Friday, January 09, 2009

Ask Dr. Helen: Men who give too much (including internal organs)

My PJM column is up:

Giving your wife an expensive gift — even a kidney — to save your marriage will never work.

Read the rest here.



Blogger Trust said...

I agree with the column. You can't buy someone into loving you. On the other hand, it wouldn't bode well for the future of the marriage if he didn't, regardless of the quality. It would be similar to saying "my life is more important than yours," which is not generally an acceptable attitude from a husband, and would likely doom a good marriage and be the final nail in the coffin of a bad marriage.

I would be curious as to how this would be handled in the blogosphere if the genders were reversed, but that's just due to my interest in gender relations.

I do feel for the guy though, but I don't see how he could have said "no" to the mother of his three children.

5:33 AM, January 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, there are quite a few examples of men buying off women to keep them if you look for them (and it apparently "works" in many cases).

One famous case involves Kobe Bryant buying his wife a $4 million ring after he boofed a different woman.

5:45 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...


Good point. But intersting twist though, since in Kobe's case he was the cheater and he tried to buy reconcilation. Yet, in the main topic case, the wife was the cheater and the husband tried to buy reconciliation. I'm sure the reverse happens, but just not as high profile I guess.

5:51 AM, January 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are also plenty of women on talk shows who say that they are staying with their husband for "economic reasons". I don't think these reasons involve the international balance of trade or the like.

Whether it's in the form of gifts or not, if you're holding out the money, a lot of women will stay. The problem comes if they get a court to order that your assets and income be turned over to her.

6:38 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...


Fair points.

I think one of the tragedies of modern marriage is how divorce has become an industry.

6:48 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger smitty1e said...

Indeed, a review of 1 Corinthians 13-5:9 is helpful.
Love ain't preferred stock, baby.

7:27 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Smitty, reading the scripture you offer reminds me of how God's love is in a different category than mine, and that love is hard work and sacrifice too.

If we accept the point that she did not love him, I guess the most mature thing for him to do would be to kiss the woman and his kidney goodbye, knowing that he saved another's life. But I feel for him in how he feels played for a sucker.


9:19 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger Roci said...

Reminds me of the women who insist their husbands get a Vasectomy, While they are already plotting to divorce him.

10:43 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

I know of a very similar story regarding this kidney donation.

I have a dear friend who insists on befriending individuals who have drug and alcohol challenges. I guess he is a bit codependent. One of these nogoodnik friends of his had a bad liver due to his drinking and drugging. My friend got the bright idea to give the nogoodnik a piece of his liver, apparently once you donate a piece of your liver the liver grows back. My friend got tested and found that he was a match for this nogoodnik.

I sat my friend down years ago and told him this was a really really bad idea, but he forged ahead with it anyway. My friend made the nogoodnik promise to give up the drugs and alcohol if he went forward with the surgery. The nogoodnik agreed and the doctors cut a big chunk of liver out of my friend. My friend got an infection during the process and spent a month in the hospital recovering, he nearly died.

The nogoodnik received the liver successfully is now enjoying copious amount of drugs and alcohol with his new liver. The nogoodnik now rarely speaks to my friend. Sad but true.

10:46 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger Roci said...

I know a similar story of a guy with drug and alcohol problems. Spent 3 months in a hospital to get clean. over a million spent on life support and intensive care to save him. went back to the drugs the first week out.

It should be obvious to everyone by now that people with drug and alcohol dependencies cannot ever be trusted to stop using it.

11:51 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger Peter Dane said...

It should be obvious to everyone by now that people with drug and alcohol dependencies cannot ever be trusted to stop using it.

Excuse the hell out of me, Roci, but in 1987, after I found out I was to be a father, I quit a drug habit which included dependencies on speed and coke. Cold Turkey. Withdrawal was a bitch.

22 years clean coming up, three degrees under my belt, and built a business, sold it at a hefty profit, and now am living a life of semi-retirement with enough "Screw You" money to quit the job I took just to stay busy. All before the age of fifty. I doubt a lot of the "Lifelong Clean and Sober," holier than thou, smug and self-righteous crowd could boast a similar life of productivity, contribution, or success; let alone in all categories.

In five years - less, actually - I will be able to say that most of my life has been spent off the junk. I have no doubt I will make it as I have zero

So, Roci, in the words of the prophet: Blow it out your @$$. I'm in my third decade of proving your kind wrong.

12:42 PM, January 10, 2009  
Blogger Peter Dane said...

I have no doubt I will make it as I have zero desire at all for it after 12 years of hell in it.

Had to complete the third paragraph.

12:44 PM, January 10, 2009  
Blogger Mark O. Martin said...

Dear Dr. Helen:

Interesting column on several levels. First, the comments are always interesting, here and at PJM. I think a lot of men have to vent. The media tends to, for good or for ill, take the women's side.

The doctor was between a rock and a hard place. If he refused to be a tissue match (even testing), I'm certain that would have been used against him. If he refused to donate, ditto.

Yeah, he probably should have just told himself that his donation made him a far better person than his ex-wife. Remember, she is continuing to keep him from seeing his daughters.

He didn't help himself with his press conference. But women do things like this quite a bit and it is understandable then.

I say give the guy a break. No, he won't get money or his kidney back. I think he knew that, and just wanted a public forum. Maybe now he can heal.

12:57 PM, January 11, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Eric Blair,

Yes, can you imagine if a woman gave her kidney to a husband and found out he was cheating and he served her with divorce papers at her job? People would be calling to shoot the bastard!

No one gives a hoot how men feel, hence, the resentment and dressing up as Santa once in a while for those more mentally challenged than the doctor in this case.

5:35 AM, January 12, 2009  
Blogger dienw said...

There is a saying every man should pay closer attention to: "Every little boy wants to grow up and marry a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad."

The implication: know your mother: if she is a cold, aloof, manipulating, castrating, lying, passive-aggressive bitch; then, you probably shouldn't marry.

8:28 AM, January 12, 2009  
Blogger Mark O. Martin said...

NJArtist, I have heard that saying, too.

My mother, God bless her, is not the best of people (though I suspect she is doing as well as she can).

My wife is nothing like my own mother. But my wife is very much like her own mother, who is strong and supportive and a good partner.

5:25 PM, January 12, 2009  
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4:28 AM, June 08, 2009  

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