On failed and failing relationships
Women have been socialised to take on most of the work required for a relationship to flourish. The emotional work, the domestic work and even the sex work (a lot of women, especially in long term relationships are constantly trying to keep things interesting in bed and constantly trying to remain appealing to their male partners). It’s only when it comes to the financial aspect that it seems like there is division of labour, even then, some women still carry the bulk of the financial responsibility in their relationships.
The fact that we have been socialised this way means that for a lot of women, when these relationships fail we tend to take it as a personal failure. I’m not sure where I’m going with this..
We don’t just see it as a failed relationship, a lot of women also feel like they failed to do what is expected of them, keep a man. This is something I’m trying to unlearn – failed relationships are not a personal failure, failed relationships don’t make you less of a woman or a partner. Failed relationships are simply a part of life.
Women are usually the ones fighting to keep our relationships afloat and alive and so when we are unsuccessful at that, we carry the blame. But the gag is that we should have never been left to carry the responsibility all by ourselves. Stop seeing yourself as a failure when you are doing work required for two people. If anything, your ability to singlehandedly keep your relationship afloat for the most part, is a testament of your strength not your weakness.
A relationship is a partnership, it’s a union. If your relationship fails, it’s not because you were too weak, it’s because the partnership was not viable; because your partner wasn’t willing to meet you halfway; because your partner was ready to get his hands dirty with you; because your partner was probably selfish. Successful relationships take a lot of constant and conscious work and effort but this work is for TWO not ONE.
P.S – for the know-it-alls, this article does not explore other reasons why relationships end, it simply addresses the fact that women have been socialised to do the grunt work in relationships.