Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Can a Viper Not Spew Venom?
One thing I've learned from reading numerous blogs in which people had a rough start to this lifestyle is that it is a very bad idea to get caught up in grand expectations of my husband immediately transforming into this awesomely consistent HOH. The piece of advice that seems to be repeated over and over and over is not to worry about HIS behavior, but to focus on MY behavior. If I want him to be successful in taking on the HOH role, then I need to show him how wonderful it is to have a submissive wife and not worry so much about his side of things. Sounds simple enough, right? WRONG! I am wondering if there is a single submissive bone in my body. After ten years of marriage, taking on this role of TIH is completely unnatural to me. One thing that is happening is that I am being afforded amazing insight and clarity into my behavior. Have I always been this venomous? Really? Is this who my husband has been married to for ten years, because if so I'm kind of wondering why he's still here. And insight and clarity is wonderful. It truly is. But it's only the beginning.
Awareness is the first step towards changing my behavior. But how? What if a viper was told that it was no longer able to spew venom? How would it protect itself? Truly my venomous words serve a protective function for me. I know this because I do not spew venom at other people, such as friends and family. Okay, maybe I spew venom towards a select few family members when they're not around to hear it! This is a deeply ingrained way of communicating with my husband. How do I just stop? Oh sure, it would help if he would call me on it and discipline every time, but I can't expect that of him when we're first starting out. He's still getting his feet on the ground as HOH and my verbally acting out is not encouraging him to take on his role, but undermining it. I wonder if my behavior makes him doubt that I'm actually serious about this new dynamic in our marriage. I do think part of me is trying to test him, which I know is foolhardy at this point and will make things worse.
Maybe there needs to be a 12 step program for this. Spouses who are addicted to saying hurtful things and running the show can attend support groups, counseling, and go through 12 steps and be done with this addiction to control. I won't hold my breath for that one. It seems what I need is some way to stop myself in the moment. You know, that moment where you are absolutely sure of your rightness and mad as hell at whatever he is doing and you cease to care what comes out of your mouth? Yes, that is the moment where intervention needs to occur. And the thing is, the hurtful words aren't effective. They don't help the situation. It's not like the situations in which I used hurtful words eight years ago have changed his behavior and ceased to exist to the point that I no longer spew hurtful words for those same behaviors and situations. In other words, it doesn't effect positive change. All I've seen these words do is build up walls, cause a break in intimacy and friendship, and increase feelings of hostility and lack of trust. If somehow I could remember that in the moment, it would be so helpful. I guess it's just going to be a matter of attempting to make that intentional choice to stop each and every time I have an opportunity to change my words. I guess I have to believe that at some point it will become more natural and seem easier. It really really needs to because right now I feel like a viper who has been told to cease being a viper.