But now I didn’t want to avoid them.
April 15, 2019 8:45 AM   Subscribe

I was also in the middle of a divorce, and receiving a barrage of emails from my ex-husband telling me in no uncertain terms how horrible I was. That season, I read the news, the emails, the pieces for my job. I couldn’t escape the constant torrent. A Greek chorus of women across America spoke with a single voice. “Men are bad. Men are trash,” the women said. And yet, all I wanted to do was touch men, taste them—I craved them.
I Wanted to Fall in Love With Men. I Also Wanted Men to Leave Me the Hell Alone.
posted by griphus (40 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 
One big change in my understanding of men as I’ve gotten older—I used to think the men I knew hurt women (intentionally or accidentally or without caring either way) because they were overly strong, macho, masculine, not “touchy feely,” not empathetic, but after years of observing my own and others’ failed relationships, workplace conflicts, random encounters, and stories in the news, it seems so clear that the problem with many of the men I know and come into contact with is that they are remarkably weak. Lots of times they claim not to understand the way women feel, but they actually do understand, and are often explicitly told and explained to at a kindergarten level, and just refuse to take it into account because it inconveniences them in some small way or they are too cowardly to face it, or don’t have enough character to apologize, or just plain don’t have to. The women in my life, especially the ones who are called weak because they give into relationships with terrible men over and over again and are always willing to give men a chance because they want to be loved and cherished so badly, are a lot stronger and braver than most of the men I’ve ever met. These women get called weak and are treated as if they are somehow training or enticing men to behave this way, as though it’s impossible for men to resist actively treating their romantic partners badly if they’re not forced to behave by a lack of positive female attention. Reading pieces like this over time confirms for me that I’m not just unlucky, but that this is widespread.
posted by sallybrown at 9:24 AM on April 15 [120 favorites]


I recently reentered the dating pool (scene? ocean?) in my mid-40s after a divorce. So far I’ve had two big takeaways: 1) this whole newfangled “app” thing changes the process almost completely from the days of chance meetings and pay phones, and 2) based on the horror stories I hear from my single female friends, I am so glad I’m not dating straight men.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:29 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


I don't want to be controlled.

I feel this, both her meaning of from within, and the converse, from without. Lots of dudes have tried to ruin/break/especially control me. And I've responded by becoming rigid myself. And hi, therapy works, and I'm as ...loose... as I have ever been, as free I guess. Trying to leave my heart and mind open. And as much as I want to keep it that way, can't help but be scared of what could happen to me.
posted by wellred at 9:49 AM on April 15 [6 favorites]


> just refuse to take it into account because it inconveniences them in some small way

One thing that strikes me as a very depressingly common thread in testimonials like this one, many relationship AskMes, stories I've heard from women personally, etc. is women trying *so hard* to make their male partner happy and men either making little or no effort to reciprocate (and often resenting any implication that they should), or consciously going out of their way to make the woman *un*happy, all of which is male privilege at its most toxic.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:50 AM on April 15 [56 favorites]


We read about the horrors of forced marriage, arranged marriage, child marriage, and the stoning of adulterers; not quite all in one paragraph, but certainly in one paradigm. It is starting to look as if healthy relations between men and women, are radical activities, subversive activities. Facism and tribalism are deliberately hard on women as nincompoops seek to make their inadequacies, law. Family planning consists of non consensual sex. Don't be lulled into thinking, because of what happens elsewhere, we have it really good.

We have to make it good in every generation, we learn our intimate, social reality from our parents. Education can mitigate, layering on public social skills, and expected norms, but the reality we want to, safely, joyously sink into, invest in, be our bedrock, starts in the arms of our parents, both parents, who are equal partners, on the same page.
posted by Oyéah at 9:50 AM on April 15 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I relate to this on a very primal level. Most of my relationships with men (even non-romantic...I can distill them to men who have been my team leads or bosses as well) since I can remember have become extremely controlling and critical almost instantly, but the variations in how this control manifests and works psychologically are extremely vast. So now I mostly wait to see how they will show up rather than if or when they will. As much as I also want to know men via romance and true intimacy it seems like every dating situation I've been in for the first 5 years of my 30s has been a power struggle. The only difference is that I'm experienced and independent enough to not have to deal with it for long.
posted by Young Kullervo at 10:04 AM on April 15 [6 favorites]


Even the "good men" I know are... not super good, at all. Things seem equal, at the start of heterosexual relationships that I've been in and that I witness, they always do, and then slowly over time they drift towards the man. Just drift towards him, his preferences, how he likes to spend his time, the things that matter to him, the foods he likes... things just seem to naturally go that way, and the woman becomes small, lost, immaterial, while the man becomes the priority. Even when the guy is nice! I've witnessed it countless times. There's a gravity to heteronormativity; it's a force that pulls in on itself.

She doesn't have an answer to the question how could I learn to love men, and I do think that Oyéah is right: there's something profoundly subversive about healthy heterosexual relationships. I guess my answer to her question is another question: Why should I bother to learn to love men, when men have not shown much bother about loving, or even liking, women?
posted by sockermom at 10:07 AM on April 15 [67 favorites]


One of the functions of privilege is to outsource resilience. Men don't have to learn to take care of themselves (physically, emotionally, etc) when they can always count on other people to do it for them.

One reason the Right has fought so hard against equal marriage is that their idea of relationships is explicity unequal. Good relationships and good parenting are the only things that can win the culture war. It's a generational struggle, but we're making progress.
posted by rikschell at 10:08 AM on April 15 [29 favorites]


"Why do women write so much fiction and fanfiction about falling in love with robots or aliens or monsters?" is a question I see pop up a lot and I often wonder if it's because it's a fantasy of containing the bad parts of relationships with men. You can change a robot's programming, you can meet an alien whose culture is not built on 1000s of years of treating beings like you like shit, you can even learn the rules of dealing with werewolves, vampires, or other monsters. Vampires have very clear motivations, unlike regular guys who drift through your life refusing to learn or grow or ever take responsibility for the work of being in a relationship yet still seem to want to be in one.
posted by emjaybee at 10:12 AM on April 15 [63 favorites]


Dear God. I'm a mid-40's man coming out of a drawn-out divorce (and I'm the one who left -- call it a slow-ripening fruit of the Emotional Labor thread). I'm not ready to take dating seriously yet, but it does strike me that I keep encountering women who A) take it for granted that I will probably be a horrifying selfish monster (an assumption I can't help but sympathise with), and B) seem willing to put up with the possibility anyway (which I find rather more disturbing).

I had someone tell me that she'd never met anyone so thoughtful when I gave her a very small gift of food that A) I thought she would probably enjoy based on what I knew of her tastes, and B) I thought would not make her physically ill based on what I knew of her food allergies. The myriad disappointments of the "well, at least I tried" variety implicit in that comment horrify me, although I realize they're run-of-the-mill for too many women.

While I've been guilty of a great many of the faults called out in the EL thread, I was also the emotional caretaker of my marriage to someone who took no responsibility at all for her emotional state or the damage it could do to everyone around her. And the worst part now is the little voice in the back of my head whispering "Why not be a sociopathic asshole? It's your turn. You've earned it." Thankfully, I'm pretty sure that being a sociopathic asshole sounds like more fun that it is, but the uncomfortable temptation is there.

I will shut up now and go back to listening and learning as best I can.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 10:15 AM on April 15 [23 favorites]


Even the "good men" I know are... not super good, at all.

I know some men who are pretty good, but who don't run around talking about how good they are, and who don't seem to think of themselves as shining examples of how to man properly. In stark contrast to them is the man I just recently broke off a casual relationship with -- he's a self-proclaimed feminist whose social media presence is full of the "right" kinds of posts about #MeToo and sexual assault and Kavanaugh and so on. On a one-on-one level, he talks a little shit about the way other men behave. When called out on entitled behavior, he talks a bunch of good words about how important it is to listen to the women in his life and how he's going to do better.

And all of that's a huge red flag for me now, because on top of garden-variety shitty behavior like lies of omission, talking over me in conversation, finishing my sentences because he thought he already knew what I was going to say (spoiler alert, he was never right), and just generally being an all hat, no cattle kind of person, this self-proclaimed good man also tried HARD to talk me into giving him a key to my apartment so he could slip into my home in the dead of night anytime he felt like it and act out his rape fantasies on my sleeping body.

I'm on dating hiatus now, possibly forever. I'm glad I had the ability to see him for what he was early on instead of getting stuck in that horseshit, and I sure don't mourn the loss of his presence in my life, but I'm in my 40's and life is too short to spend much more of my time on trying to find a partner when my options seem to be openly shitty guy, covertly shitty guy who thinks he's one of the good ones, or guy who has a TON of baggage and will maybe eventually be a good guy if I put on my best Florence Nightinggale cosplay and heal him from the trauma of his divorce.
posted by palomar at 10:30 AM on April 15 [52 favorites]


I guess my answer to her question is another question: Why should I bother to learn to love men, when men have not shown much bother about loving, or even liking, women?

For someone brought up evangelical whose pre-marriage sexual experience seems to have been an assault, exploring men has probably meant exploring whole parts of herself that were shut down and marked "forbidden" for decades. For this reason, I'm sympathetic with her even though I don't think I'm in accord with what I think is her broader argument. Even within the realm of heterosexuality, the choices are not constant availability to a man or an externally-imposed rigid denial. She still seems to be working from that binary, more or less. I'm not looking terribly hard for a man right now, but it's not because God told me that if I spend any time socially around men, I'm exposing myself to the great dangers of what I might entice them to do to me.

(I mean, I don't believe my mom, raised a strict Catholic, ever slept with anyone except my dad, who, well, none of us think was likely to have turned out more generous, kind, and thoughtful in bed than he was in life. I wish she could just know what it's like to have a good time with someone who really likes you. But I think she can't escape this framing, either.)
posted by praemunire at 10:36 AM on April 15 [6 favorites]


And the worst part now is the little voice in the back of my head whispering "Why not be a sociopathic asshole? It's your turn. You've earned it."

Women are human beings, not objects onto which you can project all the ways the universe has wronged you and therefore given you a “turn” to be an asshole.
posted by a strong female character at 10:48 AM on April 15 [14 favorites]


> I know some men who are pretty good, but who don't run around talking about how good they are, and who don't seem to think of themselves as shining examples of how to man properly. In stark contrast to them is the man I just recently broke off a casual relationship with -- he's a self-proclaimed feminist whose social media presence is full of the "right" kinds of posts about #MeToo and sexual assault and Kavanaugh and so on. On a one-on-one level, he talks a little shit about the way other men behave. When called out on entitled behavior, he talks a bunch of good words about how important it is to listen to the women in his life and how he's going to do better.

Oh good gods this, yes. Save us all from the rampant Dunning-Kruger of The Self Proclaimed Good Ones.
posted by desuetude at 10:53 AM on April 15 [7 favorites]


Oh, yes. By "good men" in my comment, I was specifically thinking of men who are labeled good by others, usually by women who are praising his performance in a relationship as not being overly awful. Performative feminism is a giant red flag. One of the worst guys I dated had a picture of him wearing a pink hat at the Women's March as his profile pic. Might as well have been holding a red flag.
posted by sockermom at 10:59 AM on April 15 [11 favorites]


There's a lot of truth here but I guess I'm also pretty cautious of spouting "all men are manipulative heartless assholes" at straight women because that can easily be interpreted as good reason to stay in a shitty relationship. It also gives straight men the opportunity to pat themselves on the back for having the most basic human decency.
posted by noxperpetua at 11:14 AM on April 15 [15 favorites]


I met my wife when we were both in our mid-'20s, and one of the reasons I was drawn to her from the start was because she was clear about the fact that she had decided (as I already had at that age) that she did not want to have children. What she didn't tell me until much later was that part of the reason for this was that from a very young age she looked around at the married couples she was surrounded by and thought (her exact words) "What the fuck is in it [marriage] for me?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:22 AM on April 15 [13 favorites]


There's a lot of truth here but I guess I'm also pretty cautious of spouting "all men are manipulative heartless assholes" at straight women because that can easily be interpreted as good reason to stay in a shitty relationship. It also gives straight men the opportunity to pat themselves on the back for having the most basic human decency.

Yeah that's the most insidious bit. Less-shitty men don't have to try very hard because the bar is so very low, so it brings down the overall relationship quality for every straight woman. You find yourself thinking "Well, he never beat me, or cheated on me, or stole my money, so I guess he's about as good as it gets."

Meanwhile women hold themselves to these soaring standards of empathy, of near-psychic anticipation of needs, of a delicate treading around their partner's emotional landmines, just for a guy who's not actively trying to be a shitbag and does nice things now and then when he remembers to. Because we are told constantly not to demand too much, or if we are unhappy, for us to make whatever changes need making, through some superhuman force of will, if need be.

Because hey; he doesn't beat you, or cheat on you, or steal your money. What have you got to complain about?

I'm so tired ya'll.
posted by emjaybee at 11:35 AM on April 15 [33 favorites]


Oh, my friends, I relate so very hard.

I'm also late 40s, divorced, a straight lady dating dudes in this same demographic. I have also encountered the good guy who, surprise, turns out to be not so great. Are we sharing war stories here? The last guy I dated gloated about how he could disregard my refusal to have sex (because he'd "successfully" persuaded me to do it that night, when I'd said I preferred to wait until morning), and delivered this message by mimicking my earlier refusal in a singsong voice--mocking me--while he was still on top of and inside me. (Reader, I threw him out immediately. Finis. He is 47 years old, btw.)

I've learned that asking about what he's learned about himself as a result of the end of his marriage is generally instructive. If there's no indication that he's learned that (a) everyone has blind spots and (b) that includes him so (c) he's got specific things that he's working on... proceed with extreme caution.
posted by Sublimity at 1:36 PM on April 15 [21 favorites]


I also asked very directly "what did you learn from that?" when new dates reveal to me that they've been divorced. Mostly, they are taken aback at the question. They've generally never even considered it before my asking.

The ones that have a quick answer (almost) invariably tell me they learned not to marry a crazy person.

Which. No. I leave when they say that. I'm not lining up to be the next person they consider crazy. And I refuse to believe that asking for my emotional needs to be considered (not even met, just considered!) would ever make me crazy.
posted by bilabial at 1:57 PM on April 15 [54 favorites]


I'm glad you posted this! I've been following Lyz Lenz ever since I read her amazing article "I'm a Great Cook. Now That I'm Divorced, I'm Never Making Dinner for a Man Again." I really recommend checking that one out as well, there's a lot in there I'm sure many of us can relate to. As a newly single 30-something woman myself, her journey has been a pleasure (well, some pain, but lots of camaraderie) to follow along with and given me lots to think about. Same for recently divorced and newly queer Lauren Duca.
posted by robotdevil at 2:05 PM on April 15 [11 favorites]


I am lucky that my current relationship (with a cis man) is supportive and feels like it comes from a place of mutual respect and equality. We each have our own lives and our own friends (although we happily hang out with each other's friends and do have plenty of mutual friends). It's all just comfortable and easy, which is how I feel relationships should be.

But honestly, if this relationship ever ends (and fingers crossed it doesn't), I don't know if I'd date (cis)men again. (That doesn't mean, however, I'd be done with dating.)
posted by darksong at 3:03 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]


Less-shitty men don't have to try very hard because the bar is so very low, so it brings down the overall relationship quality for every straight woman.

I think about this a lot, because if a man is putting just enough effort into a relationship to look good compared to other men, it means he doesn’t care about the woman he’s with. If he cared about her and her feelings, he would want to do the work to make her happy and to support her. I think the vast majority of men don’t see women as people with feelings, they see them as props. And why bother to put in more than the bare minimum of effort for a prop?
posted by a strong female character at 3:36 PM on April 15 [18 favorites]


after years of observing my own and others’ failed relationships, workplace conflicts, random encounters, and stories in the news, it seems so clear that the problem with many of the men I know and come into contact with is that they are remarkably weak

I'd say the problem is not weakness, but entitlement. Men are perfectly capable of doing what's required to be a responsible adult -- they just refuse to do it. So many, many men feel entitled to never be inconvenienced or made uncomfortable, to never be criticized, to be waited upon and catered to, to interrupt, to control, to lecture, to do less than their fair share, to be inconsiderate, to be cruel, get exactly what they want when they want, to win, to ignore the needs/desires/boundaries of others, to have whatever wrongs they've done swept under the rug and forgiven without them ever making any effort to apologize or make amends. And if they are denied any of these things, they feel entitled to rage, sulk, withdraw, or disappear.
posted by orange swan at 4:16 PM on April 15 [32 favorites]


One of the functions of privilege is to outsource resilience. Men don't have to learn to take care of themselves (physically, emotionally, etc) when they can always count on other people to do it for them.

This is one of the reasons I find it so upsetting to watch the Queer Eye series -- because at some level, the message is that a straight man doesn't have to cultivate the skills to care for themselves, because someone else will always be there to do it for them.

I know this most recent iteration includes women, but the message -- gay men are here to fix you without threatening your hetero privilege -- is so damn embedded in the premise of the show itself. I hate how the show lets men off the hook, over and over.

This piece ... I don't know if she'll learn to love "men" without working out for herself where men end and the patriarchy begins. And that feels like an ongoing process in her writing -- she's doing a lot of interrogating of everything she's lived and writing the answers as she finds them.
posted by sobell at 4:53 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]


Men are perfectly capable of doing what's required to be a responsible adult -- they just refuse to do it.

It is difficult to get a man to do something when his comfort depends upon his not doing it.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:20 PM on April 15 [19 favorites]


I'm also pretty cautious of spouting "all men are manipulative heartless assholes" at straight women because that can easily be interpreted as good reason to stay in a shitty relationship.
Yeah, there is no shortage of "stuff that pushes people to stay in shitty relationships with straight dudes," but the implicit alternative here is that we should not give voice to a clearly systemic and widespread phenomenon. Not talking about this is partly what got us into this mess. Also, no one is saying "all men are manipulative heartless assholes" here--what we are saying is that there is a pattern of interaction that negatively impacts many of the people who date them. What people do with that information is up to them.
posted by sockermom at 6:38 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]


I look forward to showing this article to my partner when she's back from vacation and listening (not talking unless she asks a question) to what she has to say. I will share the Emotional Labor one too, I had not seen that. Thanks.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:45 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


it does strike me that I keep encountering women who A) take it for granted that I will probably be a horrifying selfish monster (an assumption I can't help but sympathise with), and B) seem willing to put up with the possibility anyway (which I find rather more disturbing).

Easy: there's not that many "good men" (or actually good men) out there so if you want a man, you frequently end up lowering your standards/expectations, especially the older you get because you can't afford to be picky. If you want one, you gotta take what you can get, no matter how "meh" or worse he is, because a bad man may be better than no man. Heterosexuality really, really sucks for women.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:08 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I also asked very directly "what did you learn from that?" when new dates reveal to me that they've been divorced. Mostly, they are taken aback at the question.

Curious, somewhat neuro-divergent lesbian checking in: I think I would be taken aback by this question, too, especially if it came early in the dating process, if only because an honest answer would involve divulging a lot of really personal information. I don’t know that I’d be comfortable with someone who demanded that kind of vulnerability from me up front, before I’d decided if they were emotionally safe enough for those kinds of disclosures. Under those circumstances I’d probably give a nonserious answer rather than say, directly, to a person I do not know well, that I found the question aggressively invasive and somewhat alarming.

I’m not generally someone who cuts men a lot of slack, and I don’t know if this fits the situation you were describing, but...idk. I’m not sure if that’s a great way to tell if a man is a shithead or not.

On the other hand, if anyone has discovered such a litmus test, they should probably tell people about it. There’s probably money in it.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:28 PM on April 16 [18 favorites]


bilabial: I also asked very directly "what did you learn from that?" when new dates reveal to me that they've been divorced. Mostly, they are taken aback at the question. The ones that have a quick answer (almost) invariably tell me they learned not to marry a crazy person.

Which. No. I leave when they say that.


I'm so sorry to make a joke here, bilabial, but the way you phrased this has me picturing you shoving breadsticks into your purse and saying "I have to go."

I mean, we could adopt the meme as code.
"I've got a date with the new dude from your office! His name is $DUDEMCDUDESALOT."

*fierce whisper* "breadsticks in your purse."

"Ohshit thanks I'll cancel."
posted by tzikeh at 6:06 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


ugh this resonates so much with my current state of mind right now i think i'll go vomit then spend of the rest of my work day sitting in the dark in the skirmish room crying while i fix my focus trap a11y issues that more and more seem like another good JS metaphor for my shitty life crisis brought on my effortless ability to gaslight myself into believing that love doesn't matter and everyone boyfriend will just try to kill themselves then go fuck every vegan acquittance with bangs in my social circle. COOL COOL COOL.
posted by zsh2v1 at 10:47 AM on April 17


Re JenFullMoon If you want one, you gotta take what you can get, no matter how "meh" or worse he is, because a bad man may be better than no man

While we hope for and encourage and work on creating and wait for an adequate supply "good men" or there more common but still not abundant "good enough" men, i would like to also affirm another option that is often unfairly stigmatized: voluntarily be single, stop pursuing relationship and,instead,pursue directly some of the things in your life that you also want: a home, kids, to eat what you want and in whatever quantity you want, to wear what your want, to stop hiding or compromising your tastes to please someone else?

Its not,for everyone but when society says your only two choices are: settle by sacrificing yourself to a toxic relationship or, spend your life searching for and, competing for what you and everyone deserves but few can find. You have a third choice, you could also be a confirmed-bachelorette-for life. co-house and co-parent with like-minded friends if the economy makes it impossible otherwise. It can be liberating when you no longer have to sell-yourself and buy into the cult of someone else.

Its an option.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 3:48 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


i would like to also affirm another option that is often unfairly stigmatized: voluntarily be single, stop pursuing relationship and,instead,pursue directly some of the things in your life that you also want: a home, kids, to eat what you want and in whatever quantity you want, to wear what your want, to stop hiding or compromising your tastes to please someone else?

I'm kinda waiting for a surge in two-women marriages, wherein both women are straight and occasionally have boyfriends. They have romantic and sometimes sexual relationships with men, but their life-partner, the one they share meals with and go on holidays with and talk over finances and build a future for children with, is a woman.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:46 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


While we hope for and encourage and work on creating and wait for an adequate supply "good men" or there more common but still not abundant "good enough" men, i would like to also affirm another option that is often unfairly stigmatized: voluntarily be single, stop pursuing relationship and,instead,pursue directly some of the things in your life that you also want: a home, kids, to eat what you want and in whatever quantity you want, to wear what your want, to stop hiding or compromising your tastes to please someone else?

I mean, yes? Do we need permission to do so? Did something make you think we needed your permission to do so?
posted by lazuli at 6:32 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


i would like to also affirm another option that is often unfairly stigmatized: voluntarily be single, stop pursuing relationship

Doing it already! Since the odds of my finding love are probably a lot worse than being killed by a terrorist, etc. Also, I did finally hit the "no man is better than a bad one" point, but a lot of women never do.

I'm kinda waiting for a surge in two-women marriages, wherein both women are straight and occasionally have boyfriends. They have romantic and sometimes sexual relationships with men, but their life-partner, the one they share meals with and go on holidays with and talk over finances and build a future for children with, is a woman.

A coworker of mine started doing this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:12 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I'm kinda waiting for a surge in two-women marriages, wherein both women are straight and occasionally have boyfriends. They have romantic and sometimes sexual relationships with men, but their life-partner, the one they share meals with and go on holidays with and talk over finances and build a future for children with, is a woman.

It's fucking brilliant. I'd do that in a heartbeat. It's be great to raise kids with another woman, build a home, plan for the future, and just date guys occasionally if we felt like it. It's like the proto-Crone Island.
posted by emjaybee at 7:29 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Schadenfrau, I’m totally cool with totally obvious non serious answers to the question, they indicate a reluctance to be vulnerable on a first date. It’s when men refuse to ever admit they’ve ever been vulnerable or had a role to play in the relationships they’ve left that I know this isn’t a partner for me.

I think that I’m not demanding vulnerability from strangers. But I’m also entirely unwilling to see men who refer to unhappy partners as crazy. Less willing to see men who refer to the actual mental illnesses suffered by previous partners they’ve left as “crazy.”

I need men to address that they had SOME part to play in the disintegration of their relationships.
posted by bilabial at 11:47 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I’m totally cool with totally obvious non serious answers to the question

Non-serious, non-personal answers that would seem reasonable:
* I learned that lawyers are expensive!
* I learned my packrat cousin was right about keeping every bank statement forever.
* I learned that divorce takes a lot longer in real life than it does on TV.
* I learned that court appearances are hard to schedule time off for.

Unacceptable answers:
* I learned not to date crazy women.
* I learned that half my friends were really her friends.
* I learned that she was a lot more greedy and vindictive than I ever thought.
* I learned you can dodge paying spousal support for six months by filing change of address forms at the right time.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:41 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Indeed. I would lump that last group of non serious answers in with all the other ‘you should learn to take a joke’ jokes that are insulting and/or frightening. These may be said with a laugh or a smile of sorts, but they are absolutely serious.
posted by bilabial at 6:06 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


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