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Men seem to love dependence in their women, as this writer has realised over a lifetime of being a strong, independent woman. Unfair standards?
I don’t know where I read it, but there’s a quote which went something like – “What men love most about women is their dependence on them!”
That got me thinking. Other than my dad, (and my brothers who did things for me like fixing my bike, filling my Kinetic Honda with Petrol and getting me stuff that I needed from outside), I have never really depended on any man financially or otherwise.
My set of college friends are the same as we have gone through the vicissitudes of life by following our education, career and most of all our financial independence. While that independence has given us a lot of freedom of choice, expression and buying our own stuff of course, there is one place where I wonder if that independence has taken away from us – what men seek in a woman as per the quote above.
We have all found that our respective husbands are much laid back and ‘allow’ us to take the front seat when it comes to doing things for the house, the kids and the extended family. Yes, they do love us but seem not to mind much that we are working ourselves to death every single day managing a home, a career, kids and everything else in between.
One classic quote I heard from a co-worker who is just starting out on the boat I have sailed in for more than 2 decades comes to mind. She said that her husband did not think twice about asking her to take an Uber to come back home around 9 pm in the night because she had missed the last train due to an emergency at work. When questioned by one of the family members as to why he had not driven to pick her up he replied that he was very confident in his wife’s capabilities and had not doubt that she would make it safe. While a very admirable trait – believing in the strength of his woman – I am very sure the same man would move heaven and earth if it were not his wife and someone else who was in that kind of situation. It was amply illustrated when he offered to pick his grown-up nephews from the airport because it was “kinda late in the night for them to be taking a taxi!”
This kind of thinking from our revered men folk gets to me big time. I wonder if all the issues my friends and I are facing by ourselves have to do with our refusal to meet those standards of dependence of a wife on her husband. I wonder if things would have been different if we were not such dynamic women and had depended on our husbands to take care of every small thing – even buying us the dreaded sanitary napkins!
Would they have paid more attention to us if that was the case?
Would they have been empathetic had we put them on a pedestal and asked for their blessings and guidance in everything we did?
Would that elevated position have helped them to be much more understanding of our needs and the needs of the children, home et all?
It’s quite a tantalizing thought. So, if I was not educated or at least not as smart as I think I am (modesty be damned!) then would my life have been easier than what it is right now where I am juggling one hundred and twenty different things?
I watched yesterday as my husband went to great lengths to make sure his sister did not have to be uncomfortable (his sister is a very dynamic woman but has a weakness that she isn’t very good with following directions when driving and ends up getting lost and driving for hours!) on a trip back from picking their mom up from the hospital. He had no qualms about taking off a few hours from work, picking her up from the hospital, dropping her off at a familiar place (where there was a lesser chance of her getting lost) and then asking me to pick him up to and from work. Why? Because I am a good driver and I have no such issues.
Yes, agreed that is a valid enough reason but I think there is a bigger reason – the fact that I am his wife and somehow when it comes down to a strong and independent wife, the men think they can expect the moon from their wives without having to move an inch.
While I do not begrudge them their confidence in their wives I do have a very big issue with not treating their wives fair. Just because your wife is independent and could do things by herself without having to wait for you does not mean that she would not love you to take care of her from time to time. We women take care of our husbands, don’t we? Though we know very well they are not helpless little kids and more than take good care of themselves, wo do extend our love and concern for them, don’t we? So why does it become so difficult with a man to extend the same courtesy to the woman who matches him (and sometimes overtakes him) step by step? Why is it that I see so many men shun their responsibility towards home, kids and their wives when their spouse happens to be a capable woman able to take care of herself?
I am not generalizing here by any means. At least that is not my intention. I know there are many men out there who support and are quite appreciative of their able wives. I am just talking about what I have observed within my circle of friends and colleagues who happen to be high achievers in their chosen fields. Somehow that aspect of support and care from our spouses is missing. I would love for my husband to from time to time do something that tells me that he cares about me at a deeper level. I wait for the day when he understands that just because I can do something well does not mean that I should be saddled with doing it all the time. I want him to sometimes tell me that he will take care of a task I am having to work hard on. I want him to sit down with me and help me out instead of assuming that I can take care of it by myself. But that rarely happens.
While I would not give up my education or my career for the care of a man by any means, it does make me wonder if I lost out on being pampered by my man because I don’t depend on him to give me money to run the house or buy me clothes to wear. Well, so much for that thought. Time for me to go out and get a nice facial and a massage. Thank Goodness I can pamper myself and don’t need to wait or depend on any one to do that for that me (except the masseuse, of course!)
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