How often have we heard that only weak women are submissive? Growing up, I always believed that a woman had two choices when it came to how she presented herself to the world. The first choice – she could be weak, quiet, demure, and let others make decisions for her regardless of her true desires. The second choice was to be strong, outspoken, and determined, which would allow her to make her own decisions. No matter the choice, one thing was certain, there was no place for both to exist within the same woman and she had to pick a side.
Picking the dominate side, outspoken and self guided, set a woman on the path to be disliked and guaranteed that no man would ever want to be with her. If she chose the submissive path, doing what others wanted, going with the flow, men would like her much better but her aspirations could only stretch so far because a submissive woman could never progress in the workplace.
My life has taken me down the dominate path. I have always made my own decisions and I have not looked to anyone for approval, support, or validation. I rarely ask another person what I should do and when I do, I take their opinion with a “grain of salt”. Well, that is until now.
Enter the relationship.
Being in a relationship with someone that I truly respect and love has brought out a side of me that I did not know existed. In this relationship, there are situations where I do speak up and say exactly what is on my mind but, to my surprise, there are times where I let him make certain decisions and it feels great. For instance, in the past, if a man had said to me, “When we are together, I will do the driving”, I would have stood up and defended my right to drive and I would have insisted that I do the driving simply because “no man is going to tell me what to do”. Well, when he said those words to me, my only thought was, “Great, I have been driving for a lot of years and if you want to do it, fine with me. I cannot wait to lounge in the passenger seat. Win for me!”
Letting him drive or take control in the other situations does not make me weak nor does it diminish who I am. I do not feel controlled or any less of a woman. What I feel is that I am being fair and considering the feelings/desires of another. What I feel is that I am letting him control the things that are important to him and not at all important to me. I will not argue simply to control or prove anything. There are things that I do control and I do it well – such as in the workplace and keeping my home functioning. If I feel as though I am being disrespected, I definitely speak up.
It has become clear to me that being dominate/submissive or strong/weak, or any other similar terms, are not mutually exclusive. As with most things, they can be situational and it does not mark my deeper character to flow between the two. Today, I believe more strongly than ever that in a relationship, while the core of who one is much be clear and remain unchanged, each person should bend in certain situations. No healthy person is always dominate or submissive and I wish that growing up, someone would have mentioned this tiny piece of information.
What do you think?