Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly analysis of the emotional bodily fluid sprayed into the handkerchief of our email inbox when our audience sneezes. Let’s dive right in, because mama has a very busy day today.
Your advice today was excellent. My first cousin commit suicide two years ago. I did everything in my power to help him, albeit long distance, from getting him with the right doctor, to encouraging him to take his meds, to giving him advice. There is only so much you can do for a person without completely fucking up your own life.
I have also come to the very cold conclusion that some people suffer way too much on Earth and are better off at peace. Maybe this sounds cold, but I believe my cousin is in a better place. He was too sick to live semi normally (and I have a very wide definition of what is normal).
Thank you for your feedback on Suicidal Cousin. I don’t think your conclusion is cold at all and as I found from the several emails I received after I posted that blog, many people feel the same way. I’m sorry for your family’s loss.
(I received the following in comment to It’s Not that Easy!, in which I answered a woman’s claim that she couldn’t lose weight or live without permanent alimony):
Many employers that offer a real career commitment with enough money to live on and benefits will usually pick younger applicants. I feel that age is most certainly a factor in re-entering the workforce after 20 years of doing something like raising kids and have a partner say he/she was “waiting” for the last one to leave the nest so everyone could move on. How nice of them…not.
Possibly you could do some research on age discrimination as a variable the next time you talk about returning to school or many fields of work.
Dear Portland Reader:
I agree with you that age discrimination is a problem for us older workers, but that was not relevant to the writer’s issue because she had never tried to find a job and her attitude clearly indicated she had no intention of trying. Readers, please email me with a question related to age discrimination if you have encountered it!
Portland Reader, I’m going to push back here with two points:
1. Unless you are a Duggar, nobody should stay at home raising children for 20 years. I hear that ALL THE TIME (sorry for yelling) and it is pure, unadulterated bullshit: the rallying cry for weak, dependent and lazy women and their greedy, money-grubbing and enabling lawyers. Let’s do the math:
Children enter school around the age of 5 or 6. Unless you have a 15 year spread between your youngest and oldest of several children (in other words, you are Irish Catholic and you don’t have two fucks to give about the environment) you cannot possibly need to “stay home” for 20 years. If you do chose not to work, you are setting yourself up for a very precarious and unhappy life once the children have grown and especially should you get divorced.
2. The times, they are a-changing…and they have been for many years. I sometimes use the phrase “traditional” marriage but I think I’ll change that to “antiquated” marriage, because in 2014 we have more women entering grad school than men and we women have all the opportunities men do unless we want to be a CEO or a male model.
No woman should find herself having been out of the workforce for decades unless she and her husband have a very specific understanding of her role in the marriage. Alimony barnacles try to sell us on the fantasy that the husband demanded the wife stay home and not work, when in reality most men in these types of marriages will tell you that is a bald-faced lie, created by a woman who wants to first take half the marital assets (that’s fair…I guess) and then take over half again via sucking their ex dry with
welfare spousal support.
For those men who truly want their wives to never work outside the home – who insist that the woman play the role of dutiful wife and nothing more – I have no sympathy when they get hit by astronomical alimony awards. None. You broke it, you bought it.
The thing is, that is really rarely the case these days. 1960? Yeah, probably. 2014? No fucking way. I have studied this issue extensively for 8 years and spoken with hundreds of payers all over the country. I have never met a payer who wanted the recipient to stay home during the entirety of the marriage. Never.
Instead, I hear a very similar story over and over again from (almost always) men that they begged their wives to go back to work once the kids were in school but were rebuffed. Case in point out of Florida: a woman insisted her husband pay for her to complete college after she dropped out upon earning her MRS degree. She promised she would use that degree to further her career when the youngest of their (yet unborn) children entered school.
Did she go back to work? No. Did her husband ask her to? Yes. Repeatedly. She also had a prolific spending habit and refused to participate in mending the marital fabric when the snags became tears and the tears became gaping holes.
After demanding and receiving permanent alimony at pretty young age 15 years ago, she has yet to earn an income. Remember, this is in addition to getting half the marital assets – every penny of which was earned by the husband’s hard work over the 25 year marriage. The alimony nearly bankrupted him and she refused to give him a break, despite his care and feeding of her for decades.
This isn’t good for him, obviously, nor is it good for her or for society in general. My belief is that no woman should go without working, unless they have a very structured agreement with the husband that includes a pre-marital contractual solution to the problems of divorce via the funding of a divorce annuity.*
Thank you for your letter and I hope to tackle the issue of age discrimination soon.
Readers, please continue to send me your letters. My bank is starting to dry up, which is clearly a result of people being profoundly helped by my work and thus having no problems anymore. Still, I need you to keep them coming. Happy Friday!
*The divorce annuity is a new concept I am developing. Please stay tuned for details.