Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: My adult niece, 40, posted a very nasty comment about me to a social media site because of my stance that women and girls should NOT be judged on their looks. This stance was never communicated to her specifically, it is just something I occasionally reference.
She said of me: “She’s totally nuts. She’s got a ton of money, no kids and clearly no joy in her life, either.”
How do I get over the hurt, since I have no idea from where the hate originated?
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This sounds like the tip of the storyberg here, but, just going on what you gave me, I suggest you comment on her original nasty post so she knows you know what she wrote. Utterly without inflection, write, “I’m sorry to hear you feel this way.” That’s it, then block her on that site.
Whatever you may or may not have done to offend her, the fact that she responded this way is cowardly and completely on her. It also hints at a profoundly unhappy person, which is also about her, not you. The hate is her damage, not yours.
And the onus is on her to rebuild a relationship with you if that’s what she wants. In the meantime, heal by devoting your time and concern to people who welcome you – and civility – in their lives.
Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I have dated for two years. He’s a wonderful man, but I still have doubts about whether he’s the person I want to be with for the rest of my life. We’re both willing to work on the problems in the relationship, but obviously we’re not going to become entirely different people!
How do I know whether it makes sense to keep working or throw in the towel? Relevant factor: We’re both in our mid-thirties and want kids.
To Work or Not to Work?
Would you stay just for his company – if neither kids nor fertility nor marriage were an issue? That’s your stay or go.
Hi, Carolyn: I’m expecting my second child, a boy – our second. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get over my disappointment about not having a daughter. (We’ll stop at two kids.) I love our current little guy, and am genuinely excited to have another boy – but can’t get over the feeling of loss, somehow, at never having a daughter and all that relationship entails. Yes, I know every kid is an individual, and there’s no guarantee I’d have a good relationship with my daughter – but y’know, still.
Please know this whole issue lives in your imagination. Having a boy is real, sure, but virtually everything else is mental and emotional fiction.
Your vision of life with a girl is imagined.
Your vision of life with boys is imagined.
Your vision that this is and will remain a big deal is imagined. Seriously.
Your vision of you 10 years from now, or 20, or 30; of your kids; of your relationship with them? Imagined, imagined, imagined.
So my advice is, stop indulging it and live in the real. A wanted child. That is, without meaningful rival, The Best Position to enable delight in whoever your kids turn out to be.
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