I Will Not Be Kept

I’m sure some of you may wondering what actually happened to me 3 weeks ago that left me single, homeless, and unemployed. Well it was a series of events. It wasn’t just one thing they went wrong or many. It was complicated.We all go through things in life from which we can learn from. I learned a lot about myself. I was in love. Possibly the most in love I have ever been. My parents, who mind you are extremely conservative, were well aware of my relationship and very accepting of circumstances that for them would otherwise have been taboo. I believe that I was loved as well. But love is not everything. I had a companion, I had a best friend, I had a partner. Or so I thought…

This is not going to be a bashing post. It takes 2 to make a relationship work and it takes 2 to make a relationship fail. Perhaps I was in it for all the wrong reasons. Actually I believe I was. I was at a point in my life where everything was falling apart. I had finally come to terms with having had and survived cancer but I couldn’t even handle the basics of everyday life. I’m not saying I entered into the relationship maliciously. Not at all. I was in love. But perhaps my better judgement was clouded.

That was not fair to the other person. In many ways I believe that we both were in desperate need of someone to dig us out of the holes we had dug ourselves in. We both needed a way out. We both just really wanted to be happy and perhaps [foolishly] we thought the other could do just that.

But that feeling is unrealistic and does not last forever. Real life happens and it’s not pretty. It has ups and downs, likes and dislikes, good and bad, etc. But… But if you are not truly happy with yourself you can never be happy with someone else. If you still put yourself aside and others first, you will never be satisfied.. I felt I did everything right. I am a nurturer. I know I am not the most emotional and lovey dovey person, but I do for others in my own way and I do it selflessly. Sometimes I do too much and lose sight of the big picture, of who I am and what I need. That was my mistake. I did not do enough for me and as a result I started resenting my partner.

As I’ve said in my post “Years-in-the-Making,” you cannot rely on others to make you happy but they can contribute to your happiness.

The conclusion is that I will not be kept. What do I mean by “kept?” The dictionary definition or internet definition defines kept as: OLD-FASHIONED a woman who is given a home and moneyby a man who she has a sexual relationship with. People often also use kept man humorously about a man.

As humorous and archaic this notion might seem, it is also complete and utter bullshit. I have never and will never accept that a man is supposed to take care of me, or the home. I’ve been taking care of myself for years. Why would I stop just because I am in a relationship. Sure we can be partners, we both can contribute, but I don’t agree that one contribution is confined to the home and the other to an office. I don’t agree that the man should make more money and bear the grunt of the financial responsibilities all the time. There has to be some give and take. Otherwise we are not partners. We are in a pretend modern relationship with the foundations from the 19th century. If to be the ‘man’ and the main breadwinner is your prerogative and your choice, then it cannot be used as a form of argument.

I have found that in all my relationships things go sour once my other half realizes that I will never be a kept woman. I cook, I clean, I do laundry, I take care of the house, etc. I enjoy doing those things and I would do them for myself. But just because I do those things and I do them better, in addition to having a career and full time job, does not mean that what I do is any less relevant. It may seem that I have a complex and it is all in my head. But I have been in enough of the same relationships to know and understand that my partner is threatened by the fact that essentially I do not need them. I do not need them to survive and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Inevitably one person will become more dependent on the other. But just because I relish my independence, it is who I am, does not mean that I don’t value relationships. I just have different ideals. I don’t need to be around someone all the time. Having different interests, different friends, different opinions; is invaluable to a successful relationship. I made the mistake of also working for my partner and believing that we would be able to keep business and personal separate. Huge mistake.

Do I regret this relationship or any of my other ones? I would be a liar if I said I didn’t. But I always come out stronger, more focused, and more determined to put myself first. I have to be selfish. I need to be more selfish otherwise nothing will ever change for me.

The perfect relationship doesn’t exist. The perfect person doesn’t exist. I am not perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist! Understanding that I have flaws, acknowledging that I have a lot to learn, realizing what I need is the first step.

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