Why divorced men remarry more often than divorced women: a preliminary reflection

Lots of folks are discussing this New York Times article; it announces that for the first time, more than half of adult American women are living without a spouse.

In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000…

Several factors are driving the statistical shift. At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom.

Bold emphasis is mine. The evidence is clear that divorced men are more willing to remarry, and I find that fascinating. (Lord knows, I’ve contributed to that statistic!) For years, we’ve heard that marriage tends to benefit men more than women; the old saying was that single women lived longer than married women, but married men lived longer than single ones. (No doubt someone can point to census bureau statistics to tell me if that remains true in this country.) But real benefits and perceived benefits are not always the same thing, and the greater willingness of men to remarry after a divorce fascinates me.

I suspect that one reason that men are more likely to remarry is, frankly, the distribution of household labor. In a world where women are still doing the “second shift” of housework on top of their jobs, it would make sense that a newly divorced woman would be extremely reluctant to walk right back into the same sort of situation from which she just extricated herself. On the other hand, a newly single man trying to sort out the mysteries of shopping and laundry might well be eager to find a new partner to “share” the burden of keeping him dressed and fed. One would have thought we’d be past this by now, that modern egalitarian marriages would involve equal amounts of effort and labor, both in and out of the home, by both partners. But the striking statistical eagerness of divorced men to remarry, and the equally striking statistical eagerness of many divorced women not to do so, suggests that things may not have improved as much as we would like.

But I think there’s more to this than housework. I’m going to catch it from all sides for saying this, but I’m convinced that one reason that so many divorced women are so reluctant to remarry (and so many women unwilling to marry in the first place) is that frankly, marriage doesn’t seem to be a very appealing deal for most women. And one of the reasons why marriage seems unappealing is that the sacrifices of marriage are many, and the benefits increasingly few — especially considering that an extraordinary number of men may not be worth marrying!

Mind you, I’m aware that saying “more women would surely marry if more men were worth the trouble” has anti-feminist implications. I’m wary of revisiting the problematic thesis that “feminism is rooted in a profound disappointment in men.” But surely, the reluctance of so many women to marry or remarry might also have something to do with the men they are choosing not to wed! No, it’s not all about men; there are many outstanding reasons not to marry that have nothing to do with the caliber of available husbands. But surely, there are many women who are unmarried who might consider marriage if they met the right man, but for whatever reason, don’t seem to be finding him.

In a world where women have access to education and income, it’s axiomatic that men need to bring more to the table than their ability to provide. Our desirability as husbands is increasingly linked to our ability to provide enduring emotional, sexual, romantic, and spiritual satisfaction; our relational skills now matter more than our earning potential. Those of us who are fierce defenders of marriage argue that true fulfillment can be found with just one other person — but we must also accept that in our world, where increasing prosperity has made lifelong singleness or serial monogamy more feasible than ever, the case for marriage is less and less compelling. The only way to shift that, I think, is to create a world where folks see the emotional benefits of marriage as outweighing all the potential negatives. And that’s going to require some changes, and from the statistical evidence, it may mean more change on the part of men.

I’m not sure marriage is for everyone. For me, it’s a vehicle for personal transformation and growth, a crucible in which one’s own selfishness gets melted down, a refiner’s fire that purifies. I like that sort of thing, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve gotten married again and again because I’m relentlessly optimistic, relentlessly hopeful, relentlessly committed to growth. And while much growth can happen in solitude, and much growth can happen in extended families and communities of friends, I am convinced that my own particular growth can best be achieved through marriage. I’m in a happy, challenging, joyous, purifying marriage today. It’s a hell of a lot of work and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

But I do note that the last I heard, none of my three ex-wives had remarried. That says something.

106 thoughts on “Why divorced men remarry more often than divorced women: a preliminary reflection

  1. And one of the reasons why marriage seems unappealing is that the sacrifices of marriage are many, and the benefits increasingly few — especially considering that an extraordinary number of men may not be worth marrying!

    You don’t miss any chance to bash men, do you?

    I’m not sure marriage is for everyone. For me, it’s a vehicle for personal transformation and growth, a crucible in which one’s own selfishness gets melted down, a refiner’s fire that purififes. I like that sort of thing, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Oh, please. All people want to be happy. Because we are seeking happiness from a state of being and mind that is often unhappy, we necessarily desire growth and change.

    I know you like to look down your nose at people from the lofty peak of a superiority complex, but placing such long distances between yourself and the rest of humanity results in a myopic, distorted view. You’re not the only one–or even a member of an elite group–on the planet seeking growth and transformation.

  2. Hugo, I think you’re looking at it from the wrong angle, i.e., from the women’s perspective rather than the men’s (heh, no surprises there). I believe that a very likely explanation is that divorced men are simply more ‘marriagable’ than divorced women. In other words, while both might be ‘damaged goods’ vis-a-vis the baggage they carry from the agony of failed relationships, divorce, etc., in general it is women who are so bitter and generally unpleasant that fewer men are willing to put up with them rather than the reverse. I know that anecdote isn’t evidence, but from my experience the scenario I describe is the rule rather than the exception.

    And like you, I’m pretty sure I’ll take a lot of flak for saying this.

    As for the “second shift,” what a crock. That’s simply a feminist slogan that is unsupported by legitimate scientific data.

  3. Mr. Bad and Tom, I have no interest in seeing MRAs hijack still another thread. I thank you for your comments, and will leave them up, but you’ve said your peace in this thread and further comments from either of you (I will check IP addresses) in this post will be deleted.

    This is a feminist blog, written primarily for those who already accept (or at least don’t actively oppose) the basic principles of feminism. I am not interested in continuing to evangelize in every single post.

  4. Marriage benefits men more than women? This is an extraordinary assertion. Marriage is a ferociously raw deal for men.

    Whats the benefit to an arrangement where we forsake other women, and in return she gets to keep half of our stuff?

  5. My goodness, the commenting is largely male these days. Joe — and this means Joe, and not Mr. Bad — the census bureau points out that men are much more likely to remarry after a divorce than are women. One theory, Mr. Bad’s, is that divorced men are more marriageable; my suggestion is that marriage offers more to men, and that women who have suffered through the sturm and drang once don’t often want to go back in.

    But the census bureau stats seem pretty stark and clear.

  6. One thought is that women are more likely to get primary custody if children are involved. This is rather obvious “baggage” that presents an obstacle to both the desire for remarriage and the fulfillment thereof.

    It would be interesting to see how the desire to remarry varies between men and women. But, as a frequently rejected suitor myself, I point out that the gap between “what we want” and “what we can get” is often high in regards to relationships.

    So I think the answer to your question may be summarized as “because they can

    For many men, the biggest obstacle is social skills, which, as you point out, are increasingly important now that women can get real jobs and buy their own cars and stuff. The experience of living with a woman, even if the relationship was unfulfilling on her part, can provide an incredibly good learning experience for men as far as comfort with women and “what buttons to push,” particularly in the early stages of a relationship. (the quote is from John T. Molloy’s discussion of the rapid remarriage of young widowers in “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others”)

    Women, on the other hand, often seem to “Know What Boys Like” somewhat instinctively from a rather early age, and are usually the passive one early in the relationship. Therefore, a 32-year old divorced man is often twice the seducer he was when he married at 27, thus raising his marketability, but his ex-wife is now just 5 years older, and has lower marketability.

    Secondly, while I don’t completely accept the feminist’s prized Sexual Experience Double-Standard, I think it does apply here. For women, the scarlet “D” would tend to lower a woman’s stock compared to a never-married rival, but I’ve read that many women are suspicious never-married men past a certain age.

  7. “the commenting is largely male these days”

    You think this is bad, check out an online dating site :)

  8. So, divorced men remarry more often than divorced women. Just who are those men marrying? Obviously,most of them are marrying women who have never been married. Or maybe we should just cut to the chase and say younger women, because that is a likely corrolation. Society still offers an older man far more latitude in seeking a significantly younger mate than women. Combine that with the higher probability that the woman brings children to a second marriage, and I think you might have a case for suggesting that a lower remarriage rate for women exists not from entirely from choice, but because their opportunities have been limited. Without knowing more of the specific details of the survey, I question the writer’s generalization that women delay remarrying because of celebrating their “new-found freedom”.

    This is not to discount the many women who are living quite happily either without a husband or a partner. Or the many women who share their lives with men in an unmarried, non-cohabiting relationship. Who knows? Maybe that is the best way for a woman to thrive, rather than in marriage. Still, I think we need to consider factors other than personal choice for a lower rate of remarriage.

  9. Might age also be a factor? A lot of middle-aged divorced men marry much younger women, but divorced women rarely do. That leaves them with a) men who are also divorced, or b) men who have had an inordinately long bachelorhood. Women may just feel they have a less desirable pool of potential mates.

    It also seems to me that if they do hook up with guys in one of those categories, they often just move in together without marrying. A young woman who’s never married is probably more likely to want a wedding, and the guy may go along with it for that reason.

    This is pretty much guessing based on my own family, but I thought I’d throw it in there.

  10. Hm, looks like Allison and I managed to post the same thing at the same time. Syn-chro-ni-sa-tee…

  11. “I’m not sure marriage is for everyone. For me, it’s a vehicle for personal transformation and growth, a crucible in which one’s own selfishness gets melted down, a refiner’s fire that purifies.”

    I’m not sure I’d be comfortable marrying someone as a vehicle for my own transformation. At least not without her express consent. And if that were the institutional intent of marriage it would explain its precipitous decline.

    As for the “disappointed in men” thing, consider that that’s a product of the old two-sphere gender model wherein women were sentenced to “behind every great man” roles. If they are now able to not only provide for themselves economically but also to establish themselves the effort they previously would have had to invest second hand in “improving” their husbands can now be used to establish themselves.

    The point being that while it’s probably insulting to suggest that men want to remarry to get *housework* done, if the notion is expanded to include men’s unwillingness to invest in their own personal development then that assessment it might not be too far off the mark.

  12. I think Allison makes some excellent points. I am reminded of a professor I once had. He dated younger women (one of his wives had been a *former* student), and had a few failed marriages. We asked him once why he kept marrying, why he still believed in the institution, and he looked at us, seemingly surpised at the question, and said, “Why? But I love all my wives.”

  13. Personally I suspect K’s theory regarding children has more to do with it than issues of housework-splitting. Raising kids = less opportunity for dating and such. Now if we had stats on how often divorced people with custody of children remarry vs. those without, that would be interesting.

  14. Hugo,

    The statistics certainly say what they say, but they say no more. The fact that women remarry less than men certainly does not prove that marriage is a better deal for men than women. (A case the other posters have made fairly eloquently). ALL it proves is that men remarry more.

    I’d be interested in WHY you think men benefit from marriage more than women.

    You gave one peice of evidence: that married men live longer. I think the reson for this is fairly simple: women take care of their men, making sure that they eat their vegetables and get their checkups. Also, when the man keels over, theres somebody there to call the ambulance.

    I mad my case to the contrary:

    1) Family law makes divorce ruinous to men. Marriage is risky to men, theres a fifty percent chance that she will leave you and take your stuff.

    2) Marriage requires an exclusive commitment, excluding other sexual partners. This is traditionally desirable to women and undesirable to men.

  15. “The statistics certainly say what they say, but they say no more …ALL it proves is that men remarry more.”

    Actually, the stats quoted don’t even say that. Rather, they say that divorced women are more likely than men to delay remarrying. The title of Hugo’s post makes a presumption that actually isn’t clearly validated by the stats in the article, now that I look at it.

  16. Hey Dr. Schwyzer,

    Yeah, I know. I’m another man writing an entry in your blog. I just really have a desire to say a few comments in regard to this article. And it might be from a different perspective from the one that you wrote about on your entry. Don’t delete the message please :(

    The first thing that caught my eye from the article I read on MSN is that they don’t have the man’s perspective. There was NOTHING from men. No comments. Nothing. I don’t get it. Do we have one sex? It was just a disturbing thing I saw. I mean, clearly women have their problems in the current marital arrangment and there’s nothing wrong with that and I have sympathy and support the problems they face. But, once again, men’s comments seem to be invisible. It’s a shame we can’t hear what they have to say in regard to the situation. Are the papers afraid to say what they heard?

    The thing is that there are growing amounts of men who are experiencing this “second shift”, except while women are entering the workplace, men are also entering the homes and are doing work around the house-if it is not laundry than it is maintenance work, or the upkeep of the home. And many men want to raise and nurture their children! I don’t know why I have to keep saying this: it seems our media outlets always seem to conveniently miss out on it and it’s like putting salt on the wound to the men who DO go all the way. Honestly, we’re not the Homer Simpson oafs we are being portrayed as!

    All i’m saying is this: Yeah, men need to do their part. We all know this. But…isn’t it half-and-half? Isn’t their always two sides to every coin? This is what the article appears to be lacking: one viewpoint while leaving the other one out.

    Women initiate 75 percent of the divorces. All we are given are the statistics. But who is actually avoiding the marriage. Men…or women? Or is it both? Are men avoiding marriage because of fear of getting screwed over…are women avoiding marriage because they are not getting a fair deal with domestic labor? Or is it unrealistic expectations?

    “I question the writer’s generalization that women delay remarrying because of celebrating their “new-found freedom”.”

    This is biased. And the writer doesn’t even define what is “new-found freedom”. What is it?

    “For many men, the biggest obstacle is social skills”

    What do you mean by this? Elaborate.

  17. I don’t think the emphasis on “delay remarrying” necessarily changes Hugo’s or anyone else’s arguments – but it does insert a timeline into the equation. For instance, why are women less likely to remarry? – children, lack of suitable mates, once burnt twice shy, etc, then becomes a time-sensitive set of reasons.

    So the question is now, why are all the negatives of a man getting divorced (whether or not you believe it is “harder” on them, which I strongly doubt) sooner forgotten?

    My answer would be they have fewer negatives overall to leave a bad taste in their mouth for marriage.

    But, if they do indeed bear the heavier burden in marriage and divorce, as some of the commenters here would argue, then perhaps they just believe in true love more than women? What else could tempt them back into such an apparently distasteful, subordinate position, where they are only guaranteed to suffer if the relationship goes to pot?

    Apparently, in _Persuasion_, when Anne says “All the privilege I claim for my own sex… is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone,” it should have been Wentworth saying that.

    PS: Yes, it is unfortunate the study apparently has nothing to say on men’s reasons. But if the writer was grasping so much to explain women’s choices, I doubt they had anything to say at all about the men. Plus, unmarried women is bound to cause much more of a moral panic in our society.

  18. I think the reson for this is fairly simple: women take care of their men, making sure that they eat their vegetables and get their checkups. Also, when the man keels over, theres somebody there to call the ambulance.

    There you go, Joe: you’ve just explained why marriage is a better deal for men. If you’re a man, somebody else makes sure you eat right and see the doctor, plus they call 911 for you. If you’re a woman, you have to take care of your own health, PLUS your husband’s.

    Marriage is risky to men, theres a fifty percent chance that she will leave you and take your stuff.

    Marriage is risky to women, there is a 50% chance that he will leave you and take your stuff. See? Anybody can play this game, especially when you look at statistics showing that the adultery rate for married men is between 25% and 50%, with married women at about half that.

    Women initiate 75 percent of the divorces

    I think you mean “file”, rather than “initiate”. That, again, would suggest that marriage is a better deal for men–why would more women leave if they were getting the lion’s share?

    For guys who are bemoaning how crappy a deal marriage is for men, you’re sure not doing a good job of explaining why those conniving females don’t scoop you up and make you their house-maintenance slaves.

  19. I see the dubious benefit of entering “a crucible in which one’s own selfishness gets melted down” as insufficient reason to justify marriage. To each their own, but if this is all that an American woman brings to the table, I am perfectly content to take my income, loving heart, capacity for devotion and supportive tendencies overseas.

    I was wondering whether you could provide me with any additional reasons why one could find marriage in North America to be attractive for a male. It would help me to understand the social mechanism behind the statistics you have discussed.

  20. I would like someone to explain to me how MRAs, on the one hand, decry the traditional Man As Wallet attitude that leads them to shy away from gold-digging American bitches and their community-property-using ways; but on the other hand, they lionize women from cultures whose laws and society see the man’s role as breadwinner, with the wife’s status related to her conspicuous spending of her husband’s money.

  21. Well, the statistics show that women do a lot more housework than men still. So yep, that’s your answer. A newly divorced man is statistically going to have to up his housework or lower his standard of living. But more than the free labor aspects, statistics show that married men make more money than single men and married women make less than single women.

    You can make a nice table and see what the free labor married women provides men—marriage is a direct transfer of women’s assets and labor into cold, hard cash for men.

    Marriage is like anything else—you do it for a reason. The reasons women should marry are dwindling without social pressure and disdain for single women. To up the marriage rates, there are two things that can happen. 1) The pressure returns, which is unlikely. 2) Men become more marriageable on average. This means more housework for men, more earnings for women.

    Conservatives naturally want the first, but good luck to them and they can kiss my ass. The second (men pull their fair share! oh my god!) sounds horrible but isn’t really. Nowadays, people who are married are way happier than before with those marriages. More housework and less money are a bad economic tradeoff for men (though fair) but if a happy marriage is the real goal, men should embrace pulling their fair share with open arms.

  22. I will add a problematic wrinkle. What makes a man marriageable is increasingly his egalitarian approach to relationships. But that very thing makes “marriage” less interesting overall. Two people as equals entering a relationship often have no incentive to marry. None. My most unequal relationship resulted in an engagement, but thankfully no marriage. My most equal ones have had marriage off the plate as an option in the near future. There is no financial incentive between equals, though I think that may change as I age and start thinking of making sure a male partner is in a place to inherit my assets.

  23. “Plus, unmarried women is bound to cause much more of a moral panic in our society.” – Livy

    Not from what I’ve been reading. There are articles praising women for being “liberated” for being single, wise for not settling down with just anyone, and castigating men for not tying the knot. MSN and other sources have posted plenty of them. My question is, if women delay marriage more than men, why are so many women eager to press the issue of marriage? (Including with yours truly)? And women may just be delaying marriage, but it seems to me from personal observations they have little trouble with looking for other partners afterwards to help them fulfill roles akin to that compact, marriage or not, co-habitation or not.

    “But, if they do indeed bear the heavier burden in marriage and divorce, as some of the commenters here would argue, then perhaps they just believe in true love more than women? What else could tempt them back into such an apparently distasteful, subordinate position, where they are only guaranteed to suffer if the relationship goes to pot?” – Livy

    That certainly might be a part of it, but from what I understand there are divorced men that haven’t been in such a hurry to get married. And there’s another added twist here—divorced men have a higher perceived value than long term single men:

    “but I’ve read that many women are suspicious never-married men past a certain age.” – K

    In their thirties, especially.

    I’ve lurked on a couple of dating site forums for over a year and a half. I see this sentiment crop up many times. And it doesn’t always have a nice ring to it as far as tonality.

    I used find it puzzling that men that have been single for a huge portion of their lives are considered less desirable, especially you would think that women would jump at the chance with one that doesn’t have a large amount of baggage and has carved a path for himself in life. There’s actually more than one stigma for being single for men, currently; I mean, hey, after all, if they aren’t married off or divorced by a certain phase of their lives the must have something seriously wrong with them, ya know, mentally ill or living in their mom’s basements and stuff.

    But Andrew also has a point about unrealistic expectations that some women have. And the men I know that have rushed into marriage and romantic situations despite being (heavily, and I mean HEAVILY) burnt seem to overlook red flags that might lead to disharmonious relationships.

    I’m not one of them.

  24. For all the people who are skeptical that women have a “chance” to remarry, well, most single women I know, whether they have children or not, have had men petition to marry them and declined. And the women who accepted after being married once only did so after suffering it mightily and asking everyone around them what they thought.

  25. ” . . . they lionize women from cultures whose laws and society see the man’s role as breadwinner, with the wife’s status related to her conspicuous spending of her husband’s money.” – Mythago

    Not every one of us do. Personally I’m not interested in being breadwinner. Just my two cents.

  26. Then you probably don’t want to marry a woman from the ‘traditional’ cultures MRAs are always talking about. “Traditional” cultures that expect marriage to be a woman’s career quite naturally end up with a woman’s status tied to her husband’s wealth.

    It’s as though they are stuck in that 70s perfume commercial where the woman goes to her high-powered, money-making job all day, then turns into June Cleaver as soon as she steps over the threshold.

  27. “Well, the statistics show that women do a lot more housework than men still. So yep, that’s your answer.”

    The amount of housework a career-oriented American woman can do is small compared to that which a foreign wife who makes the home her full-time occupation would be willing to offer me. I have every intention of being the breadwinner in my family, and I do not expect to have the time or energy required for extensive housework. Thus, I still see American women as an inferior option.

    “marriage is a direct transfer of women’s assets and labor into cold, hard cash for men”

    Whatever happened to the transfer of both parent’s labor power to their children and grandparents? Guess I’m old-fashioned or something…

    “Nowadays, people who are married are way happier than before with those marriages.”

    I’m not sure where you get this information from, but my own experience seems to suggest the opposite. You’re not necessarily wrong, I just can’t see such a trend playing out in my own surroundings.

    “To up the marriage rates [...] Men [should] become more marriageable on average”

    I still see no reason why I should want to contribute to an increase in marriage rates. The ball is in women’s court to become more desirable, so far as I see it.

    “men should embrace pulling their fair share with open arms”

    What you consider to be ‘fair’ may not be the same thing I consider ‘fair’. Of course, you’re entitled ‘to embrace with open arms’ whatever definition of fair you see fit, but I still see no reason why I should agree with it.

    ~~~
    Amanda: I appreciate you reply, but you seem to have spent a good deal of time telling me why I ‘should’ marry an American woman versus providing me with any real incentive to do so.

  28. “I have every intention of being the breadwinner in my family, and I do not expect to have the time or energy required for extensive housework. ”

    You could just hire a maid.

  29. Hiring a maid might actually be a good idea at some point. That way, my foreign wife could spend more time with the kids. However, I still fail to see why I should bother with American women.

    Besides, aren’t American women happy to be independent?

  30. Anonymous: It sounds to me that you are not looking for a partner, but someone to raise your kids and clean your house. Maybe you should pay a surrogate to bear your children, hire a nanny to raise them, and employ a maid to clean the house- at least everyone would know the score from the outset instead of playing rhetorical games like “why should I marry an American woman.” Really, why should anyone marry you?

    I think Anonymous provides a partial explanation why women are reticent to remarry…

  31. “Then you probably don’t want to marry a woman from the ‘traditional’ cultures MRAs are always talking about. “Traditional” cultures that expect marriage to be a woman’s career quite naturally end up with a woman’s status tied to her husband’s wealth.” – Mythago.

    In that aspect, you are correct.

    In fact, that’s one of my gripes with those who complain about men as myself not being “real men,” whatever that means, in supporting a domestic wife and children. Thus, in that fashion, I’m not like the ranks of MRAs that lean towards the basal concept of a traditional family situation. I know many of them have strong arguments for it, but I won’t thrift too much into that but to say I differ. I am not terribly interested in someone living off my paycheck and watching soaps all day. If you think that idea is quaint and sexist, I’ve had women wish for that by their own admission.

    Even both strains of my family have men and women that possess a solid work ethos. Unless it came to taking time off to raise children in their infancy, they weren’t dirt poor but they generally plunged into the grind of the office or got their hands dirty in skilled labor.

    I suppose with this background and with other experiences, I find it hard to swallow the bitter pill of that there are women out there that want married men to give them both the benefits of traditionalism and a more “modern” relationship if you will. Those “men may not worth marrying” (as Hugo echoes the complaint of many women I’ve heard about in person and online) but there are women that seem to want to glean attributes from both contexts. They are oil and water that can’t make a true emulsion. It won’t mix.

    “Our desirability as husbands is increasingly linked to our ability to provide enduring emotional, sexual, romantic, and spiritual satisfaction; our relational skills now matter more than our earning potential.” – Hugo

    I wish that was true, Hugo, and I’m not being facetious, either. My perspective is quite different.

  32. I suspect that for many men a marriage provides more than the housekeeping and similar. It also provides an “organizer” – who helps structure his social and “outward” and “inward” lives. While he may well be able to enjoy the time in the sports bar – as a “bachelor” – women may help bring ties to a man’s own children at times, his parents, and some others in his life.

    While the wife may seem controling – she also helps emotionally help the man not feel alone, as we men often feel.

    Some men – as your critics – don’t want to be told what to do with most of their lives and for them marriage may not be a good choice.

    Where marriage may not be a good choice for women, it may well often be that she doesn’t want to have so many responsibilities for anyone besides herself (and her immediate family (children if she has them)).

    There are, of course, many exceptions to these gender stereotypes!!!

    Thanks!

  33. “It sounds to me that you are not looking for a partner, but someone to raise your kids and clean your house.”

    history_mom, you are correct. I do not need a ‘partner’. I need a wife. In my lexicon, raising kids and cleaning the house are part of what a wife does.

    “at least everyone would know the score from the outset”

    Why do you insinuate that I am not upfront about my intentions? I make a point of keeping them quite transparent. I would make it perfectly clear to a prospective wife how the relationship is laid out. No plan survives contact with the enemy, but I expect general guidelines to be followed and compromises that I find favorable to be reached. The last thing I want to do is enter a marriage in bad faith.

    I do not see how the question I posed, ie “why should I marry an American woman,” is a rhetorical game. It is an honest question that those who kindly replied have thus far failed to address.

    “Really, why should anyone marry you?”

    Because I am inherently awesome. :)

    Seriously though, the bottom line is this: I live my own life. If a woman wants to tag along, she’d better be able to pull her own weight. I alone determine what load-bearing capacity I consider acceptable. Game Master Anonymous is tough, but fair. If she disagrees with my terms, she will be dismissed prior to marriage. There will be plenty of others who will gladly take her place.

    “I think Anonymous provides a partial explanation why women are reticent to remarry…”

    Should I be honored to have singlehandedly precipitated such an incredible demographic shift?

  34. “While the wife may seem controling – she also helps emotionally help the man not feel alone, as we men often feel.” – Geo

    A loyal wife need not be controlling to help a man not feel alone!

    Of course, if you’re the sort of individual who prefers to have an extensive control structure above him, I can see where you’re coming from. I, however, want a wife who provides me with emotional support without telling me what to do all the time. I expect her to have a good measure of imperium in household matters, but I will be the one making top-level decisions concerning relocation, major purchases and the like.

  35. Crap. In my second to the last paragraph I should have wrote “”Those men may not be worth marrying” may not provide either at the same time . . . ”

    I was editing down my text and apparently edited too much.

  36. This article was amazing in the complete lack of any attempt to present a male’s perspective.

    An idea for consideration: Fewer women remarry because fewer women are asked to remarry. Men tend to age better physically, and once a woman is past the point of childbearing, what exactly is the point?

    As for “second shift” and division of labor? Since being widowed I pretty much do every scrap of housework, as well as the childcare for two kids. We live in the age of the washer and dryer, the dishwasher, the vaccuum cleaner, the ROOMBA, for pity’s sake. It’s not as though we have to go out to the wash basin out back, clean every scrap of clothing by hand and beat it on a rock to get it dry. I find that a good 30 to 45 minutes each weeknight and an hour or two on the weekends is more than sufficient to keep my house adequately tidy. But then, I’m not living with a woman who has a “keep up with the Joneses” attitude and has to have the better place settings, the prettier drapes, insists on an elaborate dinner party instead of just having some friends over to sit around with a few beers and watch a movie, etc, etc.

  37. Men tend to age better physically

    Is this something about fertility, or is this code for “Christmas cake”?

    Your comment about drapes reminds me of an incident with my ex after we split up. He took most of the furniture, so I went out and spent my money on some decent furniture, curtains, etc. He stopped by shortly thereafter to drop off some paperwork. He looked around and promptly started whining about how I’d never fixed up the place like that when HE was living there. I didn’t bother to point out that there was no law preventing him from doing interior decorating, but did say “If I’d bought any of this stuff when you were living here, you would have complained about spending money.”

    If you think that idea is quaint and sexist, I’ve had women wish for that by their own admission.

    Heck, I’ve had men wish for that by their own admission (although substitute in ‘the game’ for ‘soaps’).

  38. The amount of housework a career-oriented American woman can do is small compared to that which a foreign wife who makes the home her full-time occupation would be willing to offer me.

    Sucks to be her.

  39. Not sure why she would be “willing” to “offer” you anything. Now, housekeeping and sexual services can be purchased. If I pay someone to clean my house, though, I don’t pretend she’s willing to offer me housework.

  40. Fewer women remarry because fewer women are asked to remarry. Men tend to age better physically, and once a woman is past the point of childbearing, what exactly is the point?

    Um, most men who remarry don’t want more children. While YOU think of marriage as purchasing an incubation machine for your holy sperm, normal men tend to go for the whole package, wife-wise. Pretty much every middle-aged guy I know who has remarried went for someone his own age and didn’t want children. Chief, if it’s all about your giant need for an endless stream of babies (what do you do with them, anyway? braise them? boil them?), you can probably buy those, too.

  41. Not sure why she would be “willing” to “offer” you anything.

    Because of the other end of the ‘traditional marriage’ deal, where he makes all the money she spends and he is expected to sacrifice up to and including death, if necessary, to protect her. It’s surprising how many people think that women from developing nations must just be naturally subservient, and willing to wait on a husband hand and foot while getting absolutely nothing other than room and board in return.

    Less snarkily, I rather suspect that this is behind a lot of the violence you read about directed at women in “mail-order-bride” marriages; a husband who thought he’d bought his own little piece of Gor on Earth finds out that back where his wife came from, women weren’t actually slaves.

    Game Master Anonymous might be better rolling up an NPC wife on paper.

  42. Woo. Looks like a big thread of MRA vitriol, there. If I read all that, I’ll get distracted from my $0.02 on the subject. I’m a young woman who probably will never marry.

    Why? Not that guys all suck by nature. I know that boys, like all human beings, come in ‘suck’ and ‘non-suck’ varieties. I also know that while patriachy and sexism is rilly rilly neatokeen to lots of boys (and girls), not all boys feel this way. It may be possible to find a boy that isn’t stupid in this way. I’m not doing all the housework and taking care of said boy as if I were his mother. I have a life and a freaking job of my own. I don’t have time for that nonsense. And since I don’t want to have kids, there is really no way I can be arm-twisted into it.

    And ultimately.. why bother? Screw it. Society will treat me like utter crap regardless of what I do, but the moment I marry is the moment that I become lodged in the great Mass Social Brain as Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname and everything I do or say will be automatically processed as In The Service of Her Husband. Thanks, no thanks.

    If I like the guy, I’ll just live with him. I’ll have my own stuff and my own money. If the relationship crashes and burns, who needs the hassle of the legal battle?

    I can see the appeal of making a hard and fast legal commitment, and signing your intention to preserve the relationship into law. But in a world where relationship work is considered to be exclusively wifework? Screw it.

  43. Amanda, you’ve missed the point. Having children is the ONLY reason a man should marry, and the chances they’ll be taken away from him and used against him as a visitation/custody crowbar are so great that he should really think twice before even doing that much. Personally speaking I assure you I have no need for an endless stream of babies, which means I have no further need for marriage.

    My point was that once a woman gets past the point of childbearing, what’s the point of marrying her? Sex is readily available for the cost of a couple of drinks (if that) and if I want somebody hanging around to bitch at me about my housekeeping I’ll invite my mother over. If I want somebody to take my money I’ll go to any given inner city and wait to get mugged. If I want somebody to prattle endlessly about how Teh Man is keeping her down while she continuously enjoys the benefits of a Western society built by men, I’ll visit your site.

  44. Chief, if a man’s only reason to get married is to obtain a womb, then women have no reason at all to marry, since we come with them pre-installed. So really, your case you’re making is that men are the only sex that has any incentive at all to marry.

  45. Forgive me. I am on limited time, and have not read the original article, nor most of the comments. I may be repeating a lot.

    I am a divorced man – 3 years now, and I’m 42. There are 4 women in my life whom I would call close friends, ranging from 40 to 75. All of them have been divorced, and all of them were completely justified in filing. The men did not file in a single one of the cases. All of them already had children. All of them would reject any suitor, no matter how suitable, and have repeatedly. They love living alone.

    I also believe I was justified in filing on my divorce. I would remarry tomorrow.

    The premise of your post, therefore, seems completely solid to me.

    Why then?

    The best correlative factor I have heard in the increase in the divorce rate is women no longer being treated as chattel. To the degree that women own their own lives, the divorce rate increases. My generation of women married to have children in a “sanctified” marriage, and once that environment is proven unprofitable, they see no need to marry again.

    Men, on the other hand, have weaker tools for dealing with emotional needs. Women are taught early to care for their own needs. Men are taught to rely on others for companionship, comfort, care of every kind. We are taught to get good grades, bring home a good check, and trust that some woman somewhere will get us a social life, a house that is heart-warming, and a shoulder to cry on. Women are taught to handle the whole range of life. Men are taught to be strong.

    Individual men and women rise above the teaching they are given to one degree or another, but on the whole, men simply do not care well for themselves. We avoid doctors, social life, and the kinds of family bonding that can carry us through the hard times. Women sense these needs and satisfy them. We are strong and silent – and date every chance we get.

    Hence, women don’t need us, but we need them. Once they have given their children a good start, freedom from the responsibilities of marriage seems to be a win-win for many women of quality.

  46. BTW, in this vein, I deeply appreciate your stand against dating younger women. An older man knows too much (and especially what a woman who is planning a family wants to hear) and has too much experience to be at much risk in dating her. She, however, is at critical risk. That man is taking the lazy way out of his every problem, and ruining a young person’s life along the way.

    He’ll have a deadly debt to pay when she hits those 30’s, and sees everything with middle-life eyes.

  47. @mythago: Excellent logic. Anonymous does not want to marry Americans, therefore:

    • He wants a mail order bride
    • She must be from a developing country
    • He wants her to be his slave
    • He will beat her up
    • He automatically expects any foreign woman to act in the manner he desires
    • He can offer her little more than room and board
    • He’s a horrible person

    In a single post, you have succinctly explored most every cliché and shaming tactic I heard of. Is there anything I missed? No one has answered my original question yet, but you have succeeded in amusing me. Keep up the good work!

  48. I’m 19, so i’m still pretty young if you look at the situation of being married and what not.

    Honestly, when I do get married (maybe in my 30’s) and I decide not to co-habitate, I want my partner to be EQUAL to me-i.e. a . I’m a hardworker, so I want her to be a hardworker too. I’m smart and stable, so I also want her to be smart and stable with both her feet on the ground as well. The way I see it, the person you choose to marry is an inner-reflection of how you see yourself and what you, in turn, desire in your mate. I’m a healthy individual, so I want a healthy life partner; I won’t settle for anything less. Since I have a strong work ethic, I want someone who has a strong work ethic as well. In this day and age, I feel this is not only realistic, but probably the most healthy option for both of us. I don’t want my partner to be, as Sociopathic Revolution says, watching “soaps” all day long. And, more than likely, we will be able to hire a maid to take care of the domestic work so this won’t put an added strain on us. So, the problem is solved in regard to who has to do what around the house. I’m not sure what my future wife’s career will be, but hopefully if all goes well and I get my law degree and go into family law (pretty sure I am aiming towards this), then I will be able to afford it.

    I think what some people in the MRA community desire (the more conservative ones, at least) is a return to a traditional style of marriage-where a man is the breadwinner and the woman is the housewife. And I also think that this is fine, as long as two people willingly and mutually accept this role, then this is acceptable. I don’t believe we should get in the way of a person’s wants and wishes. However, while on the individual level is fine, one cannot ask this to be on the cultural, collective level. On a societal level, this will never be. However, we must also recognize these people who wish to revert to traditionality as who they are and respect them for the decision they make. If two people are happy with this set-up, I have no qualms about it. It’s the same way for two people who choose a set-up where the man is the nurturer and the mother is the one who is the breadwinner. And I think this is a perfectly acceptable role as well. The thing, I feel, is that each person should have a choice to make- society shouldn’t force one way of living onto us. Of course, this also means that a person also has a greater obligation and responsibility to make their choice heard and to carry it out. Sure, there are MRA’s that preach

    I feel, in order to truly analyze this article, one has to look at each side, think about all of the scenarios as to WHY this is happening, and then come to a conclusion. Pretty much, you need a hypothesis and then you need to test it; if your conclusions stand up to scrutiny and numerous follow-up tests, then it has validity. In this article, all we are given is the statistics and some blithely thought out explanations, which is all fine for someone writing a short article, but it’s no reason to believe these ideas are the only reasons WHY the situation is the way it is.

    Unfortunately…I don’t know why the majority of women are living without a spouse. There really is no substantial literature out there which covers this answer. However, I do believe a shortcoming of this article (why I am hesitant to take what they say seriously-not the statistics but their interpretation of the statistics) is because it is one-sided. They are not wrong-but they are partial. To cover why this is happening wouldn’t be satisfactory with one aggregated solution, but to list many answers. For starters: why are women not marrying? Do they choose to not marry or are their other extraneous reasons for them holding off commitment? IS it because they have a general negativity towards the institution or have negativity towards a person (i.e. the men) that they may be settling down with?

    And what about men. You need to question them. Are they holding off getting married? If so, why?

    Once you get this data, are there any similarities between the genders? Any differences?

    You still won’t have all the answers, obviously. What role does our society have? What about the media? Are they shaping how people behave or are they just showing what people ALREADY believe-in other words, showing people what they want to see? What about the institution of marriage itself? What about our laws?

    I think this explanation and fact-finding is a lot better than a one sentence response such as “marriage strike” or “husbands are too lazy to do the housework.” It may be part of the problem-but without testing this scenario and looking at other solutions, it is incomplete and at best, unconvincing. Of course, the problem is that the data is missing in a lot of areas.

  49. Woops, left a sentence hanging in my last post. Scratch that sentence.

    Excellent analysis Codepoke.

    But it also goes back to a thought I have that men (either through biology or society- it may coincide simultaneously) often look at the big picture, or have one goal they strive for, while women tend to look at the small, more detailed things in life. This doesn’t go for everyone, obviously, but it is the trend.

  50. Amanda Marcotte said: “Well, the statistics show that women do a lot more housework than men still. So yep, that’s your answer. A newly divorced man is statistically going to have to up his housework or lower his standard of living.”

    Mr. Bad, the rest of your comment has been deleted and you know perfectly well why.

  51. Is there anything I missed?

    How about “he’s kind of an idiot if he thinks American citizenship is a litmus test of suitability for his needs”? Or “what kind of moron expects that people here actually have any interest in whom he, personally, does or doesn’t marry”?

    You’re welcome. Most people who crave attention and abuse have to pay professionals, in cash.

    Having children is the ONLY reason a man should marry, and the chances they’ll be taken away from him and used against him as a visitation/custody crowbar are so great that he should really think twice before even doing that much

    Why should he marry at all? He could adopt a child, or have children with an unmarried woman. If he’s smart, he’ll pick one who has something he can use against her (poverty, sexual orientation) to make sure she is completely cut out of the child’s life. If he doesn’t marry he needn’t worry about the mother having a claim on his house or retirement.

  52. Hugo – sometimes you take liberty with the wording in articles. You write, “divorced men are more willing to remarry.” However, the more precise statement is men are more willing to remarry sooner. (“women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage”)

    Put all the other potential issues/factors aside. Take Group A and Group B. Group A, on average, lives longer than Group B. If the two groups have equal preference (utility functions) for X and Y, then A will have the ability to consume more of both. Of course, in the case of marriage (X) versus single or cohabitating (Y), there are (usually) significant transaction costs that make (in general) choosing between how to consume the two more of a discrete, linear process. Throw in the fact that the situation discussed in the article means the people are currently consuming Y after having (in most cases) consumed X, then — what a surprise — that Group B (men) would choose to switch to consuming X sooner than Group A.

    If you want to make more hay out of this article or argue for unequal preference functions between men and women, you would have to plow through the statistics on specific age cohorts and control for different life expectancies and other factors before making sweeping conclusions.

    (Codepoke) Hence, women don’t need us, but we need them..
    (Hugo) frankly, marriage doesn’t seem to be a very appealing deal for most women.

    Well, these men are marrying women.. so unless you have statistics that a minority of women are serial brides, then there’s a whole lot of persuasive men out there convincing women who don’t “need” them to accept a bad deal..

    Hugo – if you think part of the problem is men who have never learned how to “dress” and “feed” themselves, would you be in favor of expanded home economics type classes in high school? Why push “college-level” courses when a portion of the population apparently lacks basic life skills?

  53. Hugo – if you think part of the problem is men who have never learned how to “dress” and “feed” themselves, would you be in favor of expanded home economics type classes in high school? Why push “college-level” courses when a portion of the population apparently lacks basic life skills?

    No question, basic life skills — financial, culinary, and so forth ought to be taught.

  54. How about “he’s kind of an idiot if he thinks American citizenship is a litmus test of suitability for his needs”? Or “what kind of moron expects that people here actually have any interest in whom he, personally, does or doesn’t marry”?

    Truly, your reasoning abilities astound me. When you have nothing constructive to say, you throw a tantrum. This behavior merely serves to fortify my position, but your style is the furthest thing from being elegant. If you have no interest in answering my question, rest assured that you are fully empowered to leave it alone.

    You’re welcome. Most people who crave attention and abuse have to pay professionals, in cash.

    Watching you dig yourself deeper into a pile of lies is ‘abuse’? Nah, it’s called a sideshow. You are right though – one usually does have to pay professionals to see one.

  55. Anonymous- you are just a troll, and I should know better than to feed your need for attention…

    The reason that no one is answerig your question is because:
    1) all of us know that you have already come to a predetermined conclusion about American women (basically they are uppity for actually believing that marriages are partnerships).

    2) because it’s not our fucking job to convince you about our worthiness as American women to marry you. Frankly, you don’t seem like much of a catch to me, so again I ask you, Why should an American woman want to marry you?

    Hugo- if you want to delete this comment to avoid further provoking the troll, I understand.

  56. Tell you what, history mom. You get the last word, and we’ll let the MRAs howl in misogynistic fury at the injustice of my comment policy! Anonymous will have his future comments in this thread banned, and I trust you’ll be able to avoid the more colorful gerunds in the future.

  57. Hugo-

    When I discuss with others I am interested in searching for truth. It is sometimes hard for me to look at things with anopen and objective mind. I’m wondering if you face the same problem? i.e. Do you really want to discuss and debate or do you simply want to hear what reinforces your own beliefs?

    Both male and female posters have said some unkind things. I would like to challenge you to treat all incivility with an equal of response. When you focus more on the unkind posts of the male posters (be they MRAs or whatever) and pretty much let the female posters slide, I find it both biased against the men and somewhat patronizing to the women. It is also not conducive to seeking the truth.

    No doubt about it, some of things said were not put politely. Nevertheless, the shrill nature of your responses is unsettling. It seems that you are easy to upset. I don’t know if Mr. Bad, Tom, Chief, and Anon want to twist you, but if they did, you play an excellent victim. Bullies WANT to get a response. I know from experience that some kids want to get the teacher upset and on an authoritarian rant. Don’t let them own you.

    One other thing; faking an IP is really easy (your furry pets could do it) and if Mr. Bad is really “bad” it is not hard to do considerably more than that. Why not ask about the experiences that make a Mr. Bad so angry? Why make an enemy when you might be able to make a friend?

    I have mentioned this before, but I would love for you to explore your epistemology. i.e Why do you seem to dislike evolutionary biology? I am fascinated by the reasons behind your stances. Let’s hear them.

  58. Dave, one more time: this is a feminist blog, which means that it is a forum for feminists, those who are sympathetic to feminism, and those who are at the least not hostile to feminism. This is not a forum for feminism 101. Those who advocate feminist positions will be cut more slack than those who don’t for this reason, and I make no apologies for it.

  59. Hugo-

    Interesting. When I see someone who supports my perspective (on theological issues especially) it REALLY bothers me when they are incivil. I don’t want anybody rejecting an argument/position simply because they associate it with someone else’s unkindness.

    Example: Torture bothers me, but it REALLY bothers me when my country does it.

  60. “To the degree that women own their own lives, the divorce rate increases. ”

    Imo, this would only be true if in a society where women own “more” of their own lives, the men are still clinging to dreams of the never-was days where women rejoiced at being mommy-wives. If men refuse to evolve with women, they are unmarriage and “not worth it” – even if they are otherwise decent men. (Hence the reason some of posters above are still looking). If women and men evolve together, there would be no reason for the divorce rate to increase. Of course, it seems that would lessen the appeal of marriage as well.

    I am female, under 30 years old, and have absolutely no intention of ever getting married. I see no reason for it. The Bf share an apartment, we both work, we spilt everything 50/50 and aren’t a burden to each other. We both get what we need and neither is put-upon. It’s the perfect arrangement – without the unneccessary legal entanglements.

    Given what Hugo describes as being the benefits of marriage, I don’t quite see why marriage is necessary to get those things. Perhaps Hugo could elaborate why these benefits hinge on being married?

  61. Vera, I don’t think that living together lacks real and tangible benefits. What I appreciate about marriage is that it involves a public commitment and an exchange of promises, promises that bind both parties to a relationship that (at least in theory) won’t crumble as tensions rise and feelings fluctuate. The legal institution of marriage doesn’t charm me, the vows do.

  62. Something I saw by reading the article was the composition of the women interviewed. All of them are professionals, successful in one way or other, and with money. Well, since they have all their needs covered, why should they want to marry?

    I wonder what would have been the result if the interviewed women were from the projects, trailer parks or the hoods.

  63. Col Steve: Well, these men are marrying women.. so unless you have statistics that a minority of women are serial brides, then there’s a whole lot of persuasive men out there convincing women who don’t “need” them to accept a bad deal..”

    The same question arises regarding the stereotype of men being so much more the cheaters. If men are cheating so much more than women, who are they cheating with? Taken to its logical conclusion you come to the One Slut Theory and that begs the question: if male infedelity is such a problem to women why don’t they just figure out who the one slut is and make her stop?

    Hugo: “married men lived longer than single ones”

    Better-educated, higher-income men live longer. Better-educated, higher-income men are better able to attract mates.

    Davev: “Example: Torture bothers me, but it REALLY bothers me when my country does it.”

    Integrity consists in holding your own to standards at least as high as you hold others.

    Hugo: But I do note that the last I heard, none of my three ex-wives had remarried. That says something.

    I think that “something” says that you project too much. Does it really not occur to you that few men accumulate three ex-wives, let alone by the time they’re in their thirties? When you look in the mirror and see men who can’t figure “out the mysteries of shopping and laundry” and men who dish out “infidelities and petty cruelties,” you might consider the possibility that you’re really only seeing Hugo.

  64. Moreover, the interviewed women sounded reasonably attractive, therefore they can afford themselves to reject suitors.

    I wonder what do poor women in welfare, who don’t have the chance to “travel and take photography classes” think of such an article? Are they as happy to be alone as those successful women?

    Perhaps the answers from a white woman studying for a master degree would be different from those of a black single mom from da hood. Do they bless their singlehood, too?

  65. Vera,

    It’s the perfect arrangement – without the unneccessary legal entanglements.

    You are part of a growing army of intelligent, decent people who hold to this logic. I get it. I see the appeal. But I would go there only in a pine box. The day will never arrive that I would share my heart with someone only willing to commit “until [life or evolving or a better match] do us part.”

    Yes, I was divorced, and yes it was agonizing, but I was able to remember an unequivocal promise broken. It makes a difference. The day I set up her bed in her new place, I did not have to lie to the world that it was exactly what I wanted, that I was evolved enough to appreciate this beautiful new change. She broke her solemn word to me, and I did not want it. This social evolution that forces people to call injustice beautiful will lead to more pain, not less.

    Those legal entanglements are imperfect, but they are our hope. They are society’s way of declaring, “We stand with the victim, and will make sure they are taken care of.” It is only by legal entanglement that you are protected from having the best years of your life stolen in 5 minutes – not to mention all your stuff. You can make the obvious arguments [Sure, it will take 2 years of misery for all involved... the legal system is worse than enduring the theft... being protected by our current laws is worse than not being protected at all... etc, etc] and I respect those arguments, but it’s all we have. It makes a difference that the courts remember and honor that vow.

    We can evolve our social interactions, but we cannot evolve our needs.

  66. Tango (and numerous others up the chain),

    Moreover, the interviewed women sounded reasonably attractive, therefore they can afford themselves to reject suitors.

    Ummm. How did you switch from women desiring to live alone to this?

    The point of the article is that if there ever was a time that every woman was terrified of being an old maid, that time is gone. Women with options, and especially women with rich options, choose to live without support from a man.

    When you talk about women without options defaulting to marriage, you do nothing to make marriage look attractive to any of us.

  67. Easy. Because not all women desire to live alone, just like not all the men desire to live alone. However, the article interviewed only those women whose life circumstances -money, looks, education- make advantageous -or at least, not disadvantageous- to live alone.

    About “making marriage attractive to you”, well, why should I? I’m not married, I don’t want to get married, so there is nothing in it for me.

    About “rejecting suitors”, well, to reject suitors you need, first of all, to have suitors. And the women in the article, because of what I said in the first paragraph, do have suitors. A woman who hasn’t been asked out in ages does not have that luxury, don’t you think?

    Therefore, the article wasn’t about “women with rich options”, but about “rich women with options”. Big difference.

  68. Col.

    (Codepoke) Hence, women don’t need us, but we need them..
    (Hugo) frankly, marriage doesn’t seem to be a very appealing deal for most women.

    Well, these men are marrying women.. so unless you have statistics that a minority of women are serial brides, then there’s a whole lot of persuasive men out there convincing women who don’t “need” them to accept a bad deal..

    Leave women who are actively hoping for children out of the equation, and I think you see a radical shift. Specifically, if you poll women who had children within a first marriage and who are now divorced, you are going to see a simple majority for, “I’m really happy alone. I don’t know if I’ll ever marry again.”

    The thing is, they see life differently than they did in their youth. In my personal experience, as a divorced man with his eyes open, about 70% of women are happier alone – surprised and disappointed that they are happier, but happier.

    This subject is of interest to me for the obvious reason, but also because I am copping their secrets, and learning their tricks. I’m happier alone now than I was a year ago, and it’s all been monkey-see, monkey-do. These single ladies focus on “people” rather than a person, and their goals, rather than their needs. It works for at least one guy, too.

    I promise, they are seeing life in a completely different way than they did before their first marriage.

  69. “Heck, I’ve had men wish for that by their own admission (although substitute in ‘the game’ for ’soaps’).” – Mythago

    Again, I don’t totally disagree with you; there are men that wish they could get out of the loop of being overworked and unappreciated, and sit back and watch life go by.

    But let’s face it, most men don’t have as much options as a supposed “male dominated culture” would have you believe, and their personal value has been intertwined with their level of professional success. Hence, those men that “may be not worth marrying” are off the proverbial radar screen of higher level, professional women who many times simply don’t consider marrying down. I promise you that a man that purposely avoids being the breadwinner, provider, protector without complaint—the stripe of a traditional arrangement-isn’t exactly looked favorably even in current conditions. He’s often called a loser. And that’s what I still find bothersome about the article to begin with. In the last few years there has been quite a huge glut of writings dedicated to shaming men into marriage vows and what they can do to be good husbands and fathers, whether it benefits them or not. Dear God, I’m not even going into ANYTHING about Dr. Phil—yuck. And yeah, I still find it rather puzzling about how supposedly undervalued and de-valued men are called to the sound of wedding bells when women either are not wanting to marry or re-marry any time soon.

    “Perhaps the answers from a white woman studying for a master degree would be different from those of a black single mom from da hood. Do they bless their singlehood, too?” – Tango

    What I find with many women, by their own expression, is that after a certain point in their loves it seems more traditional modes and romantic inclinations are deemed “okay” again, and long for men to come along and fulfill those roles, all the time asking where are “all the good men” when they aren’t cropping up en mass.

  70. “Vera, I don’t think that living together lacks real and tangible benefits. What I appreciate about marriage is that it involves a public commitment and an exchange of promises, promises that bind both parties to a relationship that (at least in theory) won’t crumble as tensions rise and feelings fluctuate. The legal institution of marriage doesn’t charm me, the vows do. ”

    Relationships that aren’t marriage relationship don’t necessarily crumble as tensions or feelings fluctuate either – so again, I don’t see what the real difference is. It seems like you’re saying you like the act of getting married – i.e. the vows – but the same things can be exchanged between two people that are not married.

    The only real difference I see is that one relationship is adorned with pomp and ceremony – not to mention tax benefits – and the other isn’t.

    Though that’s all very easy for me to say as I have not ever been married. I imagine my opinion would be different were I on the opposite end of a marriage or two.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Codepoke –

    “The day will never arrive that I would share my heart with someone only willing to commit “until [life or evolving or a better match] do us part.”

    You’re making the same assumption that Hugo is – that lacking legally binding vows, a couple isn’t “really” committed to each other. This also implies that gay couples – legally barred from marrying – are less committed, and less “real” than your relationships. Apologies, but that’s bullocks. I have in my circle plenty of unmarried couples who have been together for a very long time – some for decades. One particular couple – a gay couple – will be celebrating their 45th anniversary together this year. That’s a hell of a lot longer than most marriage relationships, huh.

    Perhaps the difference in opinion here is more a matter of religious participation. I get the feeling from Hugo and your post that you are theists? If I’m wrong, apologies. The use of the words “vows” and “solemn” etc give off that vibe. In which case, forgive me for being unaware of the finer points of a religiously motivated marriage. I was raised and am still an atheist.

    For me, marriage is little more than a piece of paper – a legal contract. Neither of you have identified anything that can’t be gotten from a relationship between non-married people. The vows are just the words of the contract. Words that can be spoken and meant without the ceremony, or legal recognition. The state of couplehood, intimacy, trust, etc is not affected by marriage either way.

    For the record, my parents have just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. I post this because I don’t want anyone to come away with the idea that I am anti-marriage. It doesn’t suit me – at least at this point in my life – but I am not suggesting anyone else should agree with me.

  71. Hugo said: “Mr. Bad, the rest of your comment has been deleted and you know perfectly well why.”

    Because I asked for proof? Granted I did so in my own ‘loveable’ way, but Amanda is rather ‘loveable’ herself. I should think one would see us as a regular-type couple engaged in a lover’s quarrel… ;)

    Seriously, censoring people because they ask for proof doesn’t shed a very positive light on the feminist argument. If you can’t substantiate your arguments with solid evidence then they become nothing more than ‘because I said so’ missives.

    And so it goes.

  72. “I get the feeling from Hugo and your post that you are theists”

    that should have read “that you are religious?”

    my queendom for an edit button! ;)

  73. FWIW, Vera, I consider those gay and lesbian couples who have exchanged vows in my church to be as “married” as those straight couples who also have the state certificate. It is the making of public and enduring promises that marks marriage, not state sanction.

  74. Col Steve said: “Put all the other potential issues/factors aside. Take Group A and Group B. Group A, on average, lives longer than Group B. If the two groups have equal preference (utility functions) for X and Y, then A will have the ability to consume more of both. Of course, in the case of marriage (X) versus single or cohabitating (Y), there are (usually) significant transaction costs that make (in general) choosing between how to consume the two more of a discrete, linear process. Throw in the fact that the situation discussed in the article means the people are currently consuming Y after having (in most cases) consumed X, then — what a surprise — that Group B (men) would choose to switch to consuming X sooner than Group A.

    If you want to make more hay out of this article or argue for unequal preference functions between men and women, you would have to plow through the statistics on specific age cohorts and control for different life expectancies and other factors before making sweeping conclusions.”

    Finally – someone who understands numbers!

    Exactly Col Steve! You’ll note that the data are presented as normalized values (i.e., percentages), so consider this: Overall, males are a statistical minority (49% to 51% female) so right out of the gate, if the raw numbers were exactly equal the normalized numbers would be 49% and 51% men vs. women. Throw in the fact that the cohorts of divorced males vs. divorced females become even more skewed (because men die more often than women as age increases) and voila – we have the trend we see in the article. There are simply less men, divorced or not, to seek marriage (or remarriage) as the cohorts grow older. In fact, it could be that exactly the opposite of the conclusions offered in the article are occurring, but because the ‘researchers’ didn’t control for mortality and used normalized data confounding and bias are what we’re seeing, not real trends in the data.

  75. Vera,

    I am both a theist and religious – puritanical actually, though not of the spiteful variety I hope. If that disqualifies my opinion, then so be it.

    This also implies that gay couples – legally barred from marrying – are less committed, and less “real” than your relationships.

    Precisely how I was raised, but that was a couple decades ago. Let’s pretend I see things a little differently now. I’m sure we’d still disagree.

    Issues of God’s holiness aside, relationships are amazing things. They can bond people very deeply, and they can be very strong, without anyone else’s approval. I have respect for your relationship with your bf, and equally so for many gay couples’ relationships. Any couple that stays together for 45 years has done better than I by more than double.

    Obviously, in my comment I was addressing the kinds of relationships that are formed from the first as short-term situations. I don’t believe these are healthy for society, or for the people who are abandoned when they end. Of course, the worst situation is when the couple believes they are in it for the long haul, but rejects the paperwork, then one member decides it’s time to move on. The legal contract of marriage protects the abandoned party, and I recommend it to anyone.

    Ummm. Except to rich women rich with rich options. ;-)

  76. Anecdotal, so take it for what it’s worth, but in my experience, divorced women delaying marriage has a lot more to do with children still at home:

    I divorced at age 40 and have been single now for 10 years.

    In the past 10 years, I’ve dated a lot. I’ve received 4 offers of marriage.

    I turned the first two down because the kids spent most of their time with me, and neither man really meshed well with my children; it’s difficult to always walk a tightwire between children and a lover. There wasn’t enough of me to go around, apparently.

    The third man lived with us for awhile after we were engaged. However, this also didn’t work; he had no children of his own and expected mine to be mini adults. He tried, and they tried, and they enjoyed each other sometimes but ultimately this was too hard for all of us, and we mutally ended it (we are still friends).

    I am considering my fourth offer. My last child is about to graduate which means I will be without responsibilities for anyone except myself…and I am kind of excited about that. I’ve been sleeping alone now for most of the past 10 years and I’ve gotten used to it, and I get enough sex not to feel starved for it. I think marriage might be lovely but at the same time, maybe I’d like to explore being single without children at home for awhile.

    The thing is, there’s no hurry now because I’m not having any more children and I no longer need help with the children that I have. I don’t need a rescuer. I don’t need someone to solve my problems or tell me what to do. I am not sure what I need that I don’t have right now, actually.

  77. Nothing significant to contribute, really, except to say that this exchange is one reason why I have *not sought to remarry, or even dated much, since my divorce a decade ago, or since my separation almost fifteen years ago.

    I’m one of those exceptions – a man who’s delayed remarrying – which proves fuck-all, of course. I’m also lowish-income, somewhat shy, noticeably overweight.

    My ex hasn’t remarried, either, but she can’t: she’s a lesbian. She’s not partnered, though, by choice.

    So much *crap is asserted on all sides in arguments like this, so much significance attributed to nearly-meaningless statistics. If MRAs and certain-sorts-of-Feminists are looking for a stick with which to beat one another, so be it, but couldn’t this blog be turned to more instructive uses?

    Just wondering.

    hpb
    Austin, TX

  78. Hugo – it is excellent to hear that.

    “It is the making of public and enduring promises that marks marriage, not state sanction.”

    I see – we’re talking about two separate things. However this still does not address how this makes marriage a superior relationship. Any couple can make public and enduring promises and still not be married. It still seems like you’re talking about the ceremony, rather than the institution.

    ~~~~

    “I am both a theist and religious – puritanical actually, though not of the spiteful variety I hope. If that disqualifies my opinion, then so be it.”

    I’m not sure what I said to give the impression that being religious would disqualify one’s opinion in my eyes. If I gave that impression, I apologize – it was unintentional. Rather, I was attempting to explain that if a belief that “marriage is the ultimate show of love and commitment” idea is stemming from a religious adherence, that it is something I’m unfamiliar with. Love, intimacy, commitment – these I understand. But marriage does not guaranty the presence of these things any more than any other relationship. I.e. We are in contact with relatives from “the old country” who marry based on who can offer the family the best price. How is that “better” or “more real” than the couple together 45 years by choice? Understand I’m not trying to suggest you said that, but rather to explain my troubles with seeing marriage as something to reach for. Do you see what I’m trying to get at or am I still failing to be clear? (It’s hard to tell with online posts if one’s intent is clear).

    “Obviously, in my comment I was addressing the kinds of relationships that are formed from the first as short-term situations. I don’t believe these are healthy for society, or for the people who are abandoned when they end.”

    Obviously I had mistaken your comment to mean that all relationships that are not marriage relationships are somehow less. That aside, I agree on the short term relationship thing. They are not healthy for individuals or society – esp if children become involved.

    “Of course, the worst situation is when the couple believes they are in it for the long haul, but rejects the paperwork, then one member decides it’s time to move on. The legal contract of marriage protects the abandoned party, and I recommend it to anyone.”

    Okay, finally someone points out a specific benefit. While marriages themselves are by no stretch of the imagination indestructible – any more or less then non-marriage relationships – this is a clear benefit of entering into the marriage contract.

    “Ummm. Except to rich women rich with rich options. ;-)

    Well, I am by no means rich (financially speaking), but since I can look after my own needs and wants without assistance, marriage for a financial support system is not attractive. Were that not true, perhaps marriage would be an attractive option. But then we’ve completely strayed from marriage as being the ultimate expression of love and into marriage as the ultimate exchange of goods and services. That’s signifigantly less romantic, huh. ;)

  79. Well said, Vera, and thanks for the reassurances.

    … to explain my troubles with seeing marriage as something to reach for. Do you see what I’m trying to get at or am I still failing to be clear?

    Quite clear, and I do appreciate your causes for distancing yourself from marriage as social contract. I’m pretty sure you have not distanced yourself from lifelong commitment. If that’s correct, then we disagree over whether a lifelong commitment should be made contractually before society, but we can probably lay that question down.

    That’s signifigantly less romantic, huh. ;)

    Hehehe.

    I can go all romantic, but then I would have to bring God back into the discussion as the prototype of romance.

    Laying the (critical, but divisive) issue of romance aside, there’s just too, too much danger for me to think about giving my heart to a woman without lifelong public commitment. If the nuisance of paperwork could dissuade her from a public declaration of commitment, then I’m gone.

    It’s been a good discussion. Thank you!

  80. This thread is a fine example of why I like Thailand – no, not the Thailand you’re Pavlovian response has conjoured in your head – the convenient cliches of prostitution so an entire nation can be dismissed out-of-hand, but an entirely different one – one which only you will know if you come here. It has something to do with peace. And something to do with a harmony between men and women. I wonder even if Hugo will allow me to say these words on his blog…

    Let me say this – let people marry who they want to – from the US or otherwise. We have (hopefully) but on life partner, why limit your possibilities with a small net?

  81. Hence, those men that “may be not worth marrying” are off the proverbial radar screen of higher level, professional women who many times simply don’t consider marrying down

    That’s the thing about sexism–it cuts in both directions. It always did, which is why I’m puzzled by antifeminists who simultaneously push for ‘traditional values’ and for less oppression of men.

    That said, the flip side of women who won’t consider marrying down are men who won’t consider marrying up.

  82. That’s the thing about sexism–it cuts in both directions. It always did, which is why I’m puzzled by antifeminists who simultaneously push for ‘traditional values’ and for less oppression of men.

    You state that someone holding traditional values is be default oppressed.

    mythago, you’re leaving no room for a different view of things. What I quoted from you is black and white and no shades in between. There is more than one ‘right’ way to live, and that depends on each person. What I’m trying to say is: you can’t define what oppression is, because the way one person lives his or her life may seem oppressive to you, but to them it isn’t. Conversely, you may – to yourself – be living an independent life free of oppression – but to someone else, your life may look very restrictive and rather oppressive.

    I think a lot of posts here should start with ‘In my opinion’ – without this disclaimer, a lot of opinions here are dressed up incorrectly as bold statements of truth.

  83. mythago: “That said, the flip side of women who won’t consider marrying down are men who won’t consider marrying up.”

    myth, this is completely preposterous. Do you have any proof that there are a significant number of men who wouldn’t “marry up” if given the opportunity? Are you saying that there are a signficant number lower or middle-class men who wouldn’t marry a woman because she either has or makes a lot of money? I say you got this idea from pulledoutofmyass.com, so let’s have some citations to vaild, legitimate sources to substantiate this ridiculous claim.

    And I’m not about to accept the classic feminist line that “men can’t handle a woman who is more successful than they are because it would hurt their fragile ego,” etc., because such arguments fail to control the personality of the woman, who oftentimes is a insufferable b…, well, you know what I mean. Often times it takes that type of personality to make it in the higher echelons of coprorate culture, however, high income/wealth are not solely tied to insufferable personalities so I think that a genuinely decent and pleasant woman who also happened to be well-off financially would attract all kinds of men, like bees to honey. And I’ll bet dollars to dimes that such a woman would pick a similarly well-to-do man over a lower- or middle-class fellow, all other things being equal.

  84. Mr Bad, I think mythago’s point is that both `women won’t consider marrying down’ and `men won’t consider marrying up’ are equally preposterous hypotheses. (If I remember right, another thread was hijacked onto this topic a few months ago, and mythago and I both said to The Chief that we knew quite a few straight couples where she is much more economically successful than him.) But even if not, the burden of proof is the same for both hypotheses. You may be willing to bet dollars to dimes that the first hypothesis is true, but that’s not a citation to valid, legitimate sources to substantiate it.

  85. I think a lot of posts here should start with ‘In my opinion’ …

    Be careful what you ask for.

    When you start this practice, the main thing you get is boring comments. It is or should be obvious that everyone is speaking their own opinions, so this disclaimer is redundant at best. At worst, though, this kind of hedging just causes people to write with their wimpiest voice.

    Nah. Let the people speak.

  86. Noumena, he knows that was my point; otherwise he’d be applying the same standard of proof to the hypothesis that women won’t marry down.

    If one believes that sexism hurts everyone, then one can accept the hypothesis that the same bad belief that a man’s worth as a husband equals his ability to Provide For His Family is stuck in the brains of men as well as women; so that for every woman who thinks there’s something wrong with a husband who has a lower socioeconomic status, there’s a man who feels emasculated if his wife has a bigger paycheck or a fancier job title.

    On the other hand, if one merely believes that women are evil, selfish bitches seeking to take advantage of men, it’s quite plausible that there are hordes of blue-collar guys who would love to marry professional women, but those “insufferable b”‘s won’t stop looking down their noses. In this worldview, one must only consider the “personality of the woman”, not the personality of the man, as success and bitchiness for women are like peanut butter and jelly.

  87. When you start this practice, the main thing you get is boring comments. It is or should be obvious that everyone is speaking their own opinions, so this disclaimer is redundant at best. At worst, though, this kind of hedging just causes people to write with their wimpiest voice.

    codepoke, I disagree (perhaps to your delight :) ).

    I just think people get bogged down in their own opinion and start to see their views as carved-in-stone facts. It’s more enlightening to take a step back sometimes and see a wider perspective. I don’t see a lot of interesting comments here – I do see a lot of hyperbole (which is not the same thing as interesting).

    To mythago, anyone who isn’t living in an ultra-feminist society is by default oppressed. Anything ‘traditional’ – and I use use quotes because it’s such a nebulous statement given the myriad of cultures – is oppressive. It’s a canard to say every possible ideal of living is oppressive, apart from one specific ideal (actually, let’s call a spade a space – it’s fascist). mythago would never accept that someone could be happy choosing a traditional role (no, nobody ever chose a traditional role to mythago – they’re all forced).

    I don’t see that opinion as even interesting either – it’s a real cookie-cutter feminist point of view.

    Mr Bad, I think mythago’s point is that both `women won’t consider marrying down’ and `men won’t consider marrying up’ are equally preposterous hypotheses

    In her opinion of course.

    Which I think is preposterous, and actual facts (not opinions) prove that women generally do marry up, and non-married women aspire to marrying up.

  88. To mythago, anyone who isn’t living in an ultra-feminist society is by default oppressed.

    What’s the difference between an “ultra-feminist society” and just a regular, workaday feminist society, Andrew? There’s probably not much point in replying to you, though, since you needn’t read my posts to talk to the imaginary strawman-mythago in your head.

    mythago would never accept that someone could be happy choosing a traditional role

    Shorter Andrew: I want a traditional marriage! How dare you mean feminazis take away my June Cleaver!

    I’m all for people who want to live in a traditional arrangement choosing to do so. That’s quite different than living in a society that requires such an arrangement, especially to the point on enforcing it by law. And I don’t think much of anyone who only wants the portion of the traditional arrangement that benefits them, without accepting any of the responsibilities going the other way.

    Which I think is preposterous, and actual facts (not opinions) prove that women generally do marry up, and non-married women aspire to marrying up.

    See previous post re: sexism vs. Women Are Greedy Twats.

  89. I’m all for people who want to live in a traditional arrangement choosing to do so. That’s quite different than living in a society that requires such an arrangement, especially to the point on enforcing it by law.

    Well thanks mythago for allowing us to choose. The world does not revolve around your approval though, and I expected such a response from yourself. If a feminist grants approval to a traditional way of life, suddenly that culture is legitimised. No, doesn’t work that way. Life goes on and people celebrate and enjoy different cultures. Thank goodness the world doesn’t contain one monoculture of secular feminism (what a dreary unsmiling population we’d have!).

    I’m guessing mythago that you believe all non-feminist countries don’t allow people to have a choice, ergo they are bad, ergo non-feminist countries are bad, ergo feminism is the panacea the world needs. This is the black and white thinking I described earlier. Or are you different to what I describe? Can there be a society that isn’t strictly feminist, yet gives people choices? (clue: I know plenty).

    Here’s the delicious irony: feminists hide behind ‘choice’, yet at the same time say that no society can ever really give people choices unless they follow the strict doctrine of feminism. It’s fascism dressed up as ‘choice’.

    And I don’t think much of anyone who only wants the portion of the traditional arrangement that benefits them, without accepting any of the responsibilities going the other way.

  90. Thank goodness the world doesn’t contain one monoculture of secular feminism (what a dreary unsmiling population we’d have!).

    Quite right. The world is a more colorful, sunnier place for having cultures where the mere accusation of sexual impropriety is enough for a woman to be murdered by her own family to maintain its honor, without any legal penalties. Imagine how dull life would be if frowny feminists eliminated this diversity!

    I’m guessing mythago that you believe all non-feminist countries don’t allow people to have a choice

    If your guesses were swings, you’d be a starting batter for the Cubs.

    Do you really not understand the difference between a culture where disparity between men and women is enforced by law and custom, and one where it is up to men and women how they wish to behave?

  91. Quite right. The world is a more colorful, sunnier place for having cultures where the mere accusation of sexual impropriety is enough for a woman to be murdered by her own family to maintain its honor, without any legal penalties. Imagine how dull life would be if frowny feminists eliminated this diversity!

    Ahh, so you are indeed saying a culture cannot offer choices to its citizens without feminism. It didn’t take much for you to come out and say this. I posited an assumption, and you confirmed it.

    Well, in Thailand the accusation of sexual impropriety doesn’t lead a women to be murdered by her own family, and I can also state that by all accounts Thailand is not a feminist country. Bit of an inconvenient truth to squeeze into your black and white world there – where feminist countries exist alongside non-feminist countries (those countries whereby women are murdered by their families for their sexual behaviour).

  92. One interesting statistic that you left out is that the majority of men who marry a second time favour a woman who is younger then their first wife.

    These men who marry a second time have to be marrying SOMEBODY and if it is not older women then logic dictates that they are dating eager & willing nubile younger women.

    Now we all know that men are not equally desirable (this is true of women too!). There is normally a small percentage of eligible partners in any dating pool. So these older women are left with an even smaller pool of men to date in the first place.

    In economics 101 you learn that if the availability of a commodity shrinks then its value increases (law of supply and demand). And so you expect us to believe that women place a lower value on the very thing that is in short supply .ie older men.? Am I missing something here?

    Lest you think I am biased I must declare my interest. I have a passion for older women! I think they are intelligent, gorgeous, sexy with a lot of life experience. I find them extremely easy to date for the simple reason that the competition (older men) are busy dating women my age. My experiences have shown me that they are very sexually available. The romantic ones seek marriage but are insecure about their looks, the bitter or the contented ones are happy to just date or withdraw from the dating circuit altogether.

    I will close by saying that the tragedy is that some marriages don’t work out in the first place.

  93. ok……guys!!!! I’m a 28 year old divorced lady with children that lives with ex-hubbie…..

    I’m not sure about divorced men remarrying sooner than divorced women but I’ll tell you why I’m not so crazy about getting remarried…….

    First of all….I’m ssSSoooOOOOOOOooooohappy that I’m free!!!!! no more of that being controlled and manipulated……and like Mr. Bad said on previous posts…..women do become “bitter” just because they’ve been hurt so much in the past marriage and they don’t feel like going through the same old S***!!!! THat’s our women’s protection guard going up……

    See…..I think it all depends on how the marriage ended as well…….

    Men or women who were not happy or hurt in previous marriage tend to take longer to get remarried…….(my opinion) and fact for me…….

    I tried to meet new people and nice people…….guys who were actually willing to try to understand me…..but the reason why I choose to be single?………

    My reasons why I want to be single:

    I can do whatever I want =) SO MUCH FREEDOM!!!!
    Cannot find the right person with qualities that I’m looking for in a guy
    Scared that I’m going to be stuck in another bad marriage
    Afraid I’m going to end up with another psychotic in-laws
    Most important……I don’t think I’m ready

    I know I’m not ready because I tend to become really bitter with guys that I meet….well…not quite bitter, but more than my usual self..(I catch myself doing that sometimes and I hate it!!) And I don’t think it’s fair for the other person to go through S*** because of what I went through…….

    Well…that’s all folks…..
    Hope you enjoyed my LoooOOOOng post =)

  94. As an unmarried woman I was expected to have a career/job – to “take care of myself.” The days of parents marrying you off or looking after you if you didn’t marry, are long gone on this continent. As a married woman I was expected to continue with the career/job,to contribute to “taking care of my family,” have children (do most of the duties like getting up in the night when they are sick, taking them to lessons) and do most of the housework (note I didn’t say all but I did say most). I think my career took off more than my husband’s (in his point of view, not mine) and that contributed to our divorce. I had opinions which, at work, were considered but, at home, were seen as being “unsupportive.” Guys, don’t expect women to take on the male’s “traditional” role as a breadwinner and expect her to keep the female’s “traditional” role as the dutiful wife…unless, of course, she wants that. I didn’t.

    Since my divorce (yes, I filed…what was I to do? If my “husband” is dating someone else, he’s not my husband, right? So, I filed.), life isn’t much different than being married, except, of course, no husband (a big difference there). I do more (not significantly more) but I do it when I want to under my terms. I’m back to taking care of myself and I like it. I’m not taking care of others (my children are grown and I hang around with the grandchildren several days a week) and I like that too.

    Women in the USA and Canada have a voice, they vote, they have equal rights. We don’t wrap up our faces and bodies in subservience, serve you unquestioningly and show immense gratitude for you letting us live. We just aren’t there anymore. And, for Anonymous, even his catalogue bride would want to be where we are now. He’s delusional.

    The day we brought home the bacon, cooked it and cleaned up after it was the day we no longer “needed” men in the old traditional way. That meant the marriage contract had to change. So, I do not intend to remarry unless I meet someone I want to spend a lot of time with and who respects me as I respect him – that’s the basis of the new contract. The marriage to a “good providers” in exchange for “youth and beauty” will go the way of the do-do bird.

  95. Regardless of what anyone says, life was much more stable, organized, straight-flowing, relaxed, pleasant, family oriented and less stressful in the days when the man was the sole bread-winner and the wife stayed at home and took care of the house and raised the kids. As well, there is strong evidence that this type of life raised much smarter kids, who had far less mental problems than kids of today. Of course, this type of life was not the best way for each person and many were un-happy that way. There were more extra-marital affairs than we care to believe and abusive marriages, but they were not talked about and life continued on its straight and stable path. Overall, society (including economic and social realms) was far better off. What do you want out of life, a better society overall for our children, or your own personal happiness? I am divorced three times, but I am still not dumb enough to ignore past history or what worked well in the past.

  96. Men bring wonderful things to a relationship.. things that women want and need. Women bring wonderful things to a relationship… things men want and need. Children of these relationships need parents who cooperate and sacrifice for the greater good of the family… Not always, but often, women are placed at a disadvantage when they are the primary care-giver to the husband and child, supporting the husbands role as bread-winner. (A mom may work, but will usually be the one to receive less education, a lower status job, and be a worse employee as she is absent to care for her children.) As the years go by and the man and/or woman tires of the constraints of the marriage, there is a divorce. The woman and child tend to head into poverty and the man is free (except for his lost “stuff” and child support check that is less than his car, boat, or motorcycle, payment) he is free to entertain other women and start a new life. The woman and child are struggling with all the issues of raising teenagers, trying to get cars for them, trying to keep them out of trouble and in school and their isn’t much entertaining going on at the house for the mom trying to hold it all together. Of course women get bitter. It is a lonely road and none of our experience is valued… it is all just “baggage”. Congratulations to the men who stay and pay and work hard to make it right. Where do I find one?

    Note: I married at 18, a man of 26, who promised I would get to attend school and pursue career goals… instead I got jobs, maid, house=painter, convenience store clerk, secretary… and kids x 2. After 16 years and his career advancement he decided to start sleeping with his secretaries. I left… put myself through night school, took care of the kids that he never visits. Put myself through Grad school (so I could actually make a living for the kids and myself.) All the while, he bought fancy homes, dated a dozen women, acquired, boats, cars, a company, motorcycles, three wheelers, guns, etc… All over an eight year period. He got married on Fathers Day, didn’t invite the kids. Went skiing for christmas, Hunting on Thanksgiving. He has sued me 3 times in the past four years to reduce his child support (from 500 a months to $150.00 a month) , to gain custody, etc… he’s always lost, but I always have to pay an attorney to defend the action. (Since he doesn’t even bother to visit his children.) It is all so tiresome.

    So, now I’m a professional digging out of 150K of financial aid debt.. we live in our 1000 square foot house with termites and broken plumbing. He dropped a 5 speed truck with a broken gas guage and 150K miles on it off over here for our precious 16 year old daughter to drive…. she doesn’t weigh enough to press in the clutch. He drives a new Lexus and a newer super cab leather loaded pickup. He also bought her a puppy for Christmas one year. It lives with me and I support her too.

    But we have each other, and we don’t miss him, and we will get far enough ahead to get her a decent, safe care, and eventually we can afford to get the damn dog spayed, but we do wish he would go away and he needn’t do us any more favors.

    43 year old white female with the face and body of an attractive 30 year old, grad degree, income in excess of 80K per year, divorced 8 years, kids almost grown, seeks a man who is just not a heartless ass to catch dinner and a movie with every once in a while.

  97. It is sad to read many of the responses here. The author is right, after being married, having kids, etc., divorce was liberating. It doesn’t have anything to do with my age, my marketability, my bitterness, it has everything to do with empowerment. Since my divorce I have recieved a BS and a Masters Degree, have not had to deal with anyone telling me when, what, or where…I do what I want, when I want, with whom I want. My kids are thriving, my dating life is whatever I want it to be…matter of a fact just got back from out of state with a male lawyer friend, free trip for me, and my friends, well they are either single, divorced, or trying like hell to get away from their spouses….being single at 37 is liberating and fun. I don’t want a man, it would be like raising another needy child. Pooey on all you conservatives…

  98. Hah! Just stumbled across this commentary this morning.

    I could’nt agree more!

    Single woman here, age 48, divorced ( my choice ) for 5.5 years now and there is NO way in hell that I would ever re-marry.

    As the poster above mentioned this decision has nothing to do with bitterness or any sort of gender angst, I am just waaay to happy being footloose and fancy free.

    Have a great little country home, pets, good friends and an active spiritual life. Have a gardener and just bought myself a new blower. I can gove myself my own blowjobs now! LOL

    Got a top of the line shower massage and turbo jets in the hot tub…what more could I want?

  99. On the subject of who is happiest and at what age I think it all depends on the individual. I am a 55 year old lady who was married for 20 years and has been divorced for 3. Currently I am supporting my three kids in college, finishing my own degree and have come to the realization that I will be working until I am too old to navigate by way of a walker. We owned a family business and social security all went under his name so all of that is quite limited.
    My ex lived in strip bars and through cyber porn for the last five years of our marriage and it was he that decided a divorce was better than family counseling. I swore if my marriage ever failed I would not look for someone else until my kids were grown…to much hardship on everyone. I believe for me that was the correct decision. I see to many divorced women with children spending more time looking for the next mister right than taking care of the precious cargo at home.
    My ex has managed to plead lack of funds many times leaving his children to go without the necessities. He has ignored his bills until they found their way to me and I was left holding the bag. However, he is not the total dead beat that many divorced fathers become. As for his stuff…it is all still in his house, on his farm, with his car and truck parked outside. He spends his time as he pleases with his girlfriend that is 20 years younger. Excuse me if I sound a tad nasty, but his 24 year old “virgin mary” was part of the picture long before we separated and he filed for divorce.

    Over all, I cannot say that the divorce has made me bitter. I have come to grips with his decision to “move on”. I do find that his decision to reclaim his freedom has placed a fracture in our family concerning family get togethers such as birthdays and holidays.

    As for the future, I lost everything trying to keep my kids heads covered, food in their stomachs and shoes on their feet. If I allow myself, I can become “scared” about what lies ahead and that could easily turn to bitterness. My goodwill furniture and lack of retirement funds are a far cry from where I thought I would be at this point in my life.

    Still…I have the power to decide how all of this will affect me. Somedays are harder than others, but I refuse to let the past determine the future. I am open to finding someone down the road that is interested in sharing themselves. Until that happens I enbrace the good days and keep my head up during those that are not so great.

  100. I’m in my late 30s and never been married (I’m a woman) I’d like to be though, I’d like the companionship and closeness. I’d like the feeling of growing up together and creating a shared history, which I think might be a less ellaborate expression of what Hugo likes about is marraige. I’ve just not met anyone to do that with, at the right time. I see housework as work and am not about to do somebody elses share. I’d be very offended if a man expected me to mother him in that way, would see him as someone who had little regard for me and would probably reject him (I want companionship not slavery). I accept that I may never meet someone who is right for me, but remaining single is incomparably better than the misery of being unhappily married. As for the idea that I should put up with misery for the sake of society and children, well I am society, and so will our children be when they grow up.

  101. Pingback: What Men Prefer To Do In Bed | What Men Want From A Woman

Comments are closed.