Sons don't appreciate good deal

Sons don't appreciate good deal

There are 60 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jan 7, 2008, titled Sons don't appreciate good deal. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Dear Abby: I have two adult sons living at home, ages 22 and 24. Both are working.

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maria

Chicago, IL

#45 Jan 7, 2008
I used to wonder whether or not Polarity was a man and now I'm sure of it. Any woman who has ever had a baby knows that generally your sex drive goes down after childbirth. And if she's nursing it goes down even more. For some, sex after baby is painful. For others they bounce right back into sex mode. But I don't think this is the norm. The biological basis behind the low sex drive is simple. It's actually quite primal. When your body "knows" you've just had children, you body is then working on making milk. It is not gearing up toward more children as this is a natural birth control or "spacer." Once the milk supply starts to wane (because the child is older and probably starting to eat solids) the drive may start to climb. But usually before then, it's pretty nil. But my God, to have 3 children in 4 years is enough to make a woman go mad. Let alone dealing with cancer - even if the chemo "doesn't happen for another month." Add a disabled child to the mix. I don't know how she's keeping it all together. I think I would had a nervous breakdown. And then comes the horny husband who can't figure out why she doesn't want to put out. Maybe this is why we have such a high divorce rate. I would bet, and I could be wrong, if the husband didn't pressure her into sex (ladies, you know what I'm talking about) and just let her heal and get through her chemo etc. with love and patience and not persistence in trying to get laid(how many of you have heard, oh, come on, can I just put in the tip?), I would be you he would get more sex than he ever imagined because she would be in a place where she wants to do it again and not where she feels "obligated" to throw him a bone once in a while. The biological changes a woman goes through are not over in 6 weeks. But it seems like a man can't hold out any longer than that.
Suze

Delmar, DE

#46 Jan 7, 2008
Dan wrote:
Dienne, where the HECK does it say that SHE's caring for the 3 kids?? They are HIS kids too. Oh, that's because he's out there WORKING to provide for the household they have. It sounded to me like she had issues even before the cancer diagnosis.
If you think caring for three kids under the age of five isn't working, try it some time. Day in and day out. Without a break. And getting up at night to feed the baby so that eight hours of solid sleep is something you can only dream of. I did it with two and still remember the sleep deprivation; I can't imagine it would be easier with three. And I didn't have cancer, either, thank God.

And yes, I've worked full time and do now. Trust me--it's a heck of a lot easier than than being a 24 hour 7 day a week full time child care provider. I'm not griping; I love being a mom. But don't discount her by implying he's working and she's not!
Another Mom

United States

#47 Jan 7, 2008
Suze is right. Working is much easier than being a stay home parent.
Suze

Delmar, DE

#48 Jan 7, 2008
Well said, Maria.

Polarity, really, sweetie, three months is not a long time in baby time. Her body is still hormonal; she could still be sore, she's probably leaking milk--there's just no feeling sexy there!

As for the mother with the freeloading sons, I had to laugh! Nearly thirty years ago, my mother charged me $50/week after I finished school and started to work. And you bet she reminded me if I forgot to pay her. As soon as I got a job that paid me enough to afford it, I moved out. I had friends whose parents charged them rent, then put it in an account for them and presented it to them when they got married or moved out on their own. Not my mom!

It may be a male thing. I know a woman whose boys were 28, 30 and 32 and wouldn't move it because Mom made it too cozy for them. She finally sold the house and moved into a studio apartment to get rid of them!
Polarity

Washington, DC

#49 Jan 7, 2008
maria wrote:
... generally your sex drive goes down after childbirth.... for some, sex after baby is painful ... The biological changes a woman goes through are not over in 6 weeks.
Maria, thank you for that reminder. I am very familiar with the hormonal and emotional changes during pregnancy, after delivery, and during nursing, including changes to libido, post partum depression, emotional bonding with the baby, being overwhelmed, being dog-tired from nighttime feedings, feelings of guilt upon returning to work, etc. None of this is news to me.

And that is the point: Precisely when biology and emotions are pushing one partner one way, and the other partner another way, that problems develop. And it's when one partner's feelings are ignored that problems fester.

I am simply saying that it is wrong to assert the supremacy of your own feelings and needs at the expense of negating your partner's feelings and needs (or vice versa).

Although at any given time one's partner's needs may take precedence, the other partner's feelings should not be negated totally. Both partners are important, and both need to be nurtured.
Polarity

Washington, DC

#50 Jan 7, 2008
oops wrote:
<quoted text>
I couldn't find in there where it says he is taking care of the kids....
You sort of sound like you don't think those things [cancer, severe physical and mental handicaps]matter.
Perhaps you missed the full text of LW2's letter, quoted from the Dear Abby website (and edited out by the Chicago Tribune):

"... I love him very much, and I'm grateful for everything he does for me and the kids ..."

I agree, this is still a bit vague, but clearly the husband is not ignoring her situation or the kids needs.

As for cancer and a baby with severe handicaps, of course these are important! How could they not matter? They do matter, a great deal. That isn't the question at all.
oops

United States

#51 Jan 7, 2008
Suze wrote:
She finally sold the house and moved into a studio apartment to get rid of them!
Good for her!

:)

(Better late than never.)
Polarity

Washington, DC

#52 Jan 7, 2008
Suze wrote:
Polarity, really, sweetie, three months is not a long time in baby time. Her body is still hormonal; she could still be sore, she's probably leaking milk--there's just no feeling sexy there!
Yes, I know. And how.

But I don't think the answer is just throw up your hands and say, sorry, I won't do anything about it, and by the way, how dare you even have these needs anyway?

That's just plain disrespectful, both to yourself and to your partner. Imagine how you would feel if your partner neglected you, and negated your very right to have your feelings.
As for the mother with the freeloading sons ... It may be a male thing. I know a woman whose boys were 28, 30 and 32 and wouldn't move it because Mom made it too cozy for them.
I agree with this. In experience, parents (especially mothers) seem to be much harder on their grown-up daughters than on their young sons. I don't know why that is.
Ceferian

Palatine, IL

#53 Jan 7, 2008
Marriage is about give and take. Sometimes one partner is going through a rough patch (and describing this woman's problems as a "rough patch" is definitely an understatement, I know), and it's time for the other partner to support the one who's having a hard time and put his/her own needs aside for a while. In a good marriage, the favor will be reciprocated when the other spouse, inevitably, goes through his/her own hard times.

In unnecessarily pressuring his wife at this time, the husband may end up making her health problems worse. Stress can make healing more difficult, so who knows, he may end up making her sicker, which I'd hope he wouldn't want to do. If anything, you'd think he would want to make her life as easy as possible right now so she can focus on healing. And as someone else said, if he's supportive right now, if/when she heals, she'll probably be more than happy to physically show him how much he means to her.

Hopefully, she can talk to her husband and explain that sex is just too much right now. Perhaps they can come up with other ways of being physically close and showing they care for each other without the pressure to have sex, at least for now, so that he's not left out in the cold but so that she's also not feeling pressured to do something that probably feels like a burden right now because of all she's going through.
J-Kat

United States

#54 Jan 7, 2008
FLH wrote:
<quoted text>
My aunt has a neighbor in a similar situation, except worse. She has five children. She recently found out that she has a brain tumor and needs surgery. The husband did not want her to have surgery because he wanted 'another child' first, in case she had cancer and had to go to chemo, reducing her chances of conceiving again.
OMG. I thought Neanderthals like this were extinct.

I'd give him a vasectomy with a rusty knife.

Has it ever occurred to him that having another baby with a brain tumor could kill her? Then he'd be stuck with the 6 kids.

Shades of Rusty Yates.(Another one who needs a vasectomy.)
Karla

United States

#55 Jan 8, 2008
I have not read the other comments yet.

In my family once out of high school we were given a choice.

Go to college and not pay rent/food but pay for our clothes and such OR go to work and pay room/board.

My step-brother decided he did not want to go to college nor did he want to get a job or pay rent.
He was promply asked to move out then.

Then after having to work and realizing how hard it is he wanted to come back home (but before he did move back he got an attitude and thought he would be moving his roommate in) and my parents said yes but with these conditions being met. He refused to and his mother took him in like his older brother.

Now she is stuck with both the boys (one is age 33 and the other is 31) and neither pays rent or for food and she claims she is stuck with them.

I guess my mom and step-dad consider themselves lucky.
Lisa

Pittsburgh, PA

#56 Jan 8, 2008
I hate to even suggest it, but it looks as if both of the selfish husbands mentioned have the same idea. "My wife is almost used up anyway. She probably hasn't very long to live, so it doesn't really matter how much or how little help I give her. Let's get it over with -- I can always marry again."
jennifer

Batavia, OH

#57 Jan 8, 2008
EEE wrote:
Re LW3: A good friend of mine is a singer. She frequently gets "requests" to perform at gatherings and finds this very impolite. Usually, she's there to enjoy herself and hasn't warmed up or rehearsed. I think the pianist in this letter was actually trying to politely decline giving an unpaid performance.
MMMM.....I can't understand that. I sing and I'll sing you a song if you ask me. Musicians who resent being asked to perform when there's no payment involved are pretty sorry musicians in my book.
Karla

United States

#58 Jan 8, 2008
jennifer wrote:
<quoted text>
MMMM.....I can't understand that. I sing and I'll sing you a song if you ask me. Musicians who resent being asked to perform when there's no payment involved are pretty sorry musicians in my book.
It did not say she was a muscian by trade.

Also, this was not the host/hostess asking her this was some guest at the same party who felt that she should just start playing piano on someone else's piano with first asking if it would be okay.

The lady said she should not play piano without first asking the owner of the piano and party giver.

Also, why should the woman play on demand.

Since: Oct 07

New Lenox, Illinois

#59 Jan 8, 2008
First of all, let me say how nice it is to see so many different and obviously passionate points of view about LW2's letter, and yet everyone's still respectful of each other (until one of the trolls finds this string). I have to say, though, that I think her situation trumps the "martial duty" rule. If it were simply a case of her just not being interested in sex, that's one thing (then maybe check out counseling). But between just having her third baby in four years (two who are probably still in diapers and one who has special needs), the physical strain of cancer, and the emotional strain of all of that, I think her husband should be content with cuddling. Married or not, I don't think anyone should feel forced into having sex.
EEE

Chicago, IL

#62 Jan 8, 2008
jennifer wrote:
<quoted text>
MMMM.....I can't understand that. I sing and I'll sing you a song if you ask me. Musicians who resent being asked to perform when there's no payment involved are pretty sorry musicians in my book.
Really? In what other profession do you know of where people are asked to work for free and do it gladly?

My friend is a very fine musician and it is perfectly reasonable for her to decline spur of the moment "invitations" to perform.

And I didn't say she "resents" it, she just finds it impolite and will often decline, as is her right.
Wow

United States

#63 Jan 8, 2008
Big Peter wrote:
Those two freeloader sons are at prime age to join the military. Let them fight to defend their right to be losers.
Best comment by far about those boys and oh so true!
EEE

Chicago, IL

#64 Jan 8, 2008
Polarity wrote:
<quoted text>
Not so fast. You're glossing over some very relevant details:
LW2 doesn't appear to be bedridden. She's doesn't seem to be an invalid. Her baby was born 3 months ago. She doesn't go into chemotherapy until "next month". LW2's husband is supporting her and takes care of the kids. LW2 says she loves him.
These are not meaningless details. They indicate that LW2 is capable of being intimate with her husband, despite her medical issues and recent pregnancies, but that she is choosing not to do so.
If your partner were capable of being intimate with you, but chose not to do so, and put your needs at zero priority, with no indication of when your needs might be taken into account again, I think you would rightly take issue with that.
It doesn't sound like this woman is *choosing* to not have sex with her husband. It sounds like she is just too overwhelmed physically and emotionally to respond to him.

I don't know about you, but caring for a very sick child coupled with a SERIOUS threat to my own health as well as the sheer exhaustion of recent childbirth would pretty much kill my sex drive.

That her husband can't recognize that is pretty telling.
Sam

Chicago, IL

#65 Jan 8, 2008
Polarity, you are proving what these women are saying: some men keep their adolescent sex drive as their number one priority, instead of their wives and children, even when we are old enough to know better.

He is not honoring his wife or his marriage. His actions show that he is not thinking of his marriage as a lifetime commitment. This is not the way a man is supposed to be.
jennifer

Batavia, OH

#66 Jan 8, 2008
Musicians have every right to be paid for their work. We are talking about social gatherings. Music brings joy to others and being asked to play or sing is a compliment and ought to be taken as such. Asking a musician to play and asking for free advice from a lawyer friend are not the same. As far as a singing is concerned, I would never ever be offended if someone asked me to sing, and I really don't need a warm-up unless there are some high notes.
Anyway..I know my opinion is probably not a popular one, but I'm an amateur musician and that's just how I feel.

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