Here is my next advice column for women, answering questions that were sent to me during the week.
It is early in Ghent, Belgium. I am sitting in our bed in a dark hotel room with the only light coming from my laptop. A soft, peaceful sounding melody is coming from the keys as I tap, tap, tap, on them. As you know, I do my best thinking in three places: my rainforest shower, surrounded by nature, or in the wee, still hours of the early morning! A woman’s emotions run from the intricate and complex to the determined Moxie in all of us. I acknowledge with certainty … “Women need women” works! Here’s my next advice column for women, answering questions that were sent to me during the week.
That is why I started this advice column for women, Ask Honey…
The story below has a wonderful surprise ending, or maybe I should say, beginning. It filled me up with joy and an even deeper respect for the tribe of womanhood.
It began with…
I’m writing from Mesa, AZ, where we’ve lived since my husband was transferred here, 2.5 years ago. I am really struggling with making new friends. I’ve reached out, made invitations, only to find them not reciprocated. I feel held at arm’s length. Any suggestions? This is lonely!
Question: What kinds of groups did you find in Honolulu? Before we moved here, I was a small farmer (grew our own meats, and I had a horse) but I don’t have that in Mesa. So, I volunteered at a local children’s home where there is a horse lesson program. I cleaned barns, fed horses, etc. The other ladies who were there were very clear that they had already formed groups and weren’t open to adding anyone. (Booger.) So I changed departments. Having also taught, I volunteered to tutor kids. The other tutors were very focused on tutoring, and did not socialize much. So, there was that.
I also brought a sheepdog here, and am taking her for herding training. There are several people there to be friendly with, but, again, they don’t want to socialize much outside of competition days.
Even our church has been disappointing. We like the pastor, and are friendly with him and his family. But we live about 40 minutes away, on the other side of the Valley, and the rest of the congregation is not up for travel. (We are, but that also doesn’t seem to work.)
So I could use some ideas for other groups. (Sometimes I feel like it’s something in my personality; I admit, I’m different than most women. I am talking to a therapist about that.) Thanks for your time!
NOW, MY DARLINGS, FOR THE BEST NEWS! A WOMAN READER AT HONEY GOOD SAW MELODY’S STORY AND REACHED OUT TO HELP HER. THIS PROVES MY POINT… “WOMEN NEED WOMEN” WORKS.
I enjoyed reading your wisdom, especially for Melody, as I also moved to Mesa, from Australia, 10 years ago. It took quite some time, but happily I now have a couple of lovely friends; one I met through work and the other through a grief support group. I’m not sure how to contact Melody, but I’m sure we could find out. Community singing or book club? There are groups on meetup.com. Perhaps we could try going to something together?
I WROTE TO MELODY AND ASKED HER PERMISSION TO GIVE HER EMAIL ADDRESS TO HER POSSIBLE NEW FRIEND. SHE EMAILED ME BACK… YES! I AM SMILING!
This is a question, since you offered Q and A:
My beautiful Mother passed away last year, and this is our first, real holiday season without her. I cannot seem to let go of my grief. Can you advise?
My husband is estranged from his mother. It is very painful for the adult child as well. She left our family for another man. It broke my husband’s heart when she left his step dad for this man and 36 years earlier left his bio father when he was only 4 or 5 years old. We tried really hard to heal with her, but she kept lying about things. My husband couldn’t take the lies anymore. Whenever we heard from her it was the same thing and it was killing him. He was all broken up remembering when she left his bio father and now it was happening again to his step dad who raised him. Before the estrangement we were trying to heal our family and she came and visited us. It ended with her walking out on us in the middle of the night after my husband and she were talking about things. He confronted one of her lies and she left. They haven’t seen each other since that night. It’s been 2 years now. She last spoke with me on the phone for my birthday a year ago. I pleaded with her to talk to her son, but not to wait for his birthday and rehash on that day. She didn’t. She texted him the day before and he didn’t want to deal with all of it on his birthday. A few days later he learned from a family friend she had gotten married to the man she left his dad for 4 months earlier. He was devastated. We got a letter from her a month later telling us of her marriage. My husband couldn’t respond. He was devastated. Our daughter was due to get married a few months later and our family was in turmoil of her coming to the wedding and bringing her new husband. Because my daughter was so worried about everyone being upset, I had to write my mother-in-law a letter and ask her not to come. I didn’t want to do that, but I had to for my daughter, husband, and father-in-law’s sake. I feel so horrible and wish every day that things were not in this state. It’s true, I love my mother-in-law, and I miss her. But I am also so baffled by her behavior. She was never like this before. Always a loving, giving mother. Then one day she met another man and left her family. But from her perspective we were the ones who abandoned her. I am completely heartbroken by this situation. I write this to give another perspective about the parent-adult child estrangement thing. Whenever I search on the internet it’s the kids who leave the parent, but not in our situation. I’m so sorry for each broken family that I have read about on the internet. I pray God will bring healing and reconciliation in each family. I think about my mother-in-law all the time. My own mother died in 2012 and I miss her so much. I just can’t understand anyone throwing a family member away. My poor husband is so confused. He feels tremendous guilt and anger. He loves his mother deeply, but he doesn’t trust her. Also, he loves the LORD Jesus and desires to live as His follower. He forgives his mother, but doesn’t feel safe letting her in. I hope this reply will be helpful to someone out there. Actually, I truly hope it reaches my mother-in-law and softens her heart with understanding for her son. We love her so much and wish everyday that things were not as they are. May God bless each of you.
Is there a primer or concealer that will not melt off my face? I have dark circles, am 50, and Hispanic. I don’t look 50 because of great genes. Praise God I just can’t keep my concealer from melting off my face. Help please.