So last night twitterville took off whilst watching Cutting Edge’s program on 8yr old girls going to boarding school. Now I admit that I’m way too hormonal (No2 is more than imminent, she’s literally seconds away!), so I only managed 5 minutes and had to turn off. But I chatted to a couple of Mums and thought it through a little afterwards, and regained a more balanced perspective, because there are Pro’s and Con’s to all options.
For one thing ‘Never say never‘; It does tend to come back to haunt you!
I remember saying that I thought it was pointless to pay for Primary School education, when there was perfectly good state education available, and that I would ‘never’ pay for a 4yr old to go to school! Ahem – oops! So what am I about to do, oh yes, you know it, I’m totally about to send my 4-5yr old to a private primary. Now thats a whole other story, as the the whys and wherefores, which I’m not getting into now. However, it’s a good example of this very old and wise saying. Whilst searching through all the local private schools, many of which are part boarding, one headmaster waxed lyrical about their very flexible boarding system. He looked at all our rather naive and horrified faces, and rather wisely said ‘I know at this moment it is the furthest thing from your mind, however, in another 4yrs time that very well might change!’. Then in the process of chatting to a mum on twitter last night, I remember actually requesting to become a boarder as a child. Now I was older than eight, so it would obviously have been less difficult for me. But still, looking back I can see that if my parents had gone ahead with it, I would have been gained a more stable environment, with much less heavy responsibility. I wouldn’t change my childhood now for all the tea in china, but I can see how a ‘strong’ parent would make a difficult decision and sacrifice what they might prefer for the sake of a child’s stability and education. It gave me an interesting and different perspective; after all, we all do things that make our children cry, because we know we have to in order to protect them from something else. There are those of us who refuse to ever hurt or challenge our children, but does that work? Nope, it creates spoilt, over-protected monsters, who are dependant and incapable of coping on their own. So I go back to my rather repetitive advice of balancing support and challenge to your child. If you find that you do end up boarding your child, then rather than panic with guilt, instead look for proactive ways of ensuring that you are creating a balance elsewhere.
These last couple of weeks have been full of husbands in the media having affairs as well, it’s been quite bizarre how many have been found out: From Tiger Woods, to John Terry, to most shockingly Vernon Kay (sorry mate, skype and texts do count), and potentially Ewan Mcgregor. Of course, loads of husbands have been saying ‘I would never do that’. But I warn them to think again (plus read all my blogs about affairs), because if you are naive about the potential for temptation and the predatory nature of some ‘other women’, then you are not going to be prepared for trouble. There is no doubt that this is what happened to Vernon, who probably trusted himself as much as Tess did, and then when he got into trouble, it just spiralled out of control, partially I suspect because he couldn’t work out how come he had ended up there.
I remember warning one wife, that if she didn’t get her head around her husbands infidelities totally, then within a couple of years, she would find out how come it happens. Have you ever noticed that? You find yourself thinking ‘I would never do that, how on earth did they get themselves into such a situation’, to find yourself there within a few short blinks of an eye. It can be anything from affairs, to drinking/eating unhealthily, to making ridiculous business/financial decisions, to picking the wrong relationships.
This is because of a very ironic rule of life that I was taught by my mentor, which is short and not very poetic, but the ramifications are huge when you really think about it: ‘Whatever you condemn, you breed, attract or become‘. What it means is that judge someone or something, and you will either end up doing exactly the same thing yourself, or a close person in your life will do it, or your children will. It’s as though life is trying to teach us the other side of the story, and because we weren’t open to learn about it ourselves, it provides us with the opportunity of experience instead. I’m not even suggesting that this is a ‘punishment’ or ‘karma’ gig; just that it is purely about seeing both sides of the story and gaining more understanding for life.
The other thing about ‘never say never’, is that however shocking it seems, we all have our price. The price might be massive, and often not financial, but instead an alternative type of price that matches our value systems (our values are what we really love about life); but there will be a price. Here’s me pregnant with No2, talking about not being available for work for a long time after she is born, and thinking about ways of making sure that she gets as much time with me as No1 did. But then the phone rings, and someone offers me something that would absolutely catapult my blog, my book, my business, my mission, everything, and so yes, I am totally considering it and looking for ways to achieve it and balance out the potential ramifications.
If there is no price that can push us, there can be pressures. Many people are terribly shocked the first time that someone who is close to them succumbs to depression, or a break down, or any kind of mental illness. They wonder how on earth someone could let things get so bad that they would prefer to commit suicide (often considered a ‘selfish’ act). But I can totally understand how suddenly it can feel as though your life has fallen apart, and your head becomes so full of noise that you can’t think straight. I can’t imagine how parents can go one step further, either from anger or desperation, to take the lives of their children, but I suspect that it is similar, just magnified. So next time you hear of someone struggling with mental illness, remember that the official statistics are that 1 in 4 of us will experience some kind of mental illness during our lives. So rather than judge, you might want to think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’.
So remember, be careful when you find yourself say ‘I’d never do that’, because it might just come back to bite you in the butt!
8 thoughts on “Never Say Never – Just In Case”
predatory nature of some woman?
this is misplaced blame here, no matter the behaviour of a woman or man, its the person who chooses to have sex outside marriage (or commited relationship) that is the problem.
and normally if a person decides to sleep around, there is often a problem within the couples relationship that is not tackled.
the fella decides to drop his trousers, and its his fault, not the woman with the so called ‘predatory nature’.
Hi Sarah – you really need to read my other blogs, so that you can get a fuller picture. I’m pregnant (actually in early stages of labour), so I’m blogging bit by bit, not in one piece, hence I do mention quite strongly that reading the other posts on affairs would be a good plan ;o) I’d advice the one specifically on the subject on ‘What is the motivation behind the ‘other woman/man‘. However, it would be naive not to see that SOME (I did say some), of the other women are extremely predatory.
Having been the other woman (more or less “involuntarily”, you have no idea how quickly something like that can happen and you’re suddenly in a rather surreal relationship, so even those with “good intentions” and a high value on loyalty find themselves caught in an affair suddenly too!), I spent some time on “Other women forums” to get my head around the matter, and there are women out there who like being the other woman in the majority of their relationships. They purposely seek out men who are in relationships and prefer this to other forms of relationships. I personally don’t think she’s doing anything wrong either, because those that get involved with her have their reasons too, but I believe it’s fair to say that if you’re in a committed relationship and unaware that you are especially attractive to certain women looking for that, you migh get yourself caught in the web of a “predator” aka someone seeking you out, aware or not!
@Hildi – re one of your first comments – Yes, I’ve checked out those forums too, and they are fascinating! There was a really funny scenario where on ivillage.co.uk they have both a forum for the wives and for the ‘other women’! There were definitely very few of the more predatory ‘other women’, in comparison to ‘normal’ ‘other women’ – but I suspect that they are finely tuned as to who and where they target. What was interesting was that in many cases (not all, obviously) the ‘other women’ seemed to come out of the experience much worse than the wives. I suspect that ‘righteous anger’ strengthened many of the wives, whereas the ‘other women’ were more prone to losing their empowerment, because of having to skulk around & feel guilty/socially unacceptable (hence my blog about ‘swap guilt/pain for a bright future‘.
I absolutely agree. The other woman forum I was on was a huge support network for the betrayed, betrayer and the other woman, and a big suppotr and reality check for me.
And yes I know how hard it is for the first two as well, but being the other woman long term means missing out on birthdays, christmas, family and other special events/things which are part of a long term relationship. Not to mention being a secret and excluded from meeting friends, etc. It’s not always as simple as just being about sex like it might be with some of the celebrity examples who seem to switch affair partner often, but in many cases probably goes more towards differently defined polyamory.
And very often when push comes to shove primary partners stay together, because of kids and family and history and the hassle of breaking is bigger than leaving the affair and working through their stuff/ignoring it. The other woman loses all contact, which can be a very disempowering experience. The same goes for when the partner dies, quite often the secondary partner has to deal with it alone. It’s not all about the sexual predatory temptress as many cliches portrait the other woman, although she exists.
Hahaha, I’m gonna start a lobby for the other woman! Yeah! ; ) (Hell no!)
Hmm. I liked that. It was full of good stuff, like a hearty bowl of soup.
As you know I am aware of some of the philosophies you mention, but what would you suggest to someone who catches themselves saying “never” and not necessarily wanting to experience the consequences you mention. We’ve all seen a thing or two on tv that we found so horrendous that we’d never do it, or meeting someone who’s behaviour we just couldn’t understand. I have a feeling just changing our language and avoiding the word “never” isn’t quite going to cut it? 😉
LoL – good point Hildi! When I caught myself saying ‘never’ re the schools, I kind of knew I was pretty much doomed to pay from that moment onwards – the way I said it, just wreaked of ‘this is coming back at me oooooooh so soon’!
What I did is spend ages looking at all the alternatives and listing the Pro’s & Con’s of them all (I posted a few bits and pieces about school choices around the time). Remember, the concept of there being as many Pro’s as Con’s for each choice – I got there, but realised that 1 option matched mine and Max’s values, it kind of ‘sparkles’ when you get to that point – and that option was to pay. But it didn’t all make total sense until I saw this particular school on Tues, and could see how much Max settled into the environment.
So ironically, sometimes it might do us good to say ‘never’!
Also, it doesn’t have to come back at us in exactly the same way. For instance ‘I’d never stab someone in the arm’ doesn’t necessarily equate to stabbing someone – it’s more to the understanding how we can wreak the same sort of effect (i.e. pain, time to recuperate needed, creating fear in someone etc).