Never again will I put endless hours of work into a house unless I have my name on the title. I truly enjoyed the creative process of remodeling Rael’s house, and I have to admit my relationship with Rael was at its all time best while we worked together on the house remodeling, particularly the bathroom. One of my greatest investments in the relationship was in the effort and talent I put into the bathroom, particularly the window. If I could go back and undo it, I would make it a legal relationship before I put large amounts of time and/or energy in a home we live in together.

Never again will I change my name because it is what someone else wants me to do. From a purely feminist point of view, I would love to do away with the whole practice of women changing their last name when they marry. Nine times out of ten, women are the ones who raise kids in a single-parent household, and they are the ones who will more than likely end up marrying again and once more be faced with whether or not they should change their last name. I know it would get complicated, and in the ’60s and ’70s we tried the idea of hyphenating maiden names with spouses’ names, but that didn’t resolve the issue. I daresay few men have been faced with the dilemma of giving up their last name when they elect to get married.

Never again will I allow someone to dictate what I can or cannot cook in my own home. This is a two-way street – like any other aspect of a relationship. I should have been clearer about my rights as a member of the household, to cook what I think is appropriate for my friends and family. On the other hand, Rael should have encouraged me to do that, but neither one of us was psychologically evolved to that point. Ideally, I will use this experience as a reminder to check in with myself about what is prompting me to do whatever I am doing, making sure I am not operating out of fear or intimidation created by the situation.

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