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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


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

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.

iusedtobefun2 Sun 20-Jan-13 15:44:50

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

iusedtobefun2 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:26:59

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.

SecondhandRose Mon 21-Jan-13 10:46:33

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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