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How I Demolished My LIfe

Topic is Sleeping.
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 10:01 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Well then, if you were" frustrated" no problem. Must have been traumatizing for you.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707784
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 10:11 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Yeah, you failing to make anything that could reasonably be described as a cogent argument and sending short responses that are tangential to the point at hand really gave me flashbacks to my first MC.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 10:12 PM, Wednesday, January 5th]

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1909   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8707790
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 10:15 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

How horrible for you.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707791
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KingRat ( member #60678) posted at 10:15 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

I went back and forth for awhile trying to give the author every benefit of the doubt, but in the end, I basically endorse BSR's view. This passage got me:

By breaking up our family, I’d taken something from my kids that they were never going to get back. Naturally, I thought about this a lot. There was nothing I could give them to make up for it, except, maybe, a way of being in the world: of being open to it, and open in it.

The kids didn’t care about soapstone counters or what kinds of hinges were on their cabinets. More and more, I understood that what I wanted for them was public, not private, spaces. Maybe they would know from the beginning, in a way I hadn’t, that they didn’t have to own the playground to share it: monkey bars polished by thousands of hands, the secret shaded rooms under the slides, the parents filling water balloons for any passing children.

All that fall, we barely went home. We lived from playground to playground to park, on a diet of peanut-butter sandwiches and ice-cream-truck soft serve. On my nights alone, I caught up with old friends, frantically made new friends, said way too much about my personal life over drinks with colleagues. Out in the city, I felt solid: a capable woman taking care of her family.

I'm very open minded as any of my posts would suggest with gender roles, divorce, and whatnot. I'm not going speak of her decision to divorce her husband. But I am going to speak to the fact that this person, who is in her mid-30s, decided to have 3 children (presumably in her 30s), and now upended their lives to moonlight as Carrie Bradshaw. What's worse is every time she has some thought of guilt, she tries to spin her unilateral decision to uproot her children and pass them off between two tiny apartments as some amazing gift that she is giving them that will spare them of the hard life lessons she had to learn.

I would have much more respected her if she wrote, "Look, even though I was 30, I really didn't think about how much of a irrevocable and life-altering commitment having children would be, so I did what any person who rarely thinks things through and instead of 1 got 3. I just rationalized it and said to myself, 'hey, I owned a dog before and dogs are a responsibility; it is basically the same thing.' Once I realized that I had not fucking clue what I got myself into, I wanted out. Fast. So I completely altered my children's lives to make sure I was living my best one. And bonus: While I tried to convince myself that eating peanut sandwiches next to homeless people who were so high they were urinating their pants was unique experience, I had to come to terms with the fact they are young children and not beatniks."

I feel so judgmental writing this, I really hate it. I'm very much a feminist and respect SJP's character and what it represented. I very much hate gender roles and do believe women are disproportionately saddled with extra domestic duties when it comes to raising children. And I would say this to any man who takes extra hours at work instead of spending time with his family as some noble and necessary action (assuming the family truly doesn't need the money): You're not fooling anyone. You had children that you regret. That's ok. But do not try to spin it into some noble sacrifice.

But when it comes to children, I am sorry, I still feel there is a higher duty that cannot be delegated. I guess I am very traditional in that sense. That does not mean stay together for the children at all costs. It means, at minimum, feeling pain and anguish over making hard but necessary choices that will affect them. There is none of that here.

posts: 671   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2017
id 8707793
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 10:21 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

I have -- all the time. Routinely. Especially these days with more advanced degrees floating around that are not very employable.

You an I both know you were not referring to Ms. Jones' job prospects. I'll ask again, what is she over-educated for?

Are you being thin skinned and making this about gender on purpose?

Perhaps. As someone you would very likely consider to be an "over-educated woman", it may be that I'm sensitive to what appear to me to be pretty clear dog-whistles.

This conversation is devolving and I have certainly played a role in that, for that I apologize. I do stand by the points I have made however and would encourage you to consider my posts, even if you're not prepared to respond to them here.

[This message edited by emergent8 at 10:23 PM, Wednesday, January 5th]

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 912   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8707795
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 10:27 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

I'm very much a feminist and respect SJP's character and what it represented.

KingRat brining some much-needed levity to the conversation. laugh

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 912   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8707796
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 10:49 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

I will only say that people are going to feel how they feel--both men and women. And if women feel that marriage is not for them--for whatever reason--then that is how it is. Men also feel how they feel and if they don't like it, they also have options. They don't have to get married if they don't like their odds; I would understand that choice. They can avoid having kids if they don't like the idea that those kids might be harmed. Ok, I get that too.

But you can't control women to get things how you want them. You can't force them to stay where they don't want to be. You can't make them be good wives or good moms. You can't make them get married when they are happy living alone. You can't make them love you or appreciate you or need you. You need to do those things for yourself.

We are who we are; take it or leave it, but don't try to control it. That's not happening. It may not feel fair, but you know what they say about life.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 10:51 PM, Wednesday, January 5th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5468   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8707800
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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 10:56 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

As someone you would very likely consider to be an "over-educated woman", it may be that I'm sensitive to what appear to me to be pretty clear dog-whistles.

Now come on now. There are too many dog whistles these days, don't you think? If there were as many dog whistles as the term overused in our modern vernacular would seem to imply, then just about everything we say would have some sort of dog whistle. I just don't think that's the case.

I think you are reading into this what you want.

Parasitically attaching oneself in a "think piece" to a noble cause like feminism in service of an ugly decision to blow up a perfectly nice family seems like something an overeducated person would do. Or in the sense of someone who takes to the pages of the Atlantic to give us a faux-sophisticated reading for a selfish decision.

I would skewer any man doing the same thing. And IRL I have. And I'll do it here if anyone has a great example of this kind of writing. I'm sure it's out there.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4594   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8707806
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 11:38 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

I train in a sport with a female full professor in microbiology. We help run the club together. She also runs a scout group. She is divorced, was the reliable and primary parent of two girls, now women, for reasons of incompatibility.

I know the husband, like him (he grows on you over time) but completely get why she ended the marriage. He would be a pain in the behind to live with, despite his redeeming qualities.

We very occasionally joke in the club because it so happens that the very significant scientific contributions of this women mostly relate to a particular insect. That’s what science tends to look like (incidentally she says she had an amazing male mentor who spent a lifetime supporting women in science, and she wrote a eulogy for him a few years back).

She is a down to earth, plain speaking and energetic women. I can’t imagine many, whether plumber, mechanic, teacher or priest calling her ‘over-educated’, despite the articles and international symposiums, but they might have a joke about the insects.

The ‘over-educated’ tag tends to be a swipe something else. I have three degrees, one with a fair bit of cultural studies in the mix. And I kind of get why people don’t like it.

My father had medical and advanced psycho-analytic training and a wall of books, was admired by some, and still could not keep his XXXX in his pants, to our family’s great detriment.

All that thinking and study led him no closer to being a better father or husband. He just had to decide to be one, make a choice and stop hedging his bets.

My female friend got the balance right in my opinion.

My father did I not to as well. To use an expression from my country, he was ‘up himself’.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 132   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8707820
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 11:40 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

When I was a kid and would go to my dad's house, he and my stepmom would let all the dishes and housework pile up in between my visits and I would be forced to clean everything up while I was with him. I'm talking he would come 'inspect' my work and then point out to me everything I messed up and needed to redo. This happened when I was young, like 7 years old and continued all the way through college.

I lived with them my senior year of hs and was basically their live-in maid and nanny. My dad would come home and go directly to the bathroom and then come out and ask why I hadn't cleaned it yet, while standing in his cleaned dusted living room, smelling dinner that was going that I'd prepared, and looking at his other kids that I'd watched all day for free.

I remember when I'd get in his car when he'd pick me up, he would inspect my cuticles so he could admonish me if I was biting them. He used to tickle me all the time, even when I'd be crying for him to stop.

I cut ties with him years ago, and alllll that shit I just said were the surface reasons why. Silly right? To divorce my own dad because of dishes and cleaning and such.

But I hope those shares make it abundantly apparent that the dishes/cleaning/tickling/cuticle inspections were outward symptoms of my way deeper issues with him.

That's what's bugging me so bad about the response to this article. I'd be willing to bet good money that the author did not decide to divorce her husband and break up her family because of Cheerios, or countertops, or whatever. I don't think there's enough info in this article to really suss out her REAL reasons for making the choice she did. But I'd bet that there were plenty of deeper reasons, and that it's not for anyone to say that other people's reasons are silly or frivolous, because what you're seeing is the surface-level stuff.

I've been admonished by other family members and acquaintences for my decision to disown my dad, but those other people don't live in my head, they aren't privy to my internal feelings, and it's none of their damn business why I made that choice. And I stopped having those discussions with them years ago, because I do not have to justify my choices to anyone.

I just think it's wrong and kinda icky to be assigning all these motivations to this lady, when there's no way from that article to know if that's what they were. It's a lot of projecting imho.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3445   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8707821
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 11:41 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

But you can't control women to get things how you want them. You can't force them to stay where they don't want to be. You can't make them be good wives or good moms. You can't make them get married when they are happy living alone. You can't make them love you or appreciate you or need you. You need to do those things for yourself.

Seems like we're talking in circles here. I don't think Thumos, or anybody, is advocating for forcing a married person to remain in a marriage. This was the law at one time. People, once married, could not get divorced, or at least could not get divorced without "cause", which was difficult to show. This rule resulted in husbands feeling free to physically abuse their wives, which was one of the main drivers of no-fault divorce laws. Some religions, even nowadays, prohibit divorce in almost all circumstances. Though they may hold no legal power over their parishioners (at least within the US), they do arrogate the belief that they hold the power to damn them to Hell for violating their tenets.

At the same time, a marriage is a set of promises that a married couple make, usually under quite formal and often sacred circumstances. In traditional vows, the promise is to love and honor and obey for better or worse. Long-term married couples will tell you that their marriages went through multiple ebb/flow cycles. The minister who counseled me when I got married told me to envision the day, which would surely come, when I was certain I no longer wished to be married to my wife. Then he told me to work out what I will do to preserve my marriage after that day comes.

Thus there is a grey area between "he beats me every day" and "I just get tired of a second toothbrush at the sink". The line is a bit different for every individual. The article at issue, though, on its face, suggest a (to me shockingly) flippant decision threshold, a woman who chooses to leave a marriage almost on a whim. The objection to this isn't about forcing her to stay. It's a comment about the depth of her character, even when she was making her marital promises, even when she was bearing children.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 12:56 AM, Thursday, January 6th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3913   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8707822
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 Thumos (original poster member #69668) posted at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Thanks for sharing more of your story, Ellie. You're a good writer!

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4594   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8707827
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Retrospected ( new member #75868) posted at 12:54 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Well this is my first post here on SI. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to a topic dearly related to my personal situation...

In many ways, I am Mr. Honour Jones. There is a lot of speculation on this thread as to what Hounor may have been feeling as she made her decision to divorce. I'm here here to provide the alternative view...

It sucks!

I could go on forever about why that's true. But I will say this... empowerment is a thing to be treated carefully. It was essential for me to heal after my left. I simply had to think about how much better my life was without her. But that didn't erase the negative things. And there were many. At some point I could even imagine how much better her life was without me.

Yep. You go girl! Ugh

All the life_altering decisions I made in the aftermath were on me. I can own those. Just like I can also say that she was as asshole.

Why is is that so hard to say for women? Sheesh.

I'm all for ladies finding their power. But with great power comes great responsibility. I don't know. I'll leave it to you all to decide. But my money's on asshole.

Let the sleeper awaken.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 16th, 2020
id 8707841
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 1:06 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

And yet it somehow keeps becoming a gender thing. I'll confess I'm confused by that. For goodness sake, even those like Ellie or Dee who have disagreed with me here I think agree that Honor Jones is not exactly a shining example of what empowered feminists ought to aspire to.

I am for sure critical of the piece. I don't find it particularly inspiring or illuminating and if there was a point she was making, it was lost on me.

Maybe it helps to be a woman in this world surrounded by so many opinions about how we should be to see comments made as dog whistles. You say over-educated and you don't mean it because she's a woman, but we hear that all the time from sexist men. We hear that it will reduce our dating pool because we will intimidate men. We hear that if we make more money than the man, the marriage is doomed. We are not told these things as snide insults to insecure men. We are warned of these things, as if our only goal should be securing a man and taking care of his feelings. Plus all that time in college and developing a professional career is taking up all those best fertility years, so you'd better watch out woman before life itself passes you by while you're being selfish. Didn't you hear that your cousin Amanda is pregnant with her second and you don't even have a boyfriend?

So though my opinion of you personally kept me from responding to the over-educated comment, it did stand out to me as well. Emergent8 isn't being paranoid or overly sensitive. I assumed that you probably didn't realize how that is still used to try and unmotivate women by family and friends and churches. I am the first person in my family with a college degree. It's not a fancy degree. I don't do fancy impressive work. But, I am awfully overeducated what with my big words and knowledge and such and do you know those "words of warning" aren't the bullshit I thought they were? I've dated men who made less money than I do and they haven't liked it. I've dated men who made more money but were less-educated and they didn't like that either. A great many men are not impressed that I can speak intelligently. Perhaps my dating pool has generally sucked, maybe that's it. The women in my family tend to appreciate me, but most of the men make absolutely sure to find a way to put down intelligence and education whenever we get into the inevitable political or social debates because I can hold my own and that causes them extreme discomfort. Full disclosure, my hometown is in the rural south where it seems we hold onto all of the most negative cultural issues until they pull it from our cold dead hands, but lots of us do live in the rural south. If you are in a more enlightened area, you may wonder what madness I'm speaking of right now.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:09 AM, Thursday, January 6th]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4998   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8707843
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:25 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I'm from a rural area. I'm now in one of the most liberal areas in the US.

I can say, there are observable cultural differences with respect to the expectations of the fairer sex, along with whether or not anyone uses the term "the fairer sex". (I use it here for effect). I feel for you Dee.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1909   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8707846
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 1:30 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

On the flip side, I'm ve dated women who make more money than me. Once that is uncovered, they do not like it. For every stupid, sexist expectation placed on women, there is a corresponding one placed on men.

As to the remark that men working longer hours fooling themselves that they contribute equally, many men work longer hours and still do their share of the childcare.

As Warren Farrel notes, in today's world women have three options after having children: work full time; work part time; stay home.

Men do, too: work full time; work full time; work full time.

Facetious, obviously, but there are unfair expectations placed on both genders.

I do not agree that one gender has a monopoly on shouldering most of the work in a marriage and is so much more burdened.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707847
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:39 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I think a decent amount of the modern pain is self inflicted. "Having it all" is quite frequently idealized for women and is a modern concept that includes gender norms at home and career success usually reserved for people doing 60 hours a week. All through the magic of hard work and perseverance!

Brought to you by CEO of Yahoo that demanded a child care be installed next to her office.

Wildly successful people selling fantasies to the average person.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 2:28 AM, Thursday, January 6th]

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1909   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8707849
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 1:44 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I have lived in both a rural setting and a very liberal cosmopolitan area. Same deal: expectations on men differ, as well.

posts: 230   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707850
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 2:17 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

As Warren Farrel notes, in today's world women have three options after having children: work full time; work part time; stay home.

Men do, too: work full time; work full time; work full time.

Well, I can play that game as well. My very higher up boss who makes absolute tons of money is the breadwinner while her husband stays home with their three children. So men also have those choices.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4998   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8707853
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 3:35 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Well, then, she better do her share of the childcare and housework, too, right? Like 50%. And, hopefully, she takes over with the kids as soon as she gets home, so her husband gets a break, a boys night out,, too.
As King Rat says, she must regret having kids. She is not fooling anyone. smile

posts: 230   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707869
Topic is Sleeping.
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