We don't have a contract and have in fact never discussed any but one overarching limit (no other people - his hard limit, hence also mine).
We have grown organically, so to speak, and over time have come to where we are - I am His - which means that in the end - I am not my own.
I know this lax, informal approach to ending up at M/s or O/p must seem irresponsible, or illegitimate, or just hard to fathom to many. To have stopped, tried to spell it all out, and then re-started our lives would have felt - well - hard to fathom i suppose.
We've been together a very long time - most of the time i know what to expect at decision points. Sometimes he surprises me, occasionally i feel overruled, thwarted, and frustrated.
We married in the first place in large part because we respected each other enormously - we saw in each other a person with the values, outlook, and way of being that we wanted to be with. Over time we have shaped each other also, learning, expanding and protecting the ways of being that we value and unlearning the traits and behaviors we find less good.
I know that a big part of our ending up where we are - sans negotiations and contract - involved an awful lot of unspoken assumptions on my part. I could agree to the whole package because there are many, many things that i knew in my heart the package wouldn't ever include.
And there are still areas in which i make those assumptions, things i'm so sure he won't ever want or ask of me or insist upon that i just don't worry about them. Why get bogged down in hypotheticals that are just not ever really going to happen.
The other day I showed him a post by a woman discussing why it was virtuous of her to turn her ballot over to her husband and let him vote for her. I expected indignation or scoffing from him - suffice it to say he deeply values equal rights, civil liberties, independent thinking, and people being engaged and responsible citizens.
Instead, his response was along the lines of, "yea, so?" He pointed out bluntly that if he asked me for my ballot, or told me how to vote, i would need to oblige. I think he was joking or making a point or something of both. But he didn't relent and he didn't budge and he didn't explain.
It is the tiniest bit uncomfortable.
Over the past few years, he has made some things to be ways i wouldn't necessarily have predicted; they aren't what i would choose but i can see the reasoning. He has asked some unexpected and challenging things of me, things i couldn't have predicted just because they are random things i never thought of before. We have been at a few impasses where we both felt strongly and i did have to follow (give in).
He has not, up to this point though, run counter to any of the assumptions i hold on to in order to be comfortable with all of this. It is hard for me to actively imagine him being so different from what i think i know about him in order to imagine him violating those assumptions. And honestly, i wonder, at least about the important and real ones, which would be more difficult: seeing him make a decision that shatters my image of him, or facing the need to go along with something i thought i was safe from.