I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)

I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)

Before I get to the link and the letter, I wanted to say…

The article below – via The Guardian – doesn’t make it clear, but the following appears to be an e-mail or a letter from a married mother who has low self esteem, and she’s writing to this paper for advice, guidance, and help.

I’m sorry this lady is not doing well, but I want you to take away from this that being married and being a mother (having children) will not necessarily make you happy, or bring you joy, inner peace, or a healthy sense of identity.

I’m afraid that a lot of conservatives – especially Christians – keep promoting these false notions to women, from the time we are girls, that if we just marry (and/or have children), that being married and a parent will bring us permanent happiness and purpose in life, but clearly, that is not the case.

I am not “anti family” nor “anti motherhood,” but I figured out a long time ago that being a parent or married may not bring you fulfillment in life, and it is that expectation that a lot of “pro family,” “pro motherhood” type of conservatives continue to hold up – it is misleading, false hope and propaganda.

I’ve got other examples on my blog of women who married (or who are mothers), and yet, being married (or being a mother) didn’t bring them happiness, but they were still left feeling overlooked, depressed, or lonely – in some cases, because the man they married doesn’t meet their emotional needs regularly, but spends all his day wrapped up in his hobbies or watching television.

I have blog posts of women who admit that they regret motherhood!

I think if you’re someone who had hoped or expected to marry (or have children) it can be painful  or very disappointing if that did not happen for you, but if you can accept it,
and permit yourself to go through a grieving process and determine to move on in life and determine to enjoy life anyway (in spite of life not turning out how you had hoped), that you can ultimately find joy, happiness, fun, and peace without a spouse and without children.

You can find other avenues of joy, meaning, and happiness in life that don’t involve being married or having children. I made that transition myself years ago, though it took me several years of grappling with unhappiness to get there, but it can be done.

But again, notice, that although the woman letter writer here married and had children, that she is STILL depressed, feels like a failure, feels like a “loser,” and thinks she is not enough.

Being a wife and a mother – contrary to what a lot of excessively pro-family, pro-natalism Christian conservatives bang on about – did not fill that empty void she has, nor increase her self image to a healthy level.

(Link): I appear successful, but since having kids I feel I’ve lost myself

Excerpts:

Squashing your anger down is exhausting. Try using your free time to do what makes you feel good, and see what shifts

May 20, 2022
by Annalisa Barbieri

[This appears to be a question from a writer to an advice columnist named Annalisa Barbieri? – the article doesn’t make it clear]:

[Dear Advice Columnist,]

I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my teens and have had therapy and medication on and off since I was 17 (I am now 37). I’m aware of deep-rooted low self-esteem and shame.

I feel worthless. I never want to draw attention to myself and have a paralysing fear of confrontation.

I have managed to maintain a few close friendships, have worked in the past, and am married with two kids. So I appear “successful” on the surface.

Continue reading “I Appear Successful, But Since Having Kids I Feel I’ve Lost Myself by Annalisa Barbieri (Letter from a Married Mother Who Has Depression, Low Self Esteem)”

Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

I like seeing content like below.

It’s nice to see that decades-old Hollywood and Christian propaganda about marriage (or romantic relationships overall) “completing” a person or making him or her happy is a bunch of garbage.

This married guy sounds miserable. His wife doesn’t sound happy with him, either.

(Link): Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will

Dear Abby,

I am a 50-year-old man, married for 25 years. My wife is older than I. In the beginning, it was great, but our relationship slowly started failing, and now we argue about everything.

I feel like I’m trapped in a cage.

We don’t have one single thing in common anymore.

Continue reading “Dear Abby: Lengthy Marriage Now Includes Threats and Ill Will”

New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress by T. Justice

New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress by T. Justice

(Link): New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress

January 18, 2022

Poetic Justice is an advice column that offers counter-advice to submissions at other publications whose contributors have failed the reader.

The New York Times last week admonished a woman who was uncomfortable about the prospect of allowing her daughter in a relationship with a married man to bring him on a Greek vacation.

[The letter reads]…

My 30-year-old daughter is in a polyamorous relationship with a married man.

Continue reading “New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress by T. Justice”

There Are Ways to Deal With the Sting of Unrequited Friendship by K. Sackville

There Are Ways to Deal With the Sting of Unrequited Friendship by K. Sackville

(Link): There Are Ways to Deal With the Sting of Unrequited Friendship

Excerpts:

We’ve all experienced unrequited friendship in some form, from reaching out to someone who doesn’t reciprocate our interest, to fending off an approach from an acquaintance we don’t particularly like.

Unrequited friendship can be extremely awkward, and surprisingly painful when you’re the one being rejected.

I’ve been unrequited, and it’s demoralising and confusing.

Continue reading “There Are Ways to Deal With the Sting of Unrequited Friendship by K. Sackville”

Dear Prudie: Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Do Any Housework.

Dear Prudie: Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Do Any Housework.

When your boyfriend won’t help do housework, you dump him.

But let’s see what Prudie has to say.

(Link): Dear Prudie: Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Do Any Housework.

By DANIEL MALLORY ORTBERG

Q. The second shift in 2019? When I’m 23? My boyfriend and I live together and we’re incredibly happy.

We’re in our early 20s and live in New York with two full-time jobs and side hustles. We’re both equally ambitious and serious about our future, both professionally and as a couple.

I typically beat him home from work, and while I admit I tend to be the neater roommate and more inclined in the kitchen, we have fallen in the habit of me taking over the cleaning and cooking.

My boyfriend vocalizes that he’s appreciative of everything I do but groans and drags his feet when I ask him to help out too.

Continue reading “Dear Prudie: Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Do Any Housework.”

Married To Person With Kid From Previous Marriage: Guy Says His Wife is Putting Her Son Before Their Marriage – on Not Wanting to Date Single Parents

Married To Person With Kid From Previous Marriage: Guy Says His Wife is Putting Her Son Before Their Marriage – On Not Wanting to Date Single Parents

This following letter to an advice columnist (which is linked to and excerpted much farther down this blog post) is interesting, because I guarantee you had the guy written to “Ask Amy” of the “Ask Amy” column with the same concern, Amy would  not have been sympathetic to the guy.

Amy would’ve raked him over the coals for not oozing with love and compassion for the misbehaving stepchild.

Amy, as I’ve seen, always sides with the kids or the biological parent.

If you are a person married to someone who has a bratty kid who is driving you crazy (and even to the point of wanting to divorce!), Amy will shame you terribly over it.

Amy will scream and yell about you being selfish, and she will ask you to empathize with the misbehaving, rotten kid.

(That I can recall in all my years of reading her advice column, Amy has never shown empathy to the adult who is stressed and whose marriage is strained over a hard- to- handle step-child.)

This advice columnist,  though, takes the opposite approach and blames the biological mother; he holds her accountable for the poor marital dynamics.

Continue reading “Married To Person With Kid From Previous Marriage: Guy Says His Wife is Putting Her Son Before Their Marriage – on Not Wanting to Date Single Parents”

Needy Single Mom Feels Abandoned By Church Family (Ask Amy)

Needy Single Mom Feels Abandoned By Church Family (Ask Amy)

In an older post, I mentioned how it is that some older adults do not recognize just how poorly churches and Christian culture treats single adults until those older adults become single again via divorce or widowhood:
Then they notice how absolutely marriage-centric churches are, and how utterly horrid Christians are about meeting the needs of single adults.

Then you have your married parents who don’t realize how Obsessed With the Nuclear Family most churches are until their (Link): own kids grow up and move out and stop attending church with them.

Then and only then do some Christian married couples wake up to see how absolutely terrible churches are about neglecting single adults or the childless.

The woman who wrote this letter to “Ask Amy” had to go through a divorce before she noticed how anti-singles friendly her church was. Amazing.

Also, I could’ve told this woman that Christians in general are awful at showing concern, care, and empathy for people who are in pain or under-going some stress in life.

Continue reading “Needy Single Mom Feels Abandoned By Church Family (Ask Amy)”

Dear Abby: As Boyfriend Loses Hair, I Lose Interest

Dear Abby: As Boyfriend Loses Hair, I Lose Interest

Secular culture would have you believe that men care about looks in women, while women supposedly only care about money or emotional support from a man, and to that I say: FALSE.

Christians, specifically, Christian gender complementarians, ratchet this up to really emphasize the point.

I’ve heard or seen so many male Christian complementarians (and occasionally, a few women complementarians) hype up this supposed idea that God created men to be “visual,” so they will shame and badger women to stay skinny, diet, exercise, and wear make-up all the time.

The truth is, women are every bit as “visual” as men are. Most hetero women dig a hot, sexy man every bit as much as some hetero men appreciate a hot, sexy woman.

However, complementarians will seldom lecture or advise men to lose weight, go to the gym and work out, or get a toupee if they’re balding.

I think the differences is that most women are willing to cut men slack where as the reverse is not true.

I mean, a woman may prefer a hot, studly looking man, but, if you’re tubby, bald, or sort of ugly she might still be willing to date you if you bring “something else to the table” – such as a lot of money, a steady income, a great sense of humor, intelligence, dependability, or what have you.

I think most women are more wiling to take trade-offs in the “looks” and sex appeal department than most men are.

Other than that, most of both sexes prefer people who are easy on the eyes, but this sexist, irritating stereotype that only men care about looks and only women care about romance (or emotions) persists.

Here is an example of a woman who is turned off by her male partner’s baldness:

(Link): Dear Abby: As Boyfriend Loses Hair, I Lose Interest

DEAR ABBY:
My physical attraction to my boyfriend has significantly diminished due to his baldness.

I know this may seem shallow, but I have lost all interest in intimate contact with him.

Continue reading “Dear Abby: As Boyfriend Loses Hair, I Lose Interest”

Dear Abby: Can an atheist and a devout Christian make it work?

Dear Abby: Can an atheist and a devout Christian make it work?

I believe that the Christian “equally yoked” teaching is stupid and acts as a hindrance to Christian single women who’d like to marry.

Also, (Link):  a lot of self professing Christian men are abusive or pigs, so if you’re a Christian woman, you should marry a guy on the basis of how he treats you – not if he claims to believe in Jesus or not.

By the way, I am a little confused by the heading which says that the letter write is an atheist – in her letter, she seems to say that she does believe in God but is not “as religious” as her boyfriend is.

(Link): Dear Abby: Can an atheist and a devout Christian make it work?

(Link) Dear Abby: Can an atheist and a devout Christian make it work?

DEAR ABBY:

For the first time in my life, I am in love. We met about a month ago. I know he’s the man I have waited my entire life to meet. I am 33, so I know what I feel isn’t just lust.

We have one huge hurdle, though: religion. He’s actively religious, while I am not, and he doesn’t believe our relationship can survive this difference.

Continue reading “Dear Abby: Can an atheist and a devout Christian make it work?”

Hax Column: 30-Something Guy Refuses to Marry Anyone Who’s Already Been Married

You have to like these guys who sound like awful people but who are very demanding and picky about who they want to date and marry.

Like the guy described in this letter.

DEAR CAROLYN (Hax):

My brother has been dating a woman for about a year, and my entire immediate family does not like her. Even my super easygoing husband thinks she is terrible. I am serious. She is manipulative, passive-aggressive, immature, and has a self-righteous streak that goes for miles.

My mom is just crushed that this girl will likely marry my brother. I think if he thinks she is so great then let him make this HUGE mistake.

He is 34 and complains that there are so few women out there who have never married and have no kids (requirements for him), so I think he is feeling a bit desperate.

Continue reading “Hax Column: 30-Something Guy Refuses to Marry Anyone Who’s Already Been Married”

I’m In My 40s, Want To Marry, But Never Like A Guy More Than A Year (Letter to Advice Columnist)

I’m In My 40s, Want To Marry, But Never Like A Guy More Than A Year (Letter to Advice Columnist)

(Link):  I’m in my 40s, want to marry, but never like a guy more than a year. (Letter to Advice Columnist)

Prudie advises a letter writer who is fortysomething, wants to marry, but never likes a guy for more than a year.


[Dear Prudie]:

Q. Uncertain: I’m in my early 40s, never married, no kids, but always wanted both. I’m in a relationship of 10 months. The guy could not be sweeter or a person of better character.

He loves me and treats me well. I was so in love the first six months but he is increasingly getting on my nerves—he is a bit quirky and goofy. And I don’t always find it amusing; increasingly I find it irritating.

Continue reading “I’m In My 40s, Want To Marry, But Never Like A Guy More Than A Year (Letter to Advice Columnist)”

Go to Counseling to Deal With that Man-Child You Married (Hax Column)

Go to Counseling to Deal With that Man-Child You Married (Hax Column)

(I got a notification from Word Press that today is this blog’s Seventh Year Anniversary. Yay me, I guess.)

My views about divorce have changed over the last two or three years. I still think people should take marriage seriously. I don’t think I want to spend much time in THIS post discussing those changes – I’ll try to keep this short.

I was raised in a Christian tradition that taught that adultery was the only reason a person could divorce and not be in sin. Suffice it to say, I used to sort of buy into that view, too, but that was when I was younger and a little more naive about relationships and people.

Take the letter below as an example. The woman’s husband had an affair, and on those grounds, a lot of Christians (not all, but many) would say she has a “biblical” right to divorce the dude. Other than the adultery, based on what the wife says, the husband sounds like an arrogant, uncaring, selfish jackass.

Continue reading “Go to Counseling to Deal With that Man-Child You Married (Hax Column)”