Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fear that Disables

Proverbs 29:25 in the Message says "The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that."

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV) says "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

I have been hearing a lot lately in my devotion and prayer life about fear. I'm not afraid of dying, but I'm also not as afraid as I should be of dying without making a difference in the world. If I continue to procrastinate and ignore God's plans for my life, I am worse than dead already. What will I tell Him when He looks at me and asks for an accounting of the life He gave me. Will He say "well done", or "I never knew you"?

I fear right now that the answer would be that He knew me a little, but was saddened by my disobedience. I keep crying out for the answers to what He wants me to do, but I think I need to be crying out for the strength to do what He asks. I am so afraid that He will ask too much of me, that I'm hiding my talent (or my head) in the ground and waiting for Him to pass me by. In doing so, I'm missing out on the Life He has for me. A good life, and a good plan, but instead I am wondering what I'm doing on Earth.

The long-running joke is that Zoron is the planet I'm from. In reality, I am from another world and there is another world out there where good and evil battle for my soul. Why am I afraid of what people will think of me or afraid of my own behavior? I need to turn absolutely everything over to God and let Him take control of my life.

God, I am nothing without You. I don't have the strength to do what You want, so I haven't truly been asking what You want from me. Lord, show me what to do, and help my attitude so that I have the strength to do it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making Myself Unhappy

Lately I have been doing everything that makes me feel more depressed. I've been thinking negative thoughts, judging others, not doing what I feel is right. Why do we do this to ourselves? The American motto is to "do what makes you happy." But so many people are trying to live this "American dream" and falling into depression.

Does it make me happy to mindlessly search the Internet for houses I can't afford or jobs that aren't the right fit for anyone? Does it make me happy to feel my eyeballs almost pop out of the socket staring mindlessly at Internet articles or computer screens? Does it make me happy to think negatively about my job and my life rather than doing something about it?

I didn't write anything this morning on my novel. Despite the fact that I had an extra two hours before work. Was I tired this morning? Yes. Did it make me feel any better to lay in bed and extra 30 minutes and then laze around the apartment for an hour and a half? No. Why didn't I just sit down and write, when I know that is something that will help me work towards a goal and feel at least a little bit better about my life? What causes us to do this?

I want to be a better person and live a better life, but I keep falling into this trap of electronic gadgets and time wasters. Sometimes I wish that I lived in a previous day and age where I would be either physically laboring or I would be outdoors looking for my entertainment in the forest and trees and sky.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Government Owns US

Since when has the government decided that owning businesses is legal and ethical? The White House is trying to own health care, already owns several car companies and a good portion of several banks. Why does no one in America seem to have a problem or concern with this?

Talk about a conflict of interest! When the government owns something they can choose whether to pass tax laws or legislation that will hurt privately owned business and help themselves. Who is going to oversee the government?

The government is already controlling whether or not banks can pay back their TARP money and buy back the government's stock. Are they basing their decision on the financial health of the banks? No, they are basing their decisions on the fact they want to "earn a profit for the American people." Sounds like a great basis for a major government decision.

I don't necessarily want to go back to the way things were, but I do want to see government get out of our business. I don't want politicians in charge of where I get medical care, what bank I can purchase stock in, or what cars I'm going to buy. I want freedom of speech, freedom of choice, and freedom of religion. I want what our country was founded on.

I'm willing to give up some of the government "benefits" being provided if I can keep more of my own money I earn. I don't want to help Microsoft build a bridge it doesn't need, or sponsor new roads in West Virginia or horse trails in Texas. I want to be able to choose who I support locally instead of having big government decide where 35% of my money goes. I believe certain government programs are fine, but all of this pork belly spending is making me sick. I don't particularly blame republicans or democrats more than the other, I just want the cycle to end!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am Thorny Soil

I was reading in Mark today about the parable of the sower. I've heard the story so many times I usually don't even think about it. Of course, I must be the good seed because I'm listening to the word and because I believe so strongly in God's message.

As I read Jesus' description of what he meant by the parable, I realized I had been fooling myself all along. It's not that I don't believe: I am trying to grow in the thorny soil. But I am also being choked by worries and deceitful things of this world: like American consumerism.

Even though I do believe, and I'm trying to grow, I am letting myself be unproductive. I need to ask the Gardener to come by and rip some of those thorns out of my life, despite how painful it might be. I know the things that I ought to do, but I let myself get distracted by my problems, which sometimes seem too big for my tiny seedling status. If I want to grow and mature and be productive in my faith, I have to get rid of the thorns that are crowding God out of my life.

Rather than saying, I know God wants me to write, but worrying about what He wants me to write, or when I'm going to find the time to write, I just need to sit down and start doing it. Why do I let worry control my life? Rather than dwell on the past or future, I need to live for the present and do everything I can to live an abundant, productive life right now. Rather than checking my bank account and worrying about a new car or a new house somewhere down the road, I need to be asking what God wants me to give and where God wants me to go.

God, please help me trim these thorns back so that I can worship You wholeheartedly and live my life as a productive being with a view of the huge, limitless horizon.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Price Collusion in Louisville

I live in Louisville, KY. I drive a lot of miles for my job. I often drive 500 miles a week. Mostly I stay within Jefferson County, but sometimes I drive to neighboring counties. I know for a fact that there is price fixing at the gas stations, and I can usually even predict which day of the week prices will go up. I suspect prices will go up today, but I haven't been out on the roads yet.

It's one thing for gas stations to be competing and matching each other's prices. Yet, when every single gas station in the county goes up exactly 15-30 cents within 24 hours, something fishy is going on. The news stations investigated for over a year, the governor even came for several weeks to try to investigate (that period was actually the longest time frame that the gas stations did not increase their prices).

I know what the market price should be, because I only have to drive a few miles out of town to the Simponsville exit on I-64, just outside of Jefferson County. Shelby County apparently does not participate in price fixing. However, other suburbs, such as LaGrange and Prospect, do participate. I'm really just posting this information in case the governor needs some factual information, since he never experienced the results of price collusion.

It's one of those things that just gets more and more frustrating as bad as the economy is getting. However, apparently there is nothing anyone can do about it, it's just the result of an oligopoly. I try to time my visit to the pump as best I can, but since I fill up twice a week usually, it can be awfully difficult to avoid.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

How I Lost 12 Months

I thought it was just a stressful job. I had no free time, my boss was verbally abusive, but I thought once I quit it would all go away. After I quit, I thought maybe I was depressed: I was unemployed, my brother had recently suffered a serious injury. But, when my life started getting better, my mental state continued getting worse.

After almost a year of living through severe apathy, lack of focus, and even some short term memory loss, I finally decided it was worth mentioning to my doctor. After running some blood tests, she diagnosed me with a severe B-12 deficiency.

I couldn't believe that after all of those months of wondering what was wrong with me, and why I could never complete a task, all I needed was an injection and some B-12 supplements. I now take sublingual B-12 tablets everyday, since I have a severe aversion to shots.

I feel so much better. I am finally able to keep up with an exercise program for more than two days, I can remember events from the past week, I have a much more vibrant and positive outlook on life. I actually notice things! A car ran a red light, and I saw it just in time and was able to react. When my B-12 was too low, I probably wouldn't have seen the car, because it was so hard for me to physically focus while driving.

For anyone who says they feel tired, lethargic, can't focus or remember, I've been telling them all to go to a doctor. It could be a thyroid or B-12 problem. Don't assume that just because you don't know what's wrong with you that the doctor can't figure it out.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Talk about Bad Luck

I definitely should not have published that post yesterday. Today some idiot rear ended me while I was stopped at a stoplight. I think she had been behind me the whole time, she just "suddenly" hit the gas and slammed into me. Then, my husband almost got hit on his way home from work by a guy who was tailgating him. Fortunately, the guy hit someone in the lane next to him.

I still can't believe how crazy Kentucky drivers are!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Crazy Kentucky Drivers

I just have to say, why do people drive so poorly in Kentucky?

I have been flipped off for going too slow, flipped off for going too fast, and almost collided at least 10 times when people try to merge into me or change lanes without looking. Let me tell you, I have become a 100% better driver by being forced to keep two eyes out for all of the yahoo's headed my way.

If people take the time to learn the rules of the road, and stopped talking on their cell phones, they would be much safer to drive with on the road. I know that I drive a lot more than other people, but I still wish some people would take driving lessons. A good tip, if you've nearly caused an accident, it's time to reevaluate your driving. Sign up for a driving class or rent a driving video and learn the rules of the road.

Also, and this is not just because I'm more conservative than liberal, people with Obama stickers REALLY can't drive. I'm not sure exactly why.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Living the Good Life

I worry too much about money. My husband and I make a reasonable amount, and we do a good job budgeting and saving. We are set to pay the last of his $40,000 in student loan debt within the next 12 months, hopefully. Paying off that amount in about 3 years is an incredible feat when he makes a slightly above average wage, and I make well below average.

But I worry about the future. What if we never make more than we do now? Would I be able to financially stay at home and raise the kids like I want to? Would I have to take a part-time job or go back to work? What if he loses his job?

This culture of the 2-income household has screwed up the way I wanted things to be. Even as little as 30-40 years ago, most men were the primary wage earners. Companies didn't randomly hire and fire people like they do now, because they knew that families were relying on their paychecks.

Now, with 40% of children born to unmarried parents and a 50% divorce rate, pretty much everyone has to work. They have to work because they are paying child support, or raising a kid alone. They have to work even if they do stay married to keep up with the Joneses and save for college, and the all important emergency fund in case of divorce or job loss.

What can this financial crisis teach us? Maybe it can teach us that our country has gotten too distant too fast. We've grown cold with each other and with our culture. Government isn't supposed to tell us how to believe or think, the only thing they are there for is to protect and preserve.

Right now, I'm paying taxes for all those unmarried new parents, and for banks to be bailed out, and for pet projects in California and everywhere else. Who's going to be paying for all of this? Our kids are going to pay, and there is no way they can afford to. Right now, the best result we can hope for is that the entire financial system collapses worldwide and we all get the chance to start fresh. And I don't think anyone sees that as a good option.

Let's hope the government and culture turn around and start thinking ahead, before we're all looking back and wondering what happened.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Information about B-12

Apparently, no one knows very much about B-12. Pretty much, if they find out you're low on B-12, they will inject you with the stuff once a month for the rest of your life. Not a very pleasant future to look forward to.

Since I can't handle injections very well (I do okay with blood being taken out, but I pass out just about every time I get injected) I decided to do a little more research.

I found one tiny little study (36 people) which seemed to indicate that sublingual and oral pills of 500+ micrograms taken daily were as efficient as an injection when taken regularly. A few of their patients may have had missing intrinsic factor.

What causes B-12 deficiency? There are a lot of theories, but most people with severe deficiencies probably have multiple causes or a lack of intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is just this weird thing in our stomachs that helps us absorb the B-12 while the food is in our small intestine. Pretty weird. It also might help us to be able to reabsorb any extra B-12 in our bodies not from food, although that is debated among scientists.

I personally believe that it's possible for us to "use up" more B-12 than usual during extremely stressful periods of life, although no scientists or doctors really have much information about that. The main suspected cause of B-12 deficiency in people with normal intrinsic factor is other stomach problems like Crohn's disease or celiac disease. Certain medications might interfere with B-12 absorption as well.

Bottom line - if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms - including memory loss, depression, fatigue, numbness in hands and feet: see your doctor and be sure that she runs a B-12 test (it takes two blood tests) in addition to looking at other potential causes.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Paralyzing Praise

I have been paralyzed by the idea that on my own I am something special. My generation is not called the "Me" generation for no reason. I was told by teachers, parents, friends of parents, that I could be anything that I wanted to be. I was given a college education, a solid, reliable used vehicle, and a wonderful husband. What have I done with those gifts?

I selfishly use them for my own pleasure, my own gain, and complain when I have to work for something. I want to be a writer, yet I make excuses when I get home from my 9-5 (or 8-6 or 10-7) job and don't do anything with my talent.

How can I waste these gifts I've been given? I have been stunned into paralysis by the fact that I inherently believe I am "good enough" on my own. I should know better than that, and somewhere deep down I do know better.

How can I justify my expense to society? The food I eat, the electricity I use, the car I drive. How can I justy that, if I am not using what I have been given?

I confess that I need to change my attitude and change my actions. I need to sit down and write my ideas, my feelings, even my daydreams. I need to put it down for my own sake even if no one else will ever see it. I need to use what I have been given before I lose it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Outraged Over Obama's Tax-out

I am shocked and dismayed to find that the ill-planned attempt to divert the disaster of the AIG bonuses has gone so far.

First of all, who of us would have refused the original "bail-out" money. It was free. Obama said it would help free up credit. Of course the banks would take it. He did not put any stipulations or decrees before they took the money.

Now, Obama is trying to MAKE the banks fail. He is saying to all of the CEOs whose banks are NOT failing that they cannot make any extra money for their good work. My husband works for PNC, which has done pretty well. They didn't make bad mortgages, they used the bail out money to provide credit to people in need. Now, their CEO is going to have to pay the government back his well-earned bonus?

If I were him, I would quit and move to the Bahama's like the AIG CEOs. There is no incentive for him to work hard right now. He should take a well-deserved vacation. Unfortunately, this poorly planned tax is only going to tax the "good guys". The executives that have driven the banks to fail have already taken their money and run away. Just like Obama's friends and acquaintances, they do not plan on paying their taxes. They will let the "chumps" who thought that their hard-earned money was theirs to do what they wanted with take the tax burden.

Obama's plan will backfire. CEOs will drop like wildfire out of banking and into any other industry. Do we have a problem paying our NBA stars $30 million a year? No, because they are in high-profile positions that very few other people could handle. Same thing with most CEOs. So why don't they deserve the money? They thought the bail-out was to be used to free up credit, they didn't realize that accepting the money would force them to change their entire business model. Tell your Congressmen and Representatives that Obama's plan is going to send our economy into a downward spiral from which it may never recover.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

B-12 deficiency

I was shocked when I went to my doctor yesterday. A normal level of B-12 is between 350-1000 (although Japan recently raised their levels to 500 for the low range). Mine was 247.

When I read the list of symptoms, I was amazed at how many I was experiencing. B-12 deficiency didn't even register on my radar. Suddenly I learned how important this particular B vitamin is. I learned it the hard way.

Just to list some of the possible symptoms: memory loss, numbness in the hands and feet, eye twitches, migraine headaches, depression, fatigue.

I thought I had a case of mild depression that I just couldn't seem to recover from. I was always tired and had started forgetting things (which unfortunately is also listed as a depression symptom). I have always had migraine headaches, and I didn't think anything of the minor eye twitches I would get from time to time.

I had no idea that B-12 deficiency is common in up to 30% of the population and can lead to severe brain and nerve damage if left untreated. I just assumed that I had always been a little clutzy.

If you or someone you love seems to be tired and lethargic all the time, have your doctor check B-12 levels. It takes two blood tests, and even borderline results (under 500) can cause symptoms in some people.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Visit to the Dentist

So I just got back from a dentist appointment. Is it just me, or does everyone get "to-do" lists from their dentist?

You've been very bad, you should floss more. You really should get a bite guard so you don't grind your teeth away. You have nice teeth, but bad gums. Uh oh, here's another cavity!

No wonder people hate to go to the dentist.

First of all, I do have bad gums. I have had bleeding gums since I was 12. They haven't gotten much worse, but they haven't gotten better either. Sure, I could floss more and use one of those rubber tip things to massage the gums. But the next time I go back, I will still hear the same thing about my gums.

Secondly, I do clench my jaw a lot. But not necessarily at night. I get tense a lot during the day and my neck muscles, shoulder muscles, and jaw clench up. I don't know why it happens, and it's subconscious so I can't really control it. A bite guard at night does me no good, other than being expensive and uncomfortable. My mom has the same thing and her doctor proscribed a muscle relaxant instead of a night guard. Not sure I want to do that either, but whatever works.

Maybe I don't care enough about my dental health, but I just don't want to hear all this negativity from a dentist appointment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Get What You Deserve

I think that this economy is teaching some people that they have been living a lie. We live in a society that tells us to think of ourselves first. Don't you deserve that new car? Don't you deserve a nice long vacation?

Why do we feel this way? Those who grew up in the Great Depression understood that real value was based in hard work and perseverance. I have to say, even as I write this article, that I struggle with perseverance. I've been raised in the "me" generation. Someone got paid a bonus and I didn't, what about me? Someone gets more vacation time than I do, what about me?

Maybe this economic lesson is designed to teach us those values that have been lost for so many generations. I read an article that said how naiive current college graduates were. They were so shocked by "only" having 2 weeks of vacation. I'm a college graduate, and I am only supposed to have 1 week of vacation. Yeah, it sucks a lot. But I have a job, my husband has a job, we are steadily paying off our student loan debt.

Maybe, when this all blows over, I will have finally learned the lesson. If I really got what I "deserved" I think I would be even more disappointed than I am now. I haven't done anything to "earn" more pay or vacation yet. I'll just have to work hard and persevere, and see what blessings are given to me. Blessings that I don't deserve.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Foreclosure

I am of the opinion that we should let houses go into foreclosure. The banks made some bad decisions, the people purchasing the houses cannot afford them. We need to let the market system work.

Am I being harsh on those people who will be without homes? Maybe so. I think our society needs to change, though. We don't need 6,000 square feet of home for every two person family out there. There are so many people who could easily open up their homes to displaced families. The average home has pretty much doubled in size since earlier this century. Do we really think that a starter home needs to be at least 2,000 square feet? Maybe this is what brought the whole crisis on to begin with.

I drive through older neighborhoods many times. These homes are now on the "poor" side of our town. They are four bedroom, 2 and 3 story mansions with gorgeous architecture. They have been abandoned or turned into apartments for several families. Do we naively think that the same thing won't someday happen to our brand new "McMansions"?

If we overbuild for an area, eventually the prices will come down. It's actually a good thing. In areas of Louisville, this has created beautiful apartments and homes that are affordable, even for those who don't have jobs.

Let's go back to a simpler time. A time when strangers opened their homes to each other. A time when we were satisfied with what we had in life. A time when our jobs were more than just a paycheck, but a way to provide for our families and for our country.

Let's create a blessed union again with each other and with our country.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Circle of Economies

We all know that there are cycles and circles when it comes to economics. There are good times and bad times and everything in between.

Right now, we are obviously in one of the bad times. This particular economic downturn has been made somewhat worse by ineptitudes of government. And out plan is for the government to bail us out?

While the $700+ billion dollar plan might only stimulate about $200 million dollars worth of economy, we do need something to jump start the economy.

Theoretically, if every company started hiring people again, our economy would work itself out pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, even companies that are not losing money are so fearful of a potential loss, that they are trimming budgets. When they cut jobs, those newly unemployed people start cutting back, and then the companies they aren't buying from cut even more jobs.

We need to all work as hard as we can to be productive members of society. We need to find some way to earn money, even if unemployed. We also need to spend wisely. If you are comfortable financially, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the sales, buy a new car, new furniture, go out to eat and stay in a fancy hotel. Don't hole yourself up in your home and hoard your money, help stimulate the economy!

I just got back from a trip to Reno, Nevada. We had a ton of fun skiing, gambling, and sightseeing. It was not terribly expensive, and hopefully I helped to stimulate the struggling economy in that part of our country.

Let's work together to stop the fear and start the recovery. With or without the economic "stimulus" plan.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Food Stamps or Middle Class

I came to a stunning realization the other day. I was reading an article on cnn.com about the example of two people on food stamps and the "worry" and apparent crisis of whether they would have enough food to make it through the month.

My realization: my husband and I spend less than one person gets on food stamps.

I was shocked and amazed. How is it possible that a single 50-something year old man can complain in front of a nation that he "only" gets about $250 a month on food stamps when my husband and I spend about $200-$225?

That budget isn't just for rice and beans. We eat cheaply, but we still have choices. We include alcohol and paper goods in that budget. We buy frozen chicken cutlets and bulk hamburger meat. We eat a lot of generic brands, but we can also buy fruits and vegetables if we choose to.

The family of four (nearly $500 a month) was "unable" to buy fruits and vegetables and the mother "went without" so her kids could eat what they wanted. I'm so sorry, but I wasn't able to afford Lunchables or other brand names as a kid, and I choose to purchase other things now as well. Since when did food become such a status symbol that kids can't just eat a sandwich and carrot sticks?

I also keep reminding myself that a bag of salad mix typically costs the same as a bag of chips - it just probably won't be finished in most households as quickly. So do you think people on food stamps "can't" buy fruits and vegetables or that they choose not to?

Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against food stamps. I worked in a low-income school and my students would work hard for the chance for pretzel sticks that I stocked for them. I'm just not buying the fact that $500 a month is not enough for a family to buy the basics. Food stamps aren't for luxury goods, they are there to buy the things that I buy every week for my husband and myself. Let's consider it a test for a middle class food budget.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Perfectionist

Sometimes I have some perfectionist tendencies. I learned from my father at an early age that if you don't think you can do something correctly you should make a big fuss and delay starting the project as long as possible.

I have always wanted to write a novel. I have a million and one ideas in my head, and I don't have any problem starting to write my ideas. The problem comes when I reach a certain point (anywhere from 5 pages to 35 pages into the piece) where I suddenly feel like everything I have written is horrible. In all honesty, it probably is. But that doesn't mean that it's not salvageable.

What is it about perfectionists that we can't keep working once we find out the tiniest of problems. I read novels everyday that I pick up in the library that are simply atrocious. Horrible grammer, faulty plot lines, confusing characters. And they not only completed their work, they actually managed to get it published!

I'm not saying we should all give in to mediocrity. I think we should do the best work that we are capable of. However, we all need to complete something. We need to finish it. We need to take an entire step and not hover in place.

It's not the end result of the race that matters; it's the fact that we are running the race.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Financial Personality

I know that I am a freak of nature. Our church is doing a sermon series on the financial crisis. When our pastor was talking about financial responsibility he mentioned three common pitfalls we should all avoid. When he asked everyone who had ever fallen into one of those pitfalls to raise their hand, I was about the only one who struggled to think of some reason to raise my hand.

Am I perfect financially? No. But I do follow some basic principles and guidelines that I have been taught since I was a child. Also, as I tell my husband, I am freakishly frugal. Fortunately for me, frugality has become somewhat fashionable. I saved almost all of my birthday checks and babysitting money throughout childhood. I saved a good portion of my summer job money, and had a summer job since I turned 15.

Did I splurge? A few times, but only for the really important things. I used a portion of money for a trip to visit a friend in Germany (I spent less than $700 including the plane ticket, train tickets, eating out, and small gifts). In high school and college, I bought a few books (mostly from a bargain rack), a few CDs, and quite a bit of candy. I also bought my own gas. Fortunately gas was cheap for me in high school. And one year of high school I gave two other girls rides to school and got gas money from them.

Since my parents provided a small clothing allowance and owned the car I drove, I had quite a bit of savings heading into college. They paid for the amount of tuition, room and board that wasn't covered by scholarships (about 8-10,000 a year). And I finished an undergraduate degree in 3 years.

Moral of the story? If you are born with a freakishly frugal nature, have parents who are willing to support what you do, and live in a way you can afford - you can avoid loans and live life in freedom. Even though I have changed jobs several times (always taking a paycut for some reason) and even had a brief period of unemployment, the end result of my frugal, savings-oriented nature is that I have always had enough to see me through the hard times.

Good luck in your own frugal adventure!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Marriage

Maybe it's because I'm newly married, but I get really offended when someone tells me divorce is a wonderful thing and that it's great that women have "more choices."

Choosing to leave your family for "a better fit" husband is like choosing to wreck your car because you wanted a different color. You picked the car out yourself. You knew what color it was when you bought it. It's one thing if the car needs a new engine (i.e. he is cheating on you). Other than that, you knew what you were doing when you said "I do".

Is my husband the perfect man in the world? Of course not! But, by being a better wife, my husband will become a better man. Not by nagging, making new "guy friends", complaining, arguing. We have a choice in our behavior, just like we have a choice in whether or not we got married. I said "yes" several times to several questions. Why would I decide to back out for "more choices". I already made a choice. Final Answer.

Especially if there are kids involved, unless there is infidelity or abuse, there are no other choices. You picked the father of your children, you picked your mate for life. You can't dump them because you're tired. If your relationship is stagnant - maybe you as the woman need to take the first step. And it should not be to walk away.