Rewiring the Belief That You Can Never Depend on a Man so You Can Start Trusting Him Again
And 4 practical steps to make sure you’re always safe and secure if he gets hit by a bus
”I was raised to hustle like a man because I was taught to never depend on one”
The key phrase of today’s feminism is being shouted from the rooftops by so many women, celebrities and some of the most prominent female role models.
They wear it as a badge of honor. They attribute their success to it. They tell us the very well remembered story of how their mothers were betrayed by their husbands (and men in general) and had to do everything on their own.
And, thus, these mothers taught their daughters to never depend on a man.
Although, the intention behind this prescription is benevolent, the direct translation of it is “You can never rely on a man. You can never trust him. Make sure your independence is your biggest asset.”
And so little girls march into the world prioritizing their career and business success and leaving their love life behind. Leaving relationships to fix themselves hoping that once they achieve that independence and success the men will surely show up. And they’d surely be married by 35 with a couple of children on the way.
But the men do not show up. At least not the good ones. And marriage is nowhere near as close as they would have hoped. Children become a dream of some distant future that might or might not happen.
But how can that great man show up in her life if he wasn’t allowed in her space because all she knew since she was a little girl is not to rely on a man and not to trust him?
A committed man of integrity won’t be showing up where his trustworthiness is constantly questioned. He is not here to prove himself to you. He’s done that all his life. He doesn’t have to convince you of anything. He wants to powerfully show up in your life and enhance it. He wants to lead you into places that you can’t lead yourself. And he’ll be honored to do that with his full masculine presence. With his full heart that can be trusted.
And so those women who march into the world with success and independence being the only goal of their lives will eventually wake up one day at their 40th birthday and realize that they have achieved everything they’ve ever wanted (what their mothers and society wanted) but the only thing they actually have no idea how to do is attract a committed masculine man.
And so here we’ve got two types of women:
Ashley who pushes hard to achieve success, plays the game of success by masculine terms with a solid goal in mind — becoming Independent. She’s the top of her class, she earns the degrees and she works hard to make everyone around proud and to prove that she can do it all. And then, when she’s at the finish line of the long-awaited independence, her success leaves a bad taste in her mouth. It’s bittersweet. Sweet because she’s done it all and bitter because she’s done it all by herself and the only thing she’s missing is a man by her side whom she wants to deeply surrender to and let go of control. But how can she do that if all her life she was running on the treadmill of ”Never depend on a man for anything?”
Bridget is also successful but she doesn’t seem to push that hard. Success comes easy and naturally to her. She seems to be actually enjoying the journey to the top. Because her goal is to become happy and fulfilled. She wasn’t raised with a belief that she can’t trust anyone, let alone men. She sees men as her allies and not as enemies. She doesn’t need to prove her independence to anyone because she is free. She didn’t have to work for this freedom because she knows it’s inherently hers. She was born free and she knows that it takes a village to raise a successful person, no matter your sex. And so, success for her is a continuum.
Success includes having a solid partner by her side whom she deeply trusts, surrenders to and lets him lead the relationship and, eventually, a family. Success is a feeling. And that feeling tastes like dark chocolate.
Rich. Potent. Velvety.
Which type of a woman are you?
How has the ”Never depend on a man for anything” served you?
How does success taste in your mouth?
Bittersweet or like dark chocolate?
You see, the Ashleys of the world were raised by strong women who’ve had enough of the misogyny, enough of the mistreatment and enough of the patriarchy. These women were faced with the “problem that doesn’t have a name” as described by Betty Friedan in “The Feminine Mystique.” These mothers were awoken to the reality that the feeling of nonfulfillment they have inside while being mothers and wives was actually real for most women. These mothers were enraged by the inequality and mistreatment of women. And they were excited by the prospects of making something of themselves, earning a living and not depending on a man to bring home the bacon.
Our mothers have seen too many stories (or have been victims of) women being fully dependent on their husbands and, thus, felt powerless. Those women found themselves trapped, yearning for more and earning more. More freedom, more choices, more independence. Some found themselves in situation of constant heartbreaks, unreliable husbands or domestic abuse. Those women were desperate for a way out. And so wishing the best for their daughters, mothers everywhere told us to never depend on a man for anything and to always make sure to make our own money.
And, although this message comes lovingly from mothers who indeed wanted the best for their daughters, it also comes from mothers who didn’t have men in their life who they could trust, rely on and surrender to. They had to do everything on their own. Pile up responsibility, bills and children on their back and continue to push and swim upstream. The men they married had become part of that deadly weight.
A woman who marries well and marries a man who is solid, stable and is able to take care of her, be the protector and the provider, be the healthy masculine version of himself — would never transmit this instruction to her daughter “never depend on a man.”
There is a difference between instilling independence, self-reliance and ambition in daughters and transmitting the belief that men can’t be trusted, depended upon and relied on. No wonder so many women walk around complaining there are no good men around. How can you see good men around if all your life you’ve lived and strived to be independent and never trust a man?
Financial independence and self-reliance is not the same as never trusting a man.
So while this indoctrination has indeed served our mothers, it doesn’t really serve us because we live in a different world.
We live a different life and in a time that has never been better for women. Yes, there are still lots of problems to solve for women but historically speaking, there has never been a better time to be a woman.
The message of “Never rely on a man for anything” actually makes us always on the go, always alert and not knowing how to trust men.
And so we parade into corporate board meetings, women empowerment conferences and business masterminds wearing the “Never depend on a man” badge of honor only to go back home and fall asleep alone. To yet again ask their girlfriend “What’s wrong with men?” And, slowly come to questioning ourselves — “What’s wrong with us?”
Here is a new paradigm to take on board:
Men can be trusted, and men can be relied upon. We can depend on men to take care of things, to walk their talk and to lead us into placers we can’t lead ourselves. And we can do that without losing our independence, self-reliance and our ambition.
That’s what an intimate partnership is. That’s what marriage is all about. That’s what any solid, true human connection is all about.
Trust, inter-dependence and reliability on each other. Consistency and commitment. Knowing he will be there when you fall. Knowing he will be there to take care of you, the kids and household when you’re throwing up in your third trimester of pregnancy. Knowing that you don’t need to worry about paying the bills, surviving through the month of mowing the grass. And knowing that no matter what, you will be okay.
We need to be able to trust men if we were to let our guard down and feel safe with them. We need to be able to rely on men if we were to create a healthy solid relationships. And we definitely need to rely on our men for emotional, financial and physical support if we were to create a family with them. Otherwise, we’re setting ourselves up for failure right from the start. Because you’ll always be on alert. You’ll always be ready to flee and use your “independence” cushion because you know it’s there. At the back of your mind you’ll always have the thought of “What if he leaves me? What if he leaves us? What if he gets hit by a bus?”
Besides working on reframing the belief of not trusting men, we also need to practically make sure we are secure and taken care of if anything was to happen to our partner. Women are always in a more vulnerable position because our parental investment is much more significant than men’s. So we need to have a contingency plan in place in case something were to happen to our man. This means you have the stability and security that you will survive no matter what happens, your children will be taken care of and you will continue to go on.
Here are some steps to help you out:
- First and foremost is the belief you have in yourself and your ability to get back up and do whatever needs to be done. I always have the ability to take care of myself and stand on my own 2 feet. Developing the skills to be able to earn an income if you really need to. Working on your whole body belief that no matter what happens you will be okay. You will find a solution, you will be provided for and you will be safe and secure. Trusting that you will figure it out. Not living in fear but taking every day as it comes.
- Knowing your support systems that you can always call in for help. Friends, family, local organizations, mums groups, neighbors, legal and financial advisors. Being resourceful in times of crisis is your biggest asset.
- Having a “what if he gets hit by a bus” contingency plan. Having an actual conversation with your partner and mapping out the worst case scenario. It’s uncomfortable but it needs to be done. Making sure you’re protected and know where the passwords, documents and important phone numbers are. Knowing who to call in case of emergency and who you can rely on for help. Discussing with him the future plans of what he would do in certain scenarios if things were to go downhill. Having a will, power of attorney or any other documents you’ll need to be able to make decisions for you and your family. Making sure you participate in family finances (even if it’s just being involved in how the money flows and knowing the numbers). Having a say in making important decisions that affect the whole family and always know what is your Plan B is.
- Knowing that you have power. You have rights and access to legal, financial and informational resources to transition and survive if that would be the case.
If you follow these 4 steps, you’ll be okay. You can relax and depend on your man to be there for you without worrying about the future.
And remember, that you always have a voice. You always have a choice. And you always have the power to decide what you want, what’s right for you and your children.
If you do that then you will stop the vicious cycle of passing on the “never depend on a man for anything” belief to your daughter. So that she can attract great men in her life who can be trusted. So that she learns how to trust and rely on a man to play his part in relationships. And so that she doesn’t completely disregard her love life until it’s too late.
Give yourself that gift of transformation and pass it on to her. Because she deserves it.
Ready to Upgrade?
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