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I pay bills in his own house

27 January 2016, 13:03 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - I think feminism has sort of confused women about what they want from their relationships. They want their equality but when it is given to them, especially for most African women, they realize it is actually not what they want. Most of us were brought up in households where we were told the father is the provider and the mum chipped in if she was able to or felt like it. Along the way though, while we grew up, feminism became cool and we wanted to be a part of that too.

Now you are in your own house or moved in with your man and you realize that you want to eat what you were fed while young not what is cooked in modern kitchens.

I was hearing a complaint from one such woman about how she moved in with her boyfriend, not her fiancé or anything, but boyfriend but she is regretting it. She has moved into his house and apparently everything has been broken down to 50-50 even though she earns less than he does. Everything has been split 50-50; rent, lights and water, groceries…just everything! She also does the house chores and whatnot. She is now complaining that that is not what she wanted or expected because she had hoped he would be the provider (as a future husband would be thinking) and not even make her pay half her rent because it was basically his house. By the time she is done paying her half she does not even have enough for her own needs, yet she takes care of all his need-laundry, cleaning house and you know the basic one.

I will explain this situation in one way. What we have here is a room-mate type of situation-they split bills but hers takes the cake because he does not split house chores with her like he does the bills so basically she is the help as well and then because he is apparently her ‘boyfriend’, she will sort out his other needs as well. But who is sorting hers out? She is a room-mate, house help and a friend with benefits all rolled into one.

This scenario will only end in three ways because there is dissatisfaction already from one side; either they will break up because she does not like his experience, she has a conversation with him and he agrees to do what she wants or they have a conversation and he says, ‘you want equality there it is’ and she deal s with it.

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I always tell women one thing; when choosing to go into any relationship, know what you want. If you want to rap on the equality card, harp on it and be ready for the consequences. You will tell a man; ‘yes we are splitting everything and by the way, the chores as well.’ Chances are, if he is getting better treatment from a woman who knows she can do the chores while he takes care of everything else, you have lost the man. Understand that. At times it is not that big of an equation.

Then there is the other woman, he has to take care of everything for her but she is also the supporter of woman must stand up to their men. When he barks, you bark louder. When he gives you an opinion, you have t counter them because men are foolish. If he asks you to do something for him, you can’t because it is the 21st century and women do not do that anymore.

Well, it is the 21st century and women have jobs and earn a salary. If you are ready to pull that card, he can pull his as well. That is just how it works and if that man has not put a ring on it yet, he never will. No one wants to always deal with a courtroom every time he knows he is going home; arguments and arguments for anything and everything. You have already lost my dear because while you were bargaining another woman just sort of figured out what your man likes and gave it to him. Relationships are give and take, you cannot expect someone to give, give and give to you but you never do the same because you are not sure of what you want.

Equality in any relationship or marriage, I will explain as an African woman is when someone comes and sits with you and discusses with you everything; or rather most things because men also like hiding things. Equality is when someone will treat you with enough respect that they will not do to you what they would not want done to them-that is the equality you women want.

Equality is when he is considerate enough to understand yes you earn, but not enough to sort out as much as he can because you are a woman and have your needs as well. He will be equal and tell you, I will sort all this out because I know you need to do this and that. That is what that woman wanted but did not know how to go about it.

Squabbling over first date bills because you have to show you are independent will get you in trouble. He will end up subconsciously splitting everything with you because you championed it. Always having to prove a point is always one of the simplest ways to push a man out of his own home, ‘Si, I told you, I was right! What do you have to say now?’ Yes, you are right, so here is a cookie to eat while he goes and looks for his favourite colleague to relax with. It is just exhausting to keep up with someone, every day of your life. At times people just want to chill and relax.

Know what you want, go into a relationship and act like it; you will get what you want. But being confused because mama nani told you that is not how to makes you a toddler. Relationships are for adults that know their mind.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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