I feel like we have reached the “Ish Just Got Real” portion of the engagement via the last three posts. In all honesty, being engaged, as fairy tale and shiny as it may appear, is also a very transformative time in your life. You are literally moving from a place of thinking for and about one person, to having to consider the feelings of another in a short amount of time. If it has only been about you for 25+ years and now it has to be about you and someone else, then it takes a lot of adjusting.
Though we have had the privilege of being raised in a post-feminist society, we as women now face many struggles. Many of us were taught to think for ourselves, attain higher levels of education, strive for successful careers, pay our own bills and depend on no man. Once you have done all of this and a man enters the picture with an opinion that may be different from yours, things can get testy.
I am a Christian woman and have experienced sermons, teachings and biblical references to women being submissive to their husbands. While this submissive thing received a virtual and figurative “chin check” in my twenties, I learned that there are variations and different interpretations. My understanding and adaptation of being submissive may very well be what my fiancé and I define for ourselves. He understands and accepts that I am a headstrong woman who thinks for herself, is kind of bossy and can get flip. I understand that he is a generous man who wants to be respected, heard and paid attention to. I also had to learn to let him make his mistakes and though I may have an opinion, he had to learn things on his own and vice versa.
Everything my fiancé says does not always happen. He doesn’t approach our decision-making from a stand point of “I am the man, so what I say goes.” He actually tells me all of the time, “We are a team, so we will make decisions together.” He was the one who basically broke down my ideals that the man runs everything in the household and makes all decisions. I had no blueprint for what marriage entailed, so I adopted that way of thinking in my 30s.
We have reached a happy medium in having to think about each other’s feelings. We both voice our opinions and if there is a difference in how we think we should approach an issue, we have a little fuss, call a time out and then come back together to make a decision with clear heads and a better attitude. I think my fiancé’s realization that he can’t “tame” a woman like me works for us. To be honest, I don’t think he ever wanted to “tame” me, but he does want to be respected, listened to and have his feelings and desires considered when we make decisions from what’s for dinner to where we should purchase a home.
It was and still is a very big lesson I will continue to learn throughout our marriage and that lesson is, it’s not all about me anymore.
About the Author: She holds multiple degrees, is a natural born socialite, a business owner, an extreme exerciser of faith and a realist. After 3 years of dating and a year of being engaged, she is ready to tell the truth about what to expect when you are transitioning from being a single woman with no worries to a future wife. For the sake of these articles, let’s just call her Nina. After all, that was here “Club Name” for over 15 years….so yeah, introducing Nina.
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