Some snippets of Sundaylove from the forum.
“It gets so confusing to me because I read how women are supposed to ‘want’ to be submissive & let their hubby lead, etc.. For me, I feel idiotic & foolish when I imagine myself trying to take upon a lesser role than my husband. For example, if I allowed this dynamic to take a real hold in my relationship, I’d feel like a kid always asking dad if this or that is okay. It just feels so ‘off’ for me.
I understand many women are fine & good with the Captain, First Officer roles. In fact, in some little ways we fall into this when it feels right- and it’s nice to have that. So I do get it.
I understand it comes down to trust for my man & that I have, to an extent. However when I’ve tried to be less head-strong & allowed him to lead how he wants, he has, on occasions abused the privilege & acted like a jerk. In turn, my defenses go up & that’s that. Other times though, I can defer to him on small things that don’t mean too much to me & he responds well.
But I wonder, if he never took advantage (in an asshole way) of the alpha male position, would I find it easier to sit comfortably in a less powerful position? Could our marriage be even better in this case?”
Athol: It sounds like you’re actually attracted to the idea of the Captain and First Officer model and have had positive responses to him leading appropriately. But there is a serious problem in that he’s not going to be the best Captain right now. He has flashes of it, but that’s not enough for you… and that’s fine.
As I’ve tried to make clear, there is no requirement that anyone does this. It’s simply a model that I advance and explain because I think most couples would ultimately like it and find it worked well. The more important MMSL principle is that you don’t let yourself be abused or taken advantage of in your relationship.
So if you let him lead and he turns into an arrogant jerk that rides roughshod over you, then that isn’t something you can let happen. In fact I argue that it’s the job of a good First Officer to actually step up and take control if the Captain isn’t taking care of things. I think it’s fairly easy to see that blindly following anyone and handing over control of your life to someone that doesn’t care about you is basically asking to be taken advantage of.
I certainly don’t have Jennifer on a leash. We talk about the big stuff and I make the call and we do it. She has a job and things she likes and total access to the money yada yada yada. She even has 95% of the moderation power on the forum as I do. (To her vast relief she doesn’t have access to changing the coding of the forum lol.) But day to day stuff, we’re fairly independent of each other. I don’t micromanage her for the same reasons I don’t play Farmville on Facebook. It’s boring as hell and seriously who has the time?
The most important element to being a good Captain is a sense of responsibility to the well being of the marriage and the First Officer. Should Jennifer and I ever split, I would consider myself more at fault than her.
The Captain and First Officer model is also a conscious one. You don’t simply make him your Captain without telling him what you’re up to. That’s all but asking him to misunderstand the dynamic you’re expecting of him. It’s something to talk about together before you agree to it. Also it took me around five years of thought and growth to accept the Captain and First Officer model for myself. Jennifer arrived to acceptance of it before I did. She certainly did before I had language to express it. So you don’t have to accept it by Tuesday either.