Sorry for text wall! Just some things I've been thinking lately.
My husband and I are/were happily married - we never had any troubles that I thought were endangering our relationship or making us unhappy, besides the "everyday irritations of married life". Still, when I found RPW (by way of TRP) it struck a chord in me and I started trying to implement some of the principles into every day life.
The first big one was getting out of his way so he could lead. I'll admit it ladies: I'm a planner. I had to have a plan. We had to stick to the plan. I got grumpy if I say we should leave by 5:30 and we leave at 5:45. My husband is NOT a planner. He doesn't care when we leave and he would never get upset if we forgot a toothbrush or if he brought the wrong pair of jeans, but the poor man has had to bear more than his share of adult-flavored temper tantrums of me fuming away and snapping at him when we don't leave at my predetermined time.
So the first lesson was learning to let go and let husband (hah.) I'd ask him when he wanted to leave, and then I'd do my very best to make that happen. And if we rolled out 15 minutes late? No big deal. I swear I could FEEL the relief wash over him the first time we were running late to a function and I shrugged and said "No big deal - it's not like they'll close the doors on us/we'll only miss the previews/those specific friends always run late too." And I tried to carry that over into other things - I no longer try to take the lead on what to order at a restaurant, what to do over the weekend, where to go, and all the other decisions that come up. He's my #1 resource on our career and life decisions. I ask for his opinion and stick by it, no matter what. (That one day I pigged out on snacks at the office and wanted a healthy, light dinner, but when I asked him what he wanted to eat for dinner and he said the heavy homemade pizzas I had lined up for later in the week? Pizza it is, love.) I've almost totally taken over the grocery shopping and cooking (as far as practical - we still eat out once or twice a week when we're both too weary and it's too late to cook).
But the biggest shift in the way I view things so far has been when we went out to lunch with my family over the weekend. Husband gets the week off between Christmas and New Year's while the rest of us have to work, and over lunch my mom heard this and perked up. "Oh that's wonderful! Husband can have the house cleaned up and ALL the chores done so you don't have to do anything when you get home!" That's not the first time she's said that, either. She said the same thing to him when he got the day after Thanksgiving off.
I didn't tell her off at the table. I just smiled and calmly said that I didn't expect him to do any of that on his days off. I later explained to him how her comment pissed me off. My husband works HARD for our living, and we live well thanks to his paycheck. He's often overtired during the week, he has a long commute, and I know his work can be monotonous. All I expected of him during that week off was that he enjoy himself in whatever way he felt appropriate, and that he return to work in the new year feeling revitalized and refreshed and relaxed. Her comment that he clean the house because he had some spare time was totally unnecessary and inappropriate, and he was SO grateful that I felt differently than my mom. I could tell he was really touched and appreciative of my point of view.
I know where I got my old "neo-feminist" ideas about marriage from - they came directly from my family. My mother (love her dearly, she is my mom) is very Type A - must have everything in the house SPOTLESS, she's a numbers lady who stresses over finances and details. My dad is a total Type B, creative type, messy, unorganized, carefree. I have no idea how they've made their awkward beta relationship last all these years. My mom is very controlling, and in the past 3 years or so that we've lived closely (used to live further away) I've not heard my mom say 3 positive things about my father that didn't involve something tasty that he cooked. SERIOUSLY once a week or so I'll hear something about how my dad has messed something up, underperformed, not done something, or in general just been a lazy ass or a womanizer. (Gee I wonder why.)
The week before husband and I got married, their drama imploded and I got a long email from my dad about how my mom is basically frigid and that's why he drinks (and on the other side, lots and lots of criticism from my mom about how my father was choosing to spend time with younger women. No clue about any infidelity, but I honestly wouldn't say I blamed him at this point.) The disgust that accompanied the airing of my parent's problem was really what lubricated the swallowing of the female red pill for me. I never, EVER wanted my marriage to end up like that - sexless, loveless, and without respect. And for the past few months I've begun the transformation of every time I find myself saying something to my husband that I think my own mother might say, I take a step back and ask "is this what a first mate would do?" When the answer is no (and it always is when I'm having to ask that question), I get back on track.
I'm not perfect, and I'm just starting this journey, (and I know I have a LOT to learn) but the biggest surprise to me was how much happier I'VE become. I'm sure my husband is happier, that was always the plan: but for me to be happier by doing what my old self would have considered "less"? I'm not as angry all the time, I'm certainly short with my husband less, we've had more affectionate moments and an improved sex life, and in general we're less tense. I'm less upset with the small things he does that used to annoy me, and in turn he's more relaxed around me and happier in general now that he feels more "free" to be his own person instead of someone always tip toeing around my landmine quirks or demands.
So thanks. I'm still quite a lurker trying to learn and implement, and I know these subs get a lot of flak (thus the RP-only account) - but there's stuff here worth knowing, no matter if you'd ever step out into the wide world telling people about RP and its benefits. I truly think there's something to benefit every relationship in here.