Build Me a Castle!
When I was a little girl, I was taught that some day in my life a wonderful man would swoop into my life, love me, care for me, provide for me, marry me, and essentially build me a castle or have one already built for me. As young girls, we fantasize about who that man will be as we look through bridal magazines imagining our day as a princess bride.
Somehow initially I managed to attract men who were in no shape to take care of me. A few didn’t have stable jobs or steady income, a few expected me to take care of them, and a few seemed to just want a “mommy”. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, the role of women was in the process of changing. I was not necessarily expected to grow up, get married, have kids, and be a housewife. Women in my generation were expected to grow up, be the housewife, and have a career. We were asked to do it all.
So I went to college, got my first 2 degrees, established a career, got married the first time and wondered why I was doing pretty much everything. I was taking care of things at home (and a domestic goddess I was not), working and providing most of the income, while my husband at the time worked when he wanted to and was out and about while I was managing things at home. Some how that wasn’t quite the fairy tale I had dreamed of.
After my relationship experiences weren’t quite as I thought they would be, I had to reevaluate my expectations. Although my subsequent relationship experiences were better, this whole idea of a man swooping in to take care of me and provide for me seemed to be unrealistic. Throughout the years I had learned to care for and provide for myself and came to the realization that I didn’t need a man with a castle to sweep me off my feet. I needed a man who was truly skilled and ready to build a castle with me.
In my marriage now, building our “castle” together has been a most exciting, creative, and powerful learning experience. It has deepened our bond and strengthened our marital foundation. Our philosophy in this marriage is that we contribute where we are best skilled. My husband handles the kitchen, (seriously it’s better that way), I manage our finances and we just divide things up according to who does what best or we jointly hire someone who is better skilled than both of us. We take care of each other and we take care of ourselves. There is a true balance in giving and receiving and as a result we have a marriage that is mutual and deeply resonates for both of us.
In my coaching practice, I hear many of my single gals wonder when a man will come along and take care of her. As much as I can understand the hope and the expectations, I teach singles to empower themselves and learn to build their own castle while they prepare for future partnership. Learning those skills will help create an equal partnership that is mutual, equal, loving, and harmonious, where two people build their new castle together.
If you are single and hoping to find a man with a castle or a man who will build one for you, reevaluate that expectation and look at the castle you are building now. If you are married and feel there is an imbalance in who is doing what with the castle, then its time to reevaluate how you are partnering together.
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