Why is it so hard... is it because of my personality? Is it because I'm a woman? Why?
It's so hard to give up control... it's not everything in my life or in my marriage but there are certain things that I just feel like if I don't control them myself then they are going to get all screwed up. I am sure we all have those things...areas we don't trust others to handle and so it becomes this constant invisible tug of war between husband and wife.
Someone asked me the other day how they could encourage their husband to step forward and be more of a leader in their family... honestly I don't know why people ask me of all people the girl with the messed up marriage for any advice... but maybe because they see I am in the middle of learning a lot of hard lessons right now and that all my defensiveness is gone...
I told her "what is the one area of your life/marriage that if you let your husband be in charge/control of you are so freaked out that he would mess it up?" She said the same thing that I struggled/struggle with... MONEY/FINANCES
You see my husband had a job for 6 years, bought a home and ran a small business successfully before we ever even met... Yet somehow slowly over time I took control over our finances and money in the name of "helping" him out... and while I do not think that is wrong for a woman to "do the money" stuff in your family... I think what it can easily become is a parent/child relationship... Where one spouse is in charge of everything and the other spouse has to come and ask to spend every little $ for even the smallest thing like a coffee or lunch out.
I had on many occasions messed up the finances and then swore to myself I would fix them up and THEN give them back to Aaron and on several occasions I even "let him" have them only to quickly criticize how he did something and then yank them back.
Finally in all of this mess one day he took them over... it may have been when I told him that I was completely overwhelmed with the idea of doing all of our business taxes this year... I have done our taxes myself for as long as I can remember. The next day he called and told me he had hired an accountant and he needed all our financial info. I mildly freaked out, but inside I felt a huge relief. So since then he has completely taken over the finances. I thought I would be freaking out by now trying to take them back...but you know what...it's been amazing! Does he do things perfectly, no, but by me giving up that control he now sees how much money it really takes to run this family and how even with a budget little things still pop up.
We have a money meeting at the beginning of each month listing out all our bills upcoming and all our income for that month. He gives me the grocery money for the month. I schedule all the online bills and tell him the total. He writes out all the checks for everything else. Guess how many arguments about money we have had since this change? ZERO. When I need gas I text him and tell him I am getting gas. I always have plenty of cash built into the grocery money for coffees and lunch out and I also use my Scentsy money for going out and extras. When we go out to dinner, movie or shopping together... he no longer wonders how we are paying for it... he simply knows and I know too. It's an amazing feeling to give up control and why in the world couldn't I have done it earlier?
So my challenge for all of you is this. What one area are you the most afraid your spouse will mess up? What if you REALLY 100% gave that area to them to control instead of the constant tug of war? Do you have a parent/child relationship with your spouse in ANY area? That may be the area you need to stop controlling...
Wouldn't you like one less source of contention in your life...