by John Hawkins | March 11, 2018 3:08 am
Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a revolutionary change in the way marriage works in America.
In your great grandparents’ heyday, most women were stay-at-home moms and uneducated men, who made up the majority of men back then, were able to support themselves, a wife and their kids by working hard at what we’d today consider to be menial jobs. Back then, relationships were more about raising a family and making a living than love. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any love involved; it just means the motivations was often a little different than it is today. Women wanted to get out of the house and have kids. When a woman found a man who treated her well and seemed like he could provide for her and her children, that was often enough of a foundation to build a marriage on. After all, the country was much poorer then; so her parents couldn’t necessarily support her and she didn’t have a lot of job options. A husband was the best financial option most women had back then.
It’s a plus that women have made strides in education and the work place and now, most ladies don’t NEED a guy to take care of them. If you have a daughter, this is a good thing. You wouldn’t want your little girl trapped in a lousy relationship someday because she can’t possibly take care of herself. However, there have been negative consequences to that as well. Since many women can take care of themselves and those that can’t have the federal government helping them, they don’t NEED a man to take care of them financially. Combine this with the fact that financial opportunities for uneducated and unskilled men are dramatically reduced from pre-shipping container/pre-computer age and marriage has been forever changed. That male dockworker can no longer support a family by himself and even if the female executive were to marry him (and she probably wouldn’t because he has less status than her), the marriage would be far less stable because financial need wouldn’t hold them together.
Divorce also happened much less frequently in the past. Not only was it a little scandalous to get divorced, you didn’t have big daddy government stepping in to pay the woman’s bills if a woman decided to go her own way. Consider that, “the 1967 crude (divorce) rate was 8.7 times as large as that for 1867” and it becomes obvious that marriage meant a lot more to previous generations of Americans.
For many men, marriage is much less appealing today than it was back then in almost every way. That doesn’t mean marriage is a bad thing. There are definitely a lot of great marriages out there. But, too many people have ignored the fact that as marriage has improved for women, it has become considerably less attractive for men.
As the need for financial security has fallen away, “love” has become the primary motivator of women who want to marry. The problem with that is that love can be one fickle b*tch.
For most people, that hot passionate love driven by hormones that makes you crazy for someone else typically doesn’t last forever. As they say, “familiarity breeds contempt.” When a woman is on year three of sex with the same person, she just picked his stained underwear off the floor again and what she thought were cute little idiosyncrasies early on have started to get on her nerves, “love” has proven to be a much less effective cement than financial necessity. That’s very important because almost 70% of the time the woman is the one who files for divorce.
Given that we have a justice system that rewards women and punishes men at every opportunity, it’s no surprise that women are more likely to be ones ending the marriage. Courts heavily side with women over men when it comes to custody of the children. Chances are if you’re a man in a battle for custody, you’re going to lose and then you’re going to be forced to pay through the nose for the privilege of not getting to spend as much time with your kids as you like. Speaking of which, financially the courts still act as if we’re in the thirties. Certainly, there could be a situation where a significant alimony payment would be the only fair solution. Let’s say the husband insists that his wife should give up her career to take care of their child while he supports both of them. After a decade they get divorced and after all that time out of the work force, her worth isn’t what it would have been if she had continued working. It’s easy to see how you could make an argument that she deserves some compensation.
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On the other hand, imagine a secretary who makes $30,000 a year and she marries a CEO making 10 million dollars a year. Five years later, they get divorced. How much does she deserve? Most women would say “half.” My answer would be “very little.” You know how much she contributed to the man’s success in his career? Nothing of significance. How much is she worth in the working world after the marriage? About the same as she was before, plus she’s had the advantage of having her much richer husband buy her things for years that she’ll take with her. Do you know what he should owe her after five years of marriage that didn’t work out in the end? Nothing, just like she owes him. Yet and still, in many states her husband would be expected to keep her living in the “style to which she has become accustomed.” This is exactly the reason that any MAN WHO ALREADY HAS MONEY is crazy if he doesn’t insist on a pre-nuptial contract before a wedding. Is that romantic? No, but neither is giving a woman who hates your guts half your money. Does it imply you’re not 100% sure the marriage will last? Yes it does, but in a world where divorce is so common, no one can really be sure a marriage will last anymore. You can claim otherwise if you like, but you’re just whistling past the graveyard. I’ve known women who divorced a husbands because he lost his job and had trouble finding another one, because she wanted to relive her party years at 35 years old with two kids, because she decided her husband wasn’t manly enough; it goes on and on and on. I’m not criticizing that or saying those women should have stuck it out even if they weren’t happy. Whether you end a marriage or not is a very personal decision and you can’t really know what someone’s going through. However, what I am telling you is that there are no guarantees and your sweet, reasonable honey who loves you to death may turn into an angry Hillary Clinton clone once she has a lawyer whispering in her ear during the divorce and guess what? Usually, the guy never sees it coming.
This can lead to a situation where you’re paying for the lifestyle of a woman who doesn’t want to be with you anymore and is using your kids as a weapon against you while you struggle financially. I know more than one man who has been in this situation. Almost every man does these days. Some people would tell you that’s just the price of marriage. “Hey, if she’s not worth that, then don’t get married.” But how often does the opposite situation happen? How often is a woman stuck paying the bills for her ex-husband while he has the kids after he decided he just wasn’t in love anymore? I’ve never heard of a situation like that, although I’m sure it has probably happened.
You also can’t underestimate the impact of having reliable female birth control and women pursuing their careers. Between college and many women trying to climb the career ladder, marriages are occurring later than ever. There was a time in American history when 80% of people were married by 21. That is no longer true.
Barely half of all adults in the United States—a record low—are currently married, and the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7), according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.
In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years.
You’d think numbers like that would be a wake-up call, but no, it doesn’t seem to be on most people’s radars. This is despite the fact that the longer you wait to get married, the less the chance that you’ll have kids – and that’s a major motivator for getting married. Take that possibility away and marriage is much less appealing to men — especially since women can easily avoid pregnancy and they have become much more promiscuous than they used to be. Does that mean every single guy is getting laid left and right? Not at all, but it does mean that sex is much more available to the average single man than it was 100 years ago. In other words, even if a man never gets married, he doesn’t have to forego sex. In fact, he has the opportunity to have sex with multiple women, an attractive proposition to most men that would be denied to him if he were married. On top of that, he doesn’t have to take on any burdens. He’s not financially responsible for his girlfriend. He doesn’t have to take care of the kid she had with another guy five years ago. Typically, women are the ones who grew up dreaming of the perfect wedding. Most men just grew up dreaming of having sex with beautiful women.
At one time, those two fantasies had to merge. When our society was less promiscuous, the man needed to get married to have regular access to sex. He got what he wanted and she got what she wanted. Is that still true today? The numbers say, “No.”
Back in the early 1990s, the average American had sex about 60 to 62 times per year, but that number dropped to less than 53 times per year by 2014. Among married couples specifically, the drop was even more dramatic – from about 73 times per year in 1990 to 55 in 2014. This actually brings the sex lives married couples below people who’ve never been married, who have sex about 59 times per year as of 2014.
So if you’re a man, getting married means LESS SEX and with the same woman, instead of potentially sleeping with multiple women. It also means risking a soul ripping divorce, where the court system will be stacked against you and you may be fleeced by a woman who takes your kids away from you. Oh, and don’t even mention the old, “Getting married? Wow, I’ll be treated like a king” fantasy that men used to now. Today, you’re more likely to be treated to demands that you do half the housework. When you look at that sort of thing, it’s easy to understand why some men are simply opposed to marriage. I am not one of those men, but I will tell you the scales have tipped too far against men in marriage. By that, I mean marriage is much less attractive to men than it used to be. That means less children overall, more children born out of wedlock and a less stable society. Unless something changes that shifts the institution of marriage back onto more favorable ground for men, marriage is likely to continue to dissolve in America. Since marriage is one of the most important building blocks of a successful society, that’s something none of us should want.
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