My Grandmother was a very strong woman. She was a typical southern woman - she could cook well (especially her coconut cake and biscuits), she could sew (she used to make me clothes for my Barbie doll), she was a big dog in her church, and most all, she knew how to handle my Granddaddy. Now, truth be told, they had a great marriage. It never bothered him that she had her own things going on in her life. She always took care of him. And although she was very involved in her church, she did not insist that he get up every Sunday morning and attend services with her. She knew better - fishing on the Pee Dee river was best early on Sunday morning, and she did not to mess with that. And, man, she knew how to "fix" those brim he brought home.
Some of the women she went to church with would question why she let him do these things. She just ignored them. They never understood. How could this strong woman, who seemed to have control of everything, not have control over her husband? After all, there were certain things that church going women just did not tolerate. Now, the husbands of these women thought my Grandmother was the best (obviously) because most of them would have liked to have been fishing on Sunday morning when they were being dragged to church. But no one asked them.
What really got these church women the most was my Granddaddy's gambling. See my Granddaddy was a world class poker player. Every Thursday night he played poker and was known for his talent at the game. There was a core group that played with him (and a group of men who played when ever they could sneak out of the house). Grandmama never had a problem with his poker playing, in fact she had more problems dealing with other women who complained about it.
One day, after my Granddaddy had died, I told her how I had always admired their relationship, how it never bothered her that he did his own thing, and how she tolerated the church women. Especially when they raised hell about his poker. She laughed and said, "Well, that was easy. See, we had a deal. Every Friday morning, at breakfast he would give me half of his winnings from the night before."
"Wow", I said.
"Yes," she said with a twinkle in her eye. "And, you know, your Granddaddy was one hell of a poker player." This was a better partnership than I ever thought.