We visited my parents recently. Being with mom and dad is very hard on me. I watch them interact in the way they do and I find it repugnant. It's the pattern they have always had and I have always hated that he treats her that way and expects what he expects and that she not only goes along, but seems to seek it out. He commands, she does absolutely everything for him, waits on him, is at his beck and call, structures her moments, her days, her weeks, her life to revolve around him. All whether he is nice about it - or quite nasty.
She bemoans it, she complains and asks how to change things, she is frequently distraut about it, she yearns for time away, yet she falls right back into it - no change..... On some level this must be what she needs, or wants, or both. But their relationship has been so bitter and mean and full of regret that it is impossible to imagine wanting any part of it. It is horribly complex - they love each other, they want each other, they hurt each other, they want to protect themsleves. It is impossible for me to reconcile: what if this really is the way she wants to live, whether she is consciously aware of it or not.
And yet - the difference in their set up and ours is in degree and in perception only. Well - not only - it is really much, much more convoluted than that, I know. But in the end - I'm seeking many of the same things - in name, if not in the way it is executed. I am happy with the idea and mostly with the reality of my submission - most of the time. Being with them stirs it all around though and distorts it.