Up to this point, each principle of The WifeCode addressed specific areas where wives tend to stumble into places that can leave us feeling confused, depleted, and unsure about how to navigate our way through to the other side without disturbing the delicate balance of power within our marriages. If unchecked, those feelings will conspire against us and begin to negatively impact how we see ourselves as wives, how we relate to our husbands, and how we leverage our power in our marriages.
In the preceding keys to The WifeCode, we addressed the importance of maintaining open, honest, and healthy patterns of communication with our husbands, learning how to fight fair when we disagree with our husbands, serving our husbands, and of the importance of protecting our marriages by keeping our matrimonial business within our marriages. The sixth principle of The WifeCode will focus on shifting the focus from leveraging your power in your marriage to preserving it. So, how does a wife do that; preserve her power???
The answer is quite simple: a wife preserves her power in her marriage through BALANCE. A balanced wife is a powerful wife because she not only knows that she cannot be everything to everyone all the time, she accepts that fact…and is okay with it. A balanced wife will always find ways to allocate equal parts of her time, effort, and energy to attend to the things and people that are important in her life in ways that don’t leave the other areas neglected. That’s her biggest strength.
Balance is the key that unlocks stability in our lives. It’s just like the old saying goes…too much of anything is bad for you…or is it that you can never have too much of a good thing??? Either way, the point is that when you’re living a life that is in balance, you won’t allow yourself to become bogged down by the extra weight associated with taking on more than you’re capable of managing in your own strength…especially when that extra weight causes you to neglect your responsibilities to your marriage.
Marriage—The Ultimate Balancing-Act
Marriage is one big balancing act. As a wife, your challenge is to find a way to find a way to strike the balance between being everything that you need you to be, everything that your husband desires you to be, everything that your marriage demands you to be, and everything that society says is acceptable—all at the same time; above and beyond being the woman that YOU were created to be.
As women, we tend to fall into the trap of working twice as hard to live up to all the expectations that get superimposed on us by people whose opinions about how we live our lives shouldn’t matter in the first place because it’s none of their business. We start to believe that we must be able to handle it all so that it appears as if we have it all together. If we don’t, we run the risk of being perceived as “less-than” or “not good enough,” which is all that’s needed to leave the door open just wide enough for fear and all the other outside influences associated with it to walk into our lives and upset the balance that keeps everything flowing smoothly.
Eventually, those outside influences (e.g. friends, careers, social commitments, etc.) begin to demand more time, effort, energy, resources, and attention. To keep up with the rapidly-changing pace, we divert our time, effort, energy, and attention from the most important components of our lives to supplement those things that now demand more of our attention. This cycle will repeat itself until it consumes every aspect of our lives, thereby leaving us out-of-sync, out-of-touch, and out-of-balance to the point of making us question the two of the most important aspects of our identity as wives: (1) our worth in our marriages and (2) the value that we add to our partnerships with our husbands.
Know When to Say “NO”
As soon as we give ourselves the respect we deserve as wives, we empower ourselves to be free to set our own boundaries. The freedom that we get from living within the boundaries that we define and establish on our own terms is that we get to decide what’s a priority in our lives. In other words, if something is important enough to us, we’ll make time for it. If it’s not, we won’t. It’s really that simple, and it all comes down to a choice…a simple “yes (‘I will allow…’)”/”no (‘I will not allow…’)” choice.
So, why is it so hard for us to live by the choices that we make; especially when those choices are meant to limit the unnecessary burden that comes with overcommitting ourselves whenever we choose to say “yes” to everything and everyone that demands our time and attention? It’s because we can’t help ourselves. As wives, we often feel as if we “have to” help; as if we have to say “yes” to whatever demand is placed upon us. There’s the catch-22 in all this.
On the one-hand, it’s important for us to recognize that over-extending ourselves keeps us bound in a counter-productive cycle of over-commitment that leaves us feeling out-of-sync with yourself and out-of-balance. On the other hand, when we force ourselves to limit our commitments by saying “no” to everything and everyone that is not a priority frees us up to focus on the priorities that we’ve established for our lives.
That’s why it’s so important for us to know when to say no, then have the courage to be okay with that. When we use the power of saying “no” to things and people that divert our time and attention from the priorities we define for ourselves, balance will reestablish itself in our marriages because our decision-making process will be driven by our desire align our priorities with those things that are the most important to us.
Ladies, if we are to leverage and preserve our power in our marriages, we must find a way to balance the overlap in our identities as women with separate interests outside of our marriages and as wives with a commitment the institution of marriage. In other words, our ability to leverage and preserve our power in our marriages is directly proportionate to our ability to leverage and preserve balance in every aspect of the many roles that comprise our lives as women. Yes. It is possible for us, as women, to have it all; but we must remain mindful of what, if anything, we’re willing to risk as we work to achieve that end.
And with that, we’ve come to the last principle of The WifeCode, which will focus on the importance of being yourself. In the meantime, keep the conversation going. Join TheWifeFiles e-mail list today to receive each principle directly in your inbox as soon as it’s released! Thank you in advance for subscribing, as well as for following.
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