Carolyn Hax: Is it ‘submissive’ to defer to a headstrong partner?


Tailored from two on-line discussions, here and here.

Hello, Carolyn: My calm, even-tempered husband has a considerably sturdy character and a few sturdy opinions. (He grew to become head of his household and breadwinner when he was 15, so it presumably developed then.) On many selections, I typically go together with him, as a result of it’s simpler and/or I actually don’t care both approach. If I actually really feel strongly about one thing, I’ll converse up, stand my floor and take accountability for the choice. He’s normally a bit shocked however does hear and settle for it.

On the whole, am I being submissive to him, or am I taking the trail of least resistance as a result of it’s simpler? I don’t consider myself as a submissive particular person, however perhaps I’m. Thanks in your ideas.

Submissive?: For those who’re feeling erased, you then’re over-submitting. Or for those who dread the results of getting a special opinion.

If as an alternative you’re feeling relieved of the majority of every day decision-making, and all the time assured that you simply’ll be heard whenever you wish to be heard, you then’re in a partnership that works in your temperament.

The hinge between the 2 is, “I typically go together with him as a result of it’s simpler.” Do you like this model of “simpler,” or do you wish to select a restaurant for as soon as? By no means getting your approach as a result of it’s exhausting to attempt is an issue, even for those who don’t really feel terribly put out by the end result general. There’s a soul price to understanding you’ll by no means get to decide on a paint coloration within the good home you might be general grateful to dwell in.

If that’s the case even given his willingness to hear and settle for whenever you take a stand — then do take the bigger stand that you really want extra say in small issues. You need that with out all the time having to face your floor, which will get exhausting rapidly and results in self-suppression.

Having a voice simply since you matter is vital, and getting a sure simply since you need it.

It’s usually extra productive to decide on a time to talk up when nothing else is occurring — i.e., not in response to only having been informed what you’re doing for the weekend whenever you really would have chosen one thing else, had you been requested. But when he’s nonreactive, that’s not as vital.

So, breadwinner and head of family at 15? Seems like important trauma. As we’re coming to grasp, these waves can rock boats for generations, and may swamp folks in your position, too.

Expensive Carolyn: My 80-year-old mom typically feedback (behind their backs) about different folks’s weights. It’s tiresome, and I hate to consider her younger grandchildren overhearing such judgments. Prior to now, I’ve tried saying issues similar to, “That’s not vital,” or, “Would you need folks to speak about you want that?” However each have been ineffective, and she or he is extremely delicate. The second annoys and upsets her, and even elicits responses similar to, “Properly, I suppose I can not speak about something then!” Recommendations?

Drained: To which you reply: “I’m sorry to listen to that.” And transfer on to different matters, by no means indulging her candy tooth for body-shaming.

Her upset is an indication that your strategy is working, not that it’s ineffective. Please hold doing what you’re doing; your response is civil, acceptable and instructing the children properly. The one piece lacking is so that you can ignore her petulant outbursts. They’re not a invoice you need to pay.

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