Dear Wendy: “Are Some People Undeserving Of ‘Happily-Ever-After’?”

While at a friend’s birthday party some of my married friends were chatting and I was shocked at what I overheard. Basically they said that some women do not deserve to find a life-long mate. “You can want the husband, children, and house, but that doesn’t mean you get to have it. Some people just don’t deserve that life.” !!!! As a single gal, this is distressing to hear. What do you think? — Deserving Single

Well, your friends were right about the first part: You can want the spouse, children, and house and not get to have them. If you’re gay, for example, you may find the love of your life, but in 45 of 50 states, you won’t be able to marry her, no matter how much you wish for it. And just because you want children and happen to find someone who wants them with you, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to conceive. And definitely, there are far too many people who want a house and cannot afford one. So, of course, it’s possible — and all too common — for people to want something and not get to have it. But that’s not what you’re asking, DS, is it? What you really want to know is: Are there people who want things and don’t get them because they simply don’t deserve them? And more importantly, could you be one of them? And that question, of course, is really about your self-worth.

Let me ask you, DS, do you think you don’t deserve “the marriage, children, and a house”? And if so, why? Is it because you think you lack the compassion, trust, and patience you’d need to be a good wife and mother? Or, do you simply feel unworthy of love? If it’s the former, I doubt that you’d be the kind of person to want those things anyway. Those who know they’d make a lousy spouse don’t tend to want to be one. Those who worry they’d make a terrible mother don’t usually wish for kids.

So, let’s talk about your sense of self-worth. If there are things about yourself that make you think you’re unworthy of love, you need to take steps to either accept those things or change them. This doesn’t happen overnight and there isn’t some magical formula to make it happen, but naming those things you’re ashamed of or don’t like about yourself is the first step. Of course, there’s always the possibility that you do think you’re totally worthy of love, in which case, great, hallelujah! And guess what? You’re right! You do deserve love. Everyone deserves love! But that brings us back again to our first point: you may want something and you may deserve it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Life’s unfair like that.The good news is, though, that pursuing the things you want with the attitude that you fully deserve them makes the possibility of attaining them so much more likely.

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at [email protected]