Women as therapists to men who are grown babies in adult costumes? No thank you, next.
Playing into the stereotype of being the caregivers, nurturers and mother figures that society conditions them into being from a young age, a lot of women feel compelled to turn themselves into living, breathing rehab sites for their partners.
For those men who can’t clean up after themselves, those who turn to aggression (or worse, violence) when their demands are not met, those whose domestic duties begin at opening higher up cupboards and end at asking for chai, those that gaslight, police and are casually sexist – Have you been with such partners? Did you find yourself justifying their behaviours?
Do you defend him when your girlfriends point out the big red flag that he is?
If this sounds like you, stop.
Unless you are licensed to hand out therapeutic or psychiatric advice and are philanthropic enough to not charge for your services, don’t try to ‘fix him’. First, you don’t have to because that is not your burden to shoulder. Second, even if you painstakingly take that responsibility, chances are, there is little you will be able to do to help. Third, kindness is a rare virtue easily exploitable.
Should Women As Therapists To Their Partners Be Glorified?
This is not to say that standing up for yourself walls off any efforts you should be putting in to make the relationship work. To be a source of support and constructive criticism for your partner. That is the kind of positive force both (or more) partners in the relationship should be ready to get behind. After all, it’s all about growing in love, isn’t it?
But should that mean the woman must doggedly run behind the man to change him for the better like a nanny chases a rogue kid that hates the gooey spoonfuls she is shoving into their mouth?
Partnerships – romantic or otherwise – are best when they add to life in a way that all parties involve cherish. When the love is less comfort and more headache, is it love anymore? When the relationship stops being about equal priorities and the spotlight shifts to just one partner, what value does it hold?
Bollywood films may have taught us that but a woman tearfully pleading with a partner or emotionally blackmailing them in a bid for them to change is neither cute, nor mature, nor endearing. All it does is turn the woman into a rebound board off which ricochets men’s toxic masculinities and their unresolved biases.
Don’t you deserve better than that? If a man is due for a system update, he will have to press the button himself.
Views expressed are the author’s own.