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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #3 – Mary Ashley

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 3 Mary Ashley -- FemCatholic.com

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    Dear Anonymous,

    First off, I want to say that I’m really sorry that that happened to you. There are few things more hurtful than being lied to and cheated on. I applaud you for moving on and even becoming best friends with the “other woman”.

    I’ve had several experiences where I felt hurt, betrayed, or let down by men, including my father, and healing from the resulting hurt and bitterness each time has taken a tremendous amount of time and effort. It is especially disheartening when we are deceived by someone who has all of the external signs of faith (and, we would assume, faithfulness and virtue), which leads us to a double distrust, both of men and of the signals we would normally cling to in order to evaluate someone’s character.

    It is especially disheartening when we are deceived by someone who has all of the external signs of faith … which leads us to a double distrust, both of men and of the signals we would normally cling to in order to evaluate someone’s character.

    I spent a long time in a similar state to the one you describe…in college, almost all of my friends were gay men, women, or my friends’ boyfriends, and most of my interactions with the opposite sex were hopelessly awkward. I had crushes from afar, but aside from a relationship that lasted for the first three months of my freshman year (one which certainly did not help my fears or ability to trust), I didn’t go on another real date until 7 years later, and usually ran away as fast as I could if someone showed any real interest. Since then, I’ve had more betrayals, even deeper hurts, and more healing to go through, and I don’t have the perfect answer, but at least I can confidently say that I’m finally at a place of being open and relatively at peace.

    So, my first piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. One day you might wake up and feel great, totally healed, and ready to take on the world, but then the next day something relatively small sends you backsliding into fear, bitterness, or anxiety. Healing is a process, and it’s likely that there are several layers to this wound that you might not uncover until later on. It’s normal to feel wary and unsafe in your shoes, and if there is any part of you that feels like you “should have already healed by now,” I hope that you can let that go.

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #2 – Anonymous

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 2 Anonymous -- FemCatholic.com

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    Dear Trusting Men,

    I’m sorry about your friend.

    About a year ago I broke up with my ex who was my closest friend. He wasn’t christian and it wasn’t the same. It would be fair to say we were pretty awful to each other, and when we did break up I was devastated to find that the image I had painted for myself of this idyllic relationship that I was in, was just a picture.

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #1 – Amy

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response #1 Amy --FemCatholic.com

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    Dear Anonymous,

    The easy part of your question to answer is: Yes, he was cheating on God, too. Cheating in the sense that he was sinning against God. So, with that cleared up, let’s carry on.

    I completely and totally understand the not trusting men thing. Whenever someone claims to love you, and then does a very poor job of it, it’s hard to trust. I would imagine you are afraid of investing in another man and getting duped again, which is totally understandable. Here was a guy who to the world appeared the good guy, yet he was living a lie. How in the world is one supposed to tell if they’re a good guy when they a player in angel robes?

    I think your fear is that you don’t trust yourself to not fall for another sucker and waste massive amounts of time. I would encourage you to reflect back on your 8 year relationship with him. Do you in hindsight see actions or behaviors now that could have been red flags? I bet you might be able to pick up a few. Often times, when we are in love or like a person, we ignore red flags, especially if that person “seems” squeaky clean.

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith Response #2 – Julie

    I'm not maternal: Catholic women respond -- FemCatholic.com

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    Dear anonymous,

    One of the beautiful revelations for me of reading St. John Paul II’s Letter to Women, was discovering the Catholic church upheld women working. Up unto then, I thought the only way to be a true woman was to be a SAHM. Being present in the workplace as a woman balances the workplace environment.

    God perhaps has withheld imparting the desire for biological maternity to spare you the agony of wanting something that is not yet attainable in your life because you are single. You can live what is called spiritual motherhood.

    Spiritual motherhood is a beautiful gift. I witnessed this in a profound way on a mission trip to Haiti. I was with a group of college students, priests, and consecrated women. We were ministering in the wound clinic. The wounds were severe and very painful. A consecrated woman knelt down at the feet of a woman with a severe toe wound. Very lovingly, gently and so Christ like she soothed the women as the consecrated debrided her foot – without pain meds. This consecrated woman was ministering Christ present in the Haitian woman. Such a profound beauty of spiritual motherhood. Also on the trip, I witnessed these consecrated women rock babies, feed babies, and lovingly hold them. Again, another way to care for others in our femininity in lieu of biological motherhood.

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith: Trusting Men

    Catholic women answer: how can you trust again after a breakup? FemCatholic.com

    Dear Edith,

    2 years ago (almost) I broke up with my then boyfriend. We were best friends for 8 years, and I only had started dating him after he left seminary.

    We dated for 6 months, but come to find out he had been cheating on me for the duration of my relationship (was he cheating on God too because he was hooking up with girls while in seminary ?).

    While I’m grateful to be out of the relationship, and even more grateful to say that me and the “other woman” are now best friends, I still find my self struggling to trust men.

    The few dates I’ve been on I’ve been rambling and nervous. I get nervous when men touch me (hugging, handshakes, shoulder touches). The only men I feel comfortable around are relatives, gay men, and guys whom my other lady friends are dating.

    My mom insists that I wait for a “good catholic man” but my ex seemed like a “good catholic man” so I can’t even trust that.

    What are some tips for trusting men, or trusting people in general when I’ve been hurt so badly?

    — Anonymous


    Responses to this question will be accepted until Sept. 30, 2017.

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith: I’m not maternal

    Dear Edith Question I'm not maternal -- FemCatholic.com

    Dear Edith,

    I recently re-verted to my faith, and am struggling because I feel like every single thing I read about women in Catholicism has to do with motherhood.

    I love my mom friends, and they are awesome, but I’m single right now, and not sure I even ever want to have kids.

    Honestly, I’m just not very maternal. A lot of my friends just love babies, and are great with them. I think babies are cute, but personally, I just don’t have this longing to be a mom that some of my friends have.

    Which is good, because I really don’t know if I’m patient enough to deal with little kids day in and day out.

    I’ve not one of these girls that daydreams about decorating a nursery or being pregnant.

    I have a Masters and a job I love and I feel like the Church should focus more on all the things women can do in the world, and how they can be leaders.

    And isn’t that what feminism is supposed to be about, anyway? Celebrating women for more than just making babies?

    — Anonymous


    Responses to this question will be accepted until Aug. 31, 2017.

    Want to respond? Or have a question of your own?

    See the Dear Edith page for more info.

     

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith Response #3 – Pam

    Dear Edith response 3 Pam -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Jessica,

    All the four specific vocations; single life, married life, consecrated life or the ordained ministry are a call to holiness, our road to a holy God. Irrespective of our vocations we are all “invited” to live holy lives. Each vocation is a call to follow Christ closely.

    That should be our end goal. There’s plenty of discussion about whether or not being single is a vocation. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Am I on the road to holiness?” That needs to be your obsession. Mathew 6:33 says “Seek first the kingdom of God and everything shall be added unto you.”

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