"Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . . where did he go, and why doesn't he call?"

Women And Relationships - Reclaiming Your Power

I was on one of my favorite astrology sites today and read a post about power dynamics in relationships. There was something so powerful in the first few paragraphs that resonated with me because it has actually been the topic of many a discussion with my female friends throughout the years.

My hats off to Beth Turnage of Astrology Explored. Beth, you have completely captured this.

You see, women are caretakers for the most part. And they invest a lot of time and energy into their relationships - sometimes at great expense. She becomes so invested that she never stops to ask herself - am I getting what I NEED out of this? Is there a return on my investment? Or is this just sucking the life out of me? Is it a waste of my time and energy?

Because, as we do in business, we do in life. We all make investments with the assumption that someday - there will be a payoff.

Ladies, Think On Beth's Powerful Insight For Just A Moment

"Society has a powerful message for women: If you take care of people, you will be loved. Your wit, your intelligence, your beauty, your sense of style, your work ethic -- any and all of your wonderful qualities -- have nothing over the power of taking care of other people to make you lovable to others.

So thoroughly are we indoctrinated with this societal expectation that many of us give up -- and rather easily, too -- our rights to get what we need from a relationship. We wait for the man to like us, to call us, to love us. It is as if we ask, "Is it OK for you to love me now?"

But giving away this type of power is ultimately unsatisfactory. We end up in situations where we are waiting for the man to make a decision about whether or not the relationship is worthwhile, or whether or not he'll continue it, or whether or not he'll remain faithful."

Take a moment to read the entire post titled, "Reclaiming Your Power In A Relationship." Beth provides some astrological insight into this topic.

Ladies, Can You Relate?

I'm sure many of you can - because it's TRUE. We give and give and give - to the point where it's no longer appreciated - and simply becomes expected. So in the end, what does all of your invested energy get you? Many times, to our amazement, we find the answer to that question is this: It gets you taken for granted.

Instead of appreciating all of the supportive things you do as they once did in the past, they either come to simply expect the support as if their entitled to it - or they come to actually resent you for it.

What was once considered support is now considered nagging. What was once seen as assistance is now seen as control. What was once considered "getting to know you" is now considered prying.

For Example

When you stepped in and supported him in rectifying a sticky financial situation or a family dispute when he didn't ask you to - he was thankful.

When you reminded him of a dentist appointment he almost missed or of an obligation he's made to someone next Tuesday that might have otherwise been forgotten - he was thankful.

When you asked small questions in attempts to "discover" him, get to know him and pull yourselves closer together as a couple, he was thankful.

He was thankful for you, thankful to have you and appreciated your serious interest in him. Hell, he even went so far as to readily participate in those conversations as a give and take and exchange of healthy, positive energy.

Remember those early days of open communication, ladies? What the hell happened to those, huh?

Suddenly, You Realize Something Has Changed

And that what you thought you were doing, providing them with positive and nurturing support (something you, yourself would LOVE to have), isn't what he's viewing it as at all.

Suddenly, the first scenario is viewed as control.

The second scenario is viewed as nagging.

And the third scenario is considered prying.

Any of those words sound familiar to you? And not only is he no longer appreciative of the support - he's actually resentful of it. And then comes the day that you ask yourself, "How the hell did this happen?"

That constant exchange of positive energy that once fueled the relationship and spurned it's growth has somehow dissipated. And just as you were once partially responsible for the relationships growth due to the amount of energy you invested - you find that you are now equally responsible for the relationships demise - because of the amount of energy you put into it. What the @!#&?

You're confused because nothings changed. Your still being as supportive and nurturing as you always were. But somehow, their perception of it has become distorted and negative.

Guys, what gives?

Ladies, A Word of Advice For You

You may not like hearing it. But lets face it, dating these days is like navigating a constantly churning hot lava field. And the only way to ensure the above scenario doesn't take place in your relationship and you don't get burnt - is to not invest too much of yourself into it.

It's sad, I know. Some relationship advice, huh? Probably not what you were expecting to hear.

But the ugly truth is, if you don't want this to happen to your relationship, you need to realize that it's very important that you not submerse yourself entirely into anothers world. You need to make sure you have your own life outside of the relationship. YOU NEED TO OWN YOUR OWN LIFE.

You need to make sure that you have your own friends, your own support network (because women truly do need the support of other women), your own favorite places, your own hobby or creative outlet, your own favorite restaurant, your own career or form of income, your own car - sometimes even your own home or apartment is best, too.

Because in this day and age - there are NO guarantees. No assurances it seems. This isn't 1952 anymore and Ward and June Cleaver are dead.

So Ladies, Ask Yourself These Two Very Important Questions

1.) If you're completely submersed in someone else's world - then what happens to yours?

2.) If your investment doesn't pay off - what do you have to fall back on?

Because even a good businessman always has a plan . . .

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Beth Turnage said...

Well, thank you.

You've said just about everything that I didn't.

There is so much more to say about the subject of women reclaiming our power. Our species is 200,000 years old give or take and except for the last 4,000 or so evidence points to societies where the contributions of both sexes were regarded as having equal value. For instance, in ancient Egypt, women had the same legal rights as men. What a concept for a culture coming off the heels of women being little more than property!

When we make ourselves like a household appliance, performing functions instead of being people, we devalue ourselves and our partners. Knowing what we want and going for it, that makes us interesting and worthwhile to know.

Thanks again for your insight.

Beth Turnage

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Thank you so much for sparking this topic, Beth, and for your insights into the matter. Your words are so true. . .

Anonymous said...

Bravo is right. I firmly believe that you have to be the best person you can be before you enter into a relationship.

Both parties have to want to be together rather than need to be together. There's a big difference. I just exited a relationship because I realized I was in the same situation described.

There is always a power imbalance when need comes into play.

Anonymous said...

This is good stuff! These are my sentiments exactly! I have so many girlfriends who pour themselves into their relationships and not only do I feel for them because I can forshadow them being taken advantage of, but I also realize they will lose respect from their friends as well as lose the friends themselves. When my friends behave in such a manner, I try to open their eyes to the realities. And when women I don't know well are so blinded to behave in such a manner, I try not to get too close to them. They will only burn bridges in obsessively trying to cater to their men and family and I don't want to be on the receiving end of that. I love women who stand up for themselves and demand to retain their own identity! Sadly, women like that fall into the minority. But I'm hoping that slowly changes in the future.

Anonymous said...

Very true! I've been immersing alot of my thoughts and emotions into a new relationship (long distance) and I am miserable. The support I give to his interests and whatnot, most of the time aren't returned to me.

I've just recently looked at myself and realized that I have no interests anymore, I am so focused on him - and I'm sure it would scare the hell out of him to know this.
This article is so true, we have to take care of ourselves too, get emotional support from family and friends, develop our interests outside of our men.

Anonymous said...

Wow totally true and ive been thinking all the time lately what ive done wrong and why i have been feeling weird and its because i expect that everything i do for him he will do it for me... and i want an advice on that, Im with a leo man and im a libra, like a true libra im insecure and im always overthinking situations, social and take care of everyone that i love, and him like a leo wants to be the kind, live by his rules and he is pretty layback and monotonous, how can i improve my relationship with a leo man?

Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Yes, regretfully, I believe us women are raised to believe that the more you do, the more they'll love you. And all that ever ends up coming out of that is that you feel used, like a machine performing tasks, instead of appreciated for the woman you are.

Honestly, the way to get a mans attention. . it's strange, I know, but it works - is to STOP doing all that stuff, stop paying attention and just stop everything. It may take a while, but one day, he'll be like, "Hmm, what's going on? She usually does this . ." Or, "She usually says this . . ."

Then and only then does a lightbulb go off. When they notice the break in the pattern and they notice you're no longer breaking your back for them. A little distance has a strange effect on a man - he notices you again. And particularly with the fire signs. When it's no longer all about them, they notice :-)

Anonymous said...

I have read all of your posts that I can get my hands on and you are a blessing. I was dating a Taurus man and after a break up and two months later, we got back together (no sex) for three dates. I set my boundaries with him this time around and guess what...I have not heard from him since our last date 9 days ago. I called him once, 3 days ago but did not leave a message. He has not called which is very unusual for him. I feel sure that he is seeing someone else, but we are both free to do so since we are not officially back together or having sex.

He knows I love him and want a future with him. It makes me very sad that we are in this place now but when I feel like I cannot stand it anymore, I read your articles/advice and it stops me from grieving. More importantly, it stops me from contacting him. If he never contacts me again with no real reason, then I will know that all the attention and affection was a game for him and that he was using me, so good riddance. But if he does call me again, I am going to wait three days like you said. Typically I am a confident woman who has her act together but I have allowed this man to tear me down. Sometimes I don’t know which gender is more pathetic, men or women.
Thanks for reading - hso

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Well, it's not that any of us are pathetic . . it's that we're human. Being flawed is part of the human experience - for all of us.

If we were perfect, we'd all be Gods, not humans.

Hang in there, it sucks, I know. But it's much better to hang onto your dignity and not sell yourself short - because it sucks twice as bad to sell yourself out - and still get the same end result.

We can't control others, only ourselves. And in the long run, you'll benefit from this experience and from taking control of yourself - and more importantly, you'll feel much better about yourself and you'll suffer less when all is said and done.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Good advice!!! I have a question: my friend was looking to advance in his career; however he experienced some difficulty. I remember one day he shared with me that he was able to secure a second interview with a top firm. I was happy for him and told him that everything would work out. He became a little irritated by my confidence. Do you think he viewed my confidence as nagging???? I really believed in this guy!!! FYI. He got the job but we are no longer friends. I can't be a relationship with anyone that I can't be myself

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

It may be that he felt your excitement was an over the top emotional display. It doesn't take much for a man to view the way women communicate as overly emotional LOL.

Anonymous said...

LOL@ over the top! What was I suppose to do???? Not say anything? I am consistently supportive of my friends. We shared with each other constantly about our desire for advancement. I was just being myself!!!

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

I realize that, however, you need to realize that men interpret that as overly emotional and to them - that's a negative.

For instance, consider this:

I was just being myself!!! What was I supposed to do????


I was just being myself. What was I supposed to do?

LOL, get it?

One is conveying a level of high excitement and the message is somewhat lost as it's overwhelmed by the high level of emotion behind it.

The other delivers the message in a toned down way and, as a result, the message shines through and the emotions do not overwhelm it in any way.

Men generally don't like a high level of excitement when it comes to their relationships with women. The way a woman communicates with a man can literally make or break her relationship with him. If you watch men, they communicate with one another in very simple terms.

Ever see men in a group? It's a couple of high fives, a few laughs and some grunts. That's it, LOL.

If a man sees a women expressing a high level of emotion and he senses she's highly excitable - he will automatically assume that she's going to be that way throughout the relationship as well. He will conclude that he will not be able to deal with it and, regretfully, he'll pull back. Men register that as emotional instability unfortunately. And to them, it means a relationship full of ups and downs (drama), lots of tears, lots of work and very little fun :-(

It's great to be yourself. I wouldn't suggest anything less. However, when it comes to men, it's best to communicate clearly and simply with them and save that type of self expression for your close friends and girlfriends.

With men, less is always much more ;-)

Anonymous said...

Lmao!!!!! I agree with you. Love the example you gave me (??). No tears with me though. I'm gone!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So here is what happened I got to know those three amazing guys who were best friend's and liked one of them flirted for a while then when he started the pulling back game I askedabout him texted lightly for at the bbeginning he would come see me even on his off days then with time he started being like am busy and all that I'm weord that way but I completely got over him coz I demand attention found that he's a player and has 3 girls so when he reappeared I was already gone now I was best friends with his other friend aftwr he was no longer a target I started liking his friend the problem is he has a crush that treats him bad we went down the saying nice things to each other and he saying he gets jealous when im friendly with others but at the end all he wants is her he started being passive and not caring when we schedule things then apologies and I instantly forgive him the last time he became rude and said extremely hurtful things this time he said his crush said no thats why he was mean and defensive I felt sorry and told him am sorry for not being there and im here if he needs to talk then when he went through the not responding to it and not askin ignored he came up and told me that I changed coz he sees me laughing with friends and I don't ask anymore I said why do think I do that he said I don't know but I'm sorry so I just replied with fine now he never texted again or called what should I do I'm hocked up and I need him to love me

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Don't be "needy" dear...men do not like that cling invests, they run from it.

You don't need him to love you, you love yourself and don't worry about finding your happiness in a man...find it within yourself. Because you can't make a man love you or want to be in a relationship with you...he either feels he same or he does not.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Men don't like that clinginess I meant..stupid auto correct, LOL.

Anonymous said...

hi with a taurus male a whirlwind read that he needed attention and being an open communicator i have realised I have been making a few mistakes... good morning texts/being available... Please MOA with your wisdom how at this point can I rectify this.

Vee said...

Hi MoA,
Vee here. This article is very timely for me and spot on - thanks for writing it. I have very recently looked at my life and how empty and unfulfilling it is and told myself that I needed to create a network and hobbies for myself. I have always followed a man. I left my home state and moved 800 miles away from my family to start a life with a man. My children and job now keep me in my current location but without the man and with no real community or life outside the man and the children I have nothing. I don't even have someone to ride me home after a hospital procedure I realized recently. One of the biggest attractors for me to a man is his social status. My last man had many friends and it seemed an ideal situation - instant community, right? Unfortunately he was a narcissist and all his sycophants served to make me feel even more abused. Imagine having 50 guests over for a BBQ and none of them thank you for the baking and cooking and whatever that went into ME making a party for HIM to get all the attention.
Anyway, this article did me loads of good. It reinforced the thought process that I had already started. I began journalling today and am going to try to make an effort to add to the journal regularly.

summer said...

oh my god that spoke directly to my life. thank you so much!

ps. I screamed, "gloryyyyyyyyy" while reading.

Anonymous said...

My situation is: Im 31, he's 36. God that's starting to sound really old. We've been dating for 9 months but it feels much shorter because after 4 months I moved to finish my education. Meanwhile, I had only been separated from my ex-husband for 6 months when we met, thank goodness for therapy, social and life affirming networks. So I was doing pretty good and focusing on me. I waited the prescribed month before we got intimate (partially his doing as well due to his old school Midwestern style values, which was refreshing). Anyway things were going good until I broke up with him for a few weeks- my issue is that he hasn't finalized his divorce while I was getting mine done- I know this is sounding worse by the second, but were grown ups, a little messy right? We talked it out, he re-pledged his love to me and wants my support through this difficult process as well -Ok there's a kid and house involved, his divorce isn't as wham bam as mine was. With all that nitty gritty he's probably THE nicest guy I've ever known, treats me super well, friends and family say he's racked up ALOT of brownie points for just doing really amazing thoughtful things. But...there's the issue of if he's ever going to work out his big issue...And long distance is becoming a routine of "talk times" that seem to be getting shorter. What's going on?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Feb 3, 1:41 AM,
Well dear, what's going on is - you're involved with a man that's more or less "unavailable" right now. Because of the fact that things are not finalized, he's technically unavailable. And may remain so for a while. I'm sorry, but that's the reality here.

He's going to have to come up with thousands of dollars to finalize a divorce like that (attorney's fees, filing fees, etc.). He's also going to have to sell the home (realtor fees). He's going to have to part with half of any retirement fund he has most likely, he's going to have to work out childcare and custody, along with healthcare provisions (possibly more out of pocket costs). He's also going to have to work out a division of assets (items in the home, garage, etc.) And finally, with whatever is left, he's going to have to find a new home and re-establish himself and his life.

It's a lot dear - a lot emotionally, it's literally life changing, and it's going to cost him a lot monetarily. If I were you, I'd probably leave things be as they are (broken up) until he handles all of this. Once you start this process in a situation such as his, you can count on it being at least a two year process, although in many I've seen 4 years and in a handful, even 6 before it's all said and done. It all depends on how willing each of them are to work it out. If one isn't and stands their ground, then the other is forced to cough up more money to fight it (a good attorney's fees are, on average, $150/hr but more like $200/hr). And one little battle like that over one little singular thing in the divorce that cannot be agreed upon, can easily turn into a $2500 battle - on TOP of all other expenses and the expenses from the divorce itself). Every little snafu "costs" in a situation such as this. And when that happens, it's not unusual for folks to sit on it a while.

It's very complicated when children and assets are involved and it's incredibly costly. Sometimes it's best to take a breather and "pick your battles" - meaning, take a breather for a while and see if the parties change their mind and/or reach another resolution instead or see if their circumstances change. In which case, it becomes a "waiting game" but in doing so, a resolution that both agree on can sometimes be reached.

Which is why I'm saying to you, maybe it's best to stay broken up here. Do you really want to be on the sidelines of all of this, ya' know? Because it won't be enjoyable. He will be sad, he will be withdrawn, he will be emotionally conflicted and he's facing an ENTIRE lifestyle change, loss of money and having to re-establish an entirely new life. If you stick around on the sidelines for all of that, I can tell you that 80% of the time you spend with him, will be overshadowed by negativity - and unenjoyable. Which is why it might be best to leave things as they are, let him settle it on his own, and then reconnect once it's complete - so that your time together is enjoyable and not marred with negativity :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aphrodite,
Your right he's got to get his life together before he's ready to move on. Granted he's two years into his separation and it pulls on my codependent strings to see him emotional over not having official visitation with his son. But my gut tells me he's avoiding the whole thing on some level --he got a big bonus and bought a car when for sure I thought it was going to go to lawyer fees, bummer. I broke up with him in the fall (over the fact that we were both going through divorces) and after a few weeks we got back together. At least now there's the whole long distance situation which is difficult, but may be the best to give it space. I hope he does what he needs to do because I really would like to be with him. He's a really great guy, amazing human being. As far as him not calling or texting as much lately, I took the rubber band advice and Im not calling him back for a while. I don't want him to feel like he has to maintain the long distance thing like a chore. This could either become a long drawn out fizzle out breakup or me keeping my hopes up where there's no hope or every woman's fantasy third possibility, the fairly tale ending. One things for sure, based on your advice I'm going to go to the friend zone if he doesn't show seriousness in the "giant pink elephant in the room" department. I don't think there should be a full perk relationship with this happening, its just hard to cut off emotion. It's hard because I feel like Im judging him over how he's handling the divorce and I don't want to be judgmental. I cant imagine how difficult it is to go through under the circumstances. But there has to be a line drawn, I'm sure. I just don't know where the line is, and I feel like I'm already in too deep. If it does end it's going to be painful.

Anonymous said...

Aphrodite, I am fresh out of a 9 year relationship. All the advice tells me that I should take time to heal and get to know myself again. I hadn't left but I emotionally checked out of it a long time ago. I am aware of the things I am looking for now and I want to go right into dating. I don't want to put myself in an awkward position. I would like to start out by meeting potential dates through acquaintances that are not mutual friends with my ex. Unfortunately these aren't people I communicate with often. How do I tastefully put it out there that I am single and available?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous March 27, 4:54PM,
"How do I tastefully put it out there that I am single and available?"

The only thing you can really do is tell your friends - and then tell them to tell their friends. Anything beyond that will come of like advertising ya' know? And that's not something you really want to do because you'll have lots of opportunists jump on board for that - assuming that you're lonely and desperate - so you'll be an easy mark.

Word of mouth dear...it's some of the best damn marketing out there, LOL ;-)

Anonymous said...

Once you've chased a man, is there a way to reclaim his respect? I made the mistake, took time out, realized this man isn't the one for me, but I do feel badly that he has consigned me to the "desperate" category, when I'm not (well, 97% of the time lol). I wouldn't even worry about what he thinks, except that we still have to communicate sometimes for work, and it makes me awkward in those situations. Is it enough to just act in a professional manner and let my behavior speak for me? Do guys ever move a lady out of the "desperate" box once she's put herself there?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"Once you've chased a man, is there a way to reclaim his respect?"

Well dear, I won't lie - you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. There have been many studies conducted on the topic that conclude that it's VERY hard to change a first impression. You can alter is slightly, but it's human nature to "default" to your first gut impression:

""What is necessary is for the first impression to be challenged in multiple different contexts. In that case, new experiences become decontextualized and the first impression will slowly lose its power," he said. "But, as long as a first impression is challenged only within the same context, you can do whatever you want. The first impression will dominate regardless of how often it is contradicted by new experiences."


Anonymous said...

Oh, boo. Well I guess I'll just have to buck myself up by remembering that that's his loss. On a related, but hopefully amusing note, a guy slightly hit the back of my car last weekend. I was hoping it didn't cause much damage (it didn't, just minor cosmetics), but since I had to communicate with him, I figured I would practice the MOA way - not answer right away, not answer every text, give him only absolutely critical details, no play-by-play. My (intended to be) final text was to tell him it was cosmetic, we could call it no harm, no foul and best wishes for 2015. HIS last text, sent after mine, was to ask me out to lunch. Lol.

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