These days it’s hard to blog about work because I can’t breach confidentiality and pretty much everything I’m working on is confidential – or by discussing it I might seem to be disrespecting someone or an organisation (I had a meeting with ZNBC yesterday that shocked me so much, but can’t talk about it, cos I need to work with them, so don’t want to feel offended).

selfrespect

So I decided to blog about relationship issues that I’ve been observing here – and to be fair, I’ve been a party to it too, but thinking about my friends, watching Think Like A Man, I wanted to get this off my chest.

I’ve gone to several kitchen parties, baby showers, weddings etc since I’ve been back in Zambia, but what I’m hard pressed to find are truly happy couples. In fact I was slightly taken aback when at my last all women’s event, the mainly married women were talking about how they didn’t have passwords to their husbands phones, but the kids did, so they were using the kids as spies to find out if their husbands were sending or receiving inappropriate messages! What?!

They talked about it like it was so normal. Why on earth would I want to be with a partner I didn’t trust? Perhaps in other ways the man is making her a happy woman (in her soul, not physically).

Each relationship is different so I don’t judge when people stay in bad or unhealthy relationships, because we’ve all been there. But it does make me wonder, why would you do that to yourself?

Well I guess it’s like what Steve Harvey says, you have to have standards and you have to have self-respect.

Some of these women seem like proper Type A women – they have senior positions in their companies, real position of power, and they make their own money. Professionally they have self-respect and standards – they must have or they wouldn’t have got as far as they did. But something falls apart when it comes to relationships.

I blame it on the societal pressure. We’re women in Zambia, a country that looks down on you as a woman, let alone a single woman. I’ve walked into countless meetings where I have been blatantly ignored and disrespected because of being a woman, and more so a woman without a ring on her finger. Yet I might be the more senior figure in that room.

It’s a constant battle to walk that fine line of being strong enough as a woman without coming out like an aggressive wannabe male figure. So I can understand the urge to want to come home and be a woman, a woman who has a strong man by her side to take care of her – not because she needs to be taken care of, but because she wants to be.

But we put up with a lot just to have that man in our life. And is it really worth it? This morning my ipod decided to play Ciara’s Like A Boy and I was really listening to the lyrics.

‘What if I had a thing on the side, made you cry
Would the rules change up or would they still apply
If I played you like a toy?
Sometimes I wish I could act like a boy’

Or my personal favourite ‘Tell you I love you but when you call, I never get back’

Sadly despite what Ciara sings, I just don’t think a man can comprehend the pain women go through caring for someone who simply doesn’t care about them. In fact switch up the roles as suggested in Ciara’s song and the labels attached to the woman are anything but flattering.

But yet we still stay in relationships that do nothing for our soul. Sometimes it does seem hard to identify bad relationships – i.e. he doesn’t beat me, he doesn’t cheat on me etc – but it’s the little things isn’t it? That’s what having standards is about, standards and self-respect.

Why do we think it’s ok that a man can make you cry, not value your time, just because he says those three words us women love to hear? If you’re not important enough to have a call returned, your time respected, your commitment valued, what are you saying about yourself?

Sometimes being alone does not mean being lonely, it means having enough standards and self-respect to wait for the person that will value you and treat you like the queen you are to come into your life.

We all know this, one day we’ll listen and do it – then maybe you’ll have Kings stepping to you, to make you his Queen.

Advertisements