The story: A young woman had been on her own for many years, supported herself, put herself through college, and started a business. She fell in love with an even younger man who still lived at home, and they got married. It made sense, didn”t it, for her to keep doing what she”d been doing all those years—paying the bills, earning the money, running the business? She was experienced, he wasn”t. The trouble was, he never had a chance to develop those skills because they weren”t necessary.
Ten years later, he still has very little experience supporting his family and managing his home. He has turned his formidable intelligence to important projects outside the home, projects to make the world a better place. His wife is exhausted. But she figures he's doing important stuff that only he can do, and perhaps it's her place to take care of everything at home so he can devote his time and energy to making the world better. The world, after all, is more important than just their family, isn”t it? But she feels that something is missing from their marriage and their family, and wishes it could be different.
What”s missing is that while he”s a “big guy” out there in the world, he”s not a “big guy” in his own home. He”s not really necessary in his home. So he feels important only when he”s out there working on his projects, and less important when he”s home with his family. His wife respects and admires him for what he does, but she feels let down as a wife. She resents all the stuff she has to do, all the big decisions she has to make. She longs to be cherished and taken care of. But she wonders if it”s fair to ask him to take her burdens. She wonders if he”s even capable of it.
Well, one day she does ask him. She tells him that she wants him to be the “big guy” in their marriage, their family, their home. Months ago she told him that she wanted him to be in charge, to be stronger than her, to discipline her if necessary. He agreed and he liked it. But now she wants him to run the business and manage the finances. She acknowledges that she had never given him a chance to grow up in this particular direction, and that he might make mistakes, but probably not worse than the mistakes she had made herself. She wants him to be captain of the ship, while she concentrates on giving him a happy, well-ordered home. She wants to trust him completely, to demonstrate her faith in him by giving him this power, by actually needing him.
She is afraid this will sound like a lot of burden and responsibility to him. But no. He starts talking about the details as if it”s a done deal. As if he”s wanted this burden and responsibility all his life. In spite of his important work, he”s always felt an emptiness at home. Like it wasn”t really his house. Like his wife didn”t really need him. Like his authority wasn”t real because his wife made all the financial decisions. Right before her astonished eyes, he grows about ten inches. He tells her that as of today, he”s in charge, and if she bitches and moans about his decisions she”ll be soundly spanked.
Perhaps, as he”s just grown 10 inches, he might just be able to handle it all.