Today, as I was getting my son ready for school. I had the tv on to "The Breakup". Now, while I'm not necessarily a big Jennifer Aniston fan, I watched the beginning of the movie. If you are not familiar with it, the plot is basically that Jennifer's character and Vince Vaugh's character meet, fall in love, and move into a condo they purchase together. However, soon they have a huge fight after Jennifer's character spends several hours cleaning and preparing dinner for their family members and he did not pick up the lemons she wanted for a center piece, wouldn't set the table, open the door for their guests, or help her wash the dishes afterward.
All Jennifer's character wanted was for her "boy friend" to appreciate her. She decorated the condo, kept it immaculate, cooked for him, planned outings for them, even stopped going to the ballet because he hated it. She gave up all that she was and loved to do for a man who not only didn't appreciate her but didn't marry her.
I see that a lot in our society today, as Judge Judy calls it, "playing house." She feels it is not her job to sort out the details when a couple plays house (buys a house and furniture, gets a dog, mixes their finances together) and then tries to sue one another when it "doesn't work out." That is not what courts are for. What happened to pre-marital classes/counseling, oh yeah, we don't get married any more--we "try it out," maybe have a baby first, see how that works out. Not only are women not appreciated in these relationships but they never will be. When women feel all they deserve is to work full time at a career AND work full time on a home that she either doesn't own or owns half of, makes all the effort to make her man happy, she will never be appreciated, valued, or happy. A man is not going to marry her. He is waiting for a better deal to come along. As long as a woman is willing to do all the work, why wouldn't he "let her" do it all. He can leave whenever he feels like it, even if there is a child(ren) involved, and he often does.
Appreciation starts with you. You need to have an appreciation not only for your physical looks and abilities, but for your intelligence, your inner beauty, and your power as a woman. Woman do do all the work in the home, because they see it. Men simply don't see it. They step over, step on, or step around anything and everything. Sometimes it seems they are incapable of bending at the waist. Their peripheral vision is much much wider than women's. Waiting for them to pick up after themselves, or to thank you for picking up, cleaning up, or keeping anything clean is pointless. You must have an appreciation for your own work and be proud of yourself first. If your "man" ever expresses appreciation don't faint, just thank God that he got it at least once. Don't devalue yourself by moving in with a man--he wants sex and a maid, not a life partner. Do yourself a favor and wait for love and wait for a real marriage. Don't sell yourself short.
As for the movie, Vince's character finally does learn what it is to show appreciation to someone else. He works with two of his brothers in a tour company and finally says thank you to his older brother by putting his own books straight and giving him a big hug. It is too late for his relationship, though. At the end of the movie, the couple meet on the street one day and share an awkward moment of hellos. Then they walk away from each other. Sad. I hate sad endings.
Now, off to do some thankless jobs around the house.