Not working seems like a dream, doesn’t it? How nice it must be to not have to commute each day during rush hour, dress in a stuffy suit, and sit at a desk all day pretending to work. But at what cost? Everything in life comes with a cost. What is the price we pay in exchange for not working? It’s funny how so often in life, our dreams turn out to be nightmares once we find ourselves living them.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“What a joke. Some of us thought if we just married the right man, or found the right partner, we wouldn’t have to work. Did we ever consider how much work it is to be married to someone so we won’t have to work? Did we ever consider how much work it is not to do our work? Did we ever consider that our work is not work but our work?
How tempting it is to sell our souls for what we think will be the prize! We women have been too willing to objectify . . . to make ourselves sex objects and make men (or other women) marriage objects. In so doing we have lost the possibilities of relationships. It is not possible to relate to an object.”
Women who choose a significant other to support their lifestyle over working for themselves sacrifice much in the way of independence. It creates an imbalance in the relationship where the partner who works controls the cash flow and thus has power over the other. Or perhaps the woman feels guilty or indebted, as though she’s not carrying her “fair share” of the weight in the relationship.
The irony of life is not lost on us, and humor can be found in just about any situation, even when things do not live up to our expectations. How funny that the freedom of not working can in fact be a prison! Imagine the discomfort of having to ask your spouse for money whenever you want to go out. Or put gas in the car. Or purchase something! While an extreme example, it proves the point that things don’t always turn out the way we had expected.
Relationships, I discovered long ago, work best when we come to them as our own person. My mother always stressed the importance of being self-sufficient to me. For this, I am forever grateful. She never wanted me to rely on a man, or anyone else for that matter, for my survival and happiness. We must come to a relationship happy, healthy, and whole for it to truly succeed and be a fulfilling, loving relationship. If we willingly objectify ourselves, we give away our self-worth. We are worth more. We deserve better, and it starts with how we think of and treat ourselves. Others will only treat you as badly as you let them.