It's no wonder that most people have a negative impression of what submission is. Just look at the various online dictionaries. Most of the definitions are along the lines of "yielding to a superior force", or "to allow oneself to be subjected to something" or "surrendering to the hold of an opponent". All of these definitions have some negative, adversarial notes. So I can understand how without first-hand knowledge that submission bears negative connotations.
The common definition that I like the most, and think most embodies the spirit of submission to our partners is this, ""To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another." Again, authority has many meanings that could be negative, because many of them assume a subordinate relationship. Here the definition that I like best is "the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues" But even these address the letter and not the spirit of our relationships.
So how would we define our relationships to someone who does not understand. It's really easy to get bogged down in the minutiae and not be able to be clear. So I went on a search for how to best define who we are. And I found the most wondrous explanation, which, coincidently echoes something Ward said in his first post:
Ward and I talk, a lot, because we believe that communication, mutual respect and trust are the foundations of any good relationship. If those statements sound constricting, I'd ask you to think when you have not yielded because something was a better fit for you as a couple? We are individuals, yes, but when we commit to each other is there not a greater being that is the family we create?
I have been asked why I am willing to give up so much to another person. The simpler answers are that I respect Ward and I trust him implicitly, that we communicate on a very deep level. The more complicated answer, the one that is harder to understand is that yes I give much, but I lose nothing because he fills me to overflowing with so many rich gifts that I would not be able to accept were I not willing to submit myself to him.
I'd be interested in hearing how you view your submission. Is it a struggle, does it feel adversarial, or is it a quiet yielding to reciprocal gifts?