Why shouldn't women LTB?

(174 Posts)

This thread is prompted by two recent threads about the Relationship section.

It seems to me that 'society' is threatened by the thought that a woman might, of her own volition, up and leave a bad relationship. In my case, it was suggested I LTB because my DH is an alcoholic. Perfectly reasonable: but other commenters suggested I was 'selfish' and 'not taking my vows seriously' and that I should support him because he has a disease.

It seems that the 'grand narrative' is that the woman should stay with her man no matter how shitty the relationship. And this is reinforced by, for example, mainstream films. Second marriages are alway shown as flimsy, throwaway and meaningless, and the ex-wife pines after the husband she cruelly threw away. Two recent-ish offenders are 'Liar, Liar' and 'Die Hard'.

What do you think? Why is the default advice for women to stay and hold everything together, no matter how crap her man is treating her?

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-13 17:49:44

Is it? I hadn't noticed - esp. since 1 in 3 marriages ends in divorce!

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 17:50:51

Not here it isn't. I regularly read posts urging women to LTB.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-13 17:53:24

Me too. The cry of LTB goes up regularly here on MN (sometimes justified, other times not so much...)

If anything, I think women generally are far less tolerant of crappy situations now - and rightly so - than they were even 20 years ago when I got married.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 18:02:42

So women need justification for leaving a relationship do they SirChenjin?

It is still the case that it is the woman's responsibility for the state of the relationship. You still see even on MN a lot of posts insisting that the woman play a conciliatory role even when it's the man's behaviour at fault.

I have a big problem with 'RomComs' and the way that women are portrayed in them.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:07:37

I think that where DCs are concerned, whoever LTB should have justification. What's more, I think that it should be a last resort.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:19:24

I think the default is that it should be a last resort.

But actually, why should it be?

Why is the default to stay in a relationship unless there's good reason not to, instead of not be in a relationship unless there's good reason to be in one?

We can argue about what good reasons are, but it's the default position that interests me. I think it's still the assumption that it's better to be in a relationship than not, therefore you need a reason to leave one (the last resort) rather than it's better to be single rather than as a last resort, enter into one.

Why?

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 18:23:29

I don't agree Dione. I think children need adults surrounding them who love them and make them feel safe. I don't think this needs to be a biological mother and father in the same house, and I especially don't think this should be at the detriment to one or both parents' happiness.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 18:24:52

YY Basil.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:27:47

Why should it be a last resort?
Because the DCs will be deprived of time with parents.
The financial im

AnyFucker Germany Mon 23-Sep-13 18:30:32

Time and time again, women post on MN that they don't have a "good enough" reason to leave what is often a very shitty relationship

There is even a thread called "too good to leave, too bad to stay" (or summat) < waves to anyone on that thread, my sympathies are with you but fgs just end it >

Every body has the right to leave a relationship that is not working for them, but the overwhelming societal narrative is women should be working at it, making excuses, overlooking selfishness

Why ? Any relationship is not better than none at all.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:33:43

Doh, hit post by mistake.

The financial implications of break up mean increased difficulty for most people, particularly the PWC (usually the mother).

Why shouldn't parents do everything that they can to improve the relationship? They owe it to the DCs.

AnyFucker Germany Mon 23-Sep-13 18:35:26

Yep, Dione. That would be both the parents you mean there.

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:24

So women need justification for leaving a relationship do they SirChenjin?

Erm, yes. When you enter into marriage, you're agreeing to abide by those vows, for better or worse. Obviously there are exceptions to that, as there are to any contract that is made, but to leave without justification sets a very dangerous precedent that when you're bored, you just leave. It's not only unfair to your partner, but think about the example you're setting for your children as well.

Men get slated on here for leaving without any explanation, so yes, I hold women to the same standard. You just don't leave a marriage without a good reason.

tombliboouun Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:56

Abusive alcoholic - understandable you should 'ltb'. However, I've seen many a thread on here urging the op to ltb for the most minor issue. Ltb is not the solution toeverything.

AnyFucker Germany Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:56

Women are expected to work harder on relationships. For God's sake, men that do a bit of child care and clean the bog every so often are still regarded as saints in many quarters.

meditrina Mon 23-Sep-13 18:37:36

There's a thread going at the moment questioning why the advice on MN is "always" LTB. I do not think there is a default here to stick things together.

expatinscotland Mon 23-Sep-13 18:41:02

First of all, a lot of people aren't married at all. There aren't any vows. Others are married in civil or humanist ceremonies without such vows. And 'for better, for worse' also comes with 'love, honour and respect.'

'Men get slated on here for leaving without any explanation, so yes, I hold women to the same standard. You just don't leave a marriage without a good reason.'

I have been here for 8 years and never seen a thread full of 'LTB' that involved an OP who is unhappy and may wish to live for no 'good' reason. 9 times out of 10, there is abuse of some sort involved and/or addiction.

MN is better than some places I've seen for advising women to leave when they're unhappy, rather than 'talk it out' and 'work on it'.

I do think that it's seen as another facet of women's work, given we're <ahem> much better at emotions and all that.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:49:30

I take the point that the PWC - usually the woman - will suffer economic hardship as a result of relationship breakdown, but my solution isn't that therefore you'd better sit tight, it's that PWC's shouldn't suffer economically.

Men have always kept women under control by using the threat of poverty. Plus ca change.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:51:13

I have literally never seen a thread on MN advising an OP to LTB for trivial reasons. Literally never.

I have seen threads where posters have come on and remonstrated with posters advising the OP to LTB for minor issues, but that's because those posters don't recognise abuse when they see it.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:20

We live in a world where women are routinely told that leaving is the last resort and they have to jump through the most unreasonable hoops before they can do that.

While men are basically told that if they do the minimum, she should be grateful and she's a princess if she expects more.

A little more permission to leave for a woman is a good and healthy thing. We are the guardians of the family and the guardians of the relationship. It's a shit job.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:39

Absolutely AF.

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 18:55:45

I'm not saying that the advice is given on here trivially at all. I was responding to scallopsrgreat, whom I quoted in my response.

Yes, women need a justification to leave, as do men. That justification can be, "I'm bored and want something different." or can be, "My partner is an EA alcoholic." but to leave without any reason isn't fair to the other person.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:56:49

Basil, when relationships end, unless the two parties continue to live together, financial hardship is unavoidable. Two households cost more to run than one.

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