A lot of people would say that I shouldn't say anything about relationships, as I don't have one at the moment and didn't have any really long ones in the past. That might have to do something with the fact that I'm a loner ... or maybe I've just not met the right one for me.
On the whole I can't say anything bad about my friend Heike's boyfriend Franz. I haven't met him very often (just once, actually), but he seemed an okay guy to me. But what I really don't like about their relationship is how much my friend depends on her boyfriend.
I know that relationship means 'two people', not just one. And where there's more than one person, compromises have to be reached and sometimes one person has to take the lead. But, even though I personally don't have a long-time relationship, I've had years to study one that's held over forty years now: my own parents' relationship. Now, to a certain extend my parents are both quite headstrong, but they've learned to make compromises and work together.
Heike's relationship with her boyfriend is quite different. She leaves almost all the important decisions to him. For example: I know that she likes to surf the internet, but her friend thought that she would do it too often if they had a connection at home, so they didn't get one (even though, with today's flat-rates, that wouldn't have been too expensive). Or right now: They do have internet now, even broadband, and they got themselves a new computer for it (as I've already written in another post some time ago), but, because her boyfriend thinks it's handy for work, he has hogged it completely. It's not the fact alone that he wants his own computer for work, but he can, in fact, write such a computer off on taxes - and could, provided his boss is okay with it, even get one from work. This way, Heike again has to go to an internet café or so in order to get online, even if it's just to check her emails. And with her shitty job, she doesn't really have the time for that.
I wouldn't allow someone else to rule my life like that, neither would any of my parents. But Heike seems to thrive on it, during her short marriage as well as in her current relationship. I don't know whether it's because she has seen this in her own parents' relationship (but given the fact that her father's a soldier, it's possible) or whether she thinks it's the only way to keep a boyfriend. As my parents are a good example for the fact that it doesn't have to be this way at all, I simply can't understand a woman submitting herself to someone else like that. I wouldn't do that, even if it were for the man of my dreams. Too proud? Maybe. But I'm rather my own person and alone than in a relationship and just someone else's puppet.
And she always tries to fix me up with someone... She probably thinks I need someone. She probably even thinks I would be more happy in a relationship like hers. But I wouldn't and I have stopped trying to talk to her about it. She wants it that way and nothing I could ever say will make her change her mind.
As I'm saying, I don't think her boyfriend is a tyrant, but he probably just assumes the role because she lets him and he's almost ten years older than she is. And I don't think the age-difference is the main reason.
I, personally, don't want a relationship in which I have to submit, I'll rather stay alone than spent the rest of my life submitting to someone just because he happens to be the 'man' in the relationship.