I recently stopped dating a man who believed men and women had different “gender roles” - men as providers, women as nurturers - and that deviations lead to relationship problems.
He wants a wife who doesn’t work, who’d stay at home with kids, etc. He also wanted to "help” me, guiding his woman through life.
I’m a feminist. I’m for equality in relationships and other facets of life. I don't believe I need "help" which is a one-way flow of information/actions/help only.
I believe partners can help one another in tasks, and help each other understand the world through discussion, as a dual effort.
Yet I’m left questioning whether, if certain “roles” aren’t fulfilled, if that could actually cause problems.
A Questioning Feminist
Your views on equality and interdependence are not inconsistent with two people sharing and dividing the tasks of a relationship.
Outside of giving birth and breast-feeding, there are really no “roles” that can’t be fulfilled by either men or women, as we’ve seen with house-husbands and single fathers who raise and nurture kids, and do domestic chores.
Women who choose to stay home and raise kids because they believe it works better for their family situation, rarely consider their male partner as the superior “guide” to their lives. Frankly, this man sounds over-bearing from any perspective.
We were once a very close family. Several years ago, our daughter's wedding created a rift with my brother's girlfriend (her grandchildren weren’t invited. The only children present were in the wedding party).
Due to their rude and obnoxious manners we no longer associate with them but have occasional contact at family functions.
Then, my sister (single mother) secured a position at my daughter’s workplace.
She became interested in a younger male co-worker, and they became “friends.”
My daughter, separated, and this man, college friends, wanted to date. They spoke to my sister about it. (He’d not been with her for several months prior to hanging out with my daughter).
My sister was devastated, angry, bitter, and wouldn’t associate with my family or me. She spread malicious gossip to close and distant family members.
Some posted mean things on social media about us. Some, once very close, now are distant.
Many months later, my sister assured my daughter she was over him and wished them well.
She told me she wanted “her sister” (me) back. We spoke.
Things seemed to be better this year. But due to workplace finances, my sister was terminated, a decision made by the founding partner.
She blames my daughter and her boyfriend and has again ended contact with me. She’s decided to move away.
Our other sister organized a goodbye gathering, including my daughter and her boyfriend. My sister's adult children were very upset and felt tricked.
A cousin later posted something rude on social media and texted my daughter with foul comments.
It’s been sad and upsetting to my family and my elderly parents, a depressing, exhausting situation for a couple of years.
Will Family Drama End?
End it for yourself. Call your sister, say you hope in future to be in each other’s lives, but you can no longer respond to the drama and wish her well.
Ignore social media; cancel any accounts that bring nasty posts. Ignore relatives’ gossip. It fades when there’s no reaction.
Recommend that your daughter and other sister do the same. Your extended family needs a cooling off period; with immediate family unit doing it’s own healing.
My boyfriend of five months has been extremely distant; he only talks to me once a week.
I’d introduced him to my best friend. After I went to bed that night, they kept texting each other until 5am.
A past boyfriend cheated on me with her, and I'm worried that my boyfriend’s doing the same thing.
She and I made up afterwards, but I'm not sure this time. How can I be certain he’s cheating? If so, how can I confront him?
Ask him if he’s seeing someone. Ask your “best friend” if she has something to tell you. If neither confesses cheating, be direct with your guy.
Say that his once-weekly call shows distancing, and you need an explanation.
If you remain suspicious, call a break. Don’t lower yourself to constant worrying, and/or snooping. If he hasn’t the courage and honesty to say what’s going on, he’s not worth your time.
Tip of the day:
Men and women in relationships are generally capable of sharing and/or dividing 95% of the “roles” involved.