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Women and Happiness Part 3 — That Insatiable Want

I wonder if, at the center of a woman’s unhappiness, there isn’t an insatiable Want: to be accepted, to be known, to be loved.

In fairness, I don’t think this is exclusively a “woman” problem.  I’m certain men experience similar longings.  More likely, this is a human problem — perhaps among the most fundamental of our uniquely human urges.  But I’ve never been a man, so I can only speak to my experience as a woman; and from what I’ve observed both in my own life and in my interaction with other women, it seems to be a core component of our collective discontent.

We seek to fill the Want in a variety of ways: relationships, hobbies, careers, motherhood, sex, power, chemicals, causes, shopping, interpersonal drama, food, entertainment.

Depending on the fill, it might work for a while — some more convincingly than others.  The stomach-tingling excitement of new romance has filled me for weeks, even months.  A good conversation for a day.  A Jack-in-the-Box chocolate shake for a solid half-hour.

Eventually, though, the satiation fades and the Want returns — often much stronger than before.

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Women and Happiness — Part 1


I’m reading a book right now that came highly recommended from a counselor friend I admire, called Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul.

I’ll admit: I was (and, to a certain extent, still am) totally skeptical.

It’s a popular Christian book, and as such, I was afraid it would be full of platitudes and patronizing pep talks; or worse, rigid proscriptions of what a woman “should” be: domestic, demure, passive, well-dressed — none of which I am, of course, and which have always contributed to my feeling particularly inadequate as a woman.  (The book is not off the hook yet, by the way, because I’m only a chapter and a half in…but so far it’s managed to generally avoid those traps — though it has used some borderline cheesy language that had me rolling my eyes in a place or two.)

Still, last night, feeling a tiny bit discouraged, I picked it up and came across this passage:

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