This is a cross post from my main blog, however it wasn't until I was done and published that I felt the need to post it here.
"You need to find a man who will take care of you!"
I've been hearing this phrase a lot lately. I have a number of friends who are single - some of them ending long term relationships that didn't work out, some of them getting divorced after realizing he wasn't the one, and some of them who still haven't found Mister Right Now and are waiting for Mister Rest of my Life.
By all means, I think every woman needs to find a man who will take care of her - the problem is the follow up to this phrase. Things like "Make sure he has a lot of money", "Make sure he makes enough that you can stay home", "Find a man who will buy you what you want in life". Why do people feel that men are only able to take care of a woman financially? I understand that if that's what you and your partner decide to happen, that's fine - but to set that as a goal in the beginning just gives me a twitch!
Why can't we tell women to find a man who will take care of them when they feel they have the plaque and look like they were run over by a bus? Or how about find a man who is willing to care for you during your seasonal depression days? Find a man who will take care of you when you just found out your grandma died and you are devastated. Find a man who will take you to Panda Express for your anniversary instead of a 5 star restaurant, because its more of who you are!
This phrase has been drilled into me since I was a teenager - when you look for the man you will spend your life with, find a man who will take care of you! I heard it from my parents, from teachers, from parents of friends, and even from older friends I made as I got older. Now, I'm no crazy feminist, but whats wrong with me taking care of myself?! Or better yet, why can't I take care of HIM??
You know what the most frustrating part of all this is? People still continue to tell me I need to find someone to take care of me - and I've been with my husband almost 5 years, married for 1! Some of the people who have said this to me are deep in my inner circle and I'm just flabbergasted by their comment.
I've known for years, since I first left for college, that I was going to have a career. I wanted to be a mom and have a family, but I would be a career woman and I would work hard for everything I have. Knowing that early in my life I also made a decision - when I'm in a relationship, I need to be with a man who is comfortable with the fact that I may make more than him! I'll admit, it was a bit rough in one relationship. The harder I worked and further I moved up in my company, the more money I made - and boy did he not like that! It caused a lot of tension from him. Sure, we were able to buy nicer things and he relished in the material items, but the fact that the woman wasn't in the kitchen making him dinner and that she made more than him was a BIG issue.
But I never wanted someone to pay for my bills and pay for my financial responsibilities! I wanted someone who love me for me. I wanted someone who would do the dishes without me asking. I wanted someone to pitch in with the house chores instead of saying that's the "woman's job". Someone who would make dinner for me after I had a rough day at work, knowing that I do the same for them!
When I met Caveman, he was exactly what I needed and wanted in my life. He was the calm to my fire! Nothing in our early days of dating revolved around finances. He didn't know or care how much I made and just treated me like a human. And the more time we spent together and more we realized that we would spend the rest of our lives together, we still never let finances control us. Even after he learned that I made significantly more than him, he still did everything he could to treat me like HE was a millionaire and I was a princess!
One thing I love the most about him is how he acts when he's not working. While my family and friends will pipe in with their comments about how he needs to be working to help me and to pay the bills and do his part - what they don't see is that he's home cleaning my house, doing the laundry, vacuuming, taking care of the dogs, has dinner ready when I get home, and on the rare occasion will make me breakfast or pack me lunch. Isn't that what any woman would want out of a man who isn't working!? Sure, he's putting in resumes, making phone calls, even an interview occasionally, but instead of just sitting at home like a blob and making me more stressed about our financial situation - he's taking care of ALL those little things that I'm thinking about in the back of my head that need to get done.
Switch the roles. Man is working, wife is home - aren't those things EXACTLY what she would be doing!? And people would praise her for being such a good wife! No one tells her that she needs to get a job and be working and helping pay the bills. She's taking care of the household while her husband is at work. She's making his life better and easier by handling the household duties. Why is it such a big deal if its the man doing those tasks?
I love my husband for everything he does. And I honestly, I feel he takes way better care of me than any guy I dated who was financially secure! When he is working, he's always there to pitch in with groceries and paying bills. When he's not, he's doing his job searches and being the most considerate house husband ever! (Side note: Caveman currently works full time hours and is gone for 12-13 hours a day, working hard! With both of us working full time, and we don't have a day off together, household chores are a bit slacking!)
Just because you feel you aren't being taken care of unless a man has money, doesn't mean the rest of the women in this world feel that. Look at the MAN, not his wallet! Look at his traits, not his bank account! Its 2013 people, not 1950! GET OVER IT!
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