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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    361
    There is some stellar advice here so far.

    I will say that I had a pretty tainted view of men during my teenage years as that is when my own parents were going through a messy separation and my dad turned into a raging alcoholic. And my mom took it. If anything, it made me have less respect for my mom, since she was never able to stand up for herself- or my sister and I and just say "enough is enough, fuck off!" I continued to have trust issues throughout my college years, never really commiting to anyone for fear that it would all go awry. And I wondered if I never wanted to get married, did that also mean I would never have children?....

    Things change.
    You grow up. You move out! You meet guys that you aren't interested in romantically and build from there.
    I never wanted to get married. I'm still unsure if my SO and I will ever go that route, but I have warmed up to it quite a bit. He has not pressured me in any way. And in the beginning I was very firm in saying that I wasn't interested in marriage. He knows my whole back story and has been nothing but patient and respectful about my boundaries and misgivings.
    You definitely do not need to be married to have a family with someone. And men can surprise you - both in good and bad ways.
    I think those of us who have a less than optimal family life growing up have the chance to say - I'm not going to be like my mother, i'm going to be strong and independent and live my life, and if the right guy comes along, cool. But if not, that's fine too, i'll still keep doing what makes me happy in other facets. It sucks you're in such a nasty situation, but you're still very young. There is no need to worry that life will never get any better; that you won't find your way.
    Step one: remove yourself from the negative. Focus on that. I think you'll find that once you're in a more positive environment, you are much more able to make clear and conscious decisions and have a more optimistic view of the future as a whole.
    Mama to ~Rowan Josephine 1/12~
    and ~Teagan Dahlia~ 5/13~

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    491
    I'm 23, and except for a few years when I was in a serious relationship (engaged), I've always felt the same way - I'd rather be a single parent. Now I'm single and having a baby (unplanned, however, if I didn't get pregnant now, I'd likely be looking into adoption in as few as 2-3 years, hoping to be a mom by 27-28). My parents have also always had horrific relationships. My biological parents were married for 11 years, but I rarely saw my dad and have no relationship with him now, and I love my stepdad (who mostly raised me) dearly, but he and my mother do have a terrible relationship.

    I am so terrified of ending up in an abusive relationship I'm seriously considering being a single parent, either through adoption or IVF. But I know its really hard to adopt as a single parent and I know both options are really expensive, especially for one person. So my questions are...

    Is marriage really the way my mom says? Do you have to go along with whatever punishment your partner is using, even if you know its not right?
    it is if you choose to have a relationship like that. It sounds like your parents have very, very traditional ideas of gender roles in marriage (and that's putting it kindly...it sounds more like your dad is controlling and abusive and your mother is afraid to stand up to him, TBH). Some men and women still believe that a man is in charge of the household and his wife, or that he should be in charge of discipline and decision-making. Many don't. You need to find a partner with similar values to you, who feels strongly about compromise, and does not react in anger the same way your father does. Someone who, when upset with his children, will say "your mother and I need to discuss what the punishment will be" and then will do that with you.

    How do you know that your partner is who they appear to be? How do you know they aren't going to change after having kids?
    you will never, ever, ever know 100%. But while having children can be a drastic, life-changing event, and will possibly change some people's habits and personality traits, for the most part they're still going to be the same person. Someone who is easy-going is not likely to become completely neurotic when they have kids, and someone with terrible reactions to their anger isn't going to suddenly 'get better' at that because of a baby. If your mother knew your father for any period of time before they married and had children, I'm sure she was able to identify that he was a very domineering, reactive, unwilling individual.

    How do I loosen up around guys?
    don't. Honestly, you don't want to be with a man that shares traits with your father. They don't all. If you stay open minded, and you meet a guy who's qualities and traits are compatible with yours and are what you're looking for, you will recognize that. Don't sit there and believe 100% all relationships are terrible or all men are controlling...but you don't need to try to convince yourself that ones who are aren't, either.

    If I chose never to get married, how hard do you think it would be to raise one or two kids on my own, starting in my late twenties?
    hard, but probably not any harder than handling a relationship on top of children. Single parents with healthy attitudes towards themselves, parenting, and being single do perfectly fine. And kids raised by single parents do perfectly fine as well....there are different hardships than traditional parenting, but they aren't any more challenging than trying to raise kids alongside someone else.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

  3. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,330
    Thanks, everyone. It's kind of comforting to know that people can relate to my situation. All my friends are "daddy's girls" and have them wrapped around their fingers, and its painful sometimes because I have never been a daddy's girl and I never will.

    My father has made it clear that it's us (me, my mom, and my sister) who have the problem and not him. He thinks his anger is totally justified because we don't show him the respect he deserve. He doesn't get that respect is earned, and won't agree to counseling.

    I think I made a mistake in staying home for college. My mom kinda talked me into it because staying home was cheaper and she could keep an eye on me. I wanted to go away but I'm really shy and have bad anxiety so I thought it would be a bad idea. But now I see that not only am I stuck at home with my dad for at least two more years but I have very little chance of meeting new people because I'm too timid to force myself into making friends. If I'd went away I'd have to force myself to make friends. Any shy people out there have tips for me?

    Being a single parent is sounding better and better to me. It's really hard for me to connect with boys, it always has been. Maybe that will change in college, maybe it won't, and that's okay. I would love to have a relationship just once in my life, but I've realized that what I'm really craving is love. I'm not really feeling much of that right now from my family, so I want to create it with a new one. I just want to be able to love on somebody, it doesn't matter if their an SO or an LO. My family (bot sides of it) is a very "get married and then have kids" kind of family. There are no women on either side that have ever had kids out of wedlock and I just know they wouldn't be very happy if I became a single mother, even intentionally, but I don't really care what they think. I have to do what makes me happy. Believe it or not that's a very hard thing for me to do. I've always taken other people's feelings and opinions into more consideration than my own which I need to stop doing, but its hard.

    Sorry that was long, but I can't talk about this to anyone else.
    Violet Gray
    Sad name-obsessed teenager and aspiring writer

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Humboldt, California
    Posts
    294
    *hugs* This sounds really hard.

    Why can't you move? You'll probably have to take out loans, but it's better than living at home. Find a cheap studio or one-bedroom apartment. You might still be able to get a dorm. At school, ask the people you sit next to if they want to do a study group. Meet for lunch, then study. You might make some friends. Join a club or two.

    ETA: My university has some really excellent counseling and psychological services. Maybe yours does too? They might be able find some resources and provide help and support.
    Last edited by sidura; May 25th, 2013 at 07:19 PM.
    Proud furmom to:
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    Currently loving:
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  5. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,044
    Violet, I was shy growing up, I'm still a rather quiet person, but more quiet introvert than quiet afraid if that makes sense.

    Honestly, if you can afford it, living on campus was the best experience for me. Never will it be easier to meet new people and make friends! And really, I've found that all you need is one good friend to feel comfortable going out and meeting more new people together.

    I'd see if its still possible to live on campus, or as pp recommended, look into affordable housing close to school to get a little space. If you have to stay at home for now, at least try to spend a lot of time at school, at the library, getting involved in activities, etc...use home for sleep only if you can?

    I'm sorry your home life is so difficult right now.

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