Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Soon to be Mrs...

To change or not to change, there lies the question...

Women have taken on their husband's name for centuries, so what is this new trend of women wanting to hold on to their last name?
Personally i think that your name is your identity. Think about it this way,let's say Mcdonnald was a woman and got married to Mr smith and changed her name. Does she changed all her restaurant's name to " Smith burger".How would you feel about it as costumer. Even though everything else remains the same, people would still have a hard time adjusting. Your name represents your history, your accomplishments, your failures. It is true that if your failures are numerous you might be more than relieved to change your name. However, if you are proud of what you have become , you might be wrestling with this.

In my culture, it is extremely frown upon for a woman to even think of keeping her name. It is almost like you are insulting your husband to be by not making the change. They believe that You should be proud to become Mrs... But here is the question, what if you are also proud of being who you have always been. I feel like your partner should be an addition to your life and not a replacement. If changing one's name is a symbol for... Well what is it truly a symbol of... Submission, love, new beginnings?
I know there is something extremely beautiful in starting your life with someone and changing your name symbolizes that. However, what happens to your maiden name? Does that name stop existing for that person? Maybe it is like graduating from a school and moving on to a new school. But what happens if the new school later on rejects you and admits someone else. My mom is a great example, her passport has my father's last name ( they have been divorced for 10years), her ID has her maiden's name. So what should she do? Go back to her maiden's name and forget all the accomplishments she made as MRS? But that name was supposed to be her name until death did them apart.Why should shebe the one to feel the shame of going to the MVA and changing back to miss X... Well i know what many of you are thinking, she can not keep that name because it was not hers to begin with. So if the reality is that your husband's name is never truly yours because he can take it back at any point; and if the statistics are true that 1/3 of marriages end in divorce, it is then not a big surprise that many women are choosing to hold on to their " name".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love is kind

" But he loves me, and you don't know how nice he is."

" I am not trying to justify his behavior but sometimes it is my fault..."

" He has never done this to anyone else, it means that he truly love me..."

" I can't live without him, he was there for me when no one else was..."

" We have children together, i can't just pack up and leave"

These are few of the excuses/ explanations that i have heard from people that are in a abusive relationship. Let me start by saying that i am from a household where my father was abusive toward my mother. So if some of this sounds judgemental than i apologize because it is not meant that way. I have heard many women say that they are staying in a abusive relationship because of love. But is it really love when love is supposed to be kind? I also hear people say they stay in abusive relationships because of the kids. As someone who grew up in an abusive home, i know it was a terrible way to grow up. It stripped me away of my childhood and filled me with fears. Fears of my father walking through the door in the evening. Fear of relationships and love. It was not a happy house, seeing your father beating your mother has no benefits for the kids. It brings confusion simply because i had to pick my side. It was either i was going to blame my mother for being " weak" which i did for a long time or i was going to hate my father. Either way it is loose loose situation. I promessed myself that I would never let a man walk over me. NEVER. My mom says she stays for us. I wish she knew that we would have rather have them separated. I wish she knew that no child wants to see his mother cry. I wish someone had told her that this would scarred me for life. As of my father for a long time i did not blame him. I pushed aside any emotions relating to the abuse. It was so more convenient to blame my mom. Today, i wish i could say i am over it and i have move on. The truth is that from time to time, it all comes back to haunt me.

My mom told me that every relationship starts well, no one ever went on their first date and got slap. It starts with the small things. It is usually about control. It can begin with him saying that he does not like the friends you have, or the way you dress...What is confusing about abuse is that at the beginning it can be very cute. If you went and told your friends that your man only want both of you to go out, they will probably say that it is soo cute that he wants to be with you all the time. The truth is that it is very hard to have this conversation with "my people".Beating your wife where i am from is really not a big deal. My mom told me that her mom told her that she should be ready to cry a lot in her marriage. My mom said that she did not leave the marriage because of the beating, not at all , if that was all then she would still be married to my father. So i think that your view on abuse might differ depending on what culture you are from. However, for me there is no explanation or excuse that someone can give to put his hand on his woman.

They say that people that come from an abusive home are more likely to end up marrying someone that would abuse them. This statistic was really scary for me because i did not want to end up in an abusive relationship. I always told myself that this can never happen. But the truth is that it happens to others all the the time. So please look around you, look at your sister, your mother, your friends. How is their relationship with their partner. Are they always coming up with excuses to justify their bruises? Have they dramatically changed?

In some ways, the whole Chris Brown/ Rihanna is a great place to start the debate.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Put a ring on it

Should a woman ask her significant other if and when they are going to get married? Is that proper or is it considered nagging and being too forward? I have heard both sides of the issue.

A lot of men complain that times have changed. They claim that back in the days a woman would never dare ask such questions " Women are now too forward..." But here is the catch, back in the days, courtship would take a couple months at the most. There was no such thing as dating someone for five years andthen moving in together to see if things would work out. Back in the days if you like Emma down the street, you went to her father and asked for her hand. Marriage was the respectful thing to do, the only way to get some "loving". Yes, things have definetly changed. We now live in a very confusing world, where you can love someone without being in love. Where you can see yourself with a girl short term but not long term. We live in the world of booty calls and friends with benefits and talking vs dating. One thing that's for sure is women feel more in control of their lives and men have developed a new disease: fear of commitment. ..

So tell me why a woman should be in a relationship and be holding her breath every time a big holiday comes around. Every time valentine’s day approach , one of us women get this phone call.
Your friend: " Girl i think this is it because he is been acting strange you know. And yeah, he told me to wear something nice for valentines day.
You: But he told you the same thing last year, remember…
Your friend: Yeah that was last year. This year is different, we are connecting on a new level. The other day, he said when "we" buy our house. See he is including me in his plans. I am sure this is it. Hell its been three years and i am not getting any younger, it better be it.
You: umh
Your friend: Oh yeah, so you know i got to get my nails done and look extra nice for when he proposed. Because he is going to proposed, Right? I mean, should i call his best friend and snoop around? I don't know what i would do if he does not proposed.

Ladies, why do we go through this trauma? Yeah, I know what you are thinking, you do not want to look pushy, you want the proposal to happen naturally.But here is the question, how is it working for you? If you are happy and content then more power to you, this article is not for you. But if you are having sleepless night, get frustrated everytime one of your friend get married then it is time for you to own up and speak up.

For all the men that are reading this and thinking to themselves, here we go again ;another one that want to tie us down…. Not at all, the issue is no really the timeline. There is no rule that says one has to get married after two years. The problem is the uncertainty. If you both agree that you are going to wait for ten years,then there is no problem at all. But if the conversation has not come up because you are too scared to put your cards on the table, then that’s when there is an issue.I believe in honesty and being straight forward even at the risk of looking pushy.

There is nothing wrong with a woman wanting to know about her future. What are his plans? Does he see you as a potential wife for him? When does he plan on getting married? I believe that this conversation should happen and both parties should be upfront. Many things can be work out in a relationship but some can not. What you might find out is that the man of your dreams does not want kids and you want ten of them. Or that he wants to marry someone that is a virgin and you are no longer one. Truly wouldn't you want to know this early versus later.

It boils down to this, women have a biological clock and men don't. So if it looks like we are in a hurry it is because we are. We wish we had our whole lives in front of us and could take ten years to figure out if someone was the one , however, we do not have the time. So women, lets go out and own up to our feelings and fears. If you want to know then you have to ask.