From time to time my wife gets confused. She thinks she wants to live closer to her job so she doesn't drive 80 miles a day, and this idea has come up twice now in the last year. I've all but declined moving with her as I'm 67 and the house note is less than $200. If we both move the house note will at least triple for an apartment, and we know some that pay $800 plus. I have a modest part time employment and social security. My wife has a professional position with a fair salary, but she won't be stopped on this moving idea even if I pay for her gasoline.
Enter my theist friend "offering counciling" as my title here says. We've known each other since age 13 and were once theists together. He knows my back ground and training, but he knows I'm not following it today, and he might suspect that I am atheist or some other thing happened to make me "angry with god." I have to be "asking him for help" because you simply cannot be just shareing a story on the phone. (Oh, what do I do? What do I do?) If I did ask "what would you do" it certainly wouldn't mean that I asked you to bring along your imaginary friends.
The first thing I'm hearing from him is about "church and community" where the wife and I would have new freinds and activities, a sense of purpose, and something else we could share together. He says that "coming back to church" is the answer. I cautioned him to keep god out of the picture, but agreed with community activies and purpose.
He next gets into the idea that his home, money, and property are an illusion of god. I have twice as much as he does (so he says) even though his mortgage is $1200 while I live in a mobile home. It's simply that he has more assets than I do. I remind him that assets cost money, but he doesn't see this. He has a "special" relationship with god, and he "knows him personally." Again I tell him to leave god out of it.
My friend tells me again that god is his "best friend" and he "talks to his friend every day" and that I need to "meet his friend" and that I can then "talk to him too" and that "god can solve every problem." He continued to rattle on and on as I made an excuse and hung up the phone.
This is a true story, but WHY do theists keep thinking that I want to meet their imaginary friend? How do you believe in the Wizard of Oz once you have seen behind the curtain?
Right on! Mindy, that is a real testament to your good judgment, not blessed.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! The Great Oz Has Spoken!
-- The Wizard of Oz
And I'm the Czar of all the Russias!
-- Ensign Pavel A. Chekov
Good one, Loren.
I like that OZ line Dennis, and I think I'll try using as well. Thanks.
Wow, 80 miles/day ain't chump change. I once did that commute on the train and two subways, and that job didn't let out until 6pm. Rent was $275/month, cable and utilities included. But it was an isolated place in the 'burbs, just a spare bedroom with a bathroom and a separate entrance. Fine for living on the cheap, but for a single woman, it was not great.
Then my cousin told me about his friend's ex-GF who needed a roommate closer to the city. We split the rent, at the time $500 each, but no $200/month train ticket needed. So the cost of living was about the same as waaaaay out there. It was a "Eureka!" moment, only 6 miles from work on a direct subway route. After ten years there, I sobbed as I handed over the key. Still miss that neighborhood, it was great, but too expensive for a house.
Sometimes I wonder why we bother with a house close to the city (with the price to match!) for just the two of us. But we got married late and life, and it's a first for both of us. It's impractical, I seriously doubt it's much of an investment (who the HELL can afford one anymore?! Way overpriced), if anything we'll never recuperate much of the cost......
.....but I have a little garden, he has his garage, we have reasonable commutes (still hate it though). I try to enjoy it for now, knowing it's not forever, hoping it won't ruin us financially.
Anyway, I can relate to both of you. There's the quality of life issue, but what would she be doing in the extra time she saves on the commute? Can she listen to books in the car? I did a whole bunch of reading last year on the train (atheist books).
However, my one-hour-each-way commute is still miserable, and if I could change just one thing about my life, that would probably be it. Would I pay an extra $600/month to change it? Hell no!! But I am keeping my eyes open for other jobs. My previous job was just a few miles from here, it was wonderful.
Sorry I'm not much of a help. Sometimes I'll just post a similar situation in case it offers some insight.
That was an interesting story. Everything seemed to work for you both. Keep in mind that when I say she drives 80 miles a day that is round trip. It's 40 miles from our house to her work. I've known many people who drive that daily, or some of my friends who drive 65 miles plus one way to St. Louis, Mo. I might drive the 40 but I would not drive the 65!
I think it is terrible that you had to experience that Dennis. It seems as though this has happened before to you.
To me it sounds as though your friend is severely lacking in empathy. When you were seeking commiseration, he sought to preach. When you were seeking understanding he sought self validation. He doesn't sound very much like a very good friend to me.
My wife was going to leave and get her own apartment possibly by April. This "separation" has nothing to do with other people in the mix, but does involve her not wanting to drive 40 miles one way to work, and my reluxtance to move away and start paying big time money for real estate. I'm an old man and cheaper lodging is always better. I have a half acre and a nice moble home for chump change. I won't give that up, - period! It's not debateable!
Enter my sleep apnea and the wife and I not sleeping together, (we have separate bedrooms) and you get the idea that being woke up by her an extra 6 times a night isn't cool. I wake up that many times anyway, so with 12 wake ups a night you remain worn out 24/7. I had to start sleeping alone or die! It was that bad.
On Valentines Day she wrecked the car on her way to work. She's fine without a scratch but the car might be in the shop 2 weeks OR it might be totalled. One minute she's on the road. The next minute the car is spinning and she's hitting rocks. Slick weather out there.
But this may have changed everything. At least for now. She needs a rental car for maybe 2 weeks. This doesn't come cheap either, but I have agreed to help her. We will deal with all this as it happens. I'll pay the rental car fees and she pays her gas and mileage fees. She seems grateful that I'm helping. Maybe because I knew that she was going to move out.
What this means is that her moving out may be put off into mid summer now. It also shows her that she just might need me around after all.
It was a strange Valentines Day. We were talking about avoiding car wrecks just that morning before she left. Some of my friends think I should be "thanking god that she survived without a scratch." I'm getting that "maybe god is trying to tell us something" type BS talk. You almost imagine that voice saying "don't you wanna come back to little Jeebus now, Michael?"
What can I say? Shit happens!
Will insurance fix our car or does she get another one? We will know next week.
Mike, Sorry about your wife's car wreck! Scary! Glad she is okay.
My husband and I also have separate bedrooms also because my husband wakes up at the drop of a pin. He snores, and I can't sleep. When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I had to get up several times in the night to test his blood, and it would wake my husband up (he works, and I don't work outside the home.) THEN I "got" IBS, with horrible symptoms (EXTREME nausea.) That was it. No one was sleeping. It was ridiculous. I like having my very own room! :)
Let us know how everything turns out!
The car was totalled out today. Now we are working together to get another one, but it probably won't be a new car. Maybe just a work car.
Dennis, sorry to learn of all the chaos and challenges. One problem on top of another. Hope you get it all sorted out so that you are both happy with the results. Spring is just around the corner and that will help with hazardous roads. Do take care of yourself.