Battles Among Women in Families, Relationships, and Marriage
For a long time I have been wondering if women are their worst enemies when it comes to relationships, marriage and family. My need to pose this question has become very strong since I started reflecting, reading and researching while writing my book, “Letters to Men,” which is coming out soon.
In as much as I have tons of evidence to show how women have made positive impacts on womens’ issues, evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. I will give a few typical examples and ask you for comments.
With modern technology, the world has become a global village. Any event in one place reaches all corners of the globe instantly. Any time I tend to blame certain behaviors on culture, I almost always stand corrected that people create culture and hold on to the values that favor them; they pick and choose what becomes the norm. This is called ‘selective entitlement.’
In the Dark Ages, most cultures were harsh, primitive, and inhuman, reflecting the wicked and selfish tendencies of human nature. Wars, oppression, suppression, aggression, slavery, banishment, brutality and a host of other inhuman acts enhanced survival of the fittest. It was natural to eliminate the weak so that the strong could thrive and pass on the survival traits suitable for a harsh environment. Those behaviors became cultural norms and the victims were brainwashed and conditioned to justify and defend the acts against them. This picture continues till now in some situations.
Women’s behavior towards other women is one example. Most older women who were subjected to harsh and second-class treatment in their younger years and have become used to mistreatment, tend to resist and discourage any attempts by younger women to fight for their rights, especially in the families they marry into. Some mothers-in-law are the worst offenders in this aspect. They make it impossible for their daughters-in-law to have much say in the family. If the husband happens to be loving and caring towards his wife, you see how critical his mother and sisters will be until he toughens up against the wife, probably, just as his father treated his mother, which unfortunately was normal in the culture. If this young wife protests, she is termed bad and unfit for the family. If this young woman does not have a male child, then her position in the family is highly threatened, as the women in the family will see that another woman is brought in to produce the needed male child.
This phenomenon is common in many families, though people remain silent about it. Only husbands with strong character, (unlike the men in “Everybody Loves Raymond”), can resist such pressures from their beloved mothers and sisters. On the other and, young wives may come into the family with selfish tendencies but there is always a more civilized way to handle it. Women are not supposed to pose a threat to their fellow women in the family. In most cases, jealousy is always implicated.
Another example where women ruin their fellow women’s marriage is in the case of infidelity. When a married man flirts, he usually does so with women who know that he is married even if he denies it. In some cases the women know who the wife is and may even be friendly with her too, yet they are willing to step in and cause confusion. Some of them are ready to move into the home of their rivals at the slightest sign of a couple’s dispute or temporary separation. Are such women so desperate that their consciences (if they have any), cannot tell them to keep off and give peace a second chance, no matter the reasons and pressures involved? Are such women not true enemies of women and family? I am not ignoring the role of the men caught in such betrayals but my focus here is on women for now.
From my experience and exposure, I can comfortably say that the most threat to family stability these days is pressure on men, especially from the women in their lives: their wives, mistresses, mothers, sisters and other related women. Unless those wives play their cards well and ‘worship’ some of these women in the family, their peace of mind is not guaranteed. If the wives are blessed with wise and successful children, especially sons, then their interests may be protected if these wives survive to see the children grow up. Such is the harsh reality facing most women in many cultures. Is this not a cause for concern? I think it is imperative to appeal to all women to look out for their fellow women and be fair and careful in dealing with such sensitive issues such as marriage and family. As the older women learn to give couples their space, the young wives must do their best to treat their in-laws well, especially the females, as they treat their own parents and siblings. Remember the old saying: “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Relationships must be fair and reciprocal to be enjoyable and lasting as it takes two to tango. I know a typical family that has four daughters who are professionals and married. Their paternal family is happy and ready to call upon these daughters for financial help at any time but resist any attempt by their equally professional wives to extend to their own paternal families. We should try to avoid such double standards that epitomize selfishness and cause division and discord in families. This is a major problem challenging peace in many families these days and we will be addressing it more later. Women are working harder and bringing home handsome paychecks. They must be encouraged to equally take care of their parents and relatives, otherwise the cash flow may stop or change directions. No woman can afford to ignore her own family because she is married. Who brought her into the world and raised her? This is common sense!
In conclusion, I must re- emphasize that in most cases of Infidelity and Related Sins, (I&RS), women outside the nuclear family are almost always implicated. Since some men have the tendency to make poor choices when it comes to intimate relationships, I call on women to take control and look out for the interest of their fellow women as they compete for the men’s love and purse strings.
We, as women would not like to see our daughters treated badly in their marital families. Therefore, we must protect other women’s daughters who come into our families. Most mothers believe that no woman is good enough for their sons, even when he does not have much to offer except that he is ‘the man’. Now that girls are doing better than boys in many areas of life, we mothers and grandmothers must find a way to prepare our sons (and daughters) for the changing gender roles in families and society. All hands must be on deck for future families to be guaranteed hope, peace and harmony.This is a task for all of us.
I recommend the following resources:
The book, “I am Nujood : age 10 and Divorced”, by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui. It is also available as eBook from Random House.
The article, “Today’s Family: Proclamation Still a Clarion Call,”
From the official website of Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.
A Commentary by some Elders.
Thank you and happy reading. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, please keep my advice in mind!
-Dr. Mother Love
Posted on February 14, 2014, in Advice for Families, Infidelity and tagged Advice, Amara Cares, cultural norms, Daughters in Law, Dr. Mother Love, families, Infidelity, Mothers in law, relationship advice, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.