Agony Column

Dear Glutton for Punishment,

How much longer are you going to put yourself through hell with this man? You’ve been dating three years now, you’re 38, and he’s 54. No problem at all, except that you want to get married and have children, and he absolutely does not. He’s never been married and is apparently terrified of the idea. You write that he asked you to marry him and then two days later retracted his proposal. That was a year ago, and you’re still with him because you’re “waiting for him to change.” First of all, he is never going to change, and you have known all along that he is allergic to marriage, and secondly, don’t you think it’s not only foolish but also presumptuous to think that you can change him?

The sooner you learn that the only person in the world you can change is yourself, the happier you will be.

Of course, it’s up to you if you want to continue this endless dance into old age, crying your way through life, but you can change the situation if you work on your issues, which are ones of self-esteem and identity and leave him to work on overcoming his fears of commitment.

Don’t you think you’re worth better treatment than this? Don’t you think your generous, loving heart deserves a man who supports and respects you?

I’m afraid that until you change your self-image, even if you move on from this loser, you will keep attracting the same kind of man. The Italians have a saying about this to the effect that “It’s better to be alone than in the wrong company.” My advice to you, make a bid for inner freedom, break loose from him and start loving yourself.

Dear Shocked and Distraught,

You certainly do find yourself in a difficult situation, but believe me; it is much more common than you think.

I knew a friend of my father who went home to his happily married wife one day and found her in bed with another woman. In your case, the shock of finding your new husband in bed with another man could well have made you bitter and violent, even leading to murder, but you chose instead to compromise. Well done!

You succumbed to his threat and accepted his offer to remain married and to provide you with the children you so desperately desired on the condition that you leave him to pursue his other interests on the side. I am very happy to learn that this has not caused you any ill health, though I do advise you to always use protection. You are living in a potentially dangerous situation. My advice would be to find yourself a boyfriend, preferably different from your husband’s. You might consider getting yourself a paying job as well so that you are not dependent on your husband’s financial support. This would give you the independence you are obviously lacking. Alternatively, you could take a vow of chastity and enter a convent.

You have so many choices!

Dear Betwixt and Between,

My first question to you is “Are you going to marry your fiancé or your family?”

I understand that you come from a very different society in Nepal and that your fiancé is from Oklahoma, but your fear of family is ruining what should be the happiest time in your life. You tell me you are never going back to Nepal to live, that your future is here in the USA, and you tell me that your fiancé’s family loves you, that he is crazy about you, but you still feel beholden to your father and his outdated, tribal customs.

You think that by taking out a loan to provide your father with the sumptuous wedding that he wants to flaunt to everyone he knows, you will then be free of your family forever? That will not be the case, if you do not make a stand right now for the man you love, and for the life that you want to lead. Your father will intervene in every life decision you face in the future, and I fear that at some point you will lose a really good, solid man who loves and cherishes you.

You are letting fear rule your life instead of love.

It’s up to you to have the courage to take a leap into the unknown and risk alienation from your family, which from my understanding has never supported or loved you. An easy decision to make so just do it.

Dear Over The Hill,

So you are seventy, in good shape, with high energy, but can’t find a boyfriend twenty years younger than you. First of all, remember the “attitude of gratitude.” At least you are alive and evidently healthy enough to complain. That is good.

You could always take the plastic route and consider botox or a facelift, and perhaps while you’re at it, breast implants and a buttocks lift. That might entice a man twenty years younger than you, but then you’ll have to start taking hormones too, to how shall I put it, to facilitate your plumbing. I ask you, is any man worth that amount of sacrifice and money?

Too many times I’ve heard other women complain that men are looking for either a nurse or a purse, and in your case, you could very well be the purse and the boyfriend the nurse.

My suggestion is to go out with your girlfriends (older and sicker than you, so that you will always look and feel the youngest of the bunch), and knock back a few cocktails. After a few drinks, it’s amazing how much more acceptable the old men will appear, and how your memory the morning after the night before will be hazy, and your performances a dim and distant blur.

Failing this solution, how about buying yourself a first-class vibrator. Available on demand. Hard to beat. Doesn’t talk back. No expectations. Doesn’t have socks to be washed or watch sports on TV in its underwear. When you’ve had enough, you simply remove the battery.

A removable battery would be a tidy solution to every woman’s man problem.


Photo Credit: simpleinsomnia Flickr via Compfight cc

Susan P. Blevins

Susan P. Blevins was born in England, and escaped at age twenty on her life quest, moving first to Italy for 26 years, and then to the USA, where she now lives. The older she gets, the more passionately involved she becomes in the world, and the more she wants to make a personal contribution. She believes that we can all make a difference, one hug, and one smile at a time.

  1. Dori Owen

    A meetup here sounds fabulous! I spent a day with Julie in LA and had so much fun…nothing beats an in person date with the best of friends. I am slowly trying to wend my way back to stability after a bout of depression—reading your blog and laughing pushed me steps forward! Wishing you a wonderful holiday, too, I’m so happy to [see ] you! xoxoD.

  2. Susan P. Blevins

    Hi Bryan,
    Thank you for your kind comment. Humor saves the day in most dire situations if we can only dig deep enough to dredge it up! I appreciate your leaving a note. S.

  3. Susan P. Blevins

    Hi Dori my love! SOO good to hear from you! I always appreciate YOUR comments in particular. Funny yes, but poignant too, and all founded in solid true stories. The permutations of human relations are endless. Hope you are well and happy. I suggested to Julie that she organize a FC ‘meet’ in AZ so we can all meet in the flesh! I’d be there in a heartbeat! I feel you are my family already! Have a wonderful Christmas. Love, S

  4. Dori Owen

    Hey there,
    Long time no talk! What a great way to wake up, reading this clever and hysterically funny blog. I laughed so hard as I read them…loved Shocked and Distraught, soooo funny! You hit the mother lode of originality…I’ve been on a little hiatus, so happy to come back and see you…xoD.

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