Many years ago, in 2001 to be exact, and certainly way before the trendy masculine vs. feminine energy debate had been aroused, Laura Doyle, author of, “The Surrendered Wife,” inspired by Dr John Gray’s Martian and Venusians cultural differences, had a few things to say about the topic. Hearing all about the book on French talk radio, about how women should leave their briefcase at the door, learn to say, “I can’t” and “whatever you think” as well as putting a lid on any of our own unsolicited opinions, my French husband thought this would be a tasty tid-bit of a read for me. So he ordered the book for me, or maybe for us. Although the title “Femmes Soumises, ou Comment Garder Son Mari en Lui Disant Toujours Oui” or How To Keep Your Husband By Always Saying Yes To Him, provoked a reaction somewhere between uncontrollable laughter and amazement that he would get this book, I decided I’d say yes and take a look. And gave him extra points and admiration for his interest in improving our couple which was hardly batting its wings at the time, or so I thought.
Nevertheless, the conversation went more like this: “Are you joking? Really? You think I’m going to say yes to your every whim? I’m pretty easy going and already say yes to a lot of things, especially in the bedroom, remember?”
Reading the book, cover to cover, highlighter in hand, searching for all the ideas that I would judge as certifiably crazy and as a blatant attempt to throw feminism out the window, I remained suitably skeptical. Then, I got to the part about saying "I can't" and I thought of a better idea. What if I try out what she’s saying and see what happens?
Managing our finances had become a struggle for me since he was self-employed and cash-flow seemed to be a problem that wasn't going away soon. Taking her suggestions to heart, wanting to please my husband and hoping he’d step up in a bigger way to the financial plate, I said to him with the proper combination of sincerity and empowered intention, “Cheri, I really can’t take care of the household finances any more for the next several months. Psychologically it’s just causing me too much stress. You know your business finances better than I do. Would you be able to take over now?”
He could hardly say no since he had purchased the book, although he probably never expected that he might have to participate more when I “surrendered.” And so for the next month or so I let go of looking at the accounts and continued to spend for the household as usual. Then one day, curiosity got the best of me, and I took a peek online.
To my surprise and anger I saw four bounced checks on the business account and my American financial emotions took over in a fit of Oscar award winning performance rage. Please note here, that I have never been an enraged-out-of-control-raging-female….except for this instance.
"How could you be so irresponsible? How could you be so inconsiderate? I’ve never had a bounced check in my life! What about my credit score? Where are the letters from the bank telling us we had returned checks?”