Thoughts Regarding the Essay “Married or single, everyone is greedy,” by Esther Wickham, An Essay Which Misrepresents Adult Singles

Thoughts Regarding the Essay “Married or single, everyone is greedy,” by Esther Wickham, An Essay Which Misrepresents Adult Singles

Here is a link to the piece:

(Link): Married or single, everyone is greedy by Esther Wickham

Already, I have to object to the headline alone.

The author, Wickham, acknowledges within the essay that (Link): studies that show that married people are more likely to be selfish than adult singles, to not do things like volunteer at charities or help others, than are single adults.

Studies Show That It’s Married Persons, Not Singles, Who are Self Absorbed

Yet, Wickham tries to depict single adults as being “greedy” too.

No, I’m sorry, no. Studies show the opposite.

This isn’t to say that every single adult single is giving and self-less, but as a group, studies have shown that no, singles, as a group, are not “greedy.”

Conservatives: Old Strategy to Promote Marriage By Depicting Single Adults as Being Selfish, Greedy, or Maladjusted

Also, for decades now, it’s been a staple in conservative Christian circles, in various denominations, that all tend to be “hyper-” pro- marriage and “hyper” pro- nuclear family, to bolster the case for marriage by bashing singleness, and this has increased in the last several years, as marriage rates are on the decline.

Christians (and many conservative think tanks that are hyper pro-nuclear family and pro-marriage) think the way to “sell” and to market marriage to single adults is to make single adults think that singleness is terrible, singleness is greedy and selfishness, and that (Link): singles will supposedly be happier and healthier if they just hurry up and marry already.

(I happen to be a conservative myself, and I am not opposed to marriage or to parenthood, but I am in opposition to these essays by conservatives that bash singleness or single adults, or that exaggerate the benefits of marriage and the nuclear family.)

So one way many conservatives, both secular and Christian, tend to try to pressure or convince singles to marry, or to defend marriage itself, is to portray adult singles as being “selfish,” defective, immature, or as (Link): “ugly losers”.

See Also:

(Link): Authors at The Federalist Keep Bashing Singleness in the Service of Promoting Marriage – Which Is Not Okay

(Link):  Preacher Says in Sermon that Single Men Who Play Video Games Are Losers Who Have Retarded Spirits and This Creates Dating Problems for Women

Secular and  Christian conservatives also play the same game with childfree or childless people, women in particular:

Women who are single and/or childless past the age of 25 are often falsely portrayed by conservatives as intentionally choosing to be single and childless (when the reality is, plenty would’ve like to have been married but couldn’t meet an eligible mate), and are further inaccurately depicted in Christian blogs, radio shows, and so on as hating all men, hating babies, or as having chosen career over marriage.

Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has gone so far as (Link): to shame single Christian women for being single off and on over the years, in various blog posts or speaking engagements he’s given, and (Link): has suggested that childless adults are not “fully human.”

Gender Imbalance In Conservative Religious Circles Keeps Women Single

A big reason why a lot of religious women remain single into their 30s and older is that there has been a gender imbalance going on for decades now: there are more single women than single men in many houses of worship.

That is, there are plenty of single women who’d like to marry, but there are no compatible single men for them to marry. They’re not all deliberately choosing to opt out of marriage.

More here:

(Link):  What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue) 

(Link): It’s Not Your Imagination, Single Women: There Literally Aren’t Enough Men Out There – Re: Man Shortage – Follow Up Interview 

(Link): Some Adult Singles Have No Choice But to Delay Marriage Because They Are Too Busy Acting As Caretakers to Elderly Family

(Link): Married to the Job: How a Long-Hours Working Culture Keeps People Single and Lonely by S. Jaffee

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians | Re: Marriage Not Happening for Hetero-sexual Christians Over the Age of 30

(Link):  How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women– via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link):  Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

I have articles and studies on this blog explaining that there has been a gender imbalance among Mormons and conservative Jews for years now, and this is also the case for conservative Christians.

Some Christians have been waking up to the fact that many Christian single women who’d like to marry aren’t marrying due to lack of suitable male partners,
so we get idiot Christian sociologists such as Mark Regnerus arguing in his articles that Christian women should lower their mate selection criteria:
he actually says if a Christian single woman is opposed to marrying a known pornography addict, that she should ditch that criteria and go ahead and marry a known porn addict.

More on that here:

(Link):  Male Christian Researcher Mark Regnerus Believes Single Christian Women Should Marry Male Christian Porn Addicts – another Christian betrayal of sexual ethics and more evidence of Christians who do make an idol out of marriage

The Christians who are aware of the lack of potential male mates for single women are actually asking Christian women to abandon Christian sexual ethics or their own personal convictions, all to get married to a man, any man will do, so desperate are these Christian pundits to guilt trip and pressure women into marrying because marriage rates have fallen. It’s disgusting.

The Christian ‘Equally Yoked’ Rule and “Just Have Faith and Wait” Advice Keeps Christian Single Women Single Indefinitely

Christian women especially are brainwashed by evangelical and Baptist Christian sermons and Christian literature to believe in something called the “equally yoked rule,” which states that a Christian single adult should only marry another Christian.

I was raised Southern Baptist (Christian), and I definitely was taught the “equally yoked” rule in dating and marriage sermons and Christian dating advice books when younger.

I was also taught by Christians to expect that if I prayed and trusted God to send me a husband, and if I lived a godly lifestyle, had faith, and attended church regularly, that God would provide me with a Christian husband, most likely at a church.

I followed all the Christian advice about how to live life, that taught me if I just followed it, God would bless me with a husband – but although I followed all that Christian advice, had faith, went to church, and lived a clean lifestyle (and later even tried Christian dating sites), I have never married to this day, and I am now a 50-something.

I wrote more about that here:

(Link):  Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

Related to that:

(Link): Cathy The Single Woman Asks Pat Robertson Why God Has Not Replied to Her Prayers for Years to Send Her a Spouse

(Link):  Never-Married Adult Man Named Stephen Asks Christian Host Why God Has Not Answered His 3-Decades Long Prayers To Send Him A Wife

What happened over the course of my life is that every church I attended (I moved around growing up) there were no single men I attended at the churches I went to.

The only men in attendance at Baptist churches I went to when I was in my 20s and 30s were married men, or 82 year old widowed men, or a smattering of really weird, socially awkward, obese and smelly, socially mal-adjusted, creepy, 30- to- 50 something year old single men (but mostly, the ones I kept running into were men who were married or else way too old for me).

If I had married in my 20s, I was obviously wanting to marry a man in his 20s, not an 82 year old man.

Christian Women Brainwashed to be Pathologically Giving, Empathetic (Non-Selfish) – Codependency for Women is Enshrined Via Incorrect Biblical Interpretations and the Gender Complementarian Doctrine

I spent years being very codependent (which I am (Link): no longer).

My mother and the complementarian Baptist churches I was raised in presented “biblical womanhood” as being near identical to codependency, which means I was pathologically non-greedy, and un-selfish for over 35 years.

It wasn’t until my late 40s, due to life experience, and having read books and articles by psychologists about codependency, that I started, finally, in a healthy way, began prioritizing my own needs, dreams, and goals in life, instead of feeling obligated to run around rescuing other people and helping them meet their goals in life at the expense of my goals and dreams.

I spent over 35 years being non-greedy as an un-married adult – not greedy, but non-greedy.

Yes, Married People Tend to Run Self Absorbed, Because Unlike Singles, They Can Afford to Do So

And yes, anecdotally, (research studies aside), and I know that the author, Wickham, may not want to hear this, but the reality is, I can tell you that many married couples are, yes, “insular,” which makes them “greedy.”

Married couples turn to each other to get their emotional needs met, as well as companionship needs met.

Married couples do not like to hang out with single adults… but they will do selfish, self serving things such as phone their single adult friend when their spouse goes out of town on a business trip or deployment for weeks or months, because they get lonely without their spouse around.

The moment that married friend’s spouse returns, though, they go back to basically ignoring you, their single friend, because they were just “using” you so long as their spouse was out of town and they felt lonely.

I’ve had single adult women friends who began to ignore me 99% of the time the moment they got a boyfriend or got married – and then they stopped staying in touch with me (unless their spouse left for a business trip, as I just explained).

More here:

(Link): Women Who Dump Women Friends As Soon As They Get A Spouse or Boyfriend (Letter to Advice Columnist)

And to all you married people out there that keep turning to your spouse and get lazy at developing your relationships outside of your marriage: your spouse is going to die one day, perhaps before you.

I am constantly seeing “married with young children” couples complain about how exhausting it is to be a parent.

This is particularly true of the mothers who write (Link): these cloying essays on various sites begging their adult single women friends to run over and play “free babysitter” for them, or do housework for them, so they can take a nap.

I see many extremist, pro-Family Christians write articles going back decades and books advising single adults (especially women) that it’s our duty or obligation, as a single woman, to act as free maid service or free baby sitters to the married mothers out there.

I never, ever see Christians writing books or articles telling married couples with kids or no to provide help or assistance to their single and childless adult friends. This “help” only runs one way, and (Link): never in the direction of the single and childless adults.

After having re-read the essay by Wickham, I don’t think she has a full picture of why some remain single, and it’s not fully because “the institutions that traditionally provided couples with support” are on the wane.

The very first and crucial hurdle many women face, especially conservative religious women, is just finding a suitable, single conservative religious man to start with – such men are not in churches.

Most religious women are not going to try to find a man in a night club or bar. Dating sites are filled with perverts and weirdos, including self-professing Christian ones.

I will be returning to commenting more on Wickham’s essay below these excerpts:

Excerpts from the essay:

(Link): Married or single, everyone is greedy by Esther Wickham

Marriage — it’s an institution that a majority of people desire for themselves but one that struggles to flourish in a society that prioritizes individualism and scorns the institutions that traditionally provided couples with support. No wonder, then, that some have decided they’re better off without it.

In a recent interview with the Atlantic, Dr. Bella DePaulo, 68, who worked as a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, admitted she’s spent her whole life as a single person with no desire for marriage.

… Yet DePaulo pointed out that many of the married couples who are supposed to be happier than her have begun to disconnect from their communities and isolate themselves. Their marriage, she said, becomes greedy.

…. Research suggests DePaulo is, in some ways, correct. A New York Times article “found that married respondents were significantly less likely than the unmarried to contact or see their parents and siblings. … The married are also less frequently spent time with or helped friends and neighbors. … More than 80% of never-married individuals said they’d called or written to their parents in the last month, compared with just 60% of married people. Likewise, around 70% of unmarried people but only 30% of the married had socialized with friends in the last month.”

However, DePaulo overstated her case. Married people inevitably have different priorities than those who are single. They are often focused on raising children and building a home, both of which are time-intensive responsibilities.

Moreover, it is normal for married couples to spend what free time they do have on each other.

… To be sure, married couples should make their communities a priority and resist the temptation to isolate themselves. But to say that most married couples are greedy for spending too much time with their spouses and not enough with family and friends is to misunderstand the very purpose of marriage.

Surely in a society that overemphasizes “self-love,” couples who prioritize each other should be viewed favorably. There’s nothing wrong with a “greedy marriage,” nor is there anything wrong with singlehood — so long as both lifestyles are lived in moderation, of course.
— end excerpts —-

DePaulo was right on the money and was not “over stating” her case.

History of Marriage in the USA

Contrary to what this author writes, no, marriage was not “always that way.”

I’ve read other research and studies that explain that in the past, in the United States, couples did not spend as much time with each other as they’ve been doing the last 50 or so years – they would invest more time with extended family and so on than they do now.

Continue reading “Thoughts Regarding the Essay “Married or single, everyone is greedy,” by Esther Wickham, An Essay Which Misrepresents Adult Singles”

I Woke From a Coma After Five Months To Find Out My Fiance’ Had Ghosted Me and Moved in With Someone Else, Woman Reveals

I Woke From a Coma After Five Months To Find Out My Fiance’ Had Ghosted Me and Moved in With Someone Else, Woman Reveals

And yet, even in 2022, there are some people who suggest that being married is necessary to feel or to be complete, or to be ethical, mature, or godly.

You can find someone who you believe is your “soul mate” and still end up being abused or let down by that person.

So these people out there pushing marriage as making people more happy, healthy, content, or whatever, than not being married, should stop promoting such bogus views.

I do relate to, and can sympathize with, the woman’s comments about her fiance’ ghosting her making it difficult for her to trust people any more.

I went through a situation or two in my life that were quite eye opening and made me see clearly for the first time how very selfish and self absorbed most people are, and it can be difficult to trust people once you see this.

(Link): Brie Duval wakes up from coma to find partner blocked her on social media

by Yaron Steinbuch

An Australian woman has revealed how her long-term boyfriend blocked her on social media and shacked up with another woman while she was in a coma after a devastating accident.

Perth native Brie Duval, 25, was living in Canada with her partner of four years when she fell headfirst from a parking garage after a night out with friends on Aug. 29, 2021, the UK’s Mirror reported.

Deval was rushed by helicopter to the University of Alberta Hospital, where she was placed on life support with a traumatic brain injury and multiple broken bones.

Continue reading “I Woke From a Coma After Five Months To Find Out My Fiance’ Had Ghosted Me and Moved in With Someone Else, Woman Reveals”

Dear Prudence: “Help! My Sister Thinks I Should Give Up a Promotion to Continue Being Her Free Babysitter.”

Dear Prudence: “Help! My Sister Thinks I Should Give Up a Promotion to Continue Being Her Free Babysitter.”

I’m a conservative, I am not against motherhood or women wanting to have children.

Having said that, I’ve noticed that some of the most entitled (or rude) a-holes I’ve ever seen online (aside from “anti theist atheists,” men’s rights groups, and trans activists) are mothers.

But not all mothers are awful – my own mother was pretty wonderful, and I’ve been friends with women who have children and who are perfectly wonderful people, too.

There are, though, some mothers who are entitled, un-sympathetic, demanding, a-holes.

I have other examples on my blog of entitled parents (usually mothers) acting like spoiled, demanding, bratty a-holes towards their childless and/or single friends or siblings.

The married with children sister as described in the letter below sounds like a big, honking narcissist – she’s very self absorbed and entitled.

The single, childless sister doesn’t owe her continual, free baby-sitting…

(what is it with so many mothers whining about how tiring motherhood is and expecting all their friends and family – usually the single ones – to drop everything to be free baby sitters?
If you can’t handle the responsibility of having children, you should be sexually abstinent or should’ve used birth control),

… the sister certainly does not deserve or is entitled to free baby sitting services at the expense of her sister’s job promotion!

Please be sure to see the additional comments I made BELOW the following link with excerpts:

(Link): Help! My Sister Thinks I Should Give Up a Promotion to Continue Being Her Free Babysitter.

Excerpts:

It’s not my fault her life is a mess.

Advice By R. Eric Thomas
JUNE 02, 2022

Dear Prudence,

I am happily single, while my sister is married to the biggest man-baby on the planet. He thinks putting a dirty dish in the sink is worthy of a parade and being a good parent is telling my sister the baby is crying before going back to his video game.

Both work full time, but my sister takes care of the kids, the house, and the dogs, and she constantly leans on me to help out (while complaining about her husband refusing to).

I have been watching and raising my young nieces since they were born when my sister can’t.

I love them to pieces—but I have been waiting for them to get old enough so my sister doesn’t have to pay for expensive infant care.

I am tired of being expected to pick them up from school five days a week and to take care of them when my sister works weekends while my brother-in-law goes camping with his friends.

My sister has gone back and forth about getting a divorce for years, and I have tried to be as neutral as I could possibly be, but we have fought about it. She tells me I can’t understand that a marriage is about compromise and companionship—I don’t get an opinion.

Continue reading “Dear Prudence: “Help! My Sister Thinks I Should Give Up a Promotion to Continue Being Her Free Babysitter.””

Working Millennial Moms Complain Their Husbands Treat Them Like Housewives

Working Millennial Moms Complain Their Husbands Treat Them Like Housewives

Another news piece pointing out that motherhood is not fun, relaxing, or rewarding – certainly not consistently. Nor is marriage.

(Link): Working millennial moms complain their husbands treat them like housewives

May 19, 2022
By Jeanette Settembre

… Millennial moms are opening up about how motherhood strikes a blow to their equitable marriages, where babies seem to transform their supposedly feminist husbands into old-school, hands-off, 1950’s-style dads.

Despite remaining outwardly supportive of their wives’ careers, these secret traditionalists want partners who do all the childcare, cooking and cleaning, the women say, expecting them to kick off from work and turn into June Cleaver from “Leave it to Beaver.”

Continue reading “Working Millennial Moms Complain Their Husbands Treat Them Like Housewives”

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

Mom Left Husband of 14 Years for ‘Soul Mate’ – Only to Be Rejected

Mom Left Husband of 14 Years for ‘Soul Mate’ – Only to Be Rejected

One thing I’ve never understood about secular and Christian conservatives who are too unrealistic about marriage (and the nuclear family) is how they can continue to view marriage (or parenthood, the nuclear family) through such rose-colored glasses, when we all know people who married and/or had children, but marriage or parenthood left them miserable.

Maybe the person they married turned out to be emotionally or physically abusive, or marriage turned out to be unfulfilling. Maybe their spouse committed adultery on numerous occasions.

Let the story below show once again that the Christian, pro-Nuclear family narrative that “marriage makes people more godly, loving, ethical and mature” is a bunch of hooey.

Marriage didn’t make the woman below, who dumped her long time husband for a hottie she met earlier, more “mature” or less selfish or more ethical.

Whatever the specifics, marriage and parenthood sometimes turn out to be horrible or disappointing.

(A reminder: I am not opposed to marriage, parenthood, or the nuclear family – I’m only opposed to a culture, Christian or secular, that pressure or shame people into having kids, getting married, and treats people who do not marry or have kids, for whatever reason, like failures, weirdos, or garbage.)

(Link): Mom left husband of 14 years for ‘soul mate’ — only to be rejected

by Andrew Court
May 9, 2022

It takes two souls to tango.

A mom of two has been mocked on social media after revealing she left her longtime husband for a man she believed to be her “soul mate” — only for him to promptly reject her.

Amanda Trenfield has been described by critics as a “self-destructive sociopath” for writing about the emotional saga in her new book, “When A Soulmate Says No.”

An excerpt from the tome, published in the Sydney Morning Herald last week, sparked ridicule from readers who claimed the rejection was karma for the fact she had blown up her own marriage.

“She ruined her life for nothing! One of the biggest losses we’ve ever seen,” one reader quipped with glee.

In the extract, Trenfield describes an electric encounter with her so-called soul mate, which occurred while she was at a dinner party with her husband.

Continue reading “Mom Left Husband of 14 Years for ‘Soul Mate’ – Only to Be Rejected”

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

I did a blog post about this about three weeks ago:
((Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship).

I had more I wanted to say about this.

This guy’s blog post – Joseph Burgo’s post – about “The Toilet Function of Friendship” that I blogged about previously really hit home with me…

 especially since I am a recovered codependent who, over 35+ years during the time I was codependent (and used to have clinical depression and had low self esteem), kept attracting abusive, mean, nasty, self absorbed, pessimistic, depressed, emotionally needy and psychologically wounded or personality disordered people to me,

…and the comments left by people at the bottom of his post were also very eye opening or informative.

I wanted to discuss a few comments visitors left to his post, above all, a post by someone calling herself “Rachel,” and a comment by “Fletcher.”

I’ll probably save Fletcher’s and Rachel’s comments for last.

I notice a lot of the people who left comments below the post on Burgo’s blog say that they have been on the receiving end of this situation, where they attract negative or hurting friends who cope with life’s stress by “dumping” and venting about their problems to a sympathetic listener.

I too was in that position for many years, and it left me resentful, exhausted, and with nothing to show for it.

I’ve always been a very good, attentive listener.

I’m not the sort of person who attempts to pivot every conversation back on to herself, so… meaning…

If you’re my acquaintance or friend, and you stop by my cubicle during the work day or call me at home to confide in me about some problem you are having, I used to just sit there and let you talk for how ever many hours you wanted to rant and confide.

Even if I was wanting to get off the phone after 20 to 40 minutes, I was reluctant to end the phone call, so I’d sit there while the emotionally needy friend or family member droned on and on and on (or ranted and ranted in anger) about whatever problems they were having.

(I used to never, or very rarely, put time limits on people when they would complain to me, which left me utterly exhausted.

In my codependent years, I felt guilty if I tried to end people’s “complain and gripe” fests prematurely (because I was getting physically tired listening, or they were interrupting my work or whatever the reason), and I was afraid they’d break off friendship with me if I refused to allow them to use me as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

Only in the last few years, as I reflect upon my past, do I realize HOW UNFAIR this was to me.)

My habit was to just sit and listen thoughtfully, to nod my head in sympathy as you would rattle off your life’s stress to me, whether it was about your lazy, selfish boyfriend, or your ex-husband who wouldn’t pay child support, or your jerk boss making your work life awful – whatever it was.

And when I would finally speak up, after listening to you vent, I would only make empathetic, non-judgmental comments.

Back in my codependent, people pleasing days, I would tell you I was sorry you were under so much stress, and I hoped your situation would improve. I would validate your feelings, validate your situation, so you would feel heard and understood.

I rarely, oh so rarely, would give people who talked to me to complain to me, advice, judgement, criticism, or platitudes.

All of those relationship habits and qualities of mine that I had for many years made me very, very attractive to needy, angry, depressed, narcissistic, pessimistic, or unhappy people.

I now know better.

I think it does take a lot of life experience to get here, to be able to look at my past, to see where my Mom and church were in error to teach me as they did, (with their teachings being largely responsible for turning me into an attractive target for hurting, angry, or emotionally needy people), to see clearly the patterns of behavior.

Most of the people who used me to get their emotional needs met (but who seldom met mine in return) had very deep psychological problems or maladaptive coping skills.

Some had clinical depression (which I also had myself for over 30+ years), some may have been Covert Narcissists, some choose to cope with pain, disappointment, or anger in life by complaining to someone else – and I was often that “someone else.”

Some of these people have deeply entrenched psychological issues, and there is no amount of me listening to them and consoling them that is going to heal them. That concept took me much later in life to figure out, and that point was confirmed in various articles or books I read by psychologists and psychiatrists in the last few years.

These types of people really need to see a psychologist or licensed therapist over a period of weeks or months to work on their inner problems and relational styles that lead them to cope with their frustration or anger in life by constantly “dumping” them verbally on to a trusted friend for months or years.

If you are a people pleaser, an empath, or a codependent (whatever label you use for yourself), you need to accept that you will not get your needs met by ignoring your own and running around meeting other people’s needs, if that is one of your secret motivations for why you help others or act as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

(Some codependents think it’s not acceptable for them to get their needs met; they got the message from their family or church while they were growing up that it’s supposedly “selfish” for one to get one’s own needs met.

And no, it is not selfish to get one’s own needs met, or to expect people who say they are your friends to sometimes meet your needs in return. It’s part of a normal, healthy childhood or adulthood to get one’s needs met.)

If you’re a people pleaser, a codependent, you will have to be more intentional about when, to whom, under what circumstances, and for how long you will show someone else care, compassion, concern, or give them financial assistance.

Because if you do not learn to get comfortable with putting limits on your time, compassion, finances, and energy, you will be exploited and taken advantage of by many people who never (or rarely) meet your needs in return. All these people over decades will drain you dry and leave you exhausted.

I do think there are some times in life where it’s appropriate to grant people more emotional support than usual and not expect much in return.

But such occasions should be exceptions, such as, if your friend is in the grieving process over the death of a loved one, in such occasions, it may be acceptable to allow them to complain to you for hours over two to four years as they process the loss.

But if you have a friend who more or less contacts you regularly to complain a lot about every issue (and I mean the non-exceptions – just to rant about how they hate their job, their boyfriend is inconsiderate – your more tedious, normal life situations that are not as stressful, as say, a death in the family) – or maybe the same two or three (trivial, mundane) issues repeatedly – you really need to put limits on that person.

Most people who do this venting are only using you to get their emotional needs met, and they will NOT return the same non-judgmental emotional support to you that you granted them for weeks or years.

SAMPLE COMMENTS

From the (Link): Burgo blog post, some comments left by some of his blog visitors:

Tracey

by Tracey
Dec 10, 2020

Wow! What a powerful article and one I, too needed to hear and to equally recognize both sides.

I have ‘friends’ who dump on me that I should un-friend, but I have been loathe to do so for myriad reasons.

Continue reading “More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World “

When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship

When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship

🧻🪠🚽

There are several sites or blogs carrying the same essay by the same guy (or very similar content – looks to me as though one author copied the work of this Burgo guy but didn’t credit him that I could see).

I very much related to this guy’s essay, because over the course of my life, I have often played the role of being the “toilet” for friends to dump their emotional problems or complaints into.

I think what a lot of what this guy describes is more common among women than men.

Women are socially conditioned to be warm, nurturing, and to console other people when they’re hurting, sad, frustrated, or angry.

The phrase “emotional labor” came to describe this “empathetic listening” type role a lot of women are expected to play for the people around them, whether those people are men, women, or co-workers, strangers on the street, friends, or family members.

And if you’re like me and played that “empathetic listener” to other people for decades, it is mother clucking exhausting.

And as you grow older, you will look back on your life and realize all that kind-hearted listening and consoling you dished out to your hurting or angry friends didn’t do anything for you or to help you in your life.

Continue reading “When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship”

The Weird, Sexist World of Gary Thomas and His Weird Sex and Marital Advice Books to Christians

The Weird, Sexist World of Gary Thomas and His Weird Sex and Marital Advice Books to Christians

Several months ago, a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook – mainly married or divorced Christian women – were really angry with Christian author Gary Thomas, I think mainly for some new book he released last year about marriage that contained some really gross, sexist, or disturbing marital and sex advice.

To be honest, I was busy with other things in fall of 2021 when this stuff went down. I should’ve blogged about it then but didn’t have the time.

I wasn’t able to totally follow the controversy, so I am not sure how to write up a summary, but from what I could tell, Gary Thomas wrote a bunch of strange, bizarre, sexist stuff about women, wives, sex, and marriage – some of it involving advising married women to tickle their spouse’s testicles with their make-up brushes – ???? 🤨😯🤮

From what I do recall, after people online began posting screen shots of Thomas’ weird marital advice book around October of 2021, a lot of women then began taking Thomas to task for the book’s objectional contents by contacting him at his Twitter or Facebook accounts and letting him know how troubling his book is.

Along with screen shots or quotes from Gary Thomas’ new marriage book, some of the women may have also included screen shots of his previous, troubling work.

Below you will find a smorgasbord of material about Gary Thomas’ weird or sexist marital and sex advice, most of which will probably be from his recent marriage advice book, but some may be from other sources he’s written (I’m unsure about that).

I began putting this post together prior to reading the Sheila Wray Gregoire review of said book (which I have excerpted below), and wowza, this book is cringe. So cringe. It’s awkward.

I’m not even done reading the entire Gregoire review yet. I’ve only read down the first several sentences (where she summarizes from the book), and my eye brows are already raised in shock, when my facial expression is not registering horror.

Cringey Christian Advice (Link): @cringeyxtian on Twitter was once source of Gary Thomas material you may want to visit.

Apparently, Thomas is rather fixated on women’s breasts or breast size, as he discussed this topic in his marital advice books.

I’ve not read his books, does he tell any male readers of his book that huge penis size matters to a lot of women? Because according to studies, it does:

(Link): Article: Scientists: Why penis size does matter [to women]

Also pertinent:

(Link):  Bride Discovers New Husband Has Micropenis On Honeymoon After He Refused to Have Sex Before Marriage

The more cringey, sexist, awful martial and sex advice I see from Christian writers such as Doug Wilson, John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll, Gary Thomas, and guys like them, and the more exposes I see about churches who harass their abused, married women members to stay married to child abusers and stay married to pedophiles, the more I am happy I remained single and celibate into middle-age. It looks like I dodged a bullet. Marriage is not worth this misery.

This is a review about Gary Thomas’ marital advice book:

(Link): The Fragile Male Ego That Can’t Function Without Constant Sexual Validation by S. Ashley

By that same author, but hosted on Medium:

(Link): “But Have You Tried Sleeping Naked?”

by Shannon Ashley
Oct 2021

Writers like Gary Thomas keep banking on men’s sexual satisfaction to save evangelical marriages.

…For decades, most mainstream Christian self-help books have taught sex in a way that harms the end goal of healthy marriages. Instead, authors have relied on faulty principles and pseudoscience like pink and blue brains or good Christian men cheat when their frigid, dowdy wives drive them to it.

…To make matters worse, Gary convolutes the messages he’s plagiarized. Although he uses ideas and phrasing from The Great Sex Rescue, he also undercuts them by utilizing the same old faulty Christian teachings in question

Continue reading “The Weird, Sexist World of Gary Thomas and His Weird Sex and Marital Advice Books to Christians”

The Fragile Male Ego That Can’t Function Without Constant Sexual Validation by S. Ashley

The Fragile Male Ego That Can’t Function Without Constant Sexual Validation by S. Ashley

The following pertains to Christian author Gary Thomas and his weird, sexist marital advice book, Married Sex, that got savaged by Christian women on social media in 2021.

I will provide an excerpt or two below, but really, this author’s entire review of Thomas’ book is quite good, so I would ask that you please click the link below to visit her review – which is hosted on Medium – to read the entire piece.

(Link): The Fragile Male Ego That Can’t Function Without Constant Sexual Validation by S. Ashley

Excerpts:

[Thomas earlier book, When to Walk Away, was well-received by many Christian women.]

Unfortunately, his latest book (co-authored by Debra K. Fileta and published by Zondervan Books), Married Sex, comes across more like a sex-obsessed man desperately trying to convince himself and the rest of us that his fixations were “designed by God.”

[The author of the piece then goes on to discuss certain parts of the book by Thomas that concerned her.]

[Excerpt from the Gary Thomas book, by Thomas]:

“Now she asks us to put a coaster under our drink or pick up our socks from the floor, and we act like she’s requesting twelve hours of hard labor. God isn’t unaware of this tendency, so he has given us men a physiological compulsion to keep our wives near and dear in our affections.
If it has been a while since we’ve had sex, those hormones start to boil, and the “drive” slowly begins to captivate our minds. If we grow in love and understanding, we’ll learn that for our wives to be sexually available to us, they need to be relationally and even spiritually connected with us.

When I saw this as God’s creational design, I realized that my sex drive was God’s way of keeping me aware of my wife’s relational needs. The fact that our brains have so much more space devoted to sex drive motivates us men to pursue our wives on all levels—with loyalty, empathy, and love. God’s design is for men to be so sexually vulnerable to their wives that they don’t neglect them in other aspects of the relationship.”
— end Thomas book excerpt —

This is so, so, so… gross. So gross! I (and so many other women) have zero interest in being with a man who requires constant sexual incentive just to be a decent human being.

Continue reading “The Fragile Male Ego That Can’t Function Without Constant Sexual Validation by S. Ashley”

Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

I have a quibble with #14 on the list. It says you’re not supposed to “keep score” in a relationship.

I think I see what they mean, but…. there are times in your life when you’re in a relationship, whether it’s dating, a work relationship, friendship, marriage, whatever type of relationship, where the other person is in fact self-absorbed, selfish, and/or narcissistic, which means, you will start to notice after so many months or years that you are definitely doing most of the giving most of the time but the other person hardly gives back.

When you’re in an imbalanced relationship, you can’t help but start to notice and feel resentful, and that type of relationship is not sustainable. It’s NOT petty or immature to start noticing and getting angry, resentful, or tired of being exploited by another person. That’s actually a normal reaction.

Point 3 below reminds me of a variation of friendships or other non-romantic relationships: when you, for example, call a family member because you’re upset, sad, stressed or angry about X, but the family member uses YOUR phone call about YOUR problem to say something like, “That sounds bad, but let me tell you about MY bad day / week / month / marriage / job problems.”

And before you know it, you end up listening to THEM talk about THEIR problem for an hour and a half, when you phoned them seeking a sounding board or empathy for YOUR problem.

I’ve had numerous friends and family over my life pull that on me, and it’s totally infuriating.

I was too bashful for years to do anything about it, but a few years ago, when one of my Aunts tried pulling something similar on me – she tried to commandeer the phone call to make it all about HER.

I listened to a moment for her to talk about her, I made a brief comment about “oh, I’m sorry to hear about that,” but then I said, “but anyway, like I was saying to you a moment ago, I’m upset lately, because blah blah blah…” (I pivoted the phone call BACK TO ME).

I didn’t let this Aunt, who is notorious for hijacking of conversations to turn it all back to her and her life, to get away with it yet again.

Here is the list:

(Link): Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

Excerpts:

March 23, 2022
by Ieva Gailiūtė and Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Anyone in a long-term relationship can tell you it’s no easy walk in the park. Just think about the heated arguments, compromises, and misunderstandings — navigating the ups and downs is quite a task right there, especially when it comes to marriage. Well, no one is immune to the occasional blips and bumps in the road, and this viral thread is here to prove it.

Reddit user Zorra_ decided to find out what blunders happen after people tie the knot and say “I do”. They raised a question on the Ask Reddit online forum: “Marriage counselors, what are the most common mistakes couples make?” Hundreds of professionals rolled up their sleeves and typed some of the things they witnessed during their careers.

…..1. [Relationship Should Take Priority Over Marriage]

I’m not a marriage counselor but my wife posted a very meaningful and controversial article the other day and tagged me in it because I agree with its philosophy.

It was titled “Your kids should not be the most important part of your marriage.”

Continue reading “Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make”

I Want to Divorce My Unbelievably Selfish Husband, Advice by S. L. Brown

I Want to Divorce My Unbelievably Selfish Husband, Advice by S. L. Brown

I hesitate to link to too many of these advice columnists any more, as months ago, someone admitted to writing bogus letters asking for advice, that were published to Slate, or some other publication. But maybe what follows is real… I’ve certainly known women in real life whose husbands are very selfish.

Anyway, for years, I had wanted to be married, and I never did get married. I eventually made peace with that.

Every so often I see letters like what follows below, or other women’s divorce horror stories – where they had to leave an abusive husband – and it makes me feel even more at peace with the fact I never married.

There’s no point in being married if the person you marry is selfish or treats you like garbage. It’s better to be single, or to stay single, then end up marrying an abuser or a self absorbed jackass.

(Most Christian gender complementarians would command this woman to stay in this joke of a marriage she describes and continue putting up with this horseshit from her selfish husband, because their interpretation of the Bible. 
I think their interpretation of the Bible is totally incorrect about gender roles and divorce… if you’re a grown woman, you have to make choices based on what you believe is best for you, not on another person’s fallible interpretation of the Bible.

If you’re a Christian woman, don’t look for, or count upon, your church’s or pastor’s “permission” to divorce an abusive or selfish husband, because most will not grant it.)

(Link): I Want to Divorce My Unbelievably Selfish Husband, Advice by S. L. Brown

January 31, 2022

Dear Care and Feeding,

I am a married mom of two kids. My husband is unbelievably selfish.

I do pretty much all of the parenting, housework, cooking, driving to extracurriculars, shopping, etc.

I also pay for virtually everything (we have separate bank accounts). He works a lot less hours than I do for around the same pay.

He spends his free time napping, going to the gym, getting massages … you get the picture.

I spend my free time looking after the kids. We’ve been to therapy, and he has stated that this is just how he is.

I’m beyond resentful and the only thing he contributes to our household right now is to the mess … that I then have to clean up. We live like roommates to the point that he sleeps in another room.

Continue reading “I Want to Divorce My Unbelievably Selfish Husband, Advice by S. L. Brown”