Dear Lily: April 2003
Posted by Lily O'Hara on Apr 1, 2003 - 11:22:00 PM
I am forty years old and have a chance to go back to school. I know how a marriage can go sour and how a woman can be left to float or sink in this economic world, so I am protecting my future. Some of my friends tell me that I am too old to start working now, for many of the job applicants are young and fresh out of college, so I am asking you what you think. Is it worth the effort? I would have to take loans out to pay for my education, which worries my husband. He told me that an education would cost me too much to repay. He told me that he would be with me always, but what if he dies or gets disabled, then where would I be? What do you think about this old lady going for a better future?
An Aging student, Beverly Hills
I think it is never too late to go to school. I think you should go for it. I take classes when I have the time, just to keep up with the world and I love it. I also noticed that there are a lot of women over fifty going back to school. Some of them tell me that they never had the chance when the kids were home. I applaud them. You are doing the right thing, even if you never get a job, you are keeping yourself informed, which is a great way to face life.
Good luck, Lily
I have a sister who means the world to me. She lives in Michigan. Last week I went to visit her and had to cut short my visit. She has been married to this man for years, yet I know it is an unhealthy marriage. She didn't expect me to surprise her with my visit, nor did he. She had so many bruises on her that couldn't be explained. I know she is being brutalized daily. He told me that I should announce when I am coming to Michigan, so they could take time off to entertain me, but the truth is, I caught him at a bad time. I reported him to a crisis center, but they came out after I left. My sister told me to stop making it worse for her. I am at a loss. What should I do?
Frightened for my sister's life, Laura in So California
There are many women in America who are in such a relationship as your sister. There is little you can do to help your sister, without her cooperation. It is as if they choose to be victims. If she really wanted out from this relationship, she would have reported him and went under some program that would help her become independent of him. All you can do is try to persuade her to leave him and make sure she has the funds to leave with her children. These woman beaters have a way of convincing their wives or girlfriends that they deserve to be punished. Usually these men are having relationships with other women. The love to control their victims. If you have any friends in Michigan, get them to visit your sister often. Just be there for her, tell her you love her and that she doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. I wish you luck.