I've been trying to write several posts over the past two weeks. I have three very separate trains of thought going on lately, which I'm sure are related, but the whole picture just hasn't come clear yet. I realized halfway through re-reading one post that i was switching all over in person and number, from I, to we, to he, even to passive voice to avoid the pronouns altogether. At first that just seemed sloppy, then i realized why i was doing it.
I don't have a clear idea in my head of what comes from whom, i don't know what role each of us is playing, or should be playing, at a deeper level, in our dynamic.
The concrete stuff is easy. If he wants something, or requests something, has decided something, actions or dress or speech or whatever - that's clear, it's easy to see the source. Even smaller, more abstract or subtle things are easy to see or feel - waiting, being patient with certain things, my tone - especially if they are difficult or require effort for me to do, i know i do because that is what he wants.
But talking about the state of our relationship now, talking about where our dynamic is going, where it might end up, why it is what it is...[Notice the complete lack of personal pronouns?] This i am not so deeply sure of. And i know i not only am not sure of what each of us is in fact contributing, but somewhere in there, the thought process becomes muddled by what i think it ought to be.
Part of the issue is how it all started for us. I brought the ideas to him, i asked if he were willing, i continued to bring him ideas and "research". I imagine many people would see that as negating the whole dynamic; in fact, it took me a long time to see that it didn't. Somewhere along the way, it flipped. I may give feedback about how things effect me or share my fantasies with him, but I am not telling him what i want him to do or how i want things to be. He sqashes that very quickly when it slips out.
Part of my lack of clarity is that it isn't black and white. He has told me (i'm not making assumptions or putting words in his mouth here) that he does not want me to have no voice. In our marriage, our family, our lives, he wants me to contribute, not to sit back and wait. Just as daily tasks and schedules can me micro-managed vs. set through broader expectations, so can relationships. He could tell me exactly how we will be, leave no room for me to impact the shape or direction of our interactions. But he doesn't want that - he has shown me how he wants our lives, our family, or relationship to look and feel, and he expects me to contribute to that with my full effort, including my ideas and thoughts and initiative.
But am i considering him the way i should? Or more to the point, do i consider him the way he wants me to? Did "I" think this thing, or decide it, or determine it's shape, or did "he" or did "we"? Clearly "we" are going this direction or that, we are both in this dynamic and neither of us goes alone. But i catch myself thinking that "I" see things as one way or another, or stating that "we" are or are not one way or another, and i don't know really what he thinks. I make assumptions about what we are and what we will be, and sometimes I'm wrong. And really, i shouldn't be making assumptions at all.
But should i defer to him in each and every thought? That might be the party line - but i don't think it's his wish. I have given up guessing where things will go from here, what he has planned. I've been surprised and proven wrong too many times. In my mind, i do try to suppose what he is or isn't thinking. I'm not sure it's possible to stop that. I try to limit myself to wondering rather than assuming though.
But when i write about our relationship, it is clear by my lack of clarity that there is a depth in my mind at which i have not submitted to him, or, said differently, at which i retain my own ideas and thoughts and mental processses. I think maybe they are not the same really. In order to submit to him in my actions and in my heart, i have to retain my ability to reason and think and choose for myself. To submit more deeply, that freedom of thought and choice has to be deeper as well, not less so.