Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Honesty is Not an Ultimatum

This is fast and disorganized because I'm tired, but I'm inspired by two recent Internet interactions.

The first is this relationship thread on Reddit. Basically, a young couple has been together for 3+ years and discussed marriage. The dude told his girlfriend he wants to get engaged/married later than they'd originally planned. She responds that if their engagement/marriage timeline changed, it would hurt her feelings.

He described that as an ultimatum.


It's an ultimatum to tell a person that if they make a big, unexpected decision that changes your life, you're going to have feelings about it?!

No, it's not. That's called honesty. That's called communication.

The second is a comment reply I received. I commented (under my real name) on a blog post about women burning out from trying to do everything. It was pretty standard stuff about asking for help and learning to say no. So I commented that I'm pretty good about saying no unless Beau wants us to attend something as a couple. Basically his family (especially lately) invites us to do stuff with them all the time, often at the last minute. Our friends also invite us to parties and dinners and happy hours and whatnot. 

I said that occasionally I'll tell Beau that we can go to whatever social event he wants to attend in a weekend, but then I won't have time for sex that weekend.

It's really not that difficult to understand. In a typical weekend, we already have at least one thing on the calendar from well in advance, whether it be a party or a play or whatever. Then I need time to blog, especially if it's a weekend before or after a particularly demanding weekend. I also need time to do stuff around the house, like laundry. Add in time for daily chores (cooking, dishes), a proper amount of sleep, and sex, and the weekend is pretty full. If Beau then receives a last-minute invitation for the two of us, something has to give for us to go.

I want to be a writer. Blogging is not a hobby. I have one paid column already. My eventual goal is to quit my current job and be a full-time freelance writer. I cannot do that if I'm not writing at LEAST 3-4 days a week. My blog will not grow if I do not spend at LEAST 7 hours a week promoting it. I usually write every single day, and I usually promote 10 hours a week. I devote 20+ hours a week to my blog. I will make money from it one day, but only if I work my ass off on it.

So no, not blogging is not an option.

I also need freakish amounts of sleep. Giving up sleep is not an option.

So yeah, if Beau's family invites us to do something (which will inevitably take 3-7 hours of my day, easily) on the weekend at the last minute, then sex is not happening.

That's not an ultimatum. That's being honest with my time and my priorities, but it's also asking Beau to be accountable for his time and his priorities. 

I'm so sick of the narrative that accuses women of making ultimatums. 

Ultimatums are a two-way street. Is me saying, "We can have dinner with your parents, but then we can't have sex this weekend," an ultimatum? 

Then how would you describe the opposite, that is, "I want us to have dinner with my parents, and I want to have sex with you, so you have to give up something important to you because my needs are more important than yours."

(I hope it goes without saying that Beau is always totally understanding when I give him choices about sex, or when I tell him the parameters necessary for sex to happen).

So can we stop with the sexist bullshit assumption that anytime a woman gives a man a choice, she's giving him an ultimatum?


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