This is a post about something that bothers me. In fact in makes my heart beat faster, and sometimes anger starts to bubble within me. Often I think it is just a figure of speech that men and women use, but it’s one that I really don’t think we should be using. Phrases such as: “I don’t think she will let me”, “I don’t think my husband will let me buy it”, “I’ll see if I’m allowed”, “My wife won’t let me go”, or “I think he’ll let me go if I say this”. I have heard them so many times.
When individuals use these expressions, one of two things is true – 1. You don’t actually need to ask permission, and it’s unfair on your loved one, or 2. You do feel that you have to ask permission, and to me, feels a little concerning.
From the outside Jared and I look old fashioned. He works. I stay at home (and have a few things on the side). I’m ok with that. People can think what they like. The money is not his, or mine – it’s ours, and we both check our online banking regularly. He doesn’t let me buy things, and I don’t feel like I’ve lost my independence. I decide for myself, so does he, and we always discuss bigger purchases. We don’t give each other permission, or seek it.
Jared doesn’t let me do things, and I don’t let him do things. He never makes it difficult for me to do my own thing and he doesn’t expect me to do things for him. He will bend over backwards so I get to do things I really want to do, and I do the same for him. I want him to go out, to have fun, to do things he enjoys, and he wants the same for me. He works hard, and so do I. He wanted me to visit my cousin in America for 10 days. He offered to keep all three kids, and I offered to take one.
Something that makes arranging our social lives a lot easier is having a shared digital calendar. This means that we instantly know if the other person is busy. I can see his work appointments and evening plans, he can see my social calendar and then we have a family calendar. It works on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. If there’s nothing in the calendar on a particular evening then you’re in – you are first and you are checked out of childcare.
Despite my rant – it is a system that relies on kindness, thoughtfulness and unselfishness. We are both human, and we’re not perfect. Jared and I’s relationship is far from perfect, and relationships can be incredibly complicated…but men and women are equal. Individuals in a relationship are equal, and parents should treat each other with equality, love and respect. Equality has to start at home – with our children and in our relationships.
Men shouldn’t ‘let’ women do things, and women should not ‘let’ men do things.
It’s not ok.
Totally agree hon. When I ask David if he minds me going out one time it’s not because I’m asking his permission, it’s just our way of checking that the other has nothing on already. We have always done our own things, we enjoy different interests just as we enjoy joint ventures, relationships must have room to breathe otherwise you end up suffocating each other. Great honest post x
I so agree. We definitely need room to breathe, but I love doing things together. It’s so nice to have both! xx
Great post Esther, you’re so right. I suppose if someone is in a relationship where they need to ask permission to do anything, it’s not a healthy relationship.
I think most people that say these are in healthy relationships – they just express it wrongly. I could chill out a bit, but on things like this I think it’s so important to express equality xx
I completely agree with this. We’re all adults and we shouldn’t answer to each other in this sense – it’s not a parent/child relationship. For me it’s like when people say their husband is ‘babysitting’ – no they’re not, they’re looking after their child like any parent! x
Yes, absolutely. The babysitting one is so annoying. They’re your kids! x
I use these statements because I’m an oppressed woman… jokes…totally not, though i am evaluating why i feel to say “ill ask Nath if its okay “!!!! I think i use them as a way of saying I’ll check it doesn’t conflict. I think we can both improve and i love the idea of a joint digital calender. You’ll have to show us so we can be more organised and chilled and not have to “check” haha … hmmmm interesting.
Checking is totally different to seeking permission! Of course I check with Jared that things are convenient if it’s not obvious from our calendar, but he doesn’t ‘allow’ me to do things. That’s what I mean xx
A shared calendar is life changing xx
I totally get where you’re coming from with this, if either of us are going out of course we check that it’s convenient for everyone but it isn’t a case of getting permission, I know a lot of people who say that though! Same with the money, it is most definitely ‘ours’ and I never have to ask about spending it. We absolutely both need our own space and going out with friends or separately does us both good xx