For years, progressives have told women to beware of men who are apparently constantly dreaming of oppressing them, yet, in my experience, it's often women who are other women's greatest enemy. Of course, I'm not talking here of criminal cases when a woman becomes a victim of mugging and violence, but rather about day-to-day encounters with people.
One thing which is often under attack, is your marriage. They say "misery loves company" and they are right. Women who have a bad marriage or relationship or are single/divorced will often do everything possible to destroy yours. I will right now put a disclaimer saying that not everyone is like that, but too many are, and what is worse, they are often doing it unconsciously, and sometimes, even under the guise of religion.
There is something all Christians should keep in mind: our religion explicitly FORBIDS divorce, with few caveats, which some churches, like the Catholics or some IF Baptists interpret as non-existent. God doesn't want you to be happy if it means divorcing your husband. God explicitly states in His Scriptures that He hates divorce. Yes, there are possible exceptions, but the general principle is that you should stay together until Death do us part. Being bored/communication problems/not enough romance IS NOT one of those exceptions.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the husband is the head of the family. While I do think that some interpretations of this principle go too far, it still means that you should at the very least, listen to his opinions and preferences and try to act accordingly. If he has a preference for you to stay home, you shouldn't be running out to get a job "to be independent".
You see, that's the first line of attack on your family. It works like this: a lady will complain (nowadays often online) that she isn't satisfied with her marriage, usually for some trivial reason like there is no sparkle any more or something similar and if somebody could give her advice on how to improve the situation. May be, she's really looking for the solutions or may be she just wants to vent, the result often is that a dozen other women (most of them divorced) will tell her how all men s**k, how she needs to plan for divorce (and even how to frame her husband for non-existing abuse) and at the very least, that she should be "her own person" and totally independent from her husband.
The sad part is that some of these women consider themselves Christians. There is something seriously wrong with your head if you think that a Christian woman could commit adulteries against her husband (I've seen this recommended, too) and stay in God's Will.
Housewives are even more of a target since the first thing they will hear if they ever complain (and even if they don't) is that they urgently need to find a job, because didn't ya know you should have your own money and stuff. Here the homewrecker (because make no mistake, that's what these women are) will usually apply a double-edge tactic: on the one hand, you should feel ashamed for making your poor husband work so hard, but on the other hand, all men are dastards and you should get a job as not to depend on this pig.
Unfortunately, it works on some weak minds. The woman, egged on by friends and family, will look for ways to get more independent which inevitably leads to the divorce court and sometimes worse, and then when she discovers that single life isn't all it's cracked up to be, she'll try to start another relationship, but will make the same mistakes.
For a Christian lady, you should be guided by God's Word, not your emotions or the herd of bitter women out there. And, apart from that, folks in the West often have very unrealistic expectations about what your (married) life should be. While in some countries people are grateful if they have enough to feed their children, Western women often expect their life to be one big holiday, without any mundane stuff such as scrubbing the toilets or changing diapers. It simply doesn't work this way but unfortunately, that's exactly the image presented by modern entertainment where the heroines often live the life of constant glamour and excitement.
In my previous post, I linked to the couple of articles about European centenarians. An interesting thing is that the majority of them live in small isolated villages and hardly ever watch TV so that they are content with what they have. Contentment is really the key to happiness and long life, I think we should all remember it.
Also, you shouldn't expect your husband to be your girl-friend. Men are different. Try to build a support network of good friends and family because women need a bit of gossiping and socialising, but avoid bitter types at all costs, otherwise your family may very well be next to be destroyed.
I'm always a little taken aback when Christian women offer toxic, clearly anti-Christian marriage advice to other women. I shouldn't be surprised, but I still am.ReplyDelete
And, apart from that, folks in the West often have very unrealistic expectations about what your (married) life should be. While in some countries people are grateful if they have enough to feed their children, Western women often expect their life to be one big holiday, without any mundane stuff such as scrubbing the toilets or changing diapers. It simply doesn't work this way but unfortunately, that's exactly the image presented by modern entertainment where the heroines often live the life of constant glamour and excitement.
This is true, although I think (as counterintuitive as it sounds) that often older wives are the main culprits of instilling false ideas into the minds of young brides. As an older wife, I try to remind young women that marriage is not courtship and that we have to be ready to make the adjustments.
When I married at 22 (nearly 26 years ago), I was ill-prepared for the realities. Fortunately we had or first three children in abnormally quick succession (first baby, then twins 11 months later), so I wasn't able to daydream as much.
Today though, most couples a little marry later, and then spend 3-5 years enjoying one another before being open to children, complete with trips and an early marriage which looks a lot like an extended courtship. Which exacerbates the problem of unrealistic marital expectations.
Anyway, great post.
Thanks, Elspeth, I'm glad you liked it! I should say that I'm probably blessed that most people around me wouldn't talk this way (though there are exceptions) because in real life, most folks still tend to be more reserved, but the mask slips in the relative anonymity of the internet and that's where you can find really toxic stuff.ReplyDelete
I have come to the conclusion that there is a big group of women out there who simply hate men, which is quite baffling to me since I happen to like them:)
As for unrealistic expectations, I'm afraid both men and women in our culture are often very immature and totally unprepared for the responsibilities of marriage and family. There was an African Cardinal (I think Sarah but may be, someone else) who said something along the lines that modern West is nihilistic and materialistic, and I agree. Too many people see each other as consumer products, ready to exchange their husband or wife (men do it, too) for a better version.
“…and sometimes, even under the guise of religion.”ReplyDelete
I have personally experienced Christians, at church (2 different churches) trying to talk me into leaving my husband. It was terrible; I needed emotional support and encouragement but received instead … “YOU deserve better, God doesn’t mean for you to live like that, your husband doesn’t deserve you.”
What a blessing it was to NOT be swayed by Satan and to be able to instead, witness the blessing of my husband’s salvation!
I remember when I was a newly-wed, I was attacked by an elderly church lady for not working while another elderly lady from the Bible class told me how she hated to stay home while her husband "had fun at work" (keep in mind in those times the work week was like 50 hours) and how she never cooks any more "because cooking is oppression". Luckily we long since found another church.ReplyDelete
Kudos to you. I don't think I would have had the tact to stay in such a class.Delete
Also, Robyn, that's exactly what they say in all these discussions, word-for-word: you deserve better, you aren't supposed to live like this etc. The script appears to never change.ReplyDelete
Robyn, I was very young then and my parents taught me to be polite to older people:) I'm not sure what I'd do now but I'd probably not keep my mouth shut.ReplyDelete
LOL -- perhaps that's my problem: age. I too find speech difficult to refrain from sometimes.ReplyDelete
Great post. I agree that really, really many women nowadays seem to hate men, and vica versa. It is like women hate men for being manly and men hate women for not being pornstars. It is really weird.ReplyDelete
Even christianity excluded, divorce is often the dumpest thing one can do. In ordinary cases of course, if your husband is violent or an addict or such, it is different. But mostly people just end up ruining their family economics: here in Finland custody is usually shared and kids will be one week with mother and then a week with father. Result: parents will have to afford TWO houses big enough for the family, not just one! Two sets of clothes and toys for each kid and so on.
And usually people will not be happier with their new spouse, quite the opposite. Because if only thing that changes is your spouse, not you, nothing will really change. If you chose badly once and you do not change yourself, you will keep making bad choises.
And when people find a new spouse after divorce, they will have to face all those problems with my kids, your kids and our kids and crazy ex's.
My adwise to all ladies would be: if your husbands goes to work and does not abuse you or drink too much, stay with him. And if you are not happy, take a deep look in the mirror.
One more thing: I am sad to say some women are really eager to ruin other women's happiness. From utter jealousy, I should think. When I had just met my husband, we lived 200 km away from each other and could only meet once in a Month or something. I complained about that, and one of my "friends" told me: "well, now you know good men exist so why don't you just dump him and get another one?" Well, I dumped her but kept the man. One of my best decisions, I should say.
Another thing: nowadays people seem to think other people exist merely to make them happy. And fail to see that the idea of marriage and LOVE is that YOU try to make your spouse happy.ReplyDelete
Yes, divorce ruins family wealth, that's why upper class seldom divorce even though they may live separately, but I guess it's really good for fueling consumerism.ReplyDelete
On the other hand, this whole "pursuit of happiness" has probably gone too far or may be, people try to achieve it in the wrong way. I was taught that the real peace of mind comes from doing your duty, not from cheap emotional thrills and I still believe it. I also think that most people deep down know when they are acting wrong and it makes them miserable. That's also the reason that they are trying to pull others down to their own level. It's like when one girl of the whole class is not slutty all the rest will hate her because she reminds them of their own failure and lack of morals.
Very good article Sanne. Have a blessed week!ReplyDelete