I had a thought the other day. It was a thought that came from a place of bitterness and selfishness. I thought about the last time that my husband had bought me flowers. It had been a while, but then the thought dawned on me…when was the last time I bought my husband flowers? I am going to be real honest with you guys, I have in fact never bought my husband flowers. Not only have I never bought him flowers, I have never even thought about buying him flowers. There are other things that I have done and continue to do in our relationship to make him feel special and loved, but buying flowers isn’t one of them.
Then, me being the person that I am, decided to really think about the “why” in this situation.
Why haven’t I bought my husband flowers??
I sat and pondered the thought for a while. I didn’t really know why I never considered it but expected it. Expectations ruin relationships. Then it all came to me. You see, we as women have grown up in a world that has saturated our minds from day one of how boys treat girls and how girls treat boys. We have been conditioned to give and to receive things only in a certain way. We have allowed these gender roles to run our lives and almost control the people that we are. I realize I shouldn’t generalize every woman in this post, but as a society we cannot deny that is the expectation. honestly I do not know if that is something you struggle with. I just know it is a huge struggle in my life.
I would consider myself somewhat of a feminist I believe in the equality of both men and women. I believe that we as women should be given equal opportunities to those that men are given, but how does my, lets call it flower belief, coincide with my feelings of equality? I would say they make me a bit of a hypocrite. When Kyle and I first got married we decided that in our marriage we would not have these overpowering gender roles. We would both carry the load, we would both do chores, and cook and clean, and whatever else there was that needed to be done, whatever that may have been. We did well on this model and still continue to do well. I mean, it took time for us to find balance and to find how we can both share the load, but I feel like we have found so much more balance and equality in all of it.
I encourage all of you women and even men to think about the way you show and express your love. I then encourage you to think outside of the box a little. Something that Kyle and I rarely ever do is give gifts during the holidays. We really only give a gift when we feel convicted to. It could be a random day in May and if I felt like buying a gift for Kyle I would do it. The first year of our marriage we remember feeling too much pressure to get the other the perfect gift, and at that point in our marriage we were broke, so that added even more pressure to the entire thing. By the end we both bought presents for the other and both agreed to never do it again.
It is easy and common for most of us to do the things we do because of the conditioning we have had up to this point in our lives. All the media we have consumed and all the toys we played with as children. Consider it all, because I promise you that it all has to do with the person you are and the beliefs you hold today, and whether it was a positive effect or a negative effect, it played a role. Think about how much richness you could add to yourself and the world that surrounds you if you stepped out of those cultural norms and if you decided to do things solely because you wanted to. What if the only thing that influenced your decisions and actions were your own thoughts and feelings, rather than what society had encouraged you to believe?
I will end with this. Breaking down those walls and all the brainwashing/conditioning is hard. It has been the hardest thing for me to do. I always have this little voice telling me to do this or that, buy more, wear makeup, eat less, expect flowers, be more sexual to express your femininity. Whatever it may be that you have been told to be and to feel let it go…and you know what…YOU CAN BUY HIM FLOWERS.