ENDURING MARRIAGE..HOW TO HAVE an ENDURING MARRIAGE.
People fall out of love. ROMANCE comes and goes but FAMILY -- like choice real estate, like children's welfare and patrimony, -- should be forever.
A woman told me today that "deeply rooted feelings of lack and fear propel my husband into the depths of depravation." My ears perked up. Was she going to confess his pedophilia? He consorts with hookers maybe? Gin joints and strippers? I waited, breath bated. "He abuses me verbally every chance he gets." OH is that all. Well, I know this gal. If I had to live with her, I'd abuse her, especially if I paid the bills. She does not cook at all, can't boil water. She is a shopaholic, vague, airy, vain, preening, 70 pounds overweight. As long as I know her she claims to not eat sugar, dairy or flour. And she always states this when I'm offering her a cookie I got with coupons or off the 1/2 price day old shelf. So how she says it is rude. She always goes on to tell me how she only shops at Whole Foods cuz hey, they swim in money and she gets to preen about it which is a double payoff. She can go shoe-shopping hourly which she does every time the 'depraved' husband abuses. Most of us cannot cure our woes that way but still, she is wrapped in negativity. Her voice is a bleat, one of those voices you almost cannot stand to listen to. Fingernails on blackboard. Her whine is a slow, endless sheep bleat --if sheep had operatic lungs and could hold a note for thirty seconds. You could almost find the piano pitch somewhere on the black keys of a piano, right near a high G which is like vomit to human ears. Shivering in disgust at the sound, I tell her, "AND SO? Let it all be DROPLETS OFF A DUCK'S BACK. She responds: No, I'm tired of it. Up to here. I am going to divorce him." "WHAT? (My eyes bug. I know post-divorce. Struggling with guilt as the alimony is killing the ex. You can't even live on it. Then comes late life, try living on 600$ a month social security, no second mate, no widow's pension, no nothing, just huge rent, huge utilities. You can't afford car tags/insurance so you're dodging cops if you drive an untagged car. One barely can eat. The girl is heading into all that and taking her kids with her? Is she crazy?
"Honey" I beg her to see reason, "He's got a great federal job, huge pension, you own a house plus you have two children, l8 and l9, ready to quit being bums and go to college. That's a family to stay together for. What are you gonna get if you divorce the abusive son of a gun? Half a devalued house? Forced sale? Child support, not a drop baby. None! Cuz the kids are l8 already. On the other hand, if you keep the house, you know property values are going to come back. One day it'll be worth a million and your two boys have something to inherit! Each kid can buy a condo with his share, pay it off, then buy a four unit apartment bldg, They'll be fixed for life. Divorce him now, live on half the house value for a few yrs, then your kids are indigent for life. Say they graduate college and can't find a job like the rest of America's 23 year olds, huh?
She bleated back at me, the whiney G sharp note-bleat "But I can't stand it. He does not want to be part of a family."
"What does it matter? He is part of one! Oh he lurks like a shadow in the house with the two boys, always watching the game but he is good to the kids and he pays for the groceries utilities and house payment. Honey, you're counting in the wrong column. Your children are gorgeous, bright, perky boys only they haven't done the college thing yet, lots to do right now to get them ready for life. A divorce is not on your "TO-DO" list..
"But every second I'm confronted with the ugliness of a mean spirited man. For instance, with the remodel we have no stove going, so no coffee, right? Well he does not want to say Im going to go get coffee, does anyone want some? No. He just leaves. And come back with a coffee and goes to his office. Selfish bastard."
"And you spend an hour with your nose out of joint, right.
"YEAH I DO.."
I now find myself going into negative sounds myself, groaning loudly, not a bleat, not a whinny but close. "Sweetie GET WHAT ENGLISH CALL A GAS RING. BIG 5. CAMPING STOVE with PROPANE for 4$ a can, damn thing lasts forever, MAKE YER OWN #(*&(%& COFFEE . Hey, SO WHAT IF SOME ROOMIE GOES OUT FOR CAFE WITHOUT A WORD/ DO I CARE? HE's A ROOMIE FER #*&%* SAKE. GET with THE PROGRAM!
"No, you don't understand. He has this entire case aganst me, he says well I assumed this and I assumed that..."
"What else is new? Assuming is ENDEMIC. AND SO? You do it --I DO IT WE ALL DO IT. We expect heaven and get real life.
"He never has a conversation with me or our children to connect -- my heart connection is broken it is painful I don't want to sit aroumd and cry all the time.
THEN DON'T! STOP RE-LIVING negative things as if THAT were the choicest bon bon in the box. You're counting in the wrong column again. All that's just HOW HE IS. IT's PERFECTLY OK. You know he's l00 lbs overweight, his heart is straining just to give him a pulse. He's dying quite frankly. GIVE HIM A LONGER LEASH to behave as he #*&%(# WANTS, gal. He's got one foot in a coffin right now. Have you had his cholesterol checked?
It's high but he refuses to diet like he refuses to communicate TOO MUCH CANCERIAN STUFF In his CHART. It'll never happen.
Then stop waiting for a cactus to secrete maple syrup. MAKES YOU LOOK STUPID! Do you see ? YOUR KIDS SEE you all bent and it makes you look STUCK, petty, blameful, EMOTIONAL, WANTING TO SUFFER and the sounds that come out of you even if you're talking about the weather are this plaintive, whining, bleating screech! We put as much MISERY into the world when we TAKE offense as when we give it! So stop puking on the environment. CATCH yourself when u go into automatic shit-sending thots like these draw a deep breath, say thank you god for the extra income from the roomie man. Surly as he is I do not have to talk to him at all! Thank you for that. Say thank you for the cheap fixer upper cottage with low house payments as right now any three bedroom house rents for three times what bank charged you. You and your children are free from the RENTAL SCOURGE. "Our house is a mess." "You have a house. I an show you a thousand people who sleep five to a bed if not five to a station wagon. Sure, you're remodeling, a little messy right now but.stop with the 'poor me's'. Just don't keep going to THAT well with a bucket cuz you'll never draw water."
And sweetie, let me tell you the best reason not to divorce Dad. Mummy all alone, divorced is a sad sight & it will drive your own children away from you. You will never see them again as they don't want to see a loser Mom. A beggar Mom, a woman who is sad. They do not want to come see you talk to you and kids have a way of just cutting you dead. Trust me on that. Younger kids can't leave until they're l8, but they will leave and they will move to the other side of the country not to be near this tragic woman that bore them.
I've seen all of this, every bit. I was l7 when my own mother started bleating that way. My sister was 16. I wasn't wise enough to say what I just said to my no Starbucks coffee chum. My mother did consult me for my opinion, oddly enough. I told my mother who shouldn't have asked for it in the first place, "well if you're going to weep and drink like you're doing now, you sure can't stick it out with him. " My father heard that later (she was dumb enough to tell him) and interpreted it as my betrayal of him. He retreated to the arms of his then current gal pal. There had been a string of them over the marriage as my Catholic Mom was not into bedroom activities at all. I heard this from the family gynecologist. So why was she mad about his straying? And boy, she was mad. She trotted off to Nevada, got a six week divorce, and turned around and married a man who mistakenly thought my MOM was rich. (He'd met her in Houston with her astrology student, the posh wife of the owner of Texas Instruments Inc, a multi billionaire, so my elegant mom looked like a part of the hanger on tennis player jolly drunk who fell into the highest echelon of Houston society. This guy, a friend of Jack Valenti, (*Famous Texan, part of the JFK HIT...) not Valenti, but my new stepfather was really a man with no job ever. Just a permanent charming, backgammon playing hanger-on to the super wealthy and connected. My Mom married this nice guy but 100 lbs overweight, and they moved to Mexico City leaving us two orphaned daughters in the family home while it got sold. Then she took the meagre 29k that a 4 bdrm two bath & swimming pool West Los Angeles home was worth back in 1958, and disappeared with the money. My Dad moved elsewhere with his mistress. My sister and I became survivors on the street. Sis became a legal secretary and single mother. I'm not going to say what became of me, let us just say that these events in many ways challenged me, but sort of ruined me and are what makes me preach hard to girls today. It truly can be said, those who can, do it, those who can't, preach. Or teach I think it is.
Anyway, my scoundrel father went on to have another 'litter' of children --not with the mistress, who quickly traded up, marrying a Beverly Hills heir to a Standard Oil fortune, but then came his fourth wife, a drunken ex beauty queen. She was comatose for their entire childhood. I would go up into the Hollywood Hills to see them, she'd be out cold in the driveway and I'd babysit those two pathetic toddlers who had an aging daddy on the road conducting for some ex MGM movie stars in Vegas clubs. I don't stint the two their inheriting the huge Hollywood house he got but hey Mom, there went the patrimony! Meanwhile, my Mother ate up her 29k house value paying for her new husband.
Now I have to say here, my mother is high IQ, USC grad School of Journalism, socially graceful but her decisions were those of a retard. All the family treasures were sold at auction, including a 60 pc set of pink famille bone china my grampa Fraser had brought from Shanghai in 1912. Today it would be about 25 to 50 thousand. The house today would have been worth over a million. So in a pique, my Mother ruined everybody's life. No college for her daughters, nothing but learning to be tough, wily and hard, surviving on the street, orphaned in Hollywood at age l7. Today her five grandchildren are condemned to the lowest tiers of the economy, suffering joblessness, foreclosure, unsuitable chums with drugs, one grandchild totally caught between classes tried to go sailing through a summer in Europe but without food and hotels to get some sleep, he shot into schizophrenia. Again, I'll say this for my Mom, she was under the influence of booze and self appointed martyr woes. Ditsy. Out of logic, out of control, but hey, it still smarts. I carry the grief. My Mom currently has wandered even further into dementia and smiles loonily and wonders why I don't phone her, (she cannot hear,) or visit the old age home more. I want to say NO TAGS on my car, no insurance, no money for gas, much less food, certainly no desire to be arrested with no license, 2002 tags now in Spring 2010! California takes your car away when you have no license. People have to buy a new one. I want to explain all this to my mother but I hate to be sulky, recriminatory or the bearer of bad news and to say that would be all three. So I say, Mom? I live in the sticks. You're 22 miles from me. But hey, I say brightly --" I'm busy doing horoscopes for the whole INTERNET, and I'm so glad you taught me ASTROLOGY. Boy you were my greatest piece of luck, ever! "
Finally, let me give you the 3 reasons why DIVORCE is not good for you or the children.
1.) NO SADDER CRITTER THAN DIVORCEES. Every guy thinks that he can hit on one, there are no manners, It's just, "you wanna?" You get NO RESPECT!
2.) SENIOR STARVATION. Hubby's pension WOULD have taken care of your old age, IF... if you were married for more than l0 yrs. No pension if less than ten yrs to the day. You can't be sure there's another Ten Jack Queen or King left in your deck, so dance with the fellow you came in with, Mom!
3.) ADIOS LONELY MOTHER! Once your kids turn l8 they will flee from you, ole single Mom. They will never ever come back -- because unconsciously they know you're alone and that scares them. You are probably suffering and need them a whole LOT and that is a turn off. Down right scary. No parties, gifts, holidays, turkeys, fruit cakes... nuttin' ! They in fact will leave town to get away from you!
Why do I go to this trouble to write out all these lessons? it is HORROR that impels me to write. HORROR at how even brilliant parents can really screw up, with post divorce child raising and how even brilliant kids can misjudge and go down the wrong avenue after family splits That child will make errors of friends, recreation, love and income. And education. He will move by whim, and the system will chase him down instead of using the system and he'll end up crushed under the wheels.
Then there is the emotional damage that stressed divorced parents give to kids. I share my perceptions and remedies on psych damage. I've pointed out how emotionally dead people are FAR REMOVED from being able to give the most minimal norms of normal relaxed family life, love and parenthood. A divorced Mom these days instantly starts dating and having love affairs. In the epoch of passion, she forgets her babies entirely. Divorced parents cannot even provide the excellent care that mother CATS can maintain out in the wild. I had a feral queen, who occasionally came to eat in my garden, Miss PAULINA. She gave birth to four little boy kittens down deep inside my woodpile. What a good mother she was. Those four boys grew to roly poly balls of happy kitty fur and when they saw me feeding them, they instantly bonded with me. No paranoia or hysteria. Just a great attitude, 'Hi lady, you look nice.' Well, Paulina waited til her boys were healthy, well situated, had an attending human and a certain foodsupply before she abandoned ship, went back on the streets and found her next hot tom. She waited til she saw me feeding them big bowls of boiled chicken, peeled and boned and decided her babies were OK. Time to move on. I wasn't so lucky. When I was l8, and my sister l7, my parents just LEFT --Dad to move in with his tart, Mom moved to a distant city and married a friend, mostly to 'show her ex' I think But then they'd already checked out on me years before. They were people who had lives and just came home to dinner.
"ALL HAPPY FAMILIES ARE THE SAME. ERGO BORING. ALL TRAGIC ONES ARE UNIQUE ergo become the fodder for playwrights like me. "
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