Saint Paulycakes And The Patriarchy / by Dana Bergstrom

I mostly paint a picture of my husband as a living angel.

My blog and Facebook page are full of stories about his patience, his generosity, and his sweet and amiable personality.

And they're also full of stories about how I'm the opposite.

After reading enough about this dynamic, my high school boyfriend was inspired to write this comment,

"With each one of your posts, I find myself admiring Paul more and more. He will be up for sainthood someday if these stories are passed down from generation to generation. Books will be written about him. Statues made. But, St. Paul and St. Pauly are both already taken, so he'll need a new name at his beatification."

And how did my favorite husband of all time respond when I read him these clever words?

"I don't know why anyone would say that. I love living with you."



However, even though I'm nuts about the guy, in my opinion, St. Paulycakes has a few growing edges.

For the past few years, Pauly has begun to immediately shoot down every single one of my awesome ideas.

Well, even if my ideas are not that great, he automatically disagrees.

He's initially against ALL of them.

And, guess what?!


This is how the man keeps me DOOOOOOOOOOOWN!

Goddamn patriarchy!


I'm kidding.

Umm...not really.

Yes, I am.


kind of.

But, I think I just discovered WHY this happens.

When I get a fun idea, I get PUMPED. My energy can soar THROUGH THE ROOF and I become COMPLETELY WILD.

And I think Pauly's immediate negative response is only to give him a fighting chance to think before I SWALLOW HIM UP with all of my dancing, clapping, spinning, joyful, HIGH VOLUME idea yelling!

How can a person ponder anything with so much smiley, bouncy goodness going on around him?

How will he remain in control?


And so I've allowed his instantaneous "NOs" to dampen my spirit.

I've begun to keep any new concepts of mine to a very low roar or not at all.

But NO MORE, y'all, NO MORE.

When I have a hot, fresh idea I'm gonna go for it!

Because I now understand this has simply been Pauly's way to create some space for himself in my high energy state.

Ya know...

It really does help me to reframe ALL situations in terms of energy.

If I'm attached to definitions and labels (like patriarchy) which I have a particular judgment about, I'm gonna overthink things, get defensive or self-righteous or victimy, rather than just sensing energetically what's going on.

Pauly simply needed extra energetic space and found an easy way to get it by being negative. But now that we both see this, we can change the dynamic so it works for both of us.

Perhaps it means I just spin, bounce and shout a little less when I present my ideas.

Or maybe acknowledging this dynamic is all that's necessary to shift.

We'll feel it out as we go because as he and I continue to change and learn new ways of being together, that is the only way to do it in flow.