Many women today, despite all the advances of the feminist movement, are choosing to become wives and mothers to avoid being responsible for themselves. They see marriage as a chance to save them from the stresses and strains of a working life. They are still seeking to find their knight in shining armour who will whisk them away from all things hard. They still want to be cossetted and protected from their own capabilities because they fear the freedom that true independence brings.
In the year 2012, I find it quite surprising or rather shocking that young women of today are still suffering the conflict of dependency issues that really belong to women of my generation and my mother’s generation.
I was lunching one day in Subiaco, a fairly affluent suburb in Western Australia, and I overheard a conversation between 3 young women in their early twenties. The focus of the conversation was marriage. Only one of the women had a boyfriend and yet all three were discussing their future marriages. They did not talk about their career prospects or study plans, their entire conversation was based around their future husbands and children. It was as if they didn’t exist as individuals, only as appendages to a man and children.
What is it that stops many women from reaching their true potential as independent human beings? Colette Dowling’s book “The Cinderella Complex” written in 1981 deals with women’s hidden fear of independence. It is as relevant today as it was then.
Even in today’s world of equal access to education and work, women are afraid to be their own person. Women still work in lower paid industries, they work part time jobs to facilitate the family and they have seen the gender pay lag increase significantly over the years. Women are still not achieving their full potential often hiding behind motherhood because they are scared to be the powerful and capable women they are.
Are you suffering from the pain of dependency? Do you feel trapped? Do you feel helpless? Do you feel depressed? Do you feel unhappy most of the time? Are you hiding behind a smiling facade and holding a marriage together for the sake of your children? Are you afraid of growing up and being responsible for yourself? It is no use blaming the man in your life. Only you can change your situation and that is not an easy task.
5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR PERSONAL POWER
1) Admit that you have a problem.
2) See a counsellor.
3) Read The Cinderella Complex by Colette Dowling
4) Take an assertiveness course or a self confidence course or both.
5) Learn to please yourself and stop sacrificing your life for others, you only have one life.
6) Decide how you can stop being dependent and start being responsible once again, this may mean studying, taking a course, going back to university, starting your own business or if you have the skills applying for work in an area that you enjoy.
7) Learn to say no to the demands of others who do not want you to change.
8) Take baby steps, one day at a time.