Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Who wears the pants in your family?

There’s a fine line between perception and reality, and it’s often blurred beyond recognition. We tend to look at couples, and we might see a married man who handles all of the financial responsibilities, disciplines the kids and appears to be the dominating figure in the household. His wife, on the other hand, gives off the semblance of a demure, submissive and coy partner within the confines of the marriage.

That’s the perception. The reality is the wife might wear the metaphorical pants because she’s the decision-maker, the person the kids run to when they’re in trouble and the rock that keeps the marriage together.

The other day, my sister made a joke: “Oh, yeah, Alisha definitely wears the pants in her relationship.” My immediate retort: “For your information, I don’t think I do. I have one leg in and my husband has one leg in.”

My husband, sitting in the same room, laughed and jokingly said, “No honey, all of our legs are in your pants!”

Once he made that comment, I questioned him (calmly, of course) on why he thinks that, and how could I be the dominating partner in our relationship when we both consider each other’s feelings when making any and all decisions? His answer: “Well, your salary is higher, and you pay all the bills.” But when I asked my husband if I am controlling emotionally, he said “no way.”

So his idea of wearing the pants is equivalent to fiscal responsibility, not someone who is a controlling, dominant individual.

Our definition of what it means to “wear the pants” differs from person to person and relationship to relationship. It truly is perception versus reality.

What do you think? Are you offended if your spouse says you wear the pants, and you don’t think you do? Does it really matter if you have one dominant person in the relationship? What’s your definition of wearing the pants?


Anonymous said...

Interesting, Lish! Deb says that, if you are controlling you came by it honestly, but there's more to that story than meets the eye! I will wear the pants in OUR family, whenever Deb lets me! LOL! Joking aside, couples tend to work out family responsibilities over time.
Now, about Richard staying in your pants all the time...........

Anonymous said...

Marriage between a man and woman should be about love and MUTUAL RESPECT, not who wears the pants. I love my husband...love is what you can do for someone else, not to control. Control and respect don't go together.

Anonymous said...

Women rule. Why? Because men know that "when momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Anonymous said...

I am a husband and I believe in our relationship the pants can be worn by either. As the relationship develops you recognize what each other good at and you run with it. I make more of the financial decisions while my wife tends to make more of the household vacation type decision where those meet we discuss. The most important thing is communication if you have that you are in good shape.