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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #3 – Mary Ashley

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

    Read the original question here.

    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

    Read the original question here.

    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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    Modern Catholic Women

    #MeToo: A Catholic story of trust, hurt, and healing

    #MeToo: A Catholic story -- FemCatholic.com

    Names have been changed.

    Sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein have caused many people to come forward with their own assault stories, all tagging their social media posts with the hashtag “#metoo”.

    These stories of assault are coming from everyone, everywhere.

    Actresses and actors, olympic gymnasts, friends and family on my feeds. All of these posts have reminded me of my own story, when I learned that the unfortunate reality is that just because someone is Catholic, doesn’t make them infallible.

    Me too, and I let it affect my relationship with God.

    ♦♦♦

    A few years ago, I had just moved into a new town, a new parish. I was starting to get to know people, and everyone was very kind. I had just been broken up with and was not looking for a casual situation where I was going to get hurt. I was looking for something serious, and respectful. I was looking for someone Catholic.

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    Other Resources

    Open to Life, Open to Death: Love and Miscarriage

    Open to Life, Open to Death: Love and Miscarriage -- FemCatholic.com

    My husband and I were avoiding pregnancy after our wedding while we worked on an interstate move and settling into new jobs. But we were open to life, and looking forward to tangibly welcoming life by way of a squishy little bundle of baby chub in short order.

    We were prepared for it to take time – I was diagnosed with PCOS in high school, and years of charting my cycles for health awareness revealed a litany of reproductive health concerns that hadn’t responded to treatment thus far. Cycle after cycle led to a week of extreme cramping and a glass or three of red wine while picking fights over Downton Abbey or the gender wage gap instead of gleefully researching how to raise a kid in an urban studio apartment. After a year, we weren’t alarmed by this, just resigned that my ovaries hadn’t magically healed themselves (surprise) and we would have to pursue fertility-specific medical intervention after all.

    Six months later, a few days before leaving to visit family, I peed on – a lot – of sticks, not wanting to let myself believe that I really was seeing a second line.

    It happened.

    We were pregnant.

    That life had arrived.

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #1 – Amy

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

    Read the original question here.

    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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    Modern Catholic Women

    No, “Cheap Sex” is Not Why No One’s Getting Married

    No, Cheap Sex is not why no one's getting married -- FemCatholic.com

    Is cheap sex making marriage obsolete? A popular New York Post article sure thinks so.  (Incidentally, so does my late grandmother, who took every opportunity to counsel, re: “giving the milk away for free.”)

    The New York Post is right on one point: marriage rates are decreasing. But slut-shaming, with a side of porn and masturbation, isn’t the primary source of this decline.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/23/144-years-of-marriage-and-divorce-in-the-united-states-in-one-chart/?utm_term=.0a4b89d3d4f8

    Do we really believe, as a society, for the past 241 years of American history, men simply followed their phallus into lifelong marriage in exchange for an exclusive, all-access pass to unlimited sex?

    I’d expect this kind of reasoning from Hugh Hefner or James Bond. Surprisingly, it’s quite prevalent in Christian dating advice books. The best cure for sexual desire before marriage? Simply get married!

    As a married woman, please, hear me out: this is terrible, terrible advice.

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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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    See the Dear Edith page for more info.

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