The question is did I purposefully choose men who were not as smart as a power play to get or keep control? Or did it just unfortunately happen. I think it just happened because I don’t get intimidated by brilliance. And let’s face it…there are NOT very many smart men out there. Sorry guys.
With my ex, he was really smart at math and figuring spatial problems out. He was great with woodworking and fixing things. Better than me. But it became painfully obvious that I was better at thinking problems through. Whether it was our budget, a project, or a plan for the weekend. I was better at it so much so that it became my job. My burden. And that led to a lack of respect and trust on my part. And that ended up looking like I was trying to control things. But really I didn’t want things to get screwed up. It was protective. It wasn’t a power play. It was a toxic dynamic for us in the end. He resented me for having too many opinions and not trusting him with details. I resented that I felt like I had to in order for things to turn out “right.”
With Slimeball, my second ex…aptly named for obvious reasons that if you are interested in the back story you can read my posts between 2009-2011. Initially, I knew he was not book smart. He didn’t even finish school. But he was very street smart. I didn’t realize how much until all the lies started. He was very good at manipulation. I’ll give him that. But he wasn’t smart enough because as much as he tried to manipulate with lies they always fell apart because he wasn’t smart enough to lie “well.”
This caused me to second guess everything he said. Everything. And more than that. He was NOT good at fixing things or problem solving in general. He only knew how to get mean and threaten to try to get his own way. And it was hard to threaten a water heater that wouldn’t work…no…that took a little common sense and something else…oh yeah….smarts. It got old. I was once again in a position where I did not respect the man I loved because he didn’t or couldn’t think things through. And I felt that familiar burden again of being responsible for the thinking.
My girlfriends and I have often discussed the flaws in our ex’s and what we’d like different “this time.” And unanimously we all agree we would finally love to have someone who is smarter than us. Yes, a thinking man is what we needed. But how do you find one of those? A man who thinks? Does one exist? I’m only half kidding.
I don’t know how high on your list SMART is. But after Slimeball I was beginning to wonder if I was some kind of control freak. I didn’t know why I felt so responsible to check and double-check reservations he made, or any other plan to make sure he’d thought of everything. More often than not he hadn’t. And I lamented giving up “control” because had I kept it, whatever “it” was would have been done better. How awful is that? I worried about being an awful person in a post I titled, Caring vs Control.
But was it me or was it that he was just stupid? See that was just mean of me to say. I’m serious though and I can’t help but be honest. Only a stupid man thinks he can propose to a woman, give her a fake ring, bring her half-way across the globe to plan a wedding and think he will get away with the fact that he is STILL MARRIED. Idiot. Sorry. I digress.
After a year of being with my Harry I know now that in fact it was NOT ME. Harry isn’t a perfect person. He makes mistakes sometimes. Especially budgeting his time which he has the least of than anyone I know. But he is smart. No…he’s brilliant. And he is far smarter than me. He has no idea what grammar rules are, but if he does one thing well…he uses his brain to think things through.
To this day after an entire year I know I can trust him with the big things like my future…but also the little things. Everything from weekend outings, to making good choices at the market. Whatever is important he considers. If it’s not he doesn’t worry about it. I trust him. I respect him. And with that I don’t HAVE to be the one in charge. I can’t tell you how freeing that is. And when I think about having a true partner. I think that is what sends this relationship over the edge for me into the happiest place I’ve ever been in all my life.
I’m not only happy but I get to be the woman. I don’t have to wear the pants. I can advise and he listens but ultimately the big decisions are his and I trust him with those decisions.
It was unfathomable to me in my marriage when I would sit in the pews at church and listen to women preach to me about letting the husband have authority. “NO WAY IN HELL.” I thought. And I know…it was horrible for me to have that thought in church. But I did. I thought these women were crazy. As much as I knew the Bible taught such things, I couldn’t imagine how it would work in my own life. It almost made me angry. No it did make me angry. I wanted to follow God, but I also wanted my bills paid on time and projects that cost a lot of money to be done efficiently. And I remembered many times in my life when I stepped back and let him have control how things went bad.
I’ve got the most biblically correct relationship I’ve ever had with someone who has struggling faith (ironic). With balance. With roles that make sense and aren’t upside down. And I know in my heart that I’m not a control freak at all. I relish the release. It was easy to give up.
I have a thinking man. It makes a humongous difference.
I guess at some point he will play the idiot card. I mean, he is a man. And as logical as I am at some point I will play the irrationally emotional card because I’m a woman. If we are honest…no one is perfect and it will happen. But thank GOD we are a good match in this area. It makes me think about the other things that were hard about being married and how vitally important it is to pick the right person for you.