Societal expectations of marriage and relationships have changed over time. Families where both parents work, the primary caregiver (if children are a part of the family unit) often doesn’t exist and household duties are shared equally.
Whether you’re male, female, gender fluid or non binary (there are many other “classifications” I just don’t know them all) and subscribe to a monogamous or polygamous relationship with any mixture or gender constructs, relationship norms are constantly evolving.
This post springs from my last which caused controversy and mixed emotion; a lot of people confronted my husband.
When someone outlines for the first time the series of events from their life that has personally impacted their physical and mental wellbeing, well there’s bound to be some questions. A lot of friends found it hard to stomach and took some time to digest it. They then came to me with compassion, empathy and an overwhelming amount of love that they could see I needed at the time. They took the time to ask me for further explanation of my feelings, why I’d struggled in silence and didn’t confide in them and some even expressed disappointment that I felt that I couldn’t come to them.
I use the word “confronted” when it came to my husband because certain people who spoke to him about it, came all guns blazing. Full of anger and rage, feeling personally attacked and disappointed in me and that I would so openly shame them.
My question here is simply, “What do you expect him to do?”
S knew that I was going to be posting the blog. He was away working when he read in and had so many questions himself, the main one being “What can I do to pull my wife out of this pit of despair she has found herself in; how can I help?” He didn’t attack me, he wasn’t angry, he knew that he was mentioned in it but wasn’t sure what pertained to him and what didn’t. He asked for clarification FROM ME as did some other people who thought they were mentioned. He took the time, as did they, to hold my hand through life in that moment and reassure me that the big black dog might be in the room but I don’t need to take it for a walk today.
This however is a trend I have seen over the past 5 years, whenever I do something, people seem to rush to S as if he can make me do some sort of reflection (on their terms) and realise that whatever I said that they didn’t approve of was worthy of a retraction. We just don’t work like that.
What people don’t seem to realise is that as a 26 year old female, I actually have the capacity to form my own opinions, thoughts and beliefs (shock horror!) and choose to express them however and whenever I choose. I am able to assess a situation and decide whether at that time it is appropriate to do so, at times for the benefit of myself. When I say something, I mean it. What they don’t seem to realise is that unless the 29 year old male that I married was my father, he has no authority over me to MAKE me do anything. He respects my mind, my free spirit, my confidence and conviction. He doesn’t find my activist personality one that he needs to shy away from and he would never extinguish my flame. We’re in a partnership, he is NOT my parent.
We have a very respectful relationship dynamic. There is nothing that either of us will stop the other from doing. There is nothing that either of us will discipline the other for. We embarrass eachother in public regularly, it’s just part of who we are. However it’s clear that people think that they can tell S they aren’t happy with something that I’ve done and that he’ll make me change.
We married eachother of a reason. We knew eachother before we got married and we know eachother now.
If there’s a problem, don’t go to someone’s significant other. It not only shows the lack of respect you have for them, but moreso for their relationship. More often than not you’ll find that it’s pointless because all they’ll do is fight for them as opposed to become your ally and fight against them. You know, because they’re partners?