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.