Friday Feedback!

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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.

Dear Robin:

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).

-Felicity

Dear Felicity:

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.

-Robin

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(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):

Dear Robin:

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.

-Portland Reader

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.*

/rant over/

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!

-Robin

*The divorce annuity is a new concept I am developing.  Please stay tuned for details.

 

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Margaret Yost

    Robin,
    Thanks for your response to my comment from yesterday.
    Hey hold on to your your horses lady…
    I was not disagreeing with you.
    I would hope that someone in your field would be interested in readers introducing other ideas that may be relevant to your advice.
    I know that age was not an issue that you discussed regarding this client or what you wrote in your advice to her anyway.
    I was merely pointing out, or furthering the discussion that age discrimination that accompanies trying to return to work is a factor. And so is one’s weight by the way.

    Fortunately, I have not experienced age discrimination myself, but I know quite a few people who have.
    I do disagree with you however that people in their 40s have the same difficulty returning to work as people in their 50s and over, but maybe that’s a moot point.
    It’s just that the average worker needs to work much longer before they can retire these days because of the lack of real beneficial retirement plans offered by businesses, the economy, and other factors.
    These are all just added concepts I feel are relevant to the advice you wrote yesterday and again, I was just interested in furthering the conversation to include possible other factors that you did not mention.
    Thanks for posting my comment.

    1. askdescamp

      Points of clarification are obviously needed.

      “Hey hold on to your your horses lady…I was not disagreeing with you.”

      I have no horses and therefore no need to hold onto them, although I’ve always wanted one. I also didn’t think you were disagreeing with me but then again, I don’t mind at all when people do. That’s why I do this Friday Feedback every week.

      “I would hope that someone in your field would be interested in readers introducing other ideas that may be relevant to your advice. I know that age was not an issue that you discussed regarding this client or what you wrote in your advice to her anyway. I was merely pointing out, or furthering the discussion that age discrimination that accompanies trying to return to work is a factor. And so is one’s weight by the way.”

      The fact I acknowledged your point would seem to illustrate I am interested in my reader’s ideas. And my response was to acknowledge ageism is a problem but to point out it doesn’t seem to be this woman’s problem, and next I solicited bona fide discrimination stories from our older readers, meaning anyone over 38. Therefore I appreciate your comment but I am already struggling with (and failing at) keeping the blog succinct. I have to work with the issues put in front of me, not go seeking to answer questions left unasked for problems not experienced.

      “Fortunately, I have not experienced age discrimination myself, but I know quite a few people who have.”

      As do I, which is why I would like to cover this issue in a direct manner for anyone out there who would like some advice or thoughts on the matter. Readers, please chime in with your stories!

      “I do disagree with you however that people in their 40s have the same difficulty returning to work as people in their 50s and over, but maybe that’s a moot point.”

      I agree it’s a moot point, because I never said that. Not even close. I’m not sure how you came to that impression.

      “It’s just that the average worker needs to work much longer before they can retire these days because of the lack of real beneficial retirement plans offered by businesses, the economy, and other factors.
      These are all just added concepts I feel are relevant to the advice you wrote yesterday and again, I was just interested in furthering the conversation to include possible other factors that you did not mention.
      Thanks for posting my comment.”

      I agree and frankly don’t understand your comment. I was responding to your comment by saying, “yes, age discrimination is real, but it is not this woman’s issue.” I then went on to discuss what her real issue is, which is that she boxed herself into a corner by making bad decisions and relying on a man to support her for the rest of her life, making no allowances for her own responsibilities to herself and her family. My rant about this woman and women like her was based upon my repeated exposure to these types of people and my frustration with the glaring entitlement and PMS (Princess Mentality Syndrome) issues these folks have. She also has a million excuses why she can’t lose weight, none of which are valid, so her attitude frankly stinks.

      I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion I was attacking you or reacting viscerally to a perceived different opinion of a reader, but I assure you I was not. Thanks for your patronage.

      1. Margaret Yost

        I get it. It seems to be a case of divergent perspectives that’s all. Thanks for the clarification.

  2. Sassy Su

    “Couldn’t lose weight or live without permanent alimony”

    Hurrrl bag needed for this one.

    I do find it utterly sickening when a female, married for more than two decades, well fed, financially & emotionally cared for, gifted with children, then divorce ensues, and they expect the ex husband to continue all of the above into perpetuity. AND par for the course– they throw in a lifelong paramour in the mix without intentions of remarriage as to not lose a life long bundle of riches they SO DID NOT earn 🙂 All for the collection of lifetime alimony at the expense and labor of another—isn’t that special? Women who create excuses such as raising kids for “20 years”, are an embarrassment to the female gender. Ladies, you either have the inherent drive to work, be successful, educated and self sufficient or you don’t. No excuses allowed. If you don’t possess this motivation due to lack of self worth, confidence, security, then deal with it..sounds like a personal problem to me. Never do I hear from these self righteous hypocrites how appreciative they are of the life they were provided. The father’s time away and forced absence from their home life and children due to working nonstop to provide for the greedy wife. AND what about your role, did you love, respect and obey your husband? Oh no…. It’s ALL ABOUT ME ME ME! The two decade history of one LAR I know who dropped out of one semester of college, reprimanded for not paying her one semester sorority fees, consumed too many adult beverages instead of studying, dropped out of two other colleges due to laziness, finally completed an associates degree (8 year plan) with her then husband completing every single homework assignment to achieve the grades. Yet, she complained for 2 decades that she didn’t have a 4 year college degree and blamed everyone else for her failures… Yada yada yada. Figure it out like the rest of us. That’s life. Get a life! Sponging off of another is nothing more than a lazy self centered leech. Regarding the weight issue —- ever heard of a little friend called exercise? Or do Bon Bon arm curls on the couch for 20 years define YOUR style of exercise? Just sayin cupcake 🙂 no sympathy from me on either complaint 😉

  3. Joanne Warner

    Yes, Robin, it does happen in 2014! Back in 1993 when I became pregnant, my husband and I discussed whether or not I should keep working or stay home. Yes, he did ask me to stop working. I am very good at keeping a nice house and I’m a very good cook. My husband was an executive at a large company making a very good salary. He enjoyed being able to hold nice parties in our beautiful home and showing off what a good cook I am. Fast forward 7 years: now I’m volunteering at the school and at the food bank. He still loves showing off our beautiful home and my wonderful cooking. Fast forward 4 more years: I decided to go back to work—he didn’t like that because now maybe I’m a little too tired to cook the fancy meals every night or keep the house perfectly clean. No problem, I said, we’ll hire someone to clean the house, we can easily afford that and I enjoy working. Fast forward another 4 years: he gets a better job in another state, we move, and I lose my job, leave my friends and family. That’s okay because I love him. Our son is moving up into high school at this point and I can’t find a job, so I go do some more volunteer work. Fast forward 5 years: husband finds pretty new girl who can also cook well! Now I’m 55 years old with a son in college and a husband who wants me to move out of our house so that his girlfriend can move in with him. DAMN STRAIGHT I WANT ALIMONY! (Sorry for yelling.) I’m not asking for permanent support, all I want is to be able to get a nice apartment instead of a dump and time to get back on my feet. But it’s going to be hard finding a job at my age with my simple resume. (Thank goodness I don’t have a weight problem!) I’m asking the judge to make him pay for some advanced college for me and my living expenses for as long as it takes me to get back on my feet. Yes, Robin, it does happen in 2014!

    1. askdescamp

      I should always be careful to use the word “permanent” when ranting about alimony. Your situation is a very unfortunate one and I can understand why you want and need some alimony while you get back on your feet. I wish you the best of luck in your new life – I hope you find a man who is worthy of your great cooking! Seriously, your husband sounds like a dick; email me at askdescamp@gmail.com because it sounds like you may have a problem or two related to your divorce that I can help you with. For example, why the hell should you move out of the home so he can move in with the new cook? I appreciate your comment and wish you the best of luck.

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