An independent woman is someone who knows what she wants, and never relies on anyone to finish the job for her. She is a formidable person who doesn’t allow the men in her life to take over her decisions. She’s tough, but that’s only because she knows it’s the only way she can make a mark.
Don’t assume you know everything about the girl with thick skin and a I-can-do-it-all attitude. That independent woman is so much more than you think.
I wasn’t always a strong, independent woman. I’ve become self-reliant mostly by default. In the early years of my marriage, I was more of a follower than a leader, more passive than active. Now, I’m an independent mom – taking instant decisions because my husband is too saddled with bigger things, responsibility bearer, business owner, and CEO of my life. When I was getting married, I didn’t know what the financial boundaries would be but I assumed I wouldn’t be taking on.
“I stopped asking for support because my husband was no longer capable of giving me what I needed. Like many women, I stayed married because I thought it was as good as it gets. When I looked at my friends’ marriages, most of them weren’t so different from mine. The wives were independently holding down the fort, and the husbands worked hard and were emotionally distant. Why leave my marriage if there was no better option? I thought it was crucial to give the kids a two-parent household, no matter what. With therapy and increased self-awareness, I realized that I had been giving up too much of myself in this marriage. The cost was too high. There may not be Mecca out there on the other side of marriage, but I had to leave. I had to save myself.” – Anonymous
Many women become independent by default. This is what happens to a lot of women in dysfunctional marriages. When our husbands became emotionally distant, we take on more responsibility until we no longer asked for help. We become independent by default. We stopped asking for what we need and want, because our experiences told us we’d be ignored or worse, put down. So we learned to do it all. We stop trusting that men would show up and be the loving partners we wanted and needed.
Much of what happened in the marriages of most independent women boils down to two basic issues. One, we chose the wrong partners, men who shut us out when the going got tough and couldn’t communicate well. Two, we had ineffective communication skills. Many women have trouble asking for what they want in an effective way.
Healthy grownup relationships depend on the ability to choose a compatible partner, one with whom you feel safe enough to open up and be able to discuss anything, especially the hard stuff.
Regardless, every woman needs a man for intimacy, support, travel, and shared experiences of sorrow, joy, and appreciation for the simple pleasures of life.
So the next time you date a woman with an independent facade, know that deep inside, there probably lives a wounded little girl who sorely wants a relationship. Don’t write her off so quickly. Don’t be too quick to judge too and play the intimidation card – it won’t work. When you extend your warmth, your confidence, and your willingness to be vulnerable, she’ll probably open up to you and be a wonderful partner. She’s looking for a strong man who will embrace her independence and give her permission to let go. She doesn’t want to do it all by herself all the time anyway.
Keep in mind too, that the best relationships are between two independent people with full rich lives. They respect one another and learn from each other. They join forces to become an amazing couple. That’s definitely what this independent woman wants.