My friend rolled her eyes and laughed under her breath as she replied, Really? You need your husbands permission? Gah. My husband and I never ask for permission. I just do my thing. And, he does his thing.
By Ashley Willis
A friend once asked me if we could get together for a girls night out, and I naturally replied as I always do to these invitations, Id love to! Let me ask Dave first, and I will let you know My friend rolled her eyes and laughed under her breath as she replied, Really? You need your husbandspermission? Gah. My husband and I never ask for permission. I just do my thing. And, he does his thing.
I couldnt believe she said that. Why would this even be an issue?
Sure. There are times I honestly dont want to ask Daves permission, but I do it anyway because HE IS MY HUSBAND. I love him. We are one. Our individual lives are interdependent. Therefore, every personal decision we make automatically brings joint consequences.
We dont always seek permission about minor things like what to wear or what to eat, but we have always consulted each other on most everything else. And, I like it. It works for us.
In spite of my own feelings about the matter, my friends response got me thinking.
Am I the NORM or is asking your spouses permission before making scheduling decisionsor major lifestyle changes a RARE thing?
Honestly, I dont know. But, I do know that my husband,Dave, and I have a better marriage because of it, and heres why:
1. Asking permission is a sign of RESPECT.
Whenever Dave asks me if he can go somewhere and do something, I feel loved and respected. We are married after all. Why wouldnt we consult each other first before placing something on the calendar, applying for a new job or moving? These things affect BOTH of us, so we need to discuss it first out of respect for one another.
For more on this, check out5 Signs that We Are Too Critical of Our Spouse and How to Turn It Around by clicking here.
2. It ensuresLESS CONFLICT.
The phrase just do it and ask for forgiveness later doesnt work in marriage. We need to ask each other first, so it will be less likely for us to fight about a decision later. When we make a decision TOGETHER beforehandno matter what the outcome may bewe can stay unified and resist pointing fingers at one another later.
For more on how to handle conflict in your marriage, please read4 BIG DOs and DONTs When Arguing With Your Spouse by clicking here.
3. We both feel EMPOWERED.
Some may argue that asking for permission creates a marriage that is more like a parent-child relationship, but that isnt true when BOTH ask for it. Please let me be clear hereit is NOT healthy or acceptable for one partner to constantly have to ask the other for permission when the partner being asked goes off and does whatever he/she pleases. This is manipulative and unloving and can lead to abusive behavior.
For more on this, read3 Ways How Asking for Your Spouses Permission Can Go Wrong by clicking here.
Whenever we go to our spouse to consult with him/her on a decision, we both walk away empowered. It doesnt mean that we couldnt make that particular decision on our own; it just means that we dont want to. We love and respect our spouse enough to seek his/her guidance and desire to make a collective decision.
For more on this, check out my blogMy husband doesnt complete me, and I will tell you why by clicking here.
There will certainly be times when the husband and wife will be at a standstill when making a certain decision. In this case, the Bible tells us that the husband should make the call (Ephesians 5:22-33). Read my husbands blogThe Truth About Submission in Marriagefor more on this.
4. We make BETTER DECISIONS.
When we ask for our partners permission before deciding to do things like have a girls night out, go to the game with the guys, take on another job, change jobs, choosing when to go to the gym, switch day cares, go back to school, serve on the PTA, etc., we get more perspective and insight from each other and make a more informed decision. We help each other weigh the pros and cons to decide if something is a good fit or at the right time. Sure, some of the scenarios I listed are bigger decisions than others, but all are important enough to discuss as a couple.
5. It keeps us ENGAGED in each others lives.
Sadly, I hear from too many married couples who are stuck in a lonely, unengaged existence. Some are nothing more than roommates living separate lives like passing ships in the night. They wake up, say hello, go to work without a call or text to one another all day, come home, run the kids to where they need to go, eat dinner without a word or in separate places, maybe meet up with a friend or focus all their attention on the kids at night, say goodnight, and go to bedin two different worldsa million miles apart.
What happened? They stopped engaging in the everyday moments. They stopped talking. They stopped trying. They assumed they could do it all on their own, and they did.
Why be married if you want to go it alone?
Read The BIG Lie That Leads to a Lonely Marriagefor more on this.
We need to know and be a part of everything going on in each other’s lives. This keeps the flame blazing. Its no mistake that we call our pre-marital season our engagement. When we were engaged, we planned our wedding, dreamt about our future, spent every moment we had together and were excited about what God had in store for us.
The engagement should NEVER stop. Marriage calls for deeper engagement between husband and wife, and asking for permission and insight from one another is a big part of staying connected with one another.
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About the Author:Ashley Willis is a wife and mom of four boys who together with her pastor husband, Dave, foundedStrongerMarriages.organd the Marriage app as a way to encourage couplesto build stronger marriage. You can follow Ashleys blog on Patheoswhere she encourages women in faith, marriage and motherhood.
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