In my marriage, I believed that my husband held “final decision making authority” and that I was obligated to “submit to him in everything” Eph 5:24. Mark Driscoll provides a good picture of what my marriage looked like (minute 13:03):
My husband ruled. My life involved supporting his dreams and taking care of our 8 children. We moved around the world following his dreams, living in 25 places in 6 states and two foreign countries by the time we had been married for 20 years. In many ways, I disappeared, lost my individuality and my voice. I “laid down my life” and “died to myself” in a rather unhealthy manner thinking this was God’s will for a married Christian woman.
Oddly enough, a common thread between my marriage and the Driscoll marriage was the control over my hairstyle:
… my pregnant wife came home from a hair appointment with her previously long hair (that I loved) chopped off and replaced with a short mommish haircut. She asked what I thought, and could tell from the look on my face. She had put a mom’s need for convenience before being a wife. She wept. -Mark Driscoll (“Real Marriage”, page 11) source
One day around 2004, I talked to God telling Him “I am so weary and heavy laden! This is not working for me. WHY? YOU promised that your yoke is easy and your burden is light and you will give me rest for my soul…” This was the beginning of my journey out of complementarianism.
My husband hated me reading anything which he thought would undermine his “headship” (control). To avoid altercations, I used to hide books and read them on the sly. For anyone attempting to make this transition, I highly recommend Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does he DO That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” .
May seem trivial if you haven’t lived under the cloud of husband rule, but think about hairstyle choice as you read this excerpt (SOURCE):
Mark Driscoll criticizes egalitarian marriage using this illustration (minute 11:36):
But what if Mark Driscoll is wrong? What if the above is really a much healthier marriage? Tim Keller (another complementarian author) has a marriage book in which the marriage is pictured as an a-frame building- see Scot McKnight “Marriage as Covenant”. At least in the “A-Frame” metaphor, the sides are equal.