Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My girlfriend got pregnant during our senior year, so I married her to do the right thing. At first, it was great living together, even with the baby. But now, five years later, we have two children and she’s pregnant again. I know it takes both of us to make a baby, but she is the one responsible for birth control, and I didn’t want any more children.
The only fun I have is playing league baseball, and once in a while, I get out with the guys. Annie, I’m only 23 and want more out of life. We both work, but after paying the bills, we don’t have a dime left. Sex is rare. I work around hot women all the time. My wife is going to take two months off work before the baby is born, and life at home will be miserable. With another child, she will be grumpier than ever. I feel trapped.
My friends, single and married, have a lot more fun than I do. Sometimes, after a few drinks, I feel a rage inside and have to walk away to calm down. Don’t you think my wife has some responsibility to be more loving to me? I don’t even know what my question is, but I know something has to change. — Tired of It All
Dear Tired: We commend you for being responsible, but one problem with marrying young and for obligatory reasons is that you feel you’ve missed out. Your wife is equally “trapped.” The restlessness you are experiencing can be managed if you and your wife love each other and are both willing to work on it. Talk to your clergyman, or find low-cost counseling through United Way or the YMCA. Also keep in mind that as your friends get married and start families, the differences between you will be less noticeable. (And P.S.: If your wife keeps getting pregnant and you don’t want any more children, YOU should be in charge of birth control.)
Dear Annie: You were way off in your response to “Pagan in a Christian Family.” To tell someone with different religious beliefs to simply sit quietly during a blessing and try not to upset anyone is ridiculous. Her family should honor her wishes and simply do nothing. Maybe when they are about to say these magic words, she could get up from the table and go into the next room. Sitting quietly gives consent. She is being persecuted. Don’t let them get away with it. — M.D.
Dear M.D.: It is not “persecution” to sit respectfully during someone’s prayer in their own home, at their own table, even if their beliefs are different from yours. Read on for more:
From Santa Cruz, Calif.: I, too, am a Pagan, and most of my family is Christian. I have no problem sitting through a prayer at family gatherings. I deal with it by silently thanking The Goddess when God is mentioned and My Lady when our Lord is thanked. Part of the philosophy of Wicca is “and harm none,” and she is harming herself by stressing over this. We can’t change how others view the world. We can only change how we respond. I would encourage her to live her life by example and learn to be tolerant of others.
Oregon: I’m also the only Witch in a Christian family. In order to receive respect from other family members, I not only show respect for their rituals in their own homes, but welcome their mealtime prayers at mine. I don’t recite them, but remain, as you say, respectfully silent while I inwardly thank my own deities. If I were to be verbally attacked or had some truly objectionable ritual thrust on me, I would stand my ground. But I don’t consider mealtime prayers offensive.
Please, “Pagan,” don’t add to the hatred and spiritual intolerance that permeates this world. As the Wiccan Rede says, if it “harms none,” then do what you will. This should go for all belief systems, not just ours. — Oregon Pagan Woman
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. E-mail questions to email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.14.10