Unmarried women

Nowadays, I don’t want to give advice to women friends when they come to me about their troubled relationships. I listen and ask questions. I ask them to answer their own questions. I do this because I don’t trust them.

In the middle of dinner, the phone rings. Everything they’ve said about him ten seconds before is incorrect.

I’m happy now. I can’t stop texting to put this spoonful of risotto in my mouth. He’s just liked my photo on Instagram. Oh, and I have to leave before dessert; he’s coming over to smoke and complain about the draft in my apartment.

They’re going to meet their crappy boyfriends. After a brief reunification ceremony, they tell their crappy boyfriends what I advised them to do. When things devolve again, my phone rings: “Let’s go out for lunch.” They want to cry on my shoulder. So, I say nothing.

Don’t shake your head. You’ve done this to your friends, too.

The post before this one, Forty, presents an actual conversation. Some parts of it were fictionalised. I asked “N” to speak loudly into her iPhone while I was teaching her to use Siri. I sat across the room and transcribed everything we all said. Two days later, she was doing somersaults in the same space, before dyeing her hair green. “He called me to say he loves me.”

Fix it, Jesus.

One woman, who was “over it” wrote on her blog, “Why am I even bothering with relationships at all? He won’t “lock me in” as his girlfriend”. I noticed the disempowering phrasing: “Lock me in” as if relationships were a form of confinement. I guessed that she was happy with her boyfriend, but I wrote to her anyway:

Men can act like shit but it’s only because they know you won’t leave them. He knows you want to be serious and it’s making him feel secure. That’s why he’s being unkind. I see from a recent post you have a boyfriend. I wonder if it’s the same one?

I was not surprised when she reported that it’s the same boyfriend and he is awesome now:

He’s done a complete 180. I told him he needed to modify his behaviour and act like he’s in a relationship or I would be leaving and he would end up a lonely old man.

So, why do women ask for support for their nightmare relationships when they know they’ll reverse themselves as soon as the situation settles?

I can’t deal with y’all.

When was the last time you showed your back to a man you really liked? When he’s spent all of three minutes being there for you, you could say, “Go home, I am going to do something else.” You think he won’t come back, so you endure the small injuries to your dignity.

This attitude is driving women bonkers: “I will be a fakey-fakey nice girl, and tolerate bull or he won’t propose to me”. Acting fake to keep him interested is what self help books advise you to do. But when he finally proposes, you don’t realise he means to live happily with your avatar.

One fakey-fakey friend told me a week after her dream wedding she didn’t like anything about her husband. I realised that she was pretending to be in love the entire relationship. I will never forget the day we sat down over a lunch of lamb brisket and she asked me what next steps to take because she neeeeeds him. I said, get married. They did, five months later.

I feel that a lot of women suffer because it is stressful to keep up a facade. I wonder if a therapist would prescribe medication for women to get through the fakery? But is it medication we need or might it not be compassion for ourselves and for other women? Every time we pretend to be okay with his annoying habits, we nurture another grass fed nincompoop.

A man bragged to me that he’d written a comment on his law professor’s blog, who then used his first name in response. I said, “You’re a grown man. Why are you happy about being patted on the head like a small child? Instead of writing comments on your professor’s blog, consider writing a book of your own.”

Your boyfriend might not want to write a book, but without being rude, show him where he needs to set a high standard for himself as a person. If he doesn’t make the effort and you don’t like what is in front of you, let go.




POSSIBLE TRIGGER(≧∇≦)This post discusses suicide threats.

I happened on a post by a Presser who stated, “Need to end this all. This blog, this life, this everything. Nothing’s worth it.” I wrote in her comments in these exact words:

“I can’t believe you’re going to give up right now because you messed up? If you know you made some mistakes it means there’s a human being in there. Frustration means you’re right on target to a breakthrough. You need a hand? Ask for it! Everyone’s “hand” looks different but whatever you need, I trust that you do have the support you need to pull through. Get mad but by all means, get changed.”

What do I mean by get changed? Organically, there might be something that’s pulling you towards an outcome that’s good for your well being. Anger and frustration are internal mechanisms for focusing you away from counterproductive behaviors or attitudes. Those negative feelings are telling you that you’ve overlooked something important. Easier to say than to swallow. Exactly. And these things take time: They’re part of a process.

The Presser might come over here and see this, and it’s fine. I felt compelled to write this post after reading that and hearing this same sentiment just hours before, from another woman. She said she might die by the end of March. When I said, no one is planning on executing you, she said, “I might do it myself.” I take all suicide threats seriously. If they’re on blogs and they’re in front of me, I say something to the author. To be clear, and I’m not saying that this is the case here, but saying you’re going to “get out” in order to get attention is super double plus uncool.

I think I’m a compassionate human being, but I was angry at the way this last statement was tossed out. You’re so hooked on being a married woman that rather than get a divorce, death is a reasonable option? I asked her if she didn’t see the wealth of opportunities in front of her. I enumerated them.

Lastly, I told her to go and find herself a pair of sequined shorts and grab a younger, cuter, taller, buffer volleyballer. Shag each other rotten. Take away your estranged husband’s power to belittle you and grind you into the dirt. Choose to feel like a woman who is desired. I don’t care if she’s technically still married. Don’t get on my nerves with your sanctimonious horse bullocks. Elvis has left the building and is shacking up with Elvira. They’re traveling together. He bought her a house. She drives his Mercedes. Their digital schedules are synced.

“NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE PAIN. NO ONE.” That’s partially true. No one might understand your pain, as it is tailor made for you. However, we all understand pain. I saw a beautiful painting today by an artist who was crying as she painted it. I said I only saw a joyful celebration of colors. I was lifted by it, and by the time she responded to my comment, she was feeling a lot better. The pain hasn’t all gone away. Maybe she’ll feel awful later. So be it. My point being, we all heal differently, and some of us are more effective at using it than others.

I’m taking myself out of the equation now, and not making this about how I will feel. For your own sake, say, “I’m struggling and I don’t know how to cope.” That’s honest, real and very much a situation to which I can respond, “What do you need?” Or make suggestions yourself, “I need attention. I need reassuring words. I need you to tell me off.”

I’m not naive; nothing’s fixable with a hug, a chat and a cup of tea, but I’m an advocate of feeling your feelings and allowing them to overwhelm you. No medication, drugs, wine, smiley faces or compensating. You’re a human being. Pain is painful, and that’s kind of the point.