Head of Household…Who Is It, Really, In Your Marriage?

Me in DCHerman cropped

When you grow up seeing things done, dare I say, “the wrong way”, you then tend to emulate that “wrong” thing.  I grew up with both parents in the household but there was a difference in what I saw and what I guess I should have seen.  My mother essentially ran everything that went on in our household when I was younger.  My dad, was just the cool, fun parent.  He didn’t really get down into the mud of the goings-on in and around the house but he was there and I’m truly grateful for that.  I saw him everyday, I hugged him, I kissed him and laughed and joked with him and I also had little spats with him (that’s what we do as teenagers, lol), he was daddy but for some reason, he wasn’t the one I ran to when something went wrong or if I had a problem and needed it “Fixed”.  It was Moma.  She made the rules and called the shots and was the end all be all around my way and if you broke one of those rules, then it was “her” that you answered to, not my dad.  So fast forward, 20 or so years and I’m married with an Amazing husband and 2 beautiful children and I am now mimicking my mother and father’s relationship…in my marriage.  But now something’s very different.  I didn’t marry my daddy!  LOL!  And I’m laughing because if you know my husband, you know that he’s very kind and humbled but he’s a very strong and confident man and he takes no back seats to anyone.  So, for the most part, no, I didn’t marry my father.  Unless of course, you take into account my husband’s very comedic side and his ability to stay calm and cool during moments of sheer “craziness” and how he somehow seems to never “sweat the small stuff”.  So in those instances, yes, I guess I could say that I married someone very similar to my dad!  However, I think those are just some of the amazing qualities that my dad has that I absolutely adore about him.  I actually admire those things about my father but that’s about it as far as my husband being “like” my dad.  

My husband grew up in a household where his dad was the one who called the shots, so to speak.  It was his dad’s “wrath” that they feared when they did something wrong and it was his dad that they went to to help them handle certain situations.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, his mom was a strong woman and didn’t play the radio with all four of her kids but when it came to respecting daddy and him having the final say about particular happenings, that was who my husband was use to dealing with, not the other way around like in my situation.  So when my “Mother”began to rise up in me (during our 1st marriage) and her tendency to fix, take care of and handle “Everything” within our household and even beyond our household (with the kids, school, work, events, outings, etc), this is where the problems began for us…but I didn’t know any better.  I hadn’t seen it done any other way.  Therefore, I was only “mimicking” what I saw and how I thought marriages were run.

growing 3

We went through a lot during those years, part of which led to our first marriage ending in divorce.  However now, in this second chance we got, I had to learn to respect who my husband was in our marriage. Now granted, my mom only did “everything” and made all of the decisions because she had no other choice at the time.  She was the breadwinner and the bread fixer. Even though my dad worked and he did his part, that was it.  My mom, in my eyes and in the eyes of most of my siblings, made the world go round’ and during our first marriage, I had begun to take on that same “Superwoman-esque” mentality but the only difference in marriage was that, I didn’t have to.  So we fast forward to now, after divorce and remarriage and alooot of “unlearning”,  I distinctly remember my husband telling me back then, that “he was not going to be the type of man who just sat and waited to take instruction”.  He had to remind me constantly that I was not my mom and he was not my dad and we didn’t have to take on our parents personas.  We were who we were and this was our chance, our opportunity, to do it differently from what we saw.  We live in that now!  My husband has told me that even though his dad called the shots in his house when he was growing up, his mom was still where the ball dropped.  And although he saw a much more “balanced” idea of marriage while growing up, he still admits that things were still lopsided and that his mom did probably way more than she should have been doing, but that that wasn’t our issue.  They, both of our parents, did the best that they could with what they knew and how they were raised.  This, now, is our opportunity to make our marriage and relationship different, better than what we saw as kids and by God’s grace,we’ve started on that path.  Now this meant me stepping back, Lord help me, lol and allowing him to lead from the front.  Something that made me very uncomfortable in the beginning, questioning his motives for doing certain things and making certain decisions but I knew that this man had my and our families’ best interest at heart and that God had truly ordained this union (the 2nd time around for sure, right, lol) so I had to be obedient…and faithful and learn to step back.

FAM7

I’ve learned the second time around that Marriage, the way God intended it, is truly more about respecting one another in the roles that you’re in.  For example, helping one another and being there for one another in whatever capacity you play in the relationship.  My husband most certainly is the head of our household and I had to learn to accept and respect his role in our relationship.  However, because he is the head of our family, he doesn’t take that responsibility lightly nor does he disrespect the position by “acting” in a way that’s contrary to how God intended.  Therefore, head of household for us simply means, God’s desired role for my husband, a leadership position but still a role that involves joint discussions and decision making where it involves any member of our family.  It means that my husband is essentially the burden bearer of our family and the responsibility to take care of and protect us, mentally, physically and spiritually falls on him but my role as his wife and help mate is to help him shoulder some of that responsibility.  Marriage made me acknowledge his role as head of our family but divorce, made me respect it.  

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