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What women don’t understand about marriage.

May 4, 2013

What women don’t understand about marriage.

Over on Alpha Game Vox Day often addresses the subject of marriage in conjunction with his comments on a variety of related gender issues.  I mention this here primarily because it was as a result of going to his site that I ended up following a link to Dr. Helen’s short piece entitled Men Thirty to Fifty Less Likely to Want to Marry.  In terms of the article, I might just mention that age related surveys can sometimes be a bit misleading in that the individuals who constitute a particular age group obviously do not remain static.  In any event, what motivated me to write this article was a need to respond to those who seemed to have no clue as to how successful they have been in changing the world around them, particularly as to how those changes have affected their personal status as marriage eligible women.

I’m married, but it would seem that there is still a significant group of women who continue to feel that they are God’s gift to men.  I say this not in the sense that they represent objects which can be given as gifts, but rather as superior beings for whom men will do absolutely anything in an effort to gain their favor.  Apparently they still have the “princess” mentality while having long ago dispensed with the aura.  In short, they still consider themselves to be the prizes in the game of love simply by virtue of their gender, rather than understanding that they have now relegated themselves to the more mundane status of often less than worthy contenders.

It seems that in the course of writing articles such as this one it is almost obligatory on the part of the author to point out that he/she does not hate women so let me reiterate it here and now, but a major problem for women who are in the market for a suitable mate is that they have completely misunderstood the reason most men end up getting married.  Times may have changed since dating was one of my top priorities, but very few men or boys of my acquaintance seriously consider their prospective mate’s earning potential as a make or break consideration.  Frankly, as I wrote this article, I was surprised to realize how many males I know of various ages and levels of income who have essentially written off women as possible candidates for any kind of long term relationship.  Perhaps most surprising of all is the number of males who have confided that they wouldn’t mind having a couple of kids, just not the wife who would come along with them.  The real truth, by and large, is that most men seem to want a “traditional” relationship along with the sex that comes with it.  The reasons men give do not seem to sit well with today’s modern woman who generally have different reasons for getting married than do the men.  In keeping with their prior status as objects for which men were willing to compete, women feel perfectly comfortable in labeling the characteristics men find alluring as “superficial” at best.

Essentially what women seem unable to grasp is that when you eliminate the need for a commitment as a prerequisite for sexual contact and at the same time you eliminate the understanding that your spouse is your partner for life many men find that having a few close male friends can be just as fulfilling with a great deal less drama.  It is for this reason that I would suggest that those who incessantly attempt to point out that men are just as hard to live with as are women are missing the point.  The real point is, as the figures show, that the wants and needs of the men concerned are not up for negotiation.  This is no longer a situation where the men will “just have to change” if they wish to get married, as increasing numbers of men are opting out of the marriage trap and simply don’t see the prize of marriage as being valuable enough to undertake much of a personal sacrifice.  In other words, the argument put forth by so many women that men are just as culpable as women when it comes to the shaky status of marriage inherently assumes that men are interested in marrying them in the first place and thus are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that it happens.

Good luck….as it is my sincere feeling that with the demise of marriage comes the demise of the country.

 

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8 Comments
  1. Chloe permalink

    Oh, I was surprised to learn your status wasn’t changed. I thought I once read something to the contrary.

    For me, I am in the process of making changes, so your article was of interest to me. I don’t know where I might fit in, as I don’t have Feminist views of true equality, but oddly, it seems like just as many men do have a changed perspective, now. Maybe it’s generational.

    I don’t know if marriage is what will happen again, or what kind of attitudes I will come up against, but I honestly do understand the ideas you presented re: marriage in what many men might view ‘why’ they would want to marry, if they do, in the first place; they sure don’t need a lot of drama, spending, changing and rearranging of their lives. Definitely. Those aren’t the reasons why they are marrying! And yes, I think many women in that age range mentioned, probably marry for a different reason than their male counterparts.

    I don’t see an answer in that once things have moved forward, they aren’t likely to go backwards. Our environment and cities have changed, needs have changed, and finally, ‘people’ have changed, mostly due to technology and expediency in every aspect of our lives, it seems. Those are bound to impact relationships of every kind.

    I see relationships as something very basic and uncomplicated when it’s ‘right.’ I don’t think anyone should go in with expectations of changing someone. If compromise in that relationship won’t provide happiness and contentment for both, then the relationship isn’t right for both. It needs to be a want to, not a have to, for both. Hopefully, future relationships will honestly discuss their reasons for wanting marriage. Whatever they are is personal; they just need to be the same.

    I don’t know if the Institution will be able to hold its significance and value in a sporadic manner across the nation moving into the future, but I think it will change the course of our destiny, leading to another fall of civilization.

    I enjoyed your links, too, thank you!

    All my best to you.

    • “Oh, I was surprised to learn your status wasn’t changed. I thought I once read something to the contrary. ”

      Hmmm.

      “…..it seems like just as many men do have a changed perspective, now….”

      Absolutely. I thought I addressed that point of view and agreed with it.

      “Maybe it’s generational…. ”

      To some extent…I’d say it’s more a sign of the times…

      “…And yes, I think many women in that age range mentioned, probably marry for a different reason than their male counterparts….”

      And yet seem to show no evidence of why those reasons are affecting their prospects.

      “I don’t see an answer in that once things have moved forward, they aren’t likely to go backwards.”

      I disagree with the suggestion that “things have moved forward” as well as that reality will not eventually rear its ugly head.

      “…Our environment and cities have changed, needs have changed, and finally, ‘people’ have changed, mostly due to technology and expediency in every aspect of our lives, it seems. Those are bound to impact relationships of every kind….”

      True, but only until the money runs out. Don’t know if you saw the story about how “global warming” will purportedly have a more serious effect on women, but those who attempt to make the point completely miss the reality.

      “I see relationships as something very basic and uncomplicated when it’s ‘right.’ I don’t think anyone should go in with expectations of changing someone. If compromise in that relationship won’t provide happiness and contentment for both, then the relationship isn’t right for both. It needs to be a want to, not a have to, for both. Hopefully, future relationships will honestly discuss their reasons for wanting marriage. Whatever they are is personal; they just need to be the same.”

      Actually, I unfortunately disagree regarding the “want to versus have to”. This goes back to the erroneous view held by over 90% of Americans according to the Pew survey that the purpose and fundamental support of any marriage is love. Anytime you put a “have to” up against a “want to” the “have to” will survive a lot longer. On a personal level, sure I’m all about love, etc., but the truth of the matter is that the “state” cares nothing about whether or not you love your partner. People may also claim to “love” their friends, but rarely is that relationship institutionalized and given legal support in some way.

      “I don’t know if the Institution will be able to hold its significance and value in a sporadic manner across the nation moving into the future, but I think it will change the course of our destiny, leading to another fall of civilization.”

      The interesting thing is that the upper classes still tend to see marriage as having both significance and value…possibly because they wish to retain some semblance of independence from the system of intrusive government. Bottom line, as the society continues to disintegrate marriage will become even more important to those who choose to participate.

      “I enjoyed your links, too, thank you!”

      Wonderful…nice to hear from you.

      “All my best to you.”

      Same.

  2. Chloe permalink

    Thank you.

    I just wanted to dispute a few comments. I hope you view my point as aligning with yours, though I’m going to bring in some of the reasons for “have to vs. want to” weighing them, to promote my point. Also from Pew (’11) looking at the Millennials which you might have seen before, I believe:

    ” Pew Research surveys also find that Millennials are less likely than adults ages 30 and older to say that a child needs a home with both a father and mother to grow up happily and that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society. ” …

    My point with that quote is that they will be the next generation over 30, so the obvious “have to” of pregnancy at that over 30 stage will likely be met with a single parent attitude, whereas pregnancy created more of a “have to” before assistance programs and better paying jobs. …

    ” In many—but not all—respects, these attitudinal changes mirror behavioral changes. Young adults today are slower to marry than were their counterparts in older generations. Just 22% of Millennials are currently married. Back when Gen Xers were the same age that Millennials are now, some three-in-ten of them were married, as were more than four-in-ten Baby Boomers and more than half of the members of the Silent Generation (ages 65 and older). ” …

    In that quote and the next, the statistics support that more don’t “want to” at that stage. And there in lies my point — want to overrides have to, both by means of having ‘choice’ now that they didn’t before. The other quoted statistic showing that more don’t ‘want to’ later either:

    ” The delay in marriage among today’s young adults has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock births. Just over half (51%) of all births among Millennials in 2008 were to unwed mothers, compared with just under four-in-ten (39%) among Gen Xers in 1997, when they were the same age that Millennials are now. ” …

    Despite Millennials thinking that two parents (mother/father) aren’t necessary, they have a high divorce rate as incentive to not enter, not “want to,” into the relationship to begin with. So, we have to disagree on this as a “have to” for marriage in the upcoming generations – it might end up being a thing of the past.

    Do I think those are the best outcomes ? Of course not. We’ve already discussed why we both agree that they wouldn’t be. But I think it’s as you said as a reply for my first comment, “it’s a sign of the times.” Yes, it is because our generation and earlier – “had to” to various reasons – future generations no longer have those stringent demands and will have other ways of making their lives work without traditional families, especially as gay parents become more accepted.

    And when I said men had a changed perspective, no, you didn’t state that in the same context as I did, or was implying.

    My point was that the Millennial males are aligning with their counterpart females and opting out of marriage due loss of regard for the lifestyle; whereas, your point was focusing on men feeling : ” The real truth, by and large, is that most men seem to want a “traditional” relationship along with the sex that comes with it. The reasons men give do not seem to sit well with today’s modern woman who generally have different reasons for getting married than do the men. ” —- that, but they want everything else their way too—and no one, either sex, feels they have to change to make it all work. Which gets back to my point — the Millennials aren’t thinking like that—they will make it work by living single and having children single…and probably have sex single, as well. And they will redefine the word “family.” They will have to with all of the bi-gay-polyamory-transgender et al that will want a new meaning to the word family as well, as they will all be a part of their communities.

    Do I like it ? No. Do I have a say in the matter? No.

    I don’t know if you wanted another reply, but it just slipped out…

    • Sorry about taking so long to respond…turns out my problems in January might have wider repurcussions than I had at first predicted.

      In any event, I’m not sure of the relevance of what you posted pertaining to “have to” versus “want to”.

      In fact, it would seem that much of what you suggest supports much of what I attempted to point out. As the percentage of “have to” marriages decreases, so does the number of marriages.

      • Chloe permalink

        I’m not sure about what you are referencing in your “January problems,” but I hope that you are not under a lot of stress as a result.

        Also, I’m sorry if I didn’t communicate clearly in my points regarding “have to vs. want to” correlating those points with your article.

        These statements of ours are what led to my contrary opinion:

        ” “…..it seems like just as many men do have a changed perspective, now….” (me)

        Absolutely. I thought I addressed that point of view and agreed with it. ” (you) ….

        ___

        The point I was wanting to make in my subsequent reply, and bringing in the Millenials, was that you commented that men still do ‘want’ marriage (but under their own conditions, as do many women, as it appears), and I quoted the statement of yours up there, where you suggested that.
        But the “changed perspective” of men that I was attempting to point out—is different than the changed perspective that you were pointing out.

        However, you did comment that you think that men would rather spend time with a buddy than a woman with a lot of drama, but you concluded that you see men still wanting marriage for certain benefits (children perhaps, or other).

        I don’t think that the generations of less than 40 years old (men)—“want” marriage…under ‘any’ conditions. I don’t mean to generalize or stereotype…I mean on ‘average.’

        The reason is because they don’t “have to,” unlike the men of a different generation due to societal norms. Because of those norms, ‘have to’ became a want to. But now, younger generations don’t have to, nor want to. That’s primarily my point.

        I realize you were suggesting, somewhat the same, when you pointed out that it used to be that if a woman accidentally got pregnant, then getting married was a ‘have to’…but that isn’t the case anymore. Younger men don’t see it as a responsibility anymore than they see it as the woman’s responsibility…either raise the child on their own, or abort seems to be the newer attitude…’have to’ get married, either as a societal condition or due to pregnancy doesn’t seem to exist anymore, therefore, that affects the ‘want to’ perspective…and yes, you make that point too, but for reasons out of Feminism, not out of changed attitudes of ‘want to’ by both genders—which is/was my point.
        ___

        Oh well… lol

      • I’ll skip the “issues” discussion.

        On the other, maybe it is I who is confused. I went back to the original statement of yours to which I was responding….

        “I see relationships as something very basic and uncomplicated when it’s ‘right.’ I don’t think anyone should go in with expectations of changing someone. If compromise in that relationship won’t provide happiness and contentment for both, then the relationship isn’t right for both.

        It needs to be a want to, not a have to, for both. Hopefully, future relationships will honestly discuss their reasons for wanting marriage. Whatever they are is personal; they just need to be the same.”

        I am suggesting that it doesn’t have to be a “want to” as history shows us that “have to’s” have been much more normal.

        Perhaps I missed something? I think the problem may be in personal preferences versus reality?

  3. Chloe permalink

    CC, to further the point I’ve been wanting to make, here’s a comment from elsewhere I just read, that suggests the overall changed attitude of society (that I don’t think is necessarily due to Feminism, but could be due to loss of chivalrous values not being desired by younger generations, which is part of ‘my’ point):

    Gallup just released a poll that reveals more and more Americans are shifting in ideological attitudes, and identifying themselves as ‘liberals’ in regard to social and economic issues. At the same time, fewer Americans are describing themselves as ‘conservatives.’

    Gallup reports:

    “The trend suggests that ideological attitudes in the country may be shifting. Social liberalism has grown by six points since 2001 and now attracts half of rank-and-file Democrats and Democratic leaners.”

    This new survey shows changes in Americans’ ideology: economic conservatism is at a five-year low, while social liberalism has registered its highest support…

    Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/05/26/gallup-poll-and-new-study-r

  4. Chloe permalink

    ” ..I am suggesting that it doesn’t have to be a “want to” as history shows us that “have to’s” have been much more normal…” (you)..

    Yes, I agree. That’s part of my point in suggesting that it should not be a ‘have to.’ Cultural pressure or societal norms caused women to feel subservient when they might not have wanted that, and it caused men to feel they had to marry someone they didn’t want to, or get married at a time when they didn’t want to.

    I tend to think that many of the divorces even today are a result of ‘have to’ marriages for a variety of ‘wrong’ reasons as well: wanting children for non-mutual reasons, money, aid status possibly in their career environment…again, those marriages were ‘have tos’…and the reality of why they married eventually surfaces and leads to divorce. I’m saying that marriage should be a ‘want to,’ and can be for traditional role-playing reasons, but if so…it needs to be that they both want that. They can be very much in love, but not be fulfilled in their roles if only one of them wants that, why I said they need to be of like mindset in why they are marrying…whatever it might be.

    Back to the point of your article, as I interpret… quoting you:

    ” .. In any event, what motivated me to write this article was a need to respond to those who seemed to have no clue as to how successful they have been in changing the world around them, particularly as to how those changes have affected their personal status as marriage eligible women.

    I’m married, but it would seem that there is still a significant group of women who continue to feel that they are God’s gift to men. I say this not in the sense that they represent objects which can be given as gifts, but rather as superior beings for whom men will do absolutely anything in an effort to gain their favor. Apparently they still have the “princess” mentality while having long ago dispensed with the aura. In short, they still consider themselves to be the prizes in the game of love simply by virtue of their gender, rather than understanding that they have now relegated themselves to the more mundane status of often less than worthy contenders. ..” (you) …

    The point I see you making is that it is all women’s fault that marriage doesn’t always work, and that they are less than worthy contenders because they think they don’t have to hold up their end of the marriage vows simply because they think they are some kind of prize for men, just because they are a woman. …I see your point relating to the attitude of Feminism as well.

    First, I agree that there are probably women with those attitudes; their personal environments, community, schools, friends, family, as well advertising has helped shape and encouraged the *’ Prima donna, I’m really special’* attitudes.

    However, I’m suggesting that it is changed value systems regarding marriage that is more the reason for marriage being less attractive for some – making ‘both’ genders seem “less worthy” to each other. ..And, as I have pointed out…I think it is a generational situation, for the most part.

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