Hello everyone! Today's blog was inspired by a conversation I had yesterday with a dear friend. Both of us married men who were simply not our partners or equals in many ways. We did not know this at the time, unfortunately.
Please allow me to explain what I mean by "a partner and an equal." I am warning you now this will be brutally honest. I want to help others avoid unecessary pitfalls. As always I welcome your comments and thoughts.
What is a partner?
A partner is someone who comes along beside you and helps you along your way. They walk with you. They don't walk ahead of you so you have to catch up. They don't walk behind you so you have to move them along. They encourage you, tell you the truth in love, love you regardless of your faults, cheer you on, hurt when hurt, laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. They support you in your work and at home (yes that means work around the house and with your children). They work with you financially so you both can reach the goals you both have set. You are both on the same page about your individual goals and your goals as a couple. You both can have the hard conversations with each other without feeling put down or less than the other person. You have each other's best interest at heart instead of your own.
**A side point: Ladies, it is not a good idea to marry a man without a job (unless you both have made some other mutually beneficial arrangement, and I mean it better benefit you both, not just one person). (What was I thinking?!) I don't care what he is promising you. You are setting a precedent you may not be able to escape later.
What is an equal?
An equal is someone you can talk to and be "on the level" with so to speak. Someone who understands where you are coming from without being intimidated by your personality or feelings, even if they don't agree. The same ideals or subjects don't have to interest you both, but you make room for each other's thoughts and interests.
Financially speaking, an equal is someone who brings in as much as you do if not more where salary is concerned and you work on the finances together, not in a vaccum. Equals do not use finances to squabble over "relational territory" or stuff, they use it to help each other. Ladies, a financial equal is very important for us, particularly if we are higher earners to begin with. Most men are mentally wired to want to provide (this is good things and gentlement we appreciate this!). If a man makes less than you, that is going to mess with his head and his ego. He can't help it and he is not bad because he feels that way. Yes you can marry him and he can marry you, but there will be challenges ahead, big challenges.
Most importantly, equals and partners work together and stand shoulder to shoulder with each other in good times and bad times. They aren't perfect people and yes they will have disagreements because they are both strong people. However, their love, partnership and equality will overcome any problems they may face and they will always come out stronger together on the other side.
They are neither emotionally dependent or co-dependent. They can be away from each other and be okay. They can have their own friends. They are each their own person yet they have vested, loving interest in each other. Because they have a loving, vested interest in each other, they will also share friends and experiences they both enjoy. What a wonderful role model for children!
Are you seeing the bigger picture?
This is the kind of marriage you want, trust me. I was neither a partner nor an equal in my last marriage and Jeff could not be because he didn't know how to be. My late husband did the best he could and I choose not to blame him as I had a part to play in that too. Both myself and my friend have learned so much and we are moving on into new and greater things. God is always good!
Please choose a partner and an equal or wait until God brings one to you. You will be glad you did.
Until next time,