I am a 25 year old female.
I have lived with my boyfriend for 6 years.
I have wanted to marry him for along time. He
does not want to marry. I have put my whole life
on hold for him and have built my life around
him. I put my schooling on hold to be at home
with him in the evening. It is frustrating for
me that he will not commit to me, but I have
not ever given it a lot of thought until recently.
I got a new manager where I work. She is an
incredibly Smart and successful lady. She has
taken a great interest in mentoring me. She
told me I have become to dependent on my boyfriend
for happiness and that I have neglected myself
by not being familiar with women's history
and feminism. She has encouraged me to go back
to school full time. She has even told me I should
take a break from my relationship with my boyfriend.
If it was not for the fact that she has been
so nice to me I probably would ignore the advice
but I respect her and she has gotten me to
thinking about my future.
She recommended reading
some material by a lady named Adrienne Rich.
She said she was a feminist writer. I don't
know much about feminism. Any information you
might have on this writer and advice in my situation
would be greatly appreciated.
Obviously I know very little about your situation
and so can't really help you make certain decisions.
From what your have described, however, I think
that you should move on from your boyfriend --
it's just not fair that he should have say in
the course of the relationship than you do. Also,
it seems pretty evident that you two want different
things. I think the connection to feminism, which
you boss was getting at, is that feminism is
hopefully going to empower you to see yourself
as an individual and hopefully help you to be
able to see yourself as worthy of more than you
are currently getting.
Besides Adrienne Rich,
there are several feminist books listed at feminist.com
and also just more general stuff about feminism,
including something in the articles and speeches
section called "What
Is Feminism," which I co-wrote a few years
ago and might be of interest. I hope that helps
and I hope that you can have a great relationship,
perhaps even with this same man.