Ownership And Independence

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

pads.jpgI was born in the eighties. This was a decade famous for shoulder pads, electro-pop and feminism amongst other things. I am aware that in many lands, women have hardly any rights and suffer abysmal treatment. That is horrid. But in the western world, there is a different situation.

I try not to get involved in any discussions about equality in the western world, because it all becomes rather confusing. I hear demands for equality in everything, at the same time as demands for respect for people’s right to be different. Yet different is not supposed to be different any more, it is supposed to be normal. I generally just try not to be drawn into debates that are too complicated and controversial.

Everyone is asking for respect and fair treatment. In itself, that seems a perfectly reasonable request. Some of the specifics as to how people want that seem a bit dubious at times.

peaceI have seen from my travels to other lands, how different it can be for women in other cultures. That has helped me to appreciate the relative independence I have here in England.

When it comes to men and women in any culture, I am interested in beautiful qualities like love, kindness, mildness, humility, generosity, unselfishness – no matter who a person is, where they come from, how they dress. I am on the lookout for something about them that makes them appealing, endearing, attractive as human beings.

But all these changes in the world, the changes in attitude and outlook has somehow made it less likely to achieve what I grew up thinking would come naturally.

ideal.jpgI grew up thinking that one day I would belong to a man. I just thought it would happen almost effortlessly. In my mind, I thought he would be a farmer, and I would be a farmer’s wife. I still don’t get why the world doesn’t work that way anymore.

Now, as I grew older, I realize that just being married is not necessarily a good thing. You could be miserable. It means a lot that as a woman in the western world I have choice over who I wed. I have turned down two insensible and ill-timed marriage proposals – and for good reasons. I also ended a courtship with a fine young man (my best friend and I courted for years, but I ended it when I was around twenty-four/five) because I realized that I was miserable with him.

ideals.jpgHowever, I am in no way against marriage. Quite the opposite. I would be happy to feel I really belonged to someone. I have no objection to the traditional stereotypes – I have been a housekeeper for many clients, why wouldn’t I do all those tasks for the man I love?

In fact, when I was in Australia, I said to my gorgeous friend that if he ever decided to settle down with someone, he should make sure she knows how to look after his beautiful house properly. He looked baffled when I said that. He basically said he wouldn’t expect any woman to do that, but he would hire a cleaner. That baffled me. Is it because I grew up expected to perform household chores throughout my childhood, that I see it as part of the responsibility of life that you clean and tidy your own home? Unless you are physically unable to?

Well, the fact that people to hire a cleaner rather than doing their own housework has kept me with an easy way to earn my bread and butter. Did you know I earn a minimum of £15 per hour housekeeping in London? One client pays me £20 per hour. I can earn much more gardening or painting/decorating.

workRight now I have a great deal of independence, over how I spend my time, my energy, my money. But I crave to have someone as my master, or my head. Someone to respect and obey. I would love to work along with him, to make his decisions successful and to make things pleasant for him.

I know there are a lot of men out there who I would run a million miles away from! I would never choose them as my head. But when a man comes along, who you admire and respect and trust – those feelings of wanting to be his, wanting to give up some of your independence in order to become part of a team with him, become stronger.

ideals1.pngThere are a lot of things I don’t really get about the modern world. One of them is the issues around ownership and independence. I guess everyone is different. Some people have had terrible experiences that would understandably make them feel an aversion of being dominated by someone abusive. But like the rest of the women in my family, I have no objection to being an amazing housekeeper, amongst other things, for a man I have agreed to have as my head. But we have many happy marriages and thriving families within our family. Loving and supportive couples who make marriage look awesome.

I would have loved to marry Goldfinch. But he didn’t ask. At the moment, I feel myself wanting to be the woman who works alongside Jack to make everything he does even more successful, and to help his life to run more smoothly and be less stressful. The thought of it makes me deeply happy.

20 thoughts on “Ownership And Independence”

  1. I was all those things for a man, though we also hired a housekeeper because our house was huge and I have chronic pain. But after many years it didn’t work out, which happens often, and then I had to begin again in the workplace. I wouldn’t give up working again for a man, nor would one ask at this late stage, so close to retirement.

    I think the dynamic works better when a couple think of each other as equals rather than one being the head. I regret deferring to my ex so often on so many issues. I’m pleased that my daughters have husbands who treat them with respect despite my poor example.

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    1. I wrote this post a couple of months ago. I was thinking about how happy I was being the little house-wifey for Goldfinch when I was over in Australia. I did a lot there. I cleaned all the windows inside and out (there are a lot of windows in his home!), I mowed the lawn, I shopped for groceries, cooked, baked, cleaned, washed, ironed…and I loved it. He was grateful to me.

      But I don’t think he really approves of my domestic diva desires. They don’t mean as much to him as a woman being strong and independent and dynamic. I think there is a streak in me somewhere that wants to be a little helper. I grew up loving being a little helper at home with my parents. I always wanted to feel useful and work hard to help the man I loved. I guess it helps that I love practical work so much.

      I have always worked part-time and worked unpaid for charities more hours than I was working in paid employment for.

      I guess when I wrote the post, I was thinking of how much I wanted that sense of where I belong. So many times when I am tired at the end of the day, I want a husband who will hold me in his arms. That’s what I loved about Goldfinch, that he held me in his arms all night. Jack starts out well. But he moves around in the bed so much!

      I kind of consider myself an equal in some ways. Except that both Goldfinch and Jack are older than me. Sometimes their experience shows where I am lacking. Also I hate making decisions. I love that Goldfinch is decisive. Jack is less so. he is very mild and humble actually. I don’t think people realize that when they see his charismatic personality in public. But he has a lovely gentleness to his personality. Or maybe he is being careful in the way he treats me because of everything that happened.

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      1. Feeling secure is important to me too. That’s why I spent 5 years on dating sites, trying to find a soul mate, while the men were more interested in quick hookups. I finally gave up. But I hear what you’re saying about that sense of belonging, especially in a marriage… I don’t have that with a roommate situation even though it’s pleasant.

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    1. Everyone is different. It’s not that I consider myself as a possession. But the sense of belonging, in the same way as I feel with my family. The responsibility of caring for each other and looking after each other. When I am tired, I wish I had a husband to hold me at night. I don’t like that Jack and I are living on opposite sides of London.

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          1. But that’s just something that you need to be reconciled with – living on the opposite side of London, but not being ready to live together just yet. But how long have you been together? Six months? I have to say that if it were me, that’d be too soon as well. I mean, that’s just me, but you’ll have this situation with most every guy you ever meet. surely? Didn’t you say once that GF was Midlands somewhere? Which would have been even harder?


            1. I guess the main difference with Jack is that we have known each other for longer. We were seeing each other several times a week for three years before he moved in to our flat. Then we were flatmates for some time before I felt I had to get out.
              I have been up at the flat with Jack a couple of times, and I do feel as if I belong there.
              Having lived with him, seen his habits, known his ways, handled his laundry, moldy food he left in the fridge and stacks of glasses and dishes he has left in the kitchen…I feel as if I am already familiar with what living with Jack involves. I just want to be with him all the time now…well, you know what I mean…to be with each other at the end of each day, talking about what happened and holding each other tight.

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  2. I can see how choosing to be a domestic diva to support someone you love could be quite fulfilling. I think the dynamic starts to shift if one person expects and take for granted that their partner would fill that role.

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    1. I find it very fulfilling. I remember after a couple of days, Goldfinch seemed to suddenly realize how much I was doing. He took me in his arms and thanked me. He then found another way to show his appreciation 😉
      I would not tire of that quickly. I hope he wouldn’t get bored of it either!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Married nearly 25 years. Marriage isn’t easy. But, neither is being single. It is good to know that someone in this world will always have your back. I think that’s what you mostly mean by “belong.” Romance fades over time, but that kind of partnership can endure if you keep working at it. 🙂 Blessings!

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  4. Do not let yourself be “owned” by anyone. Stay true to yourself and the right man will come along. He will respect you for being who you are and not who he wants you to be. Being married does not mean losing your independence. That’s why it is such a struggle. You have two totally different people coming together to share a a life and to make a life, but both people are coming into the relationship as individuals. Don’t ever lose that; it can only lead to heartache and misery if you do.

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    1. I guess it is the sense of purpose and belonging to a family unit I long for. I have a lot of relatives (around 200 I am in touch with regularly) and I love that. But I so often want to go to sleep in the arms of the man I love and wake up thinking about what to make him for breakfast.

      I just don’t know Jeanne, I just presumed when I was a little girl that it would automatically happen. I courted a young man (he was two years older than me) from the age of 17-24, but I ended the courtship. Later I received two marriage proposals but I couldn’t have married either of those men. Ever since then, I have had a bumpy ride. I met Jack…and the next few years were very challenging indeed. Then after I was the victim of a crime, it took me a long time to come to terms with being on my own with a man. But Goldfinch turned up out of the blue and was just wonderful! Now, by a miracle, Jack is being amazing. But it’s too early to know what will happen.

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      1. I was 39 when I got married. I know what you are feeling, but NO ONE is worth losing yourself over. You have to be true to yourself. Only you know what is right for you, but if you and Jack had problems before, chances are, those issues are still there. Right now, you are still in the “honeymoon” phase again. Just take your time and be patient. Good things come to those who wait. 🙂


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