“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 May 7, 2013
DEAR AMY: I got married (for the first time) three years ago. My husband and I are both in our 40s and are well matched, happily childless and happily married. We bought a house, and both of us have good jobs.

I recently wondered, "What do I have to look forward to?" I couldn't think of anything. I spent a big part of my adult life searching for a good husband. So now what?

I have hobbies that I am too worn out to enjoy because of my long commute to work. I search for jobs closer to home, but the job market is tight. Any spare time I have is spent doing laundry, running errands, taking care of the house and getting ready for work.

I told my husband that we overreached with the purchase of our house. I compromised in that he strongly wanted land and a large home, though I would have been happy with a smaller place. Now we have a mortgage that limits my options because I have to keep the hours and pace of my current level of income in an unfulfilling job.

Is this just life -- getting through each day for the sake of doing it again another day? Every day is the same as the next -- just waiting for payday to pay our bills, and it starts over again each week. We socialize, but it stresses me because I feel it, too, takes away from the little spare time I have.

Do you have insight?-- Tired

DEAR TIRED: My insight is that sometimes life is alarmingly like that old Peggy Lee song, "Is That All There Is?"

Once you've been to the circus (the search for the perfect guy, marriage, the house purchase), you look around and wonder, "What's next?"

You might not be able to make big changes right now. But when you find yourself depleted by the ordinariness of your life, you have to make an effort to enhance your daily experiences.

So look for small changes. Your commute might be more bearable if you find interesting, entertaining or spiritually satisfying podcasts to listen to. I highly recommend the thoughtful and thought-provoking work of Pema Chodron. Her audio CD "Getting Unstuck" (2006, Sounds True Inc.) will provide lessons and inspiration during your commute.

You will feel less depleted if you and your husband do something purely fun and recreational (like bike riding) together for at least an hour each weekend day. Having fun should occupy one ring in life's circus, but you need to put it there.

DEAR AMY: I was widowed almost four years ago after a long and happy marriage. Although I will never forget my husband or stop loving him, I am lonely. It would be nice to occasionally go out to dinner, a movie or concert with someone.

I know a man I wouldn't mind going out with, but I am much too shy to suggest it and possibly make us both uncomfortable. He is a widower, and I am not sure he is ready (or interested) in going out with anybody at this time, let alone me.

Do you have any suggestions how to be subtle and make him aware of me but not make it awkward for either of us?-- Curious Senior Citizen

DEAR CURIOUS: You should reach out in friendship toward this man the way you would reach out to anyone in your circle (male or female)-- offering friendship instead of romance.

If this man's loss is more recent than yours, you could say, "I know from my own experience how challenging this is. Do you want to have coffee some time to talk?" I realize this isn't that subtle, but in this regard, the dynamics of companionship haven't changed much since high school.

DEAR AMY: "Facebooked" approved a prank her boyfriend pulled on April Fools' Day when he announced a fake engagement between the two. Then she regretted it. I think it's possible her guy really does want to get engaged and was testing the waters with this prank.-- Another Perspective

DEAR ANOTHER: This assumption might be a way to keep this (unfunny) joke going.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 May 7, 2013
L1: Compromise? Where was the compromise? I never understand people who buy as much house as they can possibly afford. My first house cost less than our annual take home pay. Granted, we bought a fixer upper in a marginal neighborhood, but for only $53K. Our mortgage was $453/month. We qualified for houses up to $300K but that was WAY too scary for us. And if we'd done that... well, I don't know how we could have afforded the divorce. ; )~

P.S. I think Amy did okay in her advice, but I think CH would have handled the philosophical angle better.

L2: THe times have changed, Grandma! Ask the guy out for lunch and see where it goes. Be sure to not wear your granny panties, and be sure to shave your legs and clean your dentures....

L3: I think that people who mock engagements and marriages in such a way have no intentions of getting married, at least not to the person who's involved in the mocking.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 May 7, 2013
1 Dear lamy, I have it all, what am I doing wrong?

2 Dear lamy, I am a horny widow, how do I fix this.

3 Dear lamy, please deposit this rehash in the proper receptacle.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#4 May 7, 2013
LW1: Holy cow - that's how I've been feeling lately. That feeling of drudgery every day. I try to fill it in with funs stuff, though, and R&R. It helps to plan fun things so you have stuff to look forward to. And I agree with Red about the house.

LW2: Also with Red.

LW3: See? I TOLD YOU it wasn't a funny joke!!!

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#5 May 7, 2013
L1: So you tried it his way and it's not working. Sell the house with the land, get something smaller, and start traveling or golfing or something.

L2: Wake me up if this one gets interesting. Unlikely.

L3: One of my co-workers is sticking Nicholas Cage pictures in random spots all over the office today. It reminds me of April Fools Day.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 May 7, 2013
This was the response from someone over at the WaPo, which I liked a lot, esp. the 2nd paragraph:

LW1- The challenge in life is to choose a purpose. Once you decide what the point of your life is, you have a metric for deciding whether X helps meet that vision or not.

You've made a not-uncommon mistake- "I'll acquire house/husband/job/whatever, and when I stand on that mountaintop, I'll see my purpose laid out before me."

But there is no mountaintop-- there is only climbing the mountain, and it is up to each of us to decide HOW we're going to climb it. And it's living out that HOW that gives us our purpose. If you determine, for instance, that your purpose is to live with integrity and decency and make life a bit better for the people you come in contact with every day, that will be plenty to do.

Amy's advice is dumb. Doing things just to do things won't help. Doing things because they fit into your vision for yourself as a person is life. But nobody can choose that purpose for you.
(You are also discovering one reason people have kids-- being a good parent is a purpose, and growing children provide a constantly-shifting boredom-fighting goalpost).

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#7 May 7, 2013
1- Life is what you make of it, honey.

2- Bat your eyes, flirt, giggle at everything he says, do whatever girls do to let a man know she's interested.

3- Engagements and death are the two things you shouldn't joke about

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#8 May 7, 2013
1: Start drinking heavily. You won't give ashit.

2: Just freaking invite him for coffee or something.

3:/facepalm

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 May 7, 2013
LW1: "Is this just life -- getting through each day for the sake of doing it again another day?"

Yes.

And shup up while you're at it; you could be living in Syria or the West Bank where you're lucky to get through the day.

LW2: Just ask him for lunch. He will probably appreciate the gesture.

LW3: Whatever.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#10 May 7, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
This was the response from someone over at the WaPo, which I liked a lot, esp. the 2nd paragraph:
LW1- The challenge in life is to choose a purpose. Once you decide what the point of your life is, you have a metric for deciding whether X helps meet that vision or not.
You've made a not-uncommon mistake- "I'll acquire house/husband/job/whatever, and when I stand on that mountaintop, I'll see my purpose laid out before me."
But there is no mountaintop-- there is only climbing the mountain, and it is up to each of us to decide HOW we're going to climb it. And it's living out that HOW that gives us our purpose. If you determine, for instance, that your purpose is to live with integrity and decency and make life a bit better for the people you come in contact with every day, that will be plenty to do.
Amy's advice is dumb. Doing things just to do things won't help. Doing things because they fit into your vision for yourself as a person is life. But nobody can choose that purpose for you.
(You are also discovering one reason people have kids-- being a good parent is a purpose, and growing children provide a constantly-shifting boredom-fighting goalpost).
This was very insightful - great post from the WaPo person!

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 May 7, 2013
LW1: I donít know why you bought a large home if you donít have kids Ö I would much rather have a smaller home on some land and more money for fun things and savings if we didnít have kids. I would even strongly consider going the condo route.

Whatís done is done, but you donít have to stay there. I think you need to talk to your husband and tell him you arenít happy not having all your money tied up in a house. I think you need to get out of it. Itís not all about him and what he wants, and quite frankly his position is not really logical.

Outside of leisure activity and family, I think setting goals is important in life. You had the goal of getting married and you achieved that, but certainly you could set more goals. Maybe make it a goal to find that job you are looking for. Maybe make it a goal to get out of that house. Maybe make it a goal to get where you are not living check to check.

I think setting and achieving financial goals when it comes to day to day spending is one of my favorite things to do. You really should have a spread sheet to track all your spending, and itís something that should be done together as a couple Ö you both have to be on board and work as a team.

But when you start paying things off, and then using money that money saved to start paying off other things it really snowballs fast and it feels great.

I've increased our monthly disposable income by over 1k in the past 6 months, just by refinancing my house, paying off all credit card debt (we are done with credit cards ... spawn of satan), getting raise, and cutting out unnecessary spending. I'm ready to pay my bike off 2 years early with the money we've saved from that ... just in 6 months. After that the only debt we will have is for our home and my wife's car (that is a 0% interest loan and will be paid off in about 1.5 years). It feels great to be saving real money each month rather than going backwards or standing still.

LW2: Just ask him if heíd like to go out sometime. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 May 7, 2013
Sub, if you can save money and pay off debt while raising three kids, you're doing alright.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#13 May 7, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Sub, if you can save money and pay off debt while raising three kids, you're doing alright.
Credit card debt was just absolutely strangling us (30k about ... yeah ... holy f' 30k). I was letting her handle the day to day, and I was handling long term stuff. I had no idea it was that bad. When I found out we had that much debt, ape shyte would be an understatement. She didn't want to tell me, because we had gotten up to about 20k one other time and I was not happy. When we had about 20k I got involved and we had it just about paid off and then I let her assume control again and I wasn't involved.

It wasn't like we spent that 30k on vacations and luxuries. It was just mostly day to day stuff, odd repair that comes up, the habit of charging everything and not being financially disciplined and tracking our spending ... an extra $500 a month here, an extra 1k a month here, an extra 1.5k here ... it added up over 3 years. I was as much a part of the problem as her, but I just had no idea. It was getting to be a vicious cycle.

I had to get more involved and stay involved. Once we got rid of that, it opened up a world of possibilities. I think running up credit cards is one of the worst things anyone can do for their financial future.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 May 7, 2013
L1: If you could do anything in life, what would it be? Forget the husband, the house, the job -- your ideal world. Start from there and see how you can eventually get there from your current situation or get to an acceptable version of it. It's called making another goal.

L2: Just ask.

L3: Yes, this whole scenario is idiotic no matter how you look at it.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#15 May 7, 2013
LW1 - i too come home exhausted from work, and my commute isn't that long. i have come to realize over the last several months that i need to do "sometihng" for others. i've taken up quilitng & sewing, and there's only so mych one can do for one's own home. there's a charity aroudn here that does a lot for babies (mostly teh bitty babies), and they're always looking for soemthihng homemade. i've decdied that "when i 'need' to sew", i'll make a blanket fro them. it's a low pressure thing, but it's satisfying when i can do it for them. try looking for sometihgn that fits your talents and time, and i bet you'll feel a little moer fulfilled in life.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#16 May 7, 2013
I tried volunteering on a board but between work and housework and seeing friends and my husband it felt like one more obligation not a soul enriching experience.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#17 May 7, 2013
PEllen wrote:
I tried volunteering on a board but between work and housework and seeing friends and my husband it felt like one more obligation not a soul enriching experience.
That would be my take on it. And if LW is depressed, adding more to her load isn't going to help much.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#18 May 7, 2013
L1. "I guess every form of refuge has its price..."

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