Which of the following is preferable to you? A relationship in which there is one undisputed leader, or a relationship in which there is a slight exchange of power but the one who isn't in charge has a lot of freedom to act autonomously? Almost two leaders but one is a bit more in charge than the other.
In a business sense—and really every great relationship has business type aspects to it—one leader and one leader only works best. However, the workers have to be agreeable to working at that business in the first place. Both boss and workers need to be comfortable in their respective positions.
The most successful businesses are the ones that have one really good leader—and if he's a really good leader, he will certainly take the time to understand his workers and give them what they need and want. If you want to get the best out of your workforce, you have to listen to them and make sure they are happy. An unhappy employee could spell disaster for the business.
So when we bring this down to us and our partner, we have these choices. We married him so we want to be here. We obviously love him. He wants to be the undisputed leader—doesn't want anyone to question his authority. You, on the other hand, have needs and wants. So in order to get what you want, you might ask for almost half the power in the relationship. If so, you might find that that leads to fights and arguments because sometimes you each want different outcomes.
Now, if you make your husband the leader with all the power, then you have to do as he asks without argument. You can question, but not argue. You can raise potential problems, but you have to do so on the understanding that ultimately, he is the one in charge.
If you take this route, your husband needs to be a very good and wise man with all this power. He has to understand what your needs and wants are so he can keep you happy. Being in the subordinate position does not mean not telling him what your needs and wishes are! And if he ensures that your wishes and needs are met, then, like the successful boss or the well-respected commander, he will find that you will want to follow his leadership.
So what's a girl to do?
In our house Gary has the leadership power. But I am a kind of independent girl—or brat or whatever. My theory is what he doesn't know or see, can't hurt me! I'm not being unsafe or malicious or even doing things behind his back. Not at all. But if my agenda doesn't fit his exactly and we are both still happy, why can't I do what I do?
He wants me to rest on my bed for 90 minutes twice a day. I think I should rest when I am feeling tired and not wear myself out otherwise. Is that being defiant or am I just using what works for me and still falling under the law? Maybe your husband wants you to get all your housework done before you use the computer. Well as long as it's done (and really done) before the kids get home from school, don't you think it's okay to do it after lunch as long as it gets done? You see what I mean? Not abusing your husband's leadership, just playing with the rules.
I'm sure there are those who would say that my “jiggling” the rules amounts to lying by omission, but I wouldn't lie to Gary if he downright asked. I just like my life on my terms sometimes. I am not micromanaged, but sometimes I like that little bit of extraness in doing it my way.