The Independent Woman vs the Married Woman
Is it still possible to have an independent spirit as a married woman? Is it even acceptable? My sister and I grew up in a single family household with our mom, Queen of Independence, who taught us to be self sufficient – financially, emotionally, spiritually. It was about survival and knowing that the one person that always had your back was Y-O-U. Don’t misunderstand, my mom wasn’t preaching don’t rely on anyone or ask for help but rather her motherly purpose was to ensure that her girls could stand on their own two feet. Her expectations were for us to be our own person, our own woman with our own thoughts, opinions, drive and voice. I have to say, mission accomplished.
My independence is deep rooted and is evident in my habits, the way I speak, how I make decisions and I have to admit, it often feels like a defense mechanisms for me. No one can tell me who I am, what I can and can’t do, how to live my life, etc. But as a wife, is this mindset still acceptable? Can it now cause more harm than empowerment? When you become a wife, are you to set aside your natural independence tendencies?
Even in a shacking-up situation, it is still acceptable to keep your independent ways. After all, you are technically (& legally) still single. You live under the same roof but the money that you earn is yours. You pay your bills. Your Honey pays his. You were able to make decisions about your life and career that were in your best interest, not necessarily feeling the requirement to consult your Guy or if you did, his two-cents didn’t carry much weight. You had to do what was right for you.
I would challenge us in our married life to release some of that independence mindset. To quote The Color Purple, You’s married now. The rule of live & let live no longer applies. Marriage plays by a different set of rules. Me is now We.
Here are 3 independent mindset philosophies that are critical to a successful marriage:
1. You don’t have to do it all yourself. You have a partner now who is equally capable and responsible to make decisions with you about your life, your money, your career, your future.
2. Receive and let in the power of partnership. Don’t be afraid to allow your Hubby to help, even with the small things. We can often feel like we need to DO it all. And the truth is that we don’t have to. This mentality can lead to a feeling of loneliness in your marriage and to you believing that your Guy doesn’t pull his weight. Don’t wait for him to ask if you need help, just put it out there…tell him directly. Release the need to DO it all alone.
3. Your way isn’t necessarily the right way or the best direction for your family. As independent women, we can take on the airs that what we say is golden…it’s the law and any other way or viewpoint just won’t work. WRONG. When you are married, it is less about who is right or wrong and more about making the best decision for your family. And you may not have all the right answers. Thank goodness that you have someone who is there to offer another way to look at the situation, give a fresh & different perspective and who has you and your family’s best interest at heart.
Let me be clear. I don’t believe that we have to give up all of our independence as a married woman. We came into this world alone and we will leave it the same way. You will always know what’s best for Y-O-U. Letting your partner share in that decision doesn’t mean that you dismiss that. You need to be actively participating in your life together with your Honey. No one person should make all the decisions about budgeting, how the kids are raised, etc. But getting married shouldn’t mean that you lose your identity as your unique, beautiful and capable self.
So, I ask you, beautiful independent woman, wife, mother, career professional – Should your independence take a back seat once you become a wife or is it part of who you are as an individual? Share your thoughts below.