I was on Instagram today and I follow a page called Black City Girl (@blackcitygirl_) that talks about marriage, finding love, bettering yourself and all that jazz. Today there was a video posted about a couple who recently married, and the husband was explaining the reasons why he committed to his wife:
- They share the same core beliefs (faith)
- She respected him as a man
- She makes him feel needed (depended on him)
- They built together
I will admit that I like that page because sometimes they post very uncomfortable truths that a lot of women don’t want to admit to or agree with, and this one was definitely one of them. It seems like everyone totally dismissed points 1, 2, and 4 and completely focused on the “dependent” part. There was a lot of opposition from a few commenters, while there were others, like myself, who were more accepting of what was being said. Somehow dependency turned into submission, and then that turned into domestic skills. I attempted to clarify what I thought “dependent” means but I can only use my own life as a point of reference; and again there was opposition.
I think that the issue with the word “submission” is that we usually go to the textbook definition of it which is “to give over or yield to the power of another” and many people, including myself, were not having it. Like at all. Especially when you start using Biblical references such as “wives…submit to your husbands” (I’m not sure where this is in the Bible exactly but its there) and people just lose their minds. There was a lot of,
“I’ll never submit to a man…”
“I’ll never make him feel needed”
“I’ll never depend on him…for what?”
The problem I was having with these comments was that these women (who were all single by the way) wouldn’t even stop for a second to consider what the other married/engaged women were saying when talking about “depending on their men”. I stated that dependence in most cases in not financial dependence at all, but just giving a man the FEELING of being needed- and that is so BROAD that it could mean many different things to many different people. Dependence can mean spiritual, emotional, guidance and insight, or any other feeling depending on who you are asking.
Quick story: I used to be one of those women, the “I’m a strong Black woman who doesn’t need a man for anything” (snap my fingers two times) types. I was having a conversation with a male friend who constantly – and I mean constantly – cheated on his wife. He cheated the entire time they were dating, engaged, and after they married. When I finally asked him why he kept doing this, he admitted to me, “I love her, but, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but she acts like she doesn’t need me. I just fit into her plan of having a house, marriage, and children. Its like she doesn’t want me for anything else.”
He went on to tell me that as archaic as it sounds, men NEED to feel needed. This was when Lorenzo and I were still getting to know each other and I was still holding on to my own views about what that meant. A year later, a few months before he proposed, I thought about what my ex-friend had said, so I asked Lorenzo straight up, what the thought “submission” meant. He told me that he wanted me to let him help me.
That’s it. No talk about finances, no stay at home barefoot and pregnant, no do what I say and wait on me hand and foot. None of that. After we had that conversation I felt SO much better about marrying him. He asked me for something that I could actually give him. Was it hard? Yes. I’d spent my entire life taking care of myself so it was extremely hard for me to let him have some of my responsibilities, but honestly, it didn’t kill me. I still have my job(s), my own money, my same spending habits; its just that he takes out the trash, checks on my car when the lights come on, pays for me to get my hair done, fixes things around the house. Not a bad deal if you ask me.
I think that people should really take the time to get to know the people they are involved with. I can understand that it can be hard to believe anything I’m saying when people are so used to dealing with people who are not worth it. But, I think that when you find the “right” person for you, it makes it easier to work these things out. I thought that “submitting to a man” was the most horrible thing you could ever say to me, but when I was able to think about it as it related to Lorenzo, it was really just allowing him into my life enough so that he knows that I DO want him around. Lorenzo knows I don’t “need” him-especially in terms of finances, its one of the things he loves the most about me. Hell, he’s been super supportive of me getting an MBA so I can get a better paying job to make more money. So its not about keeping me under his thumb, or “behind him” its about allowing him to help me be the very best possible version of me so that WE can thrive together.
I’m curious as to what people think…. please share.