I’ve lived it. Now I’m here to tell you how to avoid it. Don’t let yourself get trapped in a relationship.
I think of my grandma. She’s been with one and only one man in her life. And she has told my mom she hates him. They have been married almost 60 years now so she has spent 60 years with a man that she hates. Why? Where else can she go? She has absolutely no way to support herself.
She’s at his mercy. And he knows it.
He knew while they were raising 6 kids together that he pretty much could do whatever he wanted and she couldn’t do anything about it. He could be gone for weeks and go out with other women. What is she going to do about it? Nothing. Because it’s the 1960s and she doesn’t work and has no skills to support herself and six kids.
Then we fast forward to my mom’s generation in the 1980s. Most of these women were raised to be housewives and not much more. I mean, it was better than the 1960s but not by much. So these women, like their mother’s before them, had babies and raised them with men who knew they really had no way out.
With no job and no skills, how do you raise kids on your own?
It’s 2016 and I find myself in a relationship that can not be repaired (talked about here). We had 3 kids together that were still very small. I needed OUT. I needed my kids out of that toxic situation.
So I got out. What was different about my grandmother and myself? I knew I could take care of myself. See, before I had kids, I lived alone and supported myself. I went to college and had a job. I did the math and knew I could support 3 kids and myself no problem.
I wasn’t trapped forever. I didn’t have to stay where I didn’t want to be.
Look, it isn’t even about feeling trapped. It doesn’t even have to be a bad situation you are trying to get out of. Sometimes relationships just fizzle out. Why spend 60 years with someone if you don’t even like them? That sounds like a waste of a life to me.
You want to go into a marriage thinking it will be forever and hopefully it will be. But what if the person you married turns out to be a monster? What if they change? What if you just can’t take living with them anymore? Kids or no kids, you need a way out.
And what if, God forbid, that the person you marry passes away before your kids are raised? How are you going to handle supporting kids if you had them before you were capable of supporting yourself?
Fairy tales do end, sh*t gets real.
If you are finding yourself wanting out, you should be able to do it. The key to avoiding that trapped feeling is to know that you can take care of yourself without the help of your partner.
Until you are ready and able to take care of yourself, you should avoid getting in a long term relationship and having kids. Hey, no judgement, you want to be a stay at home mom. That’s awesome and those kids are lucky to have you around. But try to aim a bit higher, just in case.
“I don’t need no man!”
The security of knowing you have a way out if things get bad is a feeling that can not be measured. I don’t need a man to take care of me. No, I just have a man that I want in my life, not one that I need in order to survive.