It's hard stuff.
I think that I thought I understood what our biblical roles should be like once we were married. I am sure that I thought it wasn't going to be an issue for us; it'll be easy, right?! We're both Christians and love each other, after all! (If you're married, you're laughing now.)
After the first few years and starting to struggle in this area, I read a few books and blogs about it. They definitely gave me more understanding, but no behavioral change. [Obviously, I had not yet learned my lesson that for change to happen, you must do something with the gift you've been given, whether it's the gift of knowledge or the gift of salvation or any gift! Application. Philippians 2:12-13.]
Time went on. Disrespect grew (what else does sin do when left unchecked?). Plus, I got a special bonus -- I think the unveiling anger in me, that had begun to appear, preyed upon the disrespect for my husband that it could find in me and would blow it out of proportion.
It really bothered me (the Holy Spirit in me) more and more. Finally, I was ready to tackle this issue. So, I read: Debi Pearl's Created to be His Help Meet, April Cassidy's blog and book, The Peaceful Wife, Tim & Kathy Keller's The Meaning of Marriage, and Ken Sande's book, The Peacemaker. Great truth, conviction and tools!
"In Philippians 2:5-11... I discovered here that my submission in marriage was a gift I offered, not a duty coerced from me.
...If it was not an assault on the dignity and divinity (but rather led to the greater glory) of the Second Person of the Godhead to submit Himself, and assume the role of a servant, then how could it possibly injure me to be asked to play out the 'Jesus role' in my marriage?
...We are differently gendered to reflect this life within the Trinity. Male and female are invited to mirror and reflect the 'dance' of the Trinity, loving, self-sacrificing authority and loving, courageous submission. The Son takes a subordinate role, and in that movement He shows not His weakness but His greatness."~ Kathy KellerBut, now what? Not done yet...