When I was growing up and observing the relationship practices of some of the adults on retro TV shows, I noticed that for some women, being submissive was the name of the game. To do for your mate meant you might qualify to get and keep a man. When coupled with a passive approach to disagreements, bending over backward for your man would often deem you sweeter on the heart and eyes, which would qualify you as the type of woman to take home to his mother.

But where does someone learn this?

This type of fairytalistic viewpoint wasn’t necessarily a practice that was etched into our psyche by gunpoint during home ec. classes. However, that Sally Home-maker mentality— the “Yes Woman” that does as she’s told and not what she wants to do–is a sentiment that hovered heavily over the mind of many teenage girls who could turn on the TV and tune into this ignorance, even if they thought the journey was worth the outcome.

There’s no shame in having respect for your significant other. However, when you apply information like this to life improperly it can mean the difference between a woman who knows how to respect a man and care for herself at the same time, and those who allow someone to walk all over them because they gave up all of their power.

Some women in relationships compromise their worth, integrity, and respect just to have someone to say, “I love you,” to, or in some instances, a reason to complain about being in a relationship.

“He never lets me go out with my girlfriends, but I’m supposed be cool with him not coming home for dinner?”

“I could be having the greatest day in the world, and then John will call and unload all his problems on me like it’s my fault or something.”

“Men are all the same, I just broke up with one who thought it was okay to cheat on me, so why am I going to run out and sign up for the same punishment with a new waste of time?

“I wish my man would stop sweating me about my weight, I know I’ve gained a little, but his lack of support is only making me want to eat more.”

“I buy things for my husband and kids before I even consider getting something for myself. And the worse part about it is that I think they all take me for granted; they never return the favor.”

“It’s my car, but he drives it more than me. I practically have to beg to borrow it.”

However you choose to be controlled–plugging oneself into another soul and granting them power over our emotions and actions–it boils down the same way. The result is always a negative one, however, that hasn’t stopped so many women from kneeling to their chosen misfortune.

Like a light switch, it’s time to shut off the ignorance, while powering up a backbone and some cajones. Being a slave to a man’s wishes, actions, and emotions that do little to support your own needs doesn’t make you a victim of oppression, or a fool for love— it makes you a fool period, especially for forgetting that with every breath we breathe, comes the promise of free will.

Happiness is an option, I challenge you to man your own wheel.

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  • African Mami

    In a relationship you both CANNOT be dominant, one has to be submissive/humble/modest-whether we like to admit it or not-that’s the truth.

    Did not feel empowered by this article. It was bleh…..heard this message being preached one too many a time. We don’t always have to come across as know it alls, I’m an independent, gon bust the windows out yo car type of women. There’s virtue in humility.

    Whatever point was being made, flew right above me.

    • Nel D.

      Must either person be dominant at all? Is it naive to think that a couple can actually be partners and have an equal relationship where you each equally “gives and takes…”
      And I agree that we don’t all have to come off as know-it-alls or Ms. Independent and in that same respect men don’t have to be the alpha male, dominator, agressor, etc.

    • D-Chubb

      @Nel D.
      Apparently so. We must all want to be beaten to a pulp by our “dominant” partners.

    • African Mami

      @ D-Chubb,

      ” We must WANT to be beaten…….”
      So from my comment you concluded I’m advocating for stupidity?! Jesus.

      If I misconstrued your assertions, please correct me…..we are probably speaking the same language but not hearing each other out or you could be speaking Portuguese and I French.

    • Maya

      African Mami, I get where you’re coming from with the idea that there has to be a balance of dominance and submissiveness in a relationship. Kind of like the yin/yang concept. But I’m curious does the same person always have to bring the same quality to the partnership? In your opinion, should the female be the main source of
      submissive/humble/modest views and the male the main dominant force?

    • African Mami

      @ Maya,

      “But I’m curious does the same person always have to bring the same quality to the partnership? ”

      I did not understand this question, please elaborate. What do you mean by same person?

      “In your opinion, should the female be the main source of
      submissive/humble/modest views and the male the main dominant force”

      Not at all. The views are not gender specific. They can be interchanged, depending on the nature of relationship. The man can be passive, while the woman is more assertive. Opposites usually attract.

      My use of the word dominant should not be taken to mean a man opressing his significant other and devaluing her worth. Not at all. I was just alluding to the fact that in today’s society, (and I can understand how being submissive is looked at from a negative angle, history and present times) there seems to be a power struggle between us (men and women). Women are seen as being weaklings, and are told to grow backbones as this article does, if they happen to be the less assertive party in the relationship. That’s why I did not feel empowered by this article, more so it’s a rallying call to prove men wrong and show them that we are their level if not better. There is no need for all that and then some.

      Somebody, in the relationship whether the man or the woman will always be the leader, and the other the follower.

      To chastise the politically correct crowd, I’ll rephrase that: Somebody in the relationship whether the man or the woman will be more apt to take initative than the other.

      Hopefully, I’ve articulated myself! (If not, Clutch writers direct me to good writing schools).

    • Maya

      @African Mami
      LOL sorry if my question was unclear but you pretty much answered it! I respect your opinion.

      I agree that balance of power and a sharing of roles and responsibilities is important in any relationship or any partnership– be it romantic or not. I just wanted to clarify that this notion of having to always having a woman “submit” to her man is unfair. We all know this not a new discussion but I feel it always deserves reiteration. I’ve grown up seeing women that are doing so much for their families, some primary breadwinners, having to deal with their husband’s pride or others outside the relationship telling them to remember the man holds the real power in the family. That’s ridiculous! Even if a woman is doing the typically “feminine” domestic roles in the family– child rearing and caring for the home, both hold power, no? Both deserve the recognition and decision-making say, no?

      In any case, thanks for clarifying!

  • Rastaman

    Challenging women to become accountable instead of blaming a man when things go awry. You too damn funny!
    Good luck on that one. Not that there aren’t lots of fellows out here with more than enough blame to distribute amongst themselves but personal accountablity requires much more self awareness than most people are willing or able to muster.

    And in light of the fact that we are what we do, not what we say we do and awful lot of people are already battling with looking at thatperson in the mirror.

  • A Lo

    This article has perfect timing. I’m struggling with having my needs in a relationship met while at the same time providing for my man’s needs in a relationship. Its a challenge not to loose yourself just for the sake of a relationship. I want to be happy and I want to make my man happy. But I learned that I have to love myself more if I’m ever going to genuinely love someone without regret.

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    Aka you’re doing too much. Step back, sit your ass down, and think.

    Having been witness to women doing too much for too little…………..I’ll pass on that. We’re either doing for each other, or you’re on your own.

    I don’t take care of able-bodied, able-minded men who refuse to recognize they need to give in order for the relationship to be worth a damn. Never have, never will.

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    Not to mention. Leave them unappreciative dudes ALL THE WAY ALONE. PLEASE.