Should You Marry A Woman With Children?

July 30, 2010

Talleyrand writes about the low level of reproductive success of a sample of men:

http://seasonsoftumultanddiscord.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/voluteering-to-be-cuckolded/

The first issue is the existential one of whether it is important to reproduce or not. If you decide you are comfortable with the idea of remaining childless, you have many more choices in life. If you want to reproduce, the most reasonable way to accomplish that is by being in a stable marriage with a woman with the same goal.

Talleyrand points out that a number of these men are married, and living with children, but the children are not their own. One product on the sexual marketplace is the single mother. If you start a relationship with her you will probably have to meet her children pretty soon. If you are dating her regularly you will probably have to go out with the family on occasion. If you marry her or move in with her you will probably be expected to provide some financial support for her children, and assume some parental duties.

If the woman is attractive, the kids might not seem like a bad part of the deal. They may be well-behaved and enjoyable some of the time. What other men pass by might be an OK deal for you, the man with less status and less choices. It’s like buying an old luxury car- you couldn’t afford it new, it has a lot of miles on it and possibly expensive problems, but it may have a lot of life left.

But frankly I think this is a nightmare you won’t easily awake from. The kids have absolutely no stake in the success of the relationship, and do not see their mother’s relationship with any man other than their father as being beneficial to them. You have no power over them at all, while still having a lot of responsibility as an adult in the house.

Boys might be a little more receptive than girls. If there is one boy he may like the idea of having a guy around, to counter the overwhelming power of estrogen, or to do guy things with. Girls will not have this interest, and only see you as consuming time and attention from their mother that could go to them.

And the boy might be a rotten little asshole who wants to fuck with you. I was in a store once and saw a woman- as I recall a nice looking woman in her 30’s, with a boy of around 8 and a baby girl in a stroller. She was saying to the boy, “Be nice to him! It’s his birthday!”

The whole situation was immediately obvious. The woman was divorced, and the boy was from her previous marriage. She had remarried, probably to a nice guy. I’m going to assume, and I don’t think I’m wrong, that the first guy was a dick, and the boy was thus genetically and environmentally a dick. The second husband was probably a “nice guy” or in any case not able to deal with an asshole little boy who wasn’t his son- frankly an impossible task except for a high-alpha guy.

What made the situation especially sad was the involvement of the little girl, caught up in this drama completely involuntarily. The mother was clearly frantic that her son was destroying the relationship and didn’t have the strength to say “Listen you little shit! YOU WILL BEHAVE YOURSELF DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!”

I personally recommend that if you date a single mother, do not meet or get involved with her kids. This probably eliminates dating single mothers because most probably won’t agree to this. Getting involved with her kids, especially living with her or marrying her, puts you into a world of drama you had nothing to do with creating, may not understand completely, and can’t control.

I once worked with a couple of guys who would have to be considered at least somewhat alpha. They got into a conversation one day, one was dating a woman with a daughter who was nasty to him and opposed to the relationship. The other went into a long story about how he spent a long time winning over the daughter of his wife- her son didn’t have a problem with him. But why? Was she so special and unique she was worth all the trouble? I doubt it. And he had status and personal power that you as an omega don’t have.

A big part of getting by in life is having as few problems as possible. Getting involved with a woman with children is drama and hassles you probably can’t even imagine.

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The Zen Of Game

July 29, 2010

Roissy introduces us to a shining example of male power over women, or what many have come to call game-

http://roissy.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/chicks-dig-jerks-game-is-its-own-status/

It made me think, for some reason, of the following quote-

“A monk asked Yun-Men, “What surpasses the Buddhas, surpasses the Patriarchs?” Yun-Men replied: “Buns.””

Buns indeed. It’s all so complicated, and so simple. Everything is game. There is no such thing as game. I doubt this guy ever heard of game, and if he did it wouldn’t register on him, just as a fish doesn’t think about water.

The key point for me, and probably for most, is “is game only a charade? does it work as only a charade?”

As Roissy explains-

“A lot of doubters of the efficacy of game insist that game is a charade that only works in the short term to fool women, and that women will eventually figure out the man doesn’t have “real” high status. Stories like this put the lie to that thinking. Game is its own status; the mere application of game is a demonstration of status, and not just a proxy for status. A cocky smirk and a devil-may-care attitude is as much real male status as a big bankroll. Often, it’s higher status. See: Mark Zuckerberg. This loser thug gets more and higher quality — yes, HIGHER QUALITY — pussy than a fucking billionaire.

And the continual application of game causes it to become second nature, an unthinking process, so that it is no longer a deliberate mimicking of the alpha traits women love but an extension of a man’s nature. Josh Camacho may have been born with some natural game, but undoubtedly his first successes with women reinforced whatever latent confidence he had, and the smirk that started as an affect soon became a subconscious reflection of his weighty ballsack and supercharged ego. Game will do the same for any man; the successes with women build on each other until your alpha pose isn’t a pose anymore. The opposite is also true: continual failures with women will build on each other until the latent, baby beta in you grows and consumes your soul.

Conclusion: if you want to nail good-looking women as efficiently as possible, and to keep them around fighting for your attention, start with learning game.

Game/charisma — One to six months to begin seeing results.

Money — Five to fifty years to earn enough to make a difference in attracting women.

High status professional career — Four to twelve years slogging through academia for the proper credentials.

Fame — Infinitesimally low odds.

Good looks — Luck. Or plastic surgery (see: money).”

If you don’t know what you’re doing with women, following certain rules is a big help. Wear these clothes; say these things; do this on a date. And if the woman likes you, this will do the trick. (If she likes you and you do stupid things, she will reject you for that.) If she is on the fence about you, and she can tell you are faking it, it won’t work. I believe outer game without inner game will work to an extent, but inner game is more important.

In a comment to the previous post, Bob Smith asks what difference does it make to a woman if a man she doesn’t like, doesn’t like her. The Real Assanova, he says, identifies himself as tall and good-looking, so how does this work for a short, ugly guy? Well this guy is 5’5″ and no male model and he has two above-average women throwing themselves at him in the most desperate way possible, so there has to be something to it.

Years ago I had a tape by some guys who said the idea was to find a woman who had at least 50% interest in you, and increase that interest by your behavior- the idea being that if she had less than 50% interest, it would probably not work. That certainly makes sense, but as we know women do not make sense. Can you build attraction from less that 50% interest? If so how much less? You can build a fire from a tiny spark, can you build burning attraction from a similarly small spark? I think it depends on how much game you have and just as importantly, how susceptible the woman is to game.

Roissy implies that you can create attraction from a zero level of interest. This depends on the woman believing “he is aloof, cocky, indifferent, and only very mildly interested in me, so regardless of his objective traits and status he must be desirable, so I desire him.” MacGyver can escape from prison with a paper clip, a piece of gum and a rubber band, but most guys can’t.

All women like game to some extent, but some react particularly strongly to it. I don’t think this story is at all typical, I think these two girls were just particularly reactive to game. I think this guy pushed some button in them, and his indifference triggered a very strong reaction in each. I think his indifference was real, not faked- and if you really don’t care, is it game?

I have not had a lot of relationships with women, but in those that progressed to the sex stage the woman fell for me hard. I think that is because with these relationships I regarded it as a waypoint to something better, and I really didn’t care on a deep level. In one I was more into her than she into me, until I started to back off, then she got more into me.

But enough of these crazy people. They serve to illustrate a point, but they are not an example to follow. What should a normal guy keep in mind?

-Healthy self-regard and realistic expectations of a relationship are important, but not necessarily enough.

-“Game” without the previous will help, but fall short because it can’t tell you what to do or say in every situation.

-The first will be aided significantly by game, since game provides a framework of behaviors that women respond to.

I think you need both inner and outer game, but inner game is more critical.


Blogroll Addition; And, The Topic Of Comfort Zones

July 29, 2010

I have added “Life In The Age Of Byrony” blogged by TAllagash, for no other reason than I like the cut of the fellow’s jib. He doesn’t really talk about game or anything like that; mostly just his experiences as a fighter.

I also like his references, “Byrony” I suppose is Lord Byron, poet and boxer, and 80’s fans will remember the novel “Bright Lights, Big City” by Jay McInerney. Tad Allagash was a debonaire bon vivant, a man about town, and bad influence on the unnamed second person narrator. (In the film Tad Allagash was memorably played by Kiefer Sutherland, an inspired bit of casting; the narrator by Michael J. Fox, who I think brought more pathos to the character and inspired more sympathy than he perhaps deserved.)

Being a nerd kid and encouraged to read lots of books (which helped cost me my good vision, a terrible handicap for certain things) I read lots of books about war and adventure. Because of course boys love this kind of shit. The Marxist view would be it’s done to brainwash recruits for imperialism, but I think it’s strictly commercial. And I wanted to go out and do these things, experience these things.

This leads me to one of Ferdinand Bardimu’s criticisms of nerds, that they refuse to venture outside their comfort zones. I think people in general don’t go outside their comfort zones much, it’s that nerds tend to hae very small comfort zones. Why I have an adventurous streak is a bit of a mystery to me. My parents, or maybe my dad more specifically, were the least adventurous people in the world. They had no hobbies and barely left the house. On the other hand my dad had a friend from work, and that family frequently went hunting, camping, and skiing, which I envied. The stifling restrictions led my brother to pursue a career as a rock musician, with predictably bad results; and my sister into a world of fantasy. Children need stimulation and if you deny it to them they may seek it in unhealthy ways.

My sister attributes his withdrawal to the behavior of his father. My grandfather was 52 when my father was born. My grandfather had spent his life working in loud, dangerous conditions, costing him much of his hearing and a few fingers. My the time my dad came around I guess he was little inclined to do anything but come home, hit the Canadian Club, and flop silently in his chair. My dad did the same thing, but he was not worn out by a life of dangerous manual labor. My dad mostly ignored me, was occasionally nasty when I tried to get his attention, and he never played or talked with me.

I suspect a lot of nerds, or the dysfunctional ones anyway, come from environments like this. A nerd guy might have a nerd kid and share his love of building robots or fixing old computers with him. The kid won’t be cool and will probably get some shit at school but will probably be happy and well-adjusted.

Whether or not you got environmental stimulation as a kid, I believe it’s necessary for happiness.Go out and do crazy things, go out and have adventures. If you’ve led a sheltered life and were discouraged from taking risks, taking a weekend trip someplace might be a crazy adventure. You might feel self-conscious about doing stuff alone; I know I am a lot of the time. Think of things you have always wanted to do and do them. Ever thought about going skydiving? There is probably a drop zone not too far away. Never shot a gun? Go to a shooting range and ask for a lesson. It’s the same with anything else. Try things, and you may not like them, and you may never be inclined to do them again, but you’ll add to your base of experience in life.


A Secret That Is Not A Secret

July 29, 2010

The Real Assanova talks about the real secret of attraction, which of course is not really a secret at all-

http://www.realassanova.com/2010/07/real-secret-to-attraction.html

I like reading The Real Assanova because while he’s very successful with women, he talks about stuff that any guy can benefit from. Now, right off the bat this looks like Advice Everybody Gives You That Is Useless. Women like guys who don’t need them! Who don’t care! But I need and I care so how the hell do I apply this golden knowledge?

The Real Assanova declines to clue us in. He tells us you have to figure it out by yourself, sort of like Dorothy in Oz. This is true but I’ll offer my musings anyway.

I think about George Sodini every once in a while. On the face of it, he really didn’t have it so bad. He had a decent job. He was decent looking and in good shape. He wasn’t severely ill, handicapped physically or mentally, or deformed. Women or no he could have led a life of reasonable quality, probably lonely, but with freedom, privacy, and certain pleasures.

But he suffered terribly from a belief he had- not from any lack, need, or deficiency, but from a belief. It’s important to make this distinction.

Sodini’s problems, from the note he left, came from his family of origin. He had terrible trouble with his mother and older brother. Normally, all these wonderful things people value so much like confidence and healthy self-love come from a healthy, loving family and a healthy childhood environment. The pop psychologists will tell you if you just buy their book or maybe spend a few months with a therapist everything will be just great, and if not it’s because you want to be miserable or are bad in some other way. Sodini had some books and tapes by Louise Hay, a really rotten and destructive snake oil salesman of this type.

The truth is there is no magic cure, and maybe no cure at all, for these kinds of torments. Sodini, however, was pretty sure he knew what would make it all go away, and provide him with a lifetime of happiness- a relationship with a woman. He couldn’t obtain this, and believed not only was he sentenced to a lifetime of misery but this meant he was a bad person.

He’s hardly alone in this. Plenty of guys think this, that do have relationships with women, and find they aren’t happy. They figure if only they can find the right woman they will be happy. Maybe she’s better looking, or more empathetic, or has more common interests, but there is some better woman out there who can provide happiness. If none of the previous relationships worked there’s always another chance.

Actually women are more prone to this kind of thinking but men too are hypergamous. I’m guessing the typical guy studying game can get some kind of a woman, but wants a better one, in the same way a guy with an old Chevy always has his eye on a BMW. After all women are the ultimate status symbols for guys. You’d rather have a hot woman than anything material.

In any case whether you’re looking for a woman to provide emotional succor, personal validation, or social status you are likely to be disappointed. A woman is a person with a vagina and breasts. Relationships with other human beings can be enjoyable and make us happy to a certain extent, but they are not magic.

Ask yourself “If I was to never have a girlfriend or wife the rest of my life how would I live?” Killing yourself and/or others is an option but I don’t think most would go there. You would still need to work, or course, and keep your finances straight, and save and invest for retirement. You would need to take care of your health, appearance, and personal hygiene. You would need to wear decent clothes and groom yourself well, if not for a woman only for your personal dignity. You would need to have enjoyable, relaxing activities, hobbies or pastimes. You should have some friends. Hopefully you would maintain some kind of happiness and positive attitude toward your life, despite its lack of some of the things you had hoped for.

Because you know what lots of people don’t have sex and don’t have relationships, for whatever reasons. Such a person can either give up and go to crap, or maintain themselves. Roissy calls celibacy a living death; but if you approach a woman with the attitude “I need you to save me from a living death” I’m pretty sure she will sense it and not like it.

TRA puts it in terms of sex but I think the problem for most guys is other kinds of neediness- for comfort, validation, status, or what have you.

But if you take good care of yourself, and you’re making the most of life on the terms as it is presented to you, and you enjoy yourself and are happy some of the time, women that you meet will be much more interested in being around you and providing with additional enjoyment. Please note I’m being realistic here. You may have been dealt a poor hand, and you aren’t going to have the same opportunities as someone who was more fortunate. All you can do is the best you can, or try to, so do that and don’t worry.

This is my view of things, based on my life and experience. It may not be wise, insightful, or profound, but I think it’s pretty good advice all the same. But you know what? I think it is horribly disappointing for many men.

Because for a lot of guys life is a quest to prove something. Women are only one example. “I have a beautiful woman who loves me, so I’m really a good person.” Or “I made a bunch of money, so I’m really a good person.” Or “I not only got into medical school, I got the residency I wanted, so I’m really a good person.” Or “I won the top prize, so I’m really a good person.” The list is endless.

But none of this stuff works. They are all games, fun to play, fun to win, but just games.

It’s a cliche to say the answer lies within but it’s true. If you have a bad relationship with a 6 you are going to have a bad relationship with an 8. If making a million dollars doesn’t make you happy making ten million dollars won’t either. Ad nauseum.

You are unlikely to get anything out of another person you don’t offer yourself. Women are not your mother and they are not Santa Claus, and just like anybody else if you have realistic expectations about what you can get you are less likely to be disappointed.


Movie Review- “500 Days Of Summer”

July 23, 2010

Indie star Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tom, a SWPL schmuck- schmuck is too harsh of a word but it’s the closest I can come up with- in thrall to a magnetic nerd-goddess, Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel. The droll narration relates the history of her strange power over men. The film relates, in non-chronological order, the mostly unrequited love he experiences for her.

Tom is smart enough to know what’s going on, but he can’t help himself. But why should he be able to? Summer is his dream girl, she is not everybody’s, but a lot of guys’ dream girl. Typical advice in this situation is “dump the bitch.” It’s called “one-itis.” The victim is sternly advised to forget her, sack up and move on.

And fat people are told to eat less all the time, with about the same results. A little self-awareness is about the best most can do.

I’ve loved a few things in my time that haven’t loved me back- the Marines, aviation, Southern California- and yeah it hurts. But if you only loved things that loved you back, you wouldn’t love much. Just know the score and accept it.

Summer kills Toms’ hope in the only way really possible, and he finds the only real cure. For better or (and?) worse, there were only 500 days of Summer.


Review- “Bang Colombia” by Roosh V

July 23, 2010

Author and blogger Roosh V has published an e-book about looking for women in Colombia. He has spent more time there than I have, and has more and more varied experience; I can only comment on the portion I have experience with but all his advice seems very sound.

First, the part most guys are more likely to be interested in and actually do- short trips to Colombia to meet women you have already had contact with over the internet. Finding a woman who has a decent knowledge of English is unlikely, so to do this you will have to learn at least basic conversational Spanish. If you’re emailing you can get a lot of help with online translators and dictionaries but to actually go you’ll have to be able to talk about some basic things. There are a number of websites for this, www.latinamericancupid.com, www.colombiancupid.com, www.amigos.com, and www.amolatino.com among others. Women on these will all be very flaky but most men who go on these never go to Colombia or Latin America so you can’t blame them. Knowing some Spanish and having an actual date for going will help a lot.

The other option is marriage agencies, which charge more or less depending on what services you get. I have used them but I don’t know that they are necessarily worth the money or that much better than working on you own. They will provide translators who can help you through some initial conversations but of course at some point you’ll be on your own with the woman. They might do some basic screening but they can’t really protect you from scammers.

Many of these women are only looking for a free meal or a guy to send them some money. If you meet a woman, take her to a nice restaurant, and she says “Thanks, bye!” and jumps in a cab well at least you had a chance to practice Spanish with a pretty woman. I have had women come out and tell me they were looking for a visa. I have had women ask me, after meeting them and having a phone/email relationship they didn’t believe was going anywhere, ask me, “Can you at least help me get a visa?”, not understanding the only way you can do that is by being married or engaged.

The other common scam is just to ask you for money. If a woman you haven’t met asks you for money, obviously that’s a no go. Some guys obviously do it though, I suspect the aunt of one of my girlfriends sent her son to college and English school on such donations. More likely after you have met her she will ask you for large or small amounts- large if she is dumb, small if she is more sophisticated about it. She understands that $200 is not that much to you, and if she can come up with some sob story about some financial emergency or ongoing need you may give it to her. In a country where the minimum wage is $400 a month and most working people make that or little more, it’s a lot of money to her. If she can get a few guys to do it, she’s doing well.

If you are just going to meet women for the first time a hostel is probably fine to save money. Some are very noisy though so try to find out what kind of crowd they have. In Medellin the Black Sheep is very nice. Come with an unlocked GSM phone, per Roosh, and get a sim card, and you’re in business. (I bought a prepaid phone there but it is a real pain.) In Medellin you can get these from a kiosk on the ground floor of the Monterrey mall in the center, otherwise just ask around.

I have not been to Cali. I have been to Bogota twice for about five days each. Bogota is a stupendously ugly place. Huge, grim, appalling. Even most of the upper-class neighborhoods are pretty grim. The first thing I noticed was the lack of trees. Only a few of the upper-class neighborhoods (Alto Chapinero, Usaquen) have trees. It’s usually cloudy, usually chilly, and often raining, which considering it’s in the mountains at over 8000 feet is not surprising. The women have more Indian ancestry than in Medellin and are not quite as pretty on average. Nonetheless, because of its size it offers a lot more options than Medellin and I may go there again.

Medellin is a much more pleasant and pretty place. It does indeed have lots of pretty women. Many of these women are upper-class however and not going to be interested in a middle-aged gringo. Is Medellin overrun by foreigners? You hear that a lot, but while you will see a few close to the hostels, and in certain bars or maybe in Parque Lleras, otherwise they are rare. When you consider the small number of women who are serious prospects against the number of gringo suitors, it may be a little picked over. Again this argues in favor of Bogota.

The sexual marketplace is way different there. First the male/female ratio is quite skewed, and this is not just a pitch by the marriage agencies, I have observed it myself. A typical Colombian family seems to be four children, three girls and one boy. I have been at family gatherings where women significantly outnumbered the men in all age groups.

The pump-and-dump alpha male is not an exciting new addition to the culture there, he’s been a way of life for centuries, and plenty of women don’t care for him. Economic life there is a horrible grind- jobs are very hard to get, and if you can get a job it is probably low paid and you will be worked to death. Life for the upper class in Latin America is great- they have money, power and privilege above even what the rich have here. For anybody below that life is pretty difficult.

As a result a nice guy with a job is a pretty good deal to a lot of Colombian women. It’s a bit weird, going from a place where you are invisible to a place where you are treated well and valued. The downfalls are there but the upside is good. For a lot of guys this is the best option by a wide margin.


Nerds- A Case Study II- My Sister

July 21, 2010

Ferdinand Bardimu notes that even God doesn’t like nerds-

http://www.inmalafide.com/2010/07/19/even-god-doesnt-like-nerds/

Commenter Raddark talks about his own experience in a dysfunctional family, which I will tie in later-

http://raddark.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/imagine/

My sister goes to the San Diego Comic Con every year, for all three days. This year she is bummed because although she got a three-day pass early, she was not able to into the preview Thursday night. She has gone to the New York Comic Con also, although I don’t know if she is going to do that every year. She has thought about but decided against going to the DragonCon in Atlanta.

The briefing on my sister-

-Very intelligent, good student, got a 750 on the math portion of the SATs.

-Never a feminine girl, teenager or adult. Given to dressing weirdly like those people who get makeovers on “What Not To Wear”.

-Despite her intelligence did not pursue science, math, or engineering, as she was fascinated with music and celebrities. Got a degree in “communications”. Interned at a music magazine that failed quickly. Obsessively followed a few bands. Worked in medical billing for some years. Now has worked for many years, first part-time now full-time, for a governmental environmental program.

-Has had one boyfriend years ago (she is now in her late 40’s.) Did not have sex with him, has never had sex.

My sister was never abused, never bullied, and had a normal childhood other than being a nerd. She is ultimately a miserable failure though. She never had a career anywhere near her potential, never has been successfully involved with men, and is miserable. (She is not a lesbian- she tends to obsess sexually over young Latino guys.) She is pretty unhappy about being single, childless, and relatively poor, with no real future. She would still like to find some guy but given what she wants and what she could get at her level of attractiveness, I doubt that will happen.

I don’t know what “grerp” or Susan Walsh would make of all this. My sister has a variety of problems that tend toward the female, rather than the nerd. These would be unrealistic expectations, an excessive interest in celebrities, and a generally passive view of life. I am more interested in those that are specifically nerd-like, involving lack of appropriate socialization.

My sister was never encouraged or expected to be feminine. That’s not surprising since she comes from a social segment, educated Irish Catholics, were femininity and sexuality are discouraged. My mother was not terribly feminine or sexy and our maiden aunt was pretty butch. Among Irish Catholics of the old type bright boys and girls were often encouraged to become priests and nuns. I remember our mother had her take a “modeling” class once when she was about 14- I think she may have been concerned about my sister’s lack of interest in feminine clothing and grooming.

Well, what does being attractive and well-groomed have to do with getting laid? Ugly, poorly dressed girls get laid all the time. Unfortunately my sister took the religious proscription against premarital sex literally. And her standards were too high. If you’re a Mormon or an orthodox Jew, you have a religious proscription against premarital sex, but you have a dating pool of coreligionists who follow it also whom you can date and marry. Unfortunately very few Catholics actually follow this teaching, and virtually no socially normal ones.

My sister could have gone to CalTech and had lots of nerds to choose from. They would likely have been as sexually reluctant as her, and she could have made something work. They would have tolerated her aggressive streak and lack of femininity. But she choose to go places where her problems weren’t going to be overlooked.

Raddark has a much different story, but with some similar elements- a dysfunctional family and dysfunctional religious beliefs.

I think coming from a dysfunctional family is not, in itself, that bad. Kids are capable of observing adults’ behavior and judging whether it is a good idea or not. People of course model a lot but they can also decide for themselves a lot.

Religions are different and have different effects on people. If you alone believe something crazy, you’re a nut. If a bunch of other people believe the same thing, you’re religious. A religion can be pretty demanding but if it provides its followers with a social and economic context they will be OK, the examples of Mormons and orthodox Jews being an example. They have social networks, will see to it their members get married, and will help each other out with jobs and business. A Mormon taken out of his community will be able to function better than an orthodox Jew taken out of his community, since they are much closer to the American mainstream, but they don’t have a need to leave. The Amish would be similar to the Orthodox- they are a distinct, separate culture, speak their own language, and shun those who leave the group.

Evangelical Christians try, to an extent, to imitate these groups. They have large social churches with singles groups and pay at least lip service to helping their members economically. But it doesn’t work nearly as well for them- they are not insulate from the mainstream culture and generally follow its mores, and the many “devout Christian” single mothers you find shows. An evangelical woman can probably hold onto her virginity until marriage if she is hot and not trying to marry up, but I think the statistics on this don’t show any more chaste behavior than the population as a whole.

Catholics are yet worse on this. The priests are very strict and yet hardly anyone listens to them, not surprisingly since many of them don’t follow their own rules. Those who do tend to go nuts.

I read a book many years ago by an atheist Jewish psychiatrist about religion and mental illness. He said the worst religions for mental illness were Catholics and Baptists. These are the people who trying the hardest to apply the requirements of Christianity, as literally interpreted from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Mainline Protestants and liberal Jews (probably not by coincidence groups that are socially and economically higher) have much the same precepts but don’t feel obligated to apply them literally in their personal lives. Imagine you are a woman and get raped, and the first thing your coreligionists tell you is that you must forgive the rapist, or you are going to hell yourself? Not exactly a recipe for happiness and mental health is it?

I’m not familiar in detail with Buddhism, Raddark’s childhood religion. I believe it has the same basic concepts as liberal Christianity- don’t want anything, always submit to other people, even if they are bad, never hate anyone, never think bad thoughts about anyone. Who is able to do this? Most people, if they really try, go crazy. My mother went crazy doing it.

My sister has been going to a therapist for some time- she has government health insurance and can go indefinitely- and I think she feels a lot better. As a practical matter I think most psychology, pop psychology, self-help, and the like is of little real help. If I can figure out something that really helps I’ll let you know.