Benefits of Submission

Mantilla

I recently received some new Infinity veils and mantilla from Catholic at Heart. I love them. The mantillas are longer than what I am used to but so, so soft. And this one is particularly beautiful. If you look carefully you will see that it is covered in big hearts. I feel so feminine when I wear it.

I wear a head cover to show submission to my husband and God, and because of the Angels. And it’s really interesting what a power that had covers have. When I wear one I am reminded to be less short-tempered with my husband. I wouldn’t call myself a short-tempered person, but that doesn’t mean I can never be snippy. I just get impatient or I don’t feel good or I don’t even realize that I sound aggravated until after I said something. And while I wouldn’t say that wearing a head cover reminds me to be better about that all the time, it definitely does help.

It also reminds me to follow my husband’s leadership and let him make the decisions. At least the big decisions. He consults me and cares about what I think, but ultimately it’s not my call. And that’s actually really freeing and liberating. Some people would see that as bondage, but I promise it isn’t. A while back I had to make the decision about whether or not to have a second child. As you may know from this blog I am bipolar, and pregnancy presents great difficulties for me. I have to alternate between going off medication or taking medication that is not very effective because it’s as close as I can come to finding something reasonably safe for the baby. My pregnancy with my daughter was an absolute nightmare and I dreaded going through that again, especially because after she was born I was still bad off and I never really bounced back. I had years of instability and even now when I have a mood swing it’s worse than it used to be before I ever got pregnant. The doctors told me it was my new normal. But yet I really wanted a second baby. My heart yearned for a baby. And I knew that my husband wanted one too. And I was racking my brain trying to figure out which decision to make. I felt agonizingly torn between wanting to bring a new life in the world and wanting to be able to take care of the precious life that I already had.

This decision was giving me sleepless nights and I didn’t know what to do. And finally I realized that it wasn’t decision I had to make. I am married. And I’m supposed to follow my husband’s lead. Even in a totally egalitarian marriage a decision like that is between both spouses. When you are trying to submit to your husband it’s doubly true. So I took the issue to my husband and told him that I wanted him to decide. We both really wanted a baby and if he decided that it was worth taking the health risks, then we would try for another baby. If he was worried about having to deal with too much stress from a severely mentally ill pregnant wife and take care of a small child then we would not have another child. Each part of the decision had its pros and cons. Obviously if we chose to have a baby we would have the joy of having another little person to take care of and raise. But there is also a chance that in addition to a nightmarishly hard pregnancy that the bipolar issues would severely deteriorate my brain and I might not be able to do much of the caretaking or live much of a life. If we didn’t have another baby I would be safe and Angelica would have stability, but she would never get to have a sibling, and we would never know what it is to bring home a baby from the hospital again.

My husband didn’t take 10 seconds to decide. He said that he did not want to have another baby at the expense of my mental health and that we should stop at one child. I had a period of grieving after this. I so wanted another child. But I knew my husband was right and I was relieved that the decision was made. And the fact that he made the decision told me that he was satisfied with it. If I had made the decision I would not know for sure that it was the decision my husband wanted. But I put it completely in his hands and he told me what he wanted. And it relieves such a burden from me.

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