I’ve heard this many times in the years since I met my husband. Countless times actually, and there are a few reasons why I find it to be borderline offensive. Not because they’re wrong, indeed he is a great man – but it’s the assumption that I am lucky to have him that rattles my cage.
Firstly I will say with sincerity, that I do feel thankful to have a supportive and loyal man to share my life with, but I don’t believe that makes me lucky. My reasoning behind this is because I don’t believe luck really factors into relationships. By the time we reach adulthood most of us will have had our hearts broken, most of us will have been treated in ways that hurt us, and most of us will have kissed a few frogs before finding our forever. Telling your BFF she’s lucky to have finally met her ‘dream guy’ almost implies that she doesn’t deserve him, and she’s probably been through her fair share of shit already and totally does deserve someone who treats her with love and respect, right?
Saying to your loved up friend when you’re single ‘You’re lucky to have a man at all’ implies she should feel gratitude for being happy, when ultimately isn’t it what we’re all looking for, and what she, as your friend, deserves? I’m referring to heterosexual relationships here because I’m in one, but no doubt the same applies to all. You’re not lucky to be finally treated with respect and love. You’re not lucky to have a man who shares the load of chores with you. I cook and my husband washes up, the idea I should thank him for doing his bit and feel grateful in the process, is jarring.
I’m quite certain that more women tell other women how lucky they are to have XYZ in a man, than men tell other men the same about us. Every time you tell your friend how lucky she is to have found these qualities in her man, you could be making her feel as though she should be grateful for her happiness, when the likelihood is she puts just as much effort into her relationship as her partner does.
In cases where your friend may not be giving her man the respect he deserves, pull her up on that instead. Don’t tell her she’s lucky to have him ‘at all.’ Instead, tell her how happy you are for her because she deserves her happiness. Luck doesn’t come into two people working hard to keep their shit together, they do it because they love each other.
During my pregnancy I’ve become extremely disabled and I’ve had people say to me (a lot) recently that I’m lucky I have such an ‘understanding’ and ‘supportive’ husband.
Sorry what? So I must think myself lucky that whilst carrying our child I became disabled, but it’s ok because I’m lucky that at least my man sticks around to push my wheelchair and hasn’t yet fucked off with a hot traffic warden? Um no.
Am I thankful? Yes. Would I do the exact same for him if the boot was on the other foot? Also, yes.
I appreciate scenarios will be different from that of my own, but the message remains. It’s an archaic idea that women should kiss the feet of their men and be grateful for the very presence of said men in their lives. As opposed to…. what? Are we telling them it’s better to have a man that supports you than one that doesn’t? If so, I’m 100% behind that, but try saying that then!
Definitely do not tell her she should be grateful for crumbs because your own plate is empty. Don’t tell her she’s lucky her man doesn’t cheat on her, or doesn’t stay out late with the lads every week. I repeat, she’s not lucky. She’s found someone who treats her well and the pair of them are making it work together. It takes two, remember? Don’t tell her she’s ‘landed on her feet’ or that you wish your husband did half as much as hers does. Don’t guilt her into thinking she’s less deserving than someone who is yet to find their forever love, or someone who’s husband isn’t quite on a par with hers in the pulling-his-finger-out-of-his-ass-department.
Relationships are hard work, they require both parties to put in effort. They usually last based on not just love, but mutual respect. Yes thank your partners and husbands for being wonderful men if indeed they are, but don’t get on your knees to tell him how lucky you are to have him.
He’s just as lucky to have you!!