby doesn't divulge a large amount of his thoughts, I wonder if he'd be happier if I let him take over, despite my discomfort...

  • Athol_KayAthol_Kay My Underground LairPosts: 8,039
    edited July 2012

    It sounds like you're actually attracted to the idea of the C/FO model and have had positive responses to him leading appropriately.

    But there is a serious problem in that he's not going to be a good Captain right now. He has flashes of it, but that's not enough for you... and that's fine.

    As I've tried to make clear, there is no requirement that anyone does this. It's simply a model that I advance and explain because I think most couples would ultimately like it and find it worked well. The more important MMSL principle is that you don't let yourself be abused or taken advantage of in your relationship.

    So if you let him lead and he turns into an arrogant jerk that rides roughshod over you, then that isn't something you can let happen. In fact I would argue that it's the job of a good First Officer to actually step up and take control if the Captain isn't taking care of things.

    I certainly don't have @Jen_Kay on a leash. We talk about the big stuff and I make the call and we do it. She has a job and things she likes and total access to the money yada yada yada. She even has 95% of the moderation power on the forum as I do. (To her vast relief she doesn't have access to changing the coding of the forum lol.)  But day to day stuff, we're fairly independant of each other. I don't micromanage her for the same reasons I don't play Farmville on Facebook. It's boring as hell and seriously who has the time?

    The most important element to being a good Captain is a sense of responsiblity to the well being of the marriage and the First Officer. Should Jennifer and I ever split, I would consider myself more at fault than her.

    Also it took me around five years of thought and growth to accept the Captain and First Officer model. You don't have to accept it by Tuesday either. :)

     One Hour Call   12-Week Guided MAP

    "The turnaround is tremendous.  And I'm lifting weights, eating better, and tackling projects.  I have all this great energy without a vampire sucking my life force.  :)  He's a lot stronger standing on his own two feet, as well."  - Scarlet

  • Agent_GreenAgent_Green Member Posts: 16
    Sunday, I'm a guy, but my perspective might be tangentially useful here.  My wife is in, I suspect, the same boat as you.  I think it is a situation that needs to fall into place naturally for it to be feel right.  When we got married, she abhorred the idea of sharing bank accounts, hated me making all the money (she couldn't find a job for a long time), hated essentially needing to ask permission to go out and spend discretionary funds.  We tried different workarounds to these issues like funding her personal bank account with money, but she viewed me as daddy gracing her with an allowance.  Nothing really shaped that perception, and I figured it was a problem that was not going to go away and just needed to be carefully approached.

    Then she got a job working full time for about 6 months (temp work).  She liked it at first then grew to hate it.  It was around this time that we had a major major marital issue that nearly resulted in her leaving, very characteristic of nascent feelings of "I love you but am not in love with you."  I found the MMSLP and read and started applying it to aspects of my life.  I did not get the huge jumpstart and seemingly-perfect marriage that the other guys seem to get, but we also have not been married that long and don't have the major stressors of life (house, kids) that will allow me to shine as provider.  The point is I started running the MAP, and she suddenly started losing interest in her job, little by little.  Mostly this was due to the way they treated her.  She decided to quit in time to go on vacation with me, and since quitting she has shied from finding another job.

    In the meantime, she has embraced a role of cooking and cleaning like I've never seen before.  It's so odd to me, since in my mind I do the exact same things with the money (we have this much fun money to play with and these bills to pay so let's be careful here, here, and here) and time.  But the fact that I've demonstrated that I give a hoot about her contributions seems to make her happy to "submit."  I doubt she would characterize it that way, though.  It seems that when I changed myself and my expectations (by that I mean that I make a point to express my gratitude for cooking and cleaning in a way that demonstrates an appreciation and expectation) she felt that this role of first officer feels fine. 

    I imagine my rambling there was nonsense, so I'd be happy to clarify.  My point overall is not that you ought to actively be submissive (bowing, yessir, nosir) but that the MAP should engender changes in both of you such that the evolutionary natural order (as Athol argues) appeals to both of you.  I would never believe it could work if I didn't begin seeing it for myself in my wife who is a rather dominant woman, naturally.  She still is a very dominant woman, just not in a way that conflicts with what MY roles are.
  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    I appreciate those solid responses, guys, thank you! I do toy with the idea of the roles working for us & it sounds kind of good, but then it freaks me out to no end.
    Just the idea of sitting back & trusting is appealing...

    As a man, having your woman not on an even playing field, doesn't that allow you to look down on them, in a way?
    (although a good alpha male would not exploit that power..)
    I fear looking lazy & dumb should I allow another to make our decisions..
    Is that a moot point? (I guess all men would respond differently to a submissive woman..)
    Btw- I cook well, clean, shop, take care of everything on the home front & hubby earns the $...he wants me to go to work soon because our youngest is now in school all day..yikes!)
  • Joskin_NoddJoskin_Nodd AshwanSilver Member Posts: 4,045

    "As a man, having your woman not on an even playing field, doesn't that allow you to look down on them, in a way?"

    An immature man-boy, perhaps. But a man? No. 

    It's not about allowing someone to make all your decisions. Big decisions are discussed, and the man makes the call, with full input, and respect to the First Officer. If the First Officer has solid thoughtful input and a clearly articulated stake in the outcome, the decision the Captain makes is going to be identical to the First Officer's, 99 times out of 100. 

    "he wants me to go to work soon because our youngest is now in school all day..yikes!"

    Additional income avoids certain relationship stresses, having adult interaction in a workplace tends to make the wife a more grounded, real-word, non-bored person (despite the additional stresses), and he doesn't want to get the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" speech some day in the not-too-distant future. 

    I'd interpret that as him wanting a good and long-lasting marriage. Of course, I'm a guy. 

    "There are no right biscuits." – Mandrill

  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    I understand better now- I know that technically I would not become lazy & dumb should I decide to leave the final decision making to him. :)
    I just meant I would feel that way..& I'd be afraid he'd resent me for some reason.
    I cannot understand why, but I am made up this way & hope I can open my mind up to how a husband really feels about a dynamic like this...
    Again, you guys are great, thank you for helping me sort this out!
  • Athol_KayAthol_Kay My Underground LairPosts: 8,039

    It's more that most fights in marriage aren't really about anything other than establishing / maintaining who is in charge.

    There's an element of looking down on @Jen_Kay, but then she's also looking up to me... which makes me want to be a better man. 

     One Hour Call   12-Week Guided MAP

    "The turnaround is tremendous.  And I'm lifting weights, eating better, and tackling projects.  I have all this great energy without a vampire sucking my life force.  :)  He's a lot stronger standing on his own two feet, as well."  - Scarlet

  • PhoenixDownPhoenixDown TejasGold Women Posts: 10,630
    I think you might be thinking too hard about it... If you've seen Star Trek TNG, think of it in terms of Capt. Picard and Commander Riker. That's hardly a daddy/son relationship. There's mutual respect, the Captain often asks for his first officer's opinion, and the first officer sometimes takes control of the bridge when needed.

    If you haven't seen it, you should because it's a good show, lol.

  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76

    So, some guys, respond with an encouraging no, they don't look down on their wives in this situation but Athol, you say yes, you do, even if only a little?

    With all due respect, if she needs to be on a 'lower playing field' than you so she can 'look up' to you in order to make you be a better man, doesn't that hint at a base level insecurity within yourself or even the relationship? Not that it matters too much, because if it works for you, that's what's important, of course.

    But I do relate this line of thinking to a sort of bullying where a person needs to put another down in order to feel inflated and/or powerful.

    I know you would never conciously put Jennifer down (& you think very highly of her.) I understand that when our spouses expect a lot from us, we hold ourselves to a higher standard & want even more to do right by them.

    Even so, I still am troubled at the thought of being held back so my man can have the experience of feeling more alpha.

    For me, that would be selling myself out.

    If that's what it takes, I can't go there.
    I'd love to believe my husband appreciates, loves & respects me right where I stand- next to him, seeing eye to eye. :-)

  • PhoenixDownPhoenixDown TejasGold Women Posts: 10,630
    I think Athol might have been making a short joke... (not sure though, maybe he can expand his thought) :)

  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    I understand what you're saying & yes, I love to look up to my husband..he's intelligent & together we come up with good solutions to issues.
    I ask his advice, he asks mine- but he doesn't need to look down on me in the slightest, to feel like a man. That's my point.
  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    RedPillWifey- thank you for that insight- I like the analogy~ in that way, it makes sense..mutual respect is paramount to the success of our relationship! :)
  • TanookiTanooki NYSilver Member Posts: 503
    Oh, so how it relates to the topic of being uncomfortable giving up Captaincy...

    Most women don't want to be responsible for those kinds of gut-wrenching decisions because their decisions are more emotionally invested.  Men tend to have a more logical take and will view all options with equal weight allowing them to move on more easily.
  • sundaylovesundaylove Member Posts: 76
    Right..it can be daunting to have to be the one to make that final decision.

    When my husband was gone on business, I bought the house we live in now.
    He saw a model of it & knew he liked it, but when this one came on the market & he was gone, I talked with him & then once we agreed, went ahead with the offer myself..a big & joint decision.

    I've gone ahead & made some big decisions on my own & I enjoy it..we talk & confer & he almost always says, whatever you think babe, I trust you & want to see you happy. If I can't live with something, he won't decide on it..happened once in our 19 yrs. together:)
    This dynamic gives me confidence & he always gets some good, enthusiastic loving because I feel so valued.
    I guess I could so easily be a man, lol!
    Although I'm no ball-buster- I'm just nice & calm & straight to the point with things..a lady with an edge?

    Luckily my appearance & demeanor are very feminine, which is why I believe our way works well.

  • SaresterSarester Member Posts: 31

    If I were in an accident and became a vegetable my husband would decide what happened to me. If I died, he would make every decision in regards to our children. If I couldn't trust him to make those decisions I wouldn't have married him, and I figure that since I can trust him with those two I can trust him with anything. That makes submission easier.

    He doesn't make every decision. I don't even think he makes half of the decisions. I handle our finances so I make a good portion of the financial decisions and I handle almost everything when it comes to our kids. I'm a SAHM and I have a degree in special education so, especially with our oldest, it just makes sense. For us C/FO means that I keep him in the loop and if ever we can't agree on something or theres something he feels strongly about I defer to him. That works well for us.     

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