Last Friday, I shared a story about a friend of mine who is struggling. Her circumstances with her husband are problematic but she is determined to remain true to her commitment to him. I really shared it in the context of "there but for the grace of God go I". But some of you simply could not help yourselves from climbing up on a high horse and going in. You were bold enough to email me your points of view while being too chickenshiggity to reveal your thoughts in the public comments section. I did not reply back to any of you who wrote. There's a forum for that. Here. In the comments section. But I will share a few of these folks' thoughts and my responses.
1. For the 6 women who wrote various forms of "Your friend should be glad she has a man" - Really? That's what's hot in da streetz? As long as you have any ole man, you should be grateful and glad? I vehemently reject that doctrine. Ve. Hem. Ent. Ly.
2. To the two women who declared, "I would've divorced him the minute he lost his job" - So... not too attached to the actual covenant part of marriage, hmm? Divorce is not always the answer. And having the divorce option on a hair trigger seems a wee bit shallow. If you want a relationship where you can bail the moment things get tough, marriage may not be for you.
3. To the 3 men and 1 woman who suggested, "She should initiate sex" - Why should she if doesn't want to? Perhaps you meant to write "she could initiate sex" which makes far more sense. I'm not even to get into the one dude's assumption that sex is some sort of magical cure-all "everything looks better after some hot cocoa" - oh. Alright then.
4. To the one check with four paragraphs who preached, "A lot of women would kill for a man making $40k a year" - And a lot of women wouldn't. Particularly if the man was making close to 4x that when they met. Of course she's happy he's bringing in some income but sweetie, don't impose your set of standards on other women. And the "so many women have men who make less that $20k" argument falls flat. Good for them, what's that got to do with this situation?
5. For the over ten people who asked, "She took vows for better of for worse, this is worse - what's the problem?" Believe me, she knows this is the "worse" section, no reminder needed. Is she supposed to hmm merrily and act like it's all okay?
My overall reaction - why are some folks' so determined to make it the woman's fault? Or to assign fault at all? Why not just agree that the situation is troubling, make a suggestion or two and move on?
It's not just on this blog - it's everywhere. It seems as though people cannot size up a troubling situation without assigning blame and getting judgmental. Far as I know, Jesus has not come back yet and no one else is perfect. Glass houses, people. Help me out - Why play the blame game? Who does it help?