life, love, relationships, women

The difficulties of doing a man’s job

More and more women have now access to strategic posts in their enterprise, or are doing a job that was reserved to the men until now. This change hasn’t happened without any consequences. My profession, journalism, isn’t particularly friendly for women. Before, female journalists were an exception. For instance, my newspaper only counted three of them back in the 1980’s, while now, we’re much more. We’re still a minority compared to our male colleagues, but we feel as equal as them.

Journalism is quite a demanding job. We have the chance to work only during the week,  not in the week-end. But most of the other newspapers and medias work 7 days a week. And for the hours, generally, we don’t count them, but they approach 50, even 60 hours per week while for most of the other professions, 35 hours a week is the norm.  Difficult, in these conditions, to have a normal family life, if you add to them the fact that we travel a lot.

Some of my female colleagues find it hard to have a stable relationship too. With our job, we play the ” far from the heart, far from the eye” game with our partner. As a result, divorces are multiplying in our profession.

This isn’t typical of journalism. M., a 39 year-old PR, works also 60 hours a week, at least. She’s also responsible for multiple charity associations, and have as a result a very busy schedule.  She’s still single, because she doesn’t have much time for a man. She did have some serious relationships, though. But they always ended in the same way: her men got fed up with her multiple engagements elsewhere.  She’s seriously thinking of a baby right now, But she knows she has to slow down her activities for that.

Dealing with a family when you’re an active mom working late often turns into  a problem. Some women choose to stop working to take care of their children, while other choose to hire a nanny. Children can also slow your career when you’re a woman. That’s why some of them start to push their career when their kids are older (take for example the female candidate for the French presidential bid, Segolène Royal) . Some other prefer not to have children (that’s the case of Michèle Alliot-Marie, another French politician,  but also many women members of the Spanish government).

celibacy, life, love, relationships, women

Bad habits

When you are single , you take some habits that are hard to break if you stay single for long. Who never enjoy the privilege of living alone for a short period of time, maybe even more?  You can do whatever you want without having someone to care about.  For example, women can shave or wax themselves in every piece of their home while if they were in a couple, they would lock themselves in the bathroom to avoid their husband’s look (it ‘s the kind of things that can kill love) . Some would wash their bras and let them hang in the bathroom or everywhere in the house, while if they were living with a man, they wouldn’t dare to try.

For men, celibacy is quite a golden period.  They’re still dependent to their mommy: a friend of mine, who’s single at 32, still let her mom wash his clothes, …. Usually, when you go into their apartment, it’s messy. There are piles of dirty clothes and garbage everywhere. They ‘re too busy going out or watching football with their mates  or playing with their playstation.

So, when single persons decide to break their celibacy to live with someone,  it doesn’t go smooth on the first weeks/ months/ years of cohabitation. It depends on how long you stayed single and living alone. If you stayed single quite a while, chances are the cohabitation with the object of your affection will be a bumpy road.  T. finally found love at the age of 37, but she stayed single for a long period. She got fond of her own company and of her cat’s company.  She has established a certain organization in her house, so everything has to be in its place otherwise she’s angry. So, when she moved in with her partner, she fought a lot with him in the beginning because he hasn’t put for example the box of cookies in the right place. It took times for her to put water in her wine. But luckily, her man has been a model of patience with her, and now, they  fight less and enjoy their life together.

Sometimes, it doesn’t work that well. If you won’t renounce to your bad habits and your partner isn’t patient, you can become single again.

life, love, reflexion, relationships, women

What irritates you the most in your partner ?

There’s always something wrong with your partner, let’s face it. But if he/she was perfect, life would be boring  with him/her.  Besides, everyone has defects. The one who pretends to be perfect is a liar. But when it comes to men and women’s defects, you always hear the same complains.

For the men, their lady usually complain about these things:

  • untidy: they  like to leave their  socks everywhere in the bedroom, and don’t know the meaning of the word cleaning.
  • selfish: when it comes to give a hand to their lady, they’re too preoccupied with their computer or their playstation, or everything else. Some forget everything when there’s a football match on the TV.
  • Queen of the drama: when they’re sick, they’re acting like if they were going to die, even if they just catch a cold. When they cut themselves, for example with a sheet of paper or a little knife, they act like if they have an hemorragia.
  • immature: Even if they ‘re 40, they act as a 4 year old. They still behave to their mommy, and let their wife make all the important decisions. They replaced their old toys by cars and all sort of gadgets like cameras, mobile phones, …

And for the women, their partners always complain about these things.

  • undecisive: if they have to make a choice, usually, it takes years for them to settle for one choice.
  • Too picky: no comments
  • obsessed with their appearance:  They always complain about being too fat or having nothing to wear.
  • Too demanding: They always ask their men how they feel about them. If they forget their birthday, it’s a drama.

Too spendthrift or too skinfling, too shy or too exhuberant,… are also defects that irritate some people.


It’s a man’s world

Today is International Women’s Day, don’t forget.

As a financial journalist, I work in a men’s environment. And it’s not always pleasant, but I don’t have to complain much.

Since I’m still young, people give me a hard time because they don’t necessarily take me seriously when they don’t know me. But, with time, I received a sort of respect in my profession because I proved them wrong. That’s my little pride.

But I recognize being a woman in such a man’s world is causing me some problems. A journalist from a rival newspaper once asked me how it feels to be a woman in the world of finance. In fact, I don’t bond easily , unlike my male colleague, with all the analyst/ fund managers/ investment bankers… I interview because let’s say it, I don’t like football and sports in general (except tennis) , I couldn’t care less about cars and about other male stuffs.  It’s quite helpful to know these subjects of conversation when you’re invited for a professional lunch or dinner. But so far, this hasn’t blocked me in any way.

life, love, relationships, women

Stick like glue

Some couples can’t do a thing without each other. If they have to be separated for one reason, then it’s a drama. They’re like these birds called agapornis : if you separate them, they will die.

Usually, these couples are pretty young. When they grow old, they tend to get a little more independent from each other. Last year, on French television, they aired a French version of the show  Temptation Island which was incredibly funny (it wasn’t supposed to be) . We had four couples who seem to come from outer space. There were the shav/ shavette kind of couple, the big macho/ submitted partner type, the sex crazy guy/ muscular lady, and the agapornis.  This last couple was the very kind of couples who cannot live without each other. During their stay on the island, they kept on crying all the time because they were separated. The girl was kind of retaining herself from crying, but the guy was like a fountain, absolutely ridiculous. Three days before the end of the adventure, they couldn’t stand being separated anymore, so they chose to quit the show. For those who watched that show, we all wondered how this couple is doing in the every day life, if they need to separate to go to work for example.

Around me, I know one example of the agapornis-like couples. But I know more of a another type of couples, where one of the partner is totally dependent on the other, while the other is not, or not really. By dependent, I just mean that he/she cannot live without his/her partner.  A. is a 34 year-old journalist who declines every press trip he gets because he doesn’t want to be far away from his wife. C. is a 32 year-old nurse who cannot stand doing anything without her man, so they do every thing together: shopping, sport, … Her man received recently a promotion where he has to work during the week-end, so it’s now a drama for her, and they fight a lot because of that.

Do you consider having such a partner a gift of God or a poisonous gift ?

celibacy, life, love, relationships, Those little things that kill us, women

Are we becoming too selfish ?

In our modern world, the search for happiness and personal development is becoming more and more important. Look at the multiple books of self-help in libraries. Before, for women, finding the man of her dreams and starting with him a family was the sole and ultimate goal. But now, since women have emancipated themselves, things have changed a lot. Before, many women used to stay at home watching the kids and the house, but now, housewives become more and more of an exception, because many women work like their men.

Because we work, we put on our shoulders a little more pressure we need to evacuate. We use various activities for that. It can be sports, but also knitting, shopping, chatting with our girlfriends, … As a result, we become more and more independent. And also more selfish.

This would explain why divorces are multiplying everywhere. And why we divorce earlier too. Around me, I have many examples of women in their thirties who already got divorced once. St., a 32 year-old nurse, divorced one year ago from her husband. They got married when, at 22, they just finished their studies. “At that time, I thought this marriage would last forever. But I was young and naive, and I’ve changed since then. I’ve realized I had nothing in common with my man anymore, so it was obvious we needed to divorce” she explained. C., a 33 year-old journalist, divorced six months ago from her man. She took the custody of their daughter. “I’ve evolved since we got married, six years ago. And I had the feeling he was interfering with my personal goals” she said.

Interfering with our goals ? T., a 31 year-old analyst, explained that her man was kind of jealous of her career. “I was spending a lot of time at work because I have to. But he wouldn’t understand why I was working so late, and also that I’m passionate about what I’m doing. He said I would be a bad mother if I had kids, because they will never see their mommy. So he asked me to quit my job, but for me, it was no way.  I know it is sad to have to choose between your man and your job, but if he’s no comprehensive, you have no choice” she said.

How sad it is. Does it mean we don’t know the word compromise anymore ?

life, love, relationships, women

Fighting in public

Some couples always argue, some other never do. It depends a lot on our character.  Some people hate conflicts and make everything possible to avoid them, while other love to provoke and cause a fight.

Within the category of people who love to fight, we can find another two categories: those who argue in public, and those who try to keep things as private as possible.  For the first case, sometimes, couple used their argument to spice up their relationship (a least a little bit). But sometimes, it’s also a sign that their couple is declining and on the verge of breaking down . J. , a 34 year-old journalist, kept on arguing with her man at the office. As a witness of their multiple arguments, I feel really ashamed for her man because she always tried to bring him down in front of every one. I don’t know if she did it on purpose or just unconsciously.  She was angry at him because he constantly forgot things. Two weeks ago, she decided to leave him and to take the sole custody of their daughter.

At the gym down our building, there’s a couple who’s  also always arguing in front of everyone. But this time, it’s different. They fight because Madam is particularly spendthrift and Mister has a too busy schedule. But usually, their arguments are immediately followed by a big laugh.

With these kind of couples who fight in public, you always feel like you know every single details of their private life. It’s always embarrassing for you. But it can be helpful for your couple too.

Have you seen The Break- up ? This film has produced a curious effect on some couples who did see it (not because of Jennifer Aniston nor Vince Vaughn). A woman I know said that her man realized he didn’t treat her right  after seeing that moving with her. So he changed his attitude towards her. 

When I watch another couple arguing, I feel a little bit of empathy for them, but I also relate to my own couple. Do I treat him right ? Does he treat me right ? are the kind of questions that pop into my head at these moment.