Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Woman's Identity in Marriage

These days I continuously find myself having the same conversation with different people- mostly males of marriageable age who have their ideologies regarding what marriage should be about and of course the very much discussed place of a woman in marriage.

The surprising and I have to say disturbing trend that has emerged from these conversations is that many men expect a woman who will become half of them...and in a way, it does not sound like there is anything wrong with that. Afterall, married people fondly refer to their partners as their better halves. However, recent discussions have proven to me that many men these days take that phrase literally and are out on the search for a woman who will give up her life to become half of them. You might still be frowning and wondering what the big deal is, afterall, that is what is preached from the pulpits- that women ought to give up themselves and follow obediently the path laid down by their husbands.

I recently read a couple of research studies that reported that women become unhappier the older they get. I've been stuck in bed with flu so reading from the comfort of my bed is all I could do. According to this study, many women tend to give up all their dreams and aspirations for the rush of marriage- a rush that soon wears out when they realize being married does not entirely translate into their personal purpose. Hence, many of them feel the desire to go back to work but are unwilling to step on their husband's toes in the process. Therefore, their lives, their future is decided completely by their husbands, and well, what they truly want ends up taking the back seat.

After I read this, I had several Whatsapp and BBM chats with my male buddies and acquaintances who made it clear that it was part of submission for a woman to give up her dreams completely while the men went on to achieve theirs. I find this to be an imbalance that represents the unfairness of society. I come from a family where my father supported all of my mother's dreams, and never really expected her to give up herself for him. Instead, they both aligned their lives as two wholes becoming one, and that is what we need to learn in our generation.

A woman's identity ought not change simply because she has become a 'Mrs'. Her individuality is key to her sanity. She does not need to give up her whole self to become half of a man, she does not need to rob herself of happiness just so her man can have an ego boost. What women need today is support; support for their dreams as they also support the dreams of their husbands. Women need to be acknowledged and respected, loved but not possessed. To expect a woman to give up her whole self in order to become half of you is evidence of possession and not necessarily love. Unfortunately and alarmingly, it is becoming a natural expectation of young men today that they ought to dictate how the lives of their partners play out. We need to kick out the mentality and let women aim for the stars! That a woman has dreams does not mean she will lack respect. This is what this generation of youths needs to understand. XOXO

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