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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.      Home login  
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 cooldog65
Joined: 6/27/2011
Msg: 91
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.Page 8 of 9    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
@Fleuron: I would call that WINNING!
 gentleplus
Joined: 9/8/2008
Msg: 92
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/14/2011 7:51:57 PM
G said...
"Men have been in charge for the last few thousand years, though (at least old, white men have), and there are still those who do not want to acknowledge women as equals."

Interesting note of divorce rates of Asian, African and Muslim countries compared to the western "equality" nations

see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_demography

Does gender equality make more or less divorce rates???? Just asking...

ps.... I am all FOR gender equality.... Gender police ...please don't write me a ticket for gender PC violations
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 93
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/14/2011 7:54:57 PM
Virtually:
I'm reading a book now which you might possibly enjoy - Journey of the Heart by John Welwood - who sees the most successful couples in a kind of dynamic dance on what he calls the "razor's edge" - where they takes turns focusing and unfocusing on each other, pulling away and coming together...on a path of personal and relational development and growth.

He likens a relationship to a tightrope walker - pointing out that a static stance will throw him or her off the rope, while movement to one side and then the other creates balance that allows him to move forward. I liked that analogy.
That is a great analogy! So is the dance..

That static stance that you mention is relational death to me. Some people flat out refuse to grow, and imo that creates those polarized and calcified relationship roles. Where you walk in and automatically know your script (should you choose to accept)

To some that is equality, because they know the roles from the outset, all the lines and boundaries are drawn.. all you have to do is add your half to the already 'equalized equation' (set down by societal/familial norms). Any step outside of this creates chaos and havoc in the relationship.. the two must scramble to find the blueprint again. *shudder* Not for me!

To me equality is all about maintaining a dynamic balance between two unique beings. Instead of following some pre-scripted blueprint, the aim is to co-create as you go.. more of a mutual discovery, than obedience to some preconceived precept. If that makes sense?

Or have you already read this book?
I have quite a library going, so that's a good assumption, lol.. but I've not read that one. I'll definitely have a peek, thanks!
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 94
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 7:28:58 AM

My experience… when I give him what he wants I get what I want. Often it’s wonderfully simultaneous.


I was married for 25 years--this did not always work.


G said...
"Men have been in charge for the last few thousand years, though (at least old, white men have), and there are still those who do not want to acknowledge women as equals."

Interesting note of divorce rates of Asian, African and Muslim countries compared to the western "equality" nations


Oh, so now anybody can call me "G"? (Grin.)

Consider marriages in Muslim nations--women are subjugated and suppressed, told what to wear and barred from many activities. In fact, a woman in Saudi Arabia was arrested for driving a car. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/26/saudi-arabia-women-driving_n_981351.html

Should women in the US start wearing burkas so that the divorce rate will go down? I can't speak about divorce in Asian countries, but given that baby girls are still killed or abandoned at birth because families want boys, draw your own conclusions.

Personally, I do not see anything wrong with divorce. I saw my mother stay in a very unhappy marriage because she didn't believe in divorce for religious reasons. Her plight was not an anomaly. Considering that most divorces are initiated by women, it would appear that now, women who are unhappy do not stay as often as did my mother.

Isn't it better to leave a bad marriage than to stay and try to make it work? Speaking from personal experience and from the high number of marriages ended by women, I would say yes, it is better to go.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 95
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:46:58 AM
Ruby:
Yes but every successful relationship has an element of predictability in its structure. Parent/child, boss/worker, husband/wife, friends - we use the framework of how we think these relationships work and then add our own touch to them.
No, I don't use a framework, I develop my own with the person I am having a relationship with. My relationships with each of my children is unique and different.

To me this is a matter of where you place your focus, on discovery or on following some precept handed down to you. I can tell you that my focus is not the latter.

The "dance" has a basic format, doesn't it?
For me, as I said earlier, the 'basic format' is co-created. If you like yours to be printed out beforehand, allowing you to follow all the steps, there's nothing wrong with that.

It would just never work for me.

To me, equality means growth.
That was my entire point in the post you are responding to, lol.. perhaps we see it differently?

If I fall in love with my intellectual equal who has the same basic understanding of how a great relationship works, then the dance will be on the razor's edge.
I don't think being on the same level as someone intellectually prevents growth, if that is what you mean here?
 Fleuron
Joined: 8/18/2010
Msg: 96
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 2:39:56 PM
Me:

My experience… when I give him what he wants I get what I want. Often it’s wonderfully simultaneous.

Better to me that we both win, than both lose.


VirtuallyLove:

My feeling is that both members of a couple can either both win or both lose.


Isn’t that what I posted, that I prefer we both win? Why do you appear to be arguing your agreement with me? My post was in response to an “under the sheets” comment, and probably be better understood by following the thread.

I can appreciate discussing possibilities and ideas, but I’m not one who will post and respond forever dissecting the simplest of concepts.

My most basic point: mutual respect, mutual giving, mutual satisfaction.

Gwendolyn2010:


I was married for 25 years--this did not always work.


I’m sorry.

I was married for 15 years, and it rarely worked, because he was a selfish lover, and generally, a lousy lay. Luckily, I’ve moved on and chosen much better partners since then.
 rose//42
Joined: 4/19/2008
Msg: 97
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 4:04:19 PM
I agree with what you say commonsense,and I would also like to add that mutual respect and the willingness to listen to what each other has to say ,even when you disagree is part of the eqaulity for me.
Rose
 larissan04
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 98
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 4:44:19 PM
Gentlplus~

"Interesting note of divorce rates of Asian, African and Muslim countries compared to the western "equality" nations"

divorce is not accepted in some of these cultures of which you speak, and many of the marriages are arranged. marriage is seen as more of an alliance between two families, as opposed to two people in love becoming partners. furthermore, women often do not have the legal right to seek a divorce (men can, of course), and if they did, in some countries, women then forfeit parental rights. as a matter of fact, a former prime minister of japan (can't remember his name) had divorced his wife, and as a result, he had full custody of the children. the kids had absolutely no contact with their mother whatsoever. remember, most divorces are instigated by women, and it could very well be that the divorce rate is higher here because women simply have the legal right to divorce thier husbands.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 99
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 4:46:59 PM
VL writes:
Hi, uh...G...? Well, yeah, calling a marriage good because the people stay in it is like calling the former Soviet Union peaceful because all the troublemakers are in gulags.

I wouldn't measure the success of a particular relationship approach merely by longevity, and that certainly isn't my main standard for measuring the success of most of my relative's marriages. What I see is *mostly* a traditional approach in their unions. Only a few of them wear burkas.


My confused friend: NO! I was saying that fewer divorces do not equal more happy marriages! Longevity does not mean that a marriage is or was happy. Somebody said that divorce rates were lower in certain countries where, perhaps, the cultures are more patriarchal, but that does not equate that those marriages are happy.

Fleuron writes:
I’m sorry.


I used to be sorry, but once I moved on from the marriage, it didn't matter any longer. I would never settle for such an arrangement again.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 100
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 7:47:59 PM
Virtually:
I've been wondering lately if any relationship dies when both partners are equally committed.
That's kind of an intriguing question..
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 101
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:09:40 PM
VL asks:

I've been wondering lately if any relationship dies when both partners are equally committed.


Hmm. I know that as long as I was committed, my marriage lasted. Are we qualifying "commitment" as different from "being in love"? A marriage can end even when two people love each other; however, a loveless marriage could hold if the two were committed to make it work.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 102
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:23:35 PM
Gwen:
A marriage can end even when two people love each other; however, a loveless marriage could hold if the two were committed to make it work.
Very true..

I guess what he said made me all contemplative in the sense that sometimes people walk away even though they are still in love, but at a deep level they still remain committed to that person.. unable to truly move on.

It just seems so senseless, especially when that is the case x2. Sorry, just me being contemplative, carry on..
 HappySingleSpirit
Joined: 9/10/2011
Msg: 103
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/15/2011 9:27:24 PM

Dead Couple Walking

I like that title.

Wow, there is someone else who thinks like me? Too bad you're not in CA.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 104
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/16/2011 8:15:01 AM
VL--love the title!

I have seen couples who lack intimacy stay together; heck, I did it. I loved my ex when we got married, but after 20 years, I was apathetic when I left and had been for a long time. Still, had I been "committed" to the marriage, it would have not ended.

When my one BIG time relationship ended, there were still a lot of deep feelings, but he was the one who was not committed this time. I asked him to tell me that he did not love me anymore and he always replied that he couldn't say, "I don't love you."

There is also room for different definitions for "making it work"--I am sure that we would get different definitions from different people. Within a marriage, couples can even define what "works" differently: my ex (despite me telling him for years that I was unhappy) thought the marriage was working well. Denial is a wonderful tool, eh? Until reality comes home to roost, that is.
 CarKam1
Joined: 9/10/2011
Msg: 105
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/17/2011 1:52:56 PM
This kind of reminds me about the traditional vs modern wife thread...only more mature. I'm personally in the same mind-set as the OP. More of a traditional woman myself ;)
 gentleplus
Joined: 9/8/2008
Msg: 106
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/17/2011 3:12:35 PM
I am enjoying the intellectual, heart felt, balanced, respectful, mature, experiential discussions of this post..... and the obvious elevated character and intellect of each poster is refreshing and uplifting.....

But this is not normal for the forums... we need to invite the malcontents, ignorant, weirdo, misandrynist/misogynist posters we all know too well to participate and muddy the waters..... LOL
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 107
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/17/2011 7:44:08 PM

How confident are you that with the right tools and motivation you and your first husband couldn't have reacquired a joyful intimacy? It may seem that's an easy question to answer...but I wonder if that easiness is often an illusion.


In order for me to have had joyful intimacy with my ex-husband, he would have had to have made such major changes in himself that he would have been another man. Truthfully, it was never going to happen. I fooled myself for years, but when I had to admit it, it still took me two years to leave.

In fact, we never had true intimacy.

He also had a very striated sense of "equality": he worked and brought home the paycheck. I cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, mowed the lawn, took care of the yard, changed door knobs, raised the kids, painted, wrote our checks for the bills, bought groceries, drove him to the doctor when he needed to go, and for the latter part of our marriage, I worked part-time.

I have to admit that when I started working part-time, I no longer did his laundry. I finally had enough of asking him not to wad his socks into little balls that hardened into a smelly mess that made my hands stink when I unwadded them.

I LIVED the housewife role of the 1950s--I didn't do myself any favors.
 chameleonf
Joined: 12/22/2008
Msg: 108
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/17/2011 9:09:36 PM

In fact, we never had true intimacy.

...and that's likely the real cause and effect with respect to the sense of lack of equality. Had there been that sense of true intimacy, all the physical things that you did wouldn't have felt like an uneven/unequal relationship. Being taken for granted (as though you were like just another functioning part of a house, such as a well running furnace in winter) and under-appreciated tends to start making us view the physical tasks of a relationship as a burden. With the intimacy and closeness, those physical things wouldn't have seemed such a burden to bear. At least that's my sense of it from my own 30 year relationship. Thankfully I had many years where it wasn't like that, but for whatever reasons, (d)evolved to that.
 chameleonf
Joined: 12/22/2008
Msg: 109
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/17/2011 9:42:26 PM

Gee, I wish my ex-wife had been willing to mow the lawn, change the doorknobs, and paint.

That's really the point though. We do those things while married and complain about doing them, but when divorced, we're still doing them all on our own, which goes right back to being under-appreciated and lack of intimacy being the real reason behind the feelings of inequality. The inequality is in the imbalance of emotional investment put forth by one or both of the partners, not who does more in the way of chores. If there's that emotional connection, you can express yourself about feelings of the inequality when it comes to what should be shared physical responsibilities/chores and have those feelings validated by a partner who cares and is interested in compromise that's beneficial to both parties, both physically and emotionally.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 110
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/18/2011 6:15:58 AM
Chameleon writes:
Had there been that sense of true intimacy, all the physical things that you did wouldn't have felt like an uneven/unequal relationship. Being taken for granted (as though you were like just another functioning part of a house, such as a well running furnace in winter) and under-appreciated tends to start making us view the physical tasks of a relationship as a burden. With the intimacy and closeness, those physical things wouldn't have seemed such a burden to bear. At least that's my sense of it from my own 30 year relationship.


Yes! Intimacy is intertwined in all aspects of a relationship. I remember a very happily married woman (and they are still married after 30 years) saying to me, "My husband is my best friend." I repeated this to my husband and he looked at me sternly and said, "You are not my friend: you are my wife."

I am really quite sure that it meant it as a compliment and to him, being his wife was more "intimate" than being his "friend." And he was right because we were not friends. We had no true conversations or discussions and we did not do activities together that didn't include the kids. Even then, most of the activities with the kids were things that they and I did.

Hmm . . . the whole "friend" thing--can there be true "equality" of partners are not friends? Do we have friendships that are not equal and if we do, how healthy is that type of friendship?


Gee, I wish my ex-wife had been willing to mow the lawn, change the doorknobs, and paint.


As Chameleon said, now that we are single, we do that and more--and because we alone are responsible, there is no resentment. Why should I cook, clean, do the laundry, mow the lawn, fix the doorknob and work while living with a man? I might live with someone again someday, but that will not be the arrangement.


The inequality is in the imbalance of emotional investment put forth by one or both of the partners, not who does more in the way of chores.


Spot on.

I am giving examples of my personal life because I feel that what I experienced was obviously experienced by other women, and I will add one more on the issue of equality.

My ex liked to backpack: I don't even care for camping. When I lost 100 pounds, he said to me, "Now that you are fit, you can go backpacking with me."

I said, "I'll make a deal with you. I will go backpacking with you if you will go to a Shakespearean play with me in Ashland, Oregon." We lived in northern California.

He said, "Why the hell would I do that?"

Draw your own conclusions about his expectations of compromise and "equality."
 gentleplus
Joined: 9/8/2008
Msg: 111
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/18/2011 7:00:47 AM

My ex liked to backpack: I don't even care for camping. When I lost 100 pounds, he said to me, "Now that you are fit, you can go backpacking with me."

I said, "I'll make a deal with you. I will go backpacking with you if you will go to a Shakespearean play with me in Ashland, Oregon." We lived in northern California.

He said, "Why the hell would I do that?"

Draw your own conclusions about his expectations of compromise and "equality."


Maybe you should have offered backpacking with a final destination of Ashland, OR??? .... LOL..... JK
 CarKam1
Joined: 9/10/2011
Msg: 112
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/18/2011 8:47:37 AM
In my marriage I ended up sacrificing the small things in life that would put a smile on my face because my Husband didn't like them but he was loath to give up any of his vices. When we Seperated I found myself clinging onto those things that I had gained back for dear life and swore I would never do so again.

Our problem was also that we were more husband/wife than friends/lovers. The biggest cause for that was when we started taking our time together as a couple for granted and assumed that we knew our partner well enough to know what was going through our heads without communicating it. Wrong. Communication is key and often lost in marriage or long term relationships. Divorce these days seems to be the quick and easy fix that most of us take rather than recognizing that with a little bit of effort the relationship could be salvaged and restored back to what it was during the honeymoon phase. But both partners need to be willing to recognize that and both be willing to work on it. in my case my Husband was too lazy and comfortable within his own skin to want to put the effort in - and then he lost me. I will never assume again nor will I allow silence to rule my home. Lack of communication in any relationship is a path that leads to resentment, dissatisfaction, unhappiness and epic failure.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 113
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/18/2011 9:12:45 AM
Gwen:
Hmm . . . the whole "friend" thing--can there be true "equality" of partners are not friends? Do we have friendships that are not equal and if we do, how healthy is that type of friendship?
Great questions.

I have never really thought about whether friendship adds to a sense of equality, but maybe it does? I know that it most definitely adds to a sense of intimacy (my God it's refreshing to see folks using that term in its true sense!)..

And despite differences (which can lead to inequality), if you have developed deep intimacy.. it somehow softens the sharp edges of things that would normally divide you as a couple.

The most equality I have felt with someone was with a man who was also my best friend. But our differences accumulated too high, the sharp edges crashed down on our intimacy.. and now all that's left are the holes :(
 unspoiled
Joined: 9/25/2011
Msg: 114
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I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/18/2011 9:17:30 AM
Excellent. It has gone too far. One gal I dated had a spreadsheet documenting all expenses to make certain she wouldn't get short-changed a penny.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 115
I don't want a relationship between equals. There, I said it.
Posted: 10/18/2011 12:57:22 PM
Gentleplus writes:
Maybe you should have offered backpacking with a final destination of Ashland, OR??? .... LOL..... JK


The backpacking issue became a real sore spot! A friend of mine told me about taking a vacation by herself--just for a weekend. I told my ex that I would like a couple of days away by myself. He adamantly refused to let me go. A few months later, he became interested in backpacking and wanted to go away with the guys. I protested enough that he didn't go. Yet a few months after that, I finally reached the realization that I didn't care what he did--he went many times, but I never got the weekend away. The marriage lasted about another year.

VL writes:
Well, as you know, G, my central question is how much your individual experience informed your later attitudes about relationships. I'm wondering, also, if your ex-hubby's attitude toward you changed when you lost all that weight. Did he show appreciation for that, become more amorous, etc.?

If you were living with a simpatico partner, you would be able to split chores so that, in theory, you would have to do less.


My ex never expressed one word of appreciation or a compliment on me losing the weight. And of course my experience affected my attitude: it made me vow NEVER to have such a relationship again. Then, I went into another relationship what was much different in some ways but still was not "equal." I have been single for six years and I have learned my lesson.

If I had been living with someone who was more simpatico and we had an equal footing, I still would be all for "equality" in a marriage, but perhaps less strident about it. Also, it wasn't just that I did so much in the marriage, but the lack of appreciation (as you point out about losing the weight) for what I did. It was also about such things as the expectation I would jump at going backpacking (even though he knew I didn't enjoy such activities) but he wouldn't bend about a play. Equality is more than just dividing chores: it is how one perceives other people AND putting it into practice. My ex's attitude was very prevalent among men, including my father, whom I knew when I was growing up: the man worked and was the most important individual in the family because of that, disregarding the work that women did.

CarKam writes:
I will never assume again nor will I allow silence to rule my home.Lack of communication in any relationship is a path that leads to resentment, dissatisfaction, unhappiness and epic failure.


I totally agree! However, one person trying to communicate is like the sound of one hand clapping. Men are stereotyped for not wanting to talk about issues--I expressed my unhappiness to my ex but it didn't seem to penetrate; I think it was because any changes would have called for concessions on his part. When I was walking out the door, he kept telling me that he would change.

Shakti writes:
The most equality I have felt with someone was with a man who was also my best friend. But our differences accumulated too high, the sharp edges crashed down on our intimacy.. and now all that's left are the holes :(


Been there, too. My other long-term partner knew me better than any other person, but it wasn't enough to keep the relationship together. Part of it was a big age difference, but part of it is that he is incapable of being faithful to a woman but he expects a woman to be faithful to him.
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