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How would you feel if a friend told you that they thought you needed therapy?!

(97 Posts)
grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 10:52:01

Hi

Firstly, I have name changed, although I am not the most regular poster in the world - I have forgotten my old password and my laptop reset itself so I have had to sign up again!

I'm a little unsure what to think about this and it has been playing on my mind quite a lot. I am in my mid thirties, single, and have always been single. I don't think that this is because there is anything horrible about me, it's just been a series of unfortunate events in particular in my late teens which lasted into my mid twenties. By the time I was in a position to start meeting men, the good ones had been taken. I did try, tried Internet dating but I just had no interest at all which was a shame. I concentrated on my career instead and have done pretty well, I'm hardly earning three figures but I do have a comfortable salary and lovely home.

A couple of years ago I started thinking in terms of being single as something that might not change - before that, I mean, I had always thought that I'd meet someone "in the future" and I started to think I might not. confused When I really thought about it, I wasn't all that bothered. I'd seen too many friends have their hearts broken and marriages fall apart and I've never been bothered by being on my own. But I was very upset at the thought of never having children of my own, so I started to look into alternatives (hence why I originally signed up to Mumsnet.) After months of planning I'm now in a position to start trying later ths year and I'm so happy and excited about this.

Most close friends know and have been extremely supportive and excited for me, but there are just a couple who have been quite pleased to my face and yet have let slip that in fact they think I am "damaged" in some way which is why I haven't ever had a partner. One is convinced I am a closet lesbian and the other made the comment I alluded to in my thread title - she is having therapy and told me I should try it - "It would be cheaper than fertility treatment and I bet by the end you wouldn't NEED fertilty treatment."

AIBU to be a little bit hurt by that? (I am a LITTLE hurt by the way, I am not going to never-speak-to-her-again!) I just feel that after months of being supportive, she's now behaving as if I'm wrong, damaged or unhappy in some way. And, if I was going to have therapy, it wouldn't be "to get a boyfriend!"

Thanks for reading smile

Tee2072 Sat 19-Jan-13 10:55:24

You are certainly entitled to your feelings but you are also entitled to live your life however you want.

I think you're friend was trying to help, but if you think you don't need therapy, thank her for the suggestion and go on with your life.

HollyBerryBush Sat 19-Jan-13 11:00:59

Your friends will have an onlookers view of you - there are many people who I think are in good need of a lay down on a couch and getting a load of stuff out in the open - I wouldnt voice that opinion to them though, not unless I were very close to them>

So I suppose it depends how you project yourself I suppose. If you give the illusion of being off the wall like I do because it's a defence mechanism to stop people getting too close - then they are going to think you need your noodle probled grin

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 19-Jan-13 11:02:06

A friend suggested I needed counselling. I didn't, I just needed her to stop avoiding me/refusing to see me/ take my calls.

I was very upset. Very upset, never forgotten it and things have never been the same since.

I am single and no idea why anyone would want children on their own but if that's what you want, go for it. It's your life not theirs.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:03:41

That's the thing - I don't think I am off the wall in the slightest grin Friend is, though, hence the therapy.

I'm not sure whether she was trying to help or not but it just made me feel strange that to my face for over two years now she has been supportive about me having a child alone when all along she appears to have thought I need "therapy" to get a partner. It is that I feel a bit miffed about.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:44

I wouldn't take it too personally. She's being a bit evangelical about therapy because it's working for her and she wants everyone to reap the same benefits. Projection rather than empathy, but probably means well.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:53

Bilbo - I don't "want children on my own", I want children, and I happen to be on my own.

There is a difference. smile

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 19-Jan-13 11:12:20

She might just be a bit super-happy about therapy if it's working well for her. I loved it and think everyone should do it. So I would really try not to be offended!

If it's something you might like to do then try it, it doesn't have to be connected to your family plans.

Good luck with your fertility treatment.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:14:50

Thanks TeWi smile

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 11:25:11

Just want to say a big well done you for having such a positive mental state & taking control of your future. And for the record I don't think you need therapy. I spent the whole of my teens & twenties single. In my thirties I had a brief fling with a friend of a friend, an awful relationship with a man I went to school with & eventually met my wonderful dp who I now have a beautiful ds with. In my long single spell I regularly questioned what was wrong with me & it turns out the answer was nothing - some of us just have really shitty luck with men. Good luck with your fertility treatment. I'm sure you'll be a fabulous mummy. X

BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 19-Jan-13 11:25:44

I think this might be a difference of perspective; you suggest that therapy is for those who are 'off the wall'. It doesn't have to be. I consider myself a totally sane person who, if you met me in real life, you would likely think was pretty sorted. I see a therapist because I like having someone completely impartial to bounce ideas and problems off.

If your friend sees it in this way, I can see why she might think it would be helpful to you. YOu are making a major life changing decision on your own. Good for you and I really admire you and have a friend who did the same. But suggesting therapy doesn't mean she thinks you are crazy. Just that you might benefit from discussing your decisions with someone.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 19-Jan-13 11:26:37

I agree with TeWi. I ve never had therapy but I've done a couple of lower level counselling courses, and I think everyone would benefit from therapy in some form. This may well be where your friend is coming from.

Also, some people have strong feelings against deliberately bringing a child into the world as a single parent, which may also have something to do with what she said. It's not a personal thing against your plans, it's just a general feeling that it is far from ideal for the child involved. She may want to be supportive of you, and by suggesting something that has worked so well for her seems (to her) like the best way to do that.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:46:10

Cloudsandtrees, both friends who have been critical are both single parents !(although the children do not live with them.)

Blameitonthebogey - not really, it was in response to someone else. smile I did have counselling years ago but it wasn't helpful for me personally. Friend is doing some sort of therapy to do with dreams. I never remember my dreams grin

Thanks YorkshireDeb, I'm really looking forward to it smile

ApocalypseThen Sat 19-Jan-13 12:01:56

I said that to a friend once. She had explained to me that a physical problem was stopping her from feeling comfortable enough with men to have a sexual relationship. I thought if her self esteem was that badly dented by what is (to the onlooker, these things are always far bigger to the person with them) a very minor problem, professional help with her self esteem might be an idea.

She was very offended and thought I was implying that she was mad.

The point is, you may be unaware of how the things you say sound to people who care about you. They might perceive your distress to be greater/different than you do.

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 19-Jan-13 12:11:37

Actually, come to think of it the person in question was having counselling herself. All it seemed to do, though, was convince her that she couldn't possibly be doing anything wrong, even though she was making things a million times worse.

I don't know why anyone would want children full stop, actually, so not really a comment on having them on one's own.

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 12:34:03

If it's playing on your mind, perhaps you think she might have a point? People's comments usually stick if they chime with something you think yourself, otherwise you just forget about it.

Would you like to have a relationship?

louschmoo Sat 19-Jan-13 12:43:35

It sounds to me like she's getting something out of her therapy and therefore has decided that you would benefit from it too because, like hers, your life isn't 'perfect'. Maybe she feels a bit funny about having therapy and doesn't want to be the only one! I wouldn't take it to heart - she's clearly not a particularly tactful or thoughtful person. If she were, and she genuinely thought that you had issues which required therapy, then she would have sat you down and tried to have a proper conversation about it.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:06:25

[grn] bilbo, fair enough!

Cailin, I don't know that it is that I thnk she's got a point, exactly. It is really hard to explain! If she'd said, "I think you're lovely, but you're down on yourself, I've found therapy really helpful!" I wouldn't have minded at all as I can be a bit down on myself (no more so than other women though!) It's the therapy + me = boyfriend thing I was a bit hmm about - as if there's something wrong with being single.

Said friend has one terrible relationship after another - I'd rather be in my shoes than that! I wouldn't like a relationship with just anyone, it would obviously be nice if someone I cared about was available and liked me too was around, but I don't think that is going to happen.

Thanks for the replies everyone smile

Bigwuss Sat 19-Jan-13 13:12:23

My friend did. Very brave thing to do actually, as it could have wrecked our friendship.

cumfy Sat 19-Jan-13 13:17:10

Friend is, though, hence the therapy.

Does she agree with your characterisation ?

Do you feel superior to your friend; she needs therapy but you do not ?

badguider Sat 19-Jan-13 13:17:23

I think it's a bit strange that you think you will never have a romantic relationship when you're (hopefully) less than halfway through your life.
Yes, I understand that there isn't sufficient time perhaps to have children with a partner and I admire you going for it alone. But why wouldn't you meet somebody in your 40s, 50s, 60s?
I think it's this attitude that might make people wonder if you want to explore the idea with a professional (given that you also say you'd quite like a relationship. If you were vociferously against monogamous relationships that would be different).

cumfy Sat 19-Jan-13 13:19:26

What I mean really is are you being entirely honest with your friend regarding your views about her having therapy.

LaCiccolina Sat 19-Jan-13 13:20:18

Don't get this at all. Friend is being helped by therapy. Friend suggest u try it.

How's that any different from "shit I've lost half a stone on Atkins diet! U gotta try this???"

Grip, get one.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:22:05

Gosh cumfy, not at all! t's her business, I'm pleased it's working for her but I don't think it's for me. Plus, she does have a pretty serious MH condition (diagnosed) and has been hospitalised for it before - the therapy she feels is helping her would probably just not suit me.

Badguider, I've just never had anyone be interested in me, I don't know why. I suppose I just think that if they weren't interested in a 25 year old single me I don't think a 45 year old me with child(ren) would appeal smile

MinnieBar Sat 19-Jan-13 13:24:06

Saying you need therapy - not on.

Saying you could benefit from therapy - fair enough. As has already been said, we probably all could, especially when making big life-changing decisions.

Saying if you had therapy, you wouldn't be trying to conceive - bonkers.

It's interesting isn't it, that lots of people see it as a negative?

I am a counsellor BTW!

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 13:24:20

From what you say you seem to feel a good relationship can't possibly happen for you, as if you're different to everyone else somehow. Why is that?

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 13:25:50

X-posted. You say "no-one's been interested in me," but what about you being interested in them?

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:29:27

Thanks Minnie, that sums up how I feel about it quite nicely smile I'm sure you're a great counsellor - you have verbalised my feelings nicely there grin

Cailin, I don't think it's that exactly. It's just that I lost a parent young, the other parent left and the care of a troubled sibling fell on my shoulders. My university years were spent doing strings of horrible jobs and I was homeless at one period which was awful. My mid twenties were difficult as I bought a house young but struggled financially a bit - I was ok, but no spare money for socialising or hobbies. I was promoted at twenty-six and that gave me a lot of extra breathing space, then promoted three more times so now I'm pretty comfortable.

Unfortunately, this was also the age many men started to get married - often to university sweethearts grin As I said, I did try internet dating but had no luck with it.

I can't see it happening now because I suppose it just never has - that's all, really.

Peevish Sat 19-Jan-13 13:39:33

OP, you sound admirable, and good luck with conceiving.

Just to throw into the mix, I've benefited from short periods of therapy myself on more than one occasion - talking through big life changes/potential life changes with someone who wasn't a friend or relative and was sympathetically neutral. It's no magic bullet - and you may have to look about to find a counsellor you gel with - but you don't have to be in any way unstable or ill to find it helpful.

I have actually suggested to two close (very sane, together) friends that they might find a few sessions useful for much the same reasons I did, and they did. Your 'friend' said something unpleasant and unkind, but don't necessarily dismiss the idea of a few sessions with a counsellor out of hand, if it occurs to you, now or in future, that you might like to talk about your thoughts, or how other people's reponses to your decision make you feel. Having a baby is a big step - I have a nine-month-old and have seen someone briefly after his birth - and fertility treatment can be emotionally trying.

Best of luck.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:43:52

Thanks, Peevish. Don't worry, I don't think you have to be ill/unstable before therapy - I have tried counselling in the past, but didn't find it very helpful. I'll definitely think about it again if I feel the need to smile

Mitchy1nge Sat 19-Jan-13 13:48:46

As someone beyond the reach of therapeutic grasp I would feel sad and inferior next to her greater psychological sophistication, and I would tell her this in order that she might commiserate with me and my less psychologically minded plight.

no2way Sat 19-Jan-13 13:49:01

You seem to think that therapy is for mad people. It's not. It's a helpful tool to help a person help themself.

Just because a person has a problem doesn't mean it's their fault or they did anything wrong, eg a bereavement.

It might be good for you to try it, before you start on what itself may be a trying road.

She's your friend, she knows you better than people here.

Good luck with your family plans.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:51:52

Haha mitchy.

no2way - I've said twice now that I don't smile and I've also said I have had counselling in the past. It's the suggestion that I should have therapy instead of fertility treatment because therapy might lead to a boyfriend that I was a bit miffed at, as friend used to be supportive.

Who knows!

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 13:59:14

To be honest, I can see where she's coming from just from what you've said so far. It sounds to me (and this is only based on what you've said, so could be total bollocks) that you have had to go through a huge amount and to some extent that has stood in the way of getting what you want out of life. You've done really well on the work front but in terms of relationships you feel what's happened has meant you haven't had the time or the headspace to have a relationship. And now you believe that it's too late to meet someone, and have taken the very big decision to go it alone, not because you actually want to, but because you've developed the belief that it's just never going to happen. I think what your friend was getting at is that your belief isn't necessarily justified and that therapy might help you get beyond it and get everything you want - not just a baby but a partner too. I think her heart was in the right place, but she probably didn't go about saying it in the right way.

grumblinalong Sat 19-Jan-13 14:05:22

I kind of get where you are coming from OP. It seems your friend is suggesting you need therapy because you are and have always been single as though this is a problem that needs a solution. People really seem to struggle with long term single people. My dbro has been single all his adult life apart from a brief 2 month relationship. He has been called gay, in the closet, weird,set in his ways. He isn't. He is just very selective with his emotions and time and is happy with being single.

People who can take or leave relationships aren't a problem they are just on the spectrum of humanity. I don't understand why people find it hard to accept. Good luck with yr fertility. I was alone with ds1 from 8 weeks pg and I enjoyed the autonomy. I've had 2 further dc's with DH and found it hard not being totally in charge!

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 14:05:45

Possibly Cailin but what can I say ... time isn't on my side.

Both friends (the one who thinks I must be gay, and the one I posted about here) have never been out of a relationship. They just can't be happy alone and because of that I don't think they understand that I am - you can't miss what you have never had.

And, I really HAVE tried counselling grin but it didn't make any difference!

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 14:10:16

What age are you?

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 14:13:44

I don't really want to get into that because I will be told I have loads of time and about people who met their DPs at 39 and had triplets a year later grin

It is highly unlikely I will meet anyone, Internet datng has not worked (based on four years of it - no one was interested unfortunately) and the only other advice people have is "put yourself out there."

I'm happy with my choices, happy with being single, but I wouldn't be happy being childless.

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 14:19:59

Fair enough. Good luck with your treatment smile

Yika Sat 19-Jan-13 14:39:09

I would be offended to be honest. In my experience, people don't suggest therapy because they think it's of value to all humanity; they suggest it because they think you have a problem.

And as for the idea that therapy would sort you out so fast you'd be in a relationship with someone who wants children with you in the kind of timescale you're looking at... What a joke.

Carry on with your own plans. Hope it all works out for you.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 16:21:05

Thanks Yika and Cailin smile

MinnieBar Sat 19-Jan-13 17:26:52

Do you know what type of counsellor you saw in the past grass?

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 18:43:27

Person centered, I think?

nkf Sat 19-Jan-13 18:54:38

Some people can't manage singlehood. It bothers them at some deep level and they think it must bother other people in the same way. If you are offended you are, so don't worry about whether it's reasonable or not.

I think not wanting to risk always being without children is a very clear sighted way of looking at things. And I think your point about being ready to date when all the good ones had gone. I think there is a window in people's lives when the dating, marrying, children comes very easily and after that, it becomes tougher.

Do you think you need therapy? Are you unhappy? Irrational? Weepy every day? Fixated on unsuitable or daft things? Unable to stop talking about a particular incident?. Frequently falling out with people unexpectedly? Always getting fired? Those sort of behaviours (to me) might indicate that therapy could be useful.

Or perhaps you want children and have taken control of that want.

MamaBear17 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:01:01

Whilst your attitude to being in a relationship is not one that is very common, you are not the only person in the world who has decided a relationship isn't something they want. I think the issue is that because it isn't a common attitude your friends do not understand it. I am friends with a woman who sounds very similar to you, 6 years ago she had fertility treatment because she didnt want to miss out on the opportunity of having children and had twin boys. She and her boys are very happy, and she still doesnt want a relationship. I think you may have to accept that your friends perhaps do not 'get it', but they will come to understand that you are happy with your life the way it is in their own time. Good luck with the fertility treatment.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 19:11:01

Thank you both smile nfk - none of those things sound like me, I'm pleased to say. I completely agree about the 'window' - I said this to my brother a couple of years ago, that I wish I had known this before I was 25 (I am 33 this year for those who asked blush) - will be 34 at the earliest by the time I have my first child so while there is "time" there isn't a lot of it.

Both friends I have mentioned have been in a string of relationships with men who are, to be honest, quite unpleasant but seem to prefer that to being single which in turn I don't understand - but hey!

suburbophobe Sat 19-Jan-13 20:32:00

Maybe you had a bad counsellor. I've had them. They were a complete waste of time and money. It helps to "shop around" to find one you really resonate with.

And I agree with the others, a good therapist is very helpful for putting things into perspective on an objective level.

I'm a LP myself and it is the hardest job in the world! Being a parent is anyway but here you have to do 2 jobs in one, 24/7 for ever about 18-odd years.

I can understand you wanting to go ahead with this, and a relationship can always happen in the future.

However, be prepared to be able to deal with your DC when they reach 13 - 14 and start having their own relationships....

Also, have you thought of how to deal with your DC's desire to know their other parent? (if you mean fertility treatment by donor).

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sat 19-Jan-13 20:38:58

i've had loads of counselling of different types, and whilst it isn't always easy or pleasant, i recommend it to everyone.

tropicalfish Sat 19-Jan-13 20:56:51

I once suggested to a vg friend who becomes extremely morose when drunk that she would benefit from counselling. IMO she has unresolved issues.

Having a child is really really hard work and then they grow up and are rude to you ( maybe not all the time) but I think it would be really lonely doing it on your own. You will have to reduce how much time you work, maybe work 9 - 5, would that suit you, it sounds like your career is really important to you.

tropicalfish Sat 19-Jan-13 20:59:52

On another note, this week womens hour r4 have had a series of features on being single. It was very interesting.
You are right not to settle on being with someone you wouldnt be happy with.

I'm single by choice. Seems like I always have been and that's just the way I like it. For some reason relationships and being in a couple just does not suit me. Like you people have made comments about my sexuality or have thought there is something wrong with me because I've always been on my own.

In my early 30's I really struggled with it. It made me sad that maybe I wouldn't get married and live happily ever after. I went through lots of soul searching and eventually came to the conclusion that although I was more than happy being on my own I couldn't face life without having children. So, I had a child using donor sperm.

Fast forward a number of years and I have a beautiful DD. We are doing very well. Check out the term Sole Parent, the term given to those who chose to have children by themselves.

Be confident in your choices OP. You will always have those who question your motives and your choices, I think you will just have to develop a bit of a thick skin about it.

With regards to the counselling, yes it does sound like your friend was having a dig and questioning your plans. As for me, I would love some! An hour of talking about yourself. Sounds like such luxury! I would imagine that most people could benefit from some.

Feel free to PM me if I can help in any way

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 11:21:06

Thanks for the replies.

Having a child isn't something I've decided to just do on a whim - have given it lots of thought, consideration and preparation. I think that a lot of people who think it's lonely are possibly people who are used to being in relationships or who think single people get to go travelling and go to bars and have exciting lives at the weekends grin we're not; well, I'm not anyway. This weekend for example I have seen nobody apart from a brief walk into town Saturday morning to pick up some groceries. I do have friends but they are busy with their own families and it can be something of a catch 22.

Yes, I have given a lot of thought to my child wanting to know about their other parent and they will know as I am using a non-anonymous donor.

My career is only important in the sense that it has to be as one person. If there are two people you can both 'afford' to earn a bit less. As it is, I earn £45,000 per year which is a good salary but I have to pay bills alone and run a car on one salary and so on and so forth which can be difficult. I work in education so my working day is fairly short and I have long holidays. I really have given all of this a lot of thought.

I used, I'd love to PM you - thanks.

cumfy Sun 20-Jan-13 14:18:18

she does have a pretty serious MH condition (diagnosed) and has been hospitalised for it before

Did you not then take her opinion with a pinch of salt ?

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 14:23:15

Yes, but not because of the MH condition, just because I don't agree with it. I agree therapy/counselling could be helpful but I don't think I NEED it smile And, to be honest, I can't spare the money for something that may be slightly helpful but might not be ... I am saving up for a baby grin

grasscrown, I haven't read all the posts but I jumped straight in to answer as I have had CBT counselling/therapy and it was one of the best things I have ever done. Please do not take offence at what your friend has said and I think she is a good friend to be brave enough to suggest it to you.

We all have issues of some sort or another and talking to someone who is a professional is a great way of looking at things differently. I last saw my therapist about 4 years ago but I still look at some of the paperwork she has given me and look at the books.

Therapy is a real eye opener and common sense but sometimes it just takes a fresh look at things.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 14:26:50

She wasn't being brave, I promise grin I didn't fly off the handle and nor would I.

It isn't the suggestion of therapy that I was a bit puzzled at. It was that I (would be) doing it to be a "normal person" and have a boyfrend and have a baby the "normal way" I was hmm at.

One other thing, I am not meaning to sound critical but I have a partner so obviously there are two of us, we have two kids and it is hard, it has always been hard and this is even with the two of us working together. Babies grow into miserable teenagers quite quickly. A dog might be an easier alternative. And I am not taking the pee, to be honest if I had known then what I know now about children, I am not sure I would have had any.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 14:34:39

Well - I'm sure you're not taking the pee, but just as you don't think I understand, I can tell that you don't. I'm sorry that you would have made different life choices but, with respect, "a dog might be an easier alternative" is offensive in the extreme.

I wonder if you would say the same thing to somebody in a relationship planning to have children?

SuffolkNWhat Sun 20-Jan-13 14:44:34

Therapy can be massively beneficial and whilst your friend's wording might have been wrong do you think she might have had a point?

Work stresses, bereavement, weight issues, traumas, depression etc can all be helped through therapy. Tbh most people could do with it!

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 14:46:32

Oh I do agree with you Suffolk! (and I laughed at your name!) I honestly wasn't put out at the suggestion as such, it was more the suggestion that it was needed because that was why I hadn't met a partner, which I don't think is fair.

After all, plenty of people who DO need therapy are in relationships grin

I'm also pleased to say all that is a LONG way in the past (thank God!) smile

cumfy Sun 20-Jan-13 14:49:09

I really think you need to give this friend a break and recognise the context in which it has been said.

This is likely to have far more to do with her wishing that you were a bit more similar to her so that you could be closer friends than her unbiassed opinion of your best option for future happiness.

I rather think you know this.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 14:51:57

Cumfy, I haven't given the friend a hard time, certainly not to her face and on here I haven't given any indication (I don't think?) of being anything more than a bit mildly miffed, and even that was to do with her having been supportive and excited to my face then suddenly, months down the line, "you should try therapy then you won't need to do all this."

I really don't understand your middle sentence too well, I am afraid - sorry.

cumfy Sun 20-Jan-13 15:01:01

This is likely to have far more to do with her wishing that you were a bit more similar to her so that you could be closer friends than her unbiassed opinion of your best option for future happiness.

You have difficulty understanding this concept ?

Really ?

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 15:06:10

Yes, I don't understand the point you are making, sorry. I'm obviously slow. smile

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Sun 20-Jan-13 15:06:52

I had to read the sentence three times before I got it!

I think you need some punctuation or extra words in there cumfy.

I think, if I am reading it correctly, you mean "This is likely to have far more to do with..... and she is not really giving you her unbiassed opinion of..." Is that right?

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Sun 20-Jan-13 15:07:36

In other words, it wasn't the concept being misunderstood - it was the sentence.

NumericalMum Sun 20-Jan-13 15:11:32

I think YABU for two reasons. One therapy\counselling is really down to the person. I have has many sessions with different therapists and they have varied in terms of usefulness greatly. I am almost always seen by my friends as being very together and I doubt many would guess I have and therapy but I will happily tell everyone as it isn't a bad or evil thing. It is something tht helped me overcome a lot of self esteem problems to become the cknfident person I am now. Fwiw I met my DH shortly after my first round of counselling after being single to that point.

Two I have a DC and found it unbelievably hard even with a fairly supportive DH in tow. I take my hat off to anyone who does it alone and I certainly wouldn't choose to do it alone. You aren't even 34 yet. Maybe freeze eggs or something and wait a few years? You have at least ten years of childbearing years left.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 20-Jan-13 15:14:02

It depends on the context. I suggest a friend might benefit from seeing a counsellor,in the light of her personal circumstances, she took it how it was intended and did in fact go to some counselling sessions. It wasn't enough for her at the time,and she needed more help,but she did benefit from it.

I wouldn't say I would suggest to your in your circumstances that you would benefit from therapy though. But I don't know you personally and I doubt your friend meant to hurt your feelings.

I'm with the OP here.

What her friend was saying is that the norm is to be in a relationship and if you are not, for whatever reason, then there is something psychologically wrong with you.

The OP's point is that for a LOT of people the norm is to be single and that if she is happy with that then it's actually quite rude to suggest that there is something wrong with her because she's not.

I don't like being in a couple. It's not for me. It doesn't mean I am psychologically damaged. For a lot of people in couples they find that hard to believe.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 15:17:55

I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt my feelings and honestly, she didn't - mildly put out was about as strong as it got. smile

Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to hide the thread now as it's drifting into "you shouldn't have a child yet" which isn't why I started it.

NM, I will be at least 34 when I have my first and all the professional advice I have had indicates that it is sensible to do so before I am 35.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 20-Jan-13 15:22:34

Sorry - haven't read thread, just the OP.

I think it would depend on why she suggested therapy, If it's done her the world of good and she's really benefitted, maybe she feels a bit evangelical about it and wants to 'spread the joy' to you. I am a bit guilty of this attitude myself.

I would add that unless a person is ready and wants to examine themselves in this way, no amount of therapy will really help.

Personally, I see therapy as a way to self-knowledge rather than as a 'fix' for a personality problem - though that is kind of an outcome IYSWIM.

MadBusLady Sun 20-Jan-13 15:23:35

Look, this is what the OP's friend said about her needing to have therapy:

"It would be cheaper than fertility treatment and I bet by the end you wouldn't NEED fertilty treatment."

I'm just reprinting that because large numbers of people seem to be somehow misreading it as the friend saying "Oh I'm having therapy, it's great, you should try it!" And therefore unsurprisingly saying the OP is BU objecting to it.

She isn't.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 20-Jan-13 15:25:05

YANBU at all. Your friend is peddling the sexist cultural myth that women 'need' a man in their life. The truth behind this myth is that men-as-a-class feel entitled to own women for domestic service and breeding, and a woman who resists being owned is a Terrible Thing. Partly because she demonstrates to other women that it's not compulsory to have an owner, and perfectly possible to live a happy life free of couple-relationships, which encourages women to put up with less shit from men and that Can't Be Allowed.

I am nearly 50 and while I have had lots of sexual partners and 'going steady' relationships in the past, I have never lived with a partner or been married. I consider myself both lucky and smart to have got this far. My DS was a surprise (bunk-up with an old drinking buddy resulted in completely unplanned and unexpected PG, DS' dad fairly quickly came around to the idea of being a good, involved father and remains so; DS is now 8) and I have been contentedly completely man-free for about 10 years. Well, apart from the odd shag at swingers' parties.

I have also had, from time to time, people implying that my happy single state is actually a defect and I need therapy - either drugs or verbal coercion - to make me submit to a man's authority and ownership .I just laugh and complement whoever says it on their wonderfully ironic sense of humour.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 20-Jan-13 15:25:36

I don't think she's being unreasonable at all.

Branleuse Sun 20-Jan-13 15:28:30

some people find therapy/conselling so positive and life changing, that they become a bit evangelical about it. Its not usually meant to be offensive.
Most people could benefit from it.

Apart from that, it sounds like you didnt appreciate it or feel close enough to her for her to be able to say it

MadBusLady Sun 20-Jan-13 15:29:04

It looked like I was sort of replying to you there, Lets, but you hadn't posted when I started writing. I was more generally grousing at replying to people who thought she was BU.

nkf Sun 20-Jan-13 15:29:08

I think the responses on this thread are a bit weird. Here you have what sounds like a perfectly rational, self supporting woman who is saving up so she can afford to raise a child and she's being told she might actually need therapy. As advised by a friend who has been hospitalised for mental health conditions. And as if therapy automatically leads to a partner and children.

OP, I think you might benefit - not from therapy - but from people who will understand. Other women who aren't keen on coupledom and who want kids. There are plenty of them. Some of them get married though.

Your friend's remark does sound like a projection of her own values rather than anything to do with whether you really need therapy. Like the other poster said, I think you know that too.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 15:37:26

I just wanted to say a massive thanks to the latest posts - not for agreeing with me but for understanding.

I am (honestly!) a kind, reliable, "nice" sort of person and I haven't had a fall-out with anyone since primary school spats and don't intend to do so. I just haven't met a man I want to share my life with. I'm absolutely fine with that, probably at least partly because you don't miss what you've never had, but I was heartbroken at never having children.

I didn't just wake up one day and think "you know what, I'd like a baby." All sorts of thought, research and sacrifice has gone into this and now while I'm not quite there yet, in eight/nine months or so (by which time I'll be 33) I will be. Even assuming the treatment works full time (it probably won't) I'll still be 34 when I have my first child. We have a history of fertility issues in our family - mother tried for seven years to have me - so I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to wait, it is just too risky.

All I can really say is a lot of thought has gone into this, and much as I like them, I don't want a dog, I want to be a mother.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 15:39:41

Branleuse, not quite - it was said in the context of talking about HER, and was listening to HER talk about HER therapy, and I didn't want to start turning the conversation about ME (sorry for capitals but there's a communication problem here!) especially as I can probably be quite boring when I start talking about babies blush

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 15:41:50

Nfk - I understand now, thanks for explaining smile

twentythirteen Sun 20-Jan-13 15:43:38

OP, I had a friend who I was concerned/curious about because she was someone who never seemed to seek relationships and had a few but not many friends. I would never had suggested she seek theraoy and after a while I grew to see it as an unconventional lifestyle that I would never take up but admired, the freedom, etc. Maybe you need to have a chat with your friend, especially if it would be hard to let the slight go.

Grass thought you were hiding the thread?? grin

BTW I don't find being a sole parent that difficult.... but then I still have the teenage years to deal with!!

Hope the fertility treatment goes well.... Have you booked your first appointment? Just a warning, the process is really slow.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 15:48:01

Yep - I am crap at it grin It's fine, it is just a couple of responses over the page, especially the one about the dog, was quite upsetting to read smile

I have a consultation next month but won't actually be trying actively until the summertime smile

yes, the dog comment wasn't very nice. That said, I have a dog as well and I love her just like a second child!!! wink

Sounds like you've researched this well and know what your doing. I wish you luck, but I don't think you'll need it IYSWIM - you're going to do just fine.

TalkativeJim Sun 20-Jan-13 17:31:11

I agree with nfk and SGB and am puzzled by a lot of the responses.

Let's look at this from purely practical angle. The aim is for OP to have a family. Let's take Therapy Friend's approach first. OP dutifully trots off for counselling and is Magically Fixed. Let's say this takes 6 months. She 'puts herself out there' and meets a man. Let's say this also takes six months, with a few tossers weeded out along the way. That's being massively generous! Let's be completely, stupidly optimistic and say Mr. Right is solvent, not a twat, suits OP, and is also ready to move a relationship straight to serious, let's have children territory. How soon would any sane person in that situation wait before ttc? Personally I think you'd be nuts to forge ahead before you'd been together at least 2 years and lived together for at least a year. Before that, you simply DON'T KNOW someone well enough. And that takes OP to 36-37, with no guarantee that any of it would a. Happen in the first place or b. would work out rather than ending for some pefectly valid reason say 6 months into living together when you find out you just don't suit.

So leaving aside whether therapy would be beneficial to OP or not, the idea that at 34 a woman in OP's position who is happy to go ahead with donor sperm should um and arr and try other options on the off chance is simply the far riskier plan.

Added to that you have the simple truth that OP is happy as she is. That's surely where everyone should be, mentally, before ttc. Going on what OP has said, I'd say going relationship hunting and throwing herself into situations which so far haven't proven particularly attractive for her is a very poor MO if what she actually wants is to move toward motherhood. Have a baby with the first ok-ish bloke who happens along because that's GOT TO be better than doing it alone? No it isn't, take the briefest glance at the relationships board if you want confirmation of that... where women in miserable situations are always being reassured that single parenthood is indeed easier and less stressful than parenting with the wrong person, and that it's tough at first but eventually mentally much easier? OP is already at that happy, self-reliant, content stage as far as I can see.

OP, good luck, and get to it as soon as you can. You sound eminently sensible and who knows, maybe one day you will find yourself wanting a couple-relationship and seeking to start one. But at 34 there's no way I'd be waiting to risk having a family on it. I hope that a fantastic and fulfilling relationship is indeed just round the corner for you... with your child(ren)!

Kiriwawa Sun 20-Jan-13 17:32:55

grasscrown - I had a 'friend' say similar to me when I said I was going to have a child on my own. I ignored her (she is no longer a friend though) and my DS is now 6. We are very happy and I am still happily single smile

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 17:47:58

Thanks so much, both smile I am totally happy as I am; if I met a man I liked and who was single, that would be great but it hasn't happened yet and I don't think it will due to a lack of opportunities meeting men now I am in my 30s.

I do want to be a mum (to a human wink) and that's what I am focusing on now. Kiri - thanks for sharing, I can't wait for my house to be disturbed by a baby! grin

LucilleBluth Sun 20-Jan-13 18:11:10

You sound entirely stable and sensible to me OP smile and I say this as a married mother to 3 DCs......wouldn't the world be boring if we were all the same.

I'm sure you will be a wonderful mum and having a baby really is the most wonderful thing, with a husband or without. Good luck.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 18:24:00

Thanks Lucille smile

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 20-Jan-13 18:24:38

There are, of course, other options apart from donor sperm - you could seek out a man who wants to be a father but doesn't (for perfectly valid reasons of his own) want a couple-relationship, or you could adopt. But if donor sperm is the route you feel most comfortable with then go for it and good luck.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 18:34:21

Thanks SolidGold.

Unfortunately, I don't know any men who would fall into that category and I wouldn't get approved for adoption either so I have to look at donated sperm if I am to be a parent smile

Crawling Sun 20-Jan-13 19:37:57

I just wanted to wish you well in your fertility treatment and to say I admire you for deciding whats important to you and going for it.

I have a uncle who is desperate for a child and would make a great dad but unfortunetly he likes being single you remind me of him, he is very confidant and comfy in himself. Its a shame people are not more open minded of differndes between people ( I speak as someone totally insane). Good luck.

Crawling Sun 20-Jan-13 19:42:29

Sorry about spelling phone keeps changing words.

grasscrown Sun 20-Jan-13 21:22:20

Thank you smile

SminkoPinko Sun 20-Jan-13 21:54:25

Good luck with the donor sperm treatment, grasscrown. I find the hardest part of my family life by far getting on with my partner half the time (and have teenagers and a toddler) so don't relate to all this "children are too hard for one person" stuff at all. It's swings and roundabouts- doing things all your way and by your own rules without having to negotiate with someone else must make up at least partially for the occasional lie in, imo. I think the suggestion that wanting children without a partner puts you in need of therapy is ridiculous. It does sound like she was suggesting that you were in some way "fucked up", not being evangelical about therapy, and as such I think she is a bananahead, frankly!

ImperialBlether Sun 20-Jan-13 23:16:18

I don't think it's too hard to bring up children on your own, but I'm really against deliberately bringing a child into the world who won't know his father or his father's family or background. That is a burden you are putting onto the child and personally I think it's really unfair.

Sorry that you feel offended by my dog comment, it wasnt meant to be offensive.

I am 45, first child born at 28. Kids now 14 and 17 and it is a constant challenge, it is hard work mentally and emotionally and their father is here too. It is fun when they are little. But every year there is a different stage you will be going through on your own. I also agree with Imperial Blether above.

Have gone off topic with this post but if you think you can afford to bring up a child then you can definitely afford to explore 3 or 4 sessions of counselling if you think it would be beneficial (and it is I assure you).

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