While my wife and I were having a discussion about a wholly unrelated topic, dancing classes came up. She said “Oh that reminds me. My counselor brought that up as an idea for us to consider.”
Huh? Her counselor is recommending dancing classes for us? Apparently … yes. My wife and I have not had dancing classes since 2001. I’m a bit rusty. This offhand comment caught me by surprise.
She continued “She said it would be good to help me work on letting you lead. I know I struggle with that, with not being in control, and it’s definitely in more areas than just dancing. She thought dancing class might be a good place to start.”
Of course my wife is all excited because dancing class is right up her alley. I was not quite so thrilled. It is true that when my wife and I have done formal dancing in the past she found it extremely difficult to not lead. Let me tell you, it is awkward to wrestle away control mid-stride. It turns into an argument with our bodies.
Do I think this is a good idea? No. I think it’s a very creative idea, but not altogether useful. For one, I suck at ballroom dancing. I wouldn’t even be able to recognize who is leading. I’m totally out of my element. While the idea is creative I think it could be improved by picking an activity within my wheelhouse. Then I wouldn’t be so focused on the mechanics, and could actually help her to let go of control.
I did like that both her and her counselor recognized this as an issue in our marriage. It’s related to many, many things. Most of our arguments are because she’s dead certain she is right or because she does things regardless of what I ask her to do. She has to be in control. For years I had just given up, but lately I’ve been calling her out more frequently and she can see it. It’s pervasive, and when it comes to sex…its everything.
Honestly I think this is a fairly core part of who she is, and I’m hesitant to ask her to change too much. Essentially I need her to change about 85% which is a tall order. But a small amount of change wouldn’t be bad for her. I keep thinking that there are men out there who would love this control seeking woman, it just isn’t working for me. I need to give her space to try to change, but if things don’t work out I don’t want to change her too much.
Will we take up dance class? Probably not, but maybe we will find a way to do marriage counseling, and get some more date nights in. Also I think we need to start talking about the elephant in the room – sex.