I remember the first time I read this post by a friend entitled Wifey vs. Wife. Immediately, like many people naturally do, I started applying what I was reading to myself and my situation and I began to feel myself getting defensive. The problem is that the post isn’t about me or my situation even but like many other women I’m playing the wife role without the ring. Luckily for me I’m not waiting for it and don’t rush home looking for it but that’s only because we communicated with each other and made the choice not to get married right now or maybe ever. The thing is that even though we aren’t married I don’t feel any less committed or any less important. I have a clear respect for marriage and it’s sanctity but I also know from my past experience that being married doesn’t guarantee happiness or even a successful relationship. Even though I am at peace with the decision we made I do have one problem and that is my title or lack there of. I have never been called “wifey” but I get that many people are and that they naively enjoy it. There are many times, especially when conducting business, that he refers to me as his wife but I think this is to avoid confusing others and for lack of a better term especially when he’s talking about household or children. In my opinion I am in too deep to be somebody’s girlfriend and I’m certainly way past being somebody’s “babymama”. So then I ask what am I? How do I express to the world that I am just as important to my family without the ring as all of the wives are to theirs? Can I even do so without disrespecting the union they’ve created in front of God? We’ve raised a generation of men and women that no longer need a piece of paper to make it real for them and more importantly a generation who no longer believes in it’s value or it’s purpose, so how do we now redefine our relationship “status” without disrespecting ourselves or those who have chosen to make marriage a major part of theirs? Can I really find a title that brings me the same pride a wife feels without devaluing their union or has society gotten ahead of itself?
Hate and resentment are such strong emotions. They have the potential to destroy us both internally and externally. If you are the type of person who hates freely, resents others, or holds grudges you may want to reassess yourself for the sake of your overall physical and emotional health. There is nothing wrong with disliking someone but the best way to “hate” them is to forget about them and move on. If that person is apart of your everyday life such as the parent of your children or a family member than you have to learn to express your hate in the form of love. The love should be delivered to the person you keep them around for, your child(ren), your spouse, etc. If you and that person can’t come to civilized terms for the sake of your mutual interest than you may just have to ask someone else to be the “go to” person. At no point should you allow the hate to consume you though because like Nelson Mandela said, “Resentment is like swallowing poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” It’s obvious that the person the poison will kill first is the hater not the hated.
Sometimes after someone has hurt us or made us feel like we wasted too much time and effort we become discouraged or angry and make the conscious decision to just “do me”. Sometimes that decision is made after receiving advice from a friend who may mean well but who does not have to live with your decisions. I’m not going to sit here and discourage anyone from taking steps to better themselves or treat themselves right but anything done with anger may not bring the result you’re looking for. When I say doing him is doing me what I mean is that when he is in a good place doing good things I can only benefit from that just as if I am in a good position so is he. Draining, taking, or demanding things from your partner in a selfish effort to make up for the last jerk will only leave you empty in the end. Sometimes sacrificing a little here to let your other half get ahead will put you both in an even greater position later. Anything you invest in should bring a return whether it comes as a boost in confidence, happiness, or finances. Only you can decide if what you really want is temporary instant gratification or long term happiness and success. The decision is yours. Choose and invest wisely.
It is no secret that people change over time. I think it’s a natural process and very necessary. If we stayed exactly the same as we are from this day forward that would mean that we were unable to adapt, that we were not learning, and that we’d likely keep traveling through life going in circles. What many of us don’t take into consideration is that when we enter into a relationship not only will we be changing over time but so will our mates. The ideal situation is that the two people in the relationship will grow together and that they will continue to compliment each other. Problems arise when one person refuses to adapt as time goes on or they weren’t realistic about how their partner might continue to naturally change. I think we all naturally mature but I think that the way we were raised may play a role in how comfortable we are doing this. Some people get stuck in their ways, believe certain things should just be, or enter into a comfort zone they just can’t get out of. Couples should communicate their desires and they should allow each party to grow and explore their dreams. When one person makes drastic changes (physically, emotionally, or other wise) and it has a great affect on the other they have to be willing to share those feelings and any issues that comes along with it. In turn the mate that has gone through the changes has to make the decision to address them, offer some sort of solution or compromise, assist them in making their own changes, or risk losing them all together. What is clear is that people need to be given the chance to make adjustments and address the other’s concerns when the change causes conflict. If we do not share our feelings or the issues we are having with them we cannot expect them to make any change nor can we hold them accountable for not doing so. Finding someone that grows at the same rate as us makes it easy but sometimes giving someone an opportunity to catch up is just as rewarding.
I know I can’t be the only person who thinks the whole “all men cheat” thing is old and just plain wrong. All men don’t cheat. Do a lot of them? Absolutely! Do a lot of women cheat? Absolutely! Is it wrong to expect a monogamous relationship when you’ve been promised one? Hell no! If someone promises you something, hold them to it. Now I’m not recommending anyone get crazy and take “matters” into their own hands but within reason we should hold people to their word. If you don’t hold them (and yourself) accountable than there is no reason for them or you to do as promised.
What I really want to talk about is condoning bad decisions/behaviors. I believe men and women are their own worst enemies. Men for not being more supportive of each other and honest with themselves and others. Women for not being more supportive and for making the mistake of not expecting better. We can not expect any type of change in the community until we have seriously taken a look at ourselves and the role we as individuals play.
A friend told me today that some people just like this kind of lifestyle. The one where poor decisions are condoned if not encouraged, where cheating is the norm, and where people are much less than supportive of each other. I believe him when he says this and I contribute it to the way they were raised and what they were taught to believe is normal. I really don’t care what you think or what you’ve been taught up until now. It is not normal, nor should it be acceptable for people to carry on with a blatant disregard for themselves, their bodies, their lives, and the lives of others. Some people really need to wake up and open their eyes. Even though my friend told me that it would take a lot more than a couple of people to change society I believe that it starts with one. We can each individually make changes and in turn influence the next person. There is no reason that we should be satisfied raising our sons and daughters in this type of society and there is no reason that we shouldn’t be speaking up!
Written October 7, 2011
I truly believe that families are the foundation of a community. How we treat our family, what our values are, and what we are taught or witness in the home will have a huge impact on how we behave outside of the home. If our families are broken or people are without structure in the home we can’t expect them to be concerned with what is going on outside their front doors. I’ve witnessed some very disturbing news lately and I’m very concerned about our futures but more importantly the futures of our children. We need to put more emphasis on families as units and then we can look to solve the problems of society. I’m not promoting marriage but I am promoting commitment. A commitment to ourselves and to our children. We can’t continue making excuses for men (and women) and we can’t continue to carry on as though paying child support is enough and will excuse us from our poor decisions. While single parents are doing what they need to do and most are doing an excellent job it is selfish to think that it is okay to start families and then not follow through and raise our children together as partners.
Written October 1, 2011
Relationships are so funny in the sense that we tend to make them more difficult than they have to be. How is it that one simple misunderstanding or failure to communicate can turn a household upside down overnight? Relationships are only as good as both parties want them to be and they can be very fulfilling and quite enjoyable when we choose to make them that way but when we’ve given up on them, ourselves, or the other party they can quickly spiral into a state of misery.
It’s very difficult to see the “simple” fix or how to “prevent” a problem in the first place when you are in the midst of it and it’s very easy to find a solution standing on the outside but I’ve found that it is truly up to those involved to want it and it’s best not to interfere unless you are a paid professional. It’s always been hard for me to see a problem and not want to fix it but I’m learning to close my lips and let things handle themselves unless they directly involve me. When a person is ready for some guidance they will seek it on their own. Like they say you can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink.
Written July 6, 2011
A few days ago I was presented with a question from a friend:
“I thought you’d be the perfect person to ask, in a relationship how much is too much? When do you quit?”
“Depends what’s in it to stay and what’s in it to go. Depends how long you’ve been in it and why you want out. It also depends if you are a man or a woman. Another thing to think about is respect and self-esteem. If either are in jeopardy it may be time to quit. I’m not talking about pride or ego but blatant disrespect.”
The decision to enter or exit a relationship is not always easy especially when there are more than emotions involved. Regardless of all the time we spend analyzing ourselves and our situations from experience I think we know and feel when we’ve had enough and it’s time to throw in the towel. Above all love yourself, protect yourself, and follow your heart.
Written February 21, 2011
Relationships or marriages for that matter are sometimes sold to us in the form of fairytales. I think women fall for the fairytale idea more frequently than men thinking that they will live happily ever after. Men seem to believe on the other hand that life as they know it will be over. Marriage does not have to be the end of your life or who you are for that matter and it does not have to turn out boring or bad. What most people don’t embrace in the midst of their fairytale is that marriage is about commitment and more importantly about compromise. Once you’ve realized that neither you nor your spouse is perfect you can get past the imperfections and get on with living.
Marriage becomes boring when it becomes a routine. Spontaneity shouldn’t be lost because you’ve settled down with one person. Just as you may become bored so may they. I think too often people find themselves dwelling on what they think the other person has done wrong and on their own emotions not taking the other person’s emotions into account. They believe that they are without fault and that it must be the other person’s fault that they have become bored or unhappy. They stop entertaining their spouse’s emotions and they stop putting effort into pleasing and dating them. If your spouse does little things that tick you off chances are you have a collection of things that bother them. If you are bored or unhappy it’s also possible they are feeling the same way. People naturally like to be entertained and this shouldn’t stop after the honeymoon. Another misconception is that the other person is making you unhappy but no one can truly make you happy but yourself. That is a decision you must make on your own.
Don’t let something minor be the end of something major. Two people who love each other should be “compatible” but this does not mean that they will be the same or feel the same about everything every time. The beauty of this union is that while we all may have faults we are all equally gifted. These unions are partnerships and we should be complimenting each other and sharing what the other can’t offer creating a perfect balance. Don’t be afraid to enter into this union but be prepared to share and communicate how you are feeling or what you desire often. Put into it what you want out of it and you should find that it is well worth the effort even if you don’t find the automatic perfection you once anticipated.
Written February 13, 2011
During my last visit to the dentist she said to me we as women don’t set the bar high enough. She said we should set the bar very high and make men come up to meet it. Then she said we would not have the problems we (as women) have. She is 100% right. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t have any slip-ups or mishaps but we really would have less to worry about if someone totally met our expectations or better yet exceeded them. People only do to you what you allow them. Unfortunately when we find ourselves forgiving someone or giving them a second chance we are opening ourselves up for more disappointment. Therefore you must know what you’re willing to accept. If you set the bar high in the beginning chances are you won’t have too many problems. It is important however that if you’ve set the bar high for another you take the time to set the bar high for yourself. Don’t expect someone to crawl around at your feet and work hard to keep you if you aren’t willing to take time out to please them as well. Just know what you want and what you expect. That goes for yourself, your children, and your man!
Written February 7, 2011