Equality Between Men and Women

womens libDomestic abuse has been around for generations, years ago women didn’t work out of the house, she had to stay with the man because she was reliant on him to support her and the kids. There was a stigma attached to being a single mother, children were teased if they didn’t have a dad at home and people frowned on a mom who had a different last name than her children. A child without a father at home was a rarity and not the norm like it is today. Today! if a man and woman are together long enough to raise their children under the same roof it is a real accomplishment and unfortunately rare. When I hear someone say they have been married 30 years, I automatically ask, “To the same person?” and the astonishment in my voice is obvious.

I never thought I would be a single mom and I was. I never thought I would be in an abusive relationship, and I was. I never thought I would be homeless, and I was. I never thought I would be an activist, a writer, or someone who put her life out there for the whole world to see, and I am. 

I never thought I would leave James, but I did. We don’t plan our lives to be painful, we don’t go into a marriage thinking it is going to fail or fall in love with a man who we know is abusive. None of us planned to have happen what happened in our lives. But it has and now we have to take what we have and do something with it, we have to find a way to live with it and continue moving forward because the alternative, the alternative is just to damned depressing. 

So many times victims talk like they have a choice, they can choose to have their abuser change back to the person they met. Sorry, that is not an option. The only options we have are ones that we can control, how we live from this moment on is our only choice. We can choose to prolong the agony and remain in contact, allowing him to hurt us further or we can bite the bullet and go no contact and get it over with. We can feel sorry for ourselves and stay wallowing in self pity or we can learn how to protect ourselves from it ever happening again by setting boundaries, and sticking firm to them and our values. We can choose how we want our lives to be and not allow anyone to sway us. Shit happens, the best laid plans will go awry but at least if you don’t have a narcissist in your life you won’t have the person you love sabotaging you.

Relationships have changed over even MY lifetime. When I got married the first time, many women still stayed home to raise their family or they worked to pay for the “extras” but very few women worked to support the family, very few men would allow a woman to pay his way. A man who lived off of a woman was not considered to be a “real” man, and as much as I believe in equal rights and that women can do any job a man can do I still have a hard time respecting a man who lives off of a woman. I have worked with women who made more than their husbands, I have known stay at home dads, I have made more than some of the men I have been with, in fact most of them. I owned the house, I had the credit, I had the vehicles, I had the security so when I ended up dependent on James it was very hard for me to lose that control and I think that was one of the reasons I stayed longer than I should have. I thought I was having a hard time adjusting to being reliant on a man for everything, having to answer to a man about where I spent money etc. It was a very foreign role for me, and I was not good at being subservient.

Now a days women get to do it all. We can hold jobs in high places, bring home the bacon and end up frying it in the pan when we get home, cleaning the frying pan after supper and doing the laundry, sweeping the floors and dusting, AND we have to perform like a hooker in the bedroom after a long day. Somewhere along the way the scales got tipped and women now are expected to carry the whole load, or so they think anyway. 

They say that domestic abuse is an epidemic, that even though there has been a campaign to raise awareness, there are still rising numbers of women being murdered or at the very least being beaten for not “toeing the line” or “living up to impossible standards” set by their abusive husbands or partners. 

Every day a new woman comes into this blog saying the man abused her emotionally, physically, and financially, she has lost everything or is having to fight to retain her own home, or money that she made or had before she even met the man and yet they are still doubting themselves and if they could have done more. Why is that? Why do women feel they have to do it all? Why do narcissist get away with draining a woman of all her assets? somebodies

Personally I find it insulting when I am talking about how broke I am and wonder out loud how I will make it in years to come and someone suggests I meet a man with money. To me that is prostitution. James even said it to me when he came to me after I had my heart attack, apologized and took all the blame for the relationship failing; (then told me it was kinda my own fault he hurt me because I kept taking him back); he said that he was surprised I hadn’t gone out and found a man with money. 

And when I mentioned how hurtful it was for me when he moved in with his new woman so quickly, he seemed surprised and said, “You know I had lost my job and I needed a place to live, the mice were so bad at the trailer I slept in the car. I had to move.” As if it was common practice to just go out and find a new partner based on what they have to offer in the way of things you need. 

The sad part is the women give it to them, move them in without even knowing the guy just because the guy says “I love you.” Why do women still feel they need a man to survive or be of value when they are the wage earner and the one with the assets. I can see it in the case of James new woman, in a way, she always was a house wife, I know he told her that I bled him dry so it was not his fault he didn’t have anything and besides, once she helped out this one time he would be making good money and it would all even out and she didn’t have to be lonely any more. She got a husband, he got the house, the car, the money sounds fair to me.( *sarcasm )

Whereas years ago a woman might have gotten abused but in most cases she was not taken to the cleaners financially to add insult to injury. It used to be that the man would have a hell of a time getting custody of the kids, but now a days, all he has to do is a really good smear campaign, a little parent alienation and viola! he can destroy her by taking her kids away. Or if you are James you do the smear campaign in hopes of destroying any hope of me every making money again. 

Unfortunately, women’s rights have just given narcissists a plethora of ways to destroy the victim. I think that is why society is having such a hard time understanding what the victim has gone through. These changes have happened with the roles women play but it hasn’t caught up to the definition of domestic abuse. People still view it as a physical thing and can’t get their heads around the financial. On one hand people think, she has a job or money, why doesn’t she just leave whereas years ago people knew she stayed because he supported her. On the other hand they don’t believe a man would bleed a woman dry on purpose because that is not the role they see men playing. When a narcissist says he was bled dry by a woman people are much more apt to believe him than to believe he bled her dry. It is the stereotypes that people have been raised with for generations and it is going to take a long time to change the way people think. 

They believe bruises because they can see them, all the rest of it is her word against his and historically the man’s version is what generally happened so people go with what they know.

Don’t get me wrong! I believe women should have every right a man does, that is just my point, somewhere along the way they got all the responsibility of a man and retained all their duties as a woman. I believe men and women should each carry their own weight in a relationship whatever roles they both agree on. 

I speak solely for myself now, but there was a time when I felt bad because James new woman was able to offer him money and she didn’t have to work so he had everything he wanted; a woman sitting at home waiting for him to show up and enough money that he didn’t have to work if he didn’t want to and she could pay her own way and his. I would catch myself and think, “what the hell is wrong with you? That doesn’t make her better than you, it makes her pitiful maybe.” It makes him a class A asshole, user but it is no reflection on MY worth as a woman.

we can do itWe, as women have to stop trying to be everything in the relationship and expect to be met 1/2 way at least.

 

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7 thoughts on “Equality Between Men and Women

  1. Well written Carrie. I’ll keep this article to remind me. I think especially older women were just conditioned and brought up to do everything and we end up suffering as a result. I even used to hint with my ex and say that we are married and should work as a team – usually as I’m doing his laundry and he is doing nothing. Of course it fell on stoney ground or he chose to ignore me. He did live off me for 6 years until he’d cleaned me out. I did do everything and was rewarded with abuse, cheating and having to answer to what I’m buying. I couldn’t buy clothes without being questioned. Remember it was my money. I feel a fool, but I’m certainly constantly aware of how men treat me now. We need respect as human beings and not put downs for being ‘mere women.’ You have given me strength through your blog. When the abuse is over, recovery in the face of adversity it’s a case of sink or swim.

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  2. So he said to me: I wish you weren’t so damned independent. And I thought why is he saying this to me?Does he want me to be independent or not? Thank God in one way I stayed that way. Enough to say goodbye to him after 31 years. Never ever split my bank account with him. Always kept the receipts of the things I bought. In a way, I felt what he was/is like. The awareness came, maybe, to late. Ask a narcissist if he thinks that he needs to grow or change? Probably he says: I’m good enough the way I am. That’s the answer to all your questions.

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  3. Mine actually always accused me of being dependent, while I was the one who paid for a lot whenever he was out of money (fooled me till he told me he ‘deserved’ his binge drinking week worth about 600 dollars, yes 600). I was the one with the fulltime job (still am) while he was always too tired to get of his ass. Yet, still whining that he never had money (except on the weekends ofcourse, gotta drink uh uh). Back then I believed him, cause I was dependent on him emotionally. Craving, literally begging, for a little recognition. Just to be seen. Such a twisted relationship.

    Totally hit home when you said ‘they believe the bruises, cause they can see them’. Pretty much no one (except the two most important people in my life) believes me when I say he nearly killed me. That hurts, not as much as he hurt me, but still it stings.
    We are all strong loving women. Hooray for us!

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  4. Thank you Carrie for another inspiring article. I too have thought about the social stigma attached to the roles in which men and women can often be labelled with, i.e. The male is the breadwinner while the woman stays at home in effect taking on the role as housekeeper etc.
    I guess I don’t often know where my thoughts lay with this. While I certainly would never anticipate a man to facilitate me financially while I’m home doing all the housework etc, I do find myself wishing to commit to the latter, but maybe that is because I have an incessant drive to ensure those around me are looked after?
    I know when I got the job at the school and my N and I broke up, one thing he said to me was “well you obviously don’t need me anymore now you have a new job”. I was truly incensed by this. In my situation with him, yes, he did pay for the majority. But I realised in time this was control and not on the stance that he had presented to me when I was inbetween jobs and how he promised to support me until I found something that would make me happy. For one, he made me unhappy with the jobs I was doing. I couldn’t cope working while dealing with the stresses from him. Secondly, what he had projected to me was a lie. I am not someone that takes from another very readily without the most sincerest of gratitude if I do. I hate borrowing money for example and when I have done in the past (which was only when I was with him from friends paying for diesel so I could see them), yet he would throw money at me for whatever I wanted only to later use it against me. I actually value and love my independence, especially now. Today being an example, I have my own money now to afford a few things to add to my flat. Haha while I only purchased a new shower curtain and some cushions it felt AMAZING to do it off my own back.
    I was never with my N nor would I be with any man as a resource to fund me financially. I appreciate some N’s drain finances from others, however I was made to feel like a “sponger”; that I used him and he paid for everything etc. But I never once asked for money! He always insisted. Yet when we split up and probably during our time together he probably made me out to be a golddiggar am sure. Besides he always bragged about his income. Even when I got my job at the school I was so proud and happy to finally be earning a better wage. I didn’t say it to brag either. Yet when I told him there was no “well done babe” type of response. No. He had to mention AGAIN what he was earning even thought he had told me copious times before.
    I know that I will continue to cater for others needs. It is just my way haha! But on the flip side, I shall continue to maintain my independence. Not in a righteous way, but merely because it feels good to not depend on another. I became a prisoner in my own home with my ex N. No fuel to see friends who offered regularly, but because I was accused of cheating myself whenever I saw anyone I ceased going out.
    NOW I am financially independent but more importantly socially as well. I had a beautiful birthday. Haha my 30th was better than my 21st. I actually feel reborn! Went to a wedding reception tonight, been to comedy gigs, spent time with friends and family. I can not describe how alive I feel. Once I was this person who was physically shaking, stuck between four walls day in day out and walking eggshells. Now I am FREE to do what I want and when I want.
    I urge anyone to just follow through with what feels right. Outside of narcissitic relationships if you are happy having a man be the main breadwinner then so be. But I can’t describe enough how AWESOME it feels to do things off of your own back. 🙂
    It will be nearly two months since I split with my N. Lol, the tosser (sorry British term!) tried to wish me a Happy 30th and I just ignored. Am done. Besides it was probably a dig at me anyway as he’s 5 years younger. Lol he will be 30 one day too! Let him pursue his sadistic preference for teenager sluts. Sorry to be so crude, but while I am no prude myself I am truly baffled by women today. Why is it that young women feel obligated to be so promiscuous? I located an app when with him to see what it was all about and within a matter of minutes I had an 18yr old girl asking me if I liked women and before I had chance to reply (which I didn’t) she then sent me a picture in her underwear!? It’s sad to me that some women feel the need to do that. Yes it is fine and fun while in a relationship or even dating. But to be so “out there” concerns me. I think social media has a huge part to play in a lot of this. It’s all too easy to engage in “chats” with anyone anytime. I may be wrong, but I feel that it has had a substantial part to play in the rise of abusive relationships.
    Anyway, I apologise once again for waffling on. While I do speak with friends about all of this I have a tendency to offload haha! Still, if I have provided bedtime reading then that’s something! 😉
    Love to you all. Stay safe. X x x

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  5. Tifa and Carrie,

    Both of you have brought up alot of food for thought in your postings. Social Media has become a playground for Narcs, the dishonest, the depraved, etc. You commented Tifa about young women sending pictures of themselves unclad, well, what else was she going to send to get his attention? “Conversation” is a dying art, I am afraid. “Hows the weather?” is NOT going to get you very far on a dating web site, social media these days, sadly. It is a world of instant gratification, the perfect enviorment for an N. Plus it lends its self to the “secrecy” they love so much, they can “talk” to several, dozens of ppl at the same time and one never knows about the other. It is a game, kinda like bingo. You ever go play bingo for charity? Some ppl play 40 or more cards at once to increase their chance at “winning”. But when they WIN on one card do they throw their other cards away? NOPE they keep playing the other cards, they may “win” on those too, especially since the one they already “won” on has less of a chance of being a “winner” again. This is the N’s world.

    I think it is unrealistic doe a woman in this year 2014 to aspire to be a “caretaker” of others solely. She has to first be ready and able to take care of herself. Nothing anymore seems to be permanent. Things change , always. Even the most loving partners get sick, die, leave you to fend for yourself. You MUST be able to pick yourself up and continue on. FOR YOURSELF. YOU are your own responsibility. It is not sign of selfishness it is prudent to have your own money, career, means. I don’t think it is gold digging to look for a partner that is your equal. A man should bring to the table the same amount of assets as you can or the relationship becomes out of balance. The little woman staying home and keeping the home hearth burning is archaic IMO. It’s worked ” back then” for alot of reasons that do not exist any longer. Hence domestic abuse became common being one partner held the “power”, brought in the money therefore could spend it anyway they wanted. Do whatever they wanted. We have the ability to now get educations and make our way in the world, if we choose to. And we should so choose!!!!! To want to be “taken care” of opens the door to a lot of undesired behaviors.

    Lots of “man ” buying goes on these days, and some men will gravitate to who will give him the most. My opinion, if a man can be bought, go with the woman who will allow him to not work, etc SHE can have him.

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