Have Several Seats: Are You Micro-Managing Your Marriage?
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a micro-manager. When it comes to the 9-5’s I’ve held, anytime I sensed micro-management was occurring I instantly rebelled and turned into one of the memes that says, “Sure, boss.” Knowing damn well as soon as they sat behind their desk I would do what the hell I wanted, how the hell I wanted to. My feelings are if I’ve been employed in a position for so many years, at a certain point if you can’t trust me to pick a proper font or choose an appropriate company Facebook profile pic, why am I here? Micro-management to me is almost always a sign that someone is horrible at delegation which is pretty counter-productive to being a successful leader. So you can imagine I was pretty salty whenwhile watching an episode of The Real, I realized I was micro-managing the hell out of my household and even worse, my husband.
On a recent “Girl Talk” segment the co-hosts of The Real spoke on the subject of who runs their households. First of all, anyone who has ever parented a toddler knows that any control you thought you had is an illusion and your household topples on a schedule of temper tantrums and bedtime turn up. But a long time ago before we had a two-year old, when I first met my husband I remember being attracted to him because I needed someone who could “check me”. Given the opportunity, I was the type of woman who would run circles around a man if he allowed me to. I’ll never forget the time I had a guy who was interested in me drive an hour and a half just so I could drop a mixtape and a love letter on my ex-boyfriend’s car. Can you say, “savage”?
Fast-forward ten years or so later and I’m married to the only man who can bring my flighty, creative and sometimes unfocused behind back to Earth with facts. So why do I find myself directing this man on everything from which bathroom cleaner to use to how to match our daughter’s hair bows with her socks? Co-host Adrienne Bailon hit me over the head with one simple answer:
“I think sometimes as women we micro-manage and we don’t allow them to try.”
Guilty as charged. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have control issues, but one of the first lessons I had to learn when it came to marriage and managing a household, is that you don’t always have to do it all, and that’s OK. I was raised by a mother who repeatedly reminded her daughters of the importance of having their own and not having to rely on a man to pay the bills, give you rides and definitely not to support your personal beauty routines like keeping your hair and nails done. So when I got married I was fiercely independent because to me being able to depend on someone was like giving up control. I remember during the early days of being a newlywed when if I was short on lunch money, I would eat Ramen for a week before asking my husband for a loan. And when it came to decisions like planning family vacays, or which restaurant we ate at, I held the belief that if things weren’t done my way, they weren’t done the right way. One day my husband’s frustrations came bubbling up to the surface. For what must have been the fifth or sixth time I snatched our crying newborn from his arms late one night, because a silly part of me believed only her mother could comfort her back to sleep.
“We can’t win the race because you never want to pass the baton,” he lashed at me before storming out the room. It was a comment he had told me once before while we were dating as I vented to him about always feeling like I had to save the day for my friends and family. It was then I realized that head of the household was something I only wanted to claim for tax returns. What I really wanted in a marriage was a partner. And true partnership is about building one another up and giving yourself a break. It’s about being confident in the fact that you can handle it on your own, but being comforted in the knowledge that you don’t have to. When you micro-manage a marriage you place subconscious doubt on the fact that the man you married can handle his own as well as take care of his family.
“I love to see my man lead. It’s sexy to me,” Tamera Mowry commented during the segment and it reminded me of one of the major reasons I was attracted to my husband in the first place. This is the same man that will pull back around through the Chic Fil A drive-thru because they shorted him three cents on change because as he would say, “It all adds up.” Meanwhile, my behind still pays the “Universal Service Fund” fee on my cell phone bill having no clue what it is. The best long term relationships are about combining your different strengths so you can tackle one challenge at a time together, even if that means that somedays you’re Batman and other days you’re Robin.
Most importantly I’ve reminded myself that my husband is a grown ass man. When it comes to paying bills and handling our responsibilities as adults, it’s something we were both well versed in long before we met each other. At this point in our lives we’re concerned about building our lives together based on trust and respect more than who “rules the roost”. But you’ll still catch me in the kitchen Sunday morning making breakfast because although his budgeting is on point, his blueberry pancakes…not so much.
Check out the “Who Rules The Roost?” clips from The Real below:
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.