I had a mini-insight today that wasn’t very self flattering…so why not share it here.   Me and the kiddies met up with my husband after work to do some grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s.  We don’t normally shop together, but I’ve been struggling lately with all that is on my plate, and my wonderful husband has eased my burden, helping me with many of my tasks.

So we each had a car, driving home separately after getting the goods.  Being the competitive person I am, I hopped in my car, ready to jet off and beat my husband home, all for the bragging rights of saying, ‘we won!’  My husband was ready for battle as well.

About half way though, my husband caught up and came along side our car, waving to the girls and I.  And almost like she could read my mind, my 4-year-old calls out, ‘Mommy go behind Papi.’

It was like this small scenario was a picture of my marriage.  How often have I grumbled to myself that my husband won’t lead, yet I don’t give him an opening to do so.  I’m too quick out of the gate, too eager to direct everything, yet gripe in the next instance that he doesn’t step up.  My competitiveness, my Type A personality easily overshadows my easy-going husband.  He is a peacekeeper.  I’m a bulldog.  That makes for a very dysfunctional dynamic.

All in a split second, the girls excitedly returned my husbands wave, and I grew content with the idea of losing the race, and following my husband.

But, I suspect, being all too familiar with the way these competitions go, and my overzealous desire to always win, he happily returned to his place behind me, and followed all the way home.  I suspect that over our 6 years of marriage, he has learned that it’s less painful to stand back and allow me to do my thing, than to confront and seek to lead.  I suspect that any attempt to force one to submit is futile anyways.

So, in the car, with an innocent comment by a 4-year-old, I learned a lesson that women for centuries have struggled to learn.  The best way to get a husband to lead is to allow them to lead; to follow them, even when the pace is slower or their direction is different from what you would have chosen.

So, my husband, I will happily and joyfully follow your lead.  I will step aside so that you can step forward.  I will take the advice of Abigail and ‘go behind Papi.’

Advertisements