I used to have an illusion that when I got married, we’d be one big, happy, patriarchial family. My husband would be a strong leader, I would be the submissive housewife. I was a “good Baptist girl”. I was a stay at home wife (and soon to be mom – was pregnant within two weeks of marriage), was growing very long hair (which I still like), only wore skirts and dresses (which I still do but for much different reasons). I went to church every time the doors were open even though my morning sickness was a terrible, all day ordeal where I couldn’t eat a thing but still kept vomiting, and couldn’t keep down any liquids, even water or Gatorade, and I had it until right about 30 weeks.
But none of that mattered, because everyone knew I was a “good Baptist girl”. I had some acceptance within more conservative Baptist circles. I didn’t feel like I’d ever been accepted anywhere before. What I was soon to find out was that it was pointless to be accepted into a group that wasn’t me and where I didn’t belong. I was miserable. I felt that my husband did not appreciate what I did for him in things like getting up early even though I was very sick, to prepare him breakfast. To this day he prefers to just grab himself a bowl of cereal and maybe have something special on Saturday or Sunday. I appreciate that now – I have three small children to get breakfast for every day.
The first year and a half of our marriage I was striving so hard to be the perfect submissive housewife. It wasn’t working, because I had brains, and feelings of my own. My husband and I were both miserable. So I read “Created to Be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl. I put into practice the ideas, and waited for my husband to turn into a great spiritual head of the family. He didn’t. He grew into a grumpy and extremely frustrated man.
One day he yelled at me and asked me what had happened to me, because whatever it was, he hated it and wanted his old wife back. I broke down in tears yelling back at him that I had “tried so hard to be the perfect woman for him and he didn’t even appreciate it”. I showed him the book. My husband is not a man of many words or strong language, but he had many words and strong language for the book when I showed it to him, and told me that he “didn’t want that kind of trash in his house” and that he “didn’t view me like that”.
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