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Life Traps | Pt. 27: Relationship rights and responsibilities

Posted by Maria

As a Borderline person, I have a hard time differentiating realities from my own perceptions on occasion. This is why it is extremely important to sit down and take a good look at what my true rights and responsibilities are, especially within my marriage. 

This is one way to make sense of my very chaotic mind – I mind map things! Haven’t tried it yet? Give it a go, it can help you define if you are going overboard, not being thorough enough, or it may just bring you that good ol’ clarity you were craving for.

Basic rights

The rights I’ve found in a relationship, or life in general, always stay the same. We have the right to safety in our lives in the form of food, shelter, and not having to tolerate abuse of any kind. We have the right to grow as individuals, chase our passions and form the mythical personality, which I have failed to create for myself due to pleasing everyone else’s needs in the past. We also have the right to be loved, to be cared for in ways we need to be cared for, and to receive the patience and compassion we deserve as human beings. Of course, sometimes we all lack a little patience towards one another, and it’s ok. That’s when the understanding kicks in, albeit oftentimes later when we are no longer fuming.

These rights make it so we can have sanctuary in our lives from all the horrors and hardship of the world. Everyone needs to feel safe and sound, especially in their own home. When it comes to relationships, I would not yield in any one of these basic requirements of safety, individuality, and love – after all, how can it be healthy for us to stay in a place that doesn’t have one or more of these in place?

Basic responsibilities

Responsibilities, unlike rights, vary from person to person. I’m not a mother, and likely won’t ever be one, so I won’t have a responsibility to my children. I might, without making any unnecessary comparisons between kids and pets, get a dog one day, should the cards line up and my husband deems the household stable enough for it. Then I would take responsibility for another life, not a decision to be taken lightly. Responsibilities differ from the rest of life in a way that more often than not they are purely up to our choice. What do we want to take on our plate?

For me, it is about taking care of myself, my mental health, my body, and my writing. While health in itself doesn’t seem to be a matter of choice, you only have to look around and see tens of people on the streets, neglecting themselves on a daily basis. And hey, it’s hard and I don’t blame you, I only recently took it upon myself to start taking care of my health, with the gracious help of my husband.

After taking care of my own well-being it is on me to make sure that I fulfill the promises I have given. I am married now, and with it, my sphere grew to include another person. I need to give my husband the love, respect, and loyalty he deserves, even if sometimes I don’t feel like it. It’s up to me to brush up on my skills of communication and compassion, as well as to cultivate my patience and understanding of our life. It’s up to me to keep being willing to be there for my husband because that is the path I have taken. 

The responsibilities of a housewife

Some people seem to have this weird, twisted image of us housewives. It seems to be floating in the void that we are lazy, oppressed, and even wasting taxpayer money while simultaneously destroying the glorious structures feminism has built for us to use. I’m sorry, bitter ladies, it was my choice. I got told the terms of service before I subscribed to my husband, and I said yes. Don’t feel bad for my oppressed self though, I get to have coal-grilled steaks outside while watching falling stars! 

As a housewife, I have the majority of duties around our apartment. My job is to clean, cook, to organize things and events into their places. All of which I need to practice and get better at. This mental health battle wasn’t kind enough to teach me how to human properly, and so I lack some basic skills like regular bathroom cleaning. It’s terrible at times, I’m telling you. Thank God for my husband’s patience!

Doing the obvious things around the house isn’t all I do though. I’m here to be available to my husband (while looking at least half-presentable) no matter if he wants to talk, fume, play games, or (heaven forbid the thought of a woman being so willing to do this one!) to have sex. I am the sanctuary he relies on when he needs to unload the world. I am the meadow he comes to when he needs companionship. I bandage his wounds after he has battled in the fields of life to secure us a nice life with amazing food and a home.

Taking on the responsibilities is a choice

As you can see, I’ve traded some things to gain others. Such is life. Yet, my basic needs and rights for safety, love, and self-growth are very much secured in my marriage. By taking on my role as his housewife, while accepting the work I have to do still to become a better version of myself, I’ve managed to get to a place where I am cared for and can keep chasing my own passions and dreams. 

Taking on responsibility is always a choice we have to make, and one I don’t see many people making. Our lives are in our hands. Our relationships are in our hands. As I’ve learned from my journey, we need to dig out our core and see what we can’t live without. And the rest, well, please don’t be the kind of uncompromising little B*** who think the world should only revolve around them and their entitlement!

What responsibilities do you have? Let us known in the comments!

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