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Marian the Librarian

Saw this, thought of Sarah Maxwell

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Marian the Librarian

Courtesy of Carolyn Hax's syndicated advice column:

 

 

Quote
On breaking free from a parent who wants grown children to stay in the nest:

 

For years my mother urged my younger sister to stay with her and my father "to protect her." In truth, she wanted to keep my sister home as a buffer because their marriage was so very unhappy.

 

She made my sister, self-conscious and timid by nature, the referee. My mother told my sister, for years and years, that "men only want one thing," "It's a dangerous world with bad people"; she warned my sister that she might have immoral roommates who drank and used drugs and slept with men if she moved out. My sister needed a push from the nest and my mother instead encouraged her fear of everything.

 

My sister did not date, she never married and she now has no close female friends, as my mother disapproved of everyone. It's too late for my sister; she's 61 and is still living at home with my 86-year-old, semi-invalid mother. Young people under this kind of pressure need to grab their own lives while they still can.

 

--P

 

I am thinking about emailing it to Stevehovah. Not that it would make one particle of difference... :angry-banghead:

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shedemei

"Excellent, my parenting method works!" --Stevehovah

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anjulibai

Hmm, children as referees to keep a marriage in tact....makes you wonder if that's part of the reason Steve reversed the vasectomy. Perhaps he thought Teri would leave him, and that having children around would mean she couldn't. Certainly fits in with his overall thought processes.

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Trynn

They had children before though... Not babies , but Sarah was what, ten when Steve had the reversal?

I do agree that some have a baby to fix a bad marriage, and it never works.

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tigerchild

It's actually a good strategy.

I can tell you, as someone who had a surprise baby this March when my older kids were 12, 10, and 10, that it was only in the last year or two frankly that I finally felt like my life was a little of my own again and not so totally consumed with husband and kids. I was blossoming. I got pregnant within a month of marrying, so that was just my life and I didn't know anything could be different until the kids got older and more interested in doing their own things, leaving me with breathing room to think. And be. And come up with things that maybe I wanted to do because I had more of a sense of my separate self.

A baby has rocked that, to be honest. Though luckily I have support, now I'm having to rethink all my biz plans amongst other things and it's not impossible but it's definitely harder, I'm older, and don't have quite the physical energy I once did.

So to be really honest, knocking someone up with their older kids are in the 8-10 range is a perfect control mechanism for both children and woman, who are starting to spread their wings and realize there's more to life than the day to day grind at home.

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Jana814

I do agree that some have a baby to fix a bad marriage, and it never works.

No it usually does not. I know of 2 families that had a 3rd child & still ended up getting a divorce.

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Wine time!
nokidsmom

My youngest sister moved out at 34 when she got married but during the years she spent as the remaining one at home she was miserable. When she finally met my BIL, both my mother and other sister tried to discourage the relationship and had the nerve to try to enlist my help in doing so. They were worried because she met him online and he was overseas and they were oh, so worried, about this "foreign" guy, which was BS because they would object (and did) to just about anyone. I didn't think of it then, but now realize that one of the reasons for trying to keep my sister at home was because my parents weren't as happy as they wanted others to think they were and with no kids at home there was nothing else to focus on. Years later, it's becoming pretty clear that my mom has been miserable for very long time and living with Dad has worn her down.

To this day, I honestly think that my parents would have been completely happy with three daughters in their 50's still living at home.

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Jana814

I'm almost 34 & I still live at home. However that is my choise. Unfortually Sarah does not have the choice. I am sure that the Maxwell's thought she would have been married w/ a couple of kids by now.

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HoneyBunny

Honestly, I think if incest were legal, moral and safe, Stevie would love to marry off his sons to his daughters. It's all about control, and to bring in a male outsider dilutes some of Stevie's control. I don't think he has any intention of allowing those girls to marry and move away (as in, to another zip code). They even had a Corner about that not too long ago- SAHDs living at home forever- and said they've discussed it with their daughters and Sarah, Anna and Mary said (surprise, surprise) they can't imagine living anywhere else if they don't marry.

That lack of imagination goes a long way in explaining Moody books, chasing cats up trees to take a photo to draw a picture, and blog posts of polishing kitchen cabinets, doesn't it?

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anjulibai

Yeah, I don't see any of those girls marrying, which is so sad, because it's the only way any of them will have any possibility of having any sort of control over their lives.

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nokidsmom
I'm almost 34 & I still live at home. However that is my choise. Unfortually Sarah does not have the choice. I am sure that the Maxwell's thought she would have been married w/ a couple of kids by now.

First, just want to let you know that I wasn't criticizing anyone who would still be at home at 34. I hope it didn't come off that way. If that's a choice, no one is holding you back and everyone is cool with it, then fine. In my sister's case, I was coming from the prospective of having rather Maxwellian parents who didn't really want their daughters to leave the home and if they did, they wanted them practically next door. It was a really, really big deal when I left home and my parents saw I wasn't going to be guilted or manipulated into staying. They then tried the next thing and that was guilting/manipulating me into remaining in the neighborhood, causing yet another shitstorm when I refused to do that. I saw it simply another version of remaining under their own roof where they could make sure I went to church on Sundays, see who was coming and going, keep tabs on things, you get the idea.

In the years following, they circled the wagons around my two sisters who were remaining at home. Both worked and had friends, could go out so long if my parents knew and had their "permission", but both were held back in other ways, and it took its toll on both of them. Youngest sister was pretty worn down by her early 30's but she in particular was susceptible to the guilt trips which invitably happened when she met my BIL and got married.

Didn't mean for the lengthly explanation but just wanted to give the perspective behind my above post.

Getting back to the Maxwells, however, I agree they expected Sarah to be married and have a family by now, they just didn't realize that their controlling, sheltered lifestyle prevents that from happening in a number of ways.

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nausicaa

Getting back to the Maxwells, however, I agree they expected Sarah to be married and have a family by now, they just didn't realize that their controlling, sheltered lifestyle prevents that from happening in a number of ways.

I wonder how much Steve ever really intended for Sarah to marry. I'm sure when she was very young he generally thought that was the idea, but once she hit adolescence I wonder how long it took for him to feel jealousy at the thought of giving her up to another man, and especially letting his daughter-prize have sex with a man. I suspect Sarah's lack of marriage prospects isn't just an unexpected byproduct of their controlling lifestyle, but rather one of Steve's aims.

I am really curious if Anna or Mary will ever be allowed to marry.

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nokidsmom

I wonder how much Steve ever really intended for Sarah to marry. I'm sure when she was very young he generally thought that was the idea, but once she hit adolescence I wonder how long it took for him to feel jealousy at the thought of giving her up to another man, and especially letting his daughter-prize have sex with a man. I suspect Sarah's lack of marriage prospects isn't just an unexpected byproduct of their controlling lifestyle, but rather one of Steve's aims.

This is pretty much what my parents thought. The idea of my marrying was OK when it was something that was way off in the future, ie. when I was very young. But the reality of it was another thing. They saw men in my life as competition for being no. 1 in my life and it was also apparent that they had some real hangups over the idea of their daughter having sex even in marriage. So I find totally believeable that Steve would do this, it's very similar to some of the things my folks believed in as it became painfully obvious to me.

I suspect Steve has not openly said "no" to any prospective suitors but more just discourages them or gives them the third degree so they give up.

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SPHASH

I had a dream about the Maxwells last night. I dreamed I was at one of their conferences and met the whole family minus the DILs and grandkids. Mary and John followed me around, stuck to me like glue and wanted me to help them escape.

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Justme

I wonder why they will "sell" in the near future. Mary turns 18 next month. They've delayed her schooling, since she'll be a Senior in the fall. Courtships/marriages haven't been successful. Only 2 sons married. 2 sons with broken engagements. I would think even the most "fundie" of the fundies wouldn't take courtship/marriage advice from them. :think: No more homeschooling. Only a house full of sad adult "children" who worship their father... :fsm: :pull-hair:

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twin2
I wonder why they will "sell" in the near future. Mary turns 18 next month. They've delayed her schooling, since she'll be a Senior in the fall. Courtships/marriages haven't been successful. Only 2 sons married. 2 sons with broken engagements. I would think even the most "fundie" of the fundies wouldn't take courtship/marriage advice from them. :think: No more homeschooling. Only a house full of sad adult "children" who worship their father... :fsm: :pull-hair:

"Managers of Their Son's Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Use of a Son's Empty House While He Waits for God To Send Him a Helpmeet"

"Cabinet Polishing With a Meek and Quiet Spirit"

"Preparing Sons for Courtship Failures"

"Sweet Spinster: When It's Not In God's Plan To Be a Wife"

"Redeeming the Time Part II: How to Effectively Schedule Your Adult Children's Time"

"Keeping Our Grandchildren's Hearts"

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Jana814
I had a dream about the Maxwells last night. I dreamed I was at one of their conferences and met the whole family minus the DILs and grandkids. Mary and John followed me around, stuck to me like glue and wanted me to help them escape.

& in your dream did u help them escape?

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anjulibai

I actually think they will make a big deal out of "successfully" graduating 8 kids from homeschool over the course of 30 years. It'll be a great soundbite for them, and I'm sure Mary's schooling has been delayed so they can so "we homeschooled for 30 years".

They will probably put something else out about preparing to support a family on one income - maybe types of jobs and how to get them started. Not that the Maxwells really know how to do that well; the construction business never took off; I don't think any of them have actually done anything with that small engine repair; and none of them have created a business independently outside of the family like they encourage others.

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BriarRose1122

"Managers of Their Son's Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Use of a Son's Empty House While He Waits for God To Send Him a Helpmeet"

"Cabinet Polishing With a Meek and Quiet Spirit"

"Preparing Sons for Courtship Failures"

"Sweet Spinster: When It's Not In God's Plan To Be a Wife"

"Redeeming the Time Part II: How to Effectively Schedule Your Adult Children's Time"

"Keeping Our Grandchildren's Hearts"

:roll: what's really sad is that this list isn't really a joke is it- I can actually picture that as being their real actual conference.. :( poor "kids".

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DGayle

He probably did think she'd marry, but then he chickened out. He's not letting her add arrows to the world.

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SPHASH

& in your dream did u help them escape?

I woke up before I could help them. Damn.

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salex
FtLeavenworthResize(1).jpg We actually were in Leavenworth over the weekend and saw this. Is this the Maxewll compound?

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ILoveJellybeans

Im surprised that Steve doesn't have a fence up like that. And bars on the window, because I think prisoners get more rights than his adult kids do.

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Rhetorica

This is pretty much what my parents thought. The idea of my marrying was OK when it was something that was way off in the future, ie. when I was very young. But the reality of it was another thing. They saw men in my life as competition for being no. 1 in my life and it was also apparent that they had some real hangups over the idea of their daughter having sex even in marriage. So I find totally believeable that Steve would do this, it's very similar to some of the things my folks believed in as it became painfully obvious to me.

I suspect Steve has not openly said "no" to any prospective suitors but more just discourages them or gives them the third degree so they give up.

I can very much relate to this as well. When I was young, my parents said we (my siblings and I) shouldn't get married until after 21 so we could experience life (voluntary service, etc.) before settling down. But as the years went by and my Dad became increasingly threatened by any independent thinking on our part (aided and abetted by IBLP influences), the message slowly changed to staying at home until we were 21. When my older sister moved out to live with a long-time friend at 23, my Dad didn't like it, but since she had "served her time," he couldn't say much except lay on all kinds of guilt after the fact by claiming she had made the decision without seeking his blessing (interpretation: "rebellion which is as the sin of witchcraft!"). Around the same time, my sister and her boyfriend were thinking about getting married, so my Dad used it as a cudgel. He forced her to accept all the blame for the dysfunction in our family in order for him to give his permission for her to get married. She went through the motions because, well, what else was she going to do? He was also the minister of our very small Amish Mennonite church, so she had to choose between playing the game or leaving it all behind. By the time I was 21, I was working on an escape plan, moved out two months later, and never looked back.

The cognitive dissonance these patriarchs wrestle with is how to have dozens and dozens of grandchildren without giving up any control over their adult children. In my family's case, my Dad wanted my sister to get married and have lots of kids more than anything--but not before he had used it as a weapon to hold my sister responsible for his failures as a father. In the Maxwell's situation, the isolationism is resolving this dilemma for them when their adult children don't find anyone suitable for marriage.

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nokidsmom

I can very much relate to this as well. When I was young, my parents said we (my siblings and I) shouldn't get married until after 21 so we could experience life (voluntary service, etc.) before settling down. But as the years went by and my Dad became increasingly threatened by any independent thinking on our part (aided and abetted by IBLP influences), the message slowly changed to staying at home until we were 21. When my older sister moved out to live with a long-time friend at 23, my Dad didn't like it, but since she had "served her time," he couldn't say much except lay on all kinds of guilt after the fact by claiming she had made the decision without seeking his blessing (interpretation: "rebellion which is as the sin of witchcraft!"). Around the same time, my sister and her boyfriend were thinking about getting married, so my Dad used it as a cudgel. He forced her to accept all the blame for the dysfunction in our family in order for him to give his permission for her to get married. She went through the motions because, well, what else was she going to do? He was also the minister of our very small Amish Mennonite church, so she had to choose between playing the game or leaving it all behind. By the time I was 21, I was working on an escape plan, moved out two months later, and never looked back.

The cognitive dissonance these patriarchs wrestle with is how to have dozens and dozens of grandchildren without giving up any control over their adult children. In my family's case, my Dad wanted my sister to get married and have lots of kids more than anything--but not before he had used it as a weapon to hold my sister responsible for his failures as a father. In the Maxwell's situation, the isolationism is resolving this dilemma for them when their adult children don't find anyone suitable for marriage.

@Rhetorica, thanks for sharing. We weren't IBLP or anything like that, actually mainstream Protestant (Lutheran) but folks were very religious, churchy types. They were the type of parent that truly meant well but their need to feel safe and certain as far as their daughters were concerned led to being pretty controlling and strict on things with the exception of Scouts and church activities. It was fine when we were kids but they started freaking out a bit when we got to be teenagers and they really, really freaked when I finished college and was looking to get a better job (I lived at home and worked during college, had to) and move out. I was the oldest so I was the first one to challenge the idea of remaining at home or even around home.

They were also very concerned that we marry someone of the same religion because they were afraid that if we married anyone of a different relgion, then our children might be that different religion. They harped on that always and said the best way to meet someone was at church like they did, but at the same time, they didn't like anyone at church! As a result I blew that they said off plus even as a 16 year old I didn't think it was any of their business who I married or what my future children were going to be. Incidentally, Mr. No is the same religion but out of the three of us, I am the only one who joined the ranks of the "unchurched" when I left the house. Mr. No is fine with that. Parents finally stopped harping on it ten years ago.

They never blamed me or my sisters for any mistakes they made as parents, it just more along the lines of "how can you do this?" and "how you can be so selfish" and generally having an attitude of that I was doing something very, very naughty. Also various little power plays such as forbidding me to go out with my own fiance the very night before their 25th anniversary party because mom needed me to stay home and "help out".

When I got engaged, I was told that Mr. No should go to my father for my hand. I refused, saying my hand was my own to give. Which it was. Besides, no way was I having Mr. No go to my dad only to get grilled and berated.

Funny thing, my sisters had a front row seat to all this and rather than making a point of trying to get out when their turn came, they decided it was better to obey Mom and Dad rather than become the "bad daughter" like me. It's never been said directly to me but I think it was to them and at any rate the message was very clear. I expect when Mom and Dad are gone, one of them will sit me down and tell me then because they are too afraid of my reaction if they tell me now.

Well, this is getting long but I am glad to know that I was not alone when it came to having parents that were shades of Maxwell. Getting back to Sarah, she got dealt a really bad hand when it came to crazy controlling parental units.

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