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commitment versus personal well being - Page 2

post #21 of 39

Marriage has historically been a means to establish social stability for children and men, with women as caregivers of both. I've read on the topic for years. Patriarchy is not the only social construction for society and families. Both modern feminists (Fineman, for example) and some indigenous cultures (the Mosuo, for example) offer alternatives that allow women to function as realized adult persons. You don't have to judge yourself based on the dominant paradigm. 

post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

Marriage has historically been a means to establish social stability for children and men, with women as caregivers of both. I've read on the topic for years. Patriarchy is not the only social construction for society and families. Both modern feminists (Fineman, for example) and some indigenous cultures (the Mosuo, for example) offer alternatives that allow women to function as realized adult persons. You don't have to judge yourself based on the dominant paradigm. 


Am I reading this post correctly? You seem to be suggesting that women who are married aren't functioning as "realized adult persons".

post #23 of 39

Speaking very broadly, and without stopping to look up who the Mosuo are and what (Martha?) Fineman's take is, and assuming for the sake of this conversation that Patriarchy is ultimately bad for women, and keeping in context with the OP's particular marital struggles  -- religious restrictions on divorce, mom's own objections-- then yes, one possible outcome for women who are married is that they won't function as "realized adult persons". 

 

Please note that I've been married 20 years and my dh has worked to support me as a sahm for more than a decade. I suppose that means I'm invested in the patriarchy to some extent.  However I also think I'm a fully realized adult human.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Speaking very broadly, and without stopping to look up who the Mosuo are and what (Martha?) Fineman's take is, and assuming for the sake of this conversation that Patriarchy is ultimately bad for women, and keeping in context with the OP's particular marital struggles  -- religious restrictions on divorce, mom's own objections-- then yes, one possible outcome for women who are married is that they won't function as "realized adult persons". 

 

The phrasing of the post I responded to came across to me as suggesting that the only way a woman could function as a realized adult person is if she found an "alternative" to marriage. I hope I was wrong, but it wouldn't be the first time I saw a feminist slam large groups of other women. (One of the reasons I don't self-label as a feminist is the total disrespect for other women that's been rampant among self-labelling feminists for as long as I can remember.)

 

Please note that I've been married 20 years and my dh has worked to support me as a sahm for more than a decade. I suppose that means I'm invested in the patriarchy to some extent.  However I also think I'm a fully realized adult human.

 

hmm...I don't really see that as being invested in the patriarchy. But, then I like being a SAHM a lot better than I ever liked being a WOHM. I've also been in the role of breadwinner to a SAHD, and that wasn't some kind of statement on the patriarchy, either.

post #25 of 39

I'm just suggesting to the OP that traditional marriage is not the only lens through which to view herself as a partner. Her committment to her marriage seemed to be in conflict with her personal well-being, which is often the result of traditional marriage. It's true that marriage was designed to be disadvantageous to women; just something for the OP to consider if she feels that her committment includes the institution as well as the man.  

 

Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this, and I'm not aiming to argue with anyone who disagrees. I personally would like to see formal marriage eliminated - and I am "happily married" for 25 years. Without going off track here, I think that it's a very rare woman who does not accept patriarchy in some respects, simply because there are so few other systems operating in the world. It's not a judgement, just food for thought.


Edited by PumaBearclan - 3/12/13 at 7:22am
post #26 of 39

Happily married to a woman for almost 7 years. Take that, patriarchy!

post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

I'm just suggesting to the OP that traditional marriage is not the only lens through which to view herself as a partner. Her committment to her marriage seemed to be in conflict with her personal well-being, which is often the result of traditional marriage. It's true that marriage was designed to be disadvantageous to women; just something for the OP to consider if she feels that her committment includes the institution as well as the man.  

 

Interesting take. I've seen a lot of people suggest this, in many ways. I've seen nothing to prove it. Who knows what marriage was "designed" for? It's been around, in one form or another, for far too long for us to make more than educated guesses. Is it disadvantageous to women? That really depends on the marriage, imo. I can assure you that I've got a lot better deal out of my marriage than my husband has out of it. I can also assure you that being the kind of person who takes committments so seriously that a bad marriage can negatively affect one's personal well-being isn't the sole province of women - not even close. There are some serious disadvantages to marriage for men, too.

 

(I agree that marriage has often been a form of property ownership, where the man owns the woman, in fact, even if not in words. However, I can't really take that as an indictment of marriage, because that kind of culture usually means the woman is the property of a man, whether she's married or not - I can't really see any way in which my dad or brother owning me would be preferable to my spouse owning me, except maybe when it comes to sex...of course, anybody who believes that such cultural stances preclude incestuous rape is dreaming, so...yeah...)

 

Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this, and I'm not aiming to argue with anyone who disagrees. I personally would like to see formal marriage eliminated - and I am "happily married" for 25 years.

 

I have no desire to argue with you, but I can't even remotely understand that stance. If you don't believe in formal marriage, why on earth would you choose to be married?

 

Without going off track here, I think that it's a very rare woman who does not accept patriarchy in some respects, simply because there are so few other systems operating in the world. It's not a judgement, just food for thought.

post #28 of 39

Storm Bride (and OP, if interested), you can read further about marriage, patriarchy, and radical feminism if you are curious. There is good scholarship on the topic and many theories that deserve consideration.

 

Best wishes,

Puma


Edited by PumaBearclan - 3/13/13 at 7:01am
post #29 of 39

I agree that accepting people how they are is a great way to live. To me, that means not focusing on changing how they are. Because frankly, I've tried living that way, and it made me crazy.

 

Accepting people how they are doesn't mean accepting anything and everything they do to us. If my ex were making threats or doing scary and dangerous things in my direction, filing for a restraining order or reporting him to the police/pressing charges would be accepting how he is. Doing nothing I think would actually be sticking my head in the sand. I wouldn't be unaccepting of him -- I wouldn't be trying to manipulate him into being not threatening, not scary, not dangerous -- I would be taking responsibility for protecting myself as much as I could.

 

I guess I'm trying to say that boundaries are not lack of acceptance. They are acceptance of What Is.

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

Storm Bride (and OP, if interested), you can read further about marriage, patriarchy, and radical feminism if you are curious. There is good scholarship on the topic and many theories that deserve consideration.

 

Best wishes,

Puma

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I can't imagine any reason why I'd want to read about radical feminism, though. I was asking if you have proof that marriage was designed to be disadvantageous to women. Since you're offering "many theories that deserve consideration", I'll take it that you don't.

 

Sorry, OP - didn't mean to derail your thread.

post #31 of 39
Thread Starter 
Some great insights, here!

I've been focusing more on creating financial independence, in the past week. So, I am taking steps.

Another point I'd like to discuss. There are some things my husband does that makes me instantly furious, but when my son does the same things I'm minorly annoyed or even amused. Is that normal?
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Another point I'd like to discuss. There are some things my husband does that makes me instantly furious, but when my son does the same things I'm minorly annoyed or even amused. Is that normal?

I think it depends. If your son is imitating your husband's belittling behavior, then I think being amused by it is not normal (I doubt that's what your referring to, though).

If it has to do with varying expectations based on age (as in, it bugs you when your husband won't meet basic adult responsibilities) then I think it's normal, because you don't have the same expectations of your son.

If it's little irksome stuff, like hearing your husband chew makes you feel stabby but it's no biggie to hear your son chew, I think that's normal too. Sometimes our general tolerance of a person decreases, to the point where everything they do annoys us, whereas the same behaviors don't bother us in other people, especially those we like.
post #33 of 39
Double post.
post #34 of 39

Is it normal?  I don't know. I have the same experience, though.  It depends on what you're referring to. 

 

Some things are funny coming from a 5 year old, understandable coming from a 15 year old, but highly annoying coming from a 35 year old, because for god's sake he should know better by now. 

post #35 of 39

hmm...I don't know what kind of stuff you mean, but...ds1 is kind of bad about leaving his stuff all over the house. I find it somewhat annoying, but it doesn't drive me completely crazy. It drove me completely crazy with my ex (his dad). I'm pretty sure I know why. DS1 will watch his siblings while I run to the store, or pick something up from the store, or give up a Friday night so that his stepdad and I can have an all-night anniversary date at a hotel. I don't have a 50/50 relationship with him, in terms of balancing household duties, etc, nor would I expect to. But, he is willing to pitch in, and doesn't complain if he can't get something he'd like (eg. a ride to school, because he's running a bit late and it's pouring rain, and he forgot his umbrella).  It drove me insane when my ex left his stuff for me to deal with, because I was already dealing with everything - earning the money, managing the finances, childcare (including parent-teacher conferences, homework help, hygiene, etc. etc . etc.) housework, etc. The fact that I was overloaded, and he refused to do his share, then left his mess for me to deal with, was a really ugly package. DS1's habit of leaving his stuff around is merely a somewhat annoying (and, occasionally, amusing) trait in an otherwise balanced person who grasps that there's more to my life than what he wants.

post #36 of 39
Thread Starter 
I should have given an example. For instance, I say something; he misunderstands; I correct; he then says, chuckling, " like I said", and responds appropriately. I think the difference is that, when I'm not well, my son helps me cope, otherwise encourages me to work on goals for myself. Neither of those things do I get from my husband. But it doesn't seem fair that I can't take a joke from my husband, or is it normal to be furious when my husband pretends he understood from the beginning, because he doesn't show caring in other ways?
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I should have given an example. For instance, I say something; he misunderstands; I correct; he then says, chuckling, " like I said", and responds appropriately. I think the difference is that, when I'm not well, my son helps me cope, otherwise encourages me to work on goals for myself. Neither of those things do I get from my husband. But it doesn't seem fair that I can't take a joke from my husband, or is it normal to be furious when my husband pretends he understood from the beginning, because he doesn't show caring in other ways?

 

Humor needs a foundation, and your husband isn't providing it.  That kind of thing would get on my very last nerve, too.

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

But it doesn't seem fair that I can't take a joke from my husband, or is it normal to be furious when my husband pretends he understood from the beginning, because he doesn't show caring in other ways?

 

I'm sorry, I'm not understanding your example.  Are you concerned that your anger is out of proportion to his offense, making you the unfair one?  You can bet that he wouldn't have said "like I said..." to his boss, or a police officer or a respected co worker or even a complete stranger.  Not unless he's stupid, because it demonstrates a lack of respect or regard. "He doesn't show caring" -- the words respect and regard are interchangeable with the word caring here.

 

By the way, "I can't take a joke" always gets my hackles up.

post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I should have given an example. For instance, I say something; he misunderstands; I correct; he then says, chuckling, " like I said", and responds appropriately. I think the difference is that, when I'm not well, my son helps me cope, otherwise encourages me to work on goals for myself. Neither of those things do I get from my husband. But it doesn't seem fair that I can't take a joke from my husband, or is it normal to be furious when my husband pretends he understood from the beginning, because he doesn't show caring in other ways?

 

I can totally understand how this would cause a different response when coming from your son than from your husband. Your husband has an overall pattern of belittling you and making you feel less than, and this would fit that pattern perfectly - a way of shutting your voice down. Outside of that pattern, it's just a quirk, and one that a person could easily find amusing.

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