Unequal energy exchanges...
"You act like doing laundry is a full time job.”
“What’s the big deal? It’s just a few dishes.”
“Oh wowwww. We should stop and bow at your feet for cleaning the house.”
“You want a THANK YOU for GROCERY SHOPPING?”
“Women always act like housework is such a big contribution. We just go along but we all know the truth.”
“I just tell you thank you so you feel better about your lack of financial contribution.”
“I’ve worked too hard to have to think about cleaning. I’ve earned my peace.”
This was my reality for the majority of my relationships. It was an assumed obligation. It was an entitlement of my partner. If I didn’t do these tasks, they simply didn’t get done. Even though these were MUTUAL household needs, the jobs were mine.
Like many women, I justified this arrangement with my own sexist beliefs:
“Men just aren’t capable of multitasking like women.”
“Men just aren’t built for housework.”
“Men just can’t handle thinking of so many responsibilities.”
“Men are wired to just provide and protect.”
“You just can’t expect so much from men.”
“If you wait for a man to help out, you’ll be waiting until you’re dead.”
This was the way I coped with my feelings of hurt and resentment for an unequal energy exchange. I simply dismissed them and invalidated them.
The truth is, I was a victim of my own lack of standards. My partner was more than willing to take advantage of what I was willing to settle for.
In his mind, the kitchen magically cleaned itself. His pee on the toilets just effortlessly vanished. Folded laundry just appeared in his dresser. Used dishes just disappeared from his nightstand. No second thought about it was ever required. It was always just taken care of. Because that was the precedent I set. I never REQUIRED more.
Today, I believe men are FULLY capable of pulling ALL of their share, just like I am. I believe they are capable of teamwork. I believe they CAN juggle many responsibilities and they CAN be expected to equally contribute. I believe men are capable of NOT assuming they are entitled to my labor.
Today, I don’t settle for anything less than equal energy exchanges.
It’s taken a lot of work to confront MY OWN sexist beliefs and programming. It’s taken a lot of work to get comfortable requiring my own basic rights are honored. It’s taken a lot of work to begin consistently honoring myself, despite loads of judgment, criticism, and push back.
My own programming tells me I should feel guilty for requiring respect.
My own programming tells me I shouldn’t DARE rock the boat and demand more of partners.
My own programming tells me it’s rude and mean to stop settling because everyone else does.
I have always gotten what I am willing to settle for. Today, I will ONLY settle for honoring relationships, equal energy exchanges, and respect for everyone's rights INCLUDING MINE.
Where are you settling for unequal energy exchanges? Where are you settling for assumptions of your time and labor? WHERE ARE YOU SETTLING?