A friend of mine asked me that question the other day. And this is what I told her:
Being independent means “not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence”.
When I look at the vows we make, the beginning of marriage takes away our independence. However, what varies throughout marriage is the level of dependence. I have come to realize and accept that my decisions have an impact (directly/indirectly) on my husband, and vice versa. Therefore, I can’t be independent; through marriage I willingly brought someone into my space and my life, and we came became a part of each other. And so yes, I may do things that benefit only me sometimes, but that are not necessarily independent of him. In as much as I try not to lose myself in my identity as “wife, mum” they are forever a part of me, they are forever a part of who I am – so I cannot be independent of them. Do I feel like I’ve lost myself? Nope! It’s a decision I made. But also, the person I chose makes it worth it.
Also, yesterday a friend of me asked if I mind being called “mama Amani” and I told her I don’t. Because it’s a part of me- and it’s never stopped me from being Sophie, it’s just added to who I already am. And one of the things that God has been teaching me is how to find wholeness in all these things He has called me to be. Because I truly believe that they are my God given responsibilities. The first thing I had to understand was that – I truly had to depend on God. The idea of being dependent meant I would figure it out on my own, and I can’t. Then when I got married, my hard-headed self had to learn to depend on God and to believe that He had given my husband the ability to do that which He had also called Him to do – as my husband.
So, in 2023, God has taught me that I can’t be independent in marriage. And God told me that it is not wrong, it is not bad, it is healthy. And the beauty is that it goes both ways!