CSBF Vol 19: I’m a Submissive Woman {Part 2a} Relationship Dynamics

*Quick Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a relationship expert. I have not gone to school for Relationship Counseling, nor have I received a degree in Sociology from a Prestigious University. These words are MY opinions. Based on my own experiences and observations. This is my effort to share my thoughts, and maybe to tell you what is wrong with your relationship. If you are offended, hurt, taken aback by anything stated here…That Sucks. Please enjoy ūüôā¬†*

In the age of the Independent Woman, we no longer allow men to be a protector/provider.¬† ¬†“I Can do Bad All By Myself,” or “I don’t need no man to tell me how to live my life, ” etc. has led to the downfall of relationships, in my opinion.

This is a line from my previous blog that I wish to focus on more in-depth here. Please read the previous blog, just so you can understand my mindset. This is Confession of a SINGLE Black Female, so I know some people will read this and think, ‘No Wonder she is single. This chick is crazy.’ But I have come to believe that my delay in understanding the concept of submission is actually WHY I am still single.

I grew up reading Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts. Books full of strong female characters who took no shit, and lived their lives exactly the way they wanted. ¬†Suddenly, a knight in shining armor showed up, and changed their lives forever. In all actuality, I’ve never seen a real life relationship. Not a stable/healthy one anyway.¬† I grew up in a circle of Single Mothers and dysfunctional homes. ¬†I say all this so that you can understand that my idea of what a relationship should look like has been skewed almost from the beginning.

Part 2A:  What You Are Doing Wrong

The first thing you have to realize – being submissive in a relationship is not evil.

Submissive (adjective) {from Dictionary.com}

1. inclined or ready to submit;  unresistingly or humbly obedient
¬†Nowhere in that definition does it say: be a human doormat. When most women – and some men – see the word Submission, they immediately think they lose every ounce of respect they have for themselves. Submission doesn’t mean physical abuse (unless ur kinky like that), nor does it mean you lose your voice. It doesn’t mean you become a mouse without a care in the world, nor does it mean your thoughts/opinions don’t matter. Being submissive really means you already know where you stand, so there is no need to constantly redefine that role.

If you are trying to create a good relationship, you might want to look at the people who are around you. This doesn’t just have to do with Dominant/Submissive relationships, but most relationships in general. Birds of a Feather Flock Together. ¬†If you spend all your time listening to your SINGLE Momma/Cousin/Sister/Aunt about whats wrong in your relationship, and you don’t see a problem with that, something is wrong with you. ¬†Don’t forget, Misery Loves Company. After they have talked you out of your relationship & and the potential for happiness, where does that leave you?

If, much like me, ¬†you spent your whole life watching relationships fall apart you should have learned what not to do. ¬†Most children of divorce or bad relationships don’t sit around saying, “Yup, that’s exactly what I am going to do in my relationships!” ¬†So why do we usually end up in that exact relationship? Because we listen to the people who lived that life. ¬†Even more than that, because we don’t have an example, we make it up as we go along.

People in relationships should spend a fair amount of time with other people in relationships. If you are struggling in your relationship, do you have a relationship model? A couple that is by no means perfect, but are actively working on their relationship day by day. Or are you still living like you did when you were single? If you have a partner, but you don’t spend most of your time with them, how are you ever going to find a way to make your relationship work? *I ask these questions not to be condescending or facetious, but with a genuine need to know how your relationship works.*

Too many times, when couple are fighting it’s because they are comparing themselves as individuals, to other people in their life. “Well, Tammy can do whatever she wants, and Ricky doesn’t care!” What you very rarely see is the boundaries that have been set beforehand. ¬†It takes month, even years for a healthy and/or stable relationship to form. ¬†It’s not just what you see at dinner. ¬†It’s every night when you get home, communicating with your partner, ¬†working out the kinks. ¬†Everything pretty didn’t start out that way.

If you are struggling in your relationship, you might need to acknowledge the problem has nothing to do with your partner. ¬†Are you thinking the way you did when you were single? This is where the¬†Submissive attitude comes in. ¬†In a Dominant/Submissive relationship, you aren’t going to be the first person that you think of. ¬†That’s why I say, It Ain’t For Everybody. ¬†I am the most selfish person I know, usually. ¬†It took a constant effort on my part, at first, to even think about someone else first. It’s a decision that I had a make on my own, I wasn’t forced into it.

You have to truly believe, It’s Not About You Anymore. Whether you are married or dating exclusively, you have made a commitment to partner with this other person. This SHOULD mean you are no longer your first priority. Teamwork makes the Dream Work. In almost every relationship imaginable, selfishness will ALWAYS lead to singleness. Is your every thought about what would make you happy? It shouldn’t be. ¬†You should go out of your way, at times, to bring a smile to your partner’s face. This doesn’t mean you completely forget about yourself. ¬†This means you start to enjoy making the other person happy.

Again, It Ain’t for Everybody. As an only child, of a Strong Black and Independent Single Mother, the discovery of this part of me is still difficult to explain to others. ¬†I was taught to take care of myself first. Finding genuine pleasure is pleasing another person (and this has nothing to do with sex) was a very strange feeling for me. ¬†Making slight adjustments to my daily routine, taking time to factor in someone else’s preferences, asking about things before taking control of a situation, all completely foreign to me. But, Good LORD, when I saw the difference it made. It’s all worth it, at least to me.

Look at your past relationships, why did they ultimately end? Usually, it’s because the actions of one or both of the people in the relationship hurt the other person/people. It’s because they were thinking of themselves, and not the unit as a whole. You HAVE to know and understand the preferences of your partner if you are going to actually try to make your relationship work. ¬†Ask yourself, what contributions am I making to this relationship? What am I bringing to the table that makes this better for BOTH of us. If the answer is nothing or something that only benefits you, you might want to reevaluate your choices.

You should also have very Clearly Defined Roles. Labels are at times a good thing. If you are living with a person, who is going to pay bills? Who is going to cook? How many times a week should meals be cooked? Who takes out the trash, makes the bed, etc. These are all responsibilities which have to be taken care of, so why not figure it out together? This way, instead of fighting every week because the dogs didn’t get walked, you spend more time watching the dogs playing outside while cuddled up on the couch. It’s very hard to assume things if you have already discussed it beforehand. Communication is KEY.

On the flip side, everyone has the right to make a request. Requests have more to do with personal preferences than they do with the everyday workings of your relationship. Things like, please put the toilet seat down before you leave the bathroom, or don’t buy fat-free milk if you go shopping. These are seemingly little things, but they can lead to larger problems if not discussed in a timely manner. Never let things fester. It’s the little things that cause the biggest problems when it comes to keeping a couple happy and sane.

If you are the man (or male figure) BE A MAN. ¬†As a man (or male figure), you are going to have to decide if you are a Provider or a Pimp. Meaning, are you providing for your mate because you feel it’s your responsibility, ¬†or are you paying them for services rendered? ¬† Going right along with that, are you a Father Figure or the Head of the Household? Some women – myself included at times – are looking for a Father Figure. A man who is going to take charge of everything, without me having a say whatsoever. Some women don’t want/need that. They already had someone like that growing up.

If you are fortunate enough in this day & age to find a girl without Daddy Issues, then you need to be the Head of your Household. The HoH is the Ultimate Decision Maker. ¬†They make the major decisions when it comes to how the relationship works, what choices need to me made. ¬†This doesn’t mean discussions don’t happen, it just means at the end of the day, the HOH will have the last say. ¬†Many times, the HOH will factor in the preference of their partner. ¬†They could in fact change their decision because they value the thoughts, ¬†opinions, and feelings of their mate.

The most important part of any relationship, be it platonic or romantic, is Honesty. If you¬†can’t¬†be honest with your partner, you shouldn’t be with them. ¬†Truth Hurts, but so does a break up. ¬†If you can’t tell your partner everything that’s on your mind – without fear of retribution – you shouldn’t be with them. Part of that setting boundaries thing I was talking about earlier, comes in here as well. ¬†Sometimes, you are going to have to clarify your intent before even having a conversation with your partner. ¬†You might have to say, “This is just how I feel. ¬†I just need to let it out.” or “I need you to understand that I am¬†referring¬†to what has happened in my past, not to you.”

Mind you, there are going to be times when the possibility of losing that relationship is quite real. ¬†But if it’s a good relationship, once feelings and tempers have cooled, you will be just fine. Another thing to think about: If you can’t tell them about it, should it be going on in your life? If you can’t tell him where you went with your girls, should you have gone? If you have to put a password on your phone he/she doesn’t know, why should he/she trust you? ¬†What do you have to hide? In a¬†healthy¬†relationship, your life should be an open book.

Most importantly, you have to be honest with yourself. ¬†If your relationship isn’t working, be brave enough to admit it isn’t. ¬†If you have tried everything, and done everything in your power to fix it but it’s still broken . . . It might be time to let it go. ¬†You should also be honest about your role in your relationship. ¬†Just¬†because¬†your friends have the upper hand in their relationships doesn’t mean you have to. Stop fighting who you are.

The only thing I know for sure is this is how I am choosing to live MY LIFE. ¬†It’s made my life a lot simpler, and it’s something that I am committed to. ¬†I’m just sharing my story, with the hope that others might find it useful or helpful. ¬†Judge Me If You Want, I have nary a care in the world. ¬†I’m happy. ¬†And in the end, that is truly what matters to me.

Feel free to comment.  I hope this makes you think, or angry, or happy, or all of them.  Thank you for reading.

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