Skip to comments.Fan-Mail, Not an Equal, Successful Life? Mad Momma and Guilt and Shame,
Posted on 08/20/2002 1:14:42 PM PDT by mlmr
Dear Mrs. Web:
I am a 28 year-old single professional woman with a successful career and I am financially well off.. I am also taking classes for a graduate degree. I love my career and I am a bookworm.
People assume that I have it all, and that I should be tremendously happy. In reality, I drive about 100-150 miles per day, have little free time, and am frequently so exhausted I just fall into bed at night. I have some casual friends I do things with, but I have no close friends. I haven't dated in almost 3 years. I am considered attractive, but I don't normally spend a lot of time on my appearance.
How can I have it all yet have nothing? This isn't me, and I don't like my existence. It would be nice to just sit, talk, and laugh. When I do, it feels like I'm wasting time. I feel like I'm 40. Help!
Lets see: you have a full time job, you are in grad school, part-time, you have a horrific amount of commuting and no life outside of work. You are exhausted, have no beloved, and have no close friends. You dont even pamper yourself.
I cannot imagine why you think you have it all. It sounds like a difficult, exhausting and lonely life. This may be time for you to rethink your priorities and find the kind of work and community so you can just sit, talk, and laugh. You may want to consider what kind of past experiences in your life may have led you to such a lonely existence. It is time for you to dream, plan and move towards the life, connections and commitments that will fill your heart and challenge you.
We live in a culture that tells men and women that all that is needed in life are "things" and "celebrity." Extended family groups are gone, nuclear families are atomized at will, and only the me, myself and I counts. Of course, this is a lie. Most people want and need a be loved and relationships ties. Stop listening to the common culture telling you what you are supposed to feel and do. Instead face the truth, decide what is really important and make it your life.
Dear Mrs Web,
I am a 20 year old college student. I have been involved with my boyfriend for 9 months, and prior to that we knew each other for 6 years.
We are now having problems. I do not want to spend any time with him. I think this is a result of his unwillingness to consider that I am taking on a double course-load at college so I can graduate a year early. When I tell him I have to stay home and do homework, he gets very whiny and complains that he won't get to see me. Between my school work and his demands I rarely have any time to myself to work out or do anything else I like to do.
I am very annoyed with him because he seems to lack ambition. I am a very ambitious person...I want to change the world. Although I don't expect everyone to have the same motivation, he seems to have none. He is twenty-four and seems perfectly content to continue living at home. We have discussed buying house together in the future, and I came up with a plan to save money for a down payment hoping that he could plan to match my savings. When I told him about my plan and asked him what he would do, he said he would sell his bike. That is a big sacrifice for him, but he might get $1,000 out of it as compared to the $4500 I was planning on saving.
Currently he is in an extremely low paying job, but he hopes to land an electrician apprenticeship. The only thing he has to do before applying for the apprenticeship is finish an algebra course he is taking online...which he won't do! He refuses to do the work, even with my help. I understand not enjoying a required course but he does have to doe it to meet the ultimate goal.
I am working hard to ensure myself a better life by going to school and I plan to continue my education starting right after graduation. By the time I am his age, I will have 2 B.S. degrees and will be working on my graduate degree.
Although I understand that school isn't the path for everyone, I am afraid that I will put myself through all of this to try to make my life better and wind up with a man who can barely make it through. I want to be comfortable in life. How can I talk to him about this without making him think I don't think he makes enough money? Are these differences reconcilable?
Let's be honest, you don't think he will make enough money.
Marry your equal or better. You have drive and he doesnt. Some one who has a similar vision, and is willing to work for it.
Do you want him to be a stay-at-home father? If not, find someone with more push, not an anchor.
People with your kind of drive will also benefit by reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Dear Mrs. Web,
My son's wedding is next month. I am not very happy about it. He and his fiancée have been living together for three years. She is very rude and disrespectful to my husband and me.
They never visit us on holidays and now this girl is angry with me for not helping with her wedding plans. I told her I just could not understand why we were celebrating a wedding when the marriage began three years ago. I also told her that I could not compromise my morals and values to be happy for her. She became very angry and yelled at me. I just don't understand her, she wants a huge wedding. Now, she is asking us to pay for the alcohol for the wedding and help with the seating chart - I am not even going to call her back - why should we help?
This wedding is ridiculous. She has asked my daughters to be in the wedding party and now I have to deal with that as well. My son never calls me any more and she has come between us.. I am angry and think they need to rethink their morals. My son does seem happy, but I am not - what should I do?
This is your son and his future wife. This is the woman he has chosen. By your actions during this time you will determine what kind of future you will have with your son, his wife and your future grandchildren. If you disagreed with the moral footing that began the relationship you should have addressed it with your son three years ago. Dear Mrs. Web assumes that this young woman did not leash your son against his will and force him to sleep with her. Although nothing surprises Dear Mrs. Web these days (big sigh).
Stop attacking your soon-to-be daughter-in-law.
The grooms family traditionally pays for the rehearsal dinner. Apparently your son and his future wife have other ideas. I would sit down with your son and discuss politely and with grace what you will do to help them in this wedding.
Dont blow up your family because things are not going your way. It is not your job to be happy. It is your job to be polite, helpful, pleasant, and considerate about this wedding. Bite your tongue and call your future daughter-in-law about the seating charts.
Dear Mrs. Web.
I come from a very small town. In the middle of town is a bar where most people with nothing better to do with their lives go and drink. Everyone here knows everyone else.
I was married to an abusive, drinking and gambling man. We had two children. During that time I had an affair with a married man. Although he initiated the relationship, in our town I was blamed for the relationship and I became the talk of the town. He stayed with his wife and I divorced my husband.
I am now remarried. I have a wonderful husband who is supportive and knows about the whole situation. We also have a new baby together. We stay away from the party crowd. Occasionally we have an activity where I come face to face with my former lover. His wife enjoys making me miserable.
I feel terrible. I still feel I am unworthy of anything, I feel I don't deserve to have God's forgiveness, I feel I don't deserve to have any friends. I feel that every time we go somewhere people are whispering. Am I too worried about what others think? My friends tell me that I am yesterday's news ( this sort of thing happens all the time in our town).
When I see the man I was involved with I become very angry. He can walk around town and not feel any remorse about what happened, while I hang my head in shame and feel like I have been branded with the scarlet letter.
I am a very good mother, the one thing I have going for me. But other then that, I feel as if I am headed for hell, because I am such a rotten person. Please give advice on how to live my life with pleasure again, Or is this my punishment?
This is not your punishment. However, this is the fall-out from your unthinking and brokenhearted behaviors. You live in a small town and in small towns you are forgiven (However, wronged wives rarely forgive!) but your deeds will never be forgotten.
You are yesterdays news and all you can do is hold your head high and detach from other people's reactions. You have no idea what your former lover is feeling inside. The only person you have to worry about is you and your reactions.
You are a good mother with a loving husband and a good life. You are not a rotten person, but you did something wrong. So, has Dear Mrs Web (as hard as it may be for you to believe!!!) and billions of others on this planet.
I am not trying to minimize your pain but since your are Christian you must realize that all sins are covered by Gods grace. You need to learn more about grace and how it works. For with grace, you can look at your wrongs and realize that you are forgiven. Is there a church or a minister in your community, or even a wise older woman who can help you find the grace you need that will give your heart peace?
Dear Mrs. Web,
I wanted to write and tell you that I love your advice column, I think it's great! I read your archives on in-laws and I feel so much more in tune with myself and situations of my own that I'm facing with my in-laws. Your advice is wonderful, keep up the good work.
Grateful thanks for your kind words. Dear Mrs. Web needed that! The site is growing by leaps and bounds and her readers and correspondents are world-wide, from every continent...
Except for Antarctica! Come on Antarctica! Isn't there anyone there who needs to visit Dear Mrs. Web?
For awhile at least. Since the divorce rate is so high, and further, since those who "shack up" before committing to marriage are nine times more likely to divorce, I wouldn't worry about investing that much time in cultivating this relationship, not till you see it's possibly going to work, at least.
The woman is right: Participating in a "huge fantasy wedding" when they've been sharing housekeeping and bodily fluids for three years is pretty disgusting.
She can send a nice gift, and sit on the front row during the service.
This young woman is just being a b*tch if she expects anything more.
</tongue held firmly in cheek>
Agreed. But you know, this is something she should have dealt with three years ago, if it really bothered her. Instead she has been getting angry with girlfriend instead of accepting the responsiblilty that her own son was complicit in this relationship. If I saw that she was hounding her son with the same fervor she was using to attack his girlfriend I would agree with your answer. But she obviously is not giving her son much responsiblity here.
In order to swallow your argument, you have to ASS-U-ME a lot: That she DIDN'T say anything to her son, or that she DOESN'T hold him responsible. You can't know that because the letter talks only about current events, i.e. the planning for the wedding.
And btw, if I ever have a prospective daughter-in-law come screaming in MY wife's face about how she's supposed to kow-tow to the girl's every whim about her stupid fantasy wedding, you'd better believe I'll read her the riot act.
I don't see this woman "attacking" the daughter-in-law. Rather, she's trying to get the little b*tch out of her face.
The girl is the aggressor, not the unwilling future mother-in-law.
Would you like to see your grandchildren? Remember, she, (whether the marriage works or not) will be the one guarding that door.
If you have a pleasant relationship with her that is separate from the one you have with the son the chances of you getting to see the grand kids once a year just went up.
If the relationship is unpleasant you will be lucky if you have an address to which to send birthday cards.