Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

Couple fighting

She Ate Combos: And 20 Other Surprising Relationship Last Straws Explained [via The Cut]

“It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband.” [via Slate]

“Winning the Breakup in the Age of Instagram” [via NYMag]

Really interesting article about how the digital age is affecting the way we make memories: “This is You on Smiles” [via Medium]

It may seem like everyone around you is having babies, but: “U.S. birthrate hit new low in 2013 as women delayed having kids” [via LA Times]

From earlier this year, but a good one if you haven’t seen it: “This Infographic Reveals the Secrets of the Happiest Couples” [via Lifehacker]

“When Friendship Is Lost” [via HuffPost]

“Are Gadget-Free Bedrooms the Secret to a Happy Relationship?” [via NYTimes]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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19 comments… add one
  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover December 5, 2014, 1:46 pm

    Hey Addie, if you’re around and you want to see some MRAs in action, just look at that slate article. They are ALL OVER slate. They just wait for any article about feminism to come up and then they completely take over the conversation. It’s horrible.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana December 5, 2014, 2:03 pm

    That Happiness infographic does not make a strong case for having children. Eek.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover December 5, 2014, 2:47 pm

      I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. It’s just one study, and there are others showing that having kids increases overall happiness, and others showing that it makes people who wanted kids happier while making people who didn’t want kids less happy (duh).

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana December 5, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Also does anyone else thing the dog thing in the 21 surprising last straws isn’t really that strange. I love my boyfriend, but I mean my dog is my dog. She is my responsibility and I love her to death. I can’t bring her to his place so I rarely spend the night there because I won’t leave her overnight, which is definitely me placing the priority on her and he has griped about it, but if that is something that would cause him to break up with me– good riddance.

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    • TheLadyE

      TheLadyE December 5, 2014, 2:35 pm

      Absolutely, 100% totally agree. I read that and thought the same thing. If you don’t get my love for my dog, you don’t get me, and we’re not compatible. We’re a twofer.

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      • avatar

        TheGirlinME December 6, 2014, 12:01 pm

        Cosign this 100%! My guy moved in with me in part because I couldn’t get an overnight sitter for “my boys” all the time. I also got more serious with him, because he is so good to them.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster December 5, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I did not finish the “Winning the Breakup” article because I REALLY need to get back to work, but I was nodding along with it, especially at the part about how we are the “breakup generation” not the “hookup generation” and we experience all these “mini marriages” and “mini divorces.”

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover December 5, 2014, 2:55 pm

      I couldn’t relate to it at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had lots of breakups, but I never really considered whether I was the winner or loser of them. Well, that’s not strictly correct; whenever I got dumped I felt like a loser. But I definitely never felt like a winner when I broke up with someone. I just felt a weird mixture of sad and glad; feeling bad about having to hurt someone’s feelings, but glad to be out of a relationship that wasn’t working. I think it might have a lot to do with social media (which I still don’t really participate in), because then you’re constantly cultivating this persona that you’re showing to the world. And then you have to think about how people see you, and that’s how you get into this situation of wanting to be the winner. This is why I don’t socialize. 🙂

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 5, 2014, 4:26 pm

        I actually wasn’t even thinking about the “winning” aspect of the article super literally. I was more agreeing with the assertion that millennials have more exes than previous generations because of those “mini-marriages” and after the breakups wind up in a defacto winner vs. loser scenario because of social media. When my long term ex and I broke up, I blocked all social media for self-preservation. I have friends who can’t help, but internet stalk. This was never a temptation for me.
        .
        But I only read the first few paragraphs and still haven’t finished it. No idea what opinion I actually have on the whole thing.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra December 5, 2014, 5:48 pm

      I agree with the “breakup” generation thing for sure. I mean my parents didn’t really date all that much before they met each other and they were only together for a little over a year before getting engaged, and then got married at age 26 I think. Whereas I dated a guy through my early 20’s thinking he was the guy I would end up with and in my mid 20’s instead of getting engaged we broke up (thank goodness).

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  • TheLadyE

    TheLadyE December 5, 2014, 2:39 pm

    The “When Friendship is Lost” article is tragic and is one of my deepest fears. I treasure my friendships and invest a lot in them. I’ve had friends just completely shut me out before and it’s been absolutely horrible, probably worse than a romantic breakup in some ways. I can’t believe someone would just stop responding like that.

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  • avatar

    haggith December 5, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Sometimes when you just have to dump friends because they can be toxic or they bring too much drama to your already chaotic life. Yes, I dumped a friend. I was just married, just moved to another state, just started graduate school in a tier 1 university and she needed my attention because she kept on losing friends: he has a strong personality, which I really liked, though not everybody’s cup of tea. When she started complaining, I explained to her nicely why our communication was not as frequent as before, even though my life changes were obvious. She then accused me of not being busy just because my Facebook page was always on (I leave that page open to take breaks from reading and writing, just like now) and that my husband and I had hidden motives for not speaking to her (and then a mutual friend told me she expected me and my husband to travel to visit her often). I ended things by telling her that if even after I explained to her that I was going through so many changes, she didn’t believe me and had this conspiracy theory created in her mind, then I didn’t have time for that kind of friendship. I look back and though we spent great times together, I don’t regret my decision

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  • avatar

    SasLinna December 5, 2014, 4:03 pm

    About the Slate article: I definitely think it’s true that many women are being held back by their husband’s career, especially when they have children. However, I’d be really interested to see how much better single women do career wise. My anecdotal experience suggests that women generally have less career success, whether they are single or married, mothers or child free. Seeing how many of my child free female friends are struggling with their careers, I sometimes feel like we’ve been sold a lie. It’s not that these women aren’t smart or ambitious, it’s just that the men who used to be our peers in university advance much faster. So I question just how much women’s relationship decision really matter. Sometimes it seems like it’s just a convenient thing to point to that makes women feel responsible for their situation.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover December 5, 2014, 6:32 pm

      The Slate article is talking about one disadvantage that women have, and you’re talking about another. There’s data to show that women take a hit on their career when they get married, and another when they have kids. There’s also data to show that women end up doing more work at home and less work at work once they’re married. The fact that single, childless women don’t do as well as their male counterparts doesn’t change that. But I agree with you that single childless women are discriminated against as well, in comparison to men. They’re both true.

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      • avatar

        SasLinna December 6, 2014, 5:09 am

        Yes, both are true. I just feel that more attention should be paid to the ways in which all women are discriminated against. At least in my country, the debate is currently pretty much limited to the kids issue. The pay gap and glass ceiling problems are also exclusively seen through that lens, even though there are so many other causes in play.
        Here’s another interesting question: Does the advice to “marry down” really work? In yesterday’s column, it was said that men without college education are more attached to traditional gender roles. So would they accept their wife as the breadwinner of the family? I know some women who have “married down”, and the fact that they bring home most of the money is of course relevant to their husbands. However, they are still not taking over most of the childcare work in response. It just seems that, whatever their education levels, men are expecting that they will be able to focus on work in the paid economy. So I think that, unfortunately, “marrying down” isn’t a real solution. Basically, men will have to change their mindsets significantly if a more equal distribution of childcare is to happen.
        I guess what I’m also trying to get at is that it seems like “damned if you, damned if you don’t” situation. If you’re married and have kids, you’re of course penalized for that (‘mommy track’ etc.). If you’re single, you may have more time to pursue a career, but you’re penalized for not conforming to stereotypes about women, and the pay gap and glass ceiling are still there. And to some degree the discrimination is due to the very same reasons, although it plays out in different ways: Women are expected to perform a certain rather thankless role, and there are a lot of societal forces that push them into that direction.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra December 6, 2014, 10:21 am

        It’s an interesting thought for sure. In my job — teaching — I simply don’t have as much earning potential as many other jobs. For example Navy Guy is going into accounting and his starting salary will be considerably more than I currently make simply because of his career path. We’ve had a good number of financial discussions for if we do end up taking the next step and get engaged/married. I am career focused and I hope to be a working mom whenever the time comes, but my chosen career path simply doesn’t have as big of an earning potential.
        .
        I teach summer music lessons and this past summer I taught a family of 4 where the dad stays at home and the mom is a highly successful businesswoman who is next in line to be CEO at a fairly large local company. From what I know about the family, all four kids are in a really good private school and the family lives very comfortably. The dad is responsible for bringing kids to after school activities, running errands, etc. I met both parents and it was a really fascinating dynamic.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover December 7, 2014, 12:08 pm

        Marrying down doesn’t work just on its own, because I think what you say is true, that the man will still feel like housework is the woman’s job. You’d have to marry a man who actually agrees that he will do the housework/childcare. I saw one study, I wish I could find it, that showed that even when the man is 100% unemployed, the woman does more housework. It was so messed up. And it was worse for blue-collar and lower, where gender roles tend to be more enforced.
        .
        That’s also why the divorce rate is higher for lower-income people. The woman is doing more total work. If the man is working part-time or not at all, and doesn’t help with the housework, then what value is he bringing? It’s another mouth for the woman to feed, that she’s getting no benefit from. So she might as well go it alone, or move in with her parents or something so her mom can help with the kids.
        .
        Basically the problem with how feminism went is that women said “let us work” but they didn’t say “but you have to help at home”. Of course, realistically they couldn’t, that would never have been accepted. So they won part 1 of the battle, but we’re still fighting part 2. And part 2 is much harder, because it requires men to do more than just say fine, go ahead and work. It requires them to pick up more work at home, which is a real sacrifice. Hell, I don’t want to do housework, I can see why they don’t either. It’s a huge advantage to have someone doing it all for you, no wonder they don’t want to give it up.
        .
        What’s really changing it, I think, is that people are getting married later. Men used to go from their mother to their wife, with maybe a couple of bachelor years in between where they ate at restaurants a lot. Now men live by themselves for a decade or more, so they develop domestic skills that they’ve never needed before. And if you’ve been taking care of yourself for 10 years, it would be crazy to expect your wife to do it if she’s got a full-time job just like you. It would take an incredibly selfish person to not realize that the housework should be split. Hopefully as marriages continue to be pushed later, more and more men will just learn to do their own housework as a matter of course, and then they’ll continue with it after marriage.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra December 5, 2014, 6:37 pm

    I’m pro gadgets free bedroom. I currently plug my iPhone in before bed and that’s it. I don’t use it at night except to text/call Navy Guy good night. My set up is that my bedroom is also my “office” for the time being since I only have a one-bedroom apartment so I’m doing work in there sometimes, but I usually set myself up on my kitchen table instead since there’s more space and I can spread out a bit more.
    .
    When I was with my ex, he would have his bedroom TV on constantly and it drove me NUTS. He would wake up and immediately turn it on to ESPN or whatever. As someone who is not a sports nut I wasn’t thrilled with that…

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover December 7, 2014, 12:13 pm

      We use gadgets, but no TVs. Before we had gadgets, we would go to bed and both read quietly for awhile before turning the lights out. It makes no difference to me whether my husband reads a book or a website. A TV is disruptive though, as your example points out, so we don’t have one.
      .
      I don’t think gadgets themselves are the problem. They’re a symptom of a problem. If my husband can’t tear himself away from his phone long enough to listen to something I say, then we have other issues. If it wasn’t the phone it would be something else. Remember in old cartoons how they would show the dad at the breakfast table with the newspaper, completely ignoring the family? This has been going on a long time. Whether it’s a gadget or a newspaper or just looking out the window daydreaming makes no difference.

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