Why Are Women Expected To Take A Step Back In Fights?

fights in relationships, women feel guilty, women self-respect
Fights in relationships are normal. Every relationship reaches a point of stagnancy where arguments grow like a mould. But a healthy relationship is one where the mould is uprooted by mutual understanding and respect. However, in our society, taking a step back and resolving a fight is always touted to be a woman’s role. Women should be the one who understands the situation and put effort into toning the fight down.

It is undeniable that women carry the burden of emotional labour in relationships. They shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the emotional balance of a relationship. Due to this, they don’t react immediately when something goes wrong, ask forgiveness or grant it very easily and back down in fights no matter how serious and unjust the situation is.

This burden of emotional labour results in many poor consequences in women’s lives. They are forced to bear abuse and oppression. They are not able or even allowed to speak up or fight for themselves. They are expected to forget their rights and needs and prioritise their partner’s requirements.

If there is only one person backing down and repressing their emotions and opinions, the fight is not normal. It is toxic.

But is this right? Why should women always step back during fights in relationships? Why should women alone understand and adjust to toxic relationships? Shouldn’t men too put in an equal amount of effort in resolving the dispute? Shouldn’t they step down from the throne of male privilege if they care about their relationships and partners?

Suggested Reading: Women Want Healthier Relationships Now, So Men Must Bring More To The Table

Making adjustments and backing down affects women’s sense of self too. If women are the ones who always back down, they will lose belief in themselves. They will start questioning their opinions and demands and consequently stop sharing them. All that will remain in their mind is that their husbands are always right and they (women) are stubborn and immature.

Do we even understand the consequence of this? Women will end up being gaslighted and gradually lose trust in themselves. They will start depending on their husbands for understanding what is right and wrong. They will never keep their point of view on the table because of the sense of inferiority buried in their conscience. This ultimately creates gender dynamics that lead to unfulfilling and unhappy relationships.

So it is high time that we understand that women are not the doormats who must endure every injustice. Women too have a voice, opinion and demand for which they can rightfully speak up and fight. I am not trying to justify fights in relationships or encouraging women to instigate fights. I am just saying that if fights happen, it is the responsibility of both the husband and wife to resolve it without disrespecting each other. But if there is only one person backing down and repressing their emotions and opinions, the fight is not normal. It is toxic.

Views expressed are the author’s own.