While neither political nor religious in nature, this posting makes no attempt at political correctness. The faint of heart may wish to take their medication; the arrogant and easily offended, well, I’ll see you in the comments.
Where is Your Place?
Do you know your place? Yes, I do. It is not behind you, nor in front of you but beside you.
That is if you want it to work. Gender roles are as outdated as the prairie dress; although leather and lace never go out of style. Relationships are like a navy seal team, in order to work they must be fully cooperative. The nature of the relationship will affect the level of understanding, and the roles that are defined. The key to a successful relationship is to agree on the roles each partner plays.
Traditionally women stayed home and took care of the kid, or did they? Women rule countries, corporations and households. Men do the same. Women’s work or men’s work, you tell me. No longer the delicate flowers once thought by their own design, men are often intimidated by strong women while women playing the role of the damsel in distress are frantic at the lack of a knight to rescue them.
Blame it on the Cleavers
No, not the meat clever; put it down and back away. Leave It to Beaver, you remember watching the reruns? Every morning June came down in pearls to kiss Ward, Wally and the Beaver goodbye. Ward Cleaver was the breadwinner, June Cleaver the caregiver. The roles were clearly defined, but one thing you never saw. Even though she would defer to him at times, the one thing that you never saw was him disrespecting her. The two had a loving marriage full of give and take which gave it balance.
Then there was Roseanne, the loud-mouthed blue collar woman with three kids, a husband and a sister to keep things interesting. She bossed them all and never deferred in the slightest, showing that women can manage to run a home and hold a job though it is not always easy to avoid losing yourself.
Did she lose herself? Her nature was to take control while loudly showing that she was far from delicate. Instead, she was strong from the things that life had thrown at her. When a woman can swing a hammer, wield an axe and hit a target with open sights for a rifle and a bow and arrow, it’s past time to stop referring to them as the weaker sex.
Secure in Your Own Identity
Sugar Daddy and Sugar Momma bring to mind images of one fifty years the senior of their partner and throwing money around like water to keep them covered in their pleasure. The return on investment: Sexual, eye candy makes them feel like royalty. Okay, back to reality, the fantasy is over.
It is merely a reversal of traditional gender roles. A man that stays home allowing a woman to be the breadwinner while he manages the household is neither lazy nor weak. The agreement, understanding between the two, was worked out between the two and is no one else’s business. The largest problem with the relationships where one is breadwinner and the other caregiver; one partner changes the rules without consultation of the other and derails what was once thought to be a common goal.
The starting roles were agreed on. One partner provided financial support and did specific duties at home while the other’s main provisions were to the household structure with or without children. The dating phase was about fun; the commitment phase is about communication and understanding.
Failure to communicate is detrimental. The woman in your life, while you imagine her in pearls catering to your every need while you ply her with gifts and beat your chest like an ape may have other desires that she wishes to have fulfilled, and she could have an idea or five of how she would like them fulfilled. The man in your life while you imagine him earning millions of dollars as you sit in a manicurist office and go on shopping sprees with his money may have a different idea of the world according to relationships.
There is nothing wrong with having a single income home; there is nothing wrong with working from home; the problem lies elsewhere. When one claims they do not need to be told what needs to be done yet without telling them it is forever undone, irritation occurs. Taking others for granted is detrimental, chances are when you tell mate that you need something, and they agree to help you expect that help in the same century.
Looking down on someone because of the role they play is not your place. It is likely that you are not privy to the private agreements that people have in the privacy of their own homes. Accusations, advice and rumors are simply you making an ass interfering where you do not belong.
Partner Not Parent
The best relationships have clearly defined, agreed upon roles no matter how unconventional. Even the not so clearly defined couples have a common goal: to be together.
Should you run across someone that wishes to stick you in a role that makes you unhappy, it is best to bid them farewell. The presumption that someone will always be there to catch you when you fall is a dangerous one. Not everyone cares if you have what you need. Deliberately antagonizing someone is not endearing you to them; it is creating a rift. Rifts turn to valleys and valleys to oceans.
Feelings lost cannot be regained. The woman in your life, she is strong enough to wield an axe, run the household, hold down a job and still find time for whips and chains. The man in your life is moving mountains for you but picking up his mess is a foreign language. The blame usually goes to the mother, but there are men that never learned the lessons they were taught, or instead of listening to them they were modeling what was seen.
When parenting children, the fact they have a choice of the life and relationships they choose to have outside our homes is vital. The absence of this understanding creates misery and a feeling of being trapped that is not easily overcome.
Are you provider, caregiver or both? Are your sons respectful? Are your daughters strong? Do whips and chains turn you on or bind you to a self-imposed prison?
Do you fear the large age difference or find it acceptable as long as the phrase “it’s a daddy thing” does not enter the picture? Are you woman enough to put yourself in a man’s place? Are you secure enough in your masculinity to perform housework?
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© Red Dwyer 2013
Original post & Crib image © Laurie Childree
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