Is It Just Me, Or Is Making Friends in Middle Age Hard for Everyone? (Letter to Ask Amy)

Is It Just Me, Or Is Making Friends in Middle Age Hard for Everyone? (Letter to Ask Amy)

I’ve had the same difficulty, so lady, it’s NOT just you.

(Link):  Is It Just Me, Or Is Making Friends in Middle Age Hard for Everyone? (Letter to Ask Amy)

June 2017

DEAR AMY:

I am a 50-year-old self-employed professional, and I have no friends. I know lots of people and have plenty of acquaintances.

I moved back to the Midwest about five years ago after getting divorced. I remarried recently and my husband is my best and pretty much my only friend. We met online.

I know I need more than this, but I have not been able to connect to anyone socially here for much more than an occasional cup of coffee.

Continue reading “Is It Just Me, Or Is Making Friends in Middle Age Hard for Everyone? (Letter to Ask Amy)”

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Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

A woman named San wrote to Christian program “The 700 Club” to say she’s in a marriage where her husband is ignoring her in favor of TV shows and his job and so forth. Pat Robertson’s son Gordon answered her letter.

Here is her letter to The 700 Club:

I have been very lonely in my marriage.

My husband’s priorities fall in this order: work, television, and then his phone. I have brought it to his attention so many times. I find myself only relying on God and Him being my true friend but I am still lonely.

Yes, I have God to turn to and I talk to God all day, every day, but it would be nice to have a husband in my life who I can truly share my life with. What should I do?

[signed] San

I didn’t completely agree with the host’s answer.

Continue reading “Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.”

Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)

Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)

Being married or a relationship will not rid you of loneliness. I was engaged for years to a guy who was very self absorbed, and we did not connect emotionally.

As the relationship with this guy dragged on, I would sit in the same room as him and yet still feel all alone.

And I’ve read many online testimonies by married women who say the same thing – that though they are married, they still feel all alone, because their husbands make no effort to spend time with them, or for whatever the reason.

I’m just putting that out there, because American culture has this terrible tendency to act as though if you can just find the one right person and marry him (or her) that you will be instantly happy, fulfilled, and your loneliness will go away.

(Link): Why Do We Feel So Lonely  by Laura Petrecca 

Excerpts:

….There are more ways than ever to connect with others — yet many of us know the hollow ache of loneliness.

Loneliness isn’t constrained by age, gender, marital status or job title. CEOs feel it. So do cubicle dwellers. As do new moms, granddads, recent college grads and elementary school students.

…And yes, some of those Facebook friends who continually post photos of bar outings and extended family gatherings may be quite lonely, too.

…The prevalence of loneliness “is surprisingly high,” says John Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, who has studied the topic extensively.

Continue reading “Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)”

Let’s Talk About Intimacy – and Why it Makes for Better Love and Sex by J. Moorhead

Let’s Talk About Intimacy – and Why it Makes for Better Love and Sex by J. Moorhead

I am not in full agreement with the article’s political commentary, but otherwise, this is a very interesting page.

(Link): Let’s Talk About Intimacy – and Why it Makes for Better Love and Sex by J. Moorhead

The key to a great relationship is more than physical – it’s about taking off the mask and really revealing yourself

Is there anything we still need to know about sex? Apparently, yes: and the missing ingredient is a gamechanger not just for individuals, but entire nations.

Sex has been centre-stage in western culture for decades, but what has been absent, according to Adam Wilder, creator of the world’s first Festival of Togetherness, is the magic element that makes it all meaningful.

“The holy grail,” he says, “is intimacy. Intimacy’s the real taboo in our society – it’s the thing we fear, because it’s about taking off the mask that so many of us hide behind. But it’s the key to being freer, happier and more alive and it could change not only our personal lives, but the political decisions we take as a society.”

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Intimacy – and Why it Makes for Better Love and Sex by J. Moorhead”

The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness (Study)

The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness

(Link):   The biggest health threat facing middle-aged men is loneliness

(Link):   Middle-Aged Men Need More Friends

Men and friendship. By middle age, many have too little of it. And it’s a threat to men’s health.

(Link):   The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

Excerpts:

As men grow older, they tend to let their friendships lapse. But there’s still time to do something about it.

…The editor told me there was all sorts of evidence out there about how men, as they age, let their close friendships lapse, and that that fact can cause all sorts of problems and have a terrible impact on their health.

…Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the United States, has said many times in recent years that the most prevalent health issue in the country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation.

I TURNED 40 IN MAY. I have a wife and two young boys.

..During the week, much of my waking life revolves around work. Or getting ready for work. Or driving to work. Or driving home from work. Or texting my wife to tell her I’m going to be late getting home from work.

Much of everything else revolves around my kids.

…I rarely see those people anywhere outside those environments, because when everything adds up, I have left almost no time for friends. I have structured myself into being a loser.

“YOU SHOULD USE THIS story suggestion as a call to do something about it.”

That’s Dr. Richard S. Schwartz, a Cambridge psychiatrist, and I had reached out to him because he and his wife, Dr. Jacqueline Olds, literally wrote the book on this topic, The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-First Century.

…“Since my wife and I have written about loneliness and social isolation, we see a fair number of people for whom this is a big problem,” Schwartz continues.

Continue reading “The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness (Study)”

Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis

Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis

(Link): Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends?

Excerpts:

…It turns out, I’m not alone in feeling so alone.

“A lot of people have that feeling,”  says Irene S. Levine, a psychologist who writes about friendships…

It turns out, I’m not alone in feeling so alone.

“A lot of people have that feeling,”  says Irene S. Levine, a psychologist who writes about friendships…

…Says Shasta Nelson, founder of GirlFriendCircles.com, a women’s friendship matching site in 65 cities across the U.S. and Canada, and author of “Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness” (Seal Press, $14): “I believe we have an epidemic of unacknowledged loneliness.”

Especially, it seems, among women.

Continue reading “Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis”

The Stupid Billy Graham Rule Strikes Again, Via Relevant Magazine: ‘Is It OK for Married People to Text the Opposite Sex?,’ by Z. Carter

The Stupid Billy Graham Rule Strikes Again, Via Relevant Magazine: Is It OK for Married People to Text the Opposite Sex?, by Z. Carter

Not only did Relevant magazine (Christian publication) recently publish this dreck (link is much farther down this blog post), but a guy or two under Relevant’s Tweet about it were defending it, LOL.

This is basically a variation on the BGR (Billy Graham Rule), which generally casts singles as harlots, women in particular. Ergo, married men are strongly cautioned against talking to, showing compassion to, being around, taking phone calls from, adult single women.

(I have a collection of posts on my blog that refutes the BGR; please see links to those posts at the bottm of this one, under “Related Posts.”)

Jesus never taught the BGR, but actually befriended and talked to all sorts of women, including known prostitutes, divorced women, and so on.

Do evangelicals and the Reformed emulate Jesus on this, Jesus being the role model for all believers? Nope – they choose to emulate the rule-loving Pharisees who also taught men that all women are sexual temptresses, so men ought to avert their gaze if they see a woman walking by.

This paranoia of opposite-gender friendships ends up ostracizing and excluding single adults (some of whom may be lonely and in great need of platonic companionship, let alone romantic), it basically casts even virgins such as myself (over the age of 40) as being hookers and sluts, and it sexualizes every one.

For about four years now, I’ve been Facebook friends with a married guy on Facebook. He knows I’m single. I know he’s married. He knows I know he’s married.

I’ve also been friends with another married guy online for about ten or more years (we met on a forum) and we later became Facebook friends. This guy knows I know he’s married, and he knows I’m single.

And do you know what? This has not been a problem for any of us!

I sometimes even send private notes to the first friend on Facebook about some of my personal problems (stuff I don’t want to put on my Facebook wall).  At no time have I flirted with either male friend, nor have they flirted with me. It’s not even entered my mind!

Yes, it’s possible for single women to be pals with married dudes and nothing inappropriate happens.

I was engaged several years to a guy. My ex at one point rented his own home, then he went on to two different apartments.

I sometimes spent the night with him at these places (over night stays) even in the SAME BED, and we did NOT have sex. (I was very committed to the idea of remaining a virgin until marriage at that point in life. So, my ex and I did not have sex). It’s possible for two adults to spend time alone over night and not have sex.

I have a libido. My ex let me know he had one too – he respected my wishes and boundaries, but he let me know on more than one occasion he was “warm for my form” and was very tempted to get it on. However, we both had self control. Just because you’re alone with someone else and find them attractive does not mean that sex is inevitable.

At least several of the people who left comments below this page (on the Relevant site) were critical of the piece:

(Link):  Is It OK for Married People to Text the Opposite Sex? by Zack Carter

Excerpts.

Affairs don’t start with sex.

….However, I probably don’t have to tell you that too much can be dangerous—especially privacy with someone of the opposite sex.

Continue reading “The Stupid Billy Graham Rule Strikes Again, Via Relevant Magazine: ‘Is It OK for Married People to Text the Opposite Sex?,’ by Z. Carter”

Love Does Not Have to Be Romantic or Erotic: Maleficent Movie

Love Does Not Have to Be Romantic or Erotic: Maleficent Movie

Usually, secular culture (including Hollywood) and Christian culture prioritize romantic (or erotic) love.

Jesus Christ taught in the New Testament that his followers are supposed to place him at the center of their lives, with spiritual brothers and sisters taking priority, or at least equal to, their family of origin (read more about that (Link): here).

Christians, however, continue to prioritize biological family or spouse over spiritual family, which alienates the widows, the divorced, and other Christians who are single or who don’t have nuclear families.

Every once in awhile, I come across a movie or television show that “gets it,” which gets that sometimes, friends or friendship means more than “family,” or more than a spouse. Sometimes, you’ll end up alone if you don’t have friends.

Or, sometimes the message presented in entertainment is that family is what you make it – meaning, the friends you choose to associate with, not the family you’re born into.

I’m not opposed to marriage. Part of me would still like to marry eventually, but, I so tire of the culture making the message out to be that the only true, valid form of love is romantic love (i.e., dating or marriage).

I watched the movie “Maleficent” on cable television the other day, and was pleased to see that this story acknowledges that sometimes, “true love” does not come from a Prince Charming, but from one person caring about another one in a platonic way.

Continue reading “Love Does Not Have to Be Romantic or Erotic: Maleficent Movie”

Jezebel Site and xoJane Site: Pot Meet Kettle – On Supporting All Women’s Voices

Jezebel Site and xoJane Site: Pot Meet Kettle – On Supporting All Women’s Voices

I saw this paragraph or so in (Link): an article on Jezebel’s site (by S. Edwards; title: “xoJane Publishes Terrible Article By a Woman Who’s Glad Her Friend Died, Then Deletes Her Byline“):

  • It’s a well-known fact that outrageous confessionals—the kind that populate xoJane’s section, It Happened to Me — garner traffic. Outrage, disgust and anger are the stuff of going viral (a phrase that conjures up disease as much as anything else). Yet xoJane seems to consistently cross an unspoken line, confusing any woman’s opinion as one inherently worth publishing, no matter the opinion, or its costs.

Continue reading “Jezebel Site and xoJane Site: Pot Meet Kettle – On Supporting All Women’s Voices”

Dear Abby: Teen Gets a Boyfriend, Snubs Her Old Pal

This is something I find deeply annoying. I’ve blogged on it only once before: you’re a single woman with a single female buddy who regularly hangs out with you UNTIL she gets the new boyfriend or husband – then she neglects her friendship with YOU unless and until her new man goes out of town, dumps her, or dies.

Then all the sudden she walks back into your life, expecting you to be there for her. I hate it when women do this to other women, or girls do it to girls.

Basically Abby tells the letter writer that’s just the way it is, suck it up and deal with it.

My advice to the Mom: just wait when Cora’s friend’s BF dumps her (and it will happen eventually), you can allow Cora to give her the cold shoulder: no female buddy support system for the friend, the friend will have to cry and get over the break up all on her little own and suffer the resulting loneliness.

She dumps your kid Cora for a boyfriend – tell her to return the favor when the inevitable split comes along (Cora gets dumped by the BF). In the meantime, help your kid make new friends and also get her involved in solo activities – sports or hobbies.

Eight Ways to Rethink the Conversation About Singleness by K. Kreminski

Eight Ways to Rethink the Conversation About Singleness by K. Kreminski

  • PREFACE: my blog stalker, John Morgan, is probably going to take this link I spotted today and share it on his own blog, reference it on his own blog, or visit this other blog to leave a comment there.
  • The guy apparently takes content from my blog without giving me credit, which is not only dishonest or unfair, but it’s hypocritical, because in the past he deemed me untrustworthy for not stating my real name on my blog or posts.
  • If you think I am untrustworthy for using a pen name, or for whatever reason, stop taking any links, content, and ideas from my blog to use on your own blog, or to run over to other sites I link to in order to leave comments there. You are being a huge hypocrite.
  • Please see (Link): this post for more on John Morgan or (Link): this post. Thank you.

This blog post by Kreminski about singleness (link and excerpt much farther below) hits on several points I’ve been raising on my own blog for the last 3 or 4 years:

Christians are already too marriage focused, and in their defensive posture of saving culture and marriage from what they perceive as threats (such as homosexual marriage and liberalism), they hype marriage to the exclusion of singleness.

Some conservatives and Christians go so far as to denigrate singleness in order to extol marriage, something the Bible never does. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7 it is better to stay single than marry, and that marriage does nothing but bring people problems in life.

I have also noted on my blog many times before that the demographics in our nation (and others) have shifted with more people staying single over their lifetimes, or, if they marry, they are marrying at much older ages than they used to. Most conservative expressions of Christianity, however, continue to cater to married couples.

Out of the Christians who do notice this demographic shift, they shame singles for being singles and promote something called “early marriage.” These Christians shame and scold Christians to get married, rather than just accept them in their single status.

In previous blog posts, I have also discussed what I termed “Married People Privilege.” Married people, especially ones with children, like to think that their lives are ten times more difficult than that of childless singles.

Continue reading “Eight Ways to Rethink the Conversation About Singleness by K. Kreminski”

Ministering to the Unmarried at Home and Abroad by C. Darnell

Ministering to the Unmarried at Home and Abroad by C. Darnell

(Link): Ministering to the Unmarried at Home and Abroad by C. Darnell

Excerpts:

  • March 8, 2016
  • For Kim Jackson, staying single into her 50s wasn’t a “big holy decision.” She dated through her 20s, but never met the right person.
  • “I had some pressure from friends and family for quite a while—now I’m so old, I guess they gave up,” said Jackson, now 58.
  • The percentage of unmarried adults in America has been growing since the 1970s. Today, almost half of U.S. adults are either divorced, widowed, or never married. But much church activity revolves around couples and families.
  • Jackson doesn’t begrudge the church its focus on families, but more could be done to make singles feel comfortable, she said.  Sunday school class names like “Pairs and Spares” or “Fish Out of Water” make singles feel like they don’t have a place in the church.

Continue reading “Ministering to the Unmarried at Home and Abroad by C. Darnell”

‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister

‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister

(Link): ‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister  by Jia Tolentino

Excerpts:

  • After two months, my [Jia Tolentino’s] copy of Rebecca Traister’s new book is already dog-eared, wine-stained, and train-battered. All the Single Ladies is essential, careful, bold, and rigorous; it’s a warning and a celebration, and I loved it. Traister and I talked on the phone last week.
  • [Rebecca Traister said]… I always hated it when my heroines [book characters] got married.
  • … but I took in the message that Laura learned, and then taught us: that marriage was the end of fun.
  • …one of the interesting things that’s happened coterminously with the decline in marriage rate is the rise of the wedding industrial complex and the fetishization of marriage as the signal achievement of female life.
  • That’s happened even as women have been marrying less and less, and for a couple of reasons.
  • One, the economic strata of women who still most consistently marry are the wealthiest women: you have a whole industry that’s built up around selling them very expensive weddings, and this industry now crosses classes. There’s a diffuse but very strong pressure to correct women’s move away from marriage by fetishizing it.
  • This, in turn, is possible in part because marriage is no longer the thing that kicks off a woman’s adult life.
  • As sociologists put it, marriage is now a capstone event instead. It’s the thing you do when your life is in shape, when you have the right amount of money —and particularly in middle and lower-income communities, when you know you have the right partner, and in many cases, when you already have a kid. Marriage is popularly a sign that your life is in order, which contributes to this renewed positioning of marriage as aspirational.
  • [Jia Tolentino said] Right. It’s the fairytale narrative run through a late-capitalist filter. You make your money, you formalize your ambitions, and then you still get rewarded with the kiss and the ring.
  • [Rebecca Traister said] Despite all this, women are still not marrying at the same rate they were. You can bombard women with messages that they should be aiming for this; that they should be doing that. But you know what? They’re still not doing it. You might be able to make them feel bad about it—but this mass behavior no longer applies.

Continue reading “‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister”

No, I Do Not Like Richonne (Rick and Michonne as Romantic Couple on television series The Walking Dead) – Sex Can Be Risky in the Apocalypse

No, I Do Not Like Richonne (Rick and Michonne as Romantic Couple on television series The Walking Dead) – Sex Can Be Risky in the Apocalypse

This may be, perhaps, the only, or one of the very few, anti- Richonne blog posts on the internet.

  • To any Richonne Fans Who Are Reading This
  • If you have not seen my “About” page (and I currently have this stated at the top of the blog itself), I seldom permit dissenting views to be published on my blog.
  • Therefore, if you are a rabid Richonne supporter who leaves me a nasty, rude comment in response to this post, I likely will not publish it.
  • I don’t even bother to read the entirety of such posts – the moment I glance a few cuss words or rudeness in the first sentence of a post that is pending, awaiting me to grant permission to publish it, I hit the “trash can” button and delete it. I don’t even read the entire thing once I have ascertained it’s a vitriolic post.
  • So please, don’t waste your time or mine by composing one.
  • There is an addendum below addressing people on Twitter who were commenting to me how having Michonne, a black woman, in a romance with a white guy on this TV show, was supposedly oh- so- important. I have addressed those types of comments much farther blow (towards the end of the post, before the “Related Posts” section).
  • See also: (Link, off site):  Your Status as a Single Person Is a Diversity Issue

I did an internet search or two in the days after the February 21, 2016 airing of the zombie apocalypse show The Walking Dead episode in which the Rick Grimes character has sex with the Michonne character for the first time.

In the vast majority of reaction I see in blog posts or comments on entertainment sites that discuss “Richonne,” most people appear approving or enthusiastic about this TV show pairing. I cannot fathom why this is so.

I remain perplexed at the drooling, nutty, overboard enthusiasm so many TV viewers have for wanting to see TV characters date each other.

Further, if you dare disagree on these other sites about “Richonne” and admit to disliking “Richonne,” no matter how politely you state your views, many of these “Richonne” supporters become unhinged and vitriolic.

I happen to like the Michonne character and the Rick character – Rick has always been one of my favorite characters on the show. I have nothing against either actor who plays these characters.

However, I do not like or enjoy a Michonne-Rick romantic pairing.

I did not enjoy the show attempting to romantically pair Rick up with Jessie, either.

(Jessie was later killed by being eaten by zombies).

I mention this early on, as a lot of these Richonne fans wrongly assume anyone who dislikes “Richonne” must be a “Jessie – Rick shipper.”

Continue reading “No, I Do Not Like Richonne (Rick and Michonne as Romantic Couple on television series The Walking Dead) – Sex Can Be Risky in the Apocalypse”

Non-Romantic Nearness, The Billy Graham Rule, and Pope John Paul’s Friendship With a Married Woman

Non-Romantic Nearness, The Billy Graham Rule, and Pope John Paul’s Friendship With a Married Woman

Apparently, Pope John Paul II had a long term, platonic friendship with a married woman named Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka.

First, I will list an assortment of news articles summarizing the former Pope’s relationship with this woman –

And then I will link to (much farther down this page) a really good blog post by a Christian, Dan J. Brennan, who criticizes other Christians who sexualize all male-female relationships or who discourage male-female friendship. He is against the BGR (Billy Graham Rule), which teaches Christian men to sexually objectify ALL women, even celibate Christian women and keep single women at arm’s length.

(Link):  Pope John Paul II secret letters: Pontiff’s deep affection for Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka revealed

Feb 15, 2016

  • Letters shown to the BBC by the National Library of Poland have revealed an intense 30-year relationship between former Pope, John Paul II, and philosopher, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. There is no suggestion the late pontiff broke his vow of celibacy with Tymieniecka, a married woman.

Continue reading “Non-Romantic Nearness, The Billy Graham Rule, and Pope John Paul’s Friendship With a Married Woman”

The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic

The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic

Speaking of friendship: there is an account on Twitter whose owner sticks up for friendship and sometimes blogs against the Christian obsession with marriage or the stupid Billy Graham Rule. That account is (Link): Forbidden Friendships (@MenWomenFriends)

The Atlantic has a very long article about societal shifts concerning the delay or demise of marriage and the rise of female friendships, as they discuss it in the context of some television show called “Broads” that is about two lady friends. I’ve never seen the show.

(Link):  Broad City and the Triumph of the Platonic Rom-Com by Megan Garber

Excerpts:

  • The show’s new season asks what its heroines, Abbi and Ilana, are to each other: friends? Partners? More?
  • ….Abbi and Ilana share, basically, what a lot of young women—and young men—share in this age of delayed marriage and emergent adulthood and platonic roommates and geographic peripateticism and economic prosperity and economic uncertainty: a friendship that occupies the psychic space that used to be devoted to spouses and children.
  • While the (Link): marriage plot may still, dissolved and distended, drive many of Hollywood’s cultural products, Broad City reflects friendship’s age-old, but also new, reality: The show is suggesting that its heroines are already, effectively, married. To each other.
  • …The women’s partnership [which is platonic; they don’t have sex with each other], crucially, is not merely a matter of social circumstance; they aren’t simply keeping each other company until their respective dudes carry them along to their Happily Ever After. They are each other’s Happily Ever After. The pair, as Ann Friedman (Link): put it, are “more obsessed with each other than they are with men.” They are very probably the loves of each other’s lives.
  • Which makes Broad City, on the one hand, yet more evidence that we are living, as The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg (Link): put it, in “a golden age of female friendship.”

Continue reading “The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic”

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Even though the details of my life and situation are different, I sure did relate to this lady’s story.

My eye brow did raise at one or two points of this essay, such as her claim that people at her church encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant out of wedlock, and from the way she discusses her church, they sound pretty conservative and legalistic.

Perhaps she is telling the truth and that really did happen, it’s just that most conservative Christians are pro-life, not pro-choice, so I am having a hard time picturing any of them advising a pregnant woman to get an abortion.

With possibly a few wacko Protestant church exceptions, (Link): like this one, where the church’s preacher allegedly encouraged the women members to get abortions. But then, of course, there is information such as this: (Link): 2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

By and large, though, most churches are pro-life, not pro-choice.

At one point in this essay, Sheehan says that although she and her male friend were not having sex, that due to being constantly suspected and accused of having sex by Christians at her church, is actually what in large measure drove her and her boyfriend to become sexually active with one another.

Major irony there. Or maybe not…

As I have said time and again at my blog, most Christians, just like secular culture, just blindly assumes that celibacy is impossible for anyone over the age of 25 or so, and that it is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.

It is entirely possible for men and women to remain friends, and it is entirely possible for an adult to stay celibate for months or years at a time.

I have also explained before, in previous posts, that one reason there is so much fornication among Christian singles is precisely because most Christians have such low expectations: they expect that single adults will, or have, had sex outside of marriage. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy quite often.

The couple discussed in this post were expected, assumed to be, and suspected by their fellow congregants of sleeping together; this couple got tired of being falsely accused, so they figured, well, we might as well have sex, since everyone is already assuming we are and harassing us over it.

I also notice that one reason this woman’s husband, who was a Christian at one time, but is now an atheist or agnostic, began losing his faith over how miserably his grief (over the death of his father) was mishandled by Christians.

Oh yes, I relate: after my family member’s passing a few years ago, rather than receiving love, empathy, and encouragement from Christians in my family or churches I went to, I instead received judgment, criticism, platitudes, or indifference. This in turn is one of several things that caused me to partially leave the Christian faith.

One of a few things that caused Sheehan to leave the faith is over how one church she attended mishandled her abusive marriage – her priest told her to stay with the abusive husband.

This advice is also usually given in Baptist or Protestant situations. Christians often put keeping an (abusive) marriage before the welfare of the two persons who comprise the marriage.

Abused wives are usually instructed to stay with the abusive spouse and submit to the abuser more, or just pray about things. None of this resolves the situation but actually prolongs it.

I am not surprised in light of all the insensitive treatment that she and her husband endured at the hands of other believers, that they both developed major doubts about Christianity and walked away from it.

There were a few supportive comments to the woman who wrote this, in the comments area under the essay, but there were also a lot of hateful, judgmental, or naive posts left to her by Christians.

There were also a few annoying posts by atheists who were just there to say “all religion is idiotic, there is no God” to any of the well-meaning, yet naive Christians who were telling her to hold on to the faith, in spite of the Christians who had been mean to her at her prior churches.

Honestly, I wish those types of atheists would refrain from posting under articles like this one by Sheehan. I find their opportunistic, anti-theism drivel and rants to be about as bad as the nasty posts by the Christians who scolded Sheehan for leaving Christianity.

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted 

  • Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan
  • My family has always been part of the Catholic Church, including being actively involved in fighting for those beliefs in Ireland and France through the centuries. It is all I knew and I never imagined a life without it. Even in today’s permissive society, divorce is still a huge don’t in the Catholic Church.

    When my priest advised me to stay in an abusive marriage rather than lose access to the Catholic religion, I stayed — until my husband left me for one of the many women he had been seeing.

    I went back to my priest for help but instead found myself without a church.

    Confused and directionless, I ended up seeking help at a Word of Faith Christian Church in Texas.

    Although the church and I both believed in Jesus, the similarities ended there. Everything was so different from what I had grown up with, it made the transition very difficult.

    They kept trying to break down my identity by using scripture to suggest that everything about me, from Catholicism to my Irish culture, was evil and against God. It was like going through spiritual boot camp as they attempted to rebuild me into a person that could gain access to heaven.

    During my time there, I met my current husband. He was also having a tough time as his father had died suddenly the year before, causing him to question the church he had been raised in and even the existence of God due to how they handled his grief.

    We became really good friends who spent hours talking as we each struggled with our sheltered worlds collapsing around us, no matter how hard we tried to fight to keep the walls intact.

    The damage in our lives, caused by blind devotion to a religion, forced us to question all the truths we had been raised to believe.

    Continue reading “Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan”

Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe

Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe

This is one very long article. I am not going to paste all of it here, so you will have to use the link if you want to see the whole thing. It’s on The Atlantic’s site.

(Link): Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe

  • Part of it depends on whether they believe personality is fixed or constantly changing.
  • It’s a question that often plagues people after a painful break-up:

  • What went wrong? As they work to figure out the answer, people typically create new relationship stories, analyzing the events leading up to the breakup and using them to build a cohesive narrative.

  • In some cases, this type of storytelling can be positive, helping people to make sense of—and come to terms with—painful things that happen to them. Other times, though, the storytelling process can be a negative one, compounding pain rather than easing it.

  • My colleague Carol Dweck and I research why some people are haunted by the ghosts of their romantic past, while others seem to move on from failed relationships with minimal difficulty. Over the course of our research, I’ve read hundreds of personal stories about the end of relationships, and these stories offer some clues as to what pushes a person into one group or the other.

Continue reading “Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe”

A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

Link to the article is farther below.

The article I am linking to below details how modern Americans put way too many expectations on marriage to meet their emotional needs, and when marriage inevitably fails at this, they often divorce.

Evangelicals, Baptists, and other types of Christians also put way too much emphasis on marriage to meet their needs. Not that I am against people getting their needs met, but it seems to me too many people expect marriage to be their end-all, be-all fount of happiness in life, which is setting them up for disappointment.

The emphasis on marriage by Christians is damaging not only for married people, but also to adult singles and the church at large.

Christians who are married with kids tend to focus all their time and energy on their nuclear family, and they sometimes use their family as an excuse to blow off tasks at church.  I have blogged about that before, like in this post: (Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article).

You cannot get all your emotional needs met in a marriage, but a lot of people act like marriage should be able to perform this function.

Married women will blow off and ignore their single lady friends once they are married (or even in the dating stage of a relationship – I have blogged about that before (Link): here). Not only is this terribly unfair to adult singles, but it can leave the married person very alone if or when their spouse comes down with dementia or dies from a heart attack, old age, or an auto accident.

I’ve seen letters from widowed men who write to advice columnists who say they are incredibly lonely since their wife died – they have no social network to lean on, and their married friends no longer invite them over to dinners.

Continue reading “A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)”

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by W. Alsup

I am fairly certain that the woman who wrote this is a gender complementarian.

I myself am a former (note: FORMER) gender complementarian. I believe that Ms. Alsup might be a “soft” complementarian. If I am mistaken about that, I am sorry.

I’m only somewhat familiar with Ms. Alsup’s writings and views, and if I am remembering correctly, she is not terribly extreme in her gender role views and sometimes writes blog posts criticizing aspects of gender comp, such as the one that follows, though I believe she may support beliefs that women are not to be preachers in churches and so on.

As I’ve noted on my own blog time and again, Christians, especially gender complementarian ones, tend to sexualize any and all persons and relationships.

Of course, secular culture and left wing Christians can also be very bad about sexualizing anything and everything, though, hypocritically, the progressives profess to feeling “icked out” by Christian sponsored “Daddy Daughter” balls and date.

The progressives who find “Daddy Daughter” dates to be patriarchal and incestuous in undertone are often the same ones who sexualize hetero male-female relationships, or male-male relationships.

Progressive Christians or ex Christians tend to operate in the school of “it’s impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.” You can view an example of that here, in left leaning SCCL’s facebook thread about (link): Daddy Daughter dates.

To a degree, I share some of their (their =  SCCL or liberal) reservations or concerns about “Daddy Daughter” dates, but then, I’m also not running around acting as though men and women are incapable of being buddies.  I am not insisting that any and all male-female relationships are sexual, or have sexual undertones, or the potential to be sexual.

One very unfortunate result of conservative Christians, especially the gender complementarians, sexualizing everyone and anything, is that unmarried, adult women are treated like suspected harlots and are consequently shunned or excluded from social events, church functions, or friendships with married persons.

Married persons are coached in Christian sermons, marriage blogs, and TV programs, to steer clear of single women. This practice of shunning single women is sometimes referred to as the “Billy Graham Rule.” (Please see the bottom of this post, under the “Related Posts” section, for links to more information about that.)

(Link): Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Excerpts:

  • … What was God’s purpose in creating two genders to work together to image Him out into His kingdom? For a time, conservative evangelicals simplistically set up marriage as the ultimate purpose for the creation of two genders, particularly around Genesis 2:18.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

  • However, if you embrace Jesus as the key to understanding all of Scripture, then Jesus’ words on marriage in eternity give us necessary clarification on the purpose of the creation of two genders in Genesis 1 and 2.
  • God’s purposes for interactions between the two genders in this first sinless perfection in Eden is informed by glimpses of the second.
  • In Luke 20, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about whose wife in heaven a woman would be if she had multiple husbands on earth. In His answer, Jesus is clear that in heaven we do not marry. (Actually, we do marry, but Jesus is the groom.) Jesus teaches us that the ultimate goal in perfection for men and women is not human marriage to each other.
  • But then, what is left for perfect male/female relationships if not human marriage? Well, a TON is left. But we are warped as a society away from valuing the vast wealth of human male/female relationships that don’t involve sex. 

Continue reading “Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup”