I have always been a bit of raging feminist. I am free spirit at heart, with dreams of eco-living so being married to the military often causes clashes of perspective. When I met Hagar, I wrote passionately about retaining my independence of thought. I often say, much to Hagar’s chagrin that I only married him because of the military. The perks are better. It’s not that I don’t love him but I was never interested in getting married and to some extent by getting married I sold feminism out. I realise it now and didn’t see it coming. But hey, we live with the consequences of our choices and I don’t regret getting married (Hagar will be relieved!).
Our relationship was founded on equality and we were, at the beginning, equal partners. We have one rule, which still stands called the ‘Yes/No’ Rule. The basic premise is that before any decision is taken both parties have to say ‘yes’, a no is an instant refusal and if either party feels passionate about the choice, then it’s rock, paper, scissor. Outcome determined, end of – no debate. This is still in play and really works for us.
I noticed a change in the equality shift after the birth of The Grenade. I was on maternity leave from work and Hagar started expecting me to do things, because I was at home, that in the past we had always shared. It’s a difficult debate to have because obviously I was on maternity leave so to some extent it was fair that I picked up this workload. He started using language, such as, I was the ‘primary childcarer’. Interesting, because I thought we did this together. He was shedding the equality, like a snake sloughs it’s skin and once the skin was gone the burden of responsibility fell further onto my shoulders. Now Hagar has the best get of jail free card because he is in the military and the military is his mistress. She top trumps any gig that I can muster so once he started shedding the burden, it became mine and I knew that I could never hand it back.
As I became responsible for the domestic admin, a new war was waged between us. Who was in charge in the relationship? Once we had children and were creating our own family values, Hagar who was from a text book family began emulating the family childhood from which he was raised, I, who was not from a text book family, constantly question our roles and how they are delivered. I run a fairly tight ship because I keep many balls in the air; I have patterns, systems, everything has it’s place. It’s how I cope. Hagar who is dominated at work by his military mistress, understandably wants to let his hair down at home, but at the same time still call the shots. This is where we conflict because I am happy to do stuff for Hagar. We are a partnership but I determine the priority of my day not him. Yesterday, when Hagar was nipping my head because I hadn’t done something he asked; I snapped;
“I am not your f*cking PA. I don’t work for you. Yes, I said I would do it and I will, but right now, it’s not a priority. If it’s so f*cking important you can always do it yourself. You are not in charge!” I screamed at him.
Hagar thinks he’s in charge. As far as he’s concerned, he wears the daddy pants. At least, he has the decency to say it so that I can tell him to ‘f*ck off’ but the military is all our mistress and she top trumps everything so I am bound by the situation. It makes for continuous dinnertime debate and it keeps the passion alive, as the war is waged between us.