Marriage

Unconditional

I have always had a problem with the idea of unconditional love. I think the term gets overused and more importantly, I think people say they do it when they really don't. I would fight for my closest family and friends in a, "if you hurt them, I'll street fight you" kind of way. But I don't think that's the same thing. Loving someone without condition takes a lot of guts and I'm not sure that most of us do it with most of the people in our lives. The notable exception here might be parents loving their children, but I don't think that takes the effort or thought that unconditionally loving another person who is not your child does.

BH had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day today, in the middle of a not-so-hot week and month. We're sitting here across the table from one another talking and typing and I just want him to know that eight years into us, I'm pretty sure I love him unconditionally. I think maybe I always have and that's why we're married in the first place, but there have been many moments in our story when I put conditions on it in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways. He, on the other hand, has always fully and unconditionally loved me, even when I haven't wanted him to. Now, if only we could love ourselves unconditionally too. What would we do with all of our free time?


What's so great about making decisions?

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on Friday called, Who Wears the Pants, Megan Basham dismisses the criticism of late (by women, of course) that says that a woman should work outside the home and have income (ideally higher than her partner's) in order to have power in their relationship. Ms. Basham's argument is based on a new study by the Pew Research Center that shows that women, regardless of their income level, wield most of the decision-making power in the home.

Of the 1,260 men and women whom Pew pollsters surveyed over the summer, 43% responded that the woman makes most of the major decisions for the family, with 31% saying that the couple makes most decisions together.

For marketers, and most women I know, this isn't new information. Most advertising is targeted toward women for just this reason. And, if anything, it's targeted to women who spend more time in the home rather than less.

Here's my question: does making decisions always equal power? And is it that women get to make decisions or that they have to make decisions because men care less than women do about decisions related to the home and their personal/family lives? And when a man might prefer to do something different than his wife suggests, does he just acquiesce because it's easier rather than because he's been convinced? Is it really "sweeter" that he wants her to be happy, as Ms. Basham suggests, or does his calculation go further? If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, right?

It was reassuring for me - a woman who wields the majority of the "power" in her home but does not always feel so powerful - to read that older couples make more decisions together than younger couples do. I struggle with not wanting to wield so much "power" but not always being able to give it up in a healthy, appropriate, and loving-my-partner way, which can sometimes render us both without "power" or the ability to make decisions...sometimes about very simple things.

So tell me, what makes you feel powerful? Oh yeah, and when are women going to stop hating on other women?